There’s no question that the New Orleans Hornets are going to select Kentucky standout Anthony Davis as the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. He’s an elite defender with a blossoming offensive game and comes from a championship pedigree.
Perhaps the biggest mystery surrounding the draft is how the Hornets ended up with the No. 1 pick in the first place. Conspiracy theories aside, let’s look at the other nine picks that round out the Top 10 selections.
Ashton Grewal has given each team’s needs while Jason Logan selects the player that best suits those requirements.
No. 2 Charlotte Bobcats
You’re looking at the worst team in NBA history, so obviously it needs help everywhere. Point guard and small forward are the two positions that are closest to NBA-level talent. A talented big with offensive game or a two guard with deep range would be a good start.
Pick: Thomas Robinson, C Kansas
Charlotte dealt Corey Maggette to Detroit for Ben Gordon, giving the Bobcats their shooting guard. Now, they can plug up the middle with Robinson, a tough-as-nails interior player with an NBA-ready frame.
No. 3 Washington Wizards
A talented shooting guard would help the Wiz the most. Pretty sure they’re not crazy about starting Jordan Crawford next season. Dude’s got to be a shooter because nobody in Washington’s starting five is lights-out from 3-point land.
Pick: Bradley Beal, SG Florida
Beal wasn’t high on the draft radar heading into the college season but proved his worth at Florida. He slides in nicely as a spot up shooter that will feed off John Wall’s drive-and-dish.
No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers
Alonzo Gee and Anthony Parker are the weakest links in Cleveland’s starting lineup. A wing player with range would help free up some room for future All-Star Kyrie Irving.
Pick: Harrison Barnes, SF North Carolina
It’s either Barnes or UK’s Kidd-Gilchrist, and I think Barnes is a better character player, something the Cavs will gravitate to. He’s a versatile option and improved on his shooting range this past season at UNC.
No. 5 Sacramento Kings
The Kings just have to take the best player available. Shooting guard and center are the only positions in a good spot moving forward. A lot of options for Sac-Town.
Pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Kentucky
He can play any role the Kings need him to and he joins fellow John Calipari alums Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento.
No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers have two solid pieces moving forward: Small forward Nicolas Batum and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Point guard is a major need area. Maybe a shot-blocking big to play next to Aldridge.
Pick: Andre Drummond, C Connecticut
Drummond’s size and physicality is the perfect complement to Aldridge’s finesse. The UConn product will serve as a garbage man and big body in the paint on defense.
No. 7 Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are going to form the Warriors backcourt moving forward. There are injury concerns for Curry and Andrew Bogut but the Warriors are committed to both. Best player available probably the right strategy.
Pick: Damian Lillard, PG Weber State
Do the Warriors need another shoot-first point guard? No. But they can select the best PG option in the draft and hold other teams hostage for the rights to Lillard. If this trickles out the way I see it, the Warriors could be the wheeling and dealing on draft night.
No. 8 Toronto Raptors
An athletic wing who can shoot is something Toronto would really love to nab in this draft. If the Raps can’t get that, than a future/backup point guard would fill another hole.
Pick: Dion Waiters, SG Syracuse
Waiters played his way to a lottery selection coming off the bench for Jim Boeheim – just imagine where he would go if he started. He’s a fearless scorer who could fill in at point guard. The Syracuse product seems like the perfect fit for Toronto.
No. 9 Detroit Pistons
Gotta pick a big man here. Someone to help Greg Monroe in the paint. Detroit doesn’t want to head into next season with Jason Maxiell starting with Monroe.
Pick: John Henson, C North Carolina
Henson could slide up in the draft because of his shot blocking, but the Pistons seem like a good fit. He’ll need to bulk up and fine tune his back-to-the-basket game.
No. 10 New Orleans Hornets
Someone to play next to Anthony Davis or the just best player available.
Pick: Austin Rivers, SG Duke
Rivers has been around the NBA since he was a babe but he isn't cut from the pro mold and his draft stock has dropped like a rock since his days at Duke. This pick could be up for grabs if the Hornets look to move on some veteran talent instead, opening the door for big men Meyers Leonard or Tyler Zeller at No. 10.
NBA Draft props
Will Anthony Davis be selected as the No. 1 overall pick?
Yes -5,000 / No +2,000
Will Thomas Robinson be selected as the No. 2 overall pick?
Yes -170 / No +130
Will Bradley Beal be selected as the No. 3 overall pick?
Yes -160 / No +120
Player to Get Drafted First
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -200 vs. Harrison Barnes +150
Damian Lillard +130 vs. , Andre Drummond -180
John Henson -110 vs. Austin Rivers -130
Conference draft props
Total ACC players drafted in the first round
Over 5.5 -140 / Under 5.5 +100
Total Big East players drafted in the first round
Over 5 -120 / Under 5 -120
Team draft props
Total Duke players drafted in the first and second round
Over 2 +120 / Under 2 -160
Total UNC players drafted in the Lottery (first to 14th)
Over 2.5 -220 / Under 2.5 +160
Total Kentucky players drafted in the Lottery (first to 14th)
Over 2.5 -105 / Under 2.5 -135
Odds provided by Sportsbook.com.