The NBA Draft is almost here, with a blockbuster trade already in the books between the Sixers and Celtics. Time to mock things up to see how things may shake out on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). For the lottery picks, we made best-case scenario/worst-case scenario comps to current or former players. Start the clock.
1. Philadelphia 76ers
Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington, Freshman
Philadelphia completed their trade with Boston on Monday to acquire the No. 1 overall pick and will likely select Fultz, adding him to a core group that includes Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. Fultz' craftiness (here he is going up against an entire pro dodgeball team), playmaking ability and shooting (41.3 percent from three in college) makes him a perfect complement to Simmons. His defensive effort remains a concern, but Fultz has the highest upside of any player in this draft.
Best-case scenario: James Harden
Worst-case scenario: Dion Waiters
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA, Freshman
Despite all the speculation of what the Lakers might do at No. 2, including trading the pick, reports suggest the team is closing in on making Ball their selection. That seems even more certain after L.A. sent D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick. We should also keep an eye on news that Paul George intends to sign with the Lakers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, paving the way for a potential trade to get him to Los Angeles soon. Ball can shoot and push the pace, but it's his playmaking ability that will set him apart in the pros.
Best-case scenario: Jason Kidd
Worst-case scenario: Michael Carter-Williams
3. Boston Celtics
Josh Jackson, SG/ SF, Kansas, Freshman
At 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Jackson has the speed, height and length to be an athletic terror on both ends of the floor, with potential offensive upside that could make him a superstar. The Celtics are believed to be deciding between Jackson and Jayson Tatum, but general manager Danny Ainge said on Monday the player he will select at No. 3 is possibly the player they would have selected at No. 1. Jackson fits Ainge's vision of building a team with versatile two-way players, and would be a natural follow-up to the team's selection of Jaylen Brown in last year's draft.
Best-case scenario: Tracy McGrady
Worst-case scenario: Andre Iguodala
4. Phoenix Suns
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky, Freshman
The freshman Kentucky point guard is known for his end-to-end speed, and scored 39 points (an NCAA Tournament freshman record) in an 86-75 win over UCLA in the Sweet 16 in a highly-touted showdown with Ball. Fox could team with Devin Booker to form an all-Wildcats backcourt in Phoenix as they continue to stockpile young talent in hopes of rebuilding a franchise that has not been to the playoffs since 2010.
Best-case scenario: John Wall
Worst-case scenario: Elfrid Payton
5. Sacramento Kings
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke, Freshman
The Kings are reportedly targeting Fox, but Tatum is not a terrible consolation prize at No. 5 for a team looking to move on from the DeMarcus Cousins era. At 6-foot-8 and having averaged 16.8 points per game in his freshman season at Duke, Tatum will be able to translate his scoring ability at the next level, but how his defense and other aspects of his game shake out will determine whether he's a rotation player, or a frontline star.
Best-case scenario: Paul George
Worst-case scenario: Rudy Gay
6. Orlando Magic
Jonathan Isaac, SF/ PF, Florida State, Freshman
Isaac does not have the same offensive upside as the players ahead of him on the draft board, but he did make 37.7 percent of his threes at Florida State, and will earn minutes in the NBA with his ability to switch and guard multiple positions and defend. If he progresses on the offensive end, Isaac could turn out to be the steal of the draft.
Best-case scenario: Andrei Kirilenko
Worst-case scenario: Josh Smith
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona, Freshman
The Timberwolves, like the rest of the league, are in need of shooters to complement their star players. Markkanen fills that need, having made 44.4 percent of his threes at Arizona. A seven-footer with a three-point touch is coveted in today's NBA, but Markkanen could be more than just a spot-up shooter if he can improve his strength and develop on the defensive end.
Best-case scenario: Dirk Nowitzki
Worst-case scenario: Nikola Mirotic
8. New York Knicks
Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
The Knicks reportedly have their eye on the 18-year-old point guard from France, who would come over as a raw prospect with tremendous upside, but a level of uncertainty similar to when Utah drafted Dante Exum with the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft. With Derrick Rose's impending free agency, and the uncertainty of Carmelo Anthony's future with the team, the Knicks might decide to take a gamble at No. 8 on a potential point guard of the future.
Best-case scenario: Penny Hardaway
Worst-case scenario: Exum
9. Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Smith, PG, NC State, Freshman
Described as an athletic freak, Smith used his speed and ability to attack the basket to put up scoring numbers (18.1 points per game) at NC State. There are questions about whether he can become a more well-rounded point guard at the pro level, and if his 6-foot-3 frame will allow him to find the same spaces to create on the offensive end against NBA defenses. The Mavs are trying to find blue chip prospects for the post-Nowitzki era, taking a chance with Smith in the lottery would make sense.
Best-case scenario: Steve Francis
Worst-case scenario: Darren Collison
10. Sacramento Kings
Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, Freshman
Monk has the skills to be an explosive scorer, with the ability to create off the dribble, and shoot from beyond the three-point arc. The Kings need scoring, and a talent upgrade at every position. If they can get Tatum and Monk with their two top-ten picks, Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac have to come out of Thursday's draft feeling a bit optimistic about the team's future.
Best-case scenario: Zach LaVine
Worst-case scenario: Courtney Lee
11. Charlotte Hornets
Luke Kennard, SG, Duke, Sophomore
Michael Jordan has a track record of going with established collegiate players from big-name schools with his draft picks in Charlotte. Kennard, a sophomore guard from Duke who averaged 19.5 points per game last season, would fit the bill. In the best-case scenario, Kennard could replicate a fellow Duke alumni's NBA career in J.J. Redick, a sharpshooting secondary scorer on a contending team. In the worst-case scenario, he could struggle to stay on the floor in the NBA as a defensive liability.
Best-case scenario: Redick
Worst-case scenario: Greivis Vasquez
12. Detroit Pistons
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville, Sophomore
Mitchell's athleticism and ability to defend means he will earn minutes right away, even under Stan Van Gundy's demanding defense in Detroit. But whether he can shoot well enough to be an undersized 6-foot-2 shooting guard in the league remains to be seen. If he can develop his point guard skills, Mitchell could become a useful combo guard.
Best-case scenario: Avery Bradley
Worst-case scenario: Haywoode Workman
13. Denver Nuggets
Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga, Freshman
The freshman center from Gonzaga is likely more of a rotation player than a star. He attempted just 21 threes in college, but made 47.6 percent from them. If he can develop a more fully-formed offensive game on the perimeter, it would make him much more of an asset in the NBA.
Best-case scenario: Marc Gasol
Worst-case scenario: Jason Smith
14. Miami Heat
Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina, Junior
As a junior, Jackson will be more ready to contribute right away than some of the other lottery picks, but with less of an upside due to his lack of explosiveness on the offensive end. Physicality is another concern. At 6-foot-8 and 193 pounds, Jackson will need to bulk up to withstand the grind of a full NBA season. With the 14th pick, Pat Riley would get an NBA-ready player to help the Heat get back to the postseason.
Best-case scenario: Justise Winslow
Worst-case scenario: Matt Barnes
And the rest of the first round …
15. Portland Trail Blazers
Jarrett Allen, C, Texas, Freshman
The Blazers have Jusuf Nurkic and not much else in their big man rotation that is particularly promising for the future. Allen is an athletic freak in the mold of JaVale McGee, and it would make sense for Portland to add him to their depth chart.
16. Chicago Bulls
John Collins, PF/C, Wake Forest, Sophomore
At 19-years-old, Collins would be a long-term project for the Bulls, who are constantly looking to get younger and more athletic, and could use this pick to bet on the upside that the Wake Forest sophomore center can eventually stretch the floor and open up his offensive game.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Harry Giles, PF/C, Duke, Freshman
Giles' stock has fallen due to his injury history, but the Bucks -- having selected Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker in recent drafts -- are the perfect team to take a chance like this.
18. Indiana Pacers
Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA, Freshman
The Pacers are preparing for life without Paul George and could pair Anigbogu with Myles Turner to create a formidable one-two punch in the frontcourt as they start their rebuild.
19. Atlanta Hawks
Justin Patton, C, Creighton, Freshman
It will be several years before the Hawks know if Patton can contribute at the NBA level. But with Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard's long-term future with the team uncertain, this pick makes sense for the Hawks.
20. Portland Trail Blazers
O.G. Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana, Sophomore
Similar to taking Jarrett Allen at 15, the Blazers should focus on adding to their frontcourt as they figure out how to build around Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Anunoby is one of the best defensive prospects in the draft.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
D.J. Wilson, PF, Michigan, Junior
To the surprise of no one, the Thunder are likely targeting wing players to complement Russell Westbrook in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure last summer. Wilson fits that profile, and could become a bench contributor immediately.
22. Brooklyn Nets
Kyle Kuzma, PF, Utah, Junior
Kuzma needs to improve his skillset across the board, especially on defense and with his shooting. But the Nets are just settling into a long rebuild and are the perfect team to take Kuzma here and see if he can translate his athleticism into something more sustainable.
23. Toronto Raptors
Anezjs Pasecniks, C, Latvia
The Raptors are facing a cap crunch this summer, especially if they re-sign Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka to max deals. It would make sense for Masai Ujiri to use this pick to stash Pasecniks overseas.
24. Utah Jazz
Caleb Swanigan, PF/C, Purdue, Sophomore
Swanigan was a proven scorer and rebounder at Purdue, averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds last season, and could be a potential rotation player for a Jazz team with aspirations for contending in the West next season.
25. Orlando Magic
Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, SMU, Junior
The Magic need a versatile defender on the perimeter and Ojeleye could project to be a Jae Crowder type, making him a natural fit for an Orlando team looking to figure out what kind of team they want to be next season.
26. Portland Trail Blazers
Terrance Ferguson, SG, Australia
After filling their big man needs, the Blazers would be wise to use their third first rounder in the draft on a long-term project from Australia. Ferguson is a tremendous athlete in the same vain as Terrence Ross, but will take a few years to develop.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Jonah Bolden, PF, Australia
Bolden was named the top prospect in the Adriatic league, following players like Dario Saric and Nikola Jokic to have received that honor. With two picks back to back, the Lakers can swing for the fences.
28. Los Angeles Lakers
Josh Hart, SG, Villanova, Senior
Once the Lakers presumably land Ball with the No. 2 pick, they can focus on shoring up their depth with more experienced players in the draft. Hart, who spent four full seasons at Villanova, fits that billing.
29. San Antonio Spurs
Frank Jackson, PG/SG, Duke, Freshman
Jackson needs to either improve on his shooting or his playmaking ability to find a position in the NBA. But these are the Spurs, so who are we kidding, Jackson is going to be a top-seven player on the roster in two seasons.
30. Utah Jazz
Derrick White, PG/SG, Colorado, Senior
The Jazz close out the first round by taking a senior guard who could fight for a backup spot behind George Hill next season.