Golden State Warriors (-190) at Cleveland Cavaliers (+160)
Jumping into the top three would be immensely helpful in that process, but expect the Magic to take a long-term view regardless of where they end up. Bamba has huge upside if they stand pat, while Carter would be the safe pick if they get bumped back and he also fits in nicely alongside their existing pieces. Young is certainly someone they'll need to look at as well. An encouraging season showed that Chicago might not be as far away as originally thought, likely pushing the Bulls outside of the top five in this draft but also indicating there are some pieces worth building around, specifically Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen.
Finding a bigger wing as well as a big man to pair with Markkanen seem to be the most immediate priorities. Moving into the top three would help that immensely considering how well the best prospects in this draft fit with the Chicago roster. Bamba and Carter look like the top big-man candidates, provided the Bulls don't move up, while Miles Bridges and Mikal Bridges are strong wing options. The Kings showed progress this season and appear to have some strong building blocks in place, particularly in the backcourt.
The strength of this draft is in the frontcourt, and the Kings will certainly look to take advantage of that depending on where they fall. Power forward is definitely a position of need, with incumbent starter Zach Randolph turning 37 this summer, and modernizing the way they play in terms of adding more shooting and playmaking will likely be a priority. Porter -- and to a lesser extent Miles Bridges -- are two players to think about if the top-tier big men such as Carter and Bamba are off the board.
Trae Young PG Oklahoma. Cleveland's sweep of Toronto and the renewed chemistry that appears to have been forged between LeBron James and the rest of the roster seems to bode well for their prospects of keeping the NBA's most dominant player. Continuing to stockpile young talent that the King is excited about certainly wouldn't hurt their pitch, and it just so happens that one of the most talented players in the draft could be sitting here at No.
Young plays a huge position of need for this squad, which has cycled through more than a half dozen guard options over the course of the season.
If Young is gone, one of the many frontcourt options -- such as Carter, Bamba, either Bridges or Porter -- could also be attractive. Collin Sexton PG Alabama. With the growing realization that Frank Ntilikina is best as a defense-minded off guard, the Knicks and newly appointed head coach David Fizdale could use a PG of the future to put pressure on the rim and form a scoring punch with Kristaps Porzingis.
Sexton is an ideal candidate as one of the draft's best penetrators with the burst to dice up defenses and the mentality to thrive in New York City. His extreme focus and on-court competitiveness could fit perfectly in the NYC pressure-cooker. The Knicks also could consider a 3-and-D style wing like Mikal Bridges or an explosive small-ball 4 like Miles Bridges to slot next to Porzingis in a more modern lineup. The 76ers get the Lakers' pick if it lands at No.
If the pick falls Nos. Mikal Bridges SF Villanova. After watching Jayson Tatum carve up Marco Belinelli and a host of other Sixers in the playoffs, it's clear Philly could use more defense-minded wings and few prospects are more ready to play a role at small forward than Mikal Bridges.
Although he's a bit one-dimensional as a spot-up shooter, Bridges fits well with ball-dominant players such as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid , not needing to pound the ball to have an impact. The wider-bodied Miles Bridges also could get looks here as an energetic two-way combo forward. Additionally, the Sixers could use another shot-creator should they lose confidence in Markelle Fultz 's development, which remains unlikely at this stage.
If it indeed does come to that, though, they could turn to a prospect like Kentucky's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Celtics get the Lakers' pick if it lands Nos. If the pick goes to the Sixers, Boston gets the better first-rounder between Sacramento and Philly, protected for No. If either pick lands No. If the Celtics do indeed defy odds and land in the Nos. Doncic is obviously in play should Ayton go No. Boston values switching and rim protection, and Jackson and Bamba are the draft's top two defenders.
The Celtics have time to develop the young bigs with Al Horford still playing at a high level. Bagley is also an option for Boston, as his aggressive offensive rebounding, transition play and ability to score in the paint without needing much volume bodes well alongside stars.
With Marvin Williams nearing 32, newly appointed general manager Mitch Kupchak and recently hired head coach James Borrego could use some youth and explosiveness at either forward spot, opening the door for a physical, hard-playing athlete like Miles Bridges. Kevin Knox also should get a look here given his size, shooting stroke and overall versatility.
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