Tomorrow is the night that dreams will come true for a number of basketball players who are trying to make the jump to the best basketball league in the world-the NBA. Throughout the years, we have seen stars, busts, surprises and blockbuster trades-let’s hope this year brings much of the same.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky-even though Towns has not received a draft promise from the T-Wolves, I am sure that they will in fact take the big man out of Kentucky. Towns is still raw on the offensive end, but he can get it done on the defensive side of the ball.
2. Los Angeles Lakers, Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke-this is where things could get interesting. Recent rumours have the Lakers acquiring DeMarcus Cousins from their state rivals, Kings. By the time the draft rolls around, the Lakers should have a good idea if they will be able to acquire Cousins, or not. If they feel that they do not then I think Okafor is the pick here. If they do indeed feel they can acquire Cousins then the Lakers could shift their attention to the likes of Russell, Mudiay etc.
3. Philadelphia 76ers, Emmanuel Mudiay, SG, China-D’Angelo Russell has stated that he would NOT like to play in Philly, which leaves the Sixers drafting Mudiay, if in fact they want to go for a guard, although I would take a hard look at Arizona small forward, Stanley Johnson with this pick.
4. New York Knicks, D’Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State-he seems like a player who loves the spotlight, and where better to play than MSG, right?
5. Orlando Magic, Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Barcelona-the team is short on talented big men-apart from Vucevic-so taking Porzingis here would make a lot of sense. If there is one thing that I will mention though, it is that being compared to Andrea Bargnani is never a good thing.
6. Sacramento Kings, Justise Winslow, SF, Duke-word around the league is that the Kings could look to unload Rudy Gay. If they have a possible suitor, I could potentially see the Kings taking Winslow with the 6th pick. Kings also need a solid point guard, and if they are sold on Murray State’s, Cameron Payne, he could go here, as well. Although I think that is a bit of a push at six.
7. Denver Nuggets, Mario Hezonja, SG, Barcelona-with their need at the shooting guard position, Hezonja has to be the pick here, if he is still on the board at seven.
8. Detroit Pistons, Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona-the Pistons have a strong need at the small forward position, and with Winslow off the board, it would make a ton of sense taking Arizona’s Stanley Johnson with this pick. Detroit could possibly look to target a power forward, if they feel that Greg Monroe will not re-sign this off-season, as he is an unrestricted free agent.
9. Charlotte Hornets, Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky-dream scenario for Charlotte taking one of the best shooters in the draft, especially when you consider how bad they were from behind the arc last season.
10. Miami Heat, Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin-Frank can stretch out the floor and hit long range shots, which is much different than what Whiteside provides for the Heat. Frank is also a very versatile player.
11. Indiana Pacers, Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky-taking Cauley-Stein with this pick would no doubt push Hibbert, who has been struggling the last two seasons with his numbers. Cauley-Stein, similar to Hibbert, is not really a treat on the offensive end, but he is a great defender who can run the court well for a big man. Could be a solid pick.
12. Utah Jazz, Myles Turner, C, Texas-Rudy Gobert had a breakthrough year for the Jazz last season, but they have to be cautious with his minutes because he is still young. Cue Myles Turner. Turner blocked 2.6 shots last season for Texas and shot a very impressive 84% from the free throw line. This two headed monster for Utah could be very good in a few year.
13. Phoenix Suns, Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas-this Suns team is stacked with guards, but low on big men, which is why they should take Portis with this pick. Portis is a 6’11 power forward who can score and rebound very well.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder, Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State-I think OKC will be very excited if Payne is still available at 14. At times I think that OKC can shift Westbrook into playing the off-guard position, while Payne handles the ball. Payne is also a great passer, as he averaged six assists a game for the Racers of Murray State.
15. Atlanta Hawks, Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
16. Boston Celtics, Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
17. Milwaukee Bucks, Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA
18. Houston Rockets, Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
19. Washington Wizards, R.J Hunter, SG, Georgia State
20. Toronto Raptors, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
21. Dallas Mavericks, Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
22. Chicago Bulls, Delon Wright, PG, Utah
23. Portland Trail Blazers, Trey Lyles, SF, Kentucky
24. Cleveland Cavaliers, Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville
25. Memphis Grizzlies, Rashad Vaughn, SF, UNLV
26. San Antonio Spurs, Norman Powell, SG, UCLA
27. Los Angeles Lakers, Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas
28. Boston Celtics, Christian Wood, PF, UNLV
29. Brooklyn Nets, Andrew Harrison, SG, Kentucky
30. Golden State Warriors, Joseph Young, PG, Oregon
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.