- New York Knicks – Zion Williamson (Duke)
Zion is one of the greatest spectacles in sports; his body is NBA ready already at 6’7 285 lbs. This kid is a dunk machine but he is much more than that too. His ability to finish around the rim is unrivaled,plus his handle and passing is supremely impressive. His shooting is somewhat of a work in progress, but the potential is undeniable.
2. Phoenix Suns- JA Morant (Murray State)
Morant is arguably the second most polarizing player in college basketball. His ability to finish around the rim is impressive, but his competition is the only thing holding him back. Playing at Murray State may turn off some teams, but the need of point guard for the Suns will force them into this pick.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers- RJ Barrett (Duke)
An impressive handle and ability to create his own shot makes RJ a desirable player, especially for the Cavs. Getting a cornerstone player to pair with Collin Sexton would be huge for Cleveland.
4. Chicago Bulls- Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech)
Culvers’ stock has had a meteoric rise. The lengthy guard out of Texas Tech has the ability to be a good “3 and D” option for the Bulls and would fit nicely in the lineup.
5. Atlanta Hawks- Cam Reddish (Duke)
The 6’8 freshman forward would be a great fit for the Hawks, and with two picks in the lottery the Hawks take the best available at this pick, it just happens to be a fit. Taurean Prince has established himself as the starting forward, but the upside of Reddish is something they cannot pass on.
6. Memphis Grizzlies- Darius Garland (Vanderbilt)
Missing his entire season with a torn meniscus, Garland should be healthy in time for the combine. The Grizzlies will likely be looking to move on from Mike Conley and Garland would be a great replacement.
7. Washington Wizards- Deandre Hunter (Virginia)
The 6’8 forward from Virginia would fill the departure of Otto Porter flawlessly. Hunter is a great defender and is able to create his own shot with three-point potential.
8. Miami Heat- Romeo Langford (Indiana)
Former Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana isn’t having the season he might’ve hoped for but the potential is evident. His defense and developing outside shot makes him intriguing.
9. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas)- Jaxson Hayes (Texas)
Hayes is a project, plain and simple. The 6’11 center out of Texas fills a need for the Hawks and gives them a solid young core to develop and grow together. Hayes is raw offensively, but defensively he can impact the Hawks almost immediately.
10. New Orleans Pelicans- Nassir Little (North Carolina)
Little was a top 5 prospect before the season, but his slow start and lack of shooting will be his demise. However, his suffocating defense and good finishing ability will keep him in the lottery along with his potential.
11. Charlotte Hornets- Sekou Doumbouya (France)
Assuming the Hornets plan to retain Kemba Walker, drafting Doumbouya is about positional needs. Additionally, Doumbouya being an international prospect should be noted. Hornets head coach James Borrego was with the Spurs for a time and has international roots.
12. Minnesota Timberwolves- Kevin Porter (USC)
One of the most athletically gifted players in this class could legitimately rise into the top 5, but with a lack of consistency he may fall into the late lottery. The Timberwolves have to surround Karl-Anthony Towns with talent and this pick will do that.
13. Los Angeles Lakers- Coby White (North Carolina)
While not the 13th best prospect, Coby White can flat out shoot. With the urgency of making the playoffs next season, the Lakers draft need rather than potential.
14. Sacramento Kings- Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga)
Just missing the playoffs with such a young core, the Kings aren’t far from competing in the Western Conference regularly. Hachimura is great defensively and on the boards, and his back to the basket game is polished. He should contribute sooner rather than later.