While the NBA finals are just around the corner, the hottest topic seems to be the upcoming NBA Draft. Here’s who I predict to go in the top 10:
1. MIN: Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C Kentucky
The big man out of Kentucky has a ton of potential on both sides of the ball. The Timberwolves need talent and this guys got it.
2. LAL: D’Angelo Russell G Ohio State
The guard out of Ohio State can shoot, handle and has a high basketball IQ. This pick fills a need, while supplying high-level talent.
3. PHI: Emmanuel Mudiay, G China
While I would like to take Jahill Okafor here, the pick just wouldn’t make sense. The Sixers already have a crowded frontcourt with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, their last two first round picks. Mudiay provides ball handling and athleticism to a team lacking in both of those categories.
4. NYK: Jahill Okafor, F/C Duke
The abominable Knicks need talent all over the court, so it makes sense for them to take the best available player. Okafor is a dominating post player, but lacks defensively. Okafor is the player that the Knicks have been eyeing for quite a while and they could end up swooping him at the fourth spot.
5. ORL: Justise Winslow, F Duke
Orlando is a team on the rise, with solid picks all over the recently. Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo make a formidable backcourt and Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris are the beggining of a solid frontcourt, but the team lacks a second foward. The pick also provides insurance in case Harris walks this year via restricted free agency.
6. SAC: Willie Trill Cauley-Stein, C Kentucky
The second big man out of Kentucky comes at the six spot. Cauley-Stein brings much needed rim protection and has shown the ability to be a decent offensive player. Pairing him with DeMarcus Cousins should provide what the Kings were hoping for when they drafted Thomas Robinson a few years ago.
7. DEN: Mario Hezonja, G/F Croatia
The Croatian sweet shooter has been playing in Europe for quite some time now, and looks ready for the transition to the NBA. The Nuggets are in need of a caliber player to pair with Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried, and Henzoja has that kind of potential.
8. DET: Kristaps Porzingis, F Latvia
The Pistons may look to get a Greg Monroe insurance piece while adding a depth the frontcourt.
9. CHA: Stanley Johnson, F Arizona
The Hornets get the forward they wanted when they drafted Michael Kidd-Gilchrest a couple of years ago. Johnson lends help on and off the court, as a leader and a dynamic playmaker.
10. MIA: Kelly Oubre Jr, F Kansas
No player can replace what the Heat lost after losing LeBron James last summer, but Oubre Jr would fill a void that is being held by an aging Luol Deng.