The NBA season has come to an end and tonight marks the beginning of the postseason with the NBA Draft. Who is rising up draft boards? Who is falling? Let’s take a look at how our writers see the draft falling:
|Pick||Team||Will Overton||Ray Kuhn|
|1||Philadelphia 76ers||Ben Simmons - SF/PF - LSU |
This seems to be pretty clear cut at this point with the Sixers almost certainly taking Ben Simmons, who even agreed to come in and work out for them. The question now seems to be will he be the team's point guard?
|Ben Simmons - F - LSU Simmons has the higher ceiling of the two, and it seems pretty certain that Philadelphia is taking the talented forward first overall. It is hard to argue with the potential and skill set here.|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||Brandon Ingram - SF – Duke|
I think the Lakers still go with the guy who has been the consensus number two in Brandon Ingram. They've been working out some other guys in the last few weeks and there is some concern that Ingram isn't big enough to hang inside, but I think that can be overcome and passing on Ingram would be a big mistake.
|Brandon Ingram - F - Duke
Not a bad fallback pick for the Lakers at all here as they get a player from a winning program who has a dynamic skill set and is ready to produce at the NBA level.
|3||Boston Celtics||Dragan Bender - PF - International|
Everyone knows the Celtics want to trade this pick, but no one really knows what they'll do if they keep the pick. I'm sticking with my first thought which was Dragan Bender, who I think has more upside than anyone else left in the draft and fits a need for Boston.
|Kris Dunn - G - Providence
Jamaal Murray might be a better player, or at least a better shooter, but Dunn is just what Boston needs. Having Dunn run the point makes Isaiah Thomas that much better and I'm sticking with the Providence guard if Boston doesn't find a taker for the pick.
|4||Phoenix Suns||Marquese Chriss - PF - Washington|
If the Celtics opt for a guard at number three the Suns could have a tough time deciding between Chriss and Bender. Reports are that Phoenix likes Chriss though and he absolutely fits their biggest need of a stretch four. Chriss has some developing to do, but he's got big time upside.
|Dragan Bender - F - Croatia
I was going Henry Ellenson for a while here, but I think the Suns go for a little more potential and upside with this pick. Bender's profile has been rising, and we certainly have yet to see his best. There are options with more athleticism, but Benderis a legit basketball player.
|5||Minnesota Timberwolves||Kris Dunn - PG – Providence|
I have been mocking Buddy Hield to the Timberwolves, but I am shifting on to Dunn because I think Thibs will be swayed by his defensive ability. Ultimately I think Minnesota's first preference is to trade out to get a veteran, but that seems easier said than done right now.
|Jamaal Murray - G - Kentucky
Murray can shoot and is a proven scorer. All indications also are that he is NBA ready off the court. I liked Hield here, but if Boston lets Murray pass by, Minnesota likely will not do the same.
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||Jamal Murray - PG - Kentucky|
I think the Pelicans would be better off with Buddy Hield, but with Murray they are still getting their shooting and a guy who can play the point, even if it's not naturally his best position.
|Buddy Hield - G - Oklahoma
The Pelicans are in a great position here as they add the best shooter in the draft, who was also a graduating senior, to an explosive young core. Hield will open the floor up for Anthony Davis as well.
|7||Denver Nuggets||Jaylen Brown - SF - California|
The Denver Nuggets could absolutely take whichever guard is left at this point, but I also think Brown holds some appeal for them. Brown has a ton of upside and could wind up being a top 3 pick in this draft.
|Marquess Chriss - F - Washington
Chriss is athletic, talented, and he did more than most of the other top prospects at the Combine. With that being said, patience is in order here, but the reward could be very much worth it.
|8||Sacramento Kings||Buddy Hield - SG - Oklahoma|
This would be an ideal situation for the Sacramento Kings to have Buddy Hield fall into their laps. The Kings need a consistent threat from the outside at the two who can play both ways and Hield fits the mold perfectly.
|Skal Labissiere - F - Kentucky
It wasn’t the best of freshman seasons for Labissiere, but he certainly is talented. Couple that with his shooting range, and the fact he won’t have to worry much about playing in the post, and you have a good situation as he teams with another former Kentucky big man; DeMarcus Cousins.
|9||Toronto Raptors||Henry Ellenson - PF – Marquette|
There are several different ways that the Raptors can go and have been rumored to go, including most recently looking at Domantas Sabonis. I think they stick with the higher upside Henry Ellenson though whose still some developing to do, but has a more NBA ready jumper than Sabonis at this point.
|Henry Ellenson - F - Marquette
Ellenson has just one year of NCAA experience under his belt, and while this might be a spot or two high for him, you can’t discount his shooting ability and versatility to potentially slide to center.
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Domantas Sabonis - PF/C - Gonzaga|
I've had Jakob Poeltl here in the past, and that's still a possibility if the Bucks want to go for the better defender. Sabonis can hold his own on defense though and the Bucks want someone who can shoot, and a lot of scouts think Sabonis will develop into a strong shooter.
|Jakob Poeltl - C - Utah
The Bucks biggest weakness last year was the center position, and Poeltl is the best center in the draft.
|11||Orlando Magic||Deytona Davis - PF/C – Michigan St|
Orlando would have their pick of three different big men all at varying levels of NBA readiness and future upside. I think Davis is the right mix, being more ready then Skal Labissiere, though still needing some fine tuning. Davis will eventually be able to backup both PF and C positions and can take over in the middle if the Magic eventually move on from Nikola Vucevic.
|Domantas Sabonis - F - Gonzaga
In general teams draft more on potential that what a player currently is, but Sabonis falls into both categories. He is still ascending, and his absence at the Combine was curious, but he is a big man that can contribute off the bench this season.
|12||Atlanta Hawks||Jakob Poletl - C - Utah|
Drafting Poletl here would offer some insurance just in case the Hawks lose Al Horford this offseason, and even if they don't lose Horford it gives them a really strong backup big man.
|Jaylen Brown - G/F - California
The Hawks now have two picks, and they go with a great talent in Brown. Brown brings a great deal of athleticism to the table and is a solid defender, he just needs to continue working on his shot.
|13||Phoenix Suns||Dejounte Murray - PG/SG - Washington|
I gave Marquese Chriss to the Suns with the fourth pick, why not have them double down and take Chriss' college teammate Dejounte Murray. This guy has been rising up the boards all off season so he could be gone at this point, but if not we know the Suns love these combo guards.
|Dejounte Murray - G- Washington
Murray is a fast riser, and has a ton of potential. Based on the flashes we have already seen, he just misses out on the lottery.
|14||Chicago Bulls||Skal Labissiere - PF/C - Kentucky|
I don't know what the Bulls are going to do. They could still take a point guard as I have had them doing, but they reportedly like Jerian Grant's upside and they also have Jose Calderon now. The frontcourt in Chicago is thinning out and the Bulls could grab Labissiere to stash for a couple years while he develops.
|Wade Baldwin, IV - G - Vanderbilt
Chicago needs point guard help as Derrick Rose is now in New York, but Baldwin can also slide over to shooting guard. He will get plenty of playing time this season.
|15||Denver Nuggets||Furkan Kormanz - SG - International|
The Nuggets have a few first round picks and if they keep all of them it makes sense for them to take a guy who may stay overseas another year. Kormanz has big upside and could be a key piece for the Nuggets in three years.
|Furkan Korkmaz - G -Turkey
Kormaz gives the Nuggets one of the better shooters in this year’s draft. He is raw, and will be eased into action slowly, but is also in a position where he won’t be counted on much to start. And it's even better if he spends a year in Europe as Denver has three first round picks.
|16||Boston Celtics||Malik Beasley - SG - Florida St|
A late riser in this draft class, Beasley has earned himself an invite to the green room and I think this is right around where he may hear his name called. The Celtics need more scoring and Beasley can give that to them with his sweet shooting and quick step to the rim.
|Deyonta Davis - F - Michigan State
The Celtics have multiple picks in the first round, and they can afford to gamble on the talented Davis. Davis is a versatile big man who will only get better.
|17||Memphis Grizzlies||Ivica Zubic - C - International|
Zubic only worked out for four teams that he felt were really interested in him and Memphis was one of those teams. Memphis needs to add some youth to their frontcourt and Zubic has big upside to eventually be a really good offensive center.
|Demetrius Jackson - G - Notre Dame
With Mike Conley possibly on his way out, the Grizzlies could use a replacement, and Jackson is the best available point guard here. Jackson emerged well from the Combine and he has a track record of success as a leader in Notre Dame.
|18||Detroit Pistons||Wade Baldwin - PG - Vanderbilt|
I'm not sure that Baldwin actually falls this far, but if he does the Pistons should be quite excited about landing the guy I think is the second best true point guard. Baldwin's playmaking skills still need work, but his shooting and defense should have Stan Van Gundy falling in love.
|Denzel Valentine - G - Michigan State
The Pistons are another team that is need of backcourt help as guard play off the bench was a glaring weakness for them last season. Valentine is a versatile player who can fill a variety of roles for Detroit.
|19||Denver Nuggets||Denzel Valentine - SG - Michigan St|
The versatility of Valentine should appeal to the Nuggets. Valentine can fit in on the second team anywhere from 1 - 3 and he can shoot the lights out which the Nuggets are a fan of.
|Malachi Richardson - G - Syracuse
Well there is a reason why Richardson has remained in the draft, and the fact that he will coming off the board around this time is why. Richardson might be the best pure shooting guard in the draft once Hield is taken, and this pick solidifies Denver’s backcourt.
|20||Indiana Pacers||Juan Hernongomez - SF/PF - International|
The Pacers want to have a small ball lineup, and Hernangomez could be the guy to play the four in that lineup in a couple years. Hernangomez is a versatile offensive player and a much better rebounder than you'd expect from him.
|Ante Zizic - C - Croatia
Adding Jeff Teague helps, so look for the Pacers now to address the paint. He will no issues stepping right an helping out on the boards right away.
|21||Atlanta Hawks||Timothe Luwawu - SF – International|
I like Luwawu a lot and could see him going higher than this. If he’s here though the Hawks should be jumping on him. Luwawu is an NBA ready defender and his shooting has come a long way in the last year. I think he could be an immediate contributor for Atlanta.
|Brice Johnson - F - North Carolina
Johnson is athletic around the rim, is one of the best rebounders, and his jump shot is also improving. This is insurance against Al Horford leaving as well.
|22||Charlotte Hornets||Malachi Richardson - SG - Syracuse|
The Hornets are another team who could go in a few directions, but I think it'll be hard for them to pass up a shooter and offensive threat like Richardson.
|Taurean Prince - F - Baylor
The Hornets need a player who possesses Prince’s skill set. Prince is a combo forward who can knock down shot and has 3-point range.
|23||Boston Celtics||Ante Zizic - C - Boston Celtics|
Here's another team with more picks then they know what to do with honestly, so it makes sense that they take a guy like Zizic who can stay overseas for now and come over in a couple years when the Celtics need him.
|Juan Hernangomez - F - Spain
After taking two players who likely be a part of their core moving forward, the Celtics will likely use their third selection on a talented big man with upside who they can keep in Europe.
|24||Philadelphia 76ers||Demetrius Jackson - PG - Notre Dame|
Point Guard is one of many spots the Sixers could use. There has been a lot of talk about trading for or signing a point guard, but even if they do Jackson gives them an NBA ready backup.
|Tyler Ulis - G - Kentucky
This is different pick than Simmons, as Ulis will quickly become a veteran for the 76ers. Ulis can be a stabilizing force, just as he was in Kentucky for a team filled with talented, but inexperienced players.
|25||Los Angeles Clippers||DeAndre Bembry - SF – St. Josephs|
One of the big winners at the combine, DeAndre Bembry has worked his way into the first round. The Clippers need wing guys and Bembry is a strong defender who can also play multiple spots on offense and is a surprisingly good playmaker.
|Cheick Diallo - C - Kansas
Diallo was highly regarded freshman who didn’t make much of an impact last season with Kansas. With the Clippers he can start off in a limited role, and they could use another big man.
|26||Philadelphia 76ers||Cheick Diallo - PF/C - Kansas|
The Sixers love project players, and after drafting a couple of NBA ready guys they can afford to take one here. Diallo is really raw and has a lot of developing to do, but the ceiling for him is really high, especially as a defender and rebounder.
|DeAndre Bembry - F - Saint Joseph’s
Bembry may not have the best jump shot, although it is getting better. Where he really shines, and it was apparent at the Combine, is in an actual game and we know that Philadelphia has a need for players; really of any kind.
|27||Toronto Raptors||Thon Maker - PF - High School|
The Raptors got the more reeady guy with their first pick and now they can take a project big man for the long term. Maker could wind up being one of the top 10 players in this draft someday, or he could never quite figure it out. The Raptors can afford to take the risk though.
|Timothe Luwawu - F - France
Luwawu gives Toronto some help in the backcourt as he is a legitimate shooter.
|28||Phoenix Suns||Taurean Prince - SF - Baylor|
I think this would be a steal for the Suns to add Prince at this point. This is a guy who I think could give them important minutes right from the jump as a backup to both forward spots. Prince is a solid shooter and strong rebounder.
|Diamond Stone - C - Maryland
Stone has double/double potential but is still raw. With all of their draft picks, the Suns can afford to go for the high reward selection.
|29||San Antonio Spurs||Brice Johnson - PF - UNC|
It'll be interesting to see what the Spurs do here as they really need to get younger. One area in which they really need some more youth is in the frontcourt as was evidenced in the playoffs. Brice Johnson isn't going to be a star, but I do think he'll be a real contributor for a team.
|Thon Maker - C - Australia
The Spurs aren’t going to have to rely on Maker next season, so why not draft on talent, youth, and upside here?
|30||Golden State Warriors||Damian Jones - C - Vanderbilt|
Here's another team whose lack of depth inside was exposed in the playoffs. Jones is athletic enough to fit in with this team, but big enough to go toe to toe with big guys like Tristan Thompson and Steven Adams who ate the Warriors lunch.
|Stephen Zimmerman - C - UNLV
The Warriors are another team looking for help in the paint, and Zimmerman is a talented freshman who could provide it.
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