All this could make Doncic, clearly the most productive, experienced and accomplished player in the draft, significantly more attractive, especially considering his outstanding fit on the roster. Ayton's fit looks questionable -- though his trade value can't be underestimated -- but Jackson and Marvin Bagley III are intriguing fits alongside Gasol, as bigger lineups have proved they can be effective in this year's playoffs just look at the Celtics. With Dirk Nowitzki turning 40 and committed to returning for what might be his final NBA season, the Mavericks may be straddling between giving the Hall of Famer a proper goodbye and fully committing to a necessary rebuild.
Either Ayton or Doncic would look great in a Mavericks uniform, but should Dallas stand pat or move down it will likely be picking between a quartet of big men in Jackson, Bagley, Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. While Jackson is likely the best two-way prospect in the draft, Bagley is an intriguing fit here as well considering his productivity and the potential of building a roster around his strengths and weaknesses.
It's hard to win in today's NBA without a defensive anchor, which is what gives Jackson the slight edge for now. The Hawks parting ways with Mike Budenholzer is another sign that their rebuilding process is still at an early stage, indicating that existing pieces and roster needs won't be as much of a consideration as it might be elsewhere in the lottery. The big-man trio of Jackson, Bagley and Bamba look like safe bets for heavy consideration depending on where this pick falls, but Trae Young can't be ruled out either.
Mohamed Bamba C Texas. Orlando's clogged salary cap limits flexibility in the immediate future, making team needs and roster fit a slightly more pressing issue.
With that said, their highly experienced front office was hired last summer on long-term deals and finally has a chance to shape the direction of the team with the help of a new head coach. There are pressing issues to be addressed in the backcourt, where long-term starter Elfrid Payton was shipped off at the trade deadline, and in the frontcourt, where there appears to be a glut of ill-fitting pieces signed to long-term contracts by the previous regime. Jumping into the top three would be immensely helpful in that process, but expect the Magic to take a long-term view regardless of where they end up.
Bamba has huge upside if they stand pat, while Carter would be the safe pick if they get bumped back and he also fits in nicely alongside their existing pieces. Young is certainly someone they'll need to look at as well. An encouraging season showed that Chicago might not be as far away as originally thought, likely pushing the Bulls outside of the top five in this draft but also indicating there are some pieces worth building around, specifically Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen.
Finding a bigger wing as well as a big man to pair with Markkanen seem to be the most immediate priorities. Moving into the top three would help that immensely considering how well the best prospects in this draft fit with the Chicago roster. Bamba and Carter look like the top big-man candidates, provided the Bulls don't move up, while Miles Bridges and Mikal Bridges are strong wing options. The Kings showed progress this season and appear to have some strong building blocks in place, particularly in the backcourt.
The strength of this draft is in the frontcourt, and the Kings will certainly look to take advantage of that depending on where they fall. Power forward is definitely a position of need, with incumbent starter Zach Randolph turning 37 this summer, and modernizing the way they play in terms of adding more shooting and playmaking will likely be a priority.
Porter -- and to a lesser extent Miles Bridges -- are two players to think about if the top-tier big men such as Carter and Bamba are off the board. Trae Young PG Oklahoma. Cleveland's sweep of Toronto and the renewed chemistry that appears to have been forged between LeBron James and the rest of the roster seems to bode well for their prospects of keeping the NBA's most dominant player. Continuing to stockpile young talent that the King is excited about certainly wouldn't hurt their pitch, and it just so happens that one of the most talented players in the draft could be sitting here at No.
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No team results found. Portland has much more experience: John Jenkins was drafted out of Vanderbilt in and played five years in the NBA before going to Spain, making him a dinosaur by Summer League standards. On the younger side of this roster, Zach Collins got significant playoff minutes in April and will be donning a mask after breaking his nose in practice this week.
The Legend of Zach pic. The man Collins collided with? Most intriguing might be No. Jake Layman, Gary Trent Jr. NBA free agency tracker. If there is any. Which there might not be. Mark Selig Mark Selig is a print and digital editor in the Sports department who occasionally writes features and blog items.
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