Live 2017 NBA Draft Grades

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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2017 NBA Draft Re-Grades: Round 1 - Picks 16-30

2018 NBA Mock Draft
Published: July 3, 2018.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
    It's crazy to think how different the 2018 NBA Playoffs would have been if the 2017 NBA Draft had ended up differently. Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but if the 76ers would have drafted Donovan Mitchell or Jayson Tatum with the top pick, there is a good chance they would have been playing in the Eastern Conference Finals and possibly advancing to face the Warriors for the title.

    Instead, Philadelphia traded the No. 3 pick and a pair of highly valued future first-rounders for half of Markelle Fultz, who played a fifth of the season and was a non-factor in the playoffs. His injury issues are an obvious reason of concern, and there is still plenty of time for his career to head down the right path. However, at this point, selecting Fultz at No. 1 seems to be a mistake.

    Original Grade: A Grade
    Re-grade: D Grade

  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA
    It was an up and down freshman campaign for Lonzo Ball in L.A; he was actually outplayed by the Lakers' other first-round pick, Kyle Kuzma. Ball didn't shoot the ball well at all, although he contributed in other areas, finishing in the top ten in the league with 7.2 assists per game and 6.9 boards per contest. If you did a re-draft, Kuzma gets selected ahead of Ball, but imagine the upside of the re-building Lakers if they grabbed whoever of Mitchell or Tatum fell to them. Ball can still be a building block for the franchise and top-five player to come out this draft though.

    Original Grade: A- Grade
    Re-grade: C+ Grade

  3. Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
    I will man up; I completely underestimated how good Tatum would be in the NBA. The injuries to Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving thrust Tatum into a much larger role than most were expecting and he absolutely answered the call. He has All-Star potential written all over him and was a home-run pick for the Celtics, ESPECIALLY since they traded down from the top spot AND picked up two future firsts.

    Original Grade: B- Grade
    Re-grade: A+ Grade

  4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
    Jackson was my favorite rookie in the 2017 class and had a solid but not spectacular rookie year in the desert. Based on his size, athleticism, and versatility, I still think he has a bright future as one of the building blocks of a very young, talented Phoenix team. Re-draft this pick though and the Suns would hard pressed to take Jackson instead of a Kuzma or Lauri Markkanen.

    Original Grade: A+ Grade
    Re-grade: B Grade

  5. Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky
    Unfortunately for Fox, he plays for a bad Kings team. He hasn't been quite the playmaker/creator I would have expected him to be, and like he did in college, he has struggled shooting it from deep. He is far from a bust, and with his size and athleticism, he still has a promising future in the league. Interesting thought; if you had to pick right now between Fox, Fultz and Ball, who do you take?

    Original Grade: A+ Grade
    Re-grade: B Grade

  6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State
    As I wrote about Isaac on draft night, "He is a versatile player on both ends of the floor, but there is a high risk/reward with someone like Isaac, who needs to time to develop." That statement was definitely true as Isaac looked as raw as I expected. Add to that an injury that sidelined him for more than half of the season, and his development was severely stunted this past season. Upside, potential, and all those fun synonyms are certainly still in play with Isaac, but there are absolutely six players who look like much better prospects from this draft class.

    Original Grade: C Grade
    Re-grade: D+ Grade

  7. Chicago Bulls: Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona
    This pick didn't nearly get the respect it was deserved on draft night primarily because it was involved in the Jimmy Butler trade. However, the Finland native did everything the Bulls were hoping he would. He stretched defenses with his outside shooting, added a dangerous pick and pop element to the offense, and rebounded and defended better than I expected him to. This will end up being an incredible pick for a re-building team.

    Original Grade: B Grade
    Re-grade: A+ Grade

  8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, G, France
    I thought the Knicks should have taken Dennis Smith Jr. instead of Ntilikina, and when you compare their rookie seasons, I was right. The Belgium native did nothing to cement his status as New York's point guard of the future, and there has even been buzz already that the franchise may feel he is better off playing the two instead of point. He is still young and has intriguing size for a play-maker, but after his rookie season, he seems unlikely to be a top five point guard to come out of this class.

    Original Grade: B- Grade
    Re-grade: C- Grade

  9. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr., G, N.C. State
    The Mavericks may have ended up with a steal by grabbing Smith Jr. with the ninth pick. He finished second on the team in scoring and showed more than enough to have Dallas fans encouraged about a backcourt of the future that includes him and 2018 first-round pick, Luka Doncic.

    Original Grade: A- Grade
    Re-grade: A Grade

  10. Portland Trail Blazers: Zach Collins, F, Gonzaga
    Portland packaged Nos. 15 and 20 to move up to No, 10 and select Collins. Considering Collins didn't even start in his lone season at Gonzaga, it would have been foolish to expect him to play a major role as a rookie in Rip City. He clearly needs to get stronger, but there definitely are enough flashes to think he could be a perfect stretch five, which is the hot trend in today's NBA. I don't love that Portland had to trade two picks to move up and get him though.

    Original Grade: A- Grade
    Re-grade: C+ Grade

  11. Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
    Monk really picked up his play in the final couple of weeks of the season, which made him look like the 11th-overall pick. We know he can score, but it's going to be the development in other areas of his game that will determine long-term success of this choice.

    Original Grade: A Grade
    Re-grade: B- Grade

  12. Detroit Pistons: Luke Kennard, G, Duke
    At the time of this draft, the Pistons needed a shooter off the bench and targeted Kennard at No. 12. Kennard provided that but didn't show too much else. There were higher upside guys who Detroit could have selected at this point, so it is hard to be in love with this pick.

    Original Grade: A Grade
    Re-grade: C Grade

  13. Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
    What's remarkable is that the Jazz traded Trey Lyles and No. 24 to move up and get Mitchell, which looks like a brilliant move at this point. Granted nobody expected him to be this good right away; Mitchell is a superstar in the making and will go down as the best pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

    Original Grade: B+ Grade
    Re-grade: A+ Grade

  14. Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo, F, Kentucky
    I liked this pick on draft night and still like it now. Adebayo showed flashes as an athletic five man who is going to rebound and provide physicality. I still think he is just scratching the ceiling with his all-around game and will end up being a starting center in this league for a while.

    Original Grade: A- Grade
    Re-grade: B+ Grade

  15. Sacramento Kings: Justin Jackson, G, North Carolina
    The Kings were smart to go wing here, but Jackson struggled mightily defensively and did not shoot it well from deep, which was expected to be his strength. There aren't a ton of guys better from who would have been available but I think the big miss here was Sacramento dealing down from the No. 10 spot.

    Original Grade: A Grade
    Re-grade: C- Grade

  16. Go to 2017 NBA Draft Re-Grades: Round 1 - Picks 16-30
    Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.

    Go to 2018 NBA Mock Draft


Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here:
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to:

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