1. Philadelphia 76ers (via trade with Boston Celtics): Markelle Fultz, Washington, PG, 6-4, 195
Joel Embiid’s Twitter excitement over Fultz’s impending arrival says everything you need to know (see below).
The 19-year-old has John Wall potential on both ends of the floor, and his 41.3% three-point shooting gives the 76ers a much-needed perimeter threat. His playmaking ability, both on and off the ball, will help Ben Simmons ease into his role while his 7-foot wingspan is going to be useful as he develops into a defensive stopper.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, UCLA, PG, 6-6, 190
No, he’s probably not better than Stephen Curry just yet, but Lonzo Ball definitely has the skills to excel at the next level. As a pass-first point guard, Ball has supreme court vision and basketball IQ, which complements his deadly outside shot. His 8.1 assists per 40 minutes ranks second out of all players in the draft, but he’ll have to cut down on his 18% turnover ratio to lead an efficient NBA offense.
3. Boston Celtics (via trade with 76ers): Jayson Tatum, Duke, SF, 6-8, 204
At Duke, Tatum proved himself as an effective scorer, averaging over 20 points per 40 minutes in his lone season. He has exceptional footwork and body control, as well as a quick first step that lets him create separation from slower defenders.
Efficiency however is his biggest question. Almost 40% of Tatum’s non-transition shot attempts were on mid-range jumpers, and he only made 40.2% of them.
As Jackson isn’t the most imposing physical figure, his versatility will be his biggest asset in the NBA. He’s an effective scorer both on and off the ball, averaging 21 points per 40 minutes, while shooting 55% of two pointers and nearly 40% from three.
On defense, his lateral quickness allows him to guard positions 1-4 and his anticipation skills allow him to disrupt passing lanes. His overall competitiveness and pride in playing lockdown defense make him an attractive target for many teams.
Injuries led to Fox turning in an inconsistent freshman year at Kentucky, but his NBA potential was still clear. An explosive athlete, Fox led all power-conference players in fast-break scoring with 5.9 points per game and showed he can finish at the rim, making almost 60% of his shots in the paint.
However, his poor jump shooting will make him easier to defend at the NBA level. Fox shot just 31% on pull-up jumpers last season and fared even worse on spot-up attempts, converting just 20%.
6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac, Florida State, F, 6-10, 210
The wiry forward showed off his versatility during his one season at Florida State, averaging 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals a game. He’s extremely agile, especially for his height, which gave him the ability to effectively guard guards and forwards in college. Isaac is a fundamentally sound defender who moves his feet well, covers a lot of space on the floor and is great at weakside help. Isaac does have an excellent motor, which helps him compensate on the glass for his rail-thin frame.
Offensively, his athleticism is going to be his biggest key to success at the next level. He’s doesn’t have the best handles and isn’t a superior playmaker but has shown the ability to attack closeouts and finish at the rim, where he shot nearly 65%.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen, Arizona, PF, 7-0, 225
The 7-foot Finnish Sniper has one of the most intriguing skill sets in the lottery. Markkanen was one of the most efficient offensive players in the nation, averaging 15.6 points and shooting 42% from trey while also showing flashes of playmaking ability off the bounce.
At just 19, he still needs to develop into a more physical inside enforcer but he has the athleticism and footwork to be effective on defense, especially in the switch-heavy defensive schemes that are trending across the NBA.
8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilkina, Strasbourg, France (pros), PG, 6-5, 170
The 18-year-old guard from Belgium has played in the French League since September, where he averaged 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 19 minutes a game. His size gives him the ability to play both backcourt positions, and his time with Strasbourg shows that he is comfortable playing off the ball.
Though he isn’t the most explosive guard, he understands how to navigate the pick-and-roll and uses changes of speed to get himself into the paint. Ntilkina’s jump shooting has also seen drastic improvement, going from just 18% last season to 40% this year, which is an encouraging sign for a team looking to add shooting.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr., North Carolina State, PG, 6-3, 195
Smith had an up-and-down year with the Wolfpack, but still managed to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2.2 steals per 40 minutes. An explosive athlete, Smith is deadly in the open floor and has the confidence to attack and finish above the rim. In the half-court game, his first step and flashy handle let him create his own shot with ease.
However his ability as a leader comes with question marks. He’s not the most willing passer, turns the ball over frequently and he doesn’t play defense with much passion. Though a lot of factors led to N.C. State’s poor 15-17 finish, as his team’s best player Smith is partially to blame.
Collins led Gonzaga to the NCAA tournament championship game with averages of 23 points and 13 rebounds per 40 minutes, while shooting 70%. He’s an athletic 7-footer, with above-average agility that serves him well on defense. He averaged four blocks per 40 minutes last season and showed the potential to guard on the perimeter as well.
Though he’s a skilled two-way player, he lacks the physicality in his game to be a force at the next level. He gets pushed around down low by stronger players and can’t quite stand his ground in the post. Additionally, he is not a playmaker on offense, which will make it difficult for teams to run their offense through him.