Now that the draft order is set, we can begin to get an idea of where people might end up.
Let’s use Gary Parrish’s mocker as a starting point and there are others linked below.
We’re starting with him because as a Memphis guy he has a better sense of what the Grizzlies have in mind and they’re the key to the early part of the draft.
And Parrish says that Mike Conley doesn't want to go through a rebuild in his 30s so he’s likely gone which means they’ll almost certainly take Ja Morant. That drops RJ Barrett to the Knicks at #3, the team that Williamson had his heart set on.
As noted earlier, there is a chance, however small, that Anthony Davis could end up with the Knicks which would almost certainly mean at least three more years of a Barrett/Williamson partnership.
He has Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter going to the Lakers at #4 which means that LA could conceivably offer Hunter, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma for Anthony Davis. That would give the Pelicans a lot to put around Williamson.
He has UNC’s Coby White to Chicago at #7 and Nassir Little to Atlanta at #8. Washington has a bad draft history so naturally he has them taking Romeo Langford at #9.
In this scenario, Cam Reddish goes to Minnesota at #11 which would of course take him from point guard Tre Jones to big brother Tyus.
He has Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker going to Orlando at #16 and Virginia’s Ty Jerome to Boston at #20.
If you don’t think he’d fit Brad Stevens’ system like a glove, think again. He’d be ideal.
And of course, speaking of Boston: the Celtics have #14, #20 and #22 in this year’s first round. They also have more coming in future drafts and some players who are already unhappy with their roles. They need to make some changes.
Like everyone else, Boston would like to swing a deal for A.D. and they have more than enough to pull it off.
So at least three teams, and glamorous teams at that, are in position to compete for Davis, assuming he still wants a trade.
Or, conceivably, for Williamson, should New Orleans decided to trade the pick.
Whatever happens, the Pelicans are in an enviable situation and some fun stuff is likely to happen between now and draft night.
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