As we approach Christmas, let’s look back at this year’s rookie class and redraft the lottery.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky PF/C #1)
Towns has immense potential on both sides of the floor. His defense is already starting to show up and his offense is not too far behind. While Porzingis has looked better at times, Towns’ potential outmatches that.
- Los Angeles Lakers: Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia PF #4)
Porzingis has really proved to be the steal of the draft. He is already playing well and still has a ton of growth to go. He has some wicked post moves and can even make the occasional 3. If he can put on some more mass, he can really be a force not to be reckoned with.
- Philadelphia 76ers: D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State PG #2)
The 76ers really need a point guard. Russell may have underperformed so far, but he was never supposed to be an instant impact. However, he is no project either. Since moving to the starting lineup due to a Jordan Clarkson injury, Russell has lived up to his hype. Against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Russell finished the game with 23 points and three assists. He followed that up with a 24 point, six-rebound, six-assist performance against the Spurs in which he hit five of his 10 3-pointers. When fit crosses need, you always splurge on the opportunity.
- New York Knicks: Jahlil Okafor (Duke C #3)
The offensive complement to Carmelo Anthony that the Knicks needed. The Knicks need help all over the floor and Big Jah has talent. With Robin Lopez to cover for his defensive woes, Okafor makes sense for the Knicks here.
- Orlando Magic: Justise Winslow (Duke SF #10)
One of the best defenders in the draft goes to the one of the teams that need the most help on defense. Orlando ranked 23rd in opponent points per game with just over 101. With Miami, Winslow’s offensive game has also starting to develop.
- Sacramento Kings: Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin PF/C #9)
Kaminsky is a versatile threat offensively and defensively. While he make not make the prettiest plays, he still makes the ones that count. Pairing him with DeMarcus Cousins would make a pretty difficult duo to deal with.
- Denver Nuggets: Stanley Johnson (Arizona SF #8)
The Nuggets have fallen into full rebuilding mode and have to take the best player available. Johnson’s combination of size and speed makes him a deadly force. He needs a year or two to develop further, but he will be worth the top pick.
- Detroit Pistons: Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky C #6)
After losing Greg Monroe, the Pistons are in need of a center. Stanley Johnson is a better fit for the team, but in this redraft he’s already gone. WCS won’t be eating any of Drummond’s minutes, but he will be working off of the bench in relief.
- Charlotte Hornets: Mario Hezonja (Spain SG/SF #5)
The Hornets need overall talent and take Hezonja, who has talent with potential to match. He has the ability to shoot along with athleticism. Hezonja would serve as a valuable six man until he develops into a starter.
- Miami Heat: Emmanuel Mudiay (Congo PG #7)
The Heat will forever need a point guard. Mario Chalmers never evolved into anything, which led to the team trading him away. Mudiay’s athleticism is an intangible that is difficult to develop. However, his shooting is poor and he needs to pull things together overall.
- Indiana Pacers: Devin Booker (SG Kentucky #13)
Booker is deadly from 3 point range and a great defender. He would play somewhat of a 2011-2012 Danny Granger role as a three point specialist alongside Paul George.
- Utah Jazz: Myles Turner (Texas C #11)
The Jazz’s main need is bench depth, which makes every position a position of need for them. While Turner would most likely never start over Rudy Gobert, he would be a valuable asset off of the bench and for the future.
- Phoenix Suns: Trey Lyles (Kentucky PF #12)
The Suns have a plethora of guards, but few serviceable forwards. Lyles would give the Suns more size and more talent.
- Oklahoma City Thunder: T.J. McConnell (Arizona PG undrafted)
All though he was undrafted, he has been quite the signing for the Sixers. McConnell would be a valuable bench asset and could possibly even move into that starting shooting guard spot that really has never been filled since Ray Allen left the franchise in 2008.