13. Minnesota Timberwolves choose Elmarko Jackson
The Timberwolves are facing significant spending concerns after re-signing Jalen McDaniels. They have more than $185 million committed in salaries for next season without counting Mike Conley or Kyle Anderson, who are set to become free agents. Minnesota needs another ball-handler and playmaker if those two players depart.
Jackson profiles as one of the top point guards in this class. The 6’3 guard loves to attack the basket and needs a strong freshman season at Kansas to solidify his status as a lottery pick. Jackson is comfortable playing on or off the ball, which should fit well in the backcourt next to Anthony Edwards.
14. Sacramento Kings take Melvin Ajinca
The Kings owe this selection to the Hawks from the Kevin Huerter trade with a top 14 protection. If Sacramento returns to the playoffs, they will not have this pick. The Kings could be primed to take a step backward and return to the lottery after not making any major offseason moves.
Ajinca profiles as a strong 3-and-D wing, who would help Sacramento’s perimeter defense. The 6’7 teenager is in his fourth professional season in Europe and should quickly jump into the rotation as a plus-shooter and defender.
15. Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets) select Kyle Filipowski
The Rockets own the Nets 2024 first-round pick unprotected. Brooklyn sneaks back into the playoffs, but Houston is ecstatic to have two top-15 selections.
Filipowski likely would have gone in the first round of the 2023 draft, but he decided to return to Duke. The seven-footer will form one of the best pick-and-roll duos in the country with Tyrese Proctor, and the Blue Devils will be hunting a national title.
Filipowski has the ceiling of a stretch five who can make an impact on both ends. The Rockets take the best player available to improve their overall talent.