The chances of a Donovan Mitchell trade are low. The Mavericks seem determined to keep Jalen Brunson. Leon Rose, who needs to make a splash in the backcourt, grabs his head and trades one of his best young players, realizing that this is the only way to get to the desired 4th seed in the draft.
As a result, the Knicks moved from 11th to 4th overall in the draft for Purdue stud Jayden Ivey. It’s worth a lot – this year’s first pick, Obi Toppin and several second-round players go to the Kings.
This is the story of the first round.
Here’s how Zach Braziller of The Post sees everything going on at Barclays Center a week after Thursday:
1. Orlando Magic
Jabari Smith, F, Auburn
He is the archetype of the modern NBA forward – long, experienced and versatile on defense. Smith resembles Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley in every way, but he’s a superb shooter and the only question mark scouts have is his pen.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga
It’s easy to see the Minnesotan making an immediate impact with his under rim defense, three-point shooting, and ball-handling skill set. You can also imagine Holmgren fighting much stronger players with similar athletic abilities. The first college player in 28 years to make over 40 3-pointers and block over 100 shots in a single season is very boom or bust.
3. Houston Rockets
Paolo Banquero, F, Duke
The Rockets get a No. 1 caliber pick under No. 3, a strong forward prospect who has already thrived under the bright lights, which was his lone year at Duke in Mike Krzyszewski’s final season. Banchero doesn’t even need to be a GUY in Houston – last year’s top pick, Jalen Green, covered that – which may better fit his versatile game.
4. New York Knicks (from Kings)
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Knicks fans will be chanting “Yves, Yves, Yves” on a deep Brooklyn night, believing they finally have the point guard their franchise has been missing for decades. The Purdue star is a powerhouse player the Knicks need along with R. J. Barrett, a top-notch athlete who made a big leap in his third season in the NBA.
5. Detroit Pistons
Keegan Murray, G/F, Iowa
Defensively undervalued, the country’s fourth-leading scorer a year ago is a good fit for the Pistons in need of shots alongside playmaker forward Cade Cunningham, who was drafted No. 1 last year.
6. Indiana Pacers
Dyson Daniels, G, G-League Ignite
Ranked 28th in the league in defensive rankings, the rebuilding Pacers have to tackle that end of the floor this offseason, and they’re starting here with defensive-minded Daniels. Thanks to his long frame, the rising Aussie can defend defenders and flanks, and could form a strong 1-2 backcourt shot with Tyrese Haliburton in the future.
7. Portland Trail Blazers
Benedict Maturin, G, Arizona
At worst, Pac-12’s Player of the Year is a 3-and-D member who can immediately help the Trail Blazers on defense. But some scouts see the Canadian All-Star import, citing his ability to defend multiple positions, his fluid jumps and ceiling to expand his offensive game as a playmaking guard.
8 New Orleans Pelicans
Schaedon Sharp, G, Kentucky
If Holmgren is the most talked about prospect in this draft, Sharpe is the biggest question mark. He was a big high school prospect – 247Sports.com ranked him third in the nation – who didn’t play in college last year after entering Kentucky in January. Basically, he goes straight from high school to the NBA, which makes this a risky choice.
9. San Antonio Spurs
Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
The sixth Big 12 Player of the Year is a defensively-first player who considers himself the best defensive player in the draft. That attitude will endear him to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, who are desperate for the striker.
10. Washington Wizards
Malachi Branham, G, Ohio State
Efficient, young and super-skilled, the all-round star offers the Wizards backcourt jump depth with plenty of room to grow in the coming years.
11. Sacramento Kings (from Knicks)
AJ Griffin, G, Duke
Injuries to each knee, combined with a volatile year at Duke, led to doubts about the White Plains native. However, his raw talent remains undeniable as he is a brilliant 3-point shooter who hits nearly 50 percent from range and has a 7-foot wingspan that can make him a top-notch perimeter defender.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
Usman Dieng, defender, New Zealand Breakers
There is no one more patient than Sam Presti, who seems to be working on a 10-year plan in Oklahoma City, accumulating assets and spending more seasons on the boat than local New York footballers. Dieng is the perfect choice for Presti: a high-ceilinged potential client who needs time but may be worth the wait years later.
13. Charlotte Hornets
Mark Williams, C, Duke
The ACC Defensive Player of the Year fills the Hornets’ primary need as a rim defender and nimble forward paired with maestro LaMelo Ball. With its 7ft 8in wingspan and relentless engine, the 20-year-old Williams could become a two-way colorful force over time.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
After last year’s 44-win breakout season, the arrow points to the Cavs, and the Big Ten Player of the Year is another talented young player strengthening the core. Cleveland needs to shoot and score more on the wing, and Davis can provide that instantly.
15. Charlotte Hornets
Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara
The mid-major star opened his eyes to the combo with his sweet distance shot, impressive measurable numbers and raw athleticism. The absurdly long-armed Williams – he has a wingspan of 7’2.25″ – can also do it with the lights on, averaging 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season while shooting from less than 40 percent.
16. Atlanta Hawks
Ochai Agbaji, J., Kansas
His advantage may not be as high as others chosen before him, but the 22-year-old Agbaci can immediately step in and show results at both ends of the court as a striker and flank defender. The hawks will look smarter by taking the sure thing here.
17. Houston Rockets
Tari Eason, F, LSU
The Rockets have their own dynamic duo for the future in Banchero and Green, and now they’re complementing them in Eason. A bold defensive wing will do all the dirty work and has been successful in attacking as a threat to the perimeter.
18. Chicago Bulls
Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
Like Williams, Düren leaves no room on the floor offensively, but his quirky athleticism and solid defense under the rim still make him an attractive figure at the next level.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves
TaiTi Washington Jr., G, Kentucky
Washington was unable to showcase his entire college repertoire, spending much of his year at Lexington doing nothing. However, he shot well (35 percent from deep), had a better than two-to-one assist-to-assist ratio, and showed great promise to become a leading defenseman at the next level.
20. San Antonio Spurs
Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
His defense alone makes him appealing as a shot-blocking demon who dropped 4.6 shots per game last year. If his offense comes through and his perimeter jump shot is promising, the Spurs will have an interception.
21. Denver Nuggets
Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
An explosive athlete who struggled with his shot in his only year of college, Wesley would rather enjoy a stretched NBA game. His speed on the ball and ability to hit the paint are desirable traits in a defender, and there’s a bit of Tyrese Maxey in the Notre Dame star.
22. Memphis Grizzlies
Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
The Grizzlies may be interested in a point guard as Tyus Jones could potentially leave via free agency, and the versatile Chandler is not only from Memphis but close to star Ja Morant.
23. Philadelphia 76ers
Dalene Terry, G, Arizona
Ignore his disappointing overall numbers. Terry was a liaison on the Arizona Sweet 16 team. He outclasses the blocked defender with his 7ft 1in wingspan and jumping jack athleticism, and he has play and shooting potential that needs to be developed further.
24. Milwaukee Bucks
E. J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
Liddell has progressed with each season – his scoring has improved, his shot count has improved, and his versatility has expanded. While he may not have one overt power at the next level, there is little Liddell can’t do.
25. San Antonio Spurs
Christian Brown, G, Kansas
If he went back to college, Brown would be one of the best players in the country. Like Liddell, he really has no weaknesses – a capable shooter, dispenser, defender and high-level athlete. You will win games when he plays an important role.
26. Dallas Mavericks
Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
His combination of size and shooting accuracy is appealing, especially for a team like the Mavericks who can use a scoring shot off the bench and more court space to free Luka Doncic.
27. Miami Heat
Jayden Hardy, G, G-League Ignite
The G-League route didn’t work out in Hardy’s favor, with his shares plummeting after he was selected in the top five last fall. But this does not mean that his abilities have disappeared, despite the lean year. The Heat can afford to use talent and hope their development culture will be passed on to Hardy.
28. Golden State Warriors
Christian Koloko, C, Arizona
The Warriors have endured James Wiseman’s injury problems, but they still fell short of expectations, especially since he has yet to live up to the hype as the second pick in the 2020 draft. Koloko is a possible answer in the middle. At the very least, a rim-running demon blocking shots could be part of the solution, along with Wiseman.
29. Memphis Grizzlies
Wendell Moore Jr., G, Duke
His tenacity and defensive prowess fit into the rigorous line-up put together by GM Zach Kleiman in Memphis. Moore, a greatly improved shooter, can help rival grizzlies at both ends of the court straight from the bench.
30. Denver Nuggets
MarJohn Beauchamp, G/F, G-League Ignite
Despite joining G-League Ignite late, he was one of its top players, showing off his length, energy and defensive prowess. Beauchamp was second on the team in scoring and rebounding, but his positional versatility and defensive ability really stood out.