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 / Kansas / Freshman
16.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg

Jackson improved as the season went on as much as any freshmen or player in the country and is on a short list of scouts’ top prospects available. He had some off-court incidents but nothing that has scouts too concerned. He is among the draft’s elite athletes and the top two-way talent. Kawhi Leonard is an optimistic comparison for any draft prospect, and while Jackson doesn’t have Kawhi’s length, he possesses the same type of intensity and passion for the game.

Twitter:
Comparison: Kawhi Leonard
Salary: $4,555,500*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Duke / Freshman
16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg

Tatum showed excellent improvement over the course of the season. He took some time to hit his stride coming off a foot sprain that he suffered in the team’s pro day on October 25th that forced him to miss the first eight games. He became one of the nation’s most impactful players over the second half of the year. He put the Blue Devils on his back with clutch plays at the end of close games to lead Duke to its 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. He should have a chance to be a go-to player in the league, a la Paul Pierce. While he doesn’t have the upside of Jonathan Isaac, he may end up hearing his name called before him on draft night due to being such a sure thing and exhibiting such an advanced skill set.

Twitter: @jaytatum0
Comparison: Allan Houston
Salary: $3,340,000*
Small Forward / 6-10 / Florida State / Freshman
12.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg

Isaac is another extremely promising player, further giving this draft an insane amount of depth/talent in the Top 10. He has been compared favorably to 2016 No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram as he has a similar game with his great size, length and versatility. He’s a little older but he was a late bloomer and before suffering his early-season ankle injury was getting some top pick hype from scouts. His ability to pull up and shoot over defenders is absolutely effortless.

Twitter: @jisaac_01
Comparison: Rashard Lewis
Salary: $3,033,600*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Syracuse / Sophomore
13.1 ppg, 8.6 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. The Syracuse defensive system also 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. Despite an-up-down, underachieving season for Syracuse, he has elected to sign with an agent and is considered likely to go in the late first round. Similar to Markkanen, Lydon will take some time to catch up defensively as his optimum playing weight is calibrated.

Comparison: Pat Garrity
Salary: $1,293,500*
Small Forward / 6-9 / FC Barcelona B (Spain) / 1998
9.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg

Kurucs is a wing with solid scoring ability and very good run/jump athleticism by European standards. He has struggled some with knee injuries over the past two years but is back at full strength. 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 first round pick.

Twitter: @RODIONS1
Comparison: Sam Dekker
Salary: $1,192,200*
Small Forward / 6-8 / North Carolina / Junior
18.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Jackson was North Carolina’s top scorer all season. While he lacks ideal toughness and strength, the fact that he has developed into a consistent outside shooter (38 percent from 3) has elevated his first-round chances. His near seven-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 with a Top 10 ranking, he finally delivered on that promise, proving to be the top junior prospect in the country and helping guide UNC to their third title under Roy Williams.

Agent: Travis King
Comparison: Rod Higgins
Salary: $1,031,600*

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

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