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NBA mock draft: A look at the players that lottery teams will select

NBA mock draft: A look at the players that lottery teams will select
Murray State's Ja Morant is considered the second-best player available in the upcoming NBA draft. (Jessica Hill / Associated Press)

Though there will be some maneuvering between now and the NBA draft on June 20, especially outside of the top three picks, having the actual order gives us a chance to try to project how the lottery will play out.

There will be changes over the next month, but what this shows us is that the Lakers, in a lot of ways, will be the key to how the rest of the lottery plays out (assuming they keep their pick).

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Accounting for team need, here’s an estimation of how the NBA draft would unfold if it happened today.

1. New Orleans — Zion Williamson, Duke, PF, 6-7, 285

Don’t overthink this. Whether Anthony Davis is or isn’t on his way out, the future of the franchise is Williamson.

2. Memphis — Ja Morant, Murray State, G, 6-3, 175

The Grizzlies will happily run Morant-Jaren Jackson Jr. pick-and-rolls for the next 10 years. Zion would be great. This is fine.

3. New York Knicks — R.J. Barrett, Duke, F, 6-7, 202

The Knicks fans will want to put “Not Zion” on the back of his jersey, but Barrett is still a prize in this draft.

4. LAKERS — DeAndre Hunter, Virginia, F, 6-7, 225

The Lakers could use another guard, but Hunter’s top-notch defensive skills would help sooner than later. He can shoot too.

5. Cleveland — Jarret Culver, Texas Tech, SG, 6-6, 195

With great size and some playmaking skills, Culver would be a nice backcourt mate for Colin Sexton, last year’s first-round pick.

6. Phoenix — Darius Garland, Vanderbilt, PG, 6-2, 175

The Suns are desperate for a point guard, and Garland isn’t necessarily a natural one. But he’s got a big offensive upside.

7. Chicago — Coby White, North Carolina, SG, 6-5, 185

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The Bulls desperately need a point guard, but White’s not there yet. He does have tons of energy and could anchor a bench.

8. Atlanta — Cam Reddish, Duke, SF, 6-8, 218

An ideal body for a small forward, Reddish was inconsistent over his freshman season. He’s a gamble that could pay off big.

9. Washington — Romeo Langford, Indiana, SF, 6-6, 215

The Wizards have a lot of needs but small forward could be the biggest. Langford looks like a starter but his shot needs big-time work.

10. Atlanta — Jaxson Hayes, Texas, C, 6-11, 220

Hayes would look good on the other end of some Trae Young lob passes. Seems like an ideal pick-and-roll partner and shot blocker.

11. Minnesota — Sekou Doumbouya, PF, Guinea, 6-9, 210

The top international prospect would pair well in a frontcourt with Karl-Anthony Towns while owning a huge upside on both ends.

12. Charlotte — Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga, PF, 6-8, 215

Clarke plays like an undersized center, but he’s got tremendous defensive versatility to go with plenty of athleticism.

13. Miami — Bol Bol, Oregon, C, 7-2, 222

Miami needs talent ahead of fit, and Bol’s combination of three-point range and shot blocking makes him the best on the board.

14. Boston — Tyler Herro, Kentucky, SG, 6-5, 195

Young guards like Herro, with size and range, always project well. Who knows what the Celtics will be in 2020, but shooting always fits.

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