1. New Orleans-Zion Williamson-PF-Duke-Got to love the randomness of the lottery, as Tankathon gives New Orleans the top pick, despite having a 6 percent chance to win selection No.! The Pelicans get their next franchise star in Zion Williamson, and sell Anthony Davis to the highest bidder. David Griffin knows how to handle stars and build around them as he did in Cleveland with LeBron James.
2. Phoenix-Ja Morant-PG-Murray St-Suns biggest need is point guard and Ja Morant is the best player available after Zion. Morant’s ability to drive into the lane and kick out to Devin Booker, or throw lobs to DeAndre Ayton will make the Suns, if not competitive right away, a lot more fun in the desert.
3. Cleveland-R.J. Barrett-G-Duke– R.J. Barrett is the last of the all-star potential players in the draft. I do question his fit with Collin Sexton as ball dominant guards, but you can’t pass talent if you are the Cavs.
4. Atlanta-Jarrett Culver-G/F-Texas Tech-Travis Schlenk is trying to create Warriors south in Atlanta, so in this spot, what better player than a Andre Iguodala comp in Jarrett Culver. He’s more of a slasher/scorer than shooter. Culver’s value to the Hawks would be on the defensive end, next to defensive deficient Trae Young and Kevin Huerter.
5. New York-De’Andre Hunter-F-Virginia-This pick is made assuming Kevin Durant and someone else goes to New York, so that takes the sting from not landing a top 3 pick. De’Andre Hunter, though, is a nice complement on defense to a team that wouldn’t need a star, or a project that wouldn’t play on a microwaved contender.