The Next Level with Jay Williams describes how Mohamed Bamba is in the 1 percent of big defenders who can cause havoc by hedging against guards. (1:33)
The 2018 NBA draft lottery order is set. The math played out in the Phoenix Suns‘ favor, as they won the No. 1 pick after having the best odds. The rest of the top three was full of surprises, however, as the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta jumped into the No. 2 and No. 3 slots, respectively, leapfrogging the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks.
Here’s everything you need to know.
The draft order
Who is your team most likely to take? ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony projects both rounds after the lottery results.
Get a full breakdown of each projected lottery prospects’ strengths, weaknesses, draft ranges, physical comps and more.
Reaction around the league
The Phoenix Suns were big winners of Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery, landing the No. 1 overall pick. The Suns will have their choice of center Deandre Ayton, who played at the nearby University of Arizona, and Slovenian star Luka Doncic — who played for new Phoenix coach Igor Kokoskov while winning last summer’s EuroBasket. The Sacramento Kings landed the second pick with the Atlanta Hawks picking third. The Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks, who entered the lottery with the second- and third-best odds, respectively, dropped to fourth and fifth.
Phoenix stands pat at #1. Big decision coming from them. Hearing Ayton is not a done deal there by any means. They’ve liked Doncic all year. Ayton is our favorite to go #1 right now, but there will be a process that needs to play out there.
Sacramento are the clear winners of the night. Ayton is a lock there if he’s there. Doncic is a guy they’ll have to look strongly at. Serbian GM Vlade Divac won’t have any issue recommending to pick a Slovenian with Serbian roots. Who’s making the pick though? Bagley is a compelling fit too.
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) May 16, 2018
– Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) May 16, 2018
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 16, 2018
Why I love the lottery, Part 8607.
Me to Josh Jackson: “Did you bring any lucky charms.”
Josh: “I’m wearing my lucky underwear.”
Me: “Should I even ask the follow up?”
Josh: “Probably not.”
– Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) May 15, 2018
The draft picks at stake
The 76ers got the Lakers’ pick at No. 10. Now Boston gets the better 2019 first-rounder between Sacramento and Philly, protected for No. 1. (If either pick lands at No. 1, it goes to the Sixers and the Celtics get the worse pick.)
The Clippers received the Pistons’ pick at No. 12, meaning that draft obligiation from the Blake Griffin trade is complete.
In a class dominated by big men, it’s the 6-foot-2 Oklahoma guard who has emerged as the rookie most likely to land a big sneaker endorsement.
“There’s a magic to certain players. There’s an ‘it factor’ that’s hard to quantify, and I believe he has that,” said Omar Wilkes, one of the Octagon agents representing Young. “He’s able to have that with his combination of passing, shooting, ball handling and charisma. There’s an effortless ease about him when he’s on the court.”
Luka Doncic is maybe the most accomplished Euro prospect ever and the most proven player in this draft class. But he still needs the right pieces around him to succeed. Which teams will help him reach his star potential?
The case for Memphis: Fit with Mike Conley + win-now timeline
The case for Phoenix: Relationship with new coach Igor Kokoskov + offensive fit with Devin Booker
The case for Dallas: Rick Carlisle’s system + veteran role players
The case for Atlanta: Fit with Taurean Prince + John Collins
The NBA draft combine begins on Wednesday, with most of the top prospects planning to attend. Here’s who made the cut, who didn’t and what it means.
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