2017 NBA Mock Draft Final Mock: 2 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-15
My 2017 NBA Mock Draft is now up. Enjoy!
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: June 22, 2017.
Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
- Philadelphia has traded the third overall pick, their 2018 first round pick they got from the Lakers, and a 2019 first round pick they got from the Sacramento Kings to Boston for this pick. The Celtics may only get one of these picks. More clarification will be provide on Monday when this trade is officially finalized. The 76ers worked out Fultz on Saturday and plan on taking Fultz at 1 leaving Ben Simmons at small forward or power forward.
- 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. Fultz needs to work on defending better, but overall taking the 6-4 195 lb Markelle Fultz is probably the smartest thing the 76ers can do here. I also have a grade posted for the 76ers taking Fultz on our 2017 NBA Draft Results page.
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 in 2018 or 2019 so its critical for them to get this pick right if they keep it.
- Fultz is going to the 76ers at 1. The Lakers worked out Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and De'Aaron Fox multiple times with all three working out for the Lakers twice. With the Lakers moving D'Angelo Russell and Timothy Mozgov for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick, the overwhelming favorite to go second overall has to be Lonzo Ball. I also have a grade posted for the Lakers taking Ball on our 2017 NBA Draft Results page.
- The Los Angeles Lakers draft the 6-6 190 lb Lonzo Ball because the Lakers need a point guard with Russell gone. Lonzo Ball averaged 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. Ball defends well too. Lonzo Ball is my third best player in the entire draft behind Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson from a talent standpoint.
- Brandon Ingram is a full year younger than Josh Jackson. That along with the fact that both Paul George and LeBron James being Free Agents in 2018 is one reason why I love this pick. The other reason I love this pick is because Lonzo Ball has green on every area of his projected shooting chart which translates well to the NBA along with his passing, court vision, quality defense, and extremely high basketball IQ. I know his dad Lavar Ball can be annoying, but this is the right pick for the Lakers long-term if the plan is to get a guy like Paul George or LeBron James to play with Ball.
- After this pick, the Lakers starting five consists of Lonzo Ball at point guard, Jordan Clarkson at shooting guard, Brandon Ingram at small forward, Julius Randle at power forward, and Brook Lopez at center. Not only does Los Angeles have a good starting five, they also have two first round picks at 27 and 28 on top of that.
Previous Pick: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
- The Celtics are going to have to choose between Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum at 3. The Celtics worked out Tatum. They offered Jackson the chance to work out with the team, but he flaked on them to go to a second workout with the Lakers. That's why I think this pick is most likely going to be Tatum now. In fact, I already have the grade for Tatum to the Celtics on our 2017 NBA Draft Results page.
- I think Tatum can play the 3 or the 4 unlike Josh Jackson who is more talented and better defensively, but he's more of a guy that can play the 3 or the 2. The Celtics need a true 4 at power forward. Tatum is a better fit for Boston, and I'm not sure Jackson goes here with the issues he had earlier this year off the court.
- 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 makes sense here because he can shoot or defend well.
Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
- The Phoenix Suns get a small forward at 4. Josh Jackson is the #2 player on my board behind Markelle Fultz. He makes complete sense for the Suns at 4. I have posted a grade for Josh Jackson going to the Suns at 4 on our 2017 NBA Draft Results page.
- 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. The Suns need someone like Jackson to compliment Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker who can dominate at point guard and shooting guard. 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. Jackson defends well too.
- 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 the second best player in this entire draft after Markelle Fultz.
Previous Pick: Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
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 Kings have a thing for players from Kentucky so they get Fox at 5. There were rumors about the Kings trading up for Fox, but they turned down the 2 pick in exchange for the 5 and 10 picks. We have Fox's grade posted on our 2017 NBA Draft Results page.
- 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. Fox has one of the worst shooting charts I've seen from a prospect in years and that alarms me to an extent.
- 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.
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. The Magic love Dennis Smith Jr. Orlando brought Dennis Smith Jr. for three private workouts and have even gone as far as trolling the Celtics on Twitter about how they should take him at 1 over Markelle Fultz prior to Boston's trade with Philadelphia.
- 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.
- Worst case scenario, Dennis Smith Jr. is a backup to Payton as a rookie, but things he struggles with like mid range shooting and defense can be corrected learning under Payton. Best case scenario, he may be good enough to beat out Payton for a starting point guard job.
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 and is the best player on the board. Minnesota is also high on Gonzaga power forward/center Zach Collins as well as Wake Forest power forward John Collins too though. For now Markkanen is the pick, but do not be surprised if the Timberwolves pass on Markkanen for Collins on Gonzaga or Collins on Wake Forest.
- 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. Markannen has long range ability on his shooting chart that compares to Dirk Nowitzki. At the same time Markkanen is raw defensively, but playing next to Karl-Anthony Towns will help him fix that part of his game.
- With a starting five of Ricky Rubio or Kris Dunn at point guard, Zach Lavine at shooting guard, Andrew Wiggins at small forward, Lauri Markkanen at power forward, and Karl-Anthony Towns at center this team is ready to contend.
New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg
- The Knicks pick at 8 plus Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are Free Agents. Frank Ntilikina is not a guy who averages double digit points per game, but his shooting chart is much better than De'Aaron Fox's. He's also a good defender like Fox which is why he goes in the top 8.
- 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 Lonzo Ball. 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.
Dallas Mavericks: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
- The Dallas 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. Malik Monk is capable of playing the 1 at point guard or the 2 at shooting guard. He's a solid defender as well.
Previous Pick: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Sacramento Kings: Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
- With the Suns passing on Jonathan Isaac, he drops from 4 to 10 as a result thanks to Josh Jackson and Tatum both being on the board at 3 with the Celtics and Suns each taking Jackson and Tatum. That's the biggest reason Isaac fell in this mock.
- The 6-10 210 lb Jonathan Isaac would make an awesome prospect in Sacramento. Rudi Gay opted out of his contract so the Kings will probably draft a small forward at either 5 or 10 now. Isaac is much bigger than Tatum so its understandable that he was ahead of Tatum on draft boards at one 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.
Previous Pick: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
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.
Detroit Pistons: Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
- The Pistons had everyone in their starting five average double digit points in 2016-2017. I think in this situation they can ignore need and take the top player on their board. In this situation they take the 6-5 203 lb Donovan Mitchell out of Louisville. Donovan Mitchell averaged 15.6 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, a .408 field goal percentage, a .354 three point percentage, and a .806 free throw percentage. Detroit is looking at Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adeboyo here and Mitchell is by far the better player when you consider Bam is someone the Pistons could get in the second round.
Denver Nuggets: Zach Collins, PF, 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. I like what Nikola Jokic has done at center he is Denver's best player. Denver loves Collins and has a top 10 grade on him so he'd probably be used as a depth player to both Jokic and Faired here. I think over time he could replace Faired at power forward if Faired has less than 10 points per game for a second year in a row. I really want to change this pick, but I believe Denver has a really high grade on Collins and even prefers him over Markkanen who they also have a top 10 grade on.
- 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 power forward here. Collins has the versatility and defense down. He needs to show more athleticism though.
Miami Heat: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
- Tony Mario who makes NFL Mock Drafts on our site follows the Miami Heat and suggested changing the pick from Jarrett Allen to John Collins. Collins just got back from a workout with the Miami Heat. With Goran Dragic at point guard and Hassan Whiteside as the starting center you are looking at power forward to replace Chris Bosh as the position the Heat look to upgrade at 14.
- John Collins averaged a ridiculous 19.2 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, and 0.5 assists per game. John Collins is an ideal pick for the Miami Heat here plus players out of Wake Forest do well in the NBA. See Tim Duncan and Chris Paul.
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 15.
- 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. Leaf can playt he 3 at small forward or the 4 at power forward. Leaf may have the third best shooting chart in the 2017 NBA Draft, but he's also very suspect defensively. T.J. Leaf is not someone Portland can pass on at 15.
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