With that reality settling in, the buzz around this week's predraft combine here is that the Grizzlies are ripe for a move out of the No. 4 spot.
The 76ers get the Lakers' pick if it lands at No. 1 or Nos. ESPN's Pablo Torre, who has authored deep profiles of the the team and their team-building approach, served as the officiant. And the Suns had never picked first throughout the franchise's 50-year history. It seems like they want to try to turn that pick into something else.
Have yet to see a mock draft that doesn't have Gilgeous-Alexander going to the Clippers. After producing Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown the last two years for the Celtics, this year's ex-Nets pick landed where an improved Brooklyn team finished - at No. 8.
Jackson's presence along with extra ping pong balls finally delivered the top pick.
Was the Amway Center built on a Native American burial ground?
The Celtics should have another major draft pick in their future, after all. The same can be true for Marvin Bagley III. For now we'll leave him here because he's a good fit with Marc Gasol, but it's unclear if Memphis would go this direction or pursue someone who can help them win sooner.
On the defensive end, Ayton has the tools to be an impact player.
Maybe most importantly, he already has the size to be an National Basketball Association center, weighing in at 250 pounds during the season, and potentially more now. Drummond, only 24 now, is still developing, but has led the league in rebounding twice and was chosen for two All-Star teams. While odds say that there will eventually be a regression to the mean, betting on the Nuggets moving up is a sketchy proposition. "But you just take the results, and now it's time to work".
Still, despite not going back to North Texas with the mega prize they came here for, Finley saw the glass as half-full and the Mavs' potential of drafting a superior player with dynamic skills as something that's still in the cards.
To be clear, the executive said, Ayton has a higher overall ceiling than Drummond. Their guards were not great defensively. He has great anticipation of the ball and looks like he will be able to alter many shots around the rim. I think this speaks to who Ayton is as a player and his attitude when he steps on the court.
It's official. On June 21st the Phoenix Suns will have the first selection in the NBA Draft.
Mohamed Bamba (+1500) - 6'11, 225 - another big man that could hear his name being called up among the top 5 picks is Mohamed Bamba.
Marcus Smart has been on familiar ground, or maybe even a tad lower, shooting 34.1 percent through his first nine playoff games, including 21.4 percent from 3-point range. Then, in a year, he can replace Walker should the All-Star leave in free agency. He also frequently found himself in foul trouble, which is one of the reasons why many teams are scared off by him. No. 2 on the list this season was Udoka Azubuike, at 7-7.
Then, there's the cases of the Kings and the Atlanta Hawks.