Zion Williamson, PF, Duke
The easiest pick of the night, with the Pelicans getting a chance to reboot with the most intriguing prospect in the past 15 years. Williamson has the strength, skill set, and size to become a superstar, and the Pelicans got enough talent from the Anthony Davis trade to become a contender in the coming years.
Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
One of the more dynamic point guards to emerge in the past few years, Morant became a sensation as he carried the mid-major Racers to the NCAA Tournament. He has freakish athleticism, stellar passing skills, and the ability to score from long distance. He’ll serve as a perfect replacement for Mike Conley for the new-look Grizzlies.
RJ Barrett, SF, Duke
Barrett was actually the No. 1 prospect entering last season, before Williamson emerged, and still has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and impact player. And he wants to play in New York. He isn’t Williamson, but this is a good second option for the Knicks, who need all the talent they can get.
Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
This pick is the Lakers’ but will go to the Pelicans when the Anthony Davis deal is official. Garland is the point guard the Pelicans need to pair with Williamson and give them a formidable club for the next several years.
Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
Culver was a steady riser because of his ability to defend and develop into a reliable scorer. The Cavaliers, with new coach John Beilein, are still trying to acquire talent in their rebuild, and Culver could play both forward positions and defend the way Beilein likes.