3. Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks) select Julius Randle, F, Kentucky
Is Randle the best fit in Denver? Maybe not. But I’ve always been an advocate of drafting the best player available and altering your play style to accommodate. Basketball is an easy game to adapt a game plan around a roster. You don’t skip on someone of Randle’s talent because he doesn’t fit with your roster. Draft now, fix problems later. Randle is the guy.
4. Orlando Magic select Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
The Magic are rebuilding the right way, but still are missing a couple critical pieces. Their selection of Victor Oladipo last year looks better and better each game. While they’ve been forcing him into the point guard role, hoping he develops into a Russell Westbrook-type player, if Marcus Smart is available, you draft him. Smart perfectly complements Oladipo in the backcourt and Orlando would be set for a decade if they landed Smart with Oladipo.
5. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets) select Joel Embiid, C, Kentucky
Al Horford has been a staple in the paint for the Hawks for many years, namely as their center, at least in recent years. However, Horford is likely best suited to play the power forward role. By bringing in a player like Embiid, you have your big man for the future and allow Horford to move to a more natural and better suited position for him. You also have time for Embiid to develop with Horford and Paul Millsap locked up through next year.