24. Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine and Otto Porter Jr.
The Bulls’ depth works against them in this exercise; they have several options and combinations to deploy, but none are particularly good. So the best two players end up making the superior pair. LaVine will have no problem scoring, and his defense has gotten a lot better this season. Porter plays well on both ends, though he is at risk of being taken to the post by a big.
The bet here is that plus scoring and shooting, along with juuust enough defense, will get the job done. LaVine can get buckets at will, and Porter isn’t too bad at that himself. The former just has to do his job on the other end, while the latter has to avoid being sized up in the post.
23. Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon and Markelle Fultz
There’s an argument for Nikola Vucevic over one of these two, but Gordon’s versatility is more valuable. He just needs a ball-handler, a role that Fultz can fill much easier in a spaced floor. These two will be a force at the rim, only denied by whatever elite rim protectors are in the competition.
The two should be fine defensively. Fultz can more than handle himself on that end, with the frame and athleticism to defend 1 through 3. Gordon might be at risk of a punishment from a post big, but how many of them are really in this anyway?