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Big Red
2017 NBA Mock Draft by Big Red - 6.21
Published at 6/21/2017 9:58:51 PM

My final NBA Mock Draft for 2017. To be updated throughout the day. Enjoy!

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Round 1

Round 1: 1-15
1. 76ers: Markelle Fultz, Point Guard, Washington

At this point, this pick is a foregone conclusion. The 76ers traded up to get a guard who can both handle the rock, and also play off it as a two guard. Fultz is going to be a good scorer at the next level, and should help to complete what looks like a stellar starting five for the 76ers.

76ers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

2. Lakers: Lonzo Ball, Point Guard, UCLA

I’m a bit torn on this pick. Prior to the D’Angelo Russell trade, I had Josh Jackson as the pick here. I think that the Lakers are not quite as high on Ball as the media is claiming, but given the hole they now have at the point, Ball is a solid fit here. He fits the Showtime style of the Lakers, and he should be able to play alongside Paul George if the current Pacer makes his way to the team. A potential lineup of Ball, Brandon Ingram, George, Julius Randle, and Brook Lopez could make noise. Of course, Randle could end up being traded for George. Regardless, Ball is looking more and more like the pick here.

Lakers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

3. Celtics: Jayson Tatum, Small Forward, Duke

As a Celtics fan, I can tell you that Danny Ainge is entirely unpredictable. He also is arguably the best GM in the league. While many were pegging Josh Jackson as the top option here, I am a bit skeptical that they will select him given that he refused to work out for him. “Not having enough time” to work out is a poor excuse because there was about 6 days between when the trade was essentially confirmed and the draft. It’s just a bad look for Jackson, and could make teams worry that he is a bit of a headcase.

Conversely, Jayson Tatum fills both a need for the team and compares favorably to Celtics legend Paul Pierce. The Celtics already have a couple of great defensive wings in Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown, so Tatum fills more of a need. He could pack a needed scoring punch of the bench, and could be a great fit in Brad Stevens’ system. For all those reasons, I think that Tatum will be the piece. Jackson is the second option while Jonathan Isaac is probably a dark horse option.

Celtics's Needs via ESPN's RPM

4. Suns: Josh Jackson, Small Forward, Kansas

The Suns could use a strong defensive wing to help complete their strong, young core. Jackson would be a great defensive complement to offensive powerhouses T.J. Warren and Devin Booker. He makes the most sense and he could grow into a star at the NBA level.

Suns's Needs via ESPN's RPM

5. Kings: De'Aaron Fox, Point Guard, Kentucky

The Kings want De’Aaron Fox. That much we know. If he is available here, the Kings will be all over him. The other thing to watch is for them to maybe jump over the Suns if they feel that Fox may be the Suns’ guy. The Celtics would maybe trade down again, so that will again be an interesting pick to watch.

Kings's Needs via ESPN's RPM

6. Magic: Jonathan Isaac, Small Forward, Florida State

Isaac is a long, athletic player who is very raw. He has some upside, but this is the kind of player that new Magic GM John Hammond loved drafting in Milwaukee. Isaac could grow into a star, and has a chance to be a strong starter.

Magic's Needs via ESPN's RPM

7. Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen, Power Forward, Arizona

The one hole in the Timberwolves’ starting lineup comes at power forward. Markkanen is a 7-foot shooter in the mold of Dirk Nowitzki. He will slide in next to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and continue to make the Timberwolves a potential playoff team in the near future.

Timberwolves's Needs via ESPN's RPM

8. Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, Point Guard, France

The Knicks are going to take Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Luke Kennard, or Malik Monk here. Ntilikina is currently the favorite because the team reportedly really likes him. If Phil Jackson thinks that he can play in the triangle, then Ntilikina is going to be the pick. Playing him next to Kristaps Porzingis should create a solid duo for the Knicks to build off.

Knicks's Needs via ESPN's RPM

9. Mavericks: Dennis Smith, Point Guard, N.C. State

Yogi Farrell did a great job for the Mavs last year, but he will be better served as a high energy bench guy. Smith Jr. is a bit of a sleeper, and he could end up being the best point guard in this draft. He definitely fills a need for the Mavericks and they will quickly pull the trigger here if Smith is still on the board.

Mavericks's Needs via ESPN's RPM

10. Kings: Zach Collins, Center, Gonzaga

Collins is a player who would probably have gone higher had he been a starter. Collins is a great center who can score and protect the rim. The Kings could use him as a forward or center in their frontcourt, and he will give them a potentially solid starter.

Kings's Needs via ESPN's RPM

11. Hornets: Luke Kennard, Shooting Guard, Duke

The Hornets just traded for Dwight Howard in what was a great move. That said, they will need to add some shooting to replace the departed Marco Belinelli. Kennard has been a fast riser and he is considered by some to be a better player that Malik Monk. I have a feeling that Charlotte may be one of those teams, and he will be the pick here.

Hornets's Needs via ESPN's RPM

12. Pistons: Malik Monk, Guard, Kentucky

This is a steal for the Pistons. Monk could have been a top five pick, but he slips out of circumstance. The Pistons need some shooting off the bench and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a free agent. Even if they retain KCP, Monk could be the team’s sixth man and may be able to play a bit of point guard for them too.

Pistons's Needs via ESPN's RPM

13. Nuggets: O.G Anuoby, Guard, Indiana

Anunoby’s ACL tear complicates things a bit, but he should be a strong defensive wing in the NBA. The Nuggets already have an extremely talented roster, but they may lose Danilo Gallinari in the offseason. If they do, adding some wing depth would not be a bad idea.

Nuggets's Needs via ESPN's RPM

14. Heat: T.J. Leaf, Power Forward, UCLA

The Heat need to replace Chris Bosh. Leaf played well at UCLA alongside Lonzo Ball, and he could be a solid starter at the next level. He is a good shooter and has size, so being the last lottery pick would make some sense.

Heat's Needs via ESPN's RPM

15. Blazers: Donovan Mitchell, Guard, Louisville

The Trail Blazers need to find some bench help for their team. Mitchell is a combo guard who is a consensus late lottery/mid-first rounder. Mitchell could help to shoulder some of the load playing behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. With three first rounders, the Trail Blazers can take the best player available here.

Blazers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

Round 1: 1-15

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