Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery was uneventful.
The team with the worst record, the Minnesota Timberwolves, stayed in the No. 1 spot. No team made a major jump into the top three. The Los Angeles Lakers went from fourth to second, dropping the New York Knicks to fourth.
But at least now we know the completed order of the first round when the draft commences June 25. And that makes it mock-draft season.
My first swing at predicting the first round:
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1. Timberwolves: Kentucky forward-center Karl-Anthony Towns. Comment: The choice is between Towns and Duke center Jahlil Okafor. Towns is a better complement to Wolves center Nikola Pekovic, although Minnesota general manager Flip Saunders is a big fan of Okafor.
2. Lakers: Duke center Jahlil Okafor. Comment: The Lakers need just about everything. Okafor’s low-post scoring can take some pressure off the aging Kobe Bryant as he returns from yet another injury.
3. 76ers: Ohio State combo guard D’Angelo Russell. Comment: The Sixers devoted their last two lottery picks to big men Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. Russell can be a big-time scorer in the NBA, particularly in the up-tempo style coach Brett Brown has installed.
4. Knicks: Emmanuel Mudiay, point guard in the Chinese league. Comment: Mudiay chose to play professionally in China rather than do a season of college ball at Southern Methodist. At 6-5 he’s big for the position and a strong distributor. He needs a better jump shot.
5. Magic: Duke small forward/shooting guard Justise Winslow. Comment: Drafting Winslow provides some insurance should restricted free agent Tobias Harris receive a massive offer sheet this summer. Winslow should be ready to impact NBA games quickly.
6. Kings: Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis: Comment: He’s steadily moving up the draft ladder; a skilled stretch power forward who could create some spacing for DeMarcus Cousins’ low-post scoring.
7. Nuggets: Croatian shooting guard/small forward Mario Hezonja. Comment: A fine 3-point shooter with the quickness to get to the rim. His contract with Barcelona has a high buyout, so his availability to play in NBA next season could be an issue.
8. Pistons: Kentucky power forward Willie Cauley-Stein. Comment: The Pistons haven’t come to terms with Greg Monroe on a contract extension. Drafting Cauley-Stein offers some protection should Monroe leave this summer.
9. Hornets: Arizona small forward/shooting guard Stanley Johnson. Comment: He has 3-point range (the Hornets’ greatest weakness) and can drive with explosiveness. He declares himself the best player in this draft.
10. Heat: Texas center Myles Turner. Comment: Heat President Pat Riley loves to have centers in abundance. Turner and Gastonia’s Hassan Whiteside would allow Chris Bosh to play on the perimeter at power forward, where he’s most comfortable.
11. Pacers: Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker. Comment: Booker shot 41 percent from the college 3-point line. He’d be a good complement to small forward Paul George at the wing positions.
12. Jazz: Kentucky power forward Trey Lyles. Comment: He has an exceptional wingspan at 7-foot-3 and has good footwork for a player of his size. He shot just 14 percent from the college 3-point line so you are not getting a "stretch-4" type of shooter.
13. Suns: Wisconsin power forward Frank Kaminsky. Comment: Kaminsky is an offensively skilled big man who played all four seasons in college. He’ll have some struggles defensively at the NBA level.
14. Thunder: Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant. Comment: The Thunder likes big point guards. They lost one when they traded backup Reggie Jackson. At 6-5 Grant would fit the role as backup to Russell Westbrook.
15. Hawks: Arkansas power forward Bobby Portis. Comment: The Hawks have the depth not to draft for need. Portis is a good jump-shooter for a 6-11 player, and shooting is a prerequisite to playing for Mike Budenholzer.
16. Celtics: Wisconsin small forward Sam Dekker. Comment: Dekker’s NCAA Tournament boosted his draft stock. He was a somewhat inconsistent 3-point shooter in college. A very streaky player.
17. Bucks: Murray State point guard Cameron Payne. Comment: If this happens, Payne would be coached by one of the all-time best point guards in NBA history in Jason Kidd.
18. Rockets: Kansas small forward Kelly Oubre. Comment: Oubre’s body type is ideal for a small forward, as he’s 6-7 with a wingspan measured at 7-1. He’s quick enough to be an above-average defender. He’s a decent 3-point shooter (36 percent), but needs to work on his ball-handling.
19 Wizards: Duke point guard Tyus Jones: Comment: Jones won’t blow you away with his explosiveness, but he’s already a savvy distributor. He’d be a solid backup to John Wall on a team in win-now mode.
20. Raptors: Louisville power forward Montrezl Harrell. Comment: The Raptors are terrific offensively but very lacking defensively. Harrell could inject some energy into a team that doesn’t seem to value guarding hard.
21. Mavericks: Utah point guard Delon Wright. Comment: The Rajon Rondo experiment in Dallas was a spectacular failure. They need to start over at the point and Wright has size and potential.
22. Bulls: Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter. Comment: Chicago plays great defense, but needs more offensive options to advance deep into the playoffs.
23. Blazers: Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Comment: A wing player with a 7-foot wingspan is the ideal NBA body type. He has a knack for getting to the foul line (seven attempts per 40 minutes played.).
24. Cavaliers: UCLA power forward Kevon Looney. Comment: With Kevin Love recovering from shoulder surgery, adding to Cleveland’s depth at power forward seems like a logical move.
25. Grizzlies: Nevada-Las Vegas shooting guard Rashad Vaughn. Comment: Memphis has great low-post scoring in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Better 3-point shooting would help and Vaughn made 38 percent from the college 3-point line.
26. Spurs: Virginia small forward Justin Anderson. Comment: A smart kid who defends hard and makes 3-pointers; if that isn’t a Spur-to-be, not sure who is.
27. Lakers: Syracuse power forward Chris McCullough. Comment: He missed most of last season with a torn ACL, which pushed him down to late in the first round. But this guy has a lot of talent.
28. Celtics: Nevada-Las Vegas power forward Christian Wood. Comment: He averaged 15 points and nearly 10 rebounds last season. He needs to bulk up because for now he’s pretty frail by NBA standards.
29. Nets: Kansas power forward Cliff Alexander. Comment: He missed much of last season due to an NCAA eligibility issue. He has exceptional length (a 7-foot-3 wingspan).
30. Warriors: Washington center Robert Upshaw. Comment: He was dismissed from two college programs (Fresno State and Washington), which is why a 7-footer with NBA talent would last this long.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell