Draft day is finally here. The Crossover reveals its latest projections and intel ahead of the big night.
Draft day is upon us, and things are getting real—but with 7 p.m. ET fast approaching, there’s still a whole lot of uncertainty around the NBA as to what will happen. The Timberwolves continue to shop the No. 1 pick, the Warriors could still trade No. 2, and the fallout of those two decisions could cause real chaos. It’s been a long, strange draft process, and this likely is not ending any other way.
As of Wednesday morning, signs still pointed to Anthony Edwards as Minnesota’s choice if they decided to stand pat. James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball round out the top three. And there is increasing steam surrounding Patrick Williams as Chicago’s surprise choice at No. 4. A wide range of trade possibilities could throw the entire thing off, and we’ll continue to update this mock draft over the course of the day.
Below, find SI’s latest projections for all 60 picks, based heavily on intel and the latest buzz I’m hearing around the league.
1. Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Freshman
According to league sources, as of Tuesday night, the Timberwolves were still calling other teams and attempting to trade this pick. At this point, that would seem to be Minnesota’s clear preference. Interest in the top pick has mostly been tempered going into draft day, but there’s little time left for teams to put their cards on the table, and any real offers will come into play today. Minnesota has pulled out the stops to market this pick, and will surely keep trying as long as they can, but the expectation around the NBA on the eve of the draft was that the Wolves would still make this pick and go with Edwards. I’m told Minnesota’s asking price has been a stumbling block in talks to this point. But there’s still a chance something could materialize for the Wolves, and Obi Toppin would be a strong option if they move back. The Timberwolves were dealt a difficult hand: none of the consensus top three prospects are neat fits for their roster, nor are they ready to aid Minnesota in what they still hope can be an immediate push for a playoff spot.
Lost in this entire discourse has been Edwards’ strong candidacy for this pick, and his scoring ability and incredible athletic gifts are a great starting point, although he will require a degree of nurture from his team in order to fulfill his considerable potential. He boasts an improving jump shot, underrated playmaking skills, and potential to be a good defender as he matures. He has a lot to learn, and his overall efficiency and level of engagement must improve. But factoring in his team context and development trajectory, Edwards has really just started to tap into his ability. He fits comfortably with the Timberwolves’ core pieces, and will benefit from playing with better players for the first time, which should naturally help his shot selection to an extent. If Minnesota keeps the pick, expect it to be Edwards. But we’ll see what happens.
2. Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Height: 7′ 1″ | Weight: 240 | Age: 19 | Freshman
The dust has settled a bit with regard to this selection, and whether or not the Warriors make a deal, most rival teams are preparing as if Wiseman will be off the board at No. 2. Teams interested in Wiseman have operated under the thought that that they have to trade up in front of Charlotte, and the Warriors have expressed a degree of interest in moving back in the lottery, so there’s a clear opportunity for a deal here. I’m told Golden State would prefer to add a veteran rotation player and move back in the lottery in exchange for this pick, with Andrew Wiggins and his massive salary a candidate to move elsewhere to make money work. They are certainly comfortable picking further down based on the players they’ve worked out. The most logical trade partners here are San Antonio and Detroit: both can use a long-term center in Wiseman, have lottery picks to send back, and can offer All-Star caliber bigs (albeit aging ones) in LaMarcus Aldridge or Blake Griffin, respectively. The Ringer reported the Bulls have offered Wendell Carter and No. 4 to move up. The Warriors will have to weigh those types of opportunities carefully, but their immediate desire to win is going to be a factor here.
Although teams didn’t have much Wiseman film to work with, his immense size and physical tools, defensive ceiling and potential to develop a reliable jump shot are major calling cards. While the argument against investing early draft capital in a center is understandable, it’s not often you get those three traits in the same teenage prospect. He would have a better case at No. 1 if a different team held the pick. But Wiseman should be a more than sufficient prize for whichever team ends up with him on draft night, and has all the ability to be successful.
3. Hornets: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
Height: 6′ 7″ | Weight: 180 | Age: 19
According to league sources, the Hornets are open to the idea of drafting Ball, and appear prepared to pick from whichever of the top three prospects falls to their spot. I’m told ownership (read: Michael Jordan) has expressed an interest in Ball and would be comfortable selecting him if available. Per multiple league sources, Onyeka Okongwu appears out of the running at this spot. The notion of sacrificing an asset or two to move up two spots in this draft seems rich, and simply selecting one of Ball, Edwards or Wiseman is a relatively equal upside play given what Charlotte has on the roster. Ultimately, the difference between them would not seem to be enough to justify a deal to move up to No. 1.
At the end of the day, Ball has a real chance to end up as the best player in this draft, but opinion varies widely depending who you talk to. His size, innate playmaking instincts and creativity with the ball are all difficult to find, but his carefree style, ball-dominance and lack of winning history are concerning for some teams. But the upside proposition is easily evident, and he could evolve into one of the league’s best passers. Ball’s iffy three-point shooting remains his biggest impediment to stardom, but if he can make enough to keep defenses honest, he has all the pieces to be a quality starter at bare minimum. For better or worse, Ball will garner the spotlight right away. But he would be a real shot in the arm for the Hornets, who can take a chance here and hope he develops into a star.
There are still scenarios where Ball could fall: for example, if the Hornets did trade up to No. 1 for Wiseman, the Timberwolves could move back to No. 3 and instead take Obi Toppin, sending Ball down the board. But if Minnesota stays put and Wiseman goes at No. 2 as expected, Ball would seem to be the pick for the Hornets.
4. Bulls: Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Freshman
There is talk that the Bulls could trade up from this spot—and my sense is that they’d be targeting James Wiseman. Over the course of the past 24 hours, I’ve increasingly come to believe the Bulls will select Williams here. Call this a hunch. Per sources, Chicago was one of just a few teams to receive in-person workout access. The idea of Williams as a top-five pick—specifically at this spot—has been gathering a lot of steam in opposing front offices, and the entire thing looks increasingly suspicious. The Bulls have been the most difficult team for opponents to pin down over the course of this process, and Deni Avdija and Tyrese Haliburton appear to be the other players with the strongest consideration here. You can argue that this might might be a reach for Williams—or that if this had been a secret all along, that Chicago could have traded back—but with Detroit as the likely backstop, there is no obvious pathway to moving down and ensuring he’s available.
Although Williams lacks a true NBA skill at this stage, his strongly-built frame, defensive projectability and flashes as a shooter and playmaker make him a highly moldable modern forward. It’s easy to see improvement in key areas that would make him a versatile, multi-positional lineup cog. He’s been the biggest winner in a bizarre, protracted predraft process, and has seen his stock skyrocket since March without having played a game. How his career plays out—and what type of player he becomes—will be one of the more interesting storylines from this draft.
5. Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, F/C, Dayton
Height: 6′ 9″ | Weight: 220 | Age: 22 | RS Sophomore
Toppin and Deni Avdija have been the two players strongly connected to Cleveland, with the team in search of a more versatile frontcourt piece to pair with its young guards. Per sources, Onyeka Okongwu is also in the mix here. But there may be a sense of urgency to get results this season in Cleveland, and the most NBA-ready player on the board here is Toppin, who starred down the road at Dayton. Cleveland is still waiting on real returns from young guards Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter, and drafting a backcourt player here—even if it would be an upgrade—would throw a wrench in that development process.
Even though Toppin is redundant with Kevin Love in the short-term, that shouldn’t be a huge impediment for the Cavs as they attempt to turn the ship around with younger pieces. The Cavs are thought to be open to trading back, but it’s unclear as to what they’d want, and they should ultimately be comfortable with the choices available. Toppin’s defensive concerns are real, but his inside-out scoring acumen and consistent energy should make him a potential Rookie of the Year candidate wherever he lands. Toppin’s age is only a holdup for teams to a certain point, and in the context of this draft, he feels like a pretty safe bet in the eyes of many.
6. Hawks: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
Height: 6′ 8″ | Weight: 210 | Age: 19
According to league sources, Atlanta’s trade talks involving this had cooled to an extent as of Wednesday night. There’s some thought that the Hawks will pull off a sign-and-trade with the Celtics involving Gordon Hayward, but it’s unclear if that trade structure would necessarily involve this selection, which has been bandied about in various rumors for days. The Hawks have primarily been tied to wings if they keep the pick, with Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro and Tyrese Haliburton coming up as a possibilities. But Avdija’s size, playmaking skills and potential versatility are a clean fit with the modern, uptempo, offense-oriented team starting to form around Trae Young. It would seem the Hawks are attempting a modest competitive leap this season, and while Avdija may not be immediately ready for important minutes, he’s a fairly neat addition to a collection of young talent Atlanta will have to start making decisions on in the coming years.
Optimists hope Avdija evolves into an oversized secondary playmaker and maximizes his promising passing skills, and they also see value in his floor. Even if his handle doesn’t peak to the point where he’s functionally a guard, Avdija should at least shoot it well enough to keep defenses honest, and he’s a quality downhill playmaker who should be able to attack closeouts and rotations comfortably. If his defense proves passable, he has an easy pathway to value. Avdija has been training in the Atlanta area since his season ended in Israel. He has interest from Chicago and Cleveland as well.
7. Pistons: Killian Hayes, PG, Ulm (France)
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 185 | Age: 19
The Pistons have been heavily tied to Patrick Williams, but it now feels increasingly likely he’s off the board by No. 7. Enter Hayes, who is strongly in play for Detroit, according to league sources, and seems to have more traction than the other guards on the board here. If LaMelo Ball were to take a precipitous fall out of the top three, the Pistons would have to think hard, and they are the only team outside the top three that’s seen him work out in person. But it’s clear enough that the Pistons have interest in developing a playmaker—although they’re thought to covet James Wiseman if they were to swing a major move up the board.
Hayes will require some seasoning, but there are teams who have fallen in love with his skill level and feel, and he has good size for his position, though he’s not a great run-jump athlete. His natural craft and smarts pushed him up the board over the course of a solid year in Germany. The Pistons are a strong fit, with a longer competitive timeframe and the ability to give him meaningful minutes and freedom to make mistakes early on.
8. Knicks: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
Height: 6′ 6″ | Weight: 180 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
According to league sources, the Knicks are making a serious attempt to move up in the lottery, offering this pick in addition to No. 23, which they acquired from Utah on Wednesday morning. Per sources, keep an eye on Obi Toppin. I’m told there is also significant traction for Vassell within New York’s front office, and if he’s on the board, he is a strong option. Vassell, is believed to be in play as high as Atlanta at No. 6, but as this scenario suggests, the Knicks may not need to move up to get him.
Vassell is a stellar team defender and capable shooter (although I’ve heard varying degrees of concern about his release mechanics), with the primary holdup for teams being a lack of great explosiveness at the rim and a limited handle. Still, Vassell neatly fits a useful archetype as a potential starting-caliber piece, and is an easy fit on most rosters. Some teams think there’s untapped potential for him as a scorer, and if it all pans out, he could be a high-quality complementary piece on both ends of the ball.
9. Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
Height: 6′ 9″ | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Washington’s pick at No. 9 is almost unanimously considered Okongwu’s floor, and while it’s no guarantee he makes it here, there’s a legitimate chance he slips. Per sources, there is some concern about his medical: he has a foot injury that will likely sideline him for a portion of the upcoming season. While it’s not thought to be a long-term issue, there’s a chance it helps him make it down to the Wizards here. Okongwu is in play as high as No. 5, and another team could trade in for him at No. 6 — per sources, the Celtics and Spurs are suitors —but in this scenario, with no trades taking place, he ends up here. This is one of the cleanest fits in the draft.
Okongwu’s defensive-minded style and mobile, anticipatory play makes him well-suited for the NBA game, despite being undersized for a center. He should enable his team to deploy smaller lineups without giving up an edge around the rim. His offensive game is a work in progress, and his ball skills and shooting are currently subpar, but he’s shown flashes of passing ability and has an overall good sense of himself as a player. According to league sources, Washington also has strong interest in Precious Achiuwa, but his candidacy may depend on whether Okongwu is on the board.
10. Suns: Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 175 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
If the lottery goes roughly the way I have it here, there’s a chance Haliburton takes a minor fall into the 9-11 range. Phoenix had been tied heavily to Kira Lewis at this spot, but the acquisition of Chris Paul and subsequent push for playoff relevance might change how they approach this pick. In this case, Haliburton is simply the best player available, and a solid fit with his size and ability to play both guard spots. The Suns should be positioned to grab whoever falls, and have also been tied to wings at this spot, with Isaac Okoro potentially in play. Haliburton’s basketball IQ, intangibles, intuitive passing and ability to space the floor are all strong selling points, and if he can add more individual offense and improve his handle, he could be a steal if allowed to slip. He may not be a star-level player, but his presence could help others get there, and R.J. Barrett badly needs to play off another ball-handler who can handle decision-making pressure. He could come off the board earlier than this, but don’t expect him to fall much further.
11. Spurs: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
Height: 6′ 6″ | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Freshman
The Spurs appear to be angling to move up in the draft, and are open to moving veteran players and turning the roster even younger. LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan are thought to be available. A potential swap with Golden State involving Aldridge, Andrew Wiggins and an exchange of lottery picks might be something that interests San Antonio, who are focused on cultivating their talent, not contending in the near future. It appears Okoro has slipped a bit in recent weeks, primarily as a result of Patrick Williams’ ascent within the lottery. But it would be surprising to see him fall too far. His shooting remains a real questionmark, but Okoro is one of the top on-ball defenders in the draft, with impressive strength and balance that allow him to stay with a variety of players on the perimeter. He’s a good passer with above-average feel on the perimeter. The Spurs can work with a player like that. Saddiq Bey is also in play here.
12. Kings: Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova
Height: 6′ 8″ | Weight: 215 | Age: 21 | Sophomore
There’s been minimal buzz surrounding Sacramento leading into Monte McNair’s first draft at the helm, and while the Kings will strongly value analytics, it won’t be the only factor in their decision. After acquiring Donte DiVincenzo from the Bucks, it would make more sense for the Kings to look at a wing or a big here. Bey is a strong fit, as a versatile, no-frills forward who can space the floor and play off their young guards. His range starts with Phoenix at No. 10, and it appears his range is squarely in the late lottery given the widespread need for versatile forwards in his mold. Bey is a bit older and is not dynamic or creative playing off the dribble, but he’s reliable, and teams by-and-large trust Villanova products to hold up their end of the bargain. His size and shooting ability adds some upside.
13. Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 160 | Age: 19 | Sophomore
New Orleans made waves Monday night in sending Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee, reportedly picking up the 24th pick as part of that deal, in addition to obtaining most of the Bucks’ future draft capital, beginning in 2024. Rival teams seem to think the Pelicans would like a wing here, but in this situation, they’re all off the board, and Lewis would appear to be the best prospect available. The acquisitions of George Hill and Eric Bledsoe might muddle the backcourt situation a bit, but Lewis could use some seasoning and would be a nice developmental piece. His blazing speed, shooting and playmaking potential have earned him looks inside the Top 10, and his range ends with Orlando at No. 15.
14. Celtics (from Grizzlies): Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis
Height: 6′ 8″ | Weight: 235 | Age: 21 | Freshman
There are all types of rumors circulating involving Boston, including the possibility of a move into the early-to-mid lottery, as well as a potential Gordon Hayward trade with the Hawks. As of Tuesday, there was talk they were targeting Onyeka Okongwu. They obviously have to do something. But it may not mean trading this selection. Boston does need to upgrade the frontcourt, and Achiuwa would be a strong fit in a simplified role sprinting the floor and providing energy. Achiuwa is an older prospect, and there are persistent questions surrounding his feel, but he plays hard and showed an improved willingness to do the dirty work in his time at Memphis. Teams tend to view him as a long-term center with skill potential rather than as a true stretch forward, but Achiuwa is also a decent shooter and has a good athletic profile for that type of role. I’m told he’s receiving serious looks as high as Washington at No. 9.
15. Magic: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Freshman
There’s some talk the Magic may want to move up in the draft, but by staying put, they can pick from a number of solid guards and wings on the board at this spot. They’ve lacked a dynamic backcourt scorer for some time, and Maxey would be a nice match, with potential to evolve into a quality two-way contributor. Although he’ll need to move the ball more consistently, Maxey has a utilitarian style, plays with confidence, and has solid defensive potential with his body type and toughness. If his jump shot improves, his ceiling is as high as anyone’s in this range. Don’t expect him to fall too far out of the lottery.
16. Rockets (via Blazers): RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 190 | Age: 19
Houston acquired this pick along with a protected 2021 first-rounder from Portland in the Robert Covington-Trevor Ariza deal, and is set to pick in the first round for the first time since 2015. Don’t be surprised if they decide to trade it, whether moving back in the draft or otherwise. The Rockets are a bit of a wild card in this range now, but given the possibility of James Harden and/or Russell Westbrook being traded, it would behoove them to simply take the best prospect and figure it out later. Teams are all over the board on Hampton, but his size and athletic profile set him apart from the other guards in his range, and a situation where he doesn’t have to play as a primary ballhandler right away should be good for his development. If he shoots more consistently, he has a chance to produce solid value outside the lottery.
17. Timberwolves (from Nets): Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
Height: 6‘ 9“ | Weight: 200 | Age: 19
In addition to No. 1, Minnesota has this pick and No. 33, with No. 17 thought to be available in trades as the Wolves maneuver around. McDaniels is one of the draft’s more intriguing wild cards, with a range that starts in the mid-teens and ends in the 20s. Although he had a tough year in college, teams seem prepared to give him a pass, as his offensive skill level and shot-blocking ability are intriguing selling points, particularly once he adds more weight to his frame. He’s a difficult play for many teams to place right now, but players with his type of skill framework usually don’t fall too far.
18. Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, F, Olympiacos (Serbia)
Height: 7′ 0″ | Weight: 200 | Age: 18
Don’t be surprised if a different team ends up making this pick – as I’ve previously reported, Dallas has made it very available and is seeking a veteran rotation upgrade. But in the past couple days, the Pokusevski chatter has revolved around the Mavericks and Nets, in addition to the Thunder, who have had serious interest for months, but would need to trade up to land him. They would likely need to get into this range of the draft to do it. The Mavs are more than comfortable drafting international talent, and if they don’t move this pick, they could grab him here. Pokusevski is likely a couple years away from making serious contributions, and there are concerns about his frail body type, but the upside, with his height and impressive ball skills, makes him a worthy gamble. I’ve consistently heard he intends to be on a roster next season, rather than return overseas to develop, which should have some impact on his suitors.
19. Nets (from 76ers): Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 170 | Age: 20 | Freshman
Brooklyn is looking to contend immediately and appears open to making a major move, having been linked to James Harden and Jrue Holiday. The thought around the NBA is that if Brooklyn doesn’t trade this pick, they plan to draft a player for the future, aiming to develop a high-level contributor for down the line rather than force-feed minutes to a rookie. Terry would be a strong fit here as a high-level shooter who could massively benefit from the tutelage of Steve Nash, and eventually grow into a full-time point guard. Right now, he’s better-suited as a floor-spacing, playmaking combo, but Terry’s upside is significant if he can become a more dynamic player off the dribble. As things stand, his range begins in the late teens and runs into the mid-20s.
20. Heat: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Height: 6′ 9″ | Weight: 245 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Stewart checks all the key boxes for Miami, as a tough, bruising, defensive-minded big who would be a long-term philosophical match with the Heat program. He’s made strides as a jump shooter and is viewed by some scouts as one of the safer bets in the draft, particularly amongst the available bigs. His elite length should effectively compensate for his lack of height, and he’s sneakily a pretty good athlete, particularly for a player his size. His willingness to do the dirty work is a strong selling point, and Stewart is vying for draft position in a group of bigs that includes Jalen Smith, Vernon Carey and Zeke Nnaji. He’s arguably the most well-rounded prospect of that bunch, and arguably comes with the fewest questions attached. Expect him to come off the board in the 20s.
21. 76ers (from Thunder): Aaron Nesmith, G/F, Vanderbilt
Height: 6′ 6″ | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
Multiple league sources have indicated a level of concern about the status of Nesmith’s injured foot, which ended his season at Vanderbilt. It’s unclear how far that may cause him to fall in the draft, and as with any injury, different teams will have different levels of comfort with the situation. His range does begin in the late lottery, and there figures to be a backstop somewhere in the 20s at worst. Nesmith’s pure jump shot provides a relatively safe floor, as well as an intriguing ceiling in a league where tall shooters are thriving. He has a chance to be one of the better marksmen in the league in a best-case scenario, and has enough of a complementary skillset to be more than a pure specialist.
Noting Daryl Morey’s long-held preference for not actually making first-round picks, plus the organizational urgency to compete for a title, keep in mind this is a pick the Sixers may well decide to trade.
22. Nuggets (from Rockets): Jalen Smith, C, Maryland
Height: 6′ 10″ | Weight: 225 | Age: 20
The Nuggets need depth up front, with Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee hitting free agency and Bol Bol better suited to play as a stretch forward than a center. Smith’s ability to space the floor would give Denver a valuable dimension in the frontcourt, and his shot-blocking skills and limited mobility can be maximized and covered for in their scheme, where he’d presumably spell Nikola Jokic and occasionally share the floor. He could feasibly land as high as the late teens, but much of that will depend on trades. This would be a sensible landing spot for Smith, and he’s unlikely to fall much further.
23. Knicks (from Jazz): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
Height: 6‘ 6“ | Weight: 210 | Age: 20
The Knicks combined the 23rd and 38th picks to move up into this spot on Wednesday morning, and are expected to dangle this as a chip in a potential trade up from No. 8. There’s been thought that they were targeting a big at No. 27—keep an eye on Isaiah Stewart here—but this figures to be a best-available situation, and in this scenario Green falls to them. Green has a wide range, but teams are comfortable with him in this part of the draft, and appears he will end up somewhere in the 20s. His athletic profile has long been tantalizing for scouts, but his inconsistent shooting and need for skill development have been holdups. His potential on the defensive side is significant, and with the high demand for two-way wings, he’ll be an interesting development piece somewhere.
24. Pelicans (from Pacers): Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 175 | Age: 19
New Orleans has reportedly acquired this pick (originally Indiana’s) from Milwaukee as part of the Jrue Holiday return. The Pelicans have a crowded roster situation at the moment and will also pick in the second round, but their rookies may not need to play much next season, so they should have some flexibility to take the player they like best here, barring another trade. Maledon has a bit of a wide range beginning in the late teens, but appears to be safely in the first round as a player with above-average international pedigree for his age and strong intangibles. He was viewed as a potential lottery pick coming into the year and presents a nice buy-low opportunity for interested teams, following an up-and-down year in France. His size, speed and ability to play on and off the ball create some upside.
25. Thunder (from Nuggets): Leandro Bolmaro, G, Barcelona (Argentina)
Height: 6′ 7″ | Weight: 200 | Age: 20
Oklahoma City could look to use these late first-round picks for other means and has been strongly linked to a pursuit of Aleksej Pokusevski, who is not expected to be available at No. 25. If they stay put, they can go a number of directions. Bolmaro’s stock is slightly tricky to peg right now, as he hasn’t been a consistent standout in early action with Barcelona’s senior team and also hasn’t received regular playing time. Noting that Bolmaro is generally considered to be the top available prospect willing to remain overseas, which will likely prevent him from falling too far. His size and natural playmaking skills create some real intrigue, but he has more to prove moving forward and will have to clean up his game before becoming a positive contributor in the NBA.
26. Celtics: Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina
Height: 6′ 3″| Weight: 190 | Age: 20 | Freshman
According to league sources, Anthony interviewed with multiple teams picking outside the Top 20 over the past few days. His stock has slipped to the point where it’s unclear if he has a safe backstop in the first round, but it would still be a surprise if he fell much further than this. All things considered, this is an intriguing buy-low opportunity with Anthony. Highly-touted coming out of high school, his draft stock cratered after a tough year at North Carolina, and there are still a lot of questions surrounding his overall time in college. But he figures to be more effective in the NBA, with additional space and more talent around him. He’s gifted enough to succeed as a microwave scorer, with added upside if he can learn to live without the ball.
Rival teams expect the Celtics to find a way off of one or both of these picks in the late first round, so keep in mind that this may not be Boston picking here.
27. Jazz (from Clippers): Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
Height: 6′ 6″ | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Senior
Multiple league sources were linking the Jazz to Bane before they decided to trade back in the draft. Although it’s conceivable he’s already off the board here, this would seem to be a soft floor for him. Bane is widely seen as a reliable player who can help a team right away with his shooting and complementary skills. He’s done wonders for his stock ever since the season ended, performing well in interviews and entrenching himself as a first-round caliber prospect. Bane is older than most and not a high-end athlete, so the long-term ceiling may be limited. But he’s a more than viable option, particularly for a team like Utah looking to up the competitive ante and in search of more shooting.
28. Thunder (from Lakers): Malachi Flynn, PG, San Diego State
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 185 | Age: 22 | Junior
After acquiring this pick from the Lakers in a trade for Dennis Schröder, there’s some thought that Oklahoma City may decide to flip this pick again. If they stand pat, Flynn would be a strong addition to their collection of young talent . The buzz on him has been overwhelmingly positive over the past month , with teams increasingly sold on his intangibles and unconcerned with his lack of impressive measurables. Flynn is a tough-minded, well-rounded player who greatly impacted winning in his lone season at San Diego State, and appears to have risen ahead of many of the other point guards in this range of the draft.
29. Raptors: Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 195 | Age: 22 | Senior
With Fred Van Vleet an unrestricted free agent and Kyle Lowry turning 35 in March, the Raptors have to consider their long-term guard situation. Point guard depth is considered one of the strengths of this draft, and Winston should be a strong option at No. 29, with his wealth of college experience, playmaking savvy and shooting ability helping compensate for a subpar athletic profile. He’s the type of tough-minded, competitive player Toronto loves, and it won’t be surprising to see him sneak into the first round ahead of some of the other college point guards in this range. Winston’s immense on-court intelligence and feel for making decisions under pressure give him a chance to succeed long-term, in spite of his poor measurables.
30. Celtics (from Bucks): Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
Height: 6′ 10″ | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Freshman
It’s unclear if it will be Boston making this selection, but there has long been speculation they will select a big here. Many signs pointed to Xavier Tillman as the choice, but medical concerns may end up sending him into the second round. Per sources, Celtics have also shown interest in Carey, an unflashy but capable rebounder with floor-spacing potential and some untapped versatility as a pick-and-pop player. Carey dropped a significant amount of weight during the predraft process and I’m told is now in the 240-pound range, a development some are hoping will aid his defensive mobility and enable him to stay on the floor more consistently. Whether that lost strength will impact his post play is a different question, but Carey’s productivity at Duke and legit size give him a chance to end up in the first round.
31. Mavericks (from Warriors): Tre Jones, PG, Duke
32. Hornets (from Cavaliers): Zeke Nnaji, F/C, Arizona
33. Timberwolves: Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
34. 76ers (from Hawks): Isaiah Joe, SG, Arkansas
35. Kings (from Pistons): Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
36. 76ers (from Knicks): Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
37. Wizards (from Bulls): Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
38. Jazz (from Hornets): Payton Pritchard, PG, Oregon
39. Pelicans (from Wizards): Robert Woodard, F, Mississippi State
40. Grizzlies (from Suns): Xavier Tillman, C, Michigan State
41. Spurs: Jahmius Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
42. Pelicans: Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
43. Kings: Paul Reed, F/C, DePaul
44. Bulls (from Grizzlies): Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas
45. Magic: Cassius Stanley, SG, Duke
46. Blazers: Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
47. Celtics (from Nets): Grant Riller, G, Charleston
48. Warriors (from Mavericks): Skylar Mays, G, LSU
49. 76ers: Sam Merrill, SG, Utah State
50. Hawks (from Heat): Reggie Perry, F/C, Mississippi State
51. Warriors (from Jazz): Yam Madar, PG, Hapoel Tel Aviv
52. Kings (from Rockets): Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
53. Thunder: Josh Hall, SF, Moravian Prep
54. Pacers: Kaleb Wesson, C, Ohio State
55. Nets (from Nuggets): CJ Elleby, G/F, Washington State
56. Hornets (from Celtics): Nick Richards, C, Kentucky
57. Clippers: Mason Jones, SG, Arkansas
58. 76ers (from Lakers): Paul Eboua, F, Pesaro
59. Raptors: Marko Simonovic, C, Mega Bemax
60. Bucks: Nate Hinton, G/F, Houston