Odds of a Donovan Mitchell trade are low. The Mavericks seem intent on keeping Jalen Brunson. Needing to make a backcourt splash, Leon Rose bites the bullet, and trades one of his best young assets, understanding it is the only way to get to the desired No. 4 spot in the draft.
The Knicks own draft night, as a result, moving up from No. 11 to No. 4 for Purdue stud Jaden Ivey. It costs a lot — this year’s first pick, Obi Toppin and multiple second-rounders go to the Kings.
It is the story of the first round.
This is how The Post’s Zach Braziller sees it all unfolding at Barclays Center a week from Thursday:
Jabari Smith, F, Auburn
He’s the archetype for the modern NBA forward — long, skilled and defensively versatile. Smith is every bit in the mold of Cavaliers instant-impact rookie Evan Mobley — except he is a superior shooter — and the lone question mark scouts have is his handle.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga
It’s easy to see the Minnesotan making an immediate impact with his rim-protecting, 3-point shooting, ball-handling skill set. You can also envision Holmgren struggling against much stronger players with similar athletic attributes. The first college player in 28 years to make over 40 3-pointers and block over 100 shots in one season is very much boom-or-bust.
3. Houston Rockets
Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
The Rockets get a No. 1-caliber pick at no. 3, a robust forward prospect who has already thrived under the bright lights that was his lone year at Duke in Mike Krzyzewski final season. Banchero won’t even have to be THE GUY in Houston — last year’s top pick, Jalen Green, has that covered — which may fit his all-around game better.
4. New York Knicks (from Kings)
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Knicks fans will be chanting “Iv-ey, Iv-ey, Iv-ey” deep into the Brooklyn night, believing they finally have the point guard their franchise has lacked for decades. The Purdue star is the impact player the Knicks need next to RJ Barrett, a top-shelf athlete who took a major leap across the board in his third NBA season.
Keegan Murray, G/F, Iowa
Underrated defensively, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer a year ago is a natural fit for the shooting-needy Pistons next to playmaking forward Cade Cunningham, last year’s No. 1 jumpsuit pick.
6. Indiana Pacers
Dyson Daniels, G, G-League Ignite
After finishing 28th in the league in defensive rating, the rebuilding Pacers have to address that end of the floor this offseason, and they start here with the defensive-minded Daniels. With his long frame, the on-the-rise Australian can defend guards and wings, and could form a strong 1-2 backcourt punch for the future with Tyrese Haliburton.
7. Portland Trail Blazers
Bennedict Mathurin, G, Arizona
At worst, the Pac-12 Player of the Year is a 3-and-D contributor who can help the Trail Blazers on the defensive end right away. But some scouts see an All-Star in the Canadian import, citing his ability to defend several positions, his smooth jumper and ceiling to expand his offensive game as a playmaking guard.
8. New Orleans Pelicans
Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
If Holmgren is the most talked-about prospect in this draft, Sharpe is the biggest question mark. He was a big-time high school prospect — 247Sports.com ranked him third nationally — who didn’t play in college last year after enrolling at Kentucky in January. Essentially, he’s going straight from high school to the NBA, making this pick a gamble.
9.San Antonio Spurs
Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
The Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year thinks defense first — he believes he’s the best defensive player in the draft. That attitude will endear him to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs who are in desperate need of a difference-maker up front.
Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State
Efficient, young and ultra-skilled, the one-and-done star offers the Wizards shotmaking depth in the backcourt from the jump with ample room for growth in the years to come.
11. Sacramento Kings (from Knicks)
AJ Griffin, G, Duke
Injuries to each knee coupled with an inconsistent one year at Duke have led to doubts about the White Plains native. His raw talent, though, remains unquestioned as a lights-out 3-point shooter who nearly hit 50 percent from distance and a 7-foot wingspan that could make him a high-caliber perimeter defender.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
Ousmane Dieng, G/F, New Zealand Breakers
Nobody is more patient than Sam Presti, who seems to be working on a 10-year plan in Oklahoma City, stockpiling assets while punting seasons away more than New York’s football locals. Dieng is the perfect pick for Presti: A high-ceiling prospect who needs time, but could be worth the wait years down the line.
Mark Williams, C, Duke
The ACC Defensive Player of the Year fills a major need for the Hornets as a rim-protecting, lob-catching finisher to pair with maestro LaMelo Ball. With his 7-foot-8 wingspan and relentless motor, the 20-year-old Williams could in time be a two-way paint force.
14th Cleveland Cavaliers
Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
The arrow is pointing up for the Cavs after last year’s breakthrough 44-win season, and the Big Ten Player of the Year is another talented young player who strengthens the core. Cleveland has a need for more shooting and scoring on the wing, and Davis can provide that instantly.
Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara
The mid-major star opened eyes at the combine with his sweet stroke from distance, impressive measurables and raw athleticism. The absurdly long-armed Williams — he has a 7-foot-2.25 wingspan — also can do it when the lights are on, averaging 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists this past season while shooting a shade under 40 percent from deep.
Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas
His upside may not be as high as others selected ahead of him, but the 22-year-old Agbaji can step in right away and produce at both ends of the floor as a court-spacing shotmaker and wing defender. The Hawks will look smart by taking the sure thing here.
17. Houston Rockets
Tari Eason, F, LSU
The Rockets have their dynamic scoring duo for the future in Banchero and Green, and now they take a lunch-pail complement to them in Eason. The gritty, defense-first wing will do the dirty work, and has made strides offensively as a perimeter threat.
Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
Similar to Williams, Duren doesn’t space the floor on the offensive end, but his freakish athleticism and robust rim-protection still make him an attractive fit at the next level.
TyTy Washington Jr., G, Kentucky
Washington didn’t get to show his entire repertoire in college, spending a good portion of his one year in Lexington off the ball. Still, he shot well (35 percent from deep), had a better than two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio and showed enough promise that he can be a lead guard at the next level.
20.San Antonio Spurs
Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
His defense alone makes him appealing, as a shot-blocking demon who rejected 4.6 shots per game last year. If his offense comes around, and there is promise in his perimeter jump shot, the Spurs will have a steal.
21. Denver Nuggets
Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
An explosive athlete who struggled with his shot his lone year in college, Wesley will find the spaced-out NBA game more to his liking. His on-ball speed and ability to get into the paint are coveted traits in a guard, and there is some Tyrese Maxey in the Notre Dame star.
22. Memphis Grizzlies
Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
The Grizzlies could be in the market for a point guard with Tyus Jones potentially leaving through free agency, and the well-rounded Chandler not only hails from Memphis, but is close with star Ja Morant.
Dalen Terry, G, Arizona
Ignore his underwhelming overall numbers. Terry was the glue to Arizona’s Sweet 16 team. He screams out lock-down defender with his 7-foot-1 wingspan and jumping-jack athleticism, and there is playmaking and shotmaking potential in there to be further developed.
EJ Liddell, F, Ohio State
Liddell progressed each season — his scoring increasing, his shooting numbers improving and his versatility expanding. While he may not have one clear strength at the next level, there is very little Liddell cannot do.
25.San Antonio Spurs
Christian Braun, G, Kansas
Had he returned to college, Braun would’ve been one of the premier players in the country. Like Liddell, he really has no weakness — an able shooter, distributor, defender and high-level athlete. You’ll win games with him playing a meaningful role.
26. Dallas Mavericks
Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
His combination of size and shotmaking are attractive, particularly for a team like the Mavericks that can use scoring punch off the bench and more court spacing to free up Luka Doncic.
27. Miami Heat
Jaden Hardy, G, G-League Ignite
The G-League route didn’t work in Hardy’s favor, his stock falling dramatically after he was projected as a top-five pick as recently as last fall. But that doesn’t mean his ability has vanished despite an off year. The Heat can afford to take a swing on talent, and hope their culture of development rubs off on Hardy.
28. Golden State Warriors
Christian Koloko, C, Arizona
The Warriors have survived James Wiseman’s injury issues, but they remain short up front, particularly since he has yet to live up to the hype as the second pick in the 2020 draft. Koloko is a possible answer in the middle. In the least, the rim-running, shot-blocking demon can be part of the solution alongside Wiseman.
29. Memphis Grizzlies
Wendell Moore Jr., G, Duke
His toughness and defensive prowess fits the gritty roster GM Zach Kleiman has formulated in Memphis. Moore, a much-improved shooter, can help the contending Grizzlies at both ends of the floor right away off the bench.
30. Denver Nuggets
MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G-League Ignite
Despite joining G-League Ignite late, he was one of its top players, with his length, energy and defensive prowess all on display. Beauchamp was second on the team in scoring and rebounding, but it was his positional versatility and ability to defend that really stood out.