The Lakers have agreed to trade D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
That is huge news for the first round -- not because the future of the NBA hinges on the Lakers’ 27th pick, but because we now know with near certainty who they will take at No. 2.
Check out Newsday’s latest NBA mock draft below.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, point guard, Washington
Philadelphia traded up from No. 3 to get the No. 1 pick from Boston, and the 76ers would love Fultz at No. 1. He's a late-bloomer who did not play varsity basketball until his junior year of high school but already has the makings of a star. With Fultz, you know you are at the very least getting a do-it-all point guard who projects at worst as a starter and at best as a multiple-time All-Star. Fultz ranked 17th overall and first among freshmen used in at least 28 percent of his team's possessions with a 113.6 offensive rating. With Fultz, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, Philadelphia would have an impressive young core that could produce a playoff team in 2017-18.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, point guard, UCLA
The Lakers accomplished a few things in their trade with the Nets. First, they freed up $22.6 million for 2018 by acquiring Brook Lopez's expiring contract. That money could go a long way toward luring Paul George or -- as speculation has grown -- LeBron James. George and James will be free agents next summer. If the goal is to sign a two-way forward, then drafting Josh Jackson would be fairly pointless. Therefore, it seems as if the Lakers just announced to the world that they will draft Lonzo Ball at No. 2. Ball is the best and most creative passer in this draft, with a quirky but effective jump shot that produced a 41.2 percent clip from deep. At 6-6, he could be a matchup problem, especially if he improves defensively.
3. Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum, wing, Duke
The 6-8 wing did not have the most efficient freshman season for Duke, but he looks like the smoothest offensive player in this draft. For a while, Tatum was regarded as the top prospect in this draft class. He missed time early in the season with an injury, and Duke struggled to find consistency for much of conference play. Some of that fell on Tatum's shoulders, but don't be surprised if you see him averaging 20 points per game in the NBA. He is a perfect fit for the Celtics, who could use a wing scorer.
4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, wing, Kansas
Jackson does not project as well as Tatum offensively, but he has the potential to be a true two-way wing. At Kansas, he routinely drew opponents' top threat and guarded three positions effectively. He could be lethal in transition, and his three-point shot showed tremendous improvement, albeit in a small sample size, jumping from 31.8 percent in non-conference play to 43.5 percent in Big 12 play. The Suns would take whatever offense they could from Jackson, but they would be thrilled with a lockdown defender on the wing.
5. Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox, point guard, Kentucky
The Kings need a point guard, and Fox is a good fit. Fox might be thin at 6-4,170 pounds, but he did a fine job absorbing contact as a freshman. Compared to the other projected lottery pick point guards, only Lonzo Ball posted a better field-goal percentage at the rim than Fox's 64.2 percent. For Fox, an improved jumper could be the difference between a solid career as a starter and an All-Star type of legacy. He already is an elite defender and shut down Ball in their Sweet 16 meeting.
6. Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr., point guard, North Carolina State
Smith would have been a nice fit for the Knicks at No. 8, but it is looking less likely he will fall that far. The explosive guard has worked out and met with the executives of the Magic, who could use a point guard. Smith averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds in his first year off ACL surgery. His ceiling is as high as anyone's in this draft.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen, power forward, Arizona
Markkanen's 130.2 offensive rating ranked second among players used in at least 20 percent of their team's possessions this past season. The 7-footer projects as a prototypical stretch-four, who can beat you from deep (42.3 percent), the mid-range (42.4 percent) and the foul line (83.5 percent). He converted 69.5 percent of his attempts at the rim, a number that could rise as he adds strength.
8. Knicks: Malik Monk, shooting guard, Kentucky
The Knicks have had players like Monk before: you can think of him as a fusion of J.R. Smith and Jamal Crawford. At 6-4, Monk is an explosive scoring guard. His jumper was streaky during his freshman season at Kentucky, but he shot 39.7 percent from deep and had several games where his shooting was the difference -- Kentucky's dramatic 103-100 regular-season win over UNC, for instance, when Monk scored 47 points and hit back-to-back threes in the final minute. One offensive critique for Monk: he tends to fall in love with his mid-range jumper, which he converted 37.9 percent of the time. That's not bad, but when you shoot 39.7 percent from deep and 68.4 percent at the rim, it's not ideal. French point guard Frank Ntilikina is another name to keep an eye on here.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Jonathan Isaac, forward, Florida State
At 6-11 with a 7-1 wingspan, Isaac is a legitimate two-way forward. Most of his production came through the flow of Florida State's offense, but he also proved to be nimble and a serious threat in transition. Even if he does not become a go-to guy offensively, he still projects as an effective rotation player.
10. Sacramento Kings: Luke Kennard, shooting guard, Duke
Kennard's stock has only improved since Duke's season ended. The crafty 6-6 guard averaged 19.5 points and shot 43.8 percent from deep as a sophomore. He is excellent at moving without the ball and finding space to launch his jumper.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Zach Collins, forward/center, Gonzaga
The 7-foot freshman was extremely effective for Gonzaga in limited minutes. He ranked 22nd nationally with a 67.2 percent field-goal percentage and 9.8 percent block rate and 82nd with a 23.2 percent defensive rebounding rate. Collins became a nationally known commodity in the Final Four, when he had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks to lead Gonzaga into the championship.
12. Detroit Pistons: Frank Ntilikina, point guard, France
The 6-5 point guard has NBA size and smarts. With an improving jumper, he will become more of a threat.
13. Denver Nuggets: Justin Jackson, small forward, North Carolina
Jackson arrived at UNC as an elite prospect but not a great player. Over three years, the 6-8 wing developed into a legitimate star. The biggest jump happened between his sophomore and junior years, when he went from a 29.2 percent three-point shooter to 36.8 percent. He also displayed his defensive ability during the NCAA Tournament, shutting down Kentucky's Malik Monk and Oregon's Dillon Brooks in back-to-back games.
14. Miami Heat: OG Anunoby, forward, Indiana
If he had not shredded his knee, he could have played his way into the top 10. He has that type of talent. The 6-foot-8 Anunoby is one of the best defenders in this draft. His offense has a way to go, but his defense is NBA ready.
15. Portland Trail Blazers: Donovan Mitchell, guard, Louisville
Mitchell could provide a good punch from the bench from day one. He's just 6-3, but is a tremendous athlete with an improving jumper. As a freshman, he converted 18 of 72 three-pointers (25 percent). That rate jumped to 35.4 percent in 2016-17, his sophomore year, on three times as many attempts. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals for the Cardinals.
16. Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Allen, forward/center, Texas
Some team will fall in love with Allen's size -- 6-11 with a 7-5 1/2 wingspan -- and will realize a) how much he improved during his one season at Texas and b) how little the Longhorns' roster helped Allen showcase his skills. Here's a look at Allen's season stats: 13.4 points per game, 57.9 percent from the field, 56.4 percent from the line, 18.9 percent defensive rebounding rate, 11.0 offensive rebounding rate. In the Big 12 only, his numbers jumped to: 16.2 ppg, 60.8 percent FG, 58.5 percent FT, 22.2 percent DR%, 11.4 percent OR%.
17. Milwaukee Bucks: John Collins, power forward, Wake Forest
Collins is extremely smooth offensively, with a solid stable of post moves and an effective jumper. Defense is his biggest shortcoming, but what he lacks in awareness he makes up for with his tenacity on the glass -- he ranked eighth nationally in offensive rebounding rate (16.4 percent) and 37th in defensive rebounding rate (25.7 percent) last season.
18. Indiana Pacers: Isaiah Hartenstein, forward/center, Germany
As a 7-footer, Hartenstein can get up and down the floor and also beat opponents with his skill. He could fit in with Indiana's frontcourt as a solid bench piece.
19. Atlanta Hawks: Terrance Ferguson, shooting guard, Australia
Ferguson, who was originally committed to Arizona but opted to go pro instead, did not have a great year in Australia, but he is an intriguing prospect nonetheless. The athletic 6-7 shooting guard has a 6-9 1/2 wingspan, which helps him project as a solid defender. Offensively, Ferguson's strength is his shot.
20. Atlanta Hawks: Justin Patton, forward/center, Creighton
Patton went from a freshman who redshirted because he wasn't ready to a potential top 20 pick. The 7-footer, who can run the floor and score in the halfcourt, shot 68.4 percent from the field. He wasn't the best rebounder bur was a solid rim protector (5.9 percent block rate).
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Harry Giles, forward, Duke
For a while, Giles was considered a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick, but the kid who has torn two ACLs had another knee injury that sidelined him for the early portion of this season. Giles never got into a rhythm as a freshman at Duke, looking timid for much of his time on the floor. But there is a reason Giles was considered the No. 1 recruit in the the Class of 2016. He could run the floor, rebound, defend multiple positions and score with decent range. There is a chance that Giles shows up in spurts during workouts, encouraging some other team to scoop him up before this pick. If he falls to No. 21, the Thunder could take a swing for the fences and hope Giles turns into the top pick they don't have.
22. Nets: Ivan Rabb, power forward, California
Rabb fell significantly from a potential top 10 pick in 2016 to the 20s and maybe worse in 2017. He posted a better defensive rebounding rate (25.6 percent to 21.3 percent) but shot just 49 percent on two-pointers after posting a 61.5 percent clip as a freshman. He rarely looked like a player who wanted to take over a game.
23. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Lydon, forward, Syracuse
The 6-11 forward did not help himself much, if at all, by returning for his sophomore season. Lydon essentially proved he wasn't a go-to guy, but the role player we saw during the Orange's run to the 2016 Final Four still is pretty good. Lydon averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists for Syracuse as a sophomore. One relative unknown about Lydon: his defense, which was masked by Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone.
24. Utah Jazz: T.J. Leaf, power forward, UCLA
Most of the hype around UCLA focused on Lonzo Ball, but Leaf also was a heralded freshman who did not disappoint. The 6-10 forward showcased an ability to run the floor in UCLA's fast-paced offense and averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. His numbers remained fairly consistent throughout non-conference and Pac-12 play.
25. Orlando Magic: Bam Adebayo, center, Kentucky
Adebayo is a strong, athletic big who showed an ability to dominate as a freshman at Kentucky. Adebayo does not have much of a jumper right now but he's strong enough to bang with anybody down low and has enough skill around the hoop to be effective.
26. Portland Trail Blazers: Ike Anigbogu, center, UCLA
The 6-10 freshman is a project, but for a team that needs a rim protector, the almost 19-year-old could be worth a shot late in the first round. In limited minutes, Anigbogu posted an 8.8 percent block rate. That's better than anyone in this draft, other than Zach Collins. If he develops on offense -- and he needs a lot of work there -- he could be a starting center in a few years.
27. Los Angeles Lakers: D.J. Wilson, forward, Michigan
Some team very easily could fall in love with Wilson and take him in the first round. At 6-10, Wilson is a tremendous athlete who finished 83.1 percent of his 110 shots at the rim. He also converted 54 of 112 from mid-range (48.2 percent) and 41 of 110 threes (37.3 percent) a year after knocking down 7 of 23 (30.4 percent). His defensive versatility makes him a solid two-way player. By taking Ball over Jackson, the Lakers would be happy with Wilson late in the first round.
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Jordan Bell, forward, Oregon
After his draft stock gained traction during an impressive NCAA Tournament, Bell was one of the standouts at the NBA draft combine. He's a bit old at 22, but Bell's athleticism and versatility -- especially defensively -- could make him appealing late in the first round.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Caleb Swanigan, power forward, Purdue
The Spurs liked DeJuan Blair, and Swanigan is bigger and better. At 6-9 with a 7-3 1/2 wingspan, Swanigan is long. He was not much of a shot blocker in college, but his motor was tremendous as he battled on the glass, where he posted a 32.7 percent defensive rebounding rate as a sophomore. That ranked third in the country. He also became an effective shooter, knocking down 38 of 85 threes (44.7 percent) in 2016-17.
30. Utah Jazz: Jawun Evans, point guard, Oklahoma State
In any other draft year, Evans would have been considered one of the top point guards. Evans does not possess the physical gifts of the others ahead of him, but his offensive feel for the game is as good as anyone's. With him controlling the show, an Oklahoma State team that had no business leading the country in offensive efficiency led the country in offensive efficiency. He does just about everything well, except finish at the rim. At worst, Evans is a quality backup for a long time. At best, he is Chris Paul lite. Evans would have been an All-America and Player of the Year candidate had he returned for his junior season.