1. Philadelphia 76ers (From Boston)
Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Why Fultz? Philly is selling the farm to get Fultz, the consensus best player in the field. They sent three first round picks to Boston and believe he is the missing piece to their dynamic young core. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons just have to stay healthy.
Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Why Ball? You could not design a better fit for the Lakers than the Chino Hills product: a pure point guard with an effective, if unconventional, perimeter game. He is comfortable in the spotlight and will be ready to play on day one.
3. Boston Celtics (From Philadelphia)
Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
Why Jackson? Boston hit the jackpot. Danny Ainge’s team won the lottery during a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. So, naturally they trade the top pick. Jackson has been the darling of the draf and linked to all of the teams at the top of the board. He is a strong defender on the wing and can slide to power forward. He makes the Celtics even scarier.
4. Phoenix Suns
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Why Fox? The team with the second-worst record in the NBA fell out of the lottery’s top three but will still be able to find an impact player to pair with budding superstar Devin Booker in the backcourt. They’d love Ball, but Fox outplayed the UCLA star in their NCAA Tournament matchup and is a fine consolation prize.
5. Sacramento Kings
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Why Tatum? The Kings are in full rebuild mode after dumping the mercurial DeMarcus Cousins on New Orleans. A dynamic two-way player like Tatum, 6-foot-8 with a 6-11 wingspan, helps accelerate that process.
6. Orlando Magic
Lauri Markkanen, F/C, Finland
Why Markkanen? The Magic could use some depth in the frontcourt, and the agile 7-footer from Finland has drawn comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki. It’s doubtful he’ll be that good, but Orlando, which already has Aaron Gordon at power forward, can afford to give him time to develop.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves