It is generally agreed that either Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball are the two top prospects in the upcoming NBA draft. Most would put Fultz ahead of Ball.
Right. So, which teams are likely to win the right to select at the top spot and get one of these two guards? The line for ping pong balls looks like this so far
- Nets (pick goes to the Celtics)
- Lakers (top three protected)
- Magic and Sixers are now tied
For purposes of this post, I will assume that the top three teams on this list pick in the top three. That means the top picks go to the Celtics, Suns and Lakers.
Here is the thing — all of these teams have top guards who need the ball in their hands already. They are not in dire need of another guard who needs the same. That means that there is a possibility that they would trade down and take a forward or center.
There are other scenarios. There is some talk that the Suns might be ready to move Bledsoe. And the Lakers might try to move Russell to shooting guard, matched with one of the two above top picks.
Even taking that into account, there is a decent chance that the team awarded the top pick might be interested in trading down, where they can get good talent at the 4 or 5 spot.
In other words, if the Sixers draft at 4 or 5, they would be in a good position to offer a deal to get the top pick. With Simmons and Embiid as the two anchors, the Sixers might give up some talent or future concerns to add firepower in the backcourt. It is an interesting thought.
A quick follow up – Another scenario has the Lakers pick falling to 4, where it is conveyed to the Sixers. That would mean the Sixers would get the better of their own pick or the kings pick AND the Lakers pick at 4. And what if the Sixers pick is in the top three?
That would mean potentially getting Fultz AND one more player. Assuming Ball and Jackson are gone, it might be Tatum, Monk or Isaac. Liberty Ballers ranks those options. Now I am getting excited!