NBA DRAFT: Best pick for the team…..not player rankings

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First-Round Order

1. Minnesota – Jahlil Okafor – Pekovic already under contract through 2017-18 for $12 million and he’s serviceable as a traditional center (big, rebounder) grabbing 8 rebounds and pitching in 12+ points per game. Okafor can move well and score as a power forward while not having to guard the opponents best big man. (Karl-Anthony Towns, )
2. L.A. Lakers – Karl-Anthony Towns – Jordan Hill has been great and he’s been not-so-great.  Even at his best he’s not a true, back-to-the-basket center.  Towns could provide the offense and strength to throw twin towers at Western opponents.  (Justise Winslow, D’Angelo Russell)
3. Philadelphia – D’Angelo Russell – Sixers couldn’t score last year and were 24th in the league in assists.  Noel, Aldemir and, hopefully, Embiid can hold down the lane or Philly can pick up a big in FA……they only have  $30 million on the books for 15-16 right now. (Justise Winslow, Devin Booker)
4. New York – Willie Cauley-Stein – Carmelo is a basketball black hole so it’s best to surround him with defenders and passers who don’t need the ball to be productive.  WCS is a proven defender and hustler with passing skills and the quickness to run the floor and move on offense.  The Knicks could easily go point guard here as well. (Jerian Grant, Tyus Jones)
5. Orlando  – Mario Hezonja – Slasher who can take it to the rack.  New coach Scott Skiles needs more efficient and, well, just MORE scoring.  Other scorers are available, but Hezonja might be better fit for a team that already has an international feel.  (Trey Lyles, Devin Booker)
6. Sacramento – Bobby Portis – DeMarcus Cousins is the Dude in Sac-Town.  Portis can be a face up 4 to compliment Boogie’s physical style.  In a rotational role he could still post up and is an awesome passer for a big guy.  He was a great team guy at Arkansas.  (Guillermo Hernangomez, Cameron Payne)
7. Denver – R.J. Hunter – Yup….my sleeper pick.  Denver isn’t a great shooting team but Ty Lawson gets the ball to guys in positions to score and Hunter is a scorer, just needs some carbs.  This team rebounds well but isn’t exactly a grinding bunch.  Other direction could be a mobile big.  (Frank Kaminsky, Robert Upshaw)
8. Detroit – Justise Winslow – This is the kinda guy to pull defenses away from Greg Monroe and take some of the scoring load as well.  If they don’t re-sign Monroe then all bets are off and they’re looking for a cornerstone.  (Myles Turner, Frank Kaminsky)
9. Charlotte – Trey Lyles – The Hornets get little-to-no contribution from their power forwards and Lyles can contribute facing the basket as a one-two punch with Al Jefferson.  He should be back since I don’t see him getting a better payday in free agency.  Charlotte needs an efficient shooter, like yesterday! (Stanley Johnson, Kevon Looney)
10. Miami – Emmanuel Mudiay – I’m not as high on this guy as most, but he could really grow on this team.  They need a playmaker to allow Dragic to slide into the 2 spot for Wade to get his breath.  Mudiay wouldn’t need to lead right away.  (Jerian Grant, Kevon Looney)
11. Indiana – Frank Kaminsky – Pacers need a scoring big man.  They would prefer a back to the basket guy, but The Tank can open up the middle with his perimeter shooting.  Allows Hill, Stuckey and George to attack the basket.  (Devin Booker, Delon Wright)
12. Utah – Kristaps Porzingis – He’s a project and this team is young enough to hide a project until he’s ready.  Dude is a bean-pole but he can get bigger over a year or two while the rest of the team continues to gel.  Other options are PG and SG help.  (Devin Booker, Tyus Jones)
13. Phoenix – Myles Turner – The Suns can score but don’t play defense and the Morris twins don’t make good decisions on or off the court.  Turner is a shot blocker, rebounder (another Phoenix weakness) and he makes good shot decisions.  (Christian Wood, Robert Upshaw)
14. Oklahoma City – Jerian Grant –The Thunder need a defending PG who can shoot if necessary, but mainly there to help Russ get the ball up the court and pass it back to him when he loses his dribble.  OKC has solid rebounding and interior D so no need for a big.  (Tyus Jones, Terry Rozier)
15. Atlanta (From Brooklyn) – Robert Upshaw – The Hawks need a true center yesterday.  They were outrebounded all season and the Cavs looked like big brothers holding the ball above their heads in the playoffs.  Upshaw can score, but his physical presence will do more in the paint on defense than anything else.  (Christian Wood, Dakari Johnson)
16. Boston – Devon Booker – I think Booker is ready to score more than any other wing player in the draft and the Celtics could use his range.  They didn’t fare well from behind the arc last year and with aggressive guards they need someone to kick it to outside.  (Kelly Oubre Jr, Trey Lyles) 
17. Milwaukee – Cameron Payne – The Bucks need to solve their PG puzzle.  MCW and Knight tried, but both turn the ball over too much yet still lead the team in scoring.  Payne could add an outside threat while still distributing and keeping the offense moving.  (Tyus Jones, Terry Rozier)
18. Houston (From New Orleans) – Kevon Looney – The Rockets got out-hustled and out-nastied against Golden State.  Looney will grind inside and get his hands dirtier than Dwight Howard or Josh Smith ever would.  Perfect emotional fit with this mercurial squad.  (Montrezl Harrell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson)
19. Washington – Justin Anderson – John Wall and Bradley Beal carry this team with driving and streaky shooting.  Anderson is efficient from the arc and a strong rebounder and defender for his 6-6/228 frame.  Understands how to contribute without the ball, important on a Wall/Beal team.  (Sam Dekker, Kelly Oubre Jr)
20. Toronto – Kelly Oubre, Jr – Toronto also needs some interior defense, but Oubre is a slasher in the making and his athleticism is all upside.  The Raptors collection of power forwards could be bundled to trade for taller defense.  (Jordan Mickey, Dakari Johnson)
21. Dallas – Tyus Jones – Monta Ellis, Dirk and Chandler Parsons can put the ball in the basket.  The Mavs need to groom a point guard to get those guys the ball…..and it won’t be Rajon Rondo.  Barrea and Harris are getting long in the tooth and Raymond Felton hasn’t been the guy anywhere he’s played.  (Oliver Hanlan, Terry Rozier)
22. Chicago – Stanley Johnson – He’s a strong 3 who can grab a rebound or pop a three.  He’ll need some ball-handling work, but he could allow Butler to play less of a role on D to let him focus on scoring.  If Kaminsky is still on the board they might snatch him up to understudy Gasol.  (Frank Kaminsky, Pat Connaughton)
23. Portland – Christian Wood – He’s big, can block shots and rebound and will round into the interior scoring threat to balance Portland’s offense.  If LaMarcus Aldridge re-signs they could look for PG help for Lillard.  (Chris McCullough, Jarell Martin)
24. Cleveland – TJ McConnell – A point guard to back up LeBron and Kyrie could keep them off the IR and allow JR Smith to play off-ball more and spot up.  McConnell is also a great FT shooter, the Cavs biggest weakness.  (Oliver Hanlan, Quinn Cook)
25. Memphis – Andrew Harrison – Better shooter and good at getting to FT line and his size will be a nice change of pace for the Grizzlies.  He’s also used to feeding dominant big men and moving without the ball to force defensive shifts.  Must improve ball-handling.  (Delon Wright, Quinn Cook)
26. San Antonio – Cedi Osman – Just because he’s the prototypical Spur.  If they believe they have a shot with the Senior Squad the Spurs will look for immediate help.  Probably a post scorer to take some heat off Leonard.  (Rakeem Christmas, Robert Upshaw)
27. L.A. Lakers (From Houston) – Quinn Cook – They don’t want to pay Jeremy Lin $14 million dollars but they need a skipper to get the ball inside to Towns.  With Kobe leaving this is the Floor General pick they need to handle the big personalities on this team.  If they take Justise Winslow with their earlier pick this will be a PF/C pick.  (Mouhammadou Jaiteh, Guillermo Hernangomez)
28. Boston (From L.A. Clippers) – Larry Nance, Jr – He’s the kind of tweener Brad Stevens can use in multiple roles to create mismatches.  He scores efficiently and from inside and out.  His shooting and rebounding will make Boston harder to defend.  (Sam Dekker, Jonathan Holmes)
29. Brooklyn (From Atlanta) – Aaron Harrison – They will need a big guard moving forward without Deron Williams.  Jarrett Jack doesn’t have the size to go against the taller guards in the league.  He’ll need to improve ball handling and shooting.  (Delon Wright, Georges Lucas Alves de Paula)
30. Golden State – Pat Connaughton – He fits what they’re doing and will learn a lot under Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.  He can fill multiple roles and that’s what the Dubs are all about.  He can stretch to guard multiple positions.  (Dakari Johnson, Mouhammadou Jaiteh)