SF Brandon Ingram, Duke
After trying for three years to "win" the top pick, the Sixers finally hit some luck in last month's NBA Draft Lottery. With the likes of Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and soon-to-be Dario Saric in the front court, taking Ingram makes the most sense for the Sixers. He's a fluid athlete who can defend multiple positions and shoots the ball extremely well. He has the frame of an NBA wing, but will need to add weight to be able to handle some of the stronger wings in the league. Nonetheless, Ingram has a high ceiling, and would make an impact right away for the Sixers.
PF Ben Simmons, LSU
Following a disappointing season at LSU, Simmons has gotten a lot of buzz as the next great player in the league. Like any prospect, he has questions that need to be answered, some about how committed he actually is to the game. That, along with the Sixers already crowded 4/5 spots drops Simmons down to two. Getting Simmons would be the homerun the Lakers need following Kobe Bryant's retirement, and could give them their star for the next 8-12 years.
PF Marquese Chriss, Washington
The fourth youngest player in this years draft, Chriss has an incredibly high ceiling. A fluid athlete, Chriss has the tools to be a prototypical power forward in today's NBA. His good size and quickness, coupled with his ability to step out and stretch the floor will make him a highly sought after attribute heading into draft night. He's only been playing basketball competitively for a few years, so he has a lot to learn still, but could thrive with the Celtics already strong core.
4. Phoenix Suns
PF/C Dragan Bender, Maccabi Tel Aviv
The youngest player in this years draft, Bender would fill a need in the frontcourt for the guard-heavy Suns. With Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, and Devin Booker in the backcourt, the Suns need to find their next great big man, which Bender could be. Like Chriss, Bender could be the prototypical stretch big man, that also adds the ability to defend at a high level, thanks to his massive 9'3" standing reach. Despite not getting consistent minutes with Tel Aviv, Bender is still a highly intriguing prospect, and one that would fit exceptionally well with the Suns.
PG Khris Dunn, Providence
This is where things begin to get very interesting. The Timberwolves have Ricky Rubio in place, but could be looking to move on from the passing wizard. With Tom Thibodeau running the show now, the Wolves could also look to move their pick and bring in a veteran to help their young core. If they do keep the pick, taking Dunn would make sense. It makes Rubio more expendable, and gives them a bigger, stronger point guard, something they'll inevitably need in the grueling Western Conference.
SG Jamal Murray, Kentucky
With the injury plagued Eric Gordon set to hit free agency, drafting Jamal Murray is a no-brainer for the Pelicans. A smooth shooter, Murray would be able to come in and compliment the likes of Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis right away for a Pelicans team desperate to turn things around. He has the ability to handle the ball some as well, which would let Holiday play off the ball, or give the Pelicans a worthy candidate when Holiday inevitably needs time off due to injury.
SG Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
After drafting Emmanuel Mudiay last year, the Nuggets need to find a shooter to pair with him. Enter Buddy Hield. The reigning Naismith Player of the Year, Hield took the country by storm pouring in point after point for the Sooners. The senior guard showed the ability to knock down shots from everyone on the floor, and would compliment Mudiay very well. Plus, he's ready to contribute now, something that the Nuggets could want with high expectations moving forward.
PG Wade Baldwin, Vanderbilt
Much like the Nuggets, the Kings could go in a lot of different directions. With Khris Dunn off the board, and Rajon Rondo a free agent, the Kings are in desperate need of help at point guard. Baldwin, who has slowly been creeping up many draft boards, would fill that need and could form a good chemistry with DeMarcus Cousins as time wears on. Baldwin is a big, strong point guard who can shoot the ball well, something every team in the league needs with the emphasis on three-point shooting, and point guard play.
SF Jaylen Brown, California
Taking Brown would give the Raptors some added insurance should they lose DeMar DeRozan in free agency. Brown is also likely a year, possibly two away from being fully ready to contribute on a consistently high level, so spending some time behind a few veterans wouldn't hurt. He has decent size for a wing, and has shown the ability to knock down shots, despite his struggles in college. He'd be a risk for the Raptors, but one they could afford to take with their current wing depth.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
PF/C Deyonta Davis, Michigan State
A strong rebounder and shot blocker, Davis would give the Bucks frontcourt the boost they need defensively. He has a lot of questions surrounding his offensive game, most notably his ability to get to the free throw line, but can do enough to be serviceable on that end. Taking Davis would mean the Bucks would have to trade Greg Monroe --something they likely try to do anyway-- but could give them the balance they've been looking for.
11. Orlando Magic
C Jakob Poeltl, Utah
With Poeltl on the board, the Magic would be wise to snatch up the big man. He's shown an ability to score the ball efficiently in the paint, and is a better defender than any center the Magic have on their roster currently. While he might be a product of "what you see if what you get," the Magic aren't in a position to try and hit a home run and have to wait multiple years for someone to contribute. Poeltl can come in and play right away and have an impact, which is ultimately what the Magic need more than anything.
12. Utah Jazz
SG/SF Timothy Luwawu, France
After taking Trey Lyles last year, and holding Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, the Jazz could look to improve their wing depth even more. Luwawu might take a year or two to be at his best, which is okay for the Jazz with the likes of Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, Dante Exum and Alec Burks on the wing. Luwawu has good size for a wing, but his commitment level on the defensive end is an issue. Nonetheless, having time behind some guys could benefit him in the long-run.
13. Phoenix Suns
PF/C Domantas Sabonia, Gonzaga
Even after taming Dragan Bender fourth, the Suns still need help upfront. Alex Len hasn't progressed as well as he could, and is injury prone, and Tyson Chandler isn't getting any younger. Sabonis would give them another young, talented big man who is ready to come in and give them some minutes right away. He'd fit well as a low post option as well once Bender is ready to play heavy minutes.
14. Chicago Bulls
SG Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey
With the Bulls likely heading towards a rebuild, they'll need to start accumulating young talent. Taking Korkmaz gives them a young, smooth shooting guard to start with. Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose both could end up being traded this summer, which would open the door for the Turkish National to get some time early. He needs to add some weight and muscle, but has the tools to be a deadly shooter in the league.
15. Denver Nuggets
PF Henry Ellenson, Marquette
With the addition of Buddy Hield with the seventh pick, the Nuggets continue to add more shooting with Ellenson. The smooth shooting big man can light it up offensively, but is well behind on the defensive end. He has all the tools to be a prototypical stretch four in today's game, which will undoubtedly help his transition some. With the depth the Nuggets have in the front court as well, Ellenson wouldn't be forced to step in and contribute right away, another thing that could be huge as he makes the transition.
16. Boston Celtics
PF Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
Despite adding Chriss with the third pick, Labissiere here for the Celtics makes sense. They need to get some younger guys who can defend at a higher level in the front court, and Labissiere can do just that. He has the ability to step out and stretch the floor, while also diving back into the paint defensively to block shots. He's going to need to bulk up to play meaningful minutes, but would have time to develop more with the Celtics veterans they have in place in the front court.
PG/SG Dejounte Murray, Washington
Murray burst onto the scene with a strong freshman year for the Huskies. Murray had his most success in the open court, but lacks the explosiveness and strength of other guards in the draft. With the Grizzlies likely entering a rebuild, and needing to have someone in place incase Mike Conley leaves in free agency. He's going to have to improve as a shooter and a playmaker, but has some upside, especially in the later half of the first round.
18. Detroit Pistons
PF/C Cheick Diallo, Kansas
Thought to be an important piece for the Jayhawks this past season, Diallo was disappointing in his lone year in college. He played sparingly, but showed some signs of life in the games he did play. He has some upside as a defender, despite being undersized for his position, but lacks the offensive polish that some of the other bigs in the draft have. He's going to take some time, but with Andre Drummond in place, he'd be given the time he needs to develop.
19. Denver Nuggets
SF/PF Juan Hernangomez, Spain
After seeing his brother drafted last season, Hernangomez appears poised to be a mid-to-late first rounder. A crafty scorer, Hernangomez can score in a multitude of ways from a spot-up shooter, to a slasher. He's a solid rebounder, but struggles on the defensive end of the floor, getting taken advantage of more often than not. With the depth the Nuggets have on the wing already, taking Hernangomez would allow him to continue to develop overseas, or come over and work behind the likes of Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler before he's ready to contribute.
20. Indiana Pacers
SF DeAndre Bembry, St. Joseph's
Not highly recruited out of high school, Bembry broke onto the scene thanks to a strong sophomore seasons with the Hawks. A do-it-all player, Bembry can slide between three positions, thanks to his strong frame and stellar passing abilities. He's going to have to work on the consistency of his jump shot to fully cave out a niche in the league, but can still make an early impact with his success in the open court and passing abilities. Adding Bembry would give the Pacers another playmaking wing behind Paul George as they look to play a smaller, faster brand of basketball.
21. Atlanta Hawks
C Ivica Zubac, Bosnia
After not getting to play in the Adriatic League this past year, Zubac appears poised to come over to the NBA right away. Possessing great size, Zubac is a prototypical center, possessing good touch around the rim offensively, with the ability to score with his back to the basket. Outside of the post and around the rim, Zubac's offensive game is almost non-existent, which would need to be addressed with the continuing evolution of big men being able to shoot. He also has limitations defensively, but could improve as he gets older. With Al Horford set to hit free agency, taking Zubac would give the Hawks some insurance incase their big man leaves.
C Damian Jones, Vanderbilt
A solid athlete with a big, strong frame, Jones is an intriguing prospect in the late first round. Despite having recent knee surgery, Jones still figures to garner interest from teams looking to solidify their front court. With Al Jefferson, and seemingly every other member of the team set to hit free agency, Jones would give the Hornets a backup plan if need be. Jones is a strong finisher around the rim, and has a good back to the basket game that would work well in Charlotte's inside-out system. He has upside as a rim protector, but needs to work on his overall defensive techniques to be a solid overall defender.
23. Boston Celtics
SG Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
Taking Chriss third opens the door for the Celtics to improve their guard depth with Valentine, who is one of the most NBA ready prospects in the draft. The 6-foot-6 guard can play multiple positions, and do a lot of things while on the court. He'd be able to compliment the pieces the Celtics have in their backcourt already as well. He may not turn into more than what he is, but that would still be a very solid role player.
24. Philadelphia 76ers
PG Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
While there's still plenty of holes to fill across their roster, the biggest need here for the Sixers is a point guard. Despite being undersized, Jackson has a good strong frame that should allow him to battle with point guards in the league. While his shooting numbers dropped in his junior season, much of that was due to an increased workload. He's good in catch and shoot situations, as well as off the bounce, something that till undoubtedly help him in his transition. He has the tools to be good defensively. just has to put in the work to get there.
SF Taurean Prince, Baylor
The Clippers need depth, especially on the wing. Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson isn't going to cut it in the Western Conference. A fluid athlete with a solid shot, Prince is a prototypical NBA wing in the making. He's good in the open court and with the ball in his hands, and isn't afraid to use his size and strength to muscle other players around. Prince needs to work on playing within himself, but in a fourth option role could thrive.
26. Philadelphia 76ers
SG Mailk Beasley, Florida State
Continuing to fill their long list of needs, adding Beasley would give the Sixers a talented scorer on the perimeter, to go along with their stable full of big men. Beasley is effective in the open floor, as well as a strong shooter in catch-and-shoot and dribble pull-up shots. The 6-foot-5 guard is also a strong rebounder for his position, despite having other struggles of carelessness on the defensive end of the court. He'd give them a strong scoring punch, and help them alleviate their general lack of shooting across the roster.
27. Toronto Raptors
C Ante Zizic, Croatia
With Bismack Biyombo likely on his way out in free agency, the Raptors are going to need to find a backup for Jonas Valanciunas. A high-energy big man, Zizic has the size that all NBA teams are looking for these days. He lacks some of the polish that some of the other international prospects may have, which could lead to it being best for him to play another season overseas. Should he stay another season overseas, the Raptors would be able to let him develop and come ready to contribute, much like Valanciunas did.
28. Phoenix Suns
SG/SF Malachi Richardson, Syracuse
A streaky shooter, Richardson has the tools to be a good offensive player at the next level. He showed off an ability to score in a multitude of ways while with the Orange, despite being a streaky shooter. As is the case with most Syracuse players, there are questions about Richardson on the defensive end, despite the fact he has all the tools to be an effective defender. Richardson is going to take some time to work on his IQ on both ends before being fully ready to contribute, but with the depth the Suns at the guard spot, he'd be able to do just that.
C Zhou Qi, China
Every year the draft rolls around, and every year it feels like the Spurs take an international player. Qi, a 7-foot-2 center from China, dazzled the Chinese Basketball Association last season to the tune of 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game, while shooting 60 percent from the field. He's going to have to add bulk to his lanky frame, but his ability to stretch the floor and defend the rim will be largely coveted in the draft. There's a chance he comes over right away, and even if he doesn't, he has Spurs written all over him.
PF Brice Johnson, North Carolina
A high flying athletic power forward, Johnson would fit well in the Warriors small ball, high paced lineups. He lacks polish on his offensive game, showing inconsistencies when it comes to shooting the ball, but his strong rim running and finishing ability makes him desirable. He has a tendency to get into foul trouble and his lack of lower body strength could give him issues defending bigger players. Nonetheless, he'd fit well with the Warriors, and give them another small ball option.