UA-59049186-1 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 - Good if it Goes

NBA Mock Draft 1.0

Fultz

Intro

This is my first 2017 NBA mock draft. I did not go into much detail about player ability in this mock draft as I broke down the majority of these players on my big board which can be found here http://goodifitgoes.com/home/2017-nba-draft-big-board-top-30-prospects/ .

 

1. Sixers: PG. Markelle Fultz – Washington

After pulling off a trade with the Celtics to move up from three to one the Sixers have pinpointed Fultz as the guy. He is the consensus number one prospect in this draft and the Sixers are in desperate need of a PG. Their 1st overall pick in last year’s draft Ben Simmons figures to be a ball dominant point forward but Fultz has the tools to play on or off the ball and is a lights out shooter that will help space the floor for both Embid and Simmons. This is a great pickup for the Sixers and now they have a potential big 3 moving forward in Embid, Simmons, and Fultz.

2. Lakers : PG. Lonzo Ball – UCLA

Ball makes all the sense in the world for the Lakers. He is an in state product who has dreamed of playing for the Lakers his entire career and is the biggest name in the draft. He figures to be a fan favorite and big gate draw from day one. However, he is more than just a PR fit as he actually fits in terms of his skill set. Their incumbent PG De’Angelo Russell’s skill set seems to be made more for the SG position than the PG position. So if the Lakers do pull the trigger on Ball they can move Russell to SG and let Ball run the show. He makes everyone around him better and as great as he would be for Russell and Brandon Ingram he would be even better for the Lakers’ big men like Randle, Zubac, and Nance who should get a lot of easy looks with Ball on the floor.

3. Celtics: SF. Josh Jackson – Kansas

The Celtics had the first overall pick but opted to trade it and move back to the third spot. They could still end up getting the best player in this draft in Jackson who is not as polished as Fultz or Ball but perhaps has the most upside of any player in the entire class. He has the potential to be the two way wing the Celtics need to compete with guys like Lebron and Durant. Teams that hope to beat any team with one of those two players on it need both a guy that can defend them and make them work on defense and Jackson is the player with the best chance to develop into that caliber of player.

4. Suns: F. Jonathan Isaac – Florida State

The four spot is when the draft will start to get interesting as the Suns have many options here. We have heard plenty of trade rumors regarding Eric Bledsoe over the past few seasons and if the Suns still want to go that route look for them to potentially take Fox or Smith with this pick to solidify the PG position. However, if they want to continue to move forward with Bledsoe then I expect them to go with a wing player. Issac and Tatum would be the top options at this point in the draft. Tatum has more offensive game right now but Issac is the more complete player, with more overall upside and the potential to become an elite defender. The Suns gave up more points than any NBA team last season and desperately need help on defensive end which is why I believe they opt to take the best defensive player in the draft.

5. Kings: PG. De’Aaron Fox – Kentucky

The Kings are in desperate need of a PG. Their current PG Darren Collison has an expired contract and even if they do bring him back he is not the long term answer there. Right now the Kings need an explosive player that can create his own offense. Now Smith is the better PG prospect in my opinion and should be the Kings pick here but we are talking about the Kings here who are routinely horrific drafters. With that in mind I definitely expect them to pass on Smith and buy into the hype on Fox.

6. Magic: SF. Jayson Tatum – Duke

The Magic were one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA a year ago and are in desperate need of a perimeter scorer that can create his own offense. Enter Tatum. He is the best iso scorer in the entire class and should be able to step on the floor and add some much needed firepower to a lackluster offense.

7. T-Wolves: PF. Lauri Markkanen – Arizona

In this new NBA that is all about spacing, especially for teams with stars, Markkanen is sure to be a major offensive factor immediately thanks to his unreal shooting ability and quick trigger. He especially fits on a T-wolves team that has 2 potential all-star players in Towns and Wiggins who could use the extra spacing that Markkanen would add just by being on the court. Also since Towns can hit threes as well the T-wolves would be able to play a legit five out look at times.

8. Knicks: PG. Dennis Smith – NC State

It is possible that Smith may not be on the board when the Knicks pick but if he is they should sprint to turn Smith’s name in. Derrick Rose is an impending free agent who is already on the record that he is looking to play for a winner next year (of course he was not talking about the Knicks) so that leaves a major hole at one of the most important positions on the court. The Knicks can take the best player on the board and fill their biggest need, it does not get any better than that at 8th overall.

9. Mavericks: SG. Malik Monk – Kentucky

With Dirk Nowitzki finally losing the battle against father time the Mavericks are officially in rebuild mode. At this point they really need to just take the best player on the board. It is possible that Markkanen could fall to this spot and if he does that should be the no brainer pick. If not him then Monk is a nice consolation prize. He is a combo guard that can really shoot the ball and score in bunches off the ball. With the likes of Yogi Ferrell, Seth Curry, and Wes Matthews the Mavs are in desperate need of athleticism in the backcourt and Monk would definitely provide that for them.

10. Kings: C. Zachary Collins – Gonzaga

The Kings have a few young bigs they have picked over the past few drafts and none of them have exactly been slam dunks. Labissiere seems to have the most promise but he is a skinny PF. Collins would add the punch the Kings frontline is desperately lacking at the C position. He has the potential to be both an elite rim protector and rebounder. He also can shoot from the outside and has a developing post game.

11. Hornets: F. TJ Leaf – UCLA

The PF position and three point shooting in general are big needs for the Hornets. Frank Kamisky just has not worked out so far and Marvin Williams is getting up there in age. Also, they only had one player shoot anywhere near 40% from deep on the entire roster and with a starting SF who only attempted nine threes and made one of them in 81 total games they could use someone to help offer more spacing. Leaf solves both issues as he has the skill set to play either forward spot and would really be a good addition to play alongside Kidd-Gilchrist who cannot shoot threes at all, yet warrants playing time because of his defensive prowess.

12. Pistons: SG. Donovan Mitchell – Louisville

The Pistons would be ecstatic if Mitchell is still on the board at 12. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took a step back in his fourth season and now is a restricted free agent who could still command more money than he is worth from a desperate team with lots of cap space as the cap number continues to rise. Donovan Mitchell is a two way SG that can put points on the board and defend at a high level. He would be a great addition to the Pistons bench if they decide to keep Pope and serves as insurance in case they lose him.

13. Nuggets: PG. Frank Ntilikina – International

The Nuggets have a lot of young talent and potential but the PG position has been holding them back. Emmanuel Mudiay just has not developed into what they thought he would be. At the very least getting a player like Ntilikina could help push him, or if he does not  start to show any improvement take his spot altogether. I am personally not that high on Ntilikina, but most of the NBA world seems to think he is a lottery talent and given his tremendous physical tools it would not be a terrible gamble by the Nuggets near the end of the lottery.

14. Heat: PF. John Collins – Wake Forest

With James Johnson set to be a free agent PF will be high on the Heat’s to do list on draft day and they are in a spot where bigs will be the best value on the board when they select. Collins was an elite scorer in his second season at Wake and could come in and provide immediate scoring help for the Heat as well as rebounding ability.

15. Blazers: C. Harry Giles – Duke

There is no team better equipped to take a gamble on Harry Giles and all of his untapped potential than the Blazers who have three first round picks in this year’s draft. Giles was ranked number one in this class coming out of high school but was derailed by a couple of acl tears and since returning to the court has not looked the same. However, the word from some of his pre draft workouts is that he is starting to regain the form that had scouts raving about him. If Giles can play at that level instead of how he played at Duke he would be a steal for the Blazers.

16. Bulls. SF. Justin Jackson – North Carolina

The Bulls are in desperate need of help on the wing off the bench with guys like Paul Wisper currently being relied upon. They also need insurance for the often injured Dwayne Wade. Jackson is a veteran player with a high basketball IQ that could be a useful three and D wing ready to contribute immediately for a playoff team like the Bulls.

17. Bucks: C. Ike Anigbogu – UCLA

We know the Bucks like athletic players with a lot of length. Well Anigbogu’s massive frame, 7’6 wing span and tremendous defensive upside should put him in play for the Bucks. The one thing they seem to lack on their roster is a true rim protector and center. Greg Monroe will most likely opt out and become a free agent and though Thon Maker played admirably at C in his rookie season it would not hurt to get a more physical presence in the interior.

18. Pacers: SG. Luke Kennard – Duke

Paul George has officially let the Pacers know he will not be resigning after this season which means he could be on the move on draft night. Also Monta Ellis is very much on the downside of his career and needs to be replaced. This means the Pacers need to start adding some young talent on the wing and Kennard has huge offensive upside as a SG. He has the game to be both a lights out shooter and a secondary play maker.

19. Hawks: PF. DJ Wilson – Michigan

Paul Millsap will be a free agent this summer and it is unclear if he wants to remain in Atlanta. That opens up a spot at PF and with Dwight locked in a C for the next few years it would be in the Hawks best interest to invest in a PF that can shoot and help space the floor since Dwight cannot. Wilson is a very athletic big who can also shoot threes and should fit into what coach Budenholzer wants to do on offense well.

20. Blazers: PG. Jawun Evans – Oklahoma State

The Blazers honestly do not have many needs with nearly all their major pieces already under contract for next season. They already have selected a project in Giles in this mock and roster spots are limited so with this pick should be looking for the player that can most likely help them next season. That guy is Jawun Evans who is a top five PG prospect in a loaded class at that position. Backup PG is the biggest weakness on the Blazers roster right now and Evans would be more than capable of coming in and keeping things afloat while Lillard rests. He is a scoring threat and next to Lonzo Ball may be the next best passing PG in the entire class.

21. Thunder: SF. Semi Ojeleye – SMU

The Thunder have two major needs that they will be looking to fill on draft night, backup PG and a adding three point shooters. If Evans falls to this spot I think that could potentially be the pick with him having played college in the state of Oklahoma and being a PG. However, if he does not fall then Ojeleye is another great fit. The Thunder have a few SF prospects that can shoot 3s in Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines. However, the problem is neither of them belong in a starting lineup due to their vastly inferior athletic ability. They simply are too much of a defensive liability when played for long stretches against starting caliber wings. Ojeleye still has some work to do to become a better defender himself but he at least has the physical tools to belong out there and he shot over 40% from three in college which the Thunder desperately need.

22. Nets: C. Jarrett Allen – Texas

The Nets have two picks and addressing the frontline should be high on their to do list. Brook Lopez is in the last year of his deal and the depth at center behind him is not that great anyway so C is definitely a big need position for them. Allen is a bit of a project but definitely has some nice physical tools with his 7’6 wingspan and 9’2 standing reach that make him an intriguing prospect.

23. Raptors: PF. OG. Anunoby – Indianae

The PF position is one the Raptors could use depth at. Serge Ibaka’s contract is expiring and they may not be able to retain him. Even if they do there isn’t much reliable depth behind him at the moment. Anunoby has very good potential as a defender with the tools to defend either forward spot. He also is a developing shooter who could potentially develop into a stretch four.

24. Jazz: C. Anzejs Pasecniks – International

Not a lot of people may know about this guy but he has the most upside of any international prospect in this year’s draft. He is 7’2 with ridiculous lateral quickness and fluidity for a guy his size. He is a few years a way from being ready to play immediately but the Jazz are pretty set at Center for the time being anyway and they have two first rounders so taking a potential draft and stash guy with tremendous upside makes a ton of sense.

25. Magic: PF. Jordan Bell – Oregon

The Magic got their offensive wing earlier with the sixth overall pick now they need add some much needed depth at the PF position. Since trading away Serge Ibaka they were left thin at that position. So thin that a true wing who really has no business playing PF in Mario Hezonja saw some time there off the bench. Bell has a ton of potential and could even go a little higher than this. But if he is still on the board this late in the first it would be a slam dunk pick for the Magic literally and figuratively as Bell is one of the most explosive players in the class.

26. Blazers: PF. Isaiah Hartenstein – International

With three first round picks and limited roster space one would figure the Blazers are going to try and take a foreign player that they could potentially get to stay oversees if they end up keeping all three picks. Hartenstein would be a good investment for the future. He has stretch four potential and tremendous size that makes him a very intriguing prospect.

27. Nets: PF. Kyle Kuzma – Utah

The Nets also need to address the PF position with one of their first round picks. Trevor Booker is on the way out and a young skilled big like Kuzma could be a good addition. He has the potential to develop into a stretch four that can do more if he continues to improve as a shooter. He has also flashed the ability to handle and is a good rim runner.

28. Lakers: SG. Terrance Ferguson – International

Nick Young won’t be around much longer as he’s in the last year of his deal. Ferguson would be nice piece to add for future purposes as he is potential three and D wing with tremendous athleticism and three and D guys are becoming more and more valued.

29. Spurs: SG. Wesley Iwundu – Kansas State

Manu Ginobili’s career might be over and Jonathan Simmons may not be resigned leaving holes on the Spurs bench on the wing. Iwundu would be a nice fit for the Spurs with his ability to play on both ends. He projects to be a strong defender and his best asset on offense for the Spurs would be his playmaking ability. This is important because last year’s first round selection DeJuntae Murray figures to take over as the backup PG for Mills who will most likely be lost in free agency. Like Mills Murray is more of scorer than a distributor which is why Ginobili was so important as was often the playmaker for the second unit and Iwundu could fill that role.

30. Jazz: PG. Derrick White – Colorado

With George Hill and Gordon Hayward set to hit free agency there is a lot of uncertainty in Utah. Their backup PG, Dante Exum, is also in the last year of his deal which leaves the future of the position very much in doubt. With that in mind taking a combo guard like White, who can legitimately play either guard spot, would be a very good pickup for the Jazz. He is expected to be a late first to early second round pick due to his lack of athletic ability. However, scouts may be underestimated his overall ability to just play as he has playmaking and shot making ability which can be very valuable in a backup guard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.