1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith, 6-10, 220, PF, Fr., Auburn
The Magic drafted Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner a year ago, and while it will be a difficult decision, it will also be tough for Jeff Weltman to pass on Smith. He’s an elite shooter who has the size, skill and athleticism to eventually be a perennial All-Star. Smith will need to become more assertive and efficient putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket, but his ceiling is extremely high.
2021-22 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 42% 3-pointers (79-188)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, 7-0, 190, PF, Fr., Gonzaga
Sam Presti needs frontcourt help and also perimeter shooting. The skilled 7-footer is a terrific shot-blocker and can also make shots from long distance, but there are concerns about his strength and whether he can stay healthy and compete physically with such a thin frame. Presti will have a decision here, though, between Holmgren and Banchero.
2021-22 Stats: 14.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 3.7 bpg, 39% pointers (41-105)
3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero, 6-10, 250, PF, Fr., Duke
The Rockets have athletic wings in Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., and will go with the powerful, athletic forward who has a Chris Webber-type game. He’ll need to improve the consistency on his perimeter shot, but there’s a lot to like about Banchero. He’s a guy who will be able to make an instant impact in the league because he already has an NBA-ready body.
2021-22 Stats: 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 34% 3-pointers (44-130)
4. Sacramento Kings – Jaden Ivey, 6-4, 195, SG, Soph., Purdue
I know the Kings already have De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell, a pair of athletic guards who don’t shoot it exceptionally well from deep. But GM Monte McNair won’t be able to pass on Ivey — who will give Sacramento another ultra-athletic guard and also allow them flexibility. Ivey has a big-time burst that allows him to explode and finish above the rim, but he’ll need to become a more consistent perimeter shooter and also will have to improve his decision-making.
2021-22 Stats: 17.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 36% 3-pointers (64-179)
5. Detroit Pistons – Shaedon Sharpe, 6-5, 200, G, Fr., Kentucky
I watched this athletic guard a summer ago and fell in love with his potential. Sharpe is a Canadian who is more comfortable as a scorer and able to get to the basket and finish due to his size, speed and athleticism. He’s also got a nice mid-range game and can make shots from deep, although he’s streaky from behind the arc. Sharpe enrolled in January at Kentucky, but never played a game in college.
2021-22 Stats: N/A
6. Indiana Pacers – Keegan Murray, 6-8, 225, F, Soph., Iowa
Murray made a huge jump from his freshman to sophomore season, and few saw it coming. He is a skilled forward who shot 40 percent from deep, but was also able to score from mid-range and with his back to the basket. The big question with Murray is his athleticism and ability to be a shot creator in the NBA. Want a comparison? Think Tobias Harris. The Pacers need a forward who can shoot it, and that’s Murray’s biggest strength.
2021-22 Stats: 23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 40% 3-pointers (66-166)
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Bennedict Mathurin, 6-6, 205, SG, Soph., Arizona
Mathurin took the next step this past season, becoming the go-to guy on one of the top teams in the country. The Canadian can really shoot it, and he has the strength and athleticism to make an immediate impact. The question remains whether he can be effective putting it on the floor and getting by guys consistently at the next level. But Portland needs a star to play with Damian Lillard, and Mathurin has that kind of upside.
2021-22 Stats: 17.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 37% 3-pointers (83-225)
8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers) – Johnny Davis, 6-6, 195, SG, Soph., Wisconsin
The Pelicans obtained this pick in the Anthony Davis trade. They have guys who can shoot it in CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, and are hoping to have a healthy Zion Williamson next season. Davis had a sensational sophomore campaign at Wisconsin, which came out of nowhere. He’s a skilled wing who can really score in the mid-range. He didn’t shoot it well last season from deep, but that aspect of his game will improve. Davis is someone who can come right in and help immediately due to his high IQ and versatility.
2021-22 Stats: 19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 31% 3-pointers (37-121)
9. San Antonio Spurs – AJ Griffin, 6-6, 222, SF, Fr., Duke
The Spurs need a lot. They have Dejounte Murray, and not a ton else to build around. RC Buford needs to just go with the best player on the board, and that might be Griffin. He missed much of the preseason with a leg injury, and while he showed glimpses, he never quite put it all together. But Griffin, the son of former NBA player Adrian Griffin, has the size and shooting ability. He shot 45 percent from deep as a freshman — which is extremely impressive.
2021-22 Stats: 10.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 45% 3-pointers (71-159)
10. Washington Wizards – Jalen Duren, 6-10, 250, C, Fr., Memphis
Duren is big, strong and athletic. He’s a guy that can help the Wizards in terms of a physical presence who can run the court, alter and block shots, and rebound outside of his area. But the question for Duren is whether he’ll play hard all the time. The Wizards could use someone like Duren to play alongside Kristaps Porzingis.
2021-22 Stats: 12.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg
11. New York Knicks – TyTy Washington Jr., 6-4, 200, G, Fr., Kentucky
Washington was solid as a freshman, but didn’t quite live up to the hype — but part of it was because he didn’t have the ball in his hands as much due to the presence of pass-first Kentucky point guard Sahvir Wheeler. Washington has a high IQ, and is a true combo guard. The Knicks need a point guard of the future and Washington can fill that role.
2021-22 Stats: 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.9 apg, 35% 3-pointers (36-103)
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Clippers) – Ochai Agbaji, 6-6, 215, SG, Sr., Kansas
OKC was dead last in three-point shooting a year ago, and Agbaji brings size and shooting to the table. He was the best player on a Kansas team that won the national title, and has improved each of his four seasons in college. He also showed he can put it on the floor and get to the basket last season, and should be a plus-defender in the league.
2021-22 Stats: 18.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 41% 3-pointers (103-252)
13. Charlotte Hornets – Dyson Daniels, 6-7, 195, G, G League Ignite
The Hornets would be hard-pressed to pass on the talented, athletic combo guard from Australia if he’s still on the board. Daniels is a terrific defender who can play multiple positions, but the question comes with his ability to make shots from long range.
2021-22 Stats: 11.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.4 apg, 26% 3-pointers (13-51)
14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jeremy Sochan, 6-9, 230, F, Fr., Baylor
The Cavs have a nice core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Caris LeVert, Lauri Markkanen and Jarrett Allen, so they can go in whatever direction they want with this pick. Sochan has a ton of potential and is a much better shooter from deep than he showed as a freshman in Waco. He’s eventually someone who could fill the role of Kevin Love as a skilled big man who can step out and make shots and play alongside Mobley or Allen.
2021-22 Stats: 9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 30% 3-pointers (24-81)
15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans) – Mark Williams, 7-2, 240, C, Soph., Duke
Williams is an athletic big man who can really impact the game on the defensive end of the floor. He’s not going to be a guy you feed the ball to in the post, but he’s athletic and could be lethal on the receiving end of LaMelo Ball lobs around the rim.
2021-22 Stats: 11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg
16. Atlanta Hawks – Malaki Branham, 6-5, 195, SG, Fr., Ohio State
The Hawks have a ton of young talent and can afford to take a guy like Branham who will likely take time to develop. He wasn’t on many draft boards coming into the season, but he’s a scoring wing who was able to make shots from deep and also get to the hoop and finish.
2021-22 Stats: 13.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 42% 3-pointers (37-89)
17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn) – Ousmane Dieng, 6-9, 185, SF, New Zealand Breakers
The Frenchman played in the NBL this past season, and came on strong toward the end of the year. His strength is on the defensive end right now, and that’s exactly what the Rockets need. Dieng is also a more than capable passer. His offense is still a work in progress, so he may wind up being a second-unit guy until that part of his game improves.
2021-22 Stats: 8.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 27% 3-pointers
18. Chicago Bulls – Kendall Brown, 6-8, 200, F, Fr., Baylor
He’s a big-time athlete who can become a high-level defender in the NBA, which is what the Bulls could use. Brown was a role guy at Baylor, and that’s what he’ll likely be in the pro ranks — unless he can become a confident and consistent shooter.
2021-22 Stats: 9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 34% 3-pointers (14-41)
19. Minnesota Timberwolves – EJ Liddell, 6-7, 240, PF, Jr., Ohio State
The T-Wolves are building around Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, and Liddell is a big, strong, undersized forward who can step out and make shots and also score from mid-range and around the basket. He possesses toughness and will be able to work well alongside Towns.
2021-22 Stats: 19.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.5 apg, 37% 3-pointers (46-123)
20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto) – Tari Eason, 6-8, 215, F, Soph., LSU
The Spurs could use a big-time defender, and that’s what Eason will bring right away. He’s an athletic forward who can guard multiple positions. Think of a Pascal Siakam-type of player. Long, athletic, plays hard and can really defend.
2021-22 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 36% 3-pointers (28-78)
21. Denver Nuggets – Jaden Hardy, 6-4, 200, G, G League Ignite
The Las Vegas native is a big-time scorer and also a high-level athlete. He can get to the basket and finish through contact. He has deep range and high upside due to his natural talent, but the key for Hardy will be his efficiency and decision-making.
2021-22 Stats: 17.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.2 apg, 27% 3-pointers (21-78)
22. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah) – Bryce McGowens, 6-7, 180, SG, Fr., Nebraska
The heralded recruit out of South Carolina has nice size for a wing, and can really put it on the floor and get to the basket. The biggest concerns are his perimeter shot and his decision-making. But McGowens could be a Caris LeVert-type of player down the road.
2021-22 Stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 27% 3-pointers (40-146)
23. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia) – Walker Kessler, 7-1, 255, C, Soph., Auburn
Kessler is one of the best defensive big men in the country, and while he’s not a big-time athlete, he’s a terrific shot-blocker. He can definitely help a Nets team that struggled mightily on that end of the floor.
2021-22 Stats: 11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.6 bpg
24. Milwaukee Bucks – MarJon Beauchamp, 6-6, 200, F, G League Ignite
He’s got long arms, is athletic and has taken an interesting path. He decided to work with a trainer for a year instead of going the college route, then went back home and played at Yakima Valley junior college before joining the G League Ignite. He’s a tough, hard-nosed wing who will need to work on his perimeter shot.
2021-22 Stats: 15.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.3 apg
25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston) – Patrick Baldwin Jr., 6-10, 230, PF, Fr., Milwaukee
Baldwin chose to play for his father at Milwaukee instead of Duke coming out of high school, and it was a tough season to say the least. Baldwin is regarded as a big-time shooter, but he made only 27 percent of his threes. He only played 11 games due to injury, but he’s got size and can make shots.
2021-22 Stats: 12.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 27% 3-pointers (17-64)
26. Dallas Mavericks – Blake Wesley, 6-4, 185, SG, Fr., Notre Dame
The South Bend product exploded onto the scene out of nowhere this season. Wesley didn’t shoot it well from deep, but he did everything else. He’s a strong, athletic wing with good size who can put it on the floor, get to the basket and also pull up from mid-range.
2021-22 Stats: 14.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 30% 3-pointers (54-178)
27. Miami Heat – Kennedy Chandler, 6-0, 170, PG, Fr., Tennessee
It’s a weak point guard class, so Kennedy could go even higher. The Memphis native is small, but he’s quick and can make shots from long distance. The Heat could use a young option at the point guard spot with Kyle Lowry getting older.
2021-22 Stats: 13.9 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.2 rpg, 38% 3-pointers (49-128)
28. Golden State Warriors – Nikola Jovic, 6-11, 220, F, Mega Basket (Serbia)
The skilled and versatile Serbian will need to add strength, but he’s smooth. Jovic is an average athlete and an average shooter, but has a high basketball IQ and a well-rounded offensive game. The question is whether he can make plays off the bounce in the NBA.
2021-22 Stats: 11.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.4 apg, 36% 3-pointers
29. Memphis Grizzlies – Wendell Moore Jr., 6-5, 215, G, Jr., Duke
Moore is a versatile, well-rounded guard who has size and can run a team. He’s turned himself into a reliable perimeter shooter, and can also defend multiple positions. He’ll be a nice piece for a contender.
2021-22 Stats: 13.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 41% 3-pointers (52-126)
30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix) – Leonard Miller, 6-10, 210, F, Fort Erie International Academy
Miller has a 7-2 wingspan and is oozing with potential, but the talented Canadian lefty has a long way to go. He’s long and can score, but he needs to mature in terms of his decision-making. He’s raw, but has a high upside.
2021-22 Stats: N/A