Now that the NBA lottery has come and gone, it’s time to get down to which team is drafting which player. Besides the top two picks, the rest of the draft, especially the lottery, is up for grabs, and here is the order in which I believe the players will be selected in the lottery.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons
This pick can go between either Simmons or Brandon Ingram. Both are full of potential and the two most likely players to become stars in this draft. Simmons has been hyped up since high school and is oozing with potential. His passing is as good as any guard in this draft and can score the ball, averaging 19.2 points per game. He would be the future of this organization and the cornerstone of the franchise.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram
Arguably the best player in this draft, Ingram can make an immediate impact on any team he gets drafted to. LA is in need of a star now that Kobe is gone, and in a few years that’s exactly what Ingram has the potential to be. Just like Simmons, Ingram is oozing with potential. Unless the Lakers trade their pick, Ingram can be the player the Lakers build around with their young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson.
3. Boston Celtics: Buddy Hield
This pick is tricky with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics will probably be heavily shopping this pick in hopes of a star in return, but if they are unable to do so I see them taking Hield at pick three. He’s the best shooter and arguably the best scorer in this draft and that’s exactly what the Celtics need. His ability to get to handle the ball well and get to the basket along with shooting the three makes him a great fit for any team.
4. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender
The Suns would be taking a gamble taking Bender with this pick, as would anybody selecting him. There isn’t much to know about Bender, besides the fact that he’s a 7’1″ athletic big man who can spread the floor and play defense. His stats aren’t anything to be proud of, but he’s hyped up to be the Kristaps Porzingis of this draft. So there’s a big gamble selecting him, like when the Knicks drafted Porzingod last year, and look how that turned out.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kris Dunn
Kris Dunn is a very well-rounded, athletic guard who is a difference maker on the court. His biggest struggle in college was protecting the ball, averaging 3.3 turnovers per game, but that’s something he can work on. At 22, he still has plenty of time to improve. The Timberwolves are looking to get younger at their PG position and he could be exactly what they’re looking for.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Jamal Murray
Jamal is a nice sized guard who can score at ease. His ability to shoot and drive to the basket at 6’4″ makes him a special player to add to a rebuilding team. With Eric Gordon being a free agent this upcoming offseason, this would make room to add Murray alongside guards Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.
7. Denver Nuggets: Jaylen Brown
The 6’7″ forward from California would be a nice piece to add to the young Nuggets roster. His athleticism helps him play multiple positions, and can certainly help the Nuggets play small ball by playing the power forward position. Averaging 3.1 turnovers a game while shooting 48% from the field, he needs to work on his ability to handle the ball and his shot selection. Aside from that, he can become a valuable wing that can help this team.
8. Sacramento Kings: Skal Labissiere
The Kings have the center position all set with DeMarcus Cousins but could use a nice power forward to pair with him. With Willie Cauley-Stein better served as a backup center, Skal could compliment Cousins well with his versatility and athleticism. Although only averaging 6.6 points per game, he averaged 1.6 blocks per game which could translate well into the NBA.
9. Toronto Raptors: Henry Ellenson
This draft pick from the Knicks is a gift to the Raptors. Being able to select a top-10 pick in a deep draft while making the conference finals is not something to be upset about. The Raptors need an upgrade at power forward, so drafting Ellenson at nine would make sense. His ability to score and potential to shoot the three-ball (.288 in college) is something that you can’t pass up on. Playing alongside Jonas Valanciunas helps the Raptors spread the floor and be able to play more small ball.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jakob Poeltl
Standing at 7’1″ and considered to be the best center in the draft, Poeltl would provide immediate help to the Bucks frontcourt. The Bucks seem like they want to move on from Greg Monroe, and Poeltl is a solid, young replacement. A solid center is something the Bucks have been looking for for years, and adding the 20-year-old center would fit nicely with their ridiculously young team.
11. Orlando Magic: Domantas Sabonis
Drafting Sabonis here would provide the Magic with help on the offensive end. Averaging 17.6 points per game in his sophomore year at Gonzaga, Sabonis could help bolster up the weak frontcourt the Magic have. Sabonis is more of an offensive player than a defensive, but he can certainly develop a nice defensive game over time.
12. Utah Jazz: Denzel Valentine
The 22-year-old from Michigan State would fit well alongside the young core the Jazz have. Playing alongside the likes of Dante Exum, Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, and Alec Burks would give the Jazz an even scarier backcourt. At 6’6″, his ability to play multiple positions makes him very valuable and a key asset to a young team like the Jazz.
13. Phoenix Suns: Marquese Chriss
The Suns could add another young big man here with the 13th pick by selecting 6’10” forward Marquese Chriss. His ability to score (13.8 ppg), defend (1.6 bbg), and shoot the three (35%) makes him valuable, especially in small-ball lineups.
14. Chicago Bulls: Wade Baldwin IV
The point guard from Vanderbilt turned some heads at the NBA Draft Combine, measuring a 6’11 wingspan and an 8’4 standing reach. He can also shoot the ball well, connecting on .422 percent of his threes in his two seasons at Vanderbilt, and has the potential to be a great defender with his size and wingspan. The 20-year-old who averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 assists his sophomore year in college could soon be Derrick Rose’s replacement in Chicago.