The NBA Finals may have just ended Sunday night, but the league’s calendar marches on.

Four days after the Cleveland Cavaliers ended their city’s 52-year championship drought by beating the Golden State Warriors in an all-time classic Game 7, the NBA’s 30 teams will welcome the next crop of talent into the league Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, site of the 2016 NBA Draft.

To prepare, I enlisted the help of friends from around the league to get a sense of what the teams they cover will do when the proceedings begin — starting with the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 1. Here is what they came up with before the Jazz shook things up by trading the No. 12 pick to Atlanta:

1. Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons, F, Louisiana State
Pick made by Keith Pompey from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Why Simmons? “The ballhandling power forward out of Louisiana State will be positioned to initiate the Sixers’ offense. Extremely versatile, the Australian can play small forward, power forward and line up as a small-ball center in certain situations.”


2. Los Angeles Lakers

Brandon Ingram, F, Duke
Bill Oram from the Orange County Register

Why Ingram? “The Lakers are at the beginning of a full organizational rebuild, and can afford to wait as Ingram fills out physically. In the meantime, they can enjoy his sublime scoring ability at a position of great need.”


3. Boston Celtics (from the Brooklyn Nets)

Dragan Bender, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Jay King from

Why Bender? “The Celtics would love to add shooting and frontcourt athleticism this summer. Dragan Bender could grow into the rare talent who provides both — at least once he learns how to maximize his impressive gifts.”


4. Phoenix Suns

Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
Paul Coro from the Arizona Republic

Why Chriss? “In this scenario, the Suns could be in position to trade with a team seeking one of the top guards. If the second tier of available players is as close as it appears, the Suns have a huge hole at power forward to address and Chriss’ athleticism and offensive skill make for tantalizing upside.”


5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Kris Dunn, G, Providence
Jerry Zgoda from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Why Dunn? “With all the guards still on the board, the Timberwolves select Kris Dunn. Point guard isn’t a need, not with Ricky Rubio on the roster. But defense and toughness — two of new boss Tom Thibodeau’s favorite things — are.”


6. New Orleans Pelicans

Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma
Brett Dawson from the New Orleans Advocate

Why Hield? “The Pelicans probably would prefer Dunn, but Hield’s three-point shooting fills a need. And at 22, he’s among the best fits in the lottery for New Orleans’s win-now approach.”


7. Denver Nuggets (from the New York Knicks)

Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
Chris Dempsey from the Denver Post

Why Murray? “One of the Nuggets’ goals this offseason is to improve shooting, and the addition of Murray helps greatly. He can handle the ball, which helps, and profiles as a scorer.”


8. Sacramento Kings

Jaylen Brown, F, California
Jason Jones from the Sacramento Bee

Why Brown? “The Kings need more athleticism on the perimeter and Brown would add that. He could become a solid defender as his offense develops.”


9. Toronto Raptors (from the Nuggets via the Knicks)

Domantas Sabonis, F/C, Gonzaga
Michael Grange from Rogers Sportsnet

Why Sabonis? “Masai Ujiri is not afraid of taking players based on long-term potential (Hello, Bruno Caboclo!) but with a playoff-hardened team that also happens to have a yawning gap at power forward, drafting for need — the need being a relatively immediate solution to play the four alongside Jonas Valancuinas — I see the Raps using the No. 9 pick to take player who can make a contribution sooner than later. Domantas Sabonis has the motor and IQ that will make him a good fit in the Raptors’ emerging culture, and his promise as a perimeter threat provides hope of him fitting alongside Valanciunas. And the more Lithuanians, the better.”


10. Milwaukee Bucks

Wade Baldwin, G, Vanderbilt
Charles Gardner from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Why Baldwin? “The Bucks are looking for backcourt depth and like the Russell Westbrook-type build and confidence of Baldwin. He considers himself a point guard but might be more suited to play 2-guard in pros and would fit well with PG Giannis Antetokounmpo.”


11. Orlando Magic

Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Josh Robbins from the Orlando Sentinel

Why Poeltl? “I still think the Magic would like to trade this pick if it gets them quality veteran help, but Poeltl is the best prospect remaining.”


12. Atlanta Hawks (from Utah Jazz)

Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky
Chris Vivlamore from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Why Labissiere? “The forward/center would help the Hawks defensively with his athleticism and shot-blocking. He has the skills to play the 4/5 combo in Hawks’ offense as well.”


13. Phoenix Suns (from the Washington Wizards)

Dejounte Murray, G, Washington
Paul Coro from the Arizona Republic

Why Murray? “If the Suns are going for balance with their first two picks, they look for backcourt help. Even with roster strength at guard, they can develop a backup point guard and tap early into the immense potential of a long, explosive guard with hunger and confidence.”


14. Chicago Bulls

Denzel Valentine, F Michigan State
Vince Goodwill from Comcast SportsNet Chicago

Why Valentine? “The Bulls want a point guard. But with Baldwin off the board the versatile Valentine will do, as he can play three positions and facilitate offense. His medicals have been red-flagged, but it shouldn’t affect him early in his career.”


15. Denver Nuggets (from the Houston Rockets)

Cheick Diallo, F/C, Kansas
Chris Dempsey from the Denver Post

Why Diallo? “The Nuggets want to raise their shot-blocking profile and Diallo gives them a chance to do that. His 7-4 wingspan is ideal, and he’s shown the ability to block shots on weak side help, as well as on the man he’s guarding.”


16. Boston Celtics (from the Dallas Mavericks)

Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State
Jay King from

Why Davis? “The Celtics posted a top-five defense without a real shot-blocker, but I wonder how stingy they could be with an eraser at the rim. Davis is young and raw, but mobile enough to develop into a defensive anchor one day.”


17. Memphis Grizzlies

Timothe Luwawu, G, Mega Leks
Chris Herrington from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal

Why Luwawu? “The Grizzlies have been connected to Malachi Richardson and have worked out Taurean Prince twice, but I’m betting super-long French wing Luwawu has more two-way upside than either.”


18. Detroit Pistons

Demetrius Jackson, G, Notre Dame
Rod Beard from The Detroit News

Why Jackson? “The Pistons struggled at backup point guard last season with 35-year-old Steve Blake and are looking to upgrade. Jackson could step in as a potential facilitator and although he doesn’t have great size (6-feet without shoes), he has the speed and athleticism to make up for his deficiencies. The Pistons might also look in free agency for another point guard to solidify the position.”


19. Denver Nuggets (from the Portland Trail Blazers)

Furkan Korkmaz, G, Anadolu Efes
Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post

Why Korkmaz? “Draft and stash time for the Nuggets, who always have an eye for international prospects. Korkmaz wants to stay, but one more year overseas would help both he and the Nuggets.”


20. Indiana Pacers

Brice Johnson, F, North Carolina
Candace Bucker from the Indianapolis Star

Why Johnson? “The Pacers’ evolution in small ball continues and though Johnson is no prototypical stretch-4 (he didn’t even attempt a three-pointer in college), Indiana needs his rebounding to shore up its deficiency under the glass.”


21. Atlanta Hawks

Henry Ellenson, F, Marquette
Chris Vivlamore from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Why Ellenson? “The Hawks consider Ellenson a top-10 talent. With the uncertainty of re-signing Al Horford, a big who can slide between power forward and center would be an asset.”


22. Charlotte Hornets

Malik Beasley, G, Florida State
Rick Bonnell from the Charlotte Observer

Why Beasley? “There’s a good chance they lose Courtney Lee in free agency. Shooting guard is this draft’s strongest position.”


23. Boston Celtics

DeAndre Bembry, F, Saint Joseph’s
Jay King from

Why Bembry? “If Bembry develops a consistent outside jumper, the Celtics will have one of the most versatile wings in this draft. Even if he doesn’t, he’ll bring the team some great hair.”


24. Philadelphia 76ers (from the Miami Heat via the Cleveland Cavaliers)

Malachi Richardson, G, Syracuse
Keith Pompey from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Why Richardson? “A solid three-point shooter with athleticism, Richardson will fit well in a system that features Ben Simmons.”


25. Los Angeles Clippers

Taurean Prince, F, Baylor
Dan Woike from the Orange County Register

Why Prince? “The Clippers’ salary cap situation demands they try and find a player who can make some immediate impact with either this pick or with No. 33. Prince works here as a potential “three-and-D guy with plenty of experience in four years at Baylor.”


26. Philadelphia 76ers (from the Oklahoma City Thunder via the Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers)

Tyler Ulis, G, Kentucky
Keith Pompey from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Why Ulis? “Though small, Ulis is the gritty, defensive-minded point guard the Sixers could use in a reserve role.”


27. Toronto Raptors

Ivica Zubac, C, Mega Leks
Michael Grange from Rogers Sportsnet

Why Zubac? “The Raptors have more first-round picks than roster picks this year and next, so a draft-and-stash with No. 27 makes sense (and is not inconceivable at nine). The Raptors are one of a handful of teams that worked out the 7-1, 265-pound, 19-year-old whose profile has risen quickly. They see shades of Jonas Valanciunas in the wide body with the soft touch.”


28. Phoenix Suns (from the Cleveland Cavaliers via the Boston Celtics)

Juan Hernangomez, F, Estudiantes
Paul Coro from the Arizona Republic

Why Hernangomez? “With three first-round picks and a young roster, a draft-and-stash is the likely play and this versatile, stretch power forward was the best young player in the high-caliber Spanish league.”


29. San Antonio Spurs

Ante Zizic, C, Cibona Zagreb
Jeff McDonald from the San Antonio Express-News

Why Zizic? “Rule of thumb when it comes to the Spurs on draft night: When in doubt, go with a Euro with a hard-to-pronounce name. The 19-year-old Zizic is the kind of raw prospect the Spurs would love to develop on someone else’s dime.”


30. Golden State Warriors

Thon Maker, F, Athlete Institute
Diamond Leung from the Bay Area News Group

Why Maker? “The Warriors have time to develop him. If they part with Festus Ezeli in the offseason, he could see some playing time.”