2017 NBA Mock Draft: The Lottery Picks

2017 NBA Mock Draft: The Lottery Picks

The NBA season is now over, which means we have entered the season of the NBA mock draft. Below is my only NBA mock draft that will be produced, and as always, my mock drafts are based on what I think will happen, as opposed to what I would do if I were in charge of all 30 NBA Teams (what an incredible universe that would be).


  1. Boston Celtics – Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington: I personally question whether Fultz can co-exist with both Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas, but the Celtics are almost certainly going to draft the unanimous number one pick here. Fultz looks to be a player who can contribute at both ends of the floor, and he has the potential to become an All-NBA level player, and Brad Stevens is a coach who could seriously unlock his potential.


  1. Los Angeles Lakers – Josh Jackson, F, Kansas: Ball was originally nailed on in this spot, but it is rumoured that Jackson received a promise from a team in the top two, and the fact he cancelled his Celtics workout shows it is not them. Jackson is a good fit for the Lakers as he moves well off the ball, and his ability to defend multiple positions should make the Lakers competitive at both ends of the floor next year.


  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA: If this happens, then Philadelphia would win the draft, as Ball is the perfect fit alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. I am of the opinion that Ball will be a full time shooting guard at the next level, and I feel his off the ball work would be a good fit in Brett Brown’s motion offence. Ball needs some work, but Brett Brown is a very good coach who can develop him into a refined offensive player.


  1. Phoenix Suns – De’Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky: Devin Booker is a poor defender, so Phoenix need to pair him with someone who can defend, and facilitate to the Suns underrated front court players. I don’t actually rate Fox as highly as many, but I feel Phoenix’ front office will become enamoured with his athleticism and his basketball IQ. He needs a lot of work, but Phoenix are in no hurry to win.


  1. Sacramento Kings – Jayson Tatum, F, Duke: The Kings appear to be in love with De’Aaron Fox, but with him off the board, they take Tatum. Sam Vecenie has Tatum as the second best player in the draft, and it is very easy to see why. Tatum scores for fun, and every team needs a player who can create their own shot, and Sacramento currently have no player who can do that. Tatum’s ability to create for himself should help the likes of Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield develop into off-the-ball threats.


  1. Orlando Magic – Malik Monk, G, Kentucky: The Magic could go in nearly any direction here, but Monk makes sense as they do not have a scorer on the roster worth building around. Monk could develop into a great combo guard at the next level, and he reminds me a lot of CJ McCollum. Monk is currently third on my big board, and he would be the first player worth building around in Orlando since Dwight Howard departed in 2012.


  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State: If Isaac is there, then it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Tom Thibodeau sprint to the podium to announce the pick. Isaac is the best defender in the class, and his ability to switch between the perimeter and the paint is something that is essential in Tom Thibodeau’s system. The main knock on Isaac is that he cannot create his own shot, but in a team with Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony-Towns, Tyus Jones, Ricky Rubio and Shabazz Muhammad, this doesn’t matter.


  1. New York Knicks – Dennis Smith Jr, PG, North Carolina State: Smith is currently at number two on my big board, which would make this the steal of the draft. Smith was surrounded by a horrendous level of talent in College, yet still managed to put up really good numbers. He reminds me a lot of Damian Lillard, and if the Knicks can pair him with Porzingis, then they may finally have a duo worth building around, and a duo that fit what Jeff Hornacek wants to do on offence.


  1. Dallas Mavericks – Frank Ntilikina, PG, France: The Mavericks have scouted Ntilikina more than any other team, and he seems to be a perfect fit in Rick Carlisle’s offence. Carlisle always looks for a pass first point guard and a game manager, and the French prospect could develop into a two-way player in no time. They may want to take a forward here in order to prepare for life after Dirk, but they really need point guard help.


  1. Sacramento Kings – Lauri Markannen, F, Arizona: Sacramento need to add some offensive playmakers as they currently don’t have any, and Markannen is someone who could become the most deadly offensive forward in the league. He shoots over 40% from beyond the arc, and he moves well off the ball which is important in Dave Joerger’s half-court system. His defence is really bad, but Willie Cauley-Stein is the type of center who can help mask the deficiencies of a porous team-mate.


  1. Charlotte Hornets – Justin Jackson, F, UNC: The Hornets are not as bad as their record suggests, but they need to add some players who can be productive off the ball. Steve Clifford does not run an isolation offence — the Hornets had the least plays ending in isolation — so the Hornets need shooters who can play off-screen and as cutters. Jackson probably won’t turn into a star at the next level, but he should be highly productive in the NBA as he can do a bit of everything. He shot 37 percent from beyond the arc last year, and this would provide real relief to a Hornets team that was 18th in three-point percentage despite being top ten in attempts.


  1. Detroit Pistons – Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville: Every year I have a draft crush, and this years draft crush is Donovan Mitchell. He was one of the most productive players in college basketball last year, and he is a jack of all trades type player who will thrive at the next level. Detroit’s offence was broken last year, and they need to add more players who can contribute in different ways. Mitchell’s ability as a slasher should open up the perimeter for Detroit and this is much needed, as they were 28th in three-point percentage last season.


  1. Denver Nuggets – OG Anunoby, G/F, Indiana: The Nuggets offence was really fun last year, but they comfortably had the worst defence in the NBA. Anunoby will be a plus defender from day one, and although he isn’t a good shooter, this won’t matter in a Denver offence that rewards speedy guards as they utilise a lot of back screens and off the ball cuts.


  1. Miami Heat – John Collins, F/C, Wake Forest: The Miami Heat are always looking to find versatility, and John Collins might be the most versatile big in the class. His shooting sample from beyond the arc is very limited, but this won’t matter from day one in Miami as they will give him room to develop. The Ringer have compared him to Enes Kanter and Al Jefferson, but I believe he has more defensive potential than these guys, and Erik Spoelstra is a coach who could easily refine that side of his game. Miami will almost certainly take a big in this draft, and Collins would be great value here.

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