NBA Mock Draft 2017: Small Forwards

NBA Mock Draft 2017: Small Forwards

Draft

NBA Mock Draft 2017: Small Forwards

POINT GUARDS / SHOOTING GUARDS / SMALL FORWARDS / POWER FORWARDS / CENTERS

 

Small Forward / 6-8 / Duke / Freshman
16.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg

No one improved over the final month of the season as much as Tatum. He’s become one of the nation’s most valuable players in the country. He’s put the Blue Devils on his back with clutch plays at the end of close games to lead Duke to their first ever four wins in four nights ACC Tournament title. While not an elite athlete, he’s extremely smooth and has an advanced isolation game to create space for shots. While he doesn’t have the upside of guys like Josh Jackson or Jonathon Isaac, he may end up hearing his name called before them on draft night due to being such a sure thing and exhibiting such an advanced skill set.

Twitter: @jaytatum0
Comparison: Allan Houston
Salary: $4,090,900*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Kansas / Freshman
16.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Jackson has been one of the top freshmen in the country and remains very high on scouts lists of top prospects. Bit he has had some off court incidents and while none of them have concerned scouts heavily, if a team is on the fence with him and another player (Tatum for instance) not having a squeaky clean off court image could be a tipping point. Jackson is the far superior athlete and has shown as much heart and passion as anyone. A big NCAA tournament performance could easily launch him back into the Top 3 and even into the top pick discussion once again.

Twitter:
Comparison: Kawhi Leonard
Salary: $3,688,400*
Small Forward / 6-10 / Florida State / Freshman
11.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg

Isaac is one of the more polarizing prospects in this year’s draft. While not the most consistent of performers, he shows a tremendous pull-up jumper for someone with his dimensions. He fits the mold of the long, freaky shooters such as Brandon Ingram, and is one of those players that could become a deadly scorer at the next level. While some scouts absolutely love his potential and wouldn’t hesitate to draft him in the Top 5, he has his share of detractors, questioning his desire, intensity and feel for the game. He has not performed to the level of a guy like Lauri Markkanen, however he shows a lot more natural run-jump athleticism to excel in transition, defend and be more than just an outside marksman.

Twitter: @jisaac_01
Comparison: Rashard Lewis
Salary: $3,033,600*
Small Forward / 6-9 / FC Barcelona B (Spain) / 1998
9.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg

Kurucs is a quick, explosive wing forward with solid scoring ability. He has struggled some with knee injuries over the past two years but is back on the floor and playing well. He plays with a high level of intensity and energy and shows a lot of focus. The young Latvian is well liked by scouts and could impress enough to be a Top 20 pick.

Twitter: @RODIONS1
Comparison: Sam Dekker
Salary: $1,403,600*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Syracuse / Sophomore
13.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg

Lydon is a tweener, but the fact that he has a pure outside shot, gives him a lot of intrigue with NBA scouts. He obviously needs to get stronger, and the Syracuse defensive system creates a certain level of  uncertainty and skepticism about how well he can defend. He needs to add a lot of strength, but scouts have been high on Lydon for over a year and despite an up and down, underachieving season for Syracuse, he is considered likely to leave and go late first round.

Comparison: Pat Garrity
Salary: $1,192,200*
Small Forward / 6-8 / North Carolina / Junior
18.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Jackson has been North Carolina’s go-to scorer and No. 1 option all season. While he lacks ideal toughness and strength, the fact that he has developed into a consistent outside shooter (38 percent from three) has boosted his first round chances. His near 7-foot wingspan gives him great length on the defensive end and boards. Concerns about his competitiveness and toughness have followed him since his prep days, but for a recruit that came in as a top 10 ranking, he finally delivered on that ability, proving to be the top junior prospect in our estimation in the country. Chandler Parsons is a bit of a reach, but if Jackson can continue to improve his shot he could carve out a role as an outside shooter with versatility.

Twitter:
Comparison: Chandler Parsons
Salary: $1,144,500*

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

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