With the NBA Draft lottery and combine no in the rear view mirror, the focus has shifted to the actual selection process with the NBA Drat right around the corner now. While the order of the lottery teams has officially been set, there could still be plenty of movement on draft night with a number of teams potentially looking to move up to add the particular star talent that they are targeting. Here is a look at the four teams most likely to move up in this year’s NBA Draft.
The Hawks enter this year’s NBA Draft with plenty of capital including three first round picks. It will be interesting to see whether they move two or more selections in order to try to move up from No. 3 to No. 1. While they are projected to add a quality player at No. 3 overall, Atlanta might be tempted to move up to No. 1 in order to add consensus top prospect DeAndre Ayton. The 7’0’’ center is the consensus first-overall pick and would also fill a position of need for the Hawks. If they can package a group of picks including the third-overall selection, they could be able to convince the Phoenix Suns to trade them the No. 1 pick.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in recent the recent history of the franchise. However, they have the chance to earn some redemption with a strong draft. Los Angeles is well stocked heading in to the 2018 NBA Draft with back-to-back picks at No. 12 and No. 13 – the former pick acquired in the trade that sent Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons. While the Clippers might be comfortable with adding two quality players at No. 12 and No. 13, they might be willing to package both picks with a roster player in order to make a serious bid for a top-three overall pick.
Chicago added a second first round pick in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bulls are now positioned to pick at No. 7 and No. 22 in the first round. While Wendell Carter, Michael Porter Jr. or Trae Young could end up convincing Chicago to stay put at No. 7, they could also be in the mix for a top-three pick including potentially first-overall if they decide to make a bid that includes both of their first round picks. The Bulls have an obvious hole at the center position so if they feel Ayton could be a star they might decide its in their best interest to make a push for him.
The 76ers are coming off their best season since before The Process began. They’ll be among the favorites to win the Eastern Conference next season, according to the oddsmakers at BetDSI.
That said, Philadelphia is still in an excellent position to upgrade at the draft with four picks in the top-40. The 76ers own the 10th-overall pick thanks to a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers but also own their own first round pick at No. 26 overall and two early second round picks. While they don’t need a center, Philadelphia could make a bid for a player like Luka Doncic or Marvin Bagley III by packaging some of their picks to move in to the top-five. The 76ers could accelerate their process by getting the player they covet near the top of the board. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Philadelphia was among the teams that moved up in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.
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