We analyzed the best fits for teams with their impending needs and free agency decisions. The past three NBA drafts, two thirds of all the first round selections have been college underclassmen. May 19 will provide the lottery results with the official NBA draft order.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jahlil Okafor PF/Center Duke
T'wolves have invested heavily at center, therefore address the power forward need by selecting Jahlil Okafor.
2. New York Knicks
Karl-Anthony Towns Center Kentucky
Towns would provide a post scorer to fit nicely in the triangle offense. Interestingly, Towns has some face up game and could play out of the high post in situations in which they use Carmelo Anthony as a post option.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Emmanuel Mudiay PG China
Dynamic point guard could excel as the face of the franchise. Has a year of pro experience in China. Current Sixer’s guard, Robert Covington has shown flashes that he may very well be a significant piece of the long-term plan.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
Justise Winslow Wing Duke
Winslow can play without the ball in his hands and contribute. He’s a lock down defender, good in transition, shoots the “3” with accuracy and is unstoppable to the rim.
5. Orlando Magic
Kritaps Porzingis F Latvia
Porzingis plays in the Spanish pro league for FC Barcelona. He is incredibly skilled, a good athlete and shoots it well...and is just 19 years old.
6. Sacramento Kings
D’Angelo Russell Combo Guard Ohio State
Russell steps at point guard and should he struggle, he could slide over at his more natural position as shooting guard.
7. Denver Nuggests
Mario Hezonia Guard Croatia
It will be hard to pass up the opportunity to take a guy who was considered Europe’s best prospect two years ago.
8. Detroit Pistons
Frank Kaminsky F Wisconsin
He can fit in as a stretch four, should the Pistons let Monroe walk or potentially even Drummond.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Stanley Johnson Wing Arizona
Johnson excels in transition and slashing to the basket but isn't consistent from the perimeter.
10. Miami Heat
Willie Cauley Stein PF Kentucky
Enables the Heat defensive flexibility, could play Bosh offensively (provided he’s healthy) at the small forward and defensively at the power forward.
11. Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner F, Texas
Potential replacement for David West, with ability to post and face up.
12. Utah Jazz
Sam Dekker Wing, Wisconsin
Dekker’s offensive ability stands out has size yet can beat you off the dribble and stick daggers from beyond-the-arc.
13. Phoenix Suns
Kelly Oubre Wing, Kansas
Oubre is a smooth performer that has a knack to get to the rim.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
Best fit for a win now team. Grant penetrates with ease and will feed their scorers.
15. Brooklyn Nets
Devin Booker, Guard, Kentucky
Best shooter in the draft, must perform well defensively in workouts.
16. Boston Celtics
Trey Lyles, Forward, Kentucky
Arguably the most complete player of the forwards in the draft with his offensive skill set. Ability to extend his shooting range to three-point arc will be a game changer.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Kevon Looney, Forward UCLA
Local star comes home, too tough to pass up considering the upside of the versatile forward.
18. Houston Rockets
Cameron Payne, Guard, Murray State
Explosive guard with unlimited range provides front office flexibility
19. Washington Wizards
Bobby Portis Forward, Arkansas
Perfect fit, scoring forward that rebounds and can stretch the defensive with his perimeter play
20. Toronto Raptors
Montrezl Harrell, Forward, Louisville
Instantly contributes with his rebounding and defensive ability. High motor stands out.
21. Dallas Mavericks
Tyus Jones, Guard, Duke University
Mavs start the rebuild around a high IQ point guard that brings back memories of young Jason Kidd.
22. Chicago Bulls
RJ Hunter, Guard Georgia State
With Dunleavy and Hinrich’s status uncertain, Hunter’s ability to stretch the defense becomes a necessity. An elite shooter.
23. Portland Trail Blazers
Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Forward Arizona
Elite defensive player with toughness and slashing ability
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Justin Anderson, Wing, Virginia
Blossoming scorer proved he could stretch the perimeter with three-point proficiency last season
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Delon Wright, Guard, Utah
Ball hawking guard excels attacking the basket. He will mesh well with the culture in Memphis.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Terry Rozier, Guard, Louisville
Rozier is an electric guard, A+ athlete, more of a scorer than a shooter. Defensive asset.
27. LA Lakers
Norman Powell Guard, UCLA
Scoring guard provides toughness and bounce to complement driving capabilities as well as long range proficiency
28. Boston Celtics
Christian Wood, Forward, UNLV
Intriguing talent with three-point range and a ton of upside
29. Brooklyn Nets
Jarrell Martin, Forward, LSU
Martin is a productive athletic frontcourt contributor who as a late first rounder is a
low risk, high reward selection
30. Golden State Warriors
Cliff Alexander, Forward, Kansas
This is a perfect environment for a top-five talent that has had a freshman year to forget. Brings toughness, rebounding and shot blocking.