In our previous NBA mock drafts this season, we wondered how many first-round picks would be dealt before the Feb. 23 trade deadline. The depth and talent in this class both are better than recent years, which might make these selections more valuable.
Well, we saw one of these first-round picks change teams Tuesday when the Toronto Raptors sent the lesser of their two Round 1 selections, along with Terrence Ross, to the Orland Magic for Serge Ibaka.
It also was reported the Boston Celtics aren’t interested in trading their pick swap with the Brooklyn Nets in a deal involving Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler. This pick swap, as of Wednesday, would give the C’s the best chance to win the draft lottery.
This thinking could change, though. The Celtics are less than three games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for first place in the Eastern Conference, and the Raptors just got better by adding Ibaka for almost nothing. The Washington Wizards have greatly improved over the last month and are a legitimate threat in the East.
The Celtics can’t afford to stand pat at the deadline.
Here’s our fifth NBA mock draft of the season (draft order based on standings as of Feb. 15).
1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets): Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
2. Phoenix Suns: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
3. Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
4. Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
6. Philadelphia 76ers: Jonathan Isaac, PF, Florida State
7. New Orleans Pelicans: Harry Giles III, PF, Duke
8. Dallas Mavericks: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
9. New York Knicks: Lauri Markkanen, C, Arizona
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Edrice Adebayo, C, Kentucky
11. Sacramento Kings: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
12. Miami Heat: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
13. Charlotte Hornets: Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Germany
14. Milwaukee Bucks: TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
15. Denver Nuggets: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
16. Detroit Pistons: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
17. Chicago Bulls: Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M
18. Indiana Pacers: Ivan Rabb, PF, California
19. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson, SF, Australian League
20. Toronto Raptors: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
21. Atlanta Hawks: Justin Paton, C, Creighton
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso
23. Utah Jazz: Marques Bolden, C, Duke
24. Washington Wizards: Jonathan Motley, PF, Baylor
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
26. Brooklyn Nets (from Boston Celtics): Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
27. Houston Rockets: Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson
28. Cleveland Cavaliers: Josh Hart, SG, Villanova
29. San Antonio Spurs: Kostja Mushidi, SG, Germany
30. Golden State Warriors: Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse
Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images