The Phoenix Suns got a chance to exhale on Tuesday night, as this year’s oft-anticlimactic but ever-consequential draft lottery went down in Chicago for the first time. Phoenix capitalized on its 25% chance at No. 1, walking away with the top choice in hand and in control of the draft for the first time in franchise history.
There were larger frowns to be had in Memphis and Dallas, and a massive win for Sacramento, there were ping pong balls behind closed doors, and there was an awkwardly-staged shared Boston-Philly podium (which thankfully led to nothing surprising as the Celtics threatened to take the Sixers’ pick).
With the draft combine taking place the rest of this week and another month or so until the Suns are on the clock, the big painting is far from complete. To force that analogy a step further than necessary, at least we now have a frame. Below you‘ll find a fully updated mock draft, including all 60 selections.
As always, this mock draft serves to assess what the big picture looks like on a given day, whereas our Big Board serves as the Front Office’s own assessment of available talent. Below, you’ll find projections for all 60 picks, with the draft lottery set in order of odds. Last updated May 16.
Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona | Fr.
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19 | Last Mock: 1
Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 61.2% FG
The Suns entered with top odds and left with the top pick, putting them in the catbird’s seat and giving them a chance to draft a franchise center. Ayton, who’s already based locally in Phoenix, remains the frontrunner to go first. Ayton has elite physical traits, a developing inside-out skill set, and a superstar ceiling if all goes according to plan, and he’ll immediately be one of the most athletic centers in the league. Phoenix is developing a youthful roster and conveniently has a hole at center, where Ayton would be able to step in immediately. He needs to improve defensively, but has all the tools to be a quality rim protector. The Suns’ hiring of head coach Igor Kokoskov, who coached Luka Doncic and the Slovenian national team to gold at last year’s Eurobasket, will make this an intriguing choice, but Ayton’s long-term potential should seal the deal.
Kings: Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last: 2
Stats (all competitions): 14.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.5 APG
Sacramento was the night’s big winner, landing their highest draft choice since 1989 and leapfrogging to No. 2 with the seventh-best draft odds. They’ll have a chance at whoever the Suns pass on and would be extremely well-off with Doncic, who would pair with De’Aaron Fox to give the Kings two talented young shot-creators. Scouts rave about Doncic’s basketball aptitude, and his playmaking ability and remarkably advanced game for age 19 will enable him to succeed. The biggest knock on him is explosiveness, and given that, he’d actually benefit from being able to play off of Fox. He could be the glue that ties the Kings’ pieces together.
Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State | Fr.
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 3
Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG
The Hawks leapfrogged one spot to No. 3, which ironically comes after they lost a tiebreaker with the Mavericks for third-best odds. The move will likely give them their choice of big men. Atlanta already has John Collins in place as an athletic, rim-running big, and while this will be close between Jackson and Marvin Bagley, the former’s skill set is a better complement. Jackson is extremely young for his class, and while he’s not as offensively polished or ready for the NBA, he possesses a critical duality for modern bigs: he can step out and shoot from outside, while also defending in space and protecting the rim. Jackson needs to mature physically and mentally before he can become a mainstay, but has improved at a rapid rate over the last couple years. Atlanta has time to let him grow.
Grizzlies: Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last: 5
Stats: 21.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 61.4% FG
The lottery results hit Memphis the hardest, dropping them two spots in the draft sequence at a key juncture for the franchise following a down year. The Grizzlies will still be able to find a quality prospect here, and Bagley is the most attractive guy in this slot. He’s extremely productive as a rebounder, manufactures easy baskets and has enough of a skill level that he could eventually help stretch the floor as a four-man as he grows. He has major strides to make defensively and in expanding his offensive skill set, but does plenty of things well at this stage and should be able to help the Grizzlies with his energy. At his peak, he could be a nightly double-double without requiring heavy touches.
Mavericks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas| Fr.
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 4
Stats: 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.7 BPG
Dallas needs to fill a long-term void in its frontcourt, and despite dropping a couple of spots will still have an opportunity to do that with this selection. Bamba’s high-end defensive potential makes him a worthwhile player to invest resources in long-term. Much will be made of his 7’9” wingspan and 9’6” standing reach, and some think he’s agile enough to eventually defend in space. His offensive game is rudimentary, but his skill level continues to improve and he may be able to space the floor in time. Chief concerns from NBA teams have centered on his competitiveness, which he can help address during the pre-draft process. He should thrive in interviews and workouts.
Magic: Wendell Carter, C, Duke | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 19 | Last: 7
Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG
For the second year in a row the Magic will pick at No. 6, dropping a spot after the Kings’ lucky draw. Orlando will be looking for the best player on the board, and at this stage it’s Carter. The Duke big man was often overshadowed by Bagley, but isn’t far behind him as a player, viewed by many scouts as a bankable player who should be able to stick around the league for a long time as a quality starter. He brings a nice mix of talent and intangibles, with his main knocks being a lack of elite vertical lift. Carter has good size, great hands, rebounds the ball well and will be able to play inside-out. He presents both safety and upside here.
Bulls: Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 6
Stats (2016 U18 FIBA Americas): 15.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.4 APG
Porter’s health situation remains a bit cloudy, but his range will remain in the mid-to-late lottery provided his medicals check out passably. His ability to score the ball could be a long-term boost for Chicago, who successfully got more out of Kris Dunn at the point this season and have a greater need to fill on the wing. Much will hang on how Porter’s camp handles the predraft process, and it’s still not clear where he stands after missing almost the entire season following back surgery. Missouri may have rushed him back. Teams will have to take that into account, but Porter is the best long-term prospect on the board here based on talent.
Cavaliers: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Fr.
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 8
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 8.8 APG, 36.1% 3FG
Cleveland can nab a successor to Kyrie Irving in this spot, where both Trae Young and Collin Sexton may be available. Young’s high-end shooting ability and unique flair for the game give him some real upside despite a lack of standout physical traits. He’s slippery off the dribble and showed flashes of special talent early in the season, able to score from deep, initiate offense and find teammates off the drive. He should be a reasonable gamble for the Cavs, who could use another young perimeter scorer regardless of what LeBron James does in free agency.
Knicks: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Jr.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 9
Stats: 18.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 43% 3FG
The Knicks have a need on the wing, and should have a few players to pick from in this spot. Bridges is a pretty safe bet to become a useful defender and perimeter shooter. He’s a smooth athlete whose ability to space the floor and guard multiple positions makes him an easy theoretical fit in any lineup. Creating his own shot off the dribble is a weakness, but as a secondary scorer, Bridges has room to improve and give you enough everywhere else. He’s a safe bet for the lottery but may not have the upside of others in this range.
76ers: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | So.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 10
Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 36.4% 3FG
Philadelphia can breathe easy after keeping this pick away from Boston (it would have conveyed had it leapt to No. 2 or 3), and should be looking to complement their established core talent. Bridges may be an ideal fit for the Sixers, who play more of a fluid positional style with Ben Simmons at the point, and could use an athlete like him to help run the floor. While questions remain about how good of a shooter Bridges actually is and how much of a defensive plus he can become, he’s extremely athletic and has the makings of a utility-type combo forward. The four is probably his most natural spot, despite a lack of ideal positional size. Bridges could benefit from reimagining himself as a high-energy glue guy.
Hornets: Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Fr.
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 12
Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 34.1% 3FG
With Mitch Kupchak running the front office and James Borrego in place as head coach, the Hornets will chart their direction with personnel changes over the next couple months. Don’t expect this pick to produce a star who defines the franchise, but getting a building block in place, ideally on the wing, would be a boost. Knox is still figuring it out, but has a lot of appealing tools and should be able to impact games as a scorer as he matures physically and learns the game. Athletic players in his mold are in demand right now, and he offers an appealing blank slate as a combo forward.
Clippers: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama | Fr.
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 11
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 APG, 33.6% 3FG
The Clippers will pick back to back here as expected, with the Pistons’ pick conveying at No. 12 as part of the Blake Griffin deal. Los Angeles doesn’t have many long-term pieces on the roster and is trying to rebuild on the fly, with the fate of these two first-rounders pivotal to their hopes for the next few seasons and beyond. Though he comes with his warts, Sexton is a natural scorer who took over games in spurts for Alabama. He can be selfish at times and his shot selection has to improve, but whoever drafts him will hope he can grow into a lead-by-example type who can provide instant offense. Sexton is plenty talented and should be able to refine himself into a useful player, if not necessarily a star.
Clippers: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M | So.
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 13
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG
This looks like a potential soft landing spot for Williams, with DeAndre Jordan’s future up in the air and the Clippers’ roster needing an injection of young talent. Williams’s big-time athletic ability and natural fit into a rim-running role in the middle will be worth a gamble somewhere. Eyebrows were raised around the league at Williams’s decision to skip the draft combine, and given the pre-existing questions about his approach to the game, it seems like interviewing and testing could have been beneficial. It’s worth speculating he might have a promise somewhere, but it does seem early in the pre-draft process for that. He’s physically ready for the league and with the right level of nurture and growth could become a legitimate starter at center.
Nuggets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky | Fr.
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 15
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG
The Nuggets are facing some short-term pressure to get over the hump and into the playoffs, but there also may not be many immediate-help options worth reaching for at No. 14. This spot could be an opportunity for Denver to move down in the draft like last year. Thinking longer-term, Gilgeous-Alexander is an interesting fit with Denver given how well his game would complement both Jamal Murray and Gary Harris in the backcourt. He’s not ready for big minutes, but he also wouldn’t face pressure to be a full-time lead playmaker. Gilgeous-Alexander should become a nice utility player in time, able to help move the ball, provide a defensive presence and help space the floor as his shooting improves. He showed major improvement over the course of the season at Kentucky, and that capacity to adjust quickly and deal with adversity should play in his favor.
Wizards: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami | Fr.
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 17
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 2.0 APG, 34.6% 3FG
Washington will feel a cap crunch next season and brings back almost its entire rotation at cost, barring any major moves. There may not be much immediate help worth reaching for at this spot, and investing in the best talent available is the prudent choice. Walker was a mixed bag this season, but his explosiveness and ability to get to the rim should keep him from falling too far out of the lottery, if at all. The hope would be that he becomes a capable scorer and rotation piece in a couple of seasons.
Suns: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Jr.
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 21
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 43% 3FG
The Suns can help address their need for a lead ball-handler with Holiday, after going with Ayton at center. He’s viewed as a safe bet to become a quality contributor and could potentially outkick that prediction as an eventual starting-caliber player. His shooting ability, defensive toughness and overall moxie could make him a nice fit here with Elfrid Payton set to hit restricted free agency. Holiday doesn’t have star upside, but doesn’t have many holes in his game, either.
Bucks | Zhaire Smith, G/F, Texas Tech | Fr.
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last: 16
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 55.6% FG
Jabari Parker’s restricted free agency could create a tricky situation for the Bucks, and finding ways to keep putting versatile lineups around Giannis Antetokounmpo should be Milwaukee’s prerogative. The Bucks have been no stranger to big swings in the past, and Smith would qualify. One of the draft’s bigger home-run swings, he’s a jaw-dropping athlete without much of a résumé, nor much feel for creating his own offense on the perimeter. He certainly passes the eye test, and has gone from unknown prospect to a virtual lock somewhere in the first round. He could become a high-flying two-way contributor, or he could flame out quickly. Whoever drafts him will need to be patient.
Spurs: Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri | Fr.
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 26
Stats: 9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.7 BPG
The Spurs continue to get younger and are on uneven ground with the Kawhi Leonard situation, adding some importance to finding a quality player at this spot. Porter is a terrific passer and extremely advanced player for his age, and his skill set as a jump shooter, passer and shot-blocker fits nicely with what San Antonio tends to value in its big men. He’s the youngest player in the draft, and as he matures physically should be able to overcome concerns about his body and athleticism.
Hawks: Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy | HS Sr.
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last: 19
Stats (2017 UnderArmour Association): 15.3 PPG, 41.4% 3FG
After going big at No. 3, the Hawks can take a long-term flier here with Simons, who has a lot of tools to offer but will need a season or two (and potentially G League time) to get up to speed and let his body catch up. He’s a quick, bouncy athlete who could eventually become a quality backcourt scorer and starting-caliber player. He will make his case as a prospect while benefiting from a degree of mystery, and his camp will presumably schedule his team workouts carefully.
Timberwolves: Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State | Sr.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 20
Stats: 20.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.3 APG
With Jamal Crawford turning down his option for next season, Minnesota stands to add to its wing rotation here. An experienced, older prospect like Hutchison fits Tom Thibodeau’s ethos. He’s established his ability to play on or off the ball fits in well given the Wolves’ established roster of scorers. He may not have star upside and will have a bigger adjustment in store after dominating the Mountain West, but Hutchison’s overall skill improvement over the past couple years has put him on a definite upward trajectory. This makes a lot of sense as a destination.
Jazz: Dzanan Musa, SF, KK Cedevita
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last: 14
Stats (all competitions): 12.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 47.6% FG
Utah can go a number of directions here to complement Donovan Mitchell, and adding another perimeter threat for the long term is a sensible move at this slot. Musa is a natural scorer who’s still expanding out his skill set and brings a lot to the table. He’s advanced for a younger international prospect, and would eventually be a good addition to Utah’s core group. He may never give you much defensively, but could become a strong complementary threat.
Bulls: Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Fr.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 18
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG
The Bulls take the best available prospect in this scenario as their rebuild continues. Brown had a so-so season at Oregon, but has cut an interesting draft profile for the past couple years—his shooting has to improve, but his ability to handle the ball at his size and defend multiple positions makes him a first-round caliber talent. He may never become a big-time scorer, but he could give you a little of everything on the perimeter, and players like that have never been more valuable. Brown has the type of versatility worth experimenting with.
Pacers: Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati | Jr.
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20 | Last: 32
Stats: 13.0 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.3 SPG
The Pacers should have most of their key pieces returning next season and can add an element of toughness on the wing here with Evans. He shot 39% from three over the last two seasons at Cincinnati and is a solid contributor who should be able to slot onto someone’s bench. He can be too passive at times and has to continue improving defensively, but Indiana can fill a need here without placing too much pressure on him.
Trail Blazers: Bruce Brown, G, Miami | So.
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 27
Stats: 11.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.0 APG
A bigger, defensive-minded guard like Brown makes sense for the Blazers, who have very little cap wiggle as constituted and have to figure out how to maximize what they have. Brown is a combo who should be able to make some level of NBA impact despite a poor season at Miami. He’s a tough player who could evolve into a useful rotation piece if his three-point shooting can improve. He’ll turn 22 before the season, but his physical maturity could make him playable early on.
Lakers: Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette (La.) HS
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last: 22
Stats (2016–17 HS): 25.7 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.0 BPG
The Lakers could lose Brook Lopez in free agency, and look to find an eventual solution in the middle that fits their young pieces. Robinson has definite upside and may be worth a chance in this range. After his year away from basketball and the questionable series of decisions leading to his exit from Western Kentucky, the combine is a massive opportunity for Robinson to establish his value through interviews and testing (playing five-on-five would probably present an unnecessary risk). He has the ability to become a force as a rim-running, shot-blocking center, but teams will have to feel comfortable assuming the risk.
76ers: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 245 | Age: 19 | Last: 25
Stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG
After filling a need with Miles Bridges at No. 10 and also owning a pair of Top-40 second-rounders, Philadelphia can take a chance on talent here. Fernando’s impressive physical gifts, improving motor and room for growth make him an appealing prospect, and could he be groomed into an eventual backup for Joel Embiid and useful rotation player in his own right. He’s mobile, can rebound and may be able to add a consistent jumper. He’ll have a big opportunity at the combine this week.
Celtics: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Jr.
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 30
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.7 APG, 41.3% 3FG
The Celtics can go any number of directions here thanks to their roster depth. They may be priced out of keeping Marcus Smart this summer and Terry Rozier the next, and adding a guy like Brunson would be a prudent move for long-term backcourt depth. Brunson’s otherworldly feel for the game and shooting ability makes him one of the safest bets in the draft to have a long career. Boston has its stars in place and can focus on filling in the blanks.
Warriors: De'Anthony Melton, G, USC | So.
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 28
Stats (2016–17): 8.3 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.9 SPG
After missing the season due to fallout from the FBI’s investigation into college hoops, Melton is in the midst of an especially important predraft process. Golden State will aim to find another future role player at this spot, and Melton would add an extra degree of athleticism to the Warriors’ backcourt. A talented, instinctive defender, he needs to improve his jumper but could potentially play on and off the ball while handling a tough defensive assignment and taking pressure off the Warriors’ stars.
Nets: Jerome Robinson, G, Boston College | Jr.
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 23
Stats: 20.4 PPG, 3.4 APG, 41.9% 3FG
Robinson was the ACC’s top scoring guard, creates well off the dribble and can put the ball in the basket from all three levels. He plays with a nice degree of creativity off the bounce, and his intangibles and ability to play on and off the ball are appealing. He may have challenges defensively at the NBA level given he’s a bit smaller than listed, but should be able to evolve into a consistent role player who can spend time at either guard spot and provide punch from all three levels of the floor.
Hawks: Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | So.
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last: 29
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 35.9% 3FG
Alkins made the best of a tough situation at Arizona after breaking his foot in the preseason, setting him back a bit over the course of the year. As he gets into peak shape, his strong frame, explosiveness and motor should prove advantageous over the course of the pre-draft process and help him improve defensively. Alkins needs to shoot the ball more consistently, but with a good showing at the combine and in workouts is a solid candidate to help his own stock. Atlanta is in position to take a chance on his potential here.
31. Suns: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton | Jr.
32. Grizzlies: Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia | Sr.
33. Mavericks: Melvin Frazier, G/F, Tulane | Jr.
34. Hawks: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Jr.
35. Magic: Grayson Allen, G, Duke | Sr.
36. Knicks (via Bulls): Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan | Jr.
37. Kings: Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova | So.
38. Sixers (via Nets): Shake Milton, G, SMU | Jr.
39. Sixers (via Knicks): Elie Okobo, PG, Pau-Orthez
40. Nets (via Lakers): Chimezie Metu, PF, USC | Jr.
41. Magic (via Hornets): Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Fr.
42. Pistons: Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | So.
43. Nuggets (via Clippers): Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | So.
44. Wizards: Devonte Graham, PG, Kansas | Sr.
45. Nets (via Bucks): Rodions Kurucs, SF, FC Barcelona
46. Rockets (via Heat): Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech | So.
47. Lakers (via Nuggets): Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland | So.
48. Wolves: Tony Carr, G, Penn State | So.
49. Spurs: Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Fr.
50. Pacers: Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | So.
51. Pelicans: Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke | Fr.
52. Jazz: Caleb Martin, G/F, Nevada | Jr.
53. Thunder: P.J. Washington, F/C, Kentucky | Fr.
54. Mavericks (via Blazers): Omari Spellman, F/C, Villanova | Fr.
55. Hornets (via Cavs): Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Fr.
56. Sixers: Kenrich Williams, F, TCU | Sr.
57. Thunder (via Celtics): Devon Hall, SG, Virginia | Sr.
58. Nuggets (via Warriors): Isaac Bonga, G/F, Frankfurt
59. Suns (via Raptors): Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Capo D’Orlando
60. Sixers (via Rockets): Svi Mykhailiuk, G/F, Kansas | Sr.