NBA Mock Draft 2017: Small Forwards


Small Forward / 6-8 / Kansas / Freshman

The Michigan native made a great decision to move out West to attend Prolific Prep in Napa for his last two seasons of high school and his development both on and off the floor showed tremendous progress. He gained a great deal of maturity and focus and has become a legitimate top pick candidate. He is a year older than his classmates, which is both a positive and a negative. While he may not have quite the development left in his game, he’s already very good: expect him to come into college and also the NBA physically and mentally prepared. He isn’t the raw physical specimen of Wiggins, but he’s shown more of a competitive fire, skill level and maturity at the same age.

Comparison: Andrew Wiggins
Salary: $4,555,500*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Duke / Freshman

Tatum is a real wild card with his long and rangy frame and excellent footwork. Some consider him a guy that could challenge to be the top pick. He’s certainly developed a great reputation and earned many accolades throughout his high school career. He should be considered a can’t-miss to be a solid NBA player and could be a standout. Our reservations with placing him higher revolve around his lack of foot speed, which limits his effectiveness defending on the perimeter as well as creating plays off the dribble. He’s a decent shooter, but needs to improve in this area as well. Look for a team to snatch him up somewhere in the mid-lottery and have a cornerstone for many years.

Twitter: @jaytatum0
Comparison: Danny Granger
Salary: $3,033,600*
Small Forward / 6-10 / Florida State / Freshman

Isaac is a late bloomer with a long, thin frame and a lot of natural ability. A smart kid, Isaac has developed into an offensive threat with his ability to knock down outside shots as well as being a factor around the rim. With his smooth athletic profile, he appears to be just scratching the surface of his talent as he still has a lot of filling out to do in his upper body. While further away than some of the other prospects in his class, his upside is very intriguing. It will be interesting to see how quickly things fall into place and he becomes one of the Seminole’s top scoring options.

Twitter: @jisaac_01
Comparison: Rashard Lewis
Salary: $2,769,300*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Kentucky / Sophomore

Gabriel is a talented combo forward showing some face-up ability and nice run/jump athleticism. Whether he can truly play on the wing will be an important question regarding his draft stock. He is a long, fluid athlete who plays with a high motor. Playing at Kentucky gives him the benefit of competing against high level athletes in practice on a daily basis. He’s a cerebral kid who shows a strong desire and seems to be just scratching the surface of his abilities.

Comparison: DerMarr Johnson
Salary: $2,104,700*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Syracuse / Sophomore

Lydon is well liked by scouts for his ability to score and his toughness. He has an excellent shooting stroke and improving range. He’s a bit of a tweener and will need to decide which forward position he wants to pursue. Today’s NBA seems to be more accomodating to the tweener types which helps a guy like Lydon. He obviously needs to get stronger, but his ability to face up as well as make some plays in the post gives his game diversity.

Comparison: Omri Casspi
Salary: $1,628,600*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Arizona / Freshman

Smith was drawing rave reviews from scouts that had seen him in practices leading up to his early-season ending knee injury. If he can bounce back, he could be one of the draft’s risers come June. He’ll need to stay injury free and obviously his knee will have to check out in team physicals. Smith is a multifaceted forward who shows a lot of offensive skills. The Las Vegas native could break out as Arizona’s go-to frontcourt scorer and his face up skills are sure to intrigue scouts.

Twitter: @raysmith2297
Comparison: Tobias Harris
Salary: $1,469,800*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Texas A&M / Sophomore

Hogg has reshaped his body and shows a lot of potential as a scorer. His ability to create good looks for himself will be pivotal in how his season is viewed. His freshman statistics weren’t great, but he showed that his athleticism and body have improved considerably from his high school days while playing at adidas Nations this summer. He still plays somewhat of a finesse game, so getting stronger and tougher will be important. He’s still flying under the radar for many but we feel he could be one of the breakout college players this year and project him as a first rounder.

Twitter: @Dj_hogg1
Comparison: Sam Dekker
Salary: $1,347,400*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Connecticut / Sophomore

Like DJ Hogg, Terry Larrier isn’t completely on the radar yet, but he should be. He’s a VCU transfer with excellent size and evolving skills. He’ll need to show that his ability to put the ball on the deck and playmaing skills have improved, but he does have a nice shooting stroke and very solid athletic attributes.

Twitter: @_TL22
Comparison: Dorell Wright
Salary: $1,293,500*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Clemson / Senior

Blossomgame was one of the surprises to pull his name out of the draft last year as rumors persisted that the Clippers had a promise in place at 25 for him. He’s improved as a spot-up shooter and has one of the most athletic profiles of any prospect returning to school. He crashes the glass on both ends with his strong frame and aggressiveness and is a borderline freak athlete. Where he doesn’t have a high skill set and needs to improve is in his ability to create with the ball in his hands.

Twitter: @JaronBgame
Comparison: Joey Graham
Salary: $1,241,800*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Cibona Zagrev (Croatia) / 1997

Slavica is one of the more intriguing European talents that could potentially make themselves available for this year’s draft. He’s an explosive wing who has proven to be a clutch performer on a big stage having lead Croatia to the U19 World Championships gold medal game. Croatia lost to Team USA in overtime, but Slavica had a monster 23 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 1 block stat line, and in the process showed his ability to hang with American athletes.

Comparison: Bojan Bogdanovic
Salary: $1,031,600*
Small Forward / 6-8 / North Carolina / Junior

Jackson needs to play with more toughness and assertiveness this year. He’s a talented forward with a solid set of skills but he struggles to play to his ability on a regular basis. After entering college as a five-star recruit, he has yet to fully realize his talent. JJ has a bit of an unorthodox offensive game and will need to continue to work on his outside shooting. It’s his time to shine, showcase his abilities and become the leader of the Tar Heels.

Comparison: Justin Holiday
Salary: $1,025,300*

Key: (*) Standard salary for players selected with that pick in 2017-18.

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