2017 NBA Mock Draft
Published at 6/17/2017 11:02:16 PM
The 76ers acquire the first pick from the Celtics for their third pick and the Lakers 2018 first round pick (with protections). If the Lakers pick does not convey, the Celtics then receive the Kings 2019 first round pick.
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Following a trade with the Celtics, the 76ers select Washington's do-it-all point guard Markelle Fultz to potentially complete "the process". Fultz is far and away the best prospect in this class and gives the 76ers a promising young core of Fultz, Simmons, and Embiid.
While there was strong consideration for Josh Jackson of Kansas, the Lakers went with the expected pick of Lonzo Ball. Ball is a transcendent player with unteachable vision and basketball IQ. His passing will be his calling card and he will make all of his new Laker teammates around him better.
The Celtics trade down and still get there man in Josh Jackson. Jackson fits the "Celtic mold" as a defense first player with a high motor and tantalizing upside. If his offensive skills and jumper develop as expected, the Celtics are looking at a piece to the puzzle that is taking down the Cavaliers.
The Suns look deep into point guard De'Aaron Fox and forward Jonathan Isaac, but cannot resist the go-to scoring potential of Duke wing Jayson Tatum. He will slide in next to Chriss and Bender in the frontcourt to create a young and promising starting five of Bledsoe, Booker, and the aforementioned frontcourt.
The Kings get their man in De'Aaron Fox without having to trade up. Instead of possibly packaging their 5th and 10th picks to move up, the Kings grab the hyper-athletic and quick Fox to set up their backcourt for possibly the next decade if Hield's second half is a sign of things to come in the 2017-2018 season.
While they nearly select Dennis Smith Jr. of NC State, they cannot ignore the shooting and athleticism of Malik Monk. The Magic ride it out with Payton at point guard for now and select a potential star in Monk with tremendous scoring and shooting ability they so desperately need.
The Timberwolves have been looking for a stretch-4 who plays terrific defense and can play alongside Towns. Isaac fits that bill as a young prospect with great upside due to his defensive versatility and shooting potential. Dunn, Lavine, Wiggins, Isaac, and Towns has a chance to wreak havoc on the NBA in a few years.
The Knicks were unable to bring him in for a workout, but that does not prevent them from selecting Ntilikina from France. It feels like point guard or bust at this point for the Knicks, and Ntilikina better suits Jackson's triangle than fellow prospect Dennis Smith Jr. due to his more consistent shooting, defensive capabilities and upside, and a high motor.
The Mavericks are another team that needs a solution at point guard and Smith Jr. falls right into their lap at 9. Smith Jr. has the potential to be the best player in this class with superior athleticism, vision, and scoring ability. However, there is also bust potential due to his shaky decision-making, defensive concerns, and inconsistent shooting.
The Kings' second lottery pick allows them to continue their rebuild. Lauri Markkanen is one of the best shooters in this class and pairs nicely in the frontcourt with defensive-minded Willie Cauley-Stein. Now, the team starts to come together with a youngsters like Fox, Hield, Markkanen, and Cauley-Stein.
The Hornets finally get a big with an offensive skill set and defensive ability in Zach Collins. In limited minutes at Gonzaga, Collins showed great feel in the low post and a smooth shooting stroke from the perimeter. His rim protection was on display in the Final Four, and he is much better than anything the Hornets currently have up front.
The Pistons find a veteran small forward with championship experience in Justin Jackson. At UNC, he excelled as a slasher and defender that also developed his shooting stroke each year. Off curls, his floater is arguably his best shot. He gives the Pistons a source of offense they will need due to Caldwell-Pope's potential departure.
The Nuggets get a strong wing defender now and a potential 3-and-D prospect down the road in Anunoby. He provides the Nuggets with a replacement for Gallinari and fits nicely next to offensive-minded young players like Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic.
The Heat get a power forward who can help immediately on offense in John Collins. He is a terrific post-scorer with a developing shooting stroke. While defense remains a concern, a shot-blocker like Whiteside behind him will allow him to focus on scoring for this Heat squad.
The Blazers need a backup guard with scoring punch and defensive ability, which is exactly what Donovan Mitchell of Louisville provides. He is extremely quick off the bounce and has tremendous athleticism to pair with an improving shooting stroke and good defensive instincts.