The regular season is history. And while 16 teams will continue their pursuit of a championship, for 14 teams, it is time to start praying for ping pong balls. 

Meanwhile, their potential choices have been reduced somewhat unexpectedly. Players like Miles Bridges of Michigan State and Allonzo Trier of Arizona are returning to school, thinning the ranks of mid-tier options at both wing and shooting guard. Still, there's more than enough talent to go around. And where might that talent be going? To the draft board!

Howard Megdal's NBA Mock Draft

Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington: Fultz remains the best bet at either point guard or shooting guard, able to score from anywhere on the floor and distribute. His chasedown blocks seem to be foreshadowing to the ability to defend well in Brad Stevens' schemes.


Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas: The defensive motor will prove irresistible to the Suns, who need a play-making wing on the defensive end, among many other things.


Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA: Lonzo gets his wish, Magic gets his franchise point guard and D'Angelo Russell gets to see how he likes playing off the ball all the time.


Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State: Imagine, if you will, the Sixers with Ben Simmons, a 7-foot point guard, Isaac, a 7-foot wing, and Joel Embiid, a 7-foot-plus center capable of scoring from everywhere. 50 wins isn't crazy next season.  


Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke: The new GM gets to grab Tatum, a Duke product who can be Orlando's alpha scorer and slot in next to Aaron Gordon, more comfortably set at the power forward position.


Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State: The polar opposite of Ricky Rubio in many ways, but a great fit in terms of his ability to play at the pace this young, hyper-athletic roster should, with the bonus of Smith not needing to force his shot.  


De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky: Finally, the Knicks will have both a plus distributor and a defender at the point, the first time since ... Walt Frazier? Really.


Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona: The offensive mismatch provides a big-shooting complement to Buddy Hield, declared franchise icon.


Frank Ntilikina, PG, France: Yogi Ferrell is a great story, but Ntilikina can give Dallas length at point guard, with the chance to be a two-way starter on its next great team.


Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina: More shooting for the Kings, along with a vital wing defender for a group that finished 25th in the league in defensive efficiency.


Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky: It's time to give Steve Clifford a dangerous offensive force at shooting guard, and with the way Monk defends, Clifford won't even mind.


Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville: The best way to move on from the difficulties of 2016-17 is to add Mitchell, who can play plenty of point if Reggie Jackson leaves, or provide shooting and elite perimeter defending alongside him.


Tyler Lydon, SF, Syracuse: Lydon shoots well enough to earn time in the Denver rotation right away, but it is his length and defending on the wings that the Nuggets need the most.


Justin Patton, C, Creighton: It's time to stop denigrating Hassan Whiteside, and letting him mentor Patton, who has many of the gifts Whiteside does athletically, is one sure way to prove that.


Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova: The Blazers don't need featured scorers, they need efficient shooting on the wing and strong defenders. Bridges can be what they tried to make Noah Vonleh into for two years, allowing Vonleh to embrace the rebounding role he picked up late in the season.


TJ Leaf, PF/C, UCLA: Expecting the Bulls to full rebuild is probably unwise, so instead another shooter that doesn't force them to blow up the Jimmy Butler/Dwyane Wade experiment is probably the play here.


Semi Ojeleye, SF, SMU: Versatility and athleticism are in great demand, but especially for Jason Kidd's Bucks, who can use Ojeleye as a do-everything member of their second unit.


Sindarius Thornwell, SG, South Carolina: Nate McMillan's Pacers rescued this lost season late with timely shooting and defensive toughness, so Thornwell will only reinforce that identity.


Monte Morris, PG, Iowa State: The super backcourt duo of McCollum and Lillard needs to rest sometimes, and Terry Stotts values possessions. Why not draft the point guard best at protecting the ball of any in the country?


John Collins, PF/C, Wake Forest: If anyone can turn Collins into a willing defender, it's Mike Budenholzer, which will allow his hyper-efficient offensive game around the basket to stay on the court and blossom.


Johnathan Motley, PF, Baylor: Nothing against Taj Gibson, but Motley can step into his role and then some.


Harry Giles, PF/C, Duke: If you're the Nets, and you're not close, why not take the guy who Boston probably would have grabbed with your pick if not for injuries, and see if he's the next Chris Webber once he has an extended string of good health?


OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana: More defensive toughness for Terry Stotts, this time in the form of the best wing defender in the draft, assuming he recovers from his season-ending injury.


Rodions Kurucs, SF, Latvia: The Jazz can stash this plus shooter and let him develop.


Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas: Some Kyle Lowry insurance, with a game that would have put him in the Fultz/Ball discussion if he were 6-feet-4 instead of 5-11.


Ivan Rabb, PF, California: At his ceiling, an elite big man, already rebounds well, sees the court well. The regression in shooting efficiency is what drops him.


Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Germany: Again, years away, so grab the 7-footer who can stroke it from 3-point range and hope the NBA body follows.


Tacko Fall, C, Central Florida: It takes only a little imagination to get Fall, let the 7-6 prodigy go out with your second unit and dominate as a rim protector and rebounder while he gets that extra 15 pounds of muscle that could make him a potential All-Star.


Alec Peters, F, Valparaiso: No one who has seen Peters can fail to smile at the thought of Gregg Popovich and his staff getting ahold of his versatile offensive game and seeing what they can make of him.


Luke Kennard, SG, Duke: Another shooter for the Jazz, who can afford to gamble some with defenders given the presence of that Rudy Gobert fellow behind them.