2017 NBA Mock Draft: 2 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-15
My first 2017 NBA Mock Draft is now up. Enjoy!
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: May 17, 2017.
Boston Celtics: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
- The Boston Celtics can swap first round picks with the Brooklyn Nets who currently have the leagues worst record. The only position Boston needs is a power forward, but unfortunately for the Celtics there are no shooting guards or power forwards worth taking first overall. The Celtics could trade down, but I don't predict trades in my mock drafts. One team that has the draft capital to move up to this spot is the Sacramento Kings who pick at 5 and 10, but I doubt the Celtics move this pick since there really seems to be a consensus that they want Fultz here.
- There were rumors about the Celtics taking Kris Dunn at 3 over Jaylen Brown who I had originally mocked to the Celtics before buying into the rumors of a point guard. The 6-4 195 lb Markelle Fultz is too good to pass on here.
- Markelle Fultz averaged 23.2 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game, a .476 field goal percentage, a .413 three point percentage, and a .649 free throw percentage. Fultz has all the tools to be the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft with his passing, dribbling, shooting accuracy from short range, medium range, and long range on tape. It's hard for me to see the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top pick.
Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
- The Los Angeles Lakers should use this pick to move down for a center since Mozgov is replaceable. At the same time, the Lakers won't have their 2018 first round pick if they get a top 3 pick this year or a first round pick in 2019. Are the Lakers really going to pass on UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball? Probably not, unless they get an offer that blows Magic Johnson away like the Pistons giving up Andre Drummond for this pick or Sacramento offering the 5th and 10th overall pick. Ball is as Hollywood as it gets plus there are rumors that D'Angelo Russell will move from point guard to shooting guard with Jordan Clarkson as a sixth man. That makes a lot of sense for the Lakers plus the Lakers can get their center at 28 with Houston's pick.
- Not only did the 6-6 190 lb Lonzo Ball average 14.6 points per game, but he also averaged 6 rebounds per game, 7.6 assists per game, a .551 field goal percentage, a .412 three point percentage, and a .673 free throw percentage. Lonzo Ball reminds me so much of Steph Curry that its scary with his passing and shooting accuracy from short range, mid range, and long range. Even if the Lakers have D'Angelo Russell under contract there is no way I see the Lakers passing on the hometown Lonzo Ball at 2 here.
Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
- The Philadelphia 76ers exercised their option to swap draft picks with the Sacramento Kings. The 76ers can take either a forward like Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum here or they can go De'Aaron Fox or Dennis Smith Jr. here. It comes down to whether Simmons remains at forward or converts to point guard.
- The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to move Ben Simmons to power guard next season with Jerryd Bayless at shooting guard, Robert Covington at power forward, and Joel Embiid at center with Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric as a depth players. They may as well take the top forward to compliment him in Josh Jackson at 3.
- The 6-8 207 lb Josh Jackson averages 16.3 points per game which is more than the 14.6 points per game Lonzo Ball averaged. Ball is listed at 2 in a lot more mocks than Jackson, but Jackson makes more logical sense for the 76ers at 3. Jackson also averaged 7.4 rebounds per game and 3 assists per game at small forward. Jackson has the short range, medium range, and long range accuracy when shooting on tape.
- Josh Jackson averaged a .513 field goal percentage, a .378 three point percentage, and a .566 free throw percentage. Jackson was going to be my top pick back in June when examining the initial 2017 NBA Mock Draft. I still believe he's a top 3 prospect at this point.
Previous Pick: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
- The Phoenix Suns get a small forward at 4. Their biggest need is center, but like I stated earlier I don't project trades in my mocks so the Suns get the best player available at a position of need. T.J. Warren's backup P.J. Tucker got traded. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight are both under contract until 2020.
- The 6-8 205 lb Jayson Tatum averaged 16.4 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game, averages a .452 field goal percentage, a .342 three point percentage, and an .842 free throw percentage. Tatum would compliment the guard on the Phoenix Suns very well.
Previous Pick: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
- The Sacramento Kings are losing Darren Collison to Free Agency this year. I don't think the Kings are too upset about that because there is a good chance they get De'Aaron Fox or Dennis Smith Jr. at 5. I like Smith Jr. slightly better, but Fox showed why he's a top 5 pick when defending against Lonzo Ball plus the King shave a thing for players from Kentucky soi they get Fox at 5.
- De'Aaron Fox averaged 16.7 points per game, 4 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game, a .479 field goal percentage, and a .736 free throw percentage. Fox has a .246 three point percentage meaning Fox needs to work on hitting three pointers if he's gonna succeed in the NBA. I'd also like to see him add more muscle, but he has enough talent to be a successful point guard in the NBA and is still a top 5 pick at this point. One thing Fox does well despite his size is defend well. He showed he could defend well against Lonzo Ball in the Sweet 16 which is why I have a top 5 grade on Fox.
Previous Pick: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, North Carolina State
- Neither Elfrid Payton or D.J. Augustin is playing like a starting point guard. The 6-3 195 lb Dennis Smith Jr. would be the perfect replacement.
- Dennis Smith Jr. averaged 18.1 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, 6.2 assists per game, .468 field goal percentage, .371 three point percentage, and a .720 free throw percentage. Dennis Smith Jr. reminds me so much of Russell Westbrook and the Magic could really use a point guard with Westbrook's talent.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
- The Minnesota Timberwolves are one power forward away from being a competitive team. Lauri Markkanen fills a position of need for Minnesota at 7.
- The 7-0 230 lb Lauri Markkanen is a power forward for Arizona. You can make the case he has the height of a center, but has the weight and muscle of a 4 at power forward. Markkanen is versatile enough to play power forward or center with his versatility, but is a better fit at power forward.
- Markkanen averaged 15.6 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, 0.9 assists per game, a .492 field goal percentage, a .423 three point percentage, and a .835 free throw percentage. Markkanen is the missing piece for the Timberwolves.
New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg
- The Knicks pick at 8 plus Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are Free Agents. New York loves taking International Players so I can see this pick happeneing I feel like they are more likely to take an International Player like Frank Ntilikina over Malik Monk. Many consider Frank Ntilikina the best international prospect since Emmanuel Mudiay a few years ago. Ntilikina played for France before playing with Strasbourg, but the Knicks get their new starting point guard here.
Previous Pick: De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Dallas Mavericks: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
- The Mavericks get the 6-3 200 lb Malik Monk who has the versatility to play both point guard and shooting guard. Malik Monk averaged 19.8 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 2.3 assists per game, a .450 field goal percentage, a .397 three point percentage, and an .822 free throw percentage. There is no question in my mind that Malik Monk can start over Wesley Matthews in Dallas.
Previous Pick: Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg
Sacramento Kings: Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
- The 6-10 210 lb Jonathan Isaac would make an awesome replacement to Tyreke Evans who got shipped to Sacramento along with this pick after the DeMarcus Cousins trade which sent Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. Many would argue that Isaac is a top 5 prospect and that's why Isaac is such a steal at this point. Isaac averaged 12 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, a .508 field goal percentage, a .348 three point percentage, and a .780 free throw percentage.
Charlotte Hornets: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
- The Charlotte Hornets have their entire starting five and backups under contract for next season. The only player the Hornets lose is their third string point guard. Miles Bridges wisely chose to go back to school. Now the Hornets can select the local, in state Tar Heel in North Carolina's Justin Jackson here.
- The 6-8 210 lb Justin Jackson has a lot of potential. Jackson averaged 18.3 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game, a .443 field goal percentage, a .370 three point percentage, and a .748 free throw percentage. Jackson led North Carolina to two Championship Appearances in the Mens Basketball Tournament and helped North Carolina win the 2017 Mens Basketball Tournament.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may be back on the roster. He struggled this year though and I can easily see Justin Jackson replacing him as the starting small forward on the Charlotte Hornets.
Previous Pick: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
Detroit Pistons: Nigel Williams-Goss, PG, Gonzaga
- The Pistons need a point guard in the worst way possible. In this situation they reach for Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss is one of the best point guard at 6-5 195 lbs. Nigel Williams-Goss averaged 18.6 points per game, 6 rebounds per game, 4.7 assists per game, a .486 field goal percentage, a .368 three point percentage, and a .867 free throw percentage. Nigel Williams-Goss could be a lottery pick if he declares for the 2017 NBA Draft.
Denver Nuggets: Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
- Denver can either get a center for depth with Roy Hibbert being a Free Agent and Mason Plumlee being a restricted Free Agent or Denver can get a shooting guard for depth. Everyone outside Hibbert and Plumlee is going to be back unless a buyout occurs in the offseason.
- The 7-0 230 lb Zach Collins averaged 10 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, 0.4 assists per game, a .652 field goal percentage, a .476 three point percentage, and a .743 free throw percentage. Zach Collins is versatile enough to play power forward or center in the NBA. There are a lot of similarities between Plumlee and Collins who some have as a top 10 pick which is why the Denver Nuggets get Gonzaga's center here.
Previous Pick: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
Miami Heat: Jarrett Allen, PF, Texas
- The 6-11 235 lb Jarrett Allen is versatile enough to play power forward or center. Allen averaged 13.8 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game, a .566 field goal percentage, and a .564 free throw percentage. Allen is perfect to fill the void for someone like Chris Bosh who is set to decline or retire.
Portland Trail Blazers: T.J. Leaf, PF, UCLA
- Portland has all 12 players under contract for next season plus 3 first round picks. This makes their draft situation so difficult to evaluate.
- I like Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum as their stud guards at point guard and shooting guard. Evan Turner can be a solid small forward. I think power forward is the biggest issue for Portland right now and T.J. Leaf makes a lot of sense for the Portland Trail Blazers at 16.
- The 6-10 225 lb T.J. Leaf averages 16.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, a .617 field goal percentage, a .466 three point percentage, and a .679 free throw percentage. T.J. Leaf is not someone Portland can pass on at 16.
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