Imagining Every NBA Team's 2019 Draft Whiteboard

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterApril 4, 2019

Imagining Every NBA Team's 2019 Draft Whiteboard

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    NBA teams must prepare for the 2019 draft with targets to pursue and backup plans for unexpected developments. 

    We created a theoretical whiteboard for each team that owns a first-round pick, building a wish list of prospects based on the projected draft order and exploring the occasional trade ideas. 

    For each lottery team, even those projected to pick Nos. 5-14, we listed a top-four ranking in case that franchise gets lucky with the ping-pong balls. For playoff teams—or those who've acquired selections in the Nos. 15-30 range—we listed prospect targets who could be available when each organization is on the clock.

New York Knicks

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    Sarah Stier/Getty Images

    Projected Pick: No. 1

    Odds to Win No. 1 Pick: 14.0 percent

    Target A: Duke's Zion Williamson

    The franchise could turn around quickly if it adds Williamson and maintains cap flexibility to shop for star free agents. 

    If the Knicks win the lottery, the only question for president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry will be whether to offer the No. 1 pick in a deal for Anthony Davis.

    Acquiring the New Orleans Pelicans standout with a package centered around Williamson would leave room for one other star. Conversely, the Knicks could potentially wind up with three by drafting and keeping Williamson, then signing two others such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant


    No. 2 Overall: Duke's RJ Barrett versus Murray State's Ja Morant

    The Knicks' evaluation on Morant will be interesting. They just traded for Dennis Smith Jr. and presumably have their sights set on Irving in free agency. As wings, Barrett and Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver would create more flexibility during a rebuild.

    But the Knicks could also determine that Morant is the best player available at No. 2. Drafting him likely means having to trade Smith or slot him as a backup to the incoming rookie.

    An early guess has the Knicks favoring the 18-year-old Barrett who just averaged 22.6 points as a freshman (though Morant is No. 2 on Bleacher Report's big board). He has the alpha-dog mentality to work as a top option in case the front office fails to add stars in free agency. The ideal situation for his development would have him starting as a No. 3 option behind proven veteran scorers.


    No. 4 Overall: Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver

    Culver has started to look like a fine backup plan if the Knicks fall outside the top three. His game doesn't scream upside like Williamson's or Morant's, but he's arguably more well-rounded than Barrett in terms of shot-creation, passing and defense.  His evolution from freshman role player to leading scorer for Final Four-bound Texas Tech should have pushed him into the top five on draft boards across the league. 


    No. 5 Overall: Virginia's De'Andre Hunter versus Duke's Cam Reddish

    With the worst record in the league, the Knicks can't fall past No. 5. In this worst-case scenario, they'll likely choose between Hunter and Reddish—three-and-D wings/forwards with role-player skill sets to support any potential stars the team may sign.  

Phoenix Suns

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    Projected Pick: No. 2

    Odds to Win No. 1 Pick: 14.0 percent

    Top Target: Zion Williamson 

    Williamson would be a difference-making addition for the Phoenix Suns and a fit between Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. His competitiveness and defensive upside would also be highly valued by a group that's been involved in too many losses and blowouts over the years, as well as a defense that's finished No. 26 or lower every season since 2015, per ESPN.


    No. 2 Overall: Trading for a star versus drafting Ja Morant 

    The Suns should love the emergence of Morant since losing out on Williamson no longer seems like a complete nightmare. He'd plug a hole at point guard and take pressure off Booker, who's had to double as the team's primary playmaker.

    On the other hand, it may take Morant extra years to get going, given the traditional timeline of young ball-handlers in the pros and his particular struggles with shooting, decision-making and defense.

    If the Suns select No. 2 or lower, they would ideally trade the pick for an experienced star instead of handing the offense over to a rookie who just averaged 5.2 turnovers at Murray State. 


    No. 3 Overall: Trading out/down versus drafting RJ Barrett

    If Phoenix falls to No. 3, Barrett stands out as a best-player-available option, though his fit is clearly questionable. The Suns already have scorers and wing depth. They could use shooting and defense, and Barrett isn't sure to excel at either. 

    Trading down for a three-and-D prospect such as De'Andre Hunter would make sense, especially if they could acquire another valued asset.


    Nos. 4-6 Overall

    Plan A: Trade

    Plan B: Wings/forwards versus point guards

    The Suns should be actively searching for a trade partner if they fall in the Nos. 4-6 range. Staying put means looking at Hunter or Cam Reddish, who has a profile filled with strengths and weaknesses. He only shot 35.6 percent from the field but averaged 2.5 threes. He flashed promising defensive potential but didn't fit seamlessly with Duke's roster.

    The other option would involve looking at guards Darius Garland (Vanderbilt) and Coby White (North Carolina), who both shoot well and are primary scorers rather than distributors. I favor White over Garland due to his superior versatility as a 6'5" combo guard.   

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Projected Pick: No. 3, No. 26 (via Houston Rockets)

    Odds to Win No. 1 Pick: 14.0 percent

    Top Target: Zion Williamson

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have the third-worst record but the same odds to land Williamson as New York and Phoenix. Their level of desperation may be higher since the team isn't expected to be a major free-agency player. Williamson represents Cleveland's quickest—and possibly only—ticket back to relevance in the near future. 


    No. 2 Overall: RJ Barrett versus Ja Morant

    The Cavaliers' confidence in Collin Sexton could play a role in their decision if they pick second. 

    Barrett fills the bigger need as a scoring wing. He'd also be up to the challenge of taking on a high-usage role early.

    But Morant, an explosive athlete who sits at No. 2 on Bleacher Report's big board, could be the best player available. The nation's assist leader, he would offer passing and setup ability Sexton doesn't. However, Morant (6'3", 175 lbs) and Sexton (6'2", 190 lbs) would have trouble matching up defensively. 

    If the Cavaliers feel good about their incumbent point guard's development, Barrett would likely get the nod. 


    No. 4 Overall: Jarrett Culver

    Culver jumps out as the best player available once Williamson, Morant and Barrett are gone. With size, length, playmaking ability and a promising defensive outlook, he'd also fit nicely alongside Sexton at the 2. 


    Nos. 5-7 Overall: De'Andre Hunter versus Cam Reddish

    Hunter and Reddish will get looks from teams later in the lottery. Both should draw interest from Cleveland as wings/forwards who can shoot and defend. Texas' Jaxson Hayes should also earn consideration for his easy-to-envision transition as a 6'11" athletic finisher and defensive anchor. 


    No. 26 Overall (via Houston Rockets): Florida State's Mfiondu Kabengele 

    An NCAA tournament riser, Kabengele would be a project with upside for the Cavaliers to think about with the Rockets pick. They could use additional frontcourt talent, and this big man (6'10", 250 lbs), can be both a standout around the rim and a shooting threat out to the arc.  

Chicago Bulls

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    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    Projected Pick: No. 4

    Odds to Win No. 1 Pick: 12.5 percent

    Top Target if Williamson is Gone: Ja Morant

    Unless the Chicago Bulls question Williamson's star potential, they'd likely overlook the concerns about a logjam with Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. At No. 1, they'd draft the best player available and worry about fit later. Of course, three teams will have better odds to win the lottery.

    Since the Bulls have cornerstone players at positions 2-5 and a point guard in Kris Dunn who has plateaued, Morant will be a primary target. He'd have weapons to set up in Chicago, affording him a chance to play to his strengths as a facilitator and let Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr. and Markkanen carry the scoring load. 


    No. 3 Overall: RJ Barrett versus the field

    Once Williamson and Morant are gone, the Bulls could view Barrett as the next-best prospect. But drafting him would mean using the No. 3 pick on a player who'll have to come off the bench unless Chicago uses LaVine at point guard. LaVine, Porter and Markkenen are must-play starters, which leaves little room for Barrett.

    If the Bulls were to pass on the Duke prospect, they could think about taking Jarrett Culver and further developing his playmaking even though he isn't a natural point guard. Darius Garland fits the job description better, but he only played four full games at Vanderbilt and finished with more turnovers (15) than assists (13). 

    Chicago is more likely to focus on stockpiling the most valuable assets, take Barrett and have a "good problem" with their depth.


    No. 4 Overall: Jarrett Culver

    At No. 4, Culver would be the best player available on Bleacher Report's big board. He'd back up LaVine, who could finish the 2018-19 campaign with only 134 appearances in a possible 246 games over the last three seasons.


    Nos. 5-7 Overall: Forwards versus guards

    Chicago could go after De'Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish as three-and-D wings/forwards to bring off the bench. Or it could fill a need and draft Darius Garland or Coby White—guards who present possible upgrades over Dunn. 

    Hunter or Reddish would come off the bench, and the former is more prepared to play big minutes as a rookie.

    Garland is a shooter, but questions about his ability to run an offense have always existed. White is higher on B/R's big board because of his 6'5" frame, 2.3 triples per game, pick-and-roll passing and full season's worth of production. He would get the call if we were making it.   

Atlanta Hawks

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    Projected Picks: No. 5, No. 7 (via Dallas Mavericks)

    Odds to Win No. 1 Pick: 10.5 percent

    Top Target if Williamson is Gone: RJ Barrett versus Jarrett Culver

    The Hawks are projected to pick at No. 5, but they also have the Dallas Mavericks' selection if it falls no earlier than No. 6. With their own choice, the Hawks' decision could come down to Barrett and Culver, since Ja Morant and Trae Young are both ball-dominators unlikely to fit alongside one another. 

    Atlanta would presumably target Barrett first, as he's best in transition and would seem to work well playing for the No. 1 team in pace, per ESPN. He'd give the Hawks more downhill offense than Kevin Huerter can provide. 

    Culver—a well-rounded two-way shooting guard able to work on and off the ball—also jumps out as a fit. Between him, Young and Huerter, Atlanta would have a sound mix of shot-creation, attacking, shooting and playmaking. 


    No. 5 Overall: De'Andre Hunter versus Cam Reddish

    The Hawks could use a defensive center, but it may be smarter to grab one with Dallas' pick.

    At No. 5, they should be looking at three-and-D wings/forwards such as Hunter and Reddish. The former is the safer, more defense-oriented prospect. The latter, still only 19 years old, could offer a little extra upside but also more risk after an inefficient freshman season.

    As the Final Four approaches, Hunter is the early guess. 


    Dallas Pick: Texas' Jaxson Hayes versus Gonzaga's Brandon Clarke

    John Collins has evolved into an inside-out scorer at the 4 or 5. The Hawks now need a rim protector or defensive ace to pair with him.

    Hayes, a mobile and athletic rim-runner, is only 18 years old and just averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes. He'd seem like the favorite over the 22-year-old Clarke, though Gonzaga's breakout energizer also has a strong case. The forward finished second nationally in player efficiency rating, per RealGM, while swatting 3.1 shots in 28.1 minutes. He's the more NBA-ready of the two.  

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    Projected pick: No. 6

    Odds to win No. 1 pick: 8.3 percent

    Top Target if Williamson is gone: Ja Morant over RJ Barrett

    Assuming the Memphis Grizzlies will eventually move on from Mike Conley, the Grizzlies could find his replacement at No. 2 overall. Morant would give the team a new look with his speed, athleticism and playmaking. He'd also give Jaren Jackson Jr. a setup man to make the game easier. 

    If they pick third and Morant goes No. 2, the Grizzlies will presumably target Barrett—the type of scoring wing they've been missing. Culver could also earn consideration if Memphis ranks him higher than Barrett like we did, though that seems like a less popular opinion at this stage.


    No. 4 Overall: Jarrett Culver 

    Culver looks like the most complete player left and is a shooting guard who could start right away. The Grizzlies' scouts should be locked into the Final Four to follow both him and De'Andre Hunter—another option at No. 4.


    Nos. 5-8 Overall

    Plan A: North Carolina's Coby White

    White would be B/R's best player available. During a rebuild, the Grizzlies should value his versatility as a guard who can run the offense or play off the ball. 


    Plan B: De'Andre Hunter

    Hunter would give Memphis an interchangeable forward and multipositional defender. He's not necessarily a high-upside prospect like Jackson, but it couldn't hurt the Grizzlies to stock their roster with more defenders who can shoot. 


    Plan C: Jaxson Hayes

    Unless the Grizzlies are convinced Darius Garland can be a quality starting point guard, they shouldn't draft him in the top eight. Instead of reaching for a need, they should target the best player available.

    To us, that's Hayes, who could pair with Jackson to form a defensive wall around Memphis' basket. While Jackson scores from the perimeter and post, Hayes would run rim-to-rim, catching lobs, finishing passes and blocking shots.   

Washington Wizards

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    Projected Pick: No. 8

    Odds of Top-Four Pick: 26.3 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: Ja Morant

    No. 3. RJ Barrett

    No. 4. De'Andre Hunter


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick

    Plan A: Jaxson Hayes  

    Hayes would give the Wizards a cornerstone rim protector for their eventual rebuild. Given his 6'11" frame, athleticism, simplistic game and production at Texas, he's a safe play in an uncertain draft. Chances are good he'll be there whenever Washington picks.


    Plan B: Jarrett Culver

    Bradley Beal owns the starting shooting guard slot. But at some point, Culver becomes the best player available by such an extent that it's too difficult to pass on him. The Wizards just need talent and assets, and it's also possible Culver could log minutes next to Beal at the 3.


    Plan C: Cam Reddish

    Reddish may be hit-or-miss, but Washington could be a decent spot for him as Beal carries the load and still leaves enough shots to go around. Despite his inefficient season (13.5 points per game while shooting 35.6/33.3/77.2), the 6'8" shot-maker still hit 2.5 threes per game while flashing defensive quickness and anticipation. He could slide in for Trevor Ariza on the wing next season.


    Plan D: Brandon Clarke

    Clarke is similar to Hayes in terms of role and athleticism, only the Gonzaga junior is older and just 6'8". However, he's also more advanced offensively with post moves, touch and the ability to attack closeouts. He'd be another high-floor, low-ceiling option valued most for his defensive activity.

New Orleans Pelicans

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 9

    Odds of Top-Four Pick: 20.3 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: Ja Morant

    No. 3: RJ Barrett

    No. 4: Jarrett Culver


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick

    Whiteboard Note: Will the New Orleans Pelicans have Anthony Davis or another group of young players acquired for him via trade? Without knowing what the roster will look like by draft night, fit won't factor into the front office's wish list.


    Plan A: Coby White

    White will likely be B/R's best player available, but his fit next to Jrue Holiday also makes a lot of sense. They're interchangeable, as White is a 6'5" pick-and-roll playmaker and shooter. Meanwhile, the North Carolina freshman would benefit from joining a solid defensive guard in the backcourt.


    Plan B: Trade down

    With Williamson, Morant, Barrett and Culver off the board, the next tier of prospects is deep and contains no obvious standouts. The No. 9 prospect on one board could be No. 25 on another.

    New Orleans should be looking to stockpile as much as it can. It might as well look to trade down, receive an asset and hope to take the best player available, who could very well be the one it would have initially drafted at No. 9.


    Plan C: Jaxson Hayes

    Without any clear stars left on the board, the Pelicans could look at Hayes as a sure thing who could anchor their defense. Even if his offensive skill set never expands, his size, mobility and athleticism should translate to easy baskets and rim protection. 


    Plan D: Brandon Clarke

    At 22 years old, Clarke doesn't offer the perceived upside of an 18-year-old Hayes, but he'd bring similar rim-running, lob-catching, second-chance points and defensive activity.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Oscar Baldizon/Getty Images

    Projected pick: No. 10

    Odds of top-four pick: 13.9 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: Ja Morant

    No. 3. Jarrett Culver

    No. 4. RJ Barrett


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick

    Plan A: Coby White

    Unlike Jeff Teague or impending free agents Tyus Jones and Derrick Rose, White brings flammable shooting to the point guard position. He plays uptempo with the ball and, at 6'5", could slide off it at the 2 while pushing Andrew Wiggins to small forward.


    Plan B: Jaxson Hayes

    The Wolves could look at Hayes to back up Karl-Anthony Towns with a mix of rim-running, rolling, lob-catching and shot-blocking. He'd play to his strengths in Minnesota as a high-energy, run-and-jump athlete.


    Plan C: Brandon Clarke

    The Wolves would value Clarke's motor and hustle in a defensive-specialist role behind Towns off the bench. At 22 years old with bounce and a sense of fearlessness, he'd be a threat to crack Minnesota's rotation right away. 


    Plan D: Cam Reddish

    Reddish could be an interesting buy-low option for his shot-making, defense and room to improve. The Wolves could use him behind Andrew Wiggins or Robert Covington as an interchangeable wing. 

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    Projected Picks: No. 11

    Odds of Top-Four Pick: 9.4 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: Ja Morant

    No. 3. RJ Barrett

    No. 4. Jarrett Culver


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick

    Whiteboard Note: It's possible the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round pick is offered in a deal for Anthony Davis. This whiteboard will reflect their wish list as if they're keeping the pick for themselves. 


    Plan A: Coby White

    The Lakers need shooters to surround LeBron James, and White shot 47.7 percent on spot-up jumpers, per Synergy Sports. The 6'5" combo guard can work off the ball or initiate the offense as a ball-screen playmaker.


    Plan B: Kentucky's Tyler Herro

    Herro may seem like a reach in the lottery, but the Lakers could optimize his shot-making skills. He'd benefit from playing alongside scorers and playmakers, and L.A. would value his ability to bury jumpers off spot-ups, screens and run-outs.


    Plan C: Brandon Clarke

    Looking to win now since James turns 35 next December, the Lakers could target prospects who would give them immediate minutes. Regardless of who's on the roster in 2019-20, Clarke could add value by playing to his strengths as an energizer and defender.

Charlotte Hornets

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    Kent Smith/Getty Images

    Projected Pick: No. 12

    Odds of Top-Four Pick: 7.1 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: RJ Barrett

    No. 3. Ja Morant

    No. 4. Jarrett Culver


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick

    Plan A: Jaxson Hayes

    Hayes could be Charlotte's best option for fresh legs to eventually use at center since Cody Zeller hasn't played more than 62 games since 2015-16. He's a limited scorer, but his 72.8 field-goal percentage and 3.8 blocks per 40 minutes highlight his knack for excelling as an easy-basket weapon and defensive presence with size, athleticism, coordination and a strong motor.


    Plan B: Georgia's Goga Bitadze

    Bitadze could easily be Plan A for the Hornets, who lack scoring weapons up front. He's 19 and one of Europe's most productive young players after improving significantly since the start of the season. In time, Bitadze could be a center Charlotte would feature in the post or pick-and-pop game.


    Plan C: Brandon Clarke

    Clarke would bring defensive activity and offensive efficiency to a Charlotte frontcourt that needs new life. Playing Miles Bridges and Clarke at the 4 and 5 would give the Hornets a different small-ball look with speed, athleticism and versatility.


    Plan D: Cam Reddish

    Jeremy Lamb is entering free agency, and Malik Monk hasn't been particularly effective. Reddish is a candidate to slip, and the Hornets should at least consider buying low on a 6'8" wing who made 2.5 threes per game and demonstrates promising defensive quickness.   

Orlando Magic

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    Sarah Stier/Getty Images

    Projected Pick: No. 13

    Odds of Top-Four Pick: 4.8 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: Ja Morant

    No. 3. RJ Barrett

    No. 4. Jarrett Culver


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick 

    Whiteboard Note: The Orlando Magic search should favor guards regardless of whether they plan to re-sign Nikola Vucevic. They can't bank on Markelle Fultz returning to form after two lost seasons.


    Plan A: Point guard targets

    It seems unlikely both Coby White and Darius Garland will be there for Orlando at No. 13. It's also possible neither are still on the board.

    With more size and credibility, White is higher on B/R's board after he helped lead North Carolina into the NCAA tournament. Garland would be a sensible option this late in the lottery, however. He's another scoring ball-handler with a confident shooting stroke and shifty handles. 


    Plan B: USC's Kevin Porter Jr.

    Star potential could be tied to Porter's physical tools, athleticism and scoring ability. His bag is filled with pull-ups, step-backs, three-balls and explosive finishes. He's a project who'll need fine-tuning, but Orlando's backcourt lacks pop, and Terrence Ross is entering free agency.


    Plan C: Iowa State's Talen Horton-Tucker

    Horton-Tucker could be lower on Orlando's board, given how divisive his game and numbers were this year. He still checks in at No. 13 for B/R.

    He's a longer-term project, but his 233-pound frame, long arms, ball-handling skill, shooting potential, defensive playmaking, production and age (18) give Horton-Tucker one of the most intriguing/unique draft profiles of any prospect.  

Boston Celtics

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Projected Picks: No. 14 (via Sacramento Kings), No. 21, No. 22 (via Los Angeles Clippers)

    Odds of Top-Four Pick: 2.4 percent

    Top-Four Board

    No. 1: Zion Williamson

    No. 2: Ja Morant

    No. 3. Jarrett Culver

    No. 4. RJ Barrett 


    Realistic Options Based on Projected Lottery Pick

    Plan A: Package picks to trade up

    The Boston Celtics have three first-round picks, but it's unlikely they'll have interest in adding three rookies. They should instead see how high they can climb by packaging No. 14, No. 21 and/or No. 22 as trade bait. 

    Oregon's Bol Bol would be an interesting target who may not be there at No. 14, depending on medicals and workouts. He looked like a top-five pick before injuring a foot that's expected to heal by draft night. Questions over his durability and motor are concerning, but the Celtics could afford to take the risk. 

    Brandon Clarke would be another big man worth chasing given his bounce around the basket, defensive activity and improving offense from the power forward spot. 


    No. 14 overall

    Plan A: Goga Bitadze

    A breakout young star overseas, Bitadze has improved dramatically over the season. At 6'11" with quality footwork, soft hands and a fluid jump shot, his offense is easy to buy. He's a lottery prospect on B/R's big board and a likely pre-draft riser. Waiting to grab him at No. 21 could be a mistake. 


    Plan B: France's Sekou Doumbouya

    Head coach Brad Stevens would value Doumbouya's versatility as an interchangeable forward able to defend 3s and 4s. Whether he justifies a lottery pick will come down to his offensive development. With a convincing 6'9", 230-pound frame, he's flashed enough shooting and slashing potential for an 18-year-old playing pro ball.

    For the Celtics, finding out how much he can improve his skills from ages 19-22 might make for a worthwhile investment. 


    Plan C: Kentucky's PJ Washington

    An inside-out 4 or small-ball 5, Washington could replace or back up impending free agent Marcus Morris. Strong, long and skilled, Kentucky's leader took a big step forward this season, and signs hint at further improvements to his post footwork and shooting touch. 


    Targets at Nos. 21-22 Overall

    Plan A: North Carolina's Nassir Little 

    All potential without the production, Little could slip out of the lottery. For the Celtics, he should be more attractive at No. 21 than at No. 14. There, they could buy low on a 6'6", 220-pound plus-athlete who was once thought of as a possible top-three pick.


    Plan B: Tennessee's Grant Williams

    Williams would give Boston's frontcourt some scoring and passing from the post, though it's his toughness and basketball IQ that are likely to help him carve out an early role and lengthy career.  

Miami Heat

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 15

    Option 1: Trade Up

    The Miami Heat could look to trade up for one of the three coveted ball-handlers—Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Copy White—as Goran Dragic enters the final year of his deal ($19.2 million player option). It would likely cost Miami Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson or Bam Adebayo to move from No. 15 into the top 10 or higher. 


    Option 2: Best Guard/Wing/Forward Available

    Plan A: Kevin Porter Jr.

    While Porter's draft stock is all over the place, he'd be an enticing upside pick for a Heat team that's stuck between tanking and competing. This is a swing-for-the-fences selection over a safer prospect with a bankable role or specialty. 

    Porter figures to be a better pro than college player after he was forced into a lower-usage bench role behind veterans at USC. An explosive athlete with a 6'6" frame, he has a standout physical profile and natural scoring ability fueled by shot-creating and shot-making skill. 


    Plan B: Talen Horton-Tucker

    Another polarizing prospect, Horton-Tucker checks boxes across the board with impressive physical traits, skills and intangibles. He's a 233-pound guard with a 7'1" wingspan, handles to create for himself, tough shot-making ability and a competitive edge. Horton-Tucker is also the youngest NCAA player currently eligible for the draft.


    Plan C: Sekou Doumbouya

    An 18-year-old project playing in France's top division, Doumbouya has stood out with his impressive physical tools (6'8", 230 lbs), mostly for finishing and defensive versatility. Sporadic flashes of spot-up shooting, driving and cutting could entice Miami to gamble on his offensive development over the next few seasons.

Brooklyn Nets

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    Projected Picks: No. 16, No. 27 (via Denver Nuggets)

    No. 16 Overall

    Plan A: Goga Bitadze

    The Brooklyn Nets drafted keepers in Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs, but their frontcourt could still use another scorer. Bitadze, 19 years old, is averaging 14.4 points and 2.2 blocks on 38.8 percent shooting from three between the Adriatic League and Euroleague. He's evolved from a finisher to a skilled post player with shooting range.


    Plan B: Oregon's Bol Bol

    Depending on Bol's medical reports, his upside could be worth the risk for the Nets at No. 16. In nine games before his foot injury, he averaged 21 points and shot 13-of-25 from three, wowing with effortless range, shot-making skill and ball-handling.

    His thin legs and frame, lack of physical toughness and questionable durability, not his skill, have drawn red flags.


    Plan C: PJ Washington

    An improved post scorer, shooter, rebounder and athlete, Washington could compete with Kurucs for the starting power forward spot. His size and length, mobility, skill level and production paint him as a low-risk option and sure-thing role player.


    No. 27 Overall (via Nuggets) and No. 31 Overall (via New York Knicks)

    Injured bigs to buy low on: Auburn's Chuma Okeke and Missouri's Jontay Porter

    Okeke and Porter recently tore their ACLs, which makes it possible one or both would be available late in the first round or early in the second. Brooklyn has picks from Denver and New York with which it can play, in addition to its own selection in the teens.

    Porter could have gone in the top 20 had he not torn his ACL for the second time. He'd be the more likely option at No. 31. He's still 19 with an offensive game built for today's NBA given his 6'11" frame, shooting, passing and ability to attack closeouts.

    Okeke is more versatile defensively, and he's dealing with his first injured knee. He had 20 points and 11 rebounds before he went down against North Carolina in the Sweet 16.


    Additional Targets

    Plan A: Nebraska's Isaiah Roby

    Roby should be attractive to Brooklyn for his fit as an interchangeable big who can stretch the floor and make plays around the rim on both ends. He's not the same defensive presence as Jarrett Allen, but he offers more offensive versatility as a face-up threat.


    Plan B: Mfiondu Kabengele

    Kabengele also separates himself with his expanding offensive game, as well as his 250-pound physical presence. The Nets need to continue beefing up their front line. Kabengele would be a late-bloomer worth drafting for the chance he continues to build upon the flashes of shooting and post scoring we saw during the postseason.  

Detroit Pistons

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 17

    Plan A: North Carolina's Cameron Johnson

    With needs that include wings and shooting, the Pistons can grab both by adding Johnson, a 6'9" small forward who ranked in the 97th percentile out of spot-ups as well as off screens. He's an elite shot-maker who's ready to contribute at 23 years old.  


    Plan B: Sekou Doumbouya

    Doumbouya won't offer a great deal in 2019-20, but at No. 17, he could be the top long-term prospect available. The Pistons could also use an athletic combo forward who can defend multiple positions. The 6'9", 230-pound 18-year-old has a tremendous physical foundation and a skill set that consists of a capable jump shot as well as slashing and cutting ability. 


    Plan C: Kentucky's Keldon Johnson

    Johnson would give the Pistons an interchangeable wing between the 2 and 3 who can put pressure on defenses as a downhill driver and slasher. He's not the shooter or passer that Luke Kennard is, but Johnson brings a different dimension of aggressive attacking, athleticism and scoring in the paint. His 38.1 percent three-point clip was also better than initially expected based on his high school performance, so there is some level of optimism regarding his shooting development.  

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 17

    Plan A: PJ Washington

    Assuming Washington's 42.3 three-point percentage this past season wasn't a complete fluke, his potential to stretch the floor next to Steven Adams would help OKC's offense. He's still more of a scoring threat around the post, but Washington has evolved into a complete inside-out player and potential lottery pick who'd need to be scooped as the best player available if he fell to No. 17.


    Plan B: Tyler Herro

    The Thunder could be looking for shooters to complement Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Herro has put himself in the mid-first-round mix with his picturesque jumper and off-ball shot-making. But flashes of ball skill and pull-ups suggest there is more to his game than just catch-and-release shooting.


    Plan C: Cameron Johnson

    Though Herro is nearly four years younger, the Thunder may prefer Johnson for his 6'9" size and NBA-readiness. He'd fit perfectly as the type of player who can make shots in bunches without needing any dribbles. 


    Plan D: Washington's Matisse Thybulle

    Uncertainty surrounding Andre Roberson future beyond next season could make Thybulle an attractive play and worthwhile reach. The Huskies similarly specializes in defense, though his 191 career threes point to more promising shooting potential. It will be interesting to see if Thybulle measures in taller than the 6'5" he's been listed at since 2015-16. 

San Antonio Spurs

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    Darren Abate/Associated Press

    Projected Picks: No. 19, No. 29 (via Toronto Raptors)

    No. 19 Overall

    Plan A: Goga Bitadze 

    The San Antonio Spurs could target Bitadze and groom him to eventually replace LaMarcus Aldridge. Few prospects, NCAA or international, have made bigger year-to-year jumps than the skilled and mobile 19-year-old Georgian center. He's had dominant stretches in the Adriatic League while holding his own against quality pros in Euroleague.


    Plan B: Sekou Doumbouya

    A 6'9", 230-pound combo forward, Doumbouya checks in at 18 years old with pro experience in France. The Spurs won't be thinking about needs in the draft at No. 19, and it wouldn't hurt to add youth while Aldridge and Rudy Gay (unrestricted free agent) approach their mid-30s. Doumbouya will be a project, but for a teenager, his obvious NBA tools and flashes overseas are worth gambling on if he slips out of the lottery.


    Plan C: Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura

    Hachimura could be in the top 10 on some boards due to his tools, athleticism and incredible scoring efficiency, tallying 19.7 points on 59.1 percent shooting this past season. But on others, he could be graded as a late-first rounder due to concerns over his distance shooting, passing and rebounding. Given the Spurs' power forward depth chart, the team should at least consider the 6'8", 230-pounder who's evolved into Gonzaga's go-to option and the WCC Player of the Year after playing from the bench in his first two seasons.


    Plan D: Bol Bol

    This late, why not take a chance on Bol, a 7'2" scorer with three-point range and the ability to create shots from unique angles? If all of San Antonio's primary targets are taken and Bol slips due to concerns over a lingering foot injury, he'd be a reasonable gamble this late for his upside, which initially seemed like it would lead to top-five interest before he went down.


    No. 29 Overall (via Raptors)

    Plan A: Duke's Tre Jones

    With Dejounte Murray coming off a torn ACL, the Spurs could look to add another ball-handler. Jones won't pack a scoring punch, but his decision-making and defensive toughness could be valuable off the bench.


    Plan B: Chuma Okeke 

    Okeke tore his ACL in the NCAA tournament after a captivating second half of the season that earned him a spot on scouting watch lists. At 6'8", 230 pounds, his size, shooting and defensive switchability say he's a fit in today's NBA, even if it takes another year for him to return. 

Indiana Pacers

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 20

    Plan A: Kevin Porter Jr. 

    An athletic scorer, Porter could get looks in the lottery, but a lack of production and impact at USC could also lead to a draft-night slide. He'll likely look more convincing in workouts. Indiana should ultimately look past this season, in which he didn't have a great fit or big role. Instead, the Pacers should focus on his long-term potential, powered by a standout physical profile plus advanced shot-creating and shot-making skill.


    Plan B: Talen Horton-Tucker 

    Horton-Tucker would give Indiana another wing scorer, as well as an active defender and an overall tough competitor. He won't turn 19 until after the start of his rookie season, so Indiana shouldn't bank on consistent offense in 2019-20. For the Pacers' sake, they'll hope to re-sign Bojan Bogdanovic and get Victor Oladipo back at full strength. Horton-Tucker would be more of a two- to three-year project, though one with a strong likelihood of developing into a regular rotation player based on his body, versatile skill set and production at Iowa State.


    Plan C: Indiana's Romeo Langford

    The Pacers have likely scouted Langford closely considering he played both high school and college ball in Indiana. He happens to be an interesting target for this particular Pacers team, which needs more offense, especially after Oladipo's devastating injury. A smooth, 6'6" 2-guard, Langford can create and make shots from all over. But to fully unlock his scoring potential, his three-point shooting (27.2 percent) must improve.


    Plan D: Nassir Little

    Little would be a buy-low option for Indiana if it thought his potential was masked at North Carolina. He'd need time, but eventually he could add a dimension of versatility as a hybrid 4, similar to what Thaddeus Young has brought the past few seasons.  

Utah Jazz

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 23

    Plan A: Goga Bitadze

    Bitadze may not be here for the Utah Jazz to select following his breakout year abroad. He'd be the best player available if he did make it to No. 23. Considering the 19-year-old's superior scoring and shooting skill, he'd also be a fitting complement to Rudy Gobert.


    Plan B: PJ Washington 

    The Jazz would also need luck for a shot at Washington, who could plug a future hole at power forward or give them a small-ball 5 option behind Gobert. 


    Plan C: Grant Williams 

    Williams would give Utah's frontcourt another effective defender, as well as some offense from the post with scoring touch and passing ability. The Jazz could use him in a variety of ways from position Nos. 3-5, especially if he continues to evolve as a shooter and athlete. He's also young for a junior, not turning 21 until November. 


    Plan D: Maryland's Bruno Fernando

    If Bitadze, Washington and Williams are gone, Fernando should be available. He's an enforcer around the basket with destructive power and athleticism. But it's his improvements as a scorer, passer and defender that have helped pumped new life into his NBA stock since last season.  

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 24

    Plan A: Tyler Herro

    Herro mirrors impending free agent JJ Redick with his ability to shoot off spot-ups, screens and quick pull-ups. The Kentucky freshman should be a target, whether it's as Redick's permanent replacement or understudy. 


    Plan B: PJ Washington 

    Washington may have played himself into the top 20 with that 28-point, 13-rebound effort in Kentucky's loss to Auburn. He's made gradual strides all season to the point where he's now an inside-out scorer with post moves, three-point range and the ability to put the ball on the floor. 


    Plan C: Matisse Thybulle

    With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid locked into Philadelphia's future, the Sixers can't have enough three-and-D wings. Thybulle just finished as the only player in at least 27 years to average at least 3.0 blocks, 2.0 steals and a made three per game.


    Plan D: Virginia's Ty Jerome

    Jerome could replace Landry Shamet, a sharpshooter the Sixers dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers back in February. Jerome is a similarly effective shot-maker and passer who's unlikely to spend much time dribbling inside the arc.  

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 25

    Plan A: Rui Hachimura

    It's unlikely Hachimura makes it into the 20s, but his name is worth jotting down on the Portland Trail Blazers' whiteboard. He'd give Portland a tough scoring mismatch from the 4, a position the rotation generates little offense from. 


    Plan B: Chuma Okeke

    Assuming PJ Washington is gone, the Blazers could look at Okeke for frontcourt depth. He'll likely sit out all of next season recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the NCAA tournament, but Portland likely isn't finding an immediate contributor at No. 25, anyway. Okeke has emerged as an intriguing sleeper for his mix of shooting, defensive versatility and presence around the basket. Unless a team fell in love during his postseason run, there's a good chance he'll be on the board for Portland. 


    Plan C: Mfiondu Kabengele 

    Flashes of three-point shooting and tough shot-making out of the post have created late-season intrigue regarding Kabengele. With only 21.6 minutes per game at Florida State this past season, plus an NBA body and fluid jump shot, he's a candidate to rise during workouts.


    Plan D: Tre Jones

    The Blazers could ignore Jones' lack of upside and instead value his passing IQ and defensive toughness. Backing up Damian Lillard, he'd only have to play 10-15 minutes a game and focus on facilitating, pressuring ball-handlers and making enough open shots.  

Golden State Warriors

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 28

    Plan A: Cameron Johnson

    Playoff teams could all be after Johnson, an elite three-point shooter (45.7 percent) who doesn't need dribbles. He'd work perfectly in Golden State's system, running off screens and leaking out for transition threes.


    Plan B: Ty Jerome

    Jerome isn't highly creative or explosive, but the Warriors could optimize his shooting and passing by surrounding him with stars. Jerome made at least 37 percent of his three-pointers in each of his three seasons at Virginia. 


    Plan C: Isaiah Roby

    There is a good chance DeMarcus Cousins and Jordan Bell wind up elsewhere next season, as both will enter free agency (restricted for Bell). Roby would be a fit with Golden State for his ability to stretch the floor yet still finish and block shots above the rim. The Warriors could play him at the 4 or 5, depending on how fast they want to play. 


    Plan D: Arizona State's Luguentz Dort

    Dort has his weaknesses as a finisher and decision-maker, but the Warriors would value his defense,  toughness and downhill aggression. In Golden State, he'd play the same role that Marcus Smart plays for the Boston Celtics.

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Projected Pick: No. 30

    Plan A: Cameron Johnson

    Johnson comes ready at 23 years old with a 45.7 percent three-point shot. He's one of the draft's top shooters off spot-ups and movement, so he may played himself into the top 25. 


    Plan B: Matisse Thybulle

    Thybulle could be the draft's top perimeter defender. The question is whether he's dangerous enough offensively to justify playing in a regular role. It's worth finding out at No. 30 after he made 191 threes through four seasons.


    Plan C: Isaiah Roby 

    Needing depth at center, the Bucks should be drawn to Roby's small-ball 5 potential. He's quicker and more athletic than Brook Lopez, with shooting range and exciting bounce around the rim. 


    Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports, Draft order accurate heading into games on April 3.