Head coach Flip Saunders prefers Jahlil Okafor, but his staff prefers Karl Towns. Tough decision, but when drafting No. 1, you should go with the player with the most upside and the fewest flaws in his game. That’s Towns.
Easy pick. The Lakers still have Kobe Bryant, and it seems Jordan Clarkson can handle point guard duties long-term. L.A. added Julius Randle last offseason and pairing him with an NBA ready player like Jahlil Okafor gives the team a chance to be competitive in what could be Bryant’s final season.
I know there’s a lot of buzz here for Kristaps Porzingis, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen with such a talented prospect on the board at a position of need like Russell. Russell’s scoring and play making abilities will make everyone on the floor better.
I think this pick gets traded. So does Chris Sheridan, who thinks it’s ‘likely’ the pick is traded if Okafor isn’t on the board. If that’s the case, a trade partner that makes a lot of sense is the Nuggets, who are open to trading either Ty Lawson or Kenneth Faried–or maybe even both–to move up in the draft. The Nuggets have said they will take the best player available which means they would probably be inclined to trade up. They’ve already tried to acquire the sixth pick. If this trade goes down, I still like Mudiay for the Nuggets, and my guess would be Cameron Payne for the Knicks at seven. They really like him.
The Magic met with Porzingis last Thursday and it appears that he’s their guy if he’s on the board. Justise Winslow is another option if Porzingis is off the board.
DeMarcus Cousins wants Cauley-Stein and the Kings have been high on him all offseason.
If the Nuggets stay at seven I think this is a really good fit for the team. He could start his career at shooting guard and slide over to small forward once he adds weight or in the event that Gallinari goes down again with injury.
Dream scenario for the Pistons, who add a player with a few elite traits: athleticism, instincts, defense and promising upside as a scorer.
The Hornets are adamant about taking the best player available–that’s Stanley Johnnson. It was really hard to pass up Devin Booker here with three-point shooting an obvious need and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist already on the roster
Who knows what will happen with Dwyane Wade? He’s upset with the organization, and rightfully so. He sacrificed a lot of money for the good of the team and now the Heat aren’t reciprocating the love. Regardless of what happens with Wade, adding a shooter like Booker makes a lot of sense. They could go small ball with Dragic, if he re-signs (and he should), Wade and Booker. Or, they could groom Booker to be the future at shooting guard with or without Wade.
Payne recently suffered a fractured finger, but it isn’t too serious so his stock shouldn’t fall. The Pacers would have loved to draft Willie Cauley-Stein, but they’ll settle for the best player on the board.
This is a great fit for both sides. The Jazz get a young power forward/center with a ton of upside, and Turner gets a chance to develop behind one really good power forward in Derrick Favors and promising center Rudy Gobert.
Markieff Morris is solid and the verdict is still out on Alex Len. Adding a player that could help their front court from day one would be a good direction. The Suns would probably like the option to choose between Turner and Kaminsky. Turner may be less polished now, but offers more upside, and his already promising shot blocking is an element the Suns could use.
I’d imagine that the Thunder’s ideal pick would be Payne who could add a dangerous element to the team with Westbrook playing off ball at times. Next up would be Booker, but I doubt either fall this far. Instead the Thunder elect to draft a high-upside player that can fill either the two or the three. This pick also offers some insurance in the event that Durant leaves in free agency next offseason.