The NBA held its annual Draft Lottery on May 17, and although there weren’t any major surprises in the order, now that it is locked in some of the league’s non-playoff teams are able to start considering who might be available when they pick during the draft on June 23.
The Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder entered the lottery with equal 14 percent odds at getting the No. 1 pick. Of that group, only the Pistons are likely to be disappointed, falling to fifth overall after the Sacramento Kings moved up to pick No. 4. The Magic will select first overall, followed by the Thunder and Rockets.
Here’s a look at who each team might select now that the lottery is finalized.
1. Orlando Magic: The Magic have some intriguing young talent on the roster, including last year’s lottery picks Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner. Cole Anthony improved in his second season, Wendell Carter Jr showed promise as a scorer and rebounder in the frontcourt, and the team should have a healthy Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac in the mix next season.
The pick: The Magic will reunite high school teammates Suggs and Chet Holmgren, hoping Holmgren’s shooting and shot-blocking make a big impact on their offense and defense.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder have a young near-All-Star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and two more guards with intriguing upside in Josh Giddey and Lu Dort. The team needs major help up front, though, and the good news is they can address that here.
The pick: The Thunder will take Jabari Smith, whose size and defensive versatility could propel him to an Evan Mobley-like impact this season.
3. Houston Rockets: Last year’s No. 2 pick, Jalen Green, had a great second half of the season offensively and the Rockets have other intriguing young players in Kevin Porter Jr and Apleren Sengun. They also have a youngish center in Christian Wood.
The pick: Duke forward Paolo Banchero will give the Rockets a big playmaker who should fit nicely with the young core group they’re trying to develop.
4. Sacramento Kings: After trading for Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline last season to pair with De’Aaron Fox, the Kings are clearly trying to make a playoff push.
The pick: Iowa forward Keegan Murray should fit in nicely as a reserve who will enter the league as a polished scorer, or a potential starter if the Kings decide to trade veteran forward Harrison Barnes.
5. Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are building around last year’s No. 1 pick, Cade Cunningham, and also have some solid young players in Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and Killian Hayes. They could use another impact player, and that may not be available at pick five, but they should at least get another intriguing prospect here.
The pick: With Cunningham and Hayes, adding another point guard to the mix doesn’t make positional sense, but Purdue’s Jaden Ivey is talented, versatile enough to play shooting guard as well, and his defense could make him and Cunningham one of the better defensive backcourts in the league in short order.
6. Indiana Pacers: A full season of Tyrese Haliburton, another year of experience for last year’s rookie find Chris Duarte, and a healthy Malcolm Brogdon, TJ Warren, and Myles Turner should make the Pacers good candidates for a major turnaround next season. Add in a good prospect at pick No. 6 and Indiana should be fun to watch.
The pick: Jalen Duren, the center from Memphis, could provide depth behind Turner or insurance should Indiana decide to trade him as has been rumored on and off the past two seasons.
The pick: Duke forward AJ Griffin could be a solid pick to add depth up front or potentially replace unrestricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic if Portland doesn’t re-sign him.
8. New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans played well from January on and stretched the heavily favored Suns to six games in round one of the playoffs. Next season, they’ll add a healthy Zion Williamson to their already-solid lineup as well as whoever they select in the first round of the draft.
The pick: Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe didn’t actually play for the Wildcats last season, but he was the No. 1-ranked high school prospect in the country. With veterans on the perimeter in CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram and last year’s rookie sensation Herb Jones, the Pelicans can afford to gamble on a high-upside prospect like Sharpe and be patient with his development.
9. San Antonio Spurs: San Antonio has significant perimeter talent, including All-Star Dejounte Murray and young players Devin Vassell, Lonnie Walker IV, and Keldon Johnson. San Antonio won’t be afraid to draft another guard as the Spurs always prioritize talent over position, but they could really use a frontcourt prospect to provide some depth and balance to the roster.
The pick: Duke center Mark Williams is a great rebounder and shot-blocker, and his rim-protecting ability should fit nicely with Murray’s great perimeter defense.
10. Washington Wizards: Washington continues to be stuck between a rebuild and trying to contend, with a roster that includes high-priced veterans like Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma as well as young players with upside like Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura. If they attempt to contend again, they could be another team that looks to trade its pick.
The pick: Johnny Davis, a Wisconsin guard, should give the team a potential starting point guard who can play next to Beal or slide over to shooting guard in some lineups.
11. New York Knicks: Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has had a clear preference for veterans in his coaching career, but New York’s youth might be its strength. RJ Barrett has All-Star potential and Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley have both shown flashes of potential.
The pick: Dyson Daniels of the G League Ignite will give the Knicks depth at both guard spots, and his defensive potential should endear him to Thibodeau.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder grabbed one forward with their first pick in the lottery, and look for them to add to that frontcourt depth with the second of their two lottery picks as well.
The pick: Benedict Mathurin is a good three-point shooter who would fit well next to Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort, and Giddey.
13. Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets will have a new coach next season, and despite missing the playoffs, they have plenty to be excited about. They have a brilliant young duo in LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges and had one of the best offenses in the league last season.
The pick: LSU forward Tari Eason is a great athlete and he brings something the Hornets desperately need: defense.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers: If not for a series of devastating injuries late in the season, the Cavs would’ve been a playoff team. They have two young All-Stars in Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, while Evan Mobley was one of the most impactful rookies in the league last season. Look for Cleveland to try and add to its perimeter scoring options as the offense often struggled to score last season.
The pick: Kansas’s Ochai Agbaji will bring some needed perimeter shooting and defense to the Cavs rotation.