The NBA Draft is tonight at 6 p.m., on ESPN so let’s take a look at what the first round might look like.
1. Pelicans — Zion Williamson, PF, Duke
The first pick is a no-brainer after Zion lit college basketball on fire this past season. The Pelicans just need to find a way to build around him better than they did with Anthony Davis.
2. Grizzlies — Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
Williamson is a 100 percent lock to go at No. 1, but Morant is nearly as sure of lock to fall into the No. 2 spot. Morant was the Zion of mid-majors this season at Murray State and he brings some instant excitement to Memphis.
3. Knicks — R.J. Barrett, SF, Duke
This offseason has been a letdown for the Knicks. First, they miss out on Zion in the lottery. Then Kevin Durant, who may sign with them, ruptured his Achilles. Then the Pelicans trade Davis to the Lakers instead of New York. There is a lot of pressure on Barrett to work out.
4. Pelicans — DeAndre Hunter, SF, Virginia
New Orleans is reportedly shopping this pick, but if they can’t find a buyer, they will likely target a polished player to fit with their young core. They need a wing and some defense to match their core and Hunter fits the bill after leading Virginia to a national title.
5. Cavaliers — Cam Reddish, SG, Duke
The best player on the board is Darius Garland, but the Cavs drafted Collin Sexton last season at point guard so they need to find shooting to go with him. Reddish didn’t play well at Duke last year, but with Williamson and Barrett dominating the ball so much, there is hope Reddish could be better is a different situation.
6. Suns — Coby White, PG, North Carolina
I know I just said Garland was the best player available, but there are rumors that White has a promise that he will go in the top six. The Suns are the obvious fit. He is an elite shooter who would be an apparent fit with Phoenix star Devin Booker.
7. Bulls — Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
Garland in my personal third-ranked prospect so the Bulls get a huge steal here. He was injured last season so he isn’t as proven as the other players that have been taken so far. His combination of shooting and passing make him a stellar prospect.
8. Hawks — Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
Culver is a big-time fit for the Hawks next to Trae Young at point guard. His defense helps hide some of the weaknesses that Young has. If he falls to this spot, it is a no-brainer for the Hawks.
9. Wizards — Sekou Doumbouya, PF, France
The Wizards are a rudderless franchise right now and they need a full rebuild so Doumbouya’s upside should intrigue them here.
10. Hawks — Nassir Little, F, North Carolia
Atlanta has made it clear that they are trying to model themselves after the Warriors. Little disappointed at North Carolina, but he has a ton of talent and could fill that small-ball four role.
11. Wolves — Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga
Minnesota has been trying to improve its defense for years now. Clarke is an elite defensive prospect and would be a very nice fit with Minnesota’s bigs Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric.
12. Hornets — Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
If Kemba Walker leaves in free agency, Charlotte will be facing a major rebuild. They seem like an obviously team to just take best player available. Hayes is a fantastic rim protector with lots of upside.
13. Miami — P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky
Washington proved to be a capable stretch-4 this past season and has seen his stock elevate into the lottery.
14. Celtics — Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana
Langford is another of these top recruits that had a disappointing freshman year, but this is a good range for someone to take a chance on him. The Celtics can afford to be patient with him.
15. Pistons — Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC
Continuing the trend go college disappointments, Porter averaged less than 10 points a game, but he is a good shooter with NBA athleticism. He is worth the gamble.
16. Magic — Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky
Orlando made a slightly surprising playoff run last season, but after loading their roster with length and athleticism the last couple years, they need shooting and Herro fits that bill.
17. Hawks — Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia
With three first round picks, the Hawks could take a flier on an international player and Bitadze is type of floor-spacing center that fits in the modern NBA.
18. Pacers — Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
Alexander-Walker is a combo guard without much of a weakness and could fit in a backcourt next to another combo guard in Victor Oladipo.
19. Spurs — Cam Johnson, SF, North Carolina
One of the oldest players in this draft is also one of the best shooters in the draft and the Spurs need floor spacing around DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.
20. Celtics — Bol Bol, C, Oregon
Bol is a lottery ticket. The son of Maunte Bol stands 7-foot-2 and shot 52 percent from three this year. A foot injury is really scary and causes him to fall to 20.
21. Thunder — Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga
Hachimura is a stretch-four that can fit well with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams needing floor spacing. He is a question mark defensively, but the Thunder can cover that up better than most.
22. Celtics — Keldon Johnson, SG, Kentucky
You can never have enough talented wings in the NBA and Boston can afford to take a shot here with Johnson be a great value.
23. Jazz — Matisse Thybulle, SG, Washington
This is the point in the draft where you need to target role players and Thybulle has tremendous defensive ability.
24. Sixers — Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State
The Sixers were really hurt in the playoffs with Joel Embiid off the floor. Kabengele can play those backup center minutes and could also develop into a player that can play with Embiid because of his shooting ability.
25. Blazers — Talen Horton-Tucker, SG, Iowa State
Horton-Tucker was up and down for Iowa State, but his strength and athleticism to go with a jump shot that shows flashes, makes him a good value here.
26. Cavaliers — Nic Claxton, PF, Georgia
The Cavs continue to rebuild after the loss of LeBron James last year with Claxton, who has been a riser in the draft process.
27. Nets — Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
The Angola native is an athletic center, who world be a fun pick and roll partner for Kyrie Irving, who the Nets are favorites to sign.
28. Warriors — Ty Jerome, SG, Virginia
Jerome is the safest prospect available here. He helped Virginia to a title and with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson out for most the season, they need some proven players on the wing to fill in minutes.
29. Spurs — Luka Samanic, PF, Croatia
The Spurs have become famous for finding international steals late in the draft and Samanic is a versatile forward who has some upside.
30. Bucks — Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue
Edwards had an amazing NCAA Tournament and his shooting ability fits well with this Bucks squad.