2017 NBA Mock Draft V1
Published at 6/15/2017 4:53:10 PM
Probably not perfect, but I went with my gut here.
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Hands down the best player in the class. Can shoot from each level, good defender, good playmaker, can play either guard position and would work with Isaiah Thomas and the direction the Celtics are heading as a good replacement for Avery Bradley.
LaVar Ball aside, Lonzo is a top prospect. Outstanding passer that seamlessly runs the point. The selection of Ball could signify the Lakers giving up on D'Angelo Russell, especially with the new front office led by Magic Johnson.
Although I feel Malik Monk is the better fit for the Sixers with Ben Simmons running the point, ESPN's Jeff Goodman has reported that Philadelphia with draft one of Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson. Jayson Tatum is a great ball-handler with a nice jump shot, not a bad pick for the growing Sixers team.
Josh Jackson could quite possibly be the best player in the class, including Markelle Fultz. While I still think Fultz has the edge, Phoenix will jump at the chance to give Devin Booker a legitimate star counterpart.
De'Aaron Fox's has been rising faster than any other player in the pre-draft process. With the Lakers considering taking him with the second pick, the Kings would love to pair Fox with Buddy Hield, despite Fox's poor shooting ability.
The Magic are kind of stuck. Aaron Gordon isn't as good as his draft pick, and Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier aren't franchise players. Orlando needs to find someone to lead their franchise, and Malik Monk is a good place to start. Monk is one of, if not the best shooter in the class, and the Magic need someone.
The Timberwolves are so close to being a legit contender in the NBA, and I think Isaac is the one that can complete this line-up. Isaac is a good scorer in general that could work well with Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio, and Kris Dunn.
Dennis Smith Jr. is the right pick here. However, Phil Jackson loves him some international players. Desperate to replicate the home run on Kristaps Porzingis, Jackson takes Ntilikina, who's isn't necessarily bad, but isn't as good as Dennis Smith Jr.
Mark Cuban is desperate to give Dirk Nowitzki one last title run, and Smith isn't a bad pick to do that. Smith is a good scorer and an athletic freak to give Dirk one last chance alongside Harrison Barnes.
Markkanen is right there with Malik Monk and Luke Kennard as the best shooters in the class, and in a 7'0 frame. The Arizona product could be a star in the NBA, and this pick could give the Kings a core of De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Markkanen.
The Hornets had a couple of famous siblings at center this past season with Cody Zeller and Miles Plumlee. This needs to change, as neither is a very good player. Zach Collins is a decent fix to this as Gonzaga's first one-and-done player in history.
Stanley Johnson hasn't really panned out, and it might already be time to replace him if they want to keep Andre Drummond and build around Reggie Jackson's contract.
The Nuggets are in a good position going forward, with their only real need at point guard after Emmanuel Mudiay's mediocre start to his career. However, there aren't really any point guards left at this position. Therefore, the Nuggets take Collins, who has a case for the best player available.
After his incredible second half run, I think it's safe to say Dion Waiters is here to stay with Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside. Justice Winslow hasn't been great, so I think Miami takes the NCAA champion to give Winslow competition.
With the Blazers' guards set for the future with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, there isn't much for Portland to do with Donovan Mitchell and Luke Kennard as the best players on the board. So, with the first of their three first-round picks, take Anigbogu for competition, I guess.