The draft order is in, and the Celtics are the prized winners. After a mind-numbingly silly trade by the Nets, the Celtics are now in primed position: they’re a contending team with cap space and a plethora of assets.
The Lakers and Sixers round out the top-three in the draft.
Here’s the first (ever) mock draft from Dual Threat Sports.
This mock draft is solely based on team needs and fits.
1. Boston Celtics – Markelle Fultz
Washington | Freshman | Guard
For the Celtics, they have to get with the best talent in the draft. Despite the low win totals at Washington, Fultz looked like every part of a star, averaging 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
Ironically, for the Celtics, he also fits exactly what they need. With Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas hitting the free agency next summer, they have to replace one of them. Fultz is a point guard, and he has the potential to take the Celtics further than IT can down the line. He also has the size to play alongside Thomas if they let Bradley walk.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball
UCLA | Freshman | Guard
The Lakers need someone that knows how to win. Now that Kobe Bryant is gone, it seems like no one has that drive to win. In his one year at UCLA, Lonzo Ball changed the entire culture there. Since Love and Westbrook left school, the Bruins just haven’t been an elite program. Ball fixed that for them, averaging 14.6 points, six rebounds and 7.6 assists and leading the Bruins to a 31-5 record.
With both D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson looking like shooting guards, the Lakers need a pass-first guard. Ball fits the bill as he just simply makes his teammates better.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Josh Jackson
Kansas | Freshman | Forward
The Sixers have so many different options here. They need a point guard, but De’Aaron Fox can’t shoot and Dennis Smith would be a reach here. They need shooting, but Malik Monk might be too high here too. It’s narrowed down to Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum.
In terms of talent, Jackson is the man. Tatum can be that scorer that Philly really needs, but Jackson can change the game in so many more ways. He’s a crazy athlete that has the potential to be a two-way menace at the next level. Slotting him alongside Simmons, Embiid and Saric can transform the Sixers into a force in the Post-LeBron era.
4. Phoenix Suns – Jayson Tatum
Duke | Freshman | Forward
The Suns need something on the wing. While Jackson is the ideal pick, Tatum isn’t a bad consolation prize. Jackson would simply this team with much-needed defense. However, Tatum’s scoring ability could be essential to this team’s success. A guy like Tatum could help unload some scoring pressure off Devin Booker.
5. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox
Kentucky | Freshman | Guard
The Kings need a culture change badly. You know it’s bad when agent don’t want players working out for this team.
De’Aaron Fox can be that guy. He’s an electric point guard who shows flashes of John Wall. In his matchup with Lonzo Ball, he showed how great he can be. His game would benefit this team, but his leadership will make him a great point guard for a very long time.
6. Orlando Magic – Malik Monk
Kentucky | Freshman | Guard
The Magic need a professional bucket-getter. Monk is the best scorer in this draft. After his 47-point outing against the eventual National Champs, he showed the world that he indeed gets buckets.
Orlando was in the bottom-five in the league in scoring, and no free agent this year can fix that. After a failed jumpstart to their rebuild last season, they should gear to the future once again. With Monk, you can’t go wrong either way. He could either be the next dynamic, big-time scorer of the league or another Jamal Crawford.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonathan Isaac
Florida State | Freshman | Forward
The Timberwolves have everything they need: an All-NBA center who could go down as one of the greats, two dynamic scorers on the wing and one of the best pass-first point guards in basketball. Where they lack: defense and power forward.
Jonathan Isaac seems like a Thibs-kind of guy: a player who could be a hard-nosed defender and guard all five positions. If his offense comes along with that, the Timberwolves could be a two-way juggernaut for the next decade-and-a-half.
8. New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina
France | 18 | Guard
Drafting an international player in the lottery seems like a total Knicks thing to do. It’s paid off before as two of their last three lottery picks were international players who have paned out in the league.
Ntilikina is a fascinating prospect for the Knicks. He has tremendous size for a point guard (6’5″ with a 7’0″ wingspan) and showed he can shoot the ball (42.9 percent). His two-way potential is fascinating as he has the size to guard both positions.
If he is like any of the Knicks’ international lottery picks, he’ll be more than fine. However, his success will be tied to the next guy on the board …
9. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Smith, Jr.
NC State | Freshman | Guard
Dennis Smith is an explosive point guard who can flat score the ball (18.1 points). His team’s record hurts his draft stock though. Despite the mediocrity of the rest of the team, he still dropped 6.2 dimes per game.
The Mavericks have Yogi Ferrell, but he seems better suited for a backup point guard role. If the Mavs could land Smith, they’ll have a dangerous quartet (Smith-Curry-Barnes-Noel) that gives them hope for a bright future.
10. Sacramento Kings – Justin Jackson
North Carolina | Junior | Forward
The first upperclassman!
This is another case where the Kings need to instill a culture change, and Jackson fits the bill. The Kings need a small forward who can do it all on the court as they’re stocked with bigs and have the “next Steph Curry” in Buddy Hield.
After leading North Carolina to a national championship and showing that he can indeed hit the 3-ball, he’s exactly what the Kings need: a wing who could stretch the floor and be a good locker-room presence.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Zach Collins
Gonzaga | Freshman | Center
The Hornets have a ton of big men, but none have the Collins’ upside. With his ability to guard multiple positions and stretch the floor, he’s the kind of big man that would thrive alongside Kemba Walker.
In addition, his shot-blocking (1.8 in 17.3 minutes per game) can give the Hornets much-needed rim protection.
12. Detroit Pistons – Lauri Markkanen
Arizona | Freshman | Forward/Center
People will generally compare him to Dirk or Porzingis because of his floor spacing and size. However, even if he could play like Ryan Anderson, the Pistons would benefit from this pick immensely.
The Pistons could finally land a big man to slot next to Andre Drummond.
13. Denver Nuggets – OG Anunoby
Indiana | Sophomore | Forward
Because of a season-ending knee injury, Anunoby can be draft anywhere in this draft. He can land in the lottery or be completely out of the first round.
The Nuggets can afford to take their time as they already have Wilson Chandler, Will Barton and Danilo Gallinari (free agent on player option). The Nuggets have plenty of offensive weapons, but Anunoby’s defense could make him an interesting piece to their puzzle.
14. Miami Heat – John Collins
Wake Forest |Sophomore| Forward
Without Chris Bosh, the Heat is depleted at the power forward position. Goodness, they almost made the playoff with LUKE BABBIT STARTING AT POWER FORWARD. HOW IS THAT HUMANLY POSSIBLE?
Ok, back to the draft. Collins can be an interesting prospect alongside Whiteside. With their success developing talent, Collins could be a key piece for the Heat.
15. Portland Trailblazers – Donovan Mitchell
Louisville | Sophomore | Guard
Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner inked big deals and were extremely disappointing. The Blazers need some guard play off the bench.
With Mitchell’s impressive measurements (6’5″ with a 6’10” wingspan, 40″ vertical) and an improved jumper, he’s the perfect guard behind Lillard and McCollum.
16. Chicago Bulls – Justin Patton
Creighton | Freshman | Center
The Bulls need to take a risk in this draft. They don’t have many intriguing prospects. Denzel Valentine can be something, but he’s 23 years old. Cameron Payne hasn’t shown much at all, thus far. Bobby Portis has flashed potential but is inconsistent.
Patton is the perfect boom-or-bust prospect. He has the size and mobility to be a beast in this league, but it’ll take some time for him to put it together.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Terrence Ferguson
Australia | 19 | Guard
Ferguson might be one of the best shooters in the draft – behind Luke Kennard. With the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, they desperately need to get some shooters around him.
The Bucks have had success with gambles recently. If Ferguson’s shooting can translate, they’ll have a nice piece in their second unit.
18. Indiana Pacers – TJ Leaf
UCLA | Freshman | Forward
The Pacers are paper thin in the frontcourt. Myles Turner can be a cornerstone. Thad Young and Al Jefferson aren’t long-term pieces. As Paul George appears to, mentally, be in LA, the Pacers need to look towards the future.
Leaf is a power forward that could fit perfectly alongside Myles Turner for the next decade. He’s a versatile forward who could score in so many ways on the court.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Ike Anigbogu
UCLA | Freshman | Center
Dwight Howard hasn’t done much for the Atlanta Hawks – in relation to his superstar days. With Millsap entering the free agency, the Hawks could be on a one-way train to a rebuild. In saying this, they need some projects.
Anigbogu wasn’t a prolific piece on the Ball-led UCLA team, but he has the tools to be another DeAndre Jordan.
20. Portland Trailblazers – Ivan Rabb
California | Sophomore | Forward
Rabb could’ve been a lottery pick last year but opted for another year in college. Now, he’s on the back-end of the first round.
He has more upside than any of the Blazers’ power forwards. He hasn’t showed many strengths, but his overall steadiness could be all Portland needs at that position.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Luke Kennard
Duke | Sophomore | Guard/Forward
The Thunder needs to surround Westbrook with shooters. If not, opponents will just clog the lanes and force them to shoot.
Kennard is probably the best shooter in this draft, but at Duke, he put his playmaking skills on display. He could end up being a key part of the second unit or even a starter alongside Westbrook.
22. Brooklyn Nets – Harry Giles
Duke | Freshman | Forward/Center
Since they lost their number one pick, the Nets have to gamble here. Look no further than Harry Giles.
Giles could’ve been a top-five pick if it weren’t for knee troubles. He has the tools to be a big-time player in the NBA, but his knees will determine if he’s just an energy, backup big man or a franchise cornerstone.
23. Toronto Raptors – Bam Adebayo
Kentucky | Freshman | Center
The Toronto Raptors desperately missed Bismack Biyombo’s rim protection in the postseason. Serge Ibaka was supposed to fill that role, but now he’s simply too expensive and not as valuable as before.
Adebayo could fill that rim protection role for the Raptors as they might look towards a new chapter.
24. Utah Jazz – Rodionas Kurucs
Latvia | 19 | Forward
With both Ingles and Hayward hitting the market, they need a young player on the wings.
Kurcus may be a draft-and-stash pick, but his versatility on the wing could make him a decent piece for the Jazz.
25. Orlando Magic – Jarrett Allen
Texas | Freshman | Center
The Magic desperately need rim protection from a player that has potential to actually produce on offense. Bismack Biyombo isn’t going to cut it.
Allen can fulfill that role, but he may be a project. The Magic can take this gamble for their rebuild.
26. Portland Trailblazers – Isaiah Hartenstein
Germany | 18 | Forward
This is the Blazers’ third first-round pick, so they can afford to use one of a draft-and-stash pick.
27. Brooklyn Nets – Hamidou Diallo
“Kentucky” | Freshman | Guard
Sean Marks is going to try for some dingers in this draft.
Diallo is this draft’s mystery man. He displayed his freakish athleticism at the combine, but can he put it all together? If he actually shows basketball skills, he’ll be a steal for the Nets.
28. Los Angeles Lakers – Tony Bradley
North Carolina | Freshman | Center
The Lakers need some sort of defensive. After taking Ball with the second pick, don’t be surprised if they take a defensive-minded player here.
Bradley’s potential as a rim protector and as Lonzo Ball’s alley-oop buddy could be intriguing at this point in the draft.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Jonathan Jeanne
France | 19 | Center
International big man who could be the next Rudy Gobert? Yes, please.
30. Utah Jazz – Tyler Lydon
Syracuse | Sophomore | Forward
Lydon may not be a starter in the NBA, but he could be a nice floor-spacing, second-string big man for the Utah Jazz.
Be on the lookout for more draft content on Dual Threat Sports.