Now that the lottery is over, we enter into serious draft speculation season. It was a good night for the Kings, who moved up to five, about as good as possible give that it was the outcome of thier pick swap with the Sixers. The Lakers managed to hold onto their pick for another season. Some thoughts:
The Celtics not only open the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at home, but also hold the top pick in the draft. Hard to see them passing on Markelle Fultz, even with their relatively crowded back court. They could use a big to pair with Al Horford, but not with the top pick. One imagines they will eventually move on from Isaiah Thomas, though they probably won’t be in a hurry.
The Lakers are in position to take Lonzo Ball, which would make the Ball family happy, but will they? Probably. They remain perimeter heavy, but Ball could be excellent.
The Sixers need guards and shooting. Malik Monk feels like a reach, but it will be interesting to see if they do so, or take Josh Jackson or even De’Aaron Fox in this spot. I think Jackson is probably the best guy available, but we’ll see. A lot of what happens depends on what Philly does with this pick.
The Suns...man I would have liked to see them get that second spot. Oh well. They need help on the wing, and Jayson Tatum seems like a guy to draft here.
The Kings have two picks, five and ten, and have needs at point guard and small forward. If Fox is available, I imagine him going to Sacramento here, though if he isn’t and Jackson falls (which I don’t really see but he could,) that’s an option as well. If either Tatum or Jackson are available here, they could go that route and hope to get their point guard at ten.
Orlando is in a tougher spot. They need shooting, and, well, a lot of things. A point guard? How do they feel about Elfrid Payton? A stretch forward? Sure. It really depends on who is available here. Hard to see Fox falling past the Kings, though who knows at this point...If Monk lasts this long he’s an option for them. Jonathan Isaac maybe.
Isaac seems like a natural fit for the Wolves--a long forward who hopefully can guard inside and out (eventually) and maybe shoot it some. Hopefully he’s there. I’ll say this: If the Wolves draft him, my draft night piece is going to be about patience. He’ll take a while. That said, who knows what Thibs and Co. are thinking? Maybe they will fall in love with someone else.
The Knicks didn’t have the luck last night, but can still draft a point guard with talent at this spot—either Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina. But who knows?
The Mavericks also need a point guard, but have plenty of other needs as well. Who ever is left from the point guards above could be their guy, or they could go for a shooter (Lauri Markkanen.)
Who the Kings take at ten will depend on who they take at five. If they grab their point guard, they will be looking for a bigger wing, but there might not be one here they like. Vivek Ranadive likes shooters, so if Markkanen is still available that’s a possibility.
I’ll stop there with the speculation. How do you see it playing out?
Too lazy for Today in History.
Today’s Musical Birthday
Erik Satie, born in 1866 (d. 1925.)