B/R NBA Fantasy League: Every Team's Draft Assets and Biggest NeedsMay 11, 2020
B/R NBA Fantasy League: Every Team's Draft Assets and Biggest Needs
The draft lottery is set for Bleacher Report's GM Week, and NBA front offices should be in the process of assessing their needs and prospect targets.
While this class isn't known for its star power, there is still plenty of value waiting to be unlocked by teams who select the best fits for their roster.
We shed light on each team's picks and biggest needs, plus the most fitting prospects projected to be available when each general manager is on the clock.
The lottery was determined by a Tankathon simulation, and the rest of the draft outside the lottery is based on current standings. The Houston Rockets aren't included because they don't have picks.
Adam and Craig Malamut, creators of B/R's Game of Zones animated series, return to The Full 48 with Howard Beck to discuss GoZ's final season, how COVID-19 and Kobe Bryant's passing affected the last episodes, their favorite moments and storylines, and NBA and fan reaction to the series.
Draft picks: No. 46 No. 52 (via Houston Rockets)
Needs: Shooting and defense
The Hawks are last in the league in three-point percentage and No. 28 in defense. Three-and-D prospects could be available at No. 6, specifically combo guard Tyrese Haliburton and small forward Devin Vassell.
Haliburton would add more passing, spot-up shooting and defensive playmaking alongside Trae Young. Vassell would be somewhat repetitive after the Hawks drafted De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, but he's also a better athlete and more accurate from deep than both.
Deni Avdija would make sense as a target, as well, assuming the Hawks are buying his jump-shot development. A 6'9" combo forward, he brings a well-rounded mix of shot-making, defensive IQ and point-wing skills.
Second-round fits: SG Ty-Shon Alexander for three-and-D, SG Skylar Mayes for backcourt depth/versatility, PF Killian Tillie for frontcourt shooting/defensive IQ
Draft picks: No. 17 (via Memphis Grizzlies), No. 26, No. 30 (via Milwaukee Bucks), No. 46 (via Brooklyn Nets)
Needs: Off-ball offense, secondary playmaking
The Celtics rank No. 22 in points per possession out of spot-ups, No. 22 on cuts and No. 22 off screens. As good as Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum are with the ball, they could use more efficient off-ball scorers.
With the Grizzlies' pick at No. 17, Boston could look at sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith, who shot a scorching 51.0 percent off screens and 48.5 percent in spot-up situations. Stanford's Tyrell Terry, who could be available at No. 26 or 30, shot 50.0 percent off the catch and ranked in the 79th percentile off cuts. The Celtics' second unit could also value his passing IQ and playmaking potential.
Tremont Waters could wind up looking like a solid 2019 pick, but since no Celtic is averaging even five assists this season, it wouldn't hurt to add another facilitator in the draft.
Second round fits: PG Malachi Flynn for shooting and playmaking, PG Tre Jones or PG Devon Dotson for playmaking, PF Killian Tillie for frontcourt shooting/passing
Draft picks: No. 20 (via Philadelphia 76ers), No. 55 (via Denver Nuggets)
Biggest needs: Shooting
The Brooklyn Nets will have a different look once Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are playing together. At full strength, there should plenty of ball-handlers, and they would benefit from adding shooters to surround their creators since the 2019-20 squad ranks No. 26 in three-point percentage.
Three-and-D wing Devin Vassell would be a dream target, though Brooklyn would need to trade up from No. 20. Aaron Nesmith and Saddiq Bey, forwards standing at least 6'6", both shot over 45.0 percent from three this past season.
Jalen Smith jumps out as another fit and target after he became one of six NCAA players on record to ever average at least 10 rebounds, two blocks and a three-point make.
Second round fits: SF Elijah Hughes for three-and-D, SG John Petty Jr. for shooting, PF/C Xavier Tillman for role-player potential
Draft picks: No. 8, No. 32 (via Cleveland Cavaliers), No. 56 (via Boston Celtics)
Biggest needs: Best player available, athleticism, bigs
The Charlotte Hornets have young talent but no star to confidently build around.
They rank last among NBA teams in points per possession out of isolation, No. 29 in transition and No. 24 in pick-and-roll ball-handling, so they just need a player who can reliably and efficiently generate offense.
At No. 8, they shouldn't worry too much about whether a prospect can fit with the current core. But if they need to break a tie between choices who grade out similarly, Onyeka Okongwu could give them both high-percentage scoring and defensive upside at center.
The Hornets could also value Tyrese Haliburton's versatility, passing IQ and defensive playmaking, even if his ceiling appears limited.
Second round Fits SF/PF Robert Woodard for athleticism and three-and-D, PF/C Zeke Nnaji for scoring efficiency, C Udoka Azubuike or C Nick Richards for easy baskets/rim protection
Draft picks: No. 4, No. 47 (via Memphis Grizzlies)
Biggest needs: Passing, efficient offense
Aside from good health, the Chicago Bulls could use a natural setup passer or scorer who generates his offense in a more efficient manner than Zach LaVine, Lauri Markannen and Coby White.
LaMelo Ball should be a target for the Bulls, who would benefit from the point guard's special ball-screen playmaking since they rank No. 28 in pick-and-roll ball-handling points per possession. While Ball's shot needs work, he could play to his strengths as a facilitator and help make the game easier for LaVine, Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
But with the New York Knicks picking No. 2, the Bulls would likely have to trade up to get Ball.
Killian Hayes would be next in line. At 18 years old, he just averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 assists on 59.1 percent true shooting between Eurocup, German BBL and German Cup. Only seven NCAA freshmen on record have matched those numbers, and five were Chris Paul, Lonzo Ball, Baron Davis, Jameer Nelson and Jason Williams.
Second round fits: SF/PF Robert Woodard for three-and-D, SG Desmond Bane for passing/scoring efficiency, PG Cassius Winston or PG Malachi Flynn for pick-and-roll playmaking
Draft picks: No. 3
Biggest need: Best player available, wings or rim protection
At No. 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers should only be thinking about drafting the best player available since they can't confidently know what they have in Darius Garland or whether Andre Drummond is in the long-term plans.
Ideally, the best player available could plug right into the team's hole at small forward. Deni Avdija would fit the lineup best with his offensive versatility, defense awareness and overall interchangeability. But he also might be a reach at No. 3.
LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards offer more star potential.
Edwards would fit the lineup easier. His athletic, 6'5", 225-pound frame should work from either wing position, and an Edwards-Collin Sexton duo could apply serious pressure with their attacking and shot-making.
Otherwise, James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu would give Cleveland anchors to build around and reasons not to overpay for Drummond long-term, when it's unlikely he'll be capable of elevating this current roster into the playoff picture. Of the two, Okongwu may make more sense based on his superior defensive outlook, which matters with Kevin Love at the 4.
Draft picks: No. 18, No. 31 (via Golden State Warriors)
Biggest needs: Defense, frontcourt depth
With No. 18 and the first pick of Round 2, the Dallas Mavericks could put together a trade package in an attempt to move into the lottery. They have the NBA's No. 1 offense behind Luka Doncic, but they rank No. 17 in defensive efficiency.
Wing defenders to trade up for include Isaac Okoro and Devin Vassell, with Vassell the more realistic target. Otherwise, there aren't many exciting defensive prospects who'll be there at No. 18. The priority could then shift to identifying long-term talent or frontcourt depth, particularly given Kristaps Porzingis' durability questions.
Aleksej Pokusevski could be an option with either pick. Like Porzingis, he's another international 7-footer with unique shooting range and shot-blocking ability, though he won't be ready to contribute in 2020-21.
Precious Achiuwa makes sense as a target, as well, with his 6'9", 225-pound size and mobility to block shots and switch. Jalen Smith, a 6'10" big, would be the best plug-and-play option for his shooting and motor around the basket.
Second-round fits: SF/PF Robert Woodard for three-and-D, PF Tyler Bey or PF/C Xavier Tillman for defense/rebounding
Draft picks: No. 21 (via Houston Rockets)
Biggest need: Athleticism, playmaking
The Denver Nuggets' roster has star power and depth. It wouldn't hurt to add shooting, but it's not a major weakness. Denver's lineup lacks explosiveness for generating easy baskets and points off turnovers. It ranks No. 25 in transition points per game with an offense led by Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap.
Trading up for RJ Hampton could be worth discussing. The athletic combo guard excels at getting downhill and putting pressure on the rim. However, a more realistic target at No. 21 is Josh Green, whose quickness, bounce and energy led to 24 dunks and 46 steals in 30 games at Arizona.
Leandro Bolmaro would also be an excellent fit for his slashing and high energy, as well as his unique playmaking at 6'6". Monte Morris has just one season left on his deal, and aside from Jokic, he's the only natural passer in the rotation.
Other backup point guards could be Tre Jones, Devon Dotson, Malachi Flynn, Grant Riller, Nico Mannion and Theo Maledon.
Draft picks: No. 7
Biggest need: Best player available
The Detroit Pistons need to look at their roster as a blank canvas. There isn't any sure thing on it, including Blake Griffin, who's 31 years old and on a different timeline than Luke Kennard, Sekou Doumbouya and possibly Christian Wood if the team can re-sign him.
Detroit doesn't have many trade assets to move up, so it just needs to rank its seven best prospects and take whoever falls.
Ideally, Detroit can come away with a point guard to run the offense. Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton would be the best options because of their efficiency and feel making plays for others. Cole Anthony would give the Pistons needed scoring pop.
If the Pistons would rather give the offense's keys to a veteran, then Onyeka Okongwu should be an attractive defensive centerpiece to build around.
Golden State Warriors
Draft picks: No. 1, No. 48 (via Dallas Mavericks), No. 54 (via Utah Jazz)
Biggest needs: Defense, frontcourt versatility
A full-strength lineup with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green could use defense and rim protection over more scoring. The question for the front office is how much to factor needs into the equation with the No. 1 pick because taking the top defensive prospect would likely mean passing on the draft's best prospect, who many scouts believe is either LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards.
Ball would be an interesting fit for his special passing while handling the ball with elite shooters on each wing. The Warriors could also plug and play Edwards, a confident shot-maker and transition weapon who has the strength, quickness and athleticism to play different positions.
Plus, Curry is approaching his mid-30s, and Thompson is coming off ACL surgery. Ball or Edwards might not get major usage right away, but they could in a few years when they're up for extensions at the same time Curry and Thompson could hit a wall.
If Golden State is more concerned about adding the right puzzle piece to elevate its immediate 2020-21 lineup, then trading down or out makes the most sense, particularly if the front office isn't confident identifying the draft's obvious star/prize.
If the Warriors were to move down a few spots, then Onyeka Okongwu would make sense for his elite finishing, shot-blocking and potential to slide his feet defensively. Deni Avdija would be another strong fit based on his versatility as a shot-maker, passer and defender in a positionless system.
James Wiseman and Obi Toppin would work, as well, since they can give the Warriors an athletic dunker who can feed off passes from Curry and Thompson. Of the two, Wiseman offers more defensive potential, while Toppin's improved shooting is better suited for the offense.
Second-round fits: PG/SG Jared Butler for backcourt versatility, SF Elijah Hughes for shot-making versatility, PG Cassius Winston for backup point guard play, C Nick Richards for rim running
Draft pick: No. 50
Biggest needs: Scoring
The Indiana Pacers have a balanced roster without any glaring needs. And with one pick at No. 50, they should just be swinging for the fences in hopes of landing a player who slipped through the cracks.
Another option is offering Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner in an effort to move into the lottery. Indiana could be in trouble if Victor Oladipo doesn't return to form, although only Anthony Edwards would seemingly make sense as a target, and he doesn't appear likely to fall outside the top three.
Otherwise, the Pacers might as well roll the dice at No. 50.
Markus Howard, a 5'11" scorer who averaged 27.8 points on 59.3 percent true shooting, would make sense as the right type of gamble. Finding a way to draft Grant Riller, another high-level scorer undervalued by his age and athletic limitations, would be an obvious target if he fell.
Los Angeles Clippers
Draft picks: No. 57
Biggest needs: Role player, point guard prospects
The Los Angeles Clippers may have found a role player in Terance Mann using their 2019 No. 48 pick. They'll try to find another one at No. 57 this year, although there isn't much room on the roster.
If there is a specific type of player or position the Clippers should target for their G League team, it should be a point guard. They may want to develop one for when Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams run out of steam.
Deep sleepers at point guard include Jared Butler, a shifty pick-and-roll passer and versatile shot-maker. Payton Pritchard could add IQ, toughness and shooting. Abdoulaye N'Doye is unique for his 6'7" size and passing skills. Cassius Winston could be a trade-up target capable of helping sooner.
Los Angeles Lakers
Draft picks: No. 29
Biggest needs: Shooting
The Los Angeles Lakers have generated just 0.97 points per possession on half-court jumpers (No. 23 in the league) and rank No. 17 in three-point percentage. L.A.'s targets at No. 29 should be able to space the floor for Anthony Davis and LeBron James or give the team's second unit another shot-maker.
They could go for a big in Jalen Smith since JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard can't step outside the paint. The Maryland center hit 32 threes in 31 games on 36.8 percent from deep and 75.0 percent from the free-throw line.
Despite lacking size and athleticism, Tyrell Terry could have some of the softest shooting touch in the draft. Along with scoring instincts and a solid frame, Jahmi'us Ramsey has picturesque form on his 42.6 percent three-ball.
Desmond Bane, a senior turning 22 in June, could be the best fit given his career consistency (43.3 three-point percentage, 141 games), passing IQ (3.9 assists per game as a senior) and potential to contribute right away.
Draft picks: No. 40 (via Phoenix Suns)
Biggest needs: Shooting wings
The Memphis Grizzlies had a terrific 2019 draft that immediately translated to wins. So they'll lose their first-round pick to the Boston Celtics and hope to find another steal like Dillon Brooks in the second round.
While Ja Morant is having a promising rookie year as a shooter, he's still mostly a driver, and the lineup could use more dangerous shot-making from the wing positions. The Grizzlies rank No. 25 in points per possession on half-court jump shots and No. 21 in three-point percentage.
At No. 40, they should be looking at Desmond Bane for his three-point shooting consistency and IQ at both ends.
CJ Elleby is a sleeper option with 6'6" size, crafty shot-creation and deep shot-making. John Petty Jr. made a noteworthy jump to 44.0 percent shooting from three on 6.7 attempts per game this season, and Jordan Nwora would make sense as a scoring wing, a career 39.4 percent three-point shooter and a plus rebounder for his position.
Draft picks: No. 23
Biggest needs: Best player available, point guard prospects
No prospect at No. 23 will fill an immediate need for the Miami Heat, who are talented, balanced and deep. They have guards, wings, defenders and bigs who can shoot.
The Heat have had success drafting the best player available in the past, even if he's repetitive, and they should continue operating without overthinking the fit.
However, if they're split between prospects and one is a point guard, he deserves the edge with Goran Dragic entering free agency at 34 years. Grant Riller would give them the highest-upside scoring option, while Tre Jones and Malachi Flynn would provide more passing and defense.
Devon Dotson could put the most pressure on defenses as a driver. Nico Mannion could be the most well-rounded of the group with his playmaking and shot-making.
Draft picks: No. 19 (via Indiana Pacers)
Biggest needs: Shooting wings, frontcourt depth
The Milwaukee Bucks could approach the draft with the goal of finding an NBA-ready contributor for their current championship window. Or, they could think long-term, particularly if they're worried about Giannis Antetokounmpo leaving in free agency and having to rebuild.
Ideally, the Bucks can add a shooter with more upside to unlock down the road.
Saddiq Bey shot 45.1 percent from three as a sophomore, but he also flashed playmaking skills that highlighted his untapped potential as a creator. Aaron Nesmith could give Milwaukee a more versatile shooter who scores while playing almost exclusively off the ball.
Patrick Williams, 18 years old, would need the longest to develop, but his ceiling appears to be highest. He'd add needed frontcourt depth, as well as a unique offensive package of outside touch, live-dribble passing and physical inside play.
Though not a shooter, Precious Achiuwa could give the Bucks a high-energy bench big with loads more athleticism than the Lopez twins.
Draft picks: No. 5, No. 16 (via Brooklyn Nets), No. 33
Biggest needs: Shooting and defense
The Minnesota Timberwolves' choice to build around D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns means needing to plug holes with defensive players. Ideally, they're ones who can shoot since Minnesota ranks No. 28 in three-point percentage and Jarrett Culver's jumper needs work.
Devin Vassell, who shot over 41 percent from deep both seasons at Florida State, could be the top three-and-D wing in the draft. Isaac Okoro would add needed defensive versatility, toughness and scoring efficiency, though he's much further behind as a shooter. And Deni Avdija, who checks boxes across the board, could surface as the right pick, but the results may not arrive for another season or two.
Saddiq Bey and Aaron Nesmith are shooting options at No. 16, but Patrick Williams is the upside pick with his 6'8", 225-pound size, budding perimeter skills, power inside and motor. Tyler Bey, whose jumper looked better this season, should also be highlighted as a defensive specialist who can play the 4 next to Towns.
Second-round fits: PF Tyler Bey or PF/C Xavier Tillman for defense, SG Desmond Bane for shooting/defensive IQ, PG Tre Jones for passing IQ/defense
New Orleans Pelicans
Draft picks: No. 13, No. 39 (via Washington Wizards), No. 42, No. 60 (via Milwaukee Bucks)
Biggest needs: Stretch bigs, depth
Space helps unlock Zion Williamson. The team should be looking for bigs who can stretch the floor and possible replacements for Derrick Favors, who'll be an unrestricted free agent.
The dilemma for New Orleans is deciding whether it's worth reaching for a fit at No. 13. The Pelicans may be better off trying to sign a veteran stretch big since there aren't many shooting bigs in this particular draft class.
The Pelicans could view Saddiq Bey (6'8", 216 lbs) as a big despite the fact he played small forward at Villanova. He shot 45.1 percent from deep, and given his lack of quickness and explosion, he will be better off transitioning to the 4 and playing alongside Williamson at the 5 in the NBA.
Jalen Smith would be another option after he improved his body and jumper to average 10.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and a three-point make per game. Aleksej Pokusevski is a project, but he also has lottery upside tied to his 7'0" size, shooting fluidity and shot-blocking. Jaden McDaniels, a 6'9" scoring combo forward, made 1.4 threes per game and possesses more shot-creation potential than Bey, Smith or Pokusevski.
Second-round fits: PG Malachi Flynn for shooting and passing/defensive IQ, PF Robert Woodard for shooting/defensive versatility, PF Killian Tillie for shooting, SG Immanuel Quickley for shooting
New York Knicks
Draft picks: No. 2, No. 27 (via Los Angeles Clippers), No. 38 (via Charlotte Hornets)
Biggest needs: Best player available, franchise point guard
The world knows the New York Knicks need a franchise point guard, and if LaMelo Ball is available, the decision should be easy. He has a case as the draft's best prospect, and he'd plug a hole for a team lacking star power and a lead ball-handler.
Ball should be plenty prepared for the spotlight considering he's been under one since early in high school. And while he might not put up strong efficiency numbers early, he's the best bet to elevate New York's group with his ability to create, pass and make the game fun.
If Ball happens to go first, either to the Golden State Warriors or a team trading up, the Knicks could draft explosive scorer Anthony Edwards and move RJ Barrett to small forward. Or they could look to move down for another point guard in Killian Hayes, a natural playmaker who was super efficient running a German team at 18 years old.
The Knicks could also draft a forward in Deni Avdija or Obi Toppin and think about taking a point guard with the Clippers' pick. Devon Dotson, Tyrell Terry, Grant Riller, Malachi Flynn and Tre Jones could offer solid value at No. 27, but there are questions about whether their ceilings reach starter levels.
If the Knicks take a guard at No. 2, then Jalen Smith, Patrick Williams, Tyler Bey and Leandro Bolmaro stand out as attractive value-pick forwards/bigs.
Second-round fits: PF Tyler Bey for defense, PG Malachi Flynn for shooting and passing/defensive IQ, PG Devon Dotson for attacking, SG Desmond Bane for shooting/passing
Oklahoma City Thunder
Draft picks: No. 25 (via Denver Nuggets), No. 51
Biggest needs: Scoring wings
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been playing with house money, competing for playoff position despite limited expectations and a chest full of draft picks for a rebuild.
With Chris Paul running the show, the Thunder rank top-five in pick-and-roll ball-handling, isolation, post-up offense and scoring off screens. Assuming the roster remains intact and Paul isn't dealt, the biggest need is a scoring wing to play between Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari.
Jaden McDaniels could give the Thunder a shot-maker with upside in creation. He's won't make an immediate impact, but at 6'9", he's flashed guard skills and three-point range. Leandro Bolmaro would be interesting for playmaking ability at 6'6". Terrance Ferguson isn't a threat off the dribble, but Bolmaro is, possessing a point-wing identity.
The Thunder also rank No. 24 out of spot-ups. They may have to move up for Saddiq Bey or Aaron Nesmith, but their scoring and shooting would work well in Oklahoma City's lineup.
Second-round fits: Desmond Bane for offensive versatility, Elijah Hughes or Jordan Nwora for wing scoring
Draft picks: No. 15, No. 45
Biggest needs: Guard play, shooting
Top-10 in defensive efficiency, the Orlando Magic need to improve their backcourt and shooting. It's still unclear what Markelle Fultz's trajectory will look like from here, and the Magic rank No. 25 in three-point percentage.
Ideally, the best player available to Orlando is a point/combo guard with promising shooting potential. RJ Hampton could be a target with his 6'5" size, explosiveness for attacking and flashes of scoring and secondary playmaking.
The Magic should covet Kira Lewis Jr. since they rank No. 23 in team drives per game. He's arguably the draft's quickest ball-handler when it comes to breaking down defenses, and as an 18-year-old sophomore, he hit 1.8 threes per game.
Nico Mannion lost some support among scouts, and he doesn't get to the basket like Lewis. But he could be a solid buy-low pick with his well-rounded skill set as a passer and shooter off spot-ups, screens and pull-ups. Tyrell Terry is the top shooter among the mid-first-round ball-handlers, but he isn't as proven when it comes to running an offense.
The Magic could also target specialty shot-makers Aaron Nesmith and Saddiq Bey.
Second-round fits: PG Malachi Flynn or PG Cassius Winston for playmaking and shooting, PG Grant Riller for scoring, SF Jordan Nwora for shot-making
Draft picks: No. 22 (via Oklahoma City Thunder), No. 34 (via Atlanta Hawks), No. 36 (via New York Knicks), No. 49, No. 59 (via Los Angeles Lakers)
Biggest needs: Shooting, backup point guard
The Philadelphia 76ers will always need more shooters in an offense that runs through Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Aaron Nesmith and Saddiq Bey will be popular targets for teams like the Sixers that want to surround their stars with low-maintenance shot-making specialists.
Desmond Bane would look like a reach at No. 22, but Philadelphia has the right roster to optimize his versatile/adaptable offensive game, and he'd add needed secondary playmaking.
The team could use another ball-handler for the second unit, and there will be plenty available when the Sixers are picking late in the first round and throughout the second round. Tyrell Terry, Nico Mannion and Theo Maledon should be considered for their well-rounded passing and shooting skills.
Second-round fits: PG Malachi Flynn or PG Cassius Winston for passing/shooting, SG Desmond Bane for shooting and secondary playmaking, PG/SG Jared Butler for scoring/playmaking versatility, SG Skylar Mays for shooting/playmaking versatility, SF/PF Robert Woodard for three-and-D, SG Immanuel Quickley for shooting
Draft picks: No. 10
Biggest needs: Defensive power forward, point guard prospect
The Phoenix Suns have made a jump at both ends of the floor this season, thanks to Ricky Rubio's arrival and Deandre Ayton's improved defense. Looking ahead, they could still use a point guard to eventually take over for Rubio, although the bigger priority will be finding a quality starting power forward.
It seems unlikely Obi Toppin will be available at No. 10, though his struggles on defense raise questions about his fit in the lineup. Isaac Okoro would be ideal for his defensive toughness and versatility in a unit that already has plenty of scorers and shot-makers. While his offense is further behind, he still shot 60.3 percent inside the arc by capitalizing off the ball.
Tyler Bey also stands out as a terrific fit, though Phoenix would want to trade down. He's an athletic defender and rebounder with budding shooting skills and the ability to impact games without needing touches.
As for point guards, one of Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton and Killian Hayes should be available. Anthony offers the most scoring, Haliburton brings the highest IQ, and Hayes, still 18 years old, possesses the most long-term upside.
Portland Trail Blazers
Draft picks: No. 14, No. 44
Biggest needs: Defense
No. 9 in offense and No. 26 in defense, the Portland Trail Blazers' needs are clear. The question is whether it's worth considering them at No. 14.
Portland may need to luck out or move up for Isaac Okoro, but he'd be an ideal fit for his defensive toughness and ability to score efficiently without needing dribbles. It's more reasonable to think Patrick Williams will be available. He'd give Portland a versatile forward who makes plays off the ball at both ends.
Precious Achiuwa would also work as an interchangeable big who blocks shots, switches out and picks up easy baskets by running the floor, crashing the glass and attacking the basket in straight lines. Portland could use Josh Green to pressure opposing ball-handlers and wings while injecting the lineup with athleticism for transition and slashing.
The Blazers could always play it safe and continue to add shooting with Aaron Nesmith or Saddiq Bey, who could also play bigger at the 4 and space the floor next to Hassan Whiteside or Jusuf Nurkic.
Second-round fits: PF/C Xavier Tillman for defense, SF/PF Robert Woodard for three-and-D, SF Aaron Henry for defense and offensive versatility
Draft picks: No. 12, No. 35 (via Detroit Pistons), No 43, No. 53 (via Miami Heat)
Biggest needs: Defensive bigs, three-and-D wings
The Sacramento Kings will have to trade up from No. 12 for a chance to grab defensive prospects like Isaac Okoro and Onyeka Okongwu.
Okoro would be ideal for his wing defense, toughness and scoring efficiency, while Okongwu would add rim protection behind Marvin Bagley III.
But among realistic targets, it's Devin Vassell who stands out for his shooting and defense between Buddy Hield and Bagley. Tyrese Maxey, RJ Hampton and Josh Green deserve looks, as well, particularly if Sacramento is worried about losing Bogdan Bogdanovic in free agency.
Second-round fits: SF/PF Robert Woodard for three-and-D, PF/C Xavier Tillman for defense, C Udoka Azubuike for rim protection
San Antonio Spurs
Draft picks: No. 11, No. 41
Biggest needs: Best player available, frontcourt talent/depth
The San Antonio Spurs are inching closer to a full-blown rebuild with LaMarcus Aldridge's and DeMar DeRozan's (player option) contracts close to expiring. The best long-term prospect available should be the priority, especially since they can't confidently know what they have in Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson or Luka Samanic.
A high-level passer able to spot up and shoot, Tyrese Haliburton would be a strong complement to Dejounte Murray. Isaac Okoro would give the Spurs a defense-oriented combo forward, which they'd need if DeRozan and Rudy Gay move on. Devin Vassell could be the draft's ultimate three-and-D forward who's flashed enough athleticism and pull-up shooting glimpses to suggest there is another level of scoring upside for him to reach.
Leandro Bolmaro would add a different dimension of playmaking from the wing, while Patrick Williams could provide both budding perimeter skills and interior toughness.
Second-round fits: PG Malachi Flynn for shooting and passing IQ, SG Skylar Mays for versatility and IQ, PF Killian Tillie for shooting, C Zeke Nnaji for frontcourt scoring/rebounding
Draft picks: No. 28, No. 58
Biggest needs: Bigs
The Toronto Raptors' front office will have big strategic decisions to make with the roster. Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet are in the final year of their contracts, and Kyle Lowry has one season left on his deal.
If Toronto wants to continue building with Lowry, Pascal Siakam and VanVleet, that would likely mean targeting bigs at No. 28 like Jalen Smith, Aleksej Pokusevski, Zeke Nnaji and Daniel Oturu. Small forwards would make sense, too, but assuming Jaden McDaniels, Josh Green, Saddiq Bey and Aaron Nesmith are gone, it doesn't seem like many exciting ones will be available.
If Toronto isn't willing to overpay for VanVleet, then guards Jahmi'us Ramsey, Jared Butler and Desmond Bane may become more attractive.
The other option is planning to re-sign VanVleet and shopping No. 28 and Lowry for a top-10 pick. Assuming the Raptors couldn't grab a pick high enough to draft LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards, Onyeka Okongwu would make sense to anchor the defense behind Siakam.
Second round fits: SF Derrick Alston Jr. or SG Jay Scrubb for scoring upside, SF Aaron Henry for versatility, C Udoka Azubuike for shot-blocking
Draft picks: No. 24
Biggest needs: Frontcourt depth, point guard depth
The Utah Jazz could use more bigs, as well as a reliable backup or potential long-term replacement for Mike Conley.
Going big at No. 24 would mean considering Zeke Nnaji, an efficient scorer, active rebounder and promising mid-range shooter. Precious Achiuwa would bring more athleticism and defensive versatility. Aleksej Pokusevski offers the most upside with his 7'0" size, shooting and passing, but he's the biggest project.
Jalen Smith is another realistic target for his three-and-D skills from the center position.
If the Jazz have more concerns about Conley, then Nico Mannion, Theo Maledon, Tre Jones, Malachi Flynn, Tyrell Terry and Devon Dotson each deserve consideration.
Draft picks: No. 9, No. 37 (via Chicago Bulls)
Biggest needs: Rim protector, best player available
For the Washington Wizards, there will be debate about what to do if the best player available is a point guard. John Wall is expected back and signed until 2023.
But at No. 9, the odds of Washington finding a star replacement appear slim. Ideally, it can add a defensive cornerstone to a roster that ranks No. 29 in defense.
Washington would likely have to move up for Onyeka Okongwu, but he's an obvious target for his potential to protect the rim behind Rui Hachimura. The Wizards should also value Isaac Okoro's defensive toughness and versatility next to last year's No. 9 pick.
Otherwise, the Wizards should just prioritize talent for the long term since it doesn't appear they'll be competing any time soon.
Second-round fits: PF/C Aleksej Pokusevski or PG Tyrell Terry for upside, PG Devon Dotson, PG Malachi Flynn or PG Tre Jones for point guard insurance, PF/C Xavier Tillman or PF Tyler Bey for defense
Stats courtesy of ESPN, Synergy Sports