Point Guard / 6-5 / University of Washington / Freshman
23.2 ppg, 5.9 apg
The Sixers were able to consummate the deal to land the top pick and add the player who fits their team better than any other in this draft. A "Big 3" nucleus consisting of Embiid, Simmons and Fultz should be a very good one for the Sixers to move forward with. They only gave up the Lakers pick next year, or Sacramento’s depending on whether LA wins the lottery again. Is Fultz a sure thing? No. But he has a chance to be a top-level closer and a dynamic scoring guard along the lines of Harden or Kyrie.
After moving D’Angelo Russell to the Nets for Lopez, a late first and cap space, the path is clear for the Lakers to make local product Lonzo Ball their point guard of the future. Ball has a rare ability to make those around him better and should do just that with returning players like Brandon Ingram, and Paul George, when and if he joins the team.
Sacramento is enamored with Fox and would pounce on him if he gets to them at 5. He would give Sacramento a new face to the franchise to build around, and some feel he could leapfrog everyone and become the best point guard from this draft class. The Kings are also said to be looking to move up to 3 using their 10th pick and other assets, targeting Josh Jackson, but that appears unlikely due to not having enough to offer.
Point Guard / 6-2 / North Carolina State / Freshman
18.1 ppg, 6.2 apg
It’s too early to call Kris Dunn a bust, but if he has another season like the past one, the team is likely to grow impatient. Smith is not universally loved, but his talent is undeniable. Reports that Minnesota targeted Jimmy Butler last year with the 5th pick lead to an interesting trade idea. Minny gives 7, Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio for Butler and 16.
The Knicks are said to be very high on the young French point guard, whose length and size would fit in well in the triangle. After finding success going the international route with Porzingis, the Knicks could look to add another piece from across the Atlantic.
The Magic may opt for a PG at 6, although we have them selecting Jonathan Isaac. If they indeed take Isaac (or Tatum) they could be looking for a PG at 25 making Jawun Evans or Frank Jackson possibilities. Evans, while undersized, has better scoring ability than current PG Elfrid Payton. Also helping Evans’ first round hopes is the fact that PGs value in today’s NBA seem to have been elevated. Plus after the big five (Fultz, Ball, Fox, Smith Ntilikina), there is a big drop off and teams looking for a PG outside the 10 picks aren’t left with many options.
The Spurs got a gem in last year’s draft at the same 29th position with Dejounte Murray miraculously falling to them. It’s unlikely that they will strike gold with the same level of talent this year. Jackson is rumored to have a promise in the first round. With a lot of uncertainty with Parker and Patty Mills, Jackson could provide some insurance behind Murray. Despite having foot surgery that kept him out of workouts, he’s expected back in July.