Five freshmen who could be drafted by the Kings
It’s good to be the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics are in the Eastern Conference finals, have the third overall pick from last year’s draft on their roster (Jaylen Brown) and own the first overall pick in this year’s draft thanks to owning the rights to Brooklyn’s pick.
It’s not often a team in contention to win its conference can collect top-three picks in back-to-back seasons. Now Boston can add another prime prospect that could be the dynamic player it needs to pair with Isaiah Thomas.
With more than a month before the NBA draft, here is the first crack at my mock draft, picks 1-14.
1. Boston Celtics
Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
An elite scorer who could take offensive pressure off Thomas.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
The best playmaker in the draft might be the leader the Lakers have needed to replace Kobe Bryant.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
The Sixers could opt for a point guard, or Jackson who is the best wing available.
4. Phoenix Suns
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Devin Booker’s new running mate could be Tatum, who would fill a big void on the roster.
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Dynamic athlete who can impact a game on both ends of the floor.
6. Orlando Magic
Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
If the Magic want to pick up the pace and score more, Monk would fit in.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
Wolves are stocked with young talent, so Isaac could develop slowly.
8. New York Knicks
Dennis Smith, PG, North Carolina State
It doesn’t matter what offense the Knicks run – they need talent and Smith can play.
9. Dallas Mavericks
Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
A 6-foot-5 point guard who gives the Mavs a piece to work with as Dirk Nowitzki’s career nears an end.
Lauri Markannen, PF, Arizona
Kings need a small forward, but can’t pass on one of the best shooters available.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Zach Collins, PF, Gonzaga
Came on strong in his freshman season and showed promise on offense and defense.
12. Detroit Pistons
TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
Showed good all-around skills as a freshman, including the ability to shoot from 3-point range.
13. Denver Nuggets
Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
A junior who could be more prepared than younger prospects to help a team as a rookie.
14. Miami Heat
Bam Adebayo, PF, Kentucky
Big and athletic, Adebayo would benefit from the structure in Miami.