The Detroit Pistons won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, meaning they will select first overall for the first time since 1970.
Their chances to land the No. 1 pick were tied for the best with the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic. Houston ended up second, while Orlando slipped to fifth.
In the spirit of immediate reactions to a draft order that is guaranteed to change via trades between now and July 29, here are our best bets for the first 14 picks on draft night.
1. Detroit Pistons: G Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
The Pistons need an injection of talent all over their roster, and they earned the right to land the most complete talent in this class, an enviable blend of size, playmaking skill and shooting ability.
2. Houston Rockets: G Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga
John Wall is not the long-term answer at point guard. Suggs can dish the ball to Christian Wood and whoever else is left on this roster as Houston starts over.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: C Evan Mobley, Southern California
The Cavaliers' backcourt of the future is set with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, so Mobley can join a frontcourt that features an aging Kevin Love.
4. Toronto Raptors: G Jalen Green, G League
Adding Green would be especially useful to the Raptors' offense if Kyle Lowry walks in free agency.
5. Orlando Magic: F Jonathan Kuminga, G League
A new option on the wing for a team sorely lacking them, Kuminga also would bolster an already solid rebounding team.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Davion Mitchell, Baylor
So you missed out on first dibs on the Oklahoma State product. It's a lottery, after all. A nice consolation prize at guard is this tough defender who just carried his team to the NCAA championship.
7. Golden State Warriors: G Keon Johnson, Tennessee
The Warriors made up for a down year with a nice lottery haul, as Minnesota's No. 7 overall pick was conveyed to them. They start with a wing to help on the defensive end of the floor.
8. Orlando Magic: F Jalen Johnson, Duke
The Magic's second pick is conveyed from Chicago. This team needs frontcourt help, too, and Johnson can move the ball around from down low.
9. Sacramento Kings: F Scottie Barnes, Florida State
Sacramento was bottom five in the NBA in both scoring defense and perimeter defense in 2020-21. Barnes is a versatile defender who can help in those departments.
10. New Orleans Pelicans: F/C Alperen Sengun, Turkey
Zion Williamson is great on his own. Pair him with this budding star from overseas, the Turkish League's MVP at just 18 years old, and the Pelicans' frontcourt would be one to reckon with.
11. Charlotte Hornets: F Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
One of the top shooters in the draft falls to a team that would love to pair someone up with Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball and boost its below-average 45.5 percent team shooting rate.
12. San Antonio Spurs: F Franz Wagner, Michigan
No longer the postseason lock they used to be, the Spurs need some help just about everywhere. Wagner does a little bit of everything, from defending to facilitating to scoring.
13. Indiana Pacers: G James Bouknight, UConn
Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon can't do everything for the Pacers going forward. Let's give them some added scoring from a guard who could quickly become a nice complement to a healthy Caris LeVert.
14. Golden State Warriors: F/C Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky
So last year's second overall pick James Wiseman didn't have the best rookie campaign. We're not saying the Warriors should bail on him, but having more options to mix and match with an aging Draymond Green couldn't hurt.
--By Adam Zielonka, Field Level Media
FROM THE ARCHIVES