The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Draft not lonely at the top

FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, University of California Los Angeles guard Lonzo Ball takes questions from the media after a closed Los Angeles Lakes pre-draft workout in El Segundo, Calif. Ball’s mental steadiness is one big reason he’s almost certain to be a top-three pick at the NBA Draft on Thursday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)


  1. Sacramento Kings: Zach Collins (PF/C, Gonzaga)

With the departure of DeMarcus Cousins last season and the waiving of Anthony Tolliver, Collins could be the man to fill the void in Sacramento. A good athlete for a 7-footer, Collins demonstrated his offensive versatility by doing a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs.

While there are aspects of his game he can improve on, Collins really showed up to play against good competition in the NCAA Tournament, which is important for his future at the next level.

  1. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith (PG, NC State)

With a draft loaded at point guard, Smith is often overlooked. The explosive prospect from North Carolina enters Dallas with the chance to start immediately.

With only JJ Barea, Yogi Ferrell, and Devin Harris at the point, nothing is set for the Mavericks.

Their situation involves numerous role players battling for a starting spot, something Smith should win. If his consistency improves, he could end up being one of the draft’s biggest steals at No. 9.

  1. New York Knicks: Malik Monk (SG, Kentucky)

While Courtney Lee brings solid defense to a dreadful Knicks team at the 2, Monk will bring offense, as he owns an explosive game on that end of the floor.

Monk has an exceptional jump shot that can get hot at any time, and if he can use his explosiveness and athleticism to help his slashing, he could be a phenomenal player in the Big Apple.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen (PF, Arizona)

With an excellent perimeter game, Markkanen gives the Timberwolves an excellent complement to Karl-Anthony Towns. The Finland native shot 42 percent from behind the 3-point line in his one season at Arizona.

By selecting Markkanen, Minnesota adds to a core of Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Towns. said that he “could be the best shooter in the draft regardless of position.”

  1. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac (SF/PF, Florida State)

It’s hard to find someone who can guard every position at nearly 6-11, but Jonathan Isaac can do just that.

His size and athleticism will help him on the inside, as well as in pulling down rebounds, while his speed and agility will benefit him defensively on the perimeter. He shows flashes as a jump shooter, knocking down 34.8 percent of his shots from long range.

  1. Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox (PG, Kentucky)

The Kings need help at point guard, and Fox can help immediately. His jump shot is not NBA-ready, but he possesses a knack for finding the open man.

He’s a solid slasher and can attack the rim with ease. Just like Smith, Fox falls under the radar as Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz dominate headlines (even though the Kentucky product dominated Ball, scoring 39 points in the Sweet 16). Fox’s defense is a key component of his game.

As far as point guards come, Fox is the best defensively.

  1. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke)

After his freshman season at Duke, it is apparent that Tatum has just about all the intangibles a team could want in a draft prospect.

Standing at 6-8, he’s a good size for an NBA wing who has the skills and quickness to excel. He has worked on his ability to score from all over the floor, posting up on smaller opponents and improving his once-weak 3-point game, which should help Phoenix from the start.

  1. Boston Celtics: Josh Jackson (SG/SF, Kanas)

Boston held the top pick but traded down with Philadelphia. Drawing comparisons to Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, Jackson’s athleticism, finishing ability, and basketball IQ boost his stock.

If he commanded a reliable jumper, he’d be drafted at No. 1. Jackson averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.

The Celtics could use a two-way player with Jackson’s skill set, he’ll be the best player available at the time of their selection.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball (PG, UCLA)

As one of the most electrifying players in the country last season, Ball did it all for the Bruins. Averaging 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.8 steal per game.

A legitimate triple-double threat, Ball has great size for an NBA point guard and has drawn many accurate comparisons to future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.

With the recent trade of D’Angelo Russell, it looks as if the Lakers could be making room for their point guard of the future.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markell Fultz (PG, Washington)

For Philly fans, trusting the process finally pays off.

Fultz has the potential to be a once-in-a-generation player with his shooting, size, ball handling, passing, and the ability to start right from the start. He dropped 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists last season.

Fultz is one of the safest picks in the draft, thanks to his well-rounded game. The 76ers starting rotation would feature Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, as well as Fultz, leaving fans salivating in anticipation for the season’s start.

More to Discover