The NBA Draft will be held tonight in Brooklyn with the first pick being made about 4:35 p.m.
Expect Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram to be picked with the No. 1
and No. 2 picks in some order. Uncertainty reigns from there.
Former Cal wing Jaylen Brown, who averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in his one season with the Golden Bears, is widely considered an option for the Boston Celtics at No. 3. And he admitted, “It’s driving me crazy actually,” to The Associated Press recently.
The 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year has an extremely high ceiling and proved his incredible athleticism while playing for Cuonzo Martin. Excluding any wacky draft day developments (think Laremy Tunsil in his gasmask), he should be the first Cal men’s basketball player drafted in the top 10 since Shareef Abdur-Rahim was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the third pick in 1996.
The Celtics would probably be the ideal landing spot for Brown — both in terms of contract terms and team culture. But playing time would be harder to come by than with most lottery teams because they already have at least a half-dozen perimeter players who will expect to see the floor this season.
The Phoenix Suns at No. 4 have a similar problem.
The owners of the fifth pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves, need a shooter and it would be hard to pass up Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield if that’s your primary demand.
Next is the New Orleans Pelicans, who could be a fun team in terms of immediate playing time. Same with the Denver Nuggets at No. 7.
The Sacramento Kings should stay true to themselves and take another Kentucky product — hello, Jamal Murray — and that’s probably for the best for Brown fans.
The Warriors own the No. 30 pick, which is low enough that anybody who isn’t general manager Bob Myers offering a projection is educated guessing.
So, here’s mine: A foreign-born big man — specifically, either Zhou Qi from China, who’s undeniably fun to scout, or Croatian center Ante Zizic.
A prediction I feel better about: The Dubs will pick somewhere between 7 and 7:30 p.m.