Mock Draft 1.0: If all goes according to plan . . .
BOSTON – In the coming hours, the Boston Celtics are looking forward to pulling off the ultimate daily double.
A victory tonight in Game 7 of their second-round series with the Washington Wizards would catapult the Celtics into the Eastern Conference finals to face the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And less than 24 hours later, they could also wind up with the No. 1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft courtesy of the 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets that, among other things, included Boston having the right to swap first-round picks with the Nets for the 2017 NBA Draft.
The lottery drawing will be Tuesday night with the Celtics, by way of Brooklyn finishing with the league’s worst record this season, having a 25 percent chance – better than any other team in the league – of winding up with the No. 1 overall pick.
If the ping-pong balls bounce according to how teams finished in the regular season, here’s a look at what the Celtics are likely to do with the No. 1 overall pick as well as the remaining 13 teams picking in the lottery.
1. BOSTON -- Markelle Fultz, G, Washington
The most explosive scorer in the draft, he is a dynamic scorer with great size (6-foot-4) and length (6-9 wingspan) to play both backcourt spots along with Isaiah Thomas.
2. PHOENIX – Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA
Has Jason Kidd-like vision on the floor, with an erratic but serviceable jumper. Can’t see him slipping outside of the top 3 in this draft.
3. L.A. LAKERS -- Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
The Lakers would love to move up and secure Ball, but adding the athletic Jackson to the mix isn’t too shabby for a consolation prize.
4. PHILADELPHIA -- Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
One of my favorites in this draft, can score in a lot of ways and with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and high basketball I.Q., has the potential to be an elite NBA defender as well.
5. ORLANDO -- De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Has John Wall-like speed with the ball, the 6-foot-4 lefty can be an effective scorer from a multitude of spots on the floor.
6. MINNESOTA -- Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
Will certainly need to get stronger at the NBA level, but his perimeter shooting and ability to run the floor makes him a sure-fire top-10 pick.
7. NEW YORK -- Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
One of the best shooters off the bounce, seems equally comfortable scoring on mid-range jumpers or from 3-point range.
8. SACRAMENTO -- Dennis Smith, PG, N.C. State
Has a killer first-step off the dribble, strong playmaker with a diverse skillset that includes playing well above the rim.
9. DALLAS -- Lauri Markkanen, PF/C, Arizona
Good pick-and-pop scorer who can be effective both inside and outside the paint which will surely draw some comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki.
10. SACRAMENTO -- Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga
High-energy player, gives the Kings added size in the frontcourt in addition to a promising scorer around the basket who has the potential to extend his range beyond the 3-point line.
11. CHARLOTTE -- Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
Has tremendous court vision and great size (6-5) for a point guard, gives the Hornets another athletic perimeter player who can help ignite their transition game.
12. DETROIT -- Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
A versatile defender, he doesn’t have great athleticism but more than makes up for it with his basketball smarts.
13. DENVER -- OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana
He has great strength, size and length. Anunoby will likely make his mark immediately as a high-level defender.
14. MIAMI -- Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
With a 7-foot-5 wingspan on his 235-pound, 6-10 frame, Allen has the potential to become an elite rebounder in the NBA. The big question with him now, and has been for a while now, is whether he plays with a high enough motor to come close to reaching his full potential.