|The 2017 NBA Draft is Loaded|
The 2017 NBA Draft is still a long ways away and a lot can change from now until then. The question everyone wants to know is, who will go 1st Overall in this years talented NBA Draft pool?
Lets get into it with my 2.0 Version of the 2017 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Dallas Mavericks: Markelle Fultz, PG/SG Washington, 6-5, Fr.-
The Mavs need a do it all PG like Fultz who has Superstar potential. Dallas has only one guy on the roster in Harrison Barnes that can get off his own shot and consistently score 20 or 30. That changes the second Dallas takes Fultz.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas, 6-8, Fr.-
Jackson is a smooth 6-8 scorer that can get buckets and is seemingly NBA ready. With a log jam and a plethora of talented young front court players, look for Philly to target a PG or Wing. Jackson is the best player available here.
3. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn): Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona, 7-0, Fr.-
Nothing Against Amir Johnson, but he is a solid NBA Player that is better suited for the bench. Markkanen offers considerably more upside and is a great compliment next to Horford.
4. Phoenix Suns: Miles Bridges, SF/PF, MSU, 6-7, Fr.-
Bridges is one of my favorite players to watch in all of college basketball. He can take it the basket, finish with authority, and post up down on the block. T.J. Warren is a solid NBA wing, but bridges has a lot more upside and potential to offer. He's too good for Phoenix to pass up here.
5. Miami Heat: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, FSU, 6-10, Fr.-
PF is a position of need down in south beach. Now Isaac might have the height of a PF but he does not have the strength. However he can fit in nicely for Miami as a wing or a PF and is too talented for the Heat to pass up especially at a position of need and the uncertainty surrounding Chris Bosh. Isaac can stretch the floor, block shots, and move quickly up and down the floor for a player his size.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Harry Giles, PF, Duke, 6-10, Fr.-
Yet another PF taken in the top 10, and 4 in the top 6 overall. This draft class has a lot of talent and there is a reason NBA G.M.s, scouts, and coaches are excited for this upcoming draft. Giles has not played a game this year, however he's an immensely gifted PF who has drawn comparisons to a young Chris Webber and is worth the gamble here for a young T-wolves squad.
7. New Orleans Pelicans: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke, 6-8, Fr.-
Yes, N.O. might have a bunch of SF's but Tatum is skilled and versatile enough to play the two if you need him to. A relatively young core of Holiday, Hield, Tatum, & Anthony Davis doesn't sound too bad.
8. Washington Wizards: Marques Bolden, C, Duke, 6-11, Fr.-
This may be a bit high for Bolden but I really like the talent of the Wizards back-court and wing players, I see no reason for the Wizards to draft at any of those positions with their lottery pick. Marcin Gortat is still a pretty effective NBA Center, but the Wizards need the heir apparent. Rarely do you see the defensive ability, and post moves from a Freshman Center coming out of college. If healthy Bolden could easily be a lottery pick once the draft comes around.
9. Orlando Magic: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA, 6-6, Fr.-
It's time for the Magic to move on from Elfrid Payton as an NBA Starting PG. He clearly is better suited as a backup and someone who should be providing minutes off the bench for the starter. I've said on numerous occasions that Payton is the one player holding the Orlando Magic from reaching it's full potential. This is a team with talent all over the court, so when you have PG that teams play off of from the 3 point line and dare him to shoot it makes his teammates jobs that much harder on offense to get open. Ball will come in and be an immediate upgrade. He can find his open teammates score, and shoot (something Payton cannot do).
10. Sacramento Kings: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State, 6-2, Fr.-
Smith Jr. is one of my favorite players in this draft and getting him here for the Kings would be an absolute steal. Because of the teams in front of Sacramento lack of need for PG's, sliding down the draft could be a possibility for Smith Jr., but certainly not out of the top 10.
11. Denver Nuggets: OG Anunboy, SF, Indiana, 6-8, Fr.-
The Nuggets need players on the wing in case Danilo Gallinari continues getting banged up and missing time because of injury which has been the case throughout most of his career. Anunboy made the smart decision of going back to school for his Sophomore season and has improved his play as well as his draft stock.
12. Detroit Pistons: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, 6-3, Fr.-
Detroit has a solid foundation in Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. However, getting a sniper like Monk could really open up the lane and this Piston Offense with Monk's ability to stretch the floor.
13. Milwaukee Bucks: De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky, 6-3, Fr.-
The bucks are still looking for a franchise PG they can really for the future. Fox is one of the top PG prospects still left on the board and the Bucks won't hesitate to grab him if he's still here at No.13.
14. Portland Trailblazers: Ivan Rabb, PF, California, 6-11, Soph.-
I can't really blame Rabb for wanting to return for his Sophomore campaign in California. He really wanted to go back and show scouts what he can do as the main go to guy of the team. For the most part he has delivered and is still a projected lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Portland needs help in the front court. Rabb is their guy.
15. Indiana Pacers: Edmond Sumner, PG/SG, Xavier, 6-5, Soph.-
Another Sophomore off the board, and boy is Sumner one heck of a player who also had 1st round potential last year and might have even gone late lottery. Monta Ellis has been getting progressively worse at SG since his arrival to Indiana and it may be time to look for some depth behind him. Luckily for the Pacers Sumner is still on the board and can play across Teague or Ellis in the back-court.
16. New York Knicks: Terrance Ferguson, SG, USA, 6-7, 1998-
As a die hard Knick fan nothing would make me happier than seeing Ferguson fall here to the New York Knicks. Earlier in free agency the Knicks were considering signing either Eric Gordon and Courtney Lee. I preferred the former, but as we all know the Knicks signed the latter and they're regretting it. Lee is an Okay player but not as a starter on a Winning NBA team. Ferguson would be a huge upgrade and would really expand this already impressive New York Knicks offense.
17. Philadelphia 76ers (via L.A. Lakers): Frank Ntilikina, PG, France, 6-5, 1998-
After addressing a need earlier with their 2nd overall pick at SF, the Sixers fill another need on a young & talented, but raw PG from France. Ntilikina might need time to develop but if the Sixers are patient by mid-season of his rookie year he will show flashes of being their future NBA starting PG.
18. Utah Jazz: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke, 6-5, Jr.-
I'm not a huge fan of Allen. I think he is a bit overrated as an NBA prospect. I see a player who is Jimmer Fredette 2.0, dominant in college but his skills won't really translate well to the NBA where guys are much faster, stronger, and athletic than he is. Nonetheless every year we see players get over drafted. The Jazz will take the bait as they see past Allen's huge flaws and see a player that can stretch the floor and shoot three's.
19. Oklahoma City Thunder: Dwayne Bacon, SF/SG, FSU, 6-7, Soph.-
It looked like early on last year that Bacon was a sure fire lottery pick as his draft stock was booming early in last year college season. Then as time went on his stock fell to late first, early 2nd. This year he has reemerged as a legitimate 1st round prospect which bodes well for the Thunder who can use an upgrade at the SF position.
20. Charlotte Hornets: Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson, 6-8, Sr.-
Wow the first Senior finally comes off the board. There was a time in NBA history where Seniors were considered the best players on a college team, and the first crop of players to get selected early in the NBA Draft. Not so much anymore. Nonetheless, Blossomgame is a worthy first round selection and has the size and length you look for in an NBA wing. Look for him to come right in and contribute for the Hornets.
21. Brooklyn Nets (via Boston Celtics): Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Germany, 6-11, 1998-
Unfortunately for the really bad Brooklyn Nets, they will be picking late in this draft as Boston can swap draft choices with them. The good news is that Hartenstein is a high upside player who can be a steal here for Brooklyn if he reaches his full potential. He is an 18 year old big that can stretch the floor but lacks the experience and on court awareness to play right away.
22. Atlanta Hawks: Bam Adebayo, PF, Kentucky, 6-10, Fr.-
Some might be surprised to see Adebayo here at this point in the draft. But remember this is projected to be one of the deepest draft classes of recent memory. Atalanta would be more than happy to take Adebayo with their selection. Adebayo is reminiscent to a young Emeka Okafor.
23. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Lydon, SF/PF, Syracuse, 6-9, Soph.-
Lydon is another Sophomore from this draft class that might have been a 1st round selection in last years draft. Lydon is a good shooter who could stretch the floor for Wade and Rondo.
24. Toronto Raptors: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG, Kansas, Jr.-
This guy is one of my favorite players in this draft. I think he can be a steal. He reminds me of a more athletic version of Peja Stojakovic, and would be a good fit to come off the bench and score in bunches for Toronto. Sleeper pick for this draft.
25. Denver Nuggets (via Memphis Grizzlies): Frank Jackson, PG/SG, Duke, 6-3, Fr.-
I have faith in Mudiay to eventually become a franchise caliber PG for the Nuggets, but patience is wearing thin for a player the Nuggets saw developing much faster than he has. If Jackson is here for the Nuggets to take I think Denver pulls the trigger and brings in some competition if Mudiay doesn't improve by seasons end.
26. Houston Rockets: Thomas Bryant, C, Indiana, 6-10 Soph.-
I thought Bryant could have been a 1st rounder in last years draft. I was very high on him last year. But with the talent in this years crop, his flaws become more apparent and he might not be ready to play his rookie season and might have to spend some time in the D-league. He's worth a look this late in the draft though.
27. Toronto Raptors (via L.A. Clippers): Kostja Mushidi, SG, Germany, 6-4, 1998-
Toronto has the luxury of experimenting and taking a gamble with their first round selection as a rookie this late probably won't contribute much to next years team anyway. They can draft solely on potential, and boy does Mushidi have tons of it.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Rodions Kurucs, SF, Latvia, 6-8, 1998-
The Spurs are known for drafting well. In a draft this deep there won't be an exception. Kurucs' tape is impressive and he is a potential contributor in a couple of years for the Spurs down the road.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers: Malik Pope, SF/PF San Diego State, 6-9, Jr.-
Once upon a time Pope was a highly touted prospect early on in his College freshman season and especially coming out of High School. The expectations for Pope were high but as often happens he has not lived up to the hype thus far. Even so, he's still one of my favorite players in this draft and if he can put it all together on a consistent basis, there's no reason why he cannot have a long NBA career.
30. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Omer Yurtseven, C, N.C. State, 7-0, Fr.-
A lot of people could see Yurtseven going much higher than this and for good reason, you can't teach height and physical tools. Yurtseven has them and could go higher on my board later on in the draft process.