Most people are waiting for the very much anticipated Warriors vs Cavaliers finals matchup but this years NBA Draft might turn out to be just as exciting. Teams are very much hoping to find their franchise corner stones while other franchises will most likely trade these highly coveted draft picks for a quick re-tooling of their rosters in hope to contend next season. In a big man loaded draft class the best player to come out of the draft could just as easily turn out to be a forward such as Justice Winslow or a guard like Emmanuel Mudiay. Here are some notes and rumors we have gathered from sources around the league about the top 5 teams drafting this offseason.
NBA Draft Notes:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves are said to be looking at both of the top big men in the draft but seem to be leaning towards drafting the versatile PF/C Karl Anthony-Towns in hopes he and Andrew Wiggins can lead them to the mother land.
Pick: Karl Anthony-Towns
2. Los Angeles Lakers: The LA Lakers have had the only lucky pong bounces of the draft lottery moving up from the 4th spot to the 2nd. They are expected to draft whichever big the Wolves leave on the board for them but many in the league think that the Lakers may throw a curve ball and draft D’Angelo Russell out of Ohio State or trade their draft pick for a young budding star or established talent.
Pick: D’Angelo Russell
3. Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers were fine with their spot in the draft but only because the Knicks were in the 2nd spot and have been vocal about wanting a big man to run the triangle which the two top prospects are in Karl and Jahlil. The Sixers’ really want a scoring point guard and have been eyeing Russell but if they believe that the Lakers are locked in to Russell I expect them to listen to trade offers. One interesting guard on the block is Ty Lawson who could lead the Sixers to the playoffs alongside Embiid and Noel.
Pick: Trade to Nuggets for Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, future first. Nuggets Draft Emmanuel Mudiay
There are many teams who are looking to trade up in this years draft and there are also many teams willing to trade down in an attempt to win now and gather as much established talent as possible.
Teams rumored to be interested in moving up include: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets.
Teams rumored to be interested in trading (moving down or out of draft): Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks.
Best Case Scenario for Top 10 Teams Realistically:
1. Wolves: Anthony-Towns
2. Lakers: Anthony-Towns
3. Sixers: Russell
4. Knicks: Jahlil Okafor
5. Magic: Hezonja
6. Kings: Porzingis
7. Nuggets: Winslow
8. Pistons: Cauley-Stein
9. Hornets: Porzingis
10. Heat: Johnson