2017 NBA Mock Draft

The NBA Draft is set for Thursday, June 22. NBA Staff Writier Matt McKenna features one of our first Mock Draft at Baseline Times.

2017 NBA Mock Draft by Matt McKenna

1.          Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz
Fultz is the guy here. Sixers don’t make the trade if they aren’t 100% committed to him, simple as that.
2.          Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball
This is where the draft gets interesting. As soon as the lottery ended the immediate assumption was that Lonzo Ball was going to be the pick at No. 2. However, word on the street was the Lonzo didn’t perform up to expectations at his Lakers workout. Also Magic was so enamored with Markelle Fultz that he was willing to part ways with Julius Randle to move up one spot to select Fultz. Josh Jackson was the #1 overall prospect on many boards entering the CBB season and has created a lot of chatter lately, but ultimately I think Ball is the pick.
3.          Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum
According to reports, Boston’s crowded backcourt was a major factor in trading the #1 pick. So Lonzo won’t be coming off the board here either despite being the best player left in the draft. Tatum is an NBA-ready scorer and hopefully, will help take some of the offensive burdens of Isaiah Thomas. He isn’t the best athlete and his lack of interest on the defensive end is a bit worrisome but he is the best fit for the Celtics if they don’t end up trading the pick.
4.          Phoenix Suns – Josh Jackson
The Suns will surely be disappointed if both Tatum and Jackson are off the board as they have a plethora of young guards and a need at SF. Luckily Jackson is still available and is a perfect fit for them. Jackson gives them an edge and defensive presence that they desperately need.
5.          Sacramento Kings- De’Aaron Fox
The Kings have a need at PG and Fox is the best one on the board. Fox, Buddy Hield, Lassiberre, and WCS are a nice little core to build around. Who knows maybe things are looking up in the 916.
6.          Orlando Magic – Dennis Smith Jr.
Elfrid Payton just hasn’t panned out the way the Magic would have liked. Smith Jr gives them another chance to find a dynamic point guard. Smith is probably the best athlete in this year’s draft and has a chance to become a Damian Lillard type player if he can develop his jump shot.
7.          Minnesota Timberwolves- Jonathan Issac
Issac is one of the bigger boom or bust players in this draft. His physical tools give him through the roof potential but he tends to often be a non-factor during games. Scouts love his motor though and he would be a great fit next to KAT.
8.          New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina
The Knicks need a point guard and D-Rose is not the answer. Phil Jackson has been adamant on the use of the triangle offense during his time as President and Ntilkina fits his system the best of any of this years guards.
9.          Dallas Mavericks – Malik Monk
Monk is one of the highest upside players in the draft. He is an explosive athlete who straight up gets buckets. I think he projects as more of a combo guard in the NBA.  He played pg in high school but that spot was taken by De’Aaron Fox at Kentucky. I think Monk will develop into a very solid NBA player that the Mavs can pair with Nerlens Noel and Harrison Barnes.
10.    Sacramento Kings – Lauri Markennan
Lauri Markennan is going to be one of the draft’s most controversial picks. He’s a legit 7 footer who is probably the best shooter in the draft.  He’s not a great defender or rebounder but he’s a better athlete than he gets credit for and would help stretch the floor for the Kings.
11.    Charlotte Hornets- Zach Collins
Zach Collins fits what the Hornets need. He can play in both the high and low post and has a good stroke and is easily projectable as someone who could expand his range to 3 point territory. He is also a better defensive option than any big man they currently have on their roster.
12.    Detroit Pistons – Luke Kennard
Crafty Scorer and three-point shooter. Lack of athleticism hurts him on the defensive end but the effort is still there. Would be a good fit next to Reggie Jackson and will be able to step in right away as a catch and shoot threat.
13.    Denver Nuggets – John Collins
Collins would be a natural fit next to Jokic. Collins is an excellent help defender and as great as Jokic is on the offensive end he needs some help on the defensive end. Collins excels as a rim runner and is a high upside , high floor type pick.
14.    Miami Heat – Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell shot up draft boards with an excellent showing at the NBA combine. Mitchell is an athletic freak who can score in bunches. Depending on where he falls he could be the steal of the draft. Can be a little out of control at times
15.    Portland Trailblazers – Jarrett Allen
A lot of potential.  Not very polished. Has excellent length and natural athletic traits but isn’t a great shot-blocker. Developing a promising mid-range jumper. Seems to get overwhelmed at times when he has to make decisions.
16.    Chicago Bulls – Justin Jackson
Chances are Jimmy Butler won’t be playing out his contract with the Bulls and they are going to in the market for a new small forward. Jackson is a good but not great athlete. His length helps him make up for his lack of athleticism. Has improved his shooting stroke every season at UNC.  Could develop into a solid role player.
17.    Milwaukee Bucks – Harry Giles
Giles came into the season as a top 3 prospect but never seemed to regain the athleticism he had pre-ACL surgery. Milwaukee has a history of taking high risk, high reward type players (Giannis, Thon Maker) and if Giles can regain the athleticism he had prior to the ACL injury he would be an absolute steal at 17. Multiple ACL surgeries make him a huge gamble though.
18.    Indiana Pacers – Terrance Ferguson
Ferguson played last season overseas in Australia, he struggled mainly due to the fact he was playing against grown men at 6’7 185lbs. He needs to add muscle to his frame but is a former McDonalds All-American. Ferguson is an explosive athlete with a quick first step and a solid shooter. His ability to handle the NBA physicality will determine how he turns out as an NBA player.
19.    Atlanta Hawks – Justin Patton
Burst on the scene as a redshirt freshman.  A legit 7 footer with high level athleticism. Potential to develop into a defensive menace. Good hands, often able to handle less than perfect entry passes.  Shown an ability to hit a jump shot. Needs to develop post game. Will most likely start as a rim runner in the NBA.
20.    Portland Trailblazers – TJ Leaf
Leaf drew a lot of Kevin Love-like comparison at UCLA.. Skilled player but not an exceptional athlete.  Good defensive instincts but isn’t a game changer on that end. Needs to get stronger, doesn’t finish all that well through contact.
21.    Oklahoma City Thunder – Bam Adebayo
Looks like a create a player from 2k. Well built at 6-10 245 lbs.  Runs the floor well. Finishes alley oops and sets screens well. Is currently a better athlete than basketball player. Needs skills to catch up with physical gifts.
22.     Brooklyn Nets – Dwayne Bacon
The Nets are in a tough spot. They are the worst team in the NBA and don’t have control of either first round pick until 2019. The Nets should take a flier with these picks and hope that they can strike gold. Bacon was a lottery pick going into his freshman year but his stock has considerably dropped. Bacon is very comfortable getting his own shot. He checks all the physical boxes but there are some questions with him defensive devotion. Can also be a streaky shooter.
23.    Toronto Raptors – Jordan Bell
Jordan Bell is the best defensive player in this draft. He’s only 6’8 but affects a ton of shots.  If you watched the NCAA tournament this year you probably got a pretty good look at Bell. He is definitely undersized but is willing to do all the dirty work.
24.    Utah Jazz – Semi Ojeleye
Semi started his career at Duke but ended up at SMU.  He is a little undersized for a power forward which will most likely be his position at the next level. Has potential to develop into a quality stretch 4.
25.    Orlando Magic – Ike Anigbogu
Definitely going to need to spend some time in the D-League. Explosive athlete who needs to develop some of his skills.  Active on the glass, good motor. Can get into foul trouble. Doesn’t have the best hands.  Could develop into a quality rim runner.
26.    Portland Trailblazers – Kyle Kuzma
Another project type player. Runs the floor well for a big man. Has a good shooting stroke that will probably improve over time. Average athlete. Will need his shot to improve if he wants to play in the NBA.  Good jab step. Creative finisher at the rim. Finishes well with both hands. Takes too many tough shots.
27.    Brooklyn Nets – Juwun Evans
Jeremy Lin is not the answer at pg. Jawun Evans could develop into a quality mid-level point guard. He makes good decisions, is efficient in the pick and roll and can shoot the ball. He is just 6 ft tall and not a tremendous athlete. He will be a solid NBA player but probably won’t ever develop into a star.
28.    LA Lakers – Isaiah Hartenstein
Not a great athlete but above average. Moves very fluid for a 7 footer.  Nice footwork. Doesn’t have a quick 2d jump. Probably won’t be an elite rim protector, picks up too many fouls. Surprisingly good ball handler for someone his size. Willing to play physical. Can be overly emotional.
29.    San Antonio Spurs – Sindarius Thornwell
Pop loves guys like this. Hard nosed player. Heart and soul of a South Carolina team he put on his back and carried to the final four. Hard worker and average athlete at best. Could carve out a solid role as a solid three-point shooter and defensive specialist.
30.    Utah Jazz – Wesley Iwundu
Another four-year senior. A jack of all trade but master of none type.  He is a very good athlete and a hard worker. He improved his free throw shooting in college showing his work ethic.  If he is going to crack an NBA rotation defense is going to have to be his calling card.