Big, Boston Celtics
Xavier Tillman was a dominant two-way force at the college level, whether he was screening small guards into oblivion, carving out space in the post to finish with a feathery touch, throwing gorgeous dimes as a short-roll creator, or playing mistake-free as a team defender and interior rim protector.
He’s one of the smartest players in the draft and though he may lack height and length for a big (6’8 with a 7’1 wingspan) but he understands how to use every ounce of skill and strength that he possesses. He is everything that Boston wants out of a big man, especially in terms of functional strength and prolific screening/sealing, making this a match made in basketball heaven.
Boston Fits: Xavier Tillman, Grant Riller, Zeke Nnaji
Big, Toronto Raptors
The impending free agency of Fred VanVleet could pressure the Raptors into picking up another point guard at the draft, but if they’re confident in their odds of resigning him, they may turn to shoring up their frontcourt depth based on the age and expiring contracts of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. Toronto features one of the best development programs in the entire NBA, making this a perfect situation to put Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji into.
Toronto fits: Grant Riller, Xavier Tillman, Malachi Flynn
Guard, Los Angeles Lakers
Winston has been a climber on mock drafts in recent weeks, and for good reason. Though he’s relatively old (22) and small (6’1) for a point guard, he’s unmistakably one of the best shooters in the class with a remarkable touch on floaters (44.9%) and pull-ups (42.1%), making him a potential NBA-ready backup guard for a contender picking in the late-20s.
The Lakers don’t have much going for them in terms of off-the-bench shotmaking at the guard spots, so he makes sense here. There are better alternatives here, including some experienced wing-sized shooters (Desmond Bane, Isaiah Joe), but it seems like Winston is garnering serious interest in this range, so why buck the trend now.
Los Angeles fits: Grant Riller, Isaiah Joe, Jalen Smith