2017 NBA Mock Draft (First Round)
1. Boston Celtics — Markelle Fultz, G (Washington)
Markelle Fultz can provide valuable minutes and scoring off the bench the moment he takes the floor in Boston, as he averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game for the Huskies as a freshman. He can complement any backcourt pairing of Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Terry Rozier and even Isaiah Thomas, who said the two could figure out how to play with one another if he was the top pick.
2. Los Angeles Lakers — Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA)
As much as I disagree with this pick I know from the inside that the Lakers will be taking Ball. His talent on the court will overrule the baggage he comes with. Opposite of his father he has a grounded and relaxed demeanor. He has great vision and is a pass-first point guard with the basketball IQ to deliver the ball at the right time and the right place. Ball could make an immediate impact which the Lakers need.
3. Philadelphia 76ers — Josh Jackson, F (Kansas)
4. Phoenix Suns — Jayson Tatum, F (Duke)
Tatum should in time become a high-scoring wing at the NBA level. Tatum stands just over 6’8″ in shoes, with a 6’11” wingspan. He combines that with an advanced, diversified skill level and flashes of two-way potential, which makes it easy to see why Tatum has been a top rated prospect all season long.. The one thing missing right now, is a reliable 3-point shot that I believe can be developed.
5. Sacramento Kings — De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky)
Fox is the quickest and the most explosive guard in this draft. He also might be the toughest guard in the draft. He can also create his own shot, without any trouble at all. I could possibly see him even moving up in this draft.
6. Orlando Magic — Malik Monk, G (Kentucky)
Monk’s intrigue at the next level starts with his tremendous athletic ability. Orlando shot 32.8 percent from 3-point range this season. Among the most efficient scorers in power conference hoops for much of the regular season. This freshman contributed to a championship in the SEC and made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves — Jonathan Isaac, F (Florida State)
Isaac will bring length to the Timberwolves inside, rebound effectively (7.8 rebounds per game at Florida Stae) and shoot a respectable clip from three-point range (34.8 percent), which Minnesota would love to see become a little more consistent to truly be able to spread the floor for his athletic perimeter players. He does need to develop his game but could be an NBA All-Star one day.
8. New York Knicks — Dennis Smith Jr., PG (NC State)
The Knicks are intent on finding a point guard to pair with Kristaps Porzingis. Smith could even be a top-three pick. He’s super athletic, he can score from anywhere on the floor and he’s an above-average playmaker. Smith was at his best when his team was on the fast break. The star player was able to get to the free throw line consistently, and he made nearly 65 percent of his attempts at the rim.
9. Dallas Mavericks — Frank Ntilikina, G (France)
Ntilikina is undoubtedly one of the best international players. Elite size for a point guard with very good athleticism and quickness. An impressive wingspan (7 ft) with a great basketball IQ. His elite physical tools and feel for the game, combined with his high upside makes him a really intriguing prospects. He is not NBA-ready just yet, but he has all the tools to become a very good player.
10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans Pelicans) —Zach Collins, PF/C (Gonzaga)
Not overly physical, has an average length, poor passer, defense will need to improve in NBA.
11. Charlotte Hornets-Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona)
12. Detroit Pistons — Justin Jackson, F (UNC)
13. Denver Nuggets — OG Anunoby, F (Indiana)
14. Miami Heat — T.J. Leaf (UCLA)
15. Portland Trail Blazers — Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA)
16. Chicago Bulls — Donovan Mitchell, G (Louisville)
17. Milwaukee Bucks — Terrance Ferguson, G/F (Australia)
18. Indiana Pacers — Luke Kennard, SG (Duke)
19. Atlanta Hawks — Jarrett Allen, C (Texas)
20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis Grizzlies) — Ivan Rabb, PF (Cal)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder — Harry Giles, F/C (Duke)
22. Brooklyn Nets (via Washington Wizards)-Justin Patton, C (Creighton)
23. Toronto Raptors (via Los Angeles Clippers) — Tyler Lydon, F (Syracuse)
24. Utah Jazz-Hamidou Diallo, SF (Kentucky)
25. Orlando Magic (via Toronto Raptors)-Frank Jackson, G (Duke)
26. Portland Trail Blazers — Isaiah Hartenstein, PF/C (Lithuania)
27. Brooklyn Nets — Caleb Swanigan, C (Purdue)
28. Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston Rockets)-D.J. Wilson, F (Michigan)
29. San Antonio Spurs — Jonathan Jeanne, PF/C (France)
30. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors)-Josh Hart, G (Villanova)
Feature Image Credit: basketballinsiders.com