Tag Archives: Los Angeles Clippers

What now? DraftNasty looks at the NBA free agency landscape after the draft

With the NBA Draft in the rear view mirror and the free agency period set to start at 6 p.m. on Sunday, DraftNasty's Troy Jefferson breaks down some of the compelling storylines and offers his best fits for the scenarios.

Where do the star players of the NBA Finals go next?

Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson are all free agents. Durant was the marquee name of the free agency period before he tore his achilles in the NBA Finals. However, the two-time Finals MVP is still a highly sought-after name and will receive a max contract from whoever signs him.  Kawhi Leonard was able to shift the balance of power away from the Western Conference  to the East when he joined the Raptors and won a championship this past season.  Klay Thompson is a five-time NBA All-Star and just barely missed out on the NBA supermax deal because he was not named to an All-NBA Roster.  To make matters worse, he tore his ACL in the NBA Finals and it remains to be seen how much time he will miss next season.  Each of these players are probably future Hall of Famers and will make whoever they sign with considerably better. Leonard and Thompson are both LA natives but I expect Thompson to stay in northern California.  Thompson plays his best when running off screens and setting picks for backcourt mate, Steph Curry, and their synergy is hard to replicate. Thompson was drafted by the Warriors and his skill-set is perfect for the Warriors free- flowing offensive attack.  Leonard could either return to the Raptors, which would put Toronto back in the driver's seat in the Eastern Conference, or he could return home to play in Los Angeles.  Both the Lakers and Clippers could offer him a max deal, so it will come down to a matter of preference for Leonard.  Doc Rivers has shown before that he can maximize star talent and the Raptors proved they could put a team together around Leonard.  I think the Raptors or the Clippers are the likely landing spots for Leonard. Durant could miss all of next year but he, too, has plenty of suitors. He could return to the Warriors or leave the Western Conference like Leonard did last year and join a weaker Eastern Conference. The Knicks and Nets have been linked to Durant. The Knicks would probably be a playoff team with a fully healthy Durant but does a guy who spent the last three seasons competing in the NBA Finals want to play the waiting game with a young core?  The Nets made drastic strides last season as a playoff team, but they still need a star. If they are able to sign Kyrie Irving and pair him with Durant, this would probably make them the team to beat in the East. 

Troy's predictions

Kawhi Leonard- L.A. Clippers

Kevin Durant- Brooklyn Nets

Klay Thompson- Golden State Warriors 

Does Brooklyn re-sign Russell or sign Kyrie?

As mentioned above, Kyrie Irving -a New Jersey native- has been linked to the Brooklyn Nets.  The Celtics enjoyed some success with Irving but could not make it to the NBA Finals and it seems their time together is over.  Brooklyn has the cap space for two max deals and have a need at point guard. They have a point guard in D'Angelo Russell, who made the All Star team this past season and could re-sign him.  Irving has had the better career to date though. I think Brooklyn would be better served signing Irving and trying to use that second max slot to sign another star player like Durant. However, Brooklyn could be in the same position as the Celtics if they strike out and can only bring in Irving, who would be the lead star.  In his past stints, Irving's teams have not flourished when he played the role as the "lead dog", see his early career in Cleveland and the last two years in Boston.

Troy's predictions

Kyrie Irving- Brooklyn Nets 

How do the Lakers fill out their roster?

The Lakers traded away three players including last year's first round draft pick, Mo Wagner, to the Wizards in order to free up enough space to sign another player to a max deal.  Right now, the Lakers are comprised of LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis as well as a few unproven youngsters.  General manager Rob Pelinka and the Los Angles Lakers could sign a player like Kawhi Leonard to a max contract and then fill out the roster with players on the veteran minimum or sign a  second tier star like Tobias Harris and then spread out the money to others that would make more than the veterans minimum. I actually think the best case scenario is for the Lakers to look to their past, they have a need at point guard and could bring back Russell. Russell saw his game rise to the next level last season and showed his ability to break down defenses and get to the rim. Signing Russell would allow James to play less at point guard and give the Lakers someone who could push the pace in transition. The Lakers ranked fourth in transition points per game last season and with what figures to be a roster of newcomers in 2019, Los Angeles needs as many easy buckets as they can muster. With the money they save by not using their max contract slot, the Lakers could also target free agents like J.J. Redick or Trevor Ariza, both sharpshooters and the type of players that have enjoyed success with James in the past. 

Troy's predictions

D'Angelo Russell as well as a few second tier free agents- Los Angeles Lakers

What does Dallas do with their cap space?

Dallas acquired former New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis in the middle of this past season and saw Luka Doncic take home the rookie of the year award. The duo will serve as the centerpieces for the Mavericks going forward in the post Dirk Nowitzki era and they have enough money to bring in a max player this offseason. The Mavericks have a clear need at point guard and I look for them to try luring a guy like Kemba Walker. First order of business will be resigning Porzingis, who is a restricted free agent. I don't see Porzingis leaving the Mavericks at all. However, I don't see Walker signing with Dallas because it isn't a great fit to have Doncic/Walker and Porzingis all on the floor together, there would be a natural overlap in the need for each player to have the ball. I do expect however for Dallas to target a true center because we've heard at times that Porzingis doesn't like playing the 5. Orlando's Nikola Vucevic is the name I expect to see sign with the Mavericks. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Mavericks target a defensive minded point guard like Patrick Beverly as well. 

Troy's predictions 

Nikola Vucevic and a starting point guard - Dallas Mavericks 

Who will play alongside of Harden in Houston in 2019-2020?

The Rockets have been on the door step of the NBA Finals the past few seasons but this is a crucial offseason for them. Houston could stick with their same roster from last season and try and take advantage of the Western Conference, which is in flux. The Lakers have star power but will need time to gel and the Warriors have stars but Durant is a free agent and so is Thompson and even if they keep both, they won't be ready by the start of next year. There are benefits in opting for continuity if you're the Rockets. However, the opposite argument could be made, Houston couldn't beat the banged up Warriors this season so why would anything change next season? If the Rockets want to bring in another max contract player like Jimmy Butler, they would probably have to trade center Clint Capela and Eric Gordon, to make the financials work. Butler would bring toughness and a defensive presence to the Rockets however I can't see him coexisting with Harden and Chris Paul, all three need the ball in their hands to be successful. Paul and Harden already have times where they look like they're taking plays off when the other is dribbling, Butler would only complicate matters. The best case scenario for brining in Butler would be getting rid of Paul and acquiring a spot up shooting point guard in the mold of former Heat point guard, Mario Chalmers. 

Troy's prediction

The Houston Rockets should keep the team as presently constructed

Where will Kemba end up?

If Durant, Thompson and Leonard are in the "first tier" of free agents, Walker is not far behind. The former UCONN point guard is a one man offensive weapon that has only missed six games over the past four seasons. Whoever signs Walker is getting someone that can score (averaged 25.6 points per game last season), lead and possesses rare durability. I think the Celtics, who will probably lose Irving to free agency are the team to watch. Unlike the Mavericks. Walker fits in a lot better from a scheme standpoint with the Celtics, who possess a plethora of wings like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Romeo Langford, who can not only mask his defensive decencies but don't need to handle the ball every possession. 

Troy's predictions

Kemba Walker- Boston Celtics 

2018 NBA Draft Recap (w/Trades, Notes)

2018 NBA Draft Trades/Transactions/Notes:

  • Atlanta sends the draft rights of the third overall pick, Luka Doncic, to the Dallas Mavericks for draft rights of the fifth overall pick (Trae Young) and a future draft pick (1st Round pick in 2019)
  • Charlotte agrees to trade the rights of the 11th overall pick, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, to the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights of the 12th overall pick, Miles Bridges, and two future second-round picks
  • Philadelphia trades the rights of 10th overall pick, Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns for the for the rights of the 16th overall pick, Zhaire Smith, and for the Suns 2021 first-round pick (via the Miami Heat)
  • Six of the top 16 draft picks were traded
  • Sacramento traded the 37th pick of the second round, Gary Trent, Jr., to Portland for two future second-round picks
  • Atlanta Hawks traded the draft rights of the 34th overall pick, Devonte Graham to the Charlotte Hornets for two future second-round picks
  • The Orlando Magic traded the rights of the 41st overall pick, Jarred Vanderbilt to the Denver Nuggets for the draft rights of the 43rd overall pick, Justin Jackson, and a future second-round pick
  • Philadelphia 76ers traded the draft rights of the 38th overall pick, Khyri Thomas, to the Detroit Pistons for two future second-round picks
Team 

Round,

Selection

 

Player Position, School ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1) Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton 7’1 250 

C-Arizona

The Pac-12 Player of the Year made subtle improvements to his frame over the last year and a half while increasing his level of quickness and rise off the floor. A solid free throw shooter with an adequate face-up jumper, Ayton’s back to the basket game is an added bonus.
1 (2)  

Sacramento Kings

Marvin Bagley III 6’11 234 PF-Duke If he can continue to expand his range, his offensive game may expand to new heights. He’s already a scrappy rebounder with quick hops. Bagley III will get to the free throw line but he has to improve when he gets there (62%). He set an ACC freshman record with 22 double-doubles.
1 (3)  

Atlanta Hawks (Traded to Dallas Mavericks)

Luka Doncic 6’8 230 

G-Real Madrid

Although he’s just 19 years old, Doncic averaged 16 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 4.3 APG for Real Madrid on his way to EuroLeague MVP honors in 2017-18. He will look to become just the second lottery international selection to make an All-Star team.
1 (4)  

Memphis Grizzlies

Jaren Jackson, Jr. 6’11 236 

PF-Michigan State

The Big Ten Freshman of the Year’s NBA bloodlines mesh with major shot blocking ability.   The conference’s Defensive Player of the Year shot over 40-percent from three-point range and led the Big Ten with three blocked shots per game. His ability to defend makes him an attractive option for a team that won just 22 games in 2017-18.
1 (5)  

Dallas Mavericks (traded to Atlanta Hawks)

Trae Young 6’1 178 

PG-Oklahoma

The Big 12 Freshman of the Year has range that extends from Oklahoma all the way to the Dirty South. Though he was not ranked as a consensus Top 20 player in the Class of 2017, he ended up leading the nation in scoring (27.4 PPG) and assists (8.7 APG). Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson predicted Doncic as an option.
1 (6)  

Orlando Magic

Mohamed Bamba 7’0 225 

C-Texas

The former Westtown HS (N.Y.) has gotten plenty of attention for his length, but he is an underrated rebounder with an expanding offensive skill-set. The second-team All-Big 12 selection has wiry strength and a high basketball IQ. He finished second in the nation with 3.7 blocks shots per game.
1 (7) Chicago Bulls Wendell Carter, Jr. 6’10 251 

PF-Duke

The Bulls hit home with All-Rookie selection Lauri Markkanen a year ago and this year went after a player who scored in double figures in 30 contests in 2017-18.   The second-team All-ACC performer has an array of moves around the basket and an instinctive rebounder (9.1).
1 (8)  

Cleveland Cavaliers

Collin 

Sexton

6’1 ½ 183 

PG-Alabama

The Cavaliers immediately increased its team speed with the selection of Sexton. He maintained a 4.0 GPA in school during his lone season on campus and had a knack for the big moment.
1 (9)  

New York Knicks

Kevin Knox 6’9 212 

SF-Kentucky

Knox’s toughness and natural scoring ability will provide a solid complement to Kristpas Porzingas. The first pick of the David Fizdale-era is solid in all facets of his game.
1 (10) 

Philadelphia 76ers (traded the rights of this pick to the Phoenix Suns for the 16th overall pick, Zhaire Smith and the Suns 2021 first-round pick)

Mikal Bridges 6’7 210 

SF-Villanova

The first of the four Wildcats expected to be drafted, Brigdes actually redshirted initially at Villanova. The 76ers needed another shooter with the possible departures of either J.J. Redick or Marco Belinelli, but instead acquired the rights to the Phoenix Suns 16th overall pick, Zhaire Smith. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson predicted Smith could end up with the 76ers.
1 (11)  

Charlotte Hornets (pick made for the Los Angeles Clippers)

Shai 

Gilgeous-

Alexander

6’6 180 

PG-Kentucky

The 2017-18 second-team All-SEC selection recorded the third most assists for a freshman in the history of Kentucky basketball. Blessed with the ability to defend three-to-four positions, he will increase the flexibility for Doc Rivers’ defensive unit. He shot 81.7-percent from the free throw line as a freshman.
1 (12)  

Los Angeles Clippers (pick made for the Charlotte Hornets)

Miles Bridges 6’6 220 

SF-Michigan

State

Despite being 6-foot-6, he still averaged seven rebounds per game in 2017-18. Why? He has a strong, burly frame. The former Big Ten Freshman of the Year is a true high riser.
1 (13)  

Los Angeles Clippers

Jerome 

Robinson

6’5 188 

SG-Boston College

Robinson becomes the first ever Eagles player to become a lottery selection and was a runner-up to Marvin Bagley III for ACC Player of the Year. He shot over 83% from the free throw line
1 (14) 

Denver Nuggets

Michael Porter, Jr. 6’10 211 

SF-Missouri

Porter, Jr. snuck into the final lottery selection and provides the wing depth that the Nuggets desperately need. Despite playing just three games for Missouri in 2017-18 due to back surgery, the former Gatorade Player of the Year has immense upside.
1 (15)  

Washington Wizards

Troy Brown 6’6 ¾ 208 

SF-Oregon

The Wizards are still in need of athletic big men, but they also needed someone who could matchup with opposing guards and forwards defensively. To that end, Brown fits the bill. His versatility included guard duties at the prep level.
1 (16) Phoenix Suns (traded this pick for to the Philadelphia 76ers and its 2021 1st round pick for the rights to the 76ers 10th overall pick Mikal Bridges-see below) Zhaire Smith 6’4 198 

G-F/Texas Tech

After securing Ayton with the first overall pick, the Suns turned their attention to another guard for depth with the possible departure of free agent Elfrid Payton.   This pick was made for the 76ers in a trade that sent their 10th overall pick to the Suns in exchange for Smith’s rights. Smith’s outstanding leaping ability (41 ½” VJ) and floor speed will add an explosive element to the 76ers backcourt. Bridges expands the Suns’ defensive versatility.
1 (17) Milwaukee Bucks Donte DiVincenzo 6’4 ½ 200 

SG-Villanova

The Bucks needed more scorers on the perimeter after finishing 13th in the NBA playoffs in three-pointers. DiVincenzo opened even more eyes at the NBA Combine after earning Most Outstanding Player honors in the 2018 NCAA Final Four. The Big East’s Six Man of the Year shot 40% from three-point range this past season.
1 (18)  

San Antonio Spurs

Lonnie Walker IV 6’4 196 

SG-Miami (Fla.)

Athletic shooting guards/wings were a possibility for the Spurs with the unenviable Kawhi Leonard situation. The team opted for a player who can play the two-guard or wing in Walker IV. He has to stay healthy and become more productive with the ball in his hands. His play strength is undeniable.
1 (19)  

Atlanta Hawks

Kevin Huerter 6’7 194 

SG-Maryland

Huerter led the Terrapins with 73 three-pointers in 2017-18. The shooting guard spot was a position the Hawks needed to target to go along with Kent Bazemore.
1 (20)  

Minnesota Timberwolves

Josh Okogie 6’4 ½ 210 SG-Georgia Tech The third-team All-ACC selection is a high-riser who averaged over 18 points per game for the Yellow Jackets. With Jerome Robinson off the board, Okogie was one of the better shooting guards still available for the Timberwolves.
1 (21) Utah Jazz Grayson Allen 6’4 ½ 198 

SG-Duke

The former Blue Devil fills a need for the team despite being somewhat of a surprise in this slot. He nearly put up 2,000 points in his career (1,996), but there are some questions about his ability to defend consistently. There are, however, few questions surrounding his competitiveness and athleticism.
1 (22) Chicago Bulls Chandler Hutchison 6’7 197 

SG-Boise State

We felt the MWC Player of the Year could have been a possibility for the Spurs, but we also felt that the Bulls needed a guard with both Zach LaVine and David Nwaba currently free agents.   Will Hutchison continue to expand his range?
1 (23) Indiana Pacers Aaron Holiday 6’1 187 

PG-UCLA

Blessed with NBA bloodlines (Brother, Jrue, plays for the New Orleans Pelicans and another brother, Justin, plays for the Chicago Bulls), this Holiday rarely took any days off for the Bruins. He led the Pac-12 in scoring in 2017-18 (20.3 PPG). The Pacers simply took the best player available at this stage of the draft.
1 (24)  

Portland Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons 6’3 183 

SG-United States

With Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton both free agents, guard depth was important for the Trail Blazers. The former IMG Academy standout moves well without the basketball and finishes in transition.
1 (25)  

Los Angeles Lakers

(from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017-18 trade that included Isaiah Thomas and Jordan Clarkson)

Moritz Wagner 6’11 241 

PF-Michigan

There are few questions regarding Wagner’s ability to stretch the floor as a shooter.   The former Wolverine has good vision, works as a rebounder and possesses above average ability to execute in pick-and-pop situations.
1 (26)  

Philadelphia 76ers

Landry Shamet 6’5” 188 

PG-Wichita State

We talked about Shamet’s ability to extend the defense in our Detroit Pistons team needs. Shamet, a combo-type, is insurance if the team loses either Redick or Belinelli in free agency.
1 (27) Boston Celtics Robert Williams III 6’10” 241 

C-Texas A&M

Williams III is one of the better shot blockers in the draft and he led the SEC in rebounding.   The team will look for him to be a rim-runner and lob specialist. It was a bit of a surprise he lasted until the end of the first round.
1 (28) Golden State Warriors Jacob Evans 6’5” 199 

SG-Cincinnati

The first-team All-AAC performer is a stout defender and underrated passer. The Warriors continue to add players who can guard multiple positions.
1 (29) Brooklyn Nets Dzanan Musa 6’9” 195 

SF-

Bosnia-

Herzegovina

Whether or not the team gets Charlotte C Dwight Howard in its proposed trade is still up for discussion. In the meantime, they needed a player capable of handling defensive responsibilities next to either Howard or Timofey Mozgov. Musa may not be a fit for those duties, but he averaged 12.4 PPG and was named the All-Adriatic League’s top prospect of the year.
1 (30) Atlanta Hawks Omari Spellman 6’9” 253 

PF-Villanova

While Spellman averaged just under 11 points per game for the Wildcats, he did shoot 43-percent from three-point range. Aside from his ability to shoot, he has enough bulk to compete as an offensive rebounder.
2nd Round      
2 (31) Phoenix Suns Elie Okobo 6’3” 180 

PG-France

The Suns didn’t get their backup guard early but they do get a player who has some similarities to the aforementioned Payton (a free agent). He has more shooting ability at this same stage of his development.
2 (32) Memphis Grizzlies Jevon Carter 6’1 ½” 196 

PG-West Virginia

Carter’s development as a scorer complements what may be the best defensive skill-set in the draft. He was twice named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and became just the fifth player in Division I history with 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals.
2 (33)  

Dallas Mavericks

Jalen Brunson 6’2 ¼” 198 

PG-Villanova

Although he shot 41-percent from three-point range in 2017-18, some of Brunson’s best work came on the low block. His foot speed is a question mark.
2 (34)  

Atlanta Hawks

Devonte Graham 6’1 ½” 188 

PG-Kansas

Graham has the ability to go either right or left off the dribble to get separation for his pull-up jumpers. The Hawks continue to add playmakers to compete in the backcourt.
2 (35)  

Orlando Magic

Melvin Frazier 6’6” 198 

SF-Tulane

The AAC’s Most Improved Player led the conference in steals (2.2 per gm). He put together an outstanding NBA Combine performance.
2 (36)  

New York Knicks

Mitchell Robinson 6’11” 215 

PF-United States

One of the nation’s top recruits in 2017, Robinson never played college basketball and elected to train for the draft.
2 (37)  

Sacramento Kings

Gary Trent, Jr. 6’5” 204 

SG-Duke

During the NBA Combine, Trent, Jr. excelled shooting from the top of the key and posted a 39 ½” max VJ. He was one of the Blue Devils most consistent shooters in 2017-18.
2 (38)  

Philadelphia 76ers

Khyri Thomas 6’3 ¾” 198 

SG-Creighton

Known for his defense, Thomas’ 6’10 ½” wingspan gives him plenty of flexibility when it comes to guarding multiple positions. He’s capable of winning of finishing in transition or off the catch-and-shoot on the wings.
2 (39)  

Philadelphia 76ers

Isaac Bonga 6’9 203 

SF-Germany

Although this pick may not provide immediate dividends, Bonga,has good flexibility and impressive court vision.
2 (40)  

Brooklyn Nets

Rodions Kurucs 6’10” 215 

F-Lativa

Kurucs, a member of the 2017-18 Latvian National Team, averaged just over 10 points and nearly 3 RPG for FC Barcelona in 2017-18. He has a game that translates to the type of stretch-fours seen in the NBA today. He will need to work on getting his shot off quicker.
2 (41) Orlando Magic Jarred 

Vanderbilt

6’9” 214 

SF-Kentucky

If not for a left foot injury, Vanderbilt –one of the top players in the Class of 2017- may have made a bigger impact for the Wildcats in 2017-18. Where he did flash was as a rebounder. He averaged 7.9 rebounds per game in 14 games for the team.
2 (42) Detroit Pistons Bruce 

Brown

6’5 194 

SG-Miami (Fla)

Yet another prospect affected by a foot injury in 2017-18, Brown was probably more impactful as a shooter during his freshman season.
2 (43)  

Denver Nuggets

Justin Jackson 6’6 ¾” 229 

SF-Maryland

Jackson was a possible target for the Houston Rockets in our Southwest Division Team Needs. The 6-foot-7 Jackson shot 43-percent from three-point range and contains a 7-foot-2-inch wingspan. He eventually ended up getting traded to the Orlando Magic for the draft rights to Jarred Vanderbilt.
2 (44) Washington Wizards Issuf Sanon 6’4 185 

PG-Ukraine

He’s dealt with minor injuries, but the 2018 Slovenian League Champion logged added minutes for the Petrol Olimpija team of the Premier A SKL league.
2 (45) Brooklyn Nets Hamidou Diallo 6’5 190 

SG-Kentucky

Diallo posted the highest max vertical at the 2018 NBA Combine (44 ½”). If he can develop as a shooter, he has some similarities to Houston Rockets G Gerald Green. Diallo shot just 62% from the free throw line this past season and just 43-percent from the field
2 (46)  

Houston Rockets

De’Anthony Melton 6’3 193 

SG-USC

During his lone season of action at USC (2016-17), he averaged 1.9 steals per game.   Despite shooting 71% from the stripe, he connected on just 28.4% of his three-point shots.
2 (47)  

Los Angeles Lakers

Sviatoslav 

Mykhailiuk

6’8 195 

SG-Kansas

Mykhailiuk shot 44.4% from three-point range for the Jayhawks in 2017-18 while averaging 14.6 points per game. The former Jayhawk has elite shooting abilities that Draftnasty's Troy Jefferson took notice of.
2 (48) 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Keita Bates-Diop 6’8” 223 

SF-Ohio State

Bates-Diop earned second-team All-American honors and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year.   Bates-Diop improved his scoring average by nearly 10 points from 2016-17.
2 (49) 

San Antonio Spurs

Chimezie Metu 6’11 215 

PF-USC

Metu has improved as a free throw shooter since he first arrived on campus. DraftNasty’s Jefferson felt Metu would be a fit for the Pelicans, but he’s going to a team in the division who can use his athleticism and length.
2 (50) 

Indiana Pacers

Alize Johnson 6’8 217 

PF-Missouri State

Johnson doesn’t have noteworthy length (6’8 ¾” wingspan) for his 217-pound frame, but he averaged a double-double (points, rebounds) in back-to-back seasons for the Bears.
2 (51) 

New Orleans Pelicans

Tony Carr 6’4 ½” 198 

SG-Penn State

The first-team All-Big Ten selection finished the season with four games of 30-plus points and shot 43.3% from three-point range. Carr’s 8’4” standing reach makes him bigger than his size would indicate.   He led the Nittany Lions to the 2018 NIT title.
2 (52) Utah Jazz Vincent Edwards 6’8 225 

SF-Purdue

A solid spot-up shooter, Edwards improved his scoring average in each of his four years on campus. An effiicent free throw shooter (82% career), he is also effective beyond the arc.
2 (53)  

Oklahoma City Thunder

Devon Hall 6’5 210 

SG-Virginia

Hall is by no means a high-riser, but he was satisfactory in non-stationary shooting drills at the 2018 NBA Combine. He was an 89% free throw shooter in 2017-18.
2 (54) Dallas Mavericks Shake Milton 6’5 ½ 207 

SG-SMU

In just over 36 minutes per game in 2017-18, Milton averaged 18 points per game. The 6’5 ½” Milton has nearly a 7-foot-1-inch wingspan and 8’3 ½” standing reach.
2 (55)  

Charlotte Hornets

Arnoldas Kulboka SF-Lithuania Despite averaging just over 8 points per game, he shot nearly 37-percent from three-point range. He will likely be a pick for the Hornets down the road
2 (56)  

Philadelphia 76ers

Ray Spalding 6’10 ¼ 215 

PF-Louisville

DraftNasty’s Jefferson projected that Spalding’s 7’6” wingspan would be a fit for the Portland Trail Blazers. Instead, the 76ers get a prospect that averaged 8.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for the Cardinals in 2017-18.
2 (57)  

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Hervey 6’7 211 

SF/PF-UT-Arlington

Hervey is yet another player that the Thunder project can improve as a shooter. He’s an underrated rebounder who Jefferson projected would be a possible target for another team in the Northwest Division (Denver Nuggets) as a small forward-type projection.
2 (58)  

Denver Nuggets

Thomas Welsh 7’0 245 

C-UCLA

Welsh, a career 80-percent free throw shooter, shot 40-percent from the three-point line as a senior while averaged 10.8 rebounds per game.
2 (59)  

Phoenix Suns

George 

King

6’6 220 

SF-Colorado

The second-team All-Pac-12 selection nearly hit 200 three-pointers in college (181) and perhaps more impressively 5.4 rebounds per game (career).
2 (60) Philadelphia 76ers Kostas 

Antetokounmpo

6’10 190 

SF-Dayton

The younger brother of the Greek Freak in Milwaukee didn’t log many minutes for Dayton, but he did aveaged over a block per game.   He’s still not a shooter (51.6% free throws), but he contains a 7’2 ¼” wingspan and 9’2” standing reach.

2018 NBA Draft Team Needs: Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers

Team needs:

Shooting Guard

The Lakers got their table-setting point guard in Lonzo Ball, who has the ability to spoon feed baskets for others but with Isaiah Thomas and Kentavious Caldwell Pope facing free agency, the team needs to add another off the ball scorer. If the Lakers want to add a cheaper piece via free agency in order to put money aside for a bigger free agent, Marco Belinelli is an option. Bellinelli fit in seamlessly for a young 76ers team after coming to Philadelphia midseason. If the Lakers use their 25th overall pick on a scorer, UCLA’s Aaron Holiday, who played with Lonzo in 2016, could provide depth behind Ball and play off the ball when he plays point guard.

Forward

The Lakers will be in the Paul George sweepstakes this offseason. Even if the Lakers sign George, they will still have enough money to offer Julius Randle a long-term contract. Randle is coming off his most efficient season, averaging 16 points (55-percent FGs) and eight rebounds per game. If LA chooses to add some depth along the frontcourt with its 25th overall pick, Kentucky’s Jarred Vanderbilt could be worth a shot. Vanderbilt is a left-handed power forward with good position versatility, athleticism and -at times- can’t help but remind you of a young Lamar Odom.

Cap space: -3 million, 103 million

Free agents: Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas, Julius Randle

Los Angeles Clippers

Team needs:

Power forward

The Clippers had a lot of young players step up despite losing Blake Griffin. Players like Sindarius Thornwell, Milos Teodosic and Tobias Harris can serve as the new faces in the rebuild around DeAndre Jordan. Los Angeles also has capable three-and-D players like Wesley Johnson and Sam Dekker under contract. However, the Clippers could stand to add an athletic power forward to spell Harris in small ball lineups. With the 12th and 13th picks, LA could go in a few different directions but Kentucky’s Kevin Knox fits the mold of a strong but athletic forward. The Clippers could bring in Knox with the 12th pick and use the 13th pick on the best available prospect, which could be anyone from Alabama’s point guard Collin Sexton to Missouri small forward Michael Porter Jr.

Cap space: -19 million, 119 million

Free agents: Avery Bradley, Montrezl Harrell

Golden State Warriors

Team needs:

Wing

If the Warriors showed one weakness it was when Andre Iguodala went down to injury.  Coupled with the earlier injury to fellow wing Patrick McCaw, Golden State needed another wing defender. The Warriors will bring back Kevin Durant but it remains to be seen what else they will be able to add in free agency.  If Golden State looks to the draft with their 28th overall pick, then SMU’s Shake Milton is a name to watch. Milton shot 43 percent from three-point range last season and owns a 6’11” wingspan.  Milton also averaged four assists and four rebounds per game. The former Mustang would be a welcome addition and could develop into a three-and-D prospect capable of defending multiple positions.

Cap space: -36 million, 136 million

Free agents: Kevin Durant, Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, Kevon Looney, JaVale McGee

Sacramento Kings

Team needs:

Wing

Justin Jackson is the only true small forward under contract. Sacramento has the second and 37th overall picks in the draft. If the Kings want to add a wing early in the draft, Luka Doncic from Slovenia would make sense. Doncic is a polished player and at 19 years old, he has not yet reached his ceiling.  However, if Sacramento wants to grab a big man and come back in the second round and add a wing player, Kansas’ Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a 6’8” sharpshooter.  He has shown before that he can play well alongside former Kansas Jayhawk and current Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason, Jr.

Big man

Willie Cauley-Stein, Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos have one year each remaining on their contracts.  Sacramento could look to add another big man who could play alongside Cauley-Stein, stretch the floor and play both the forward/center positions. With the second pick in the draft, Duke’s Marvin Bagley, Jr. would make sense. He has room to improve defensively but he could play beside Cauley-Stein and they could both help each other's deficiencies.

Cap space: 2 million, 98 million

Free agents: Vince Carter, Bruno Caboclo

Phoenix Suns

Team needs:

Center

Phoenix has the first and 16th picks in the first round.  Tyson Chandler is the only true center under contract and he will be 36 years old by the start of next season.  Arizona’s Deandre Ayton played right down the road and is the consensus best prospect in the draft.  Ayton is a 7-foot-1-inch,  250-pound 19-year old with an NBA-ready body. Ayton averaged 20.1 points per game last season along with 11.6 rebounds.  He also possesses a decent jump shot to go along with a back to the basket game. With Ayton and young SG Devin Booker, Phoenix would have a strong foundation to build around.

Guard

Elfrid Payton turned in his best season last year, averaging 12 points per game, six rebounds and four assists. Payton also played 28 minutes per game last season, splitting minutes with a host of players (Troy Daniels, Tyler Ulis and Mike James). If the Suns choose to add a big man with the first pick, look for them to come back 15 picks later and try to address the depth in the backcourt.  Miami’s Lonnie Walker IV is 6’4” and has a 6’10” wingspan.  His size will give him some position versatility defensively at the next level.

Miami (Fla.) G Lonnie Walker IV (pictured for Team Final during the 2016 Nike EBYL Peach Jam) averaged 11.5 points per game for the Hurricanes in 2017-18 and shot nearly 35-percent from three-point range.

Coupled with his scoring potential (11.5 points per game), Walker could be an intriguing pick to log guard minutes behind Ulis and Booker next year.

Cap space: 7 million, 93 million

Free agents: Alex Len, Elfrid Payton

*The 2018-2019 NBA salary cap sits at $101 million and the luxury tax sits at $123 million.

Player stats are courtesy of ESPN.com.

Financial outlook is courtesy of Spotrac.com.

--- By: Troy Jefferson, DraftNasty Staff reports, Follow him @troy_jefferson on twitter.