Who The First Round Picks Are And How They Fit

There were 30 basketball players drafted into the first round last night, here is who they are and how they fit onto their new team.

 

Markelle Fultz- 76ers

 

Fultz is a rare top pick who is surrounded by plenty of other talent. He won't have the pressure to develop into a star quickly and he really only needs to improve on defense. He fits very well with the current construct of the Philadelphia roster and should be the missing piece to The Process.

 

Lonzo Ball- Lakers

 

Ball lands in the perfect spot, especially after the D’Angelo Russell trade. Ball will be the lead guard on the Lakers. He's only projected limitations are his lateral quickness on defense and maybe his awkward shot form. If his shot doesn't need to be changed and he is an effective enough shooter from deep at the NBA level he might be the star of LA this season. If his shot doesn't translate then Ball becomes much easier to guard and he might bust.

 

Jayson Tatum- Celtics 

 

Tatum is probably the most polished scorer in the draft. The Celtics will likely ask him to be a scorer off the bench and carry some offensive load for a contender. Boston can afford to bring Tatum along slowly, but he should fit in right away with one of the best statistically reserve units in the league.

 

Josh Jackson- Suns

 

Jackson could have gone in the top 3 of the draft, but between team fits and refusing to workout with the Celtics the Suns get the talented and athletic swingman at pick 4. Jackson needs to make some simple tweaks to his shot form and develop consistency in his outside shooting. His handle could also use some tightening up at the NBA level, but he comes into a good situation playing with Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe. Jackson has tools to develop into a really good two-way player.

 

De’Aaron Fox- Kings

 

Fox will step in right away as Sacramento’s starting point guard. He's lightening quick, has a solid frame for his position and can defend other point guards right away. Fox’s best attribute on the offensive end is his ability to get into the lane and finish around the basket. He needs to improve his perimeter shooting, but he has already started working on his form and should develop nicely in time.

 

Jonathan Isaac- Magic 

 

Isaac has great size and skill for his height at 6’11”. He projects to be a good shooter and defender right away. If he can develop an all-around offensive game and fill out his frame he could turn into a special player. 

 

Lauri Markkanen- Bulls

 

Markkanen is the best stretch 4 entering the draft and it's good because Chicago needs shooting. At 7 feet tall Markkanen provides size and shooting. He will need to figure out how to play defense at the NBA level, but he should be a key piece toward the Chicago rebuild.

 

Frank Ntilkina- Knicks

 

Ntilkina is a project, but he helps defensively right away. He's a young player that doesn't really fit the typical mold of a point guard or a shooting guard. He can shoot from outside the paint, but has trouble finishing around the rim. The Knicks youth movement started with Porzingis and will continue with Ntilikina. While the dysfunction of the Knicks might lead fans to be upset with the pick, Ntilikina will be a good piece for the future in New York.

 

Dennis Smith Jr- Mavericks 

 

Dennis Smith Jr. is exactly what Dallas needed with the 9th pick. He's a score first point guard with highlight reel athletic ability. There are questions about his ability to defend multiple positions and his overall point guard polish will need work, but the Mavericks and their fans should be excited about a player that should make them better offensively right away.

 

Zach Collins- Trail Blazers

 

Collins is a good fit with the Blazers in their quest to build a versatile front court. He can shoot it a little and finish around the rim. He’ll have plenty of opportunities as a screen setter and read the defense that will be more focused on Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Collins will likely need to be an energy player off the bench to start his career.

 

Malik Monk- Hornets

 

Monk is a great athlete, but he doesn't have the physical tools to play the traditional shooting guard position in the NBA. He's a great shooter and has scoring instincts. Monk should learn how to navigate into open space using screens and losing his defender to create scoring opportunities. He is a good defender, but again lacks physical tools to defend the typical opposing shooting guard.

 

Luke Kennard- Pistons

 

Kennard has high role player potential and low star potential. He's a safe pick and should be a great shooter at the NBA level. He's not particularly athletic and doesn't really defend well, but he makes up in those areas with basketball IQ and poise. As long as Kennard is shooting effectively and stays in shape he should have a spot in the NBA.

 

Donovan Mitchell- Jazz

 

Mitchell plays a combo guard game. At 6’3” with a 6’10” wingspan and a strong 210 lbs frame he fits the NBA guard physical profile. He can score, but he's not quite polished as a playmaker for others. The Jazz may have a lot of ball handling opportunities for Mitchell if Hayward and Hill leave this summer so Mitchell’s NBA success may depend on his ability to develop as a point guard. 

 

Bam Adebayo- Heat

 

Miami is looking for depth at the center position with this pick. Adebayo will have to play behind Hassan Whiteside, which puts him in a good position to come along slowly and play against second unit bigs the Heat should hope Adebayo will eventually be better than. He is a project prospect, but has all the physical tools to be a strong center in the NBA.

 

Justin Jackson- Sacramento 

 

Jackson is an NBA ready player. He is a 3 and D guy that can guard multiple positions. He doesn't project to be an all-star, but he brings attributes to the table that are needed on winning teams.

 

Justin Patton- Timberwolves

 

Patton is the physical prospect you want at the center position. He has elite size and natural talent. He lacks all around basketball skill, but being the more traditional big man finishing around the rim and cleaning up rebounds is exactly what Minnesota needs with Nikola Pekovic retiring.

 

D.J. Wilson- Bucks 

 

Wilson had a strong March helping boost his stock. He's a talented finesse forward. He can shoot and handle the ball. With the Bucks he needs to be a knock down shooter and defend multiple positions. 

 

T.J. Leaf- Pacers

 

Leaf is a solid forward who can play well off the ball. He has a touch around the basket and projects to be a good midrange shooter. It will be the pick and roll/pop game that will define him as a player. 

 

John Collins- Hawks

 

Collins needs to work on his outside shooting and put on a little weight to defend bigger forwards and centers, but otherwise he is a steal of a pick for Atlanta. He was the most effective NBA prospect in the NCAA and is an elite athlete. With Paul Milsap potentially leaving Collins will have a chance to be a really good forward.

 

Harry Giles- Kings

 

Giles was the top rated player in his high school class, but had injury problems in his one year at Duke. The injury limited him athletically causing him to fall to 20. Giles enters a good situation with the Kings. A roster full of young talent means that Giles will have opportunities to develop on the NBA level. If he can be a physical and athletic big man while developing a midrange jumper he should be a solid player for Sacramento.

 

Terrance Ferguson- Thunder

 

Ferguson took a unique route to the NBA jumping from high school to Australia. He didn't put up great numbers in Australia, but showed his shooting potential and athletic ability. The Thunder would like to make Ferguson a 3 and D role player to put next to Russell Westbrook. If Ferguson can do that and maybe develop his slashing ability he can carve out a niche in the NBA.

 

Jarrett Allen- Nets

 

The Brooklyn Nets get a very talented player in Jarrett Allen at 22. Allen had ups and downs in his freshman year at Texas, but he has the physical tools to at least be a JaVale McGee type player. His best NBA skill at the moment is his pick and roll defense. If he can develop his all around offensive game he could be a monster.

 

OG Anunoby- Raptors

 

Anunoby fell into the Raptors’ lap. He's had knee issues that caused him to slip, but he's athletic and is a streaky shooter. If he can become a consistent 3-point shooter and stays healthy he should be one of the best 3 and D players out of this draft.

 

Tyler Lydon- Nuggets 

 

Lydon is a stretch 4 who compares to Chandler Parsons. If he can be a solid shooter and defend 3s and 4s then he should be a solid player. The Nuggets appear to be preparing for life after Danilo Gallinari and Lydon can slide right into it.

 

Anzejs Pasecniks- 76ers

 

Pasecniks comes into a loaded front court in Philadelphia, but with the chances of Jahlili Okafor maybe on the move via trade Pasecniks can be the new back up center. He's a big man who can play the pick and roll.

 

Caleb Swanigan- Trail Blazers

 

Swanigan was a great college player. He has NBA size, but needs to work on this athletic ability. He can rebound and that should translate to the NBA.

 

Kyle Kuzma- Nets 

 

Kuzma is a athletic jack of all trades small forward and a solid piece to the rebuild in Brooklyn. He'll need to learn how to play with D’Angelo and Jarrett Allen.

 

Tony Bradley- Lakers 

 

Bradley is a high motor big man. He isn't an elite athlete, but his size makes him a space eater. He should be a solid traditional big man to back up Brook Lopez.

 

Derrick White- Spurs

 

White has great size for his position as a lead guard. He has developed quickly over the past few years going from a D2 school to D1 to a first round pick. He is an average athlete who can stand to work on his explosiveness. He has quick feet to defend and can shoot.

 

Josh Hart- Lakers

 

The Lakers continue to add to their youth movement by adding depth at the shooting guard position. Hart is your prototype shooting guard and has role player potential. He’ll probably need to spend time in the G-League next year to develop his all around game.

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