With the NBA Playoffs in full swing, the combine followed by the draft are coming quickly. This means NBA Draft prospects are getting prepared to show NBA teams what they can do. Let’s take a look at where some of the top draft prospects can land:
Pick 1: Boston Celtics – G Markelle Fultz
When Fultz declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, projections speculated all around the country. Talks about who the better player is, Fultz or Lonzo Ball, became a huge topic. The Brooklyn Nets have the worst record in the league which means the Boston Celtics get their pick. Imagine pairing Fultz, a two-way player, with the likes of IT4 and the rest of the Celtics. At 6-4, Fultz could improve the length of the team as well as provide a threat on both sides of the ball. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Fultz is good enough to play himself into some minutes on a deep playoff team. He has that winner’s mentality and it would benefit the Celtics to draft him. However, Boston is looking for that next-level player, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them trade for a veteran superstar such as Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
Pick 2: Phoenix Suns – F Josh Jackson
Jackson is coming off of a great season with Kansas, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds. After a disappointing loss in the Elite Eight to Oregon, Jackson declared for the draft. The Suns finished with the second worst record in the league. Finding immediate help through the draft is necessary for the team’s future. Drafting the 6-8 small forward could help the team elevate its game. The combination of size and speed could help the Suns stretch the floor all while adding another threat. With inconsistent play from T.J. Warren, Jackson could find himself playing solid minutes. Phoenix needs an athletic play maker to compliment the emerging star in Devin Booker. These two together could make some noise.
Pick 3: Los Angeles Lakers – G Lonzo Ball
The talk about not only Lonzo, but the entire Ball family, specifically his father LaVar, has taken the nation by a storm. For a couple of weeks, Lonzo and his father were the talk of the country. LaVar publicly said he would prefer his son Lonzo to play for the hometown Lakers. Aside from that, the move would actually make sense. D’Angelo Russell has had his ups and downs as the starting point guard for the past two seasons. He has shown his ability to score but lacks the floor general type of play. Lonzo could fit right in and be the floor general of the Lakers. At 6-6, Lonzo has received comparisons to Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, and a combination of both. With his floor general style that he has shown in college, he could play point guard which could move Russell to shooting guard. Moving Russell to shooting guard could add more points to the scoreboard giving Lonzo a chance to spread the court. This move does in fact make sense and could potentially make LaVar one happy man.
Pick 4: Philadelphia 76ers – F Jayson Tatum
The 76ers are one of the youngest teams in today’s NBA. Looking at this NBA draft class, the Sixers could look to add another youngster to the squad. The stretch-four position is becoming more and more valuable in the NBA. Philadelphia has been looking into finding someone to fill that role. Why not bring in former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum? Tatum is 6-8 and 205 pounds, which is a perfect size for a stretch-four. His versatility along with his ability to score and distribute out of the high post gives him an upside. After losing Nerlens Noel, adding another forward to compliment Dario Saric looks to be a team need. Drafting Tatum and developing him from his natural three position to a stretch-four could be one of the better options the Sixers have.
Pick 5: Orlando Magic – G De’Aaron Fox
With Elfrid Payton as the starting point guard, the Magic may need to look for another option at the position. Why not start with the NBA Draft? Fox’s intrigue at the next level starts with his tremendous size and speed for a point guard. Standing at 6-4 with a 6-6 wingspan, he can give Orlando the length and stability that they need at the point guard position. Fox can be an impactful player from the start if the Magic do decide on drafting him. When healthy, Fox can be an immediate game-changer. His abilities have been seen as he was the catalyst for the Wildcat’s 12th ranked offense and seventh ranked defense last season. Orlando could go with another position such as small forward, but missing out on a talent like Fox is unlikely. Depending on how the cards fall, Fox could potentially land in Orlando.
With the combine coming up, things could change for potential prospects. Many things can happen that could change the outcome of where prospects land. On May 16th, the world will know the order of the draft. Depending on this, things could change and teams will have to adjust. We will continue to update accordingly.