NBA Mock Draft 2017

NBA Mock Draft 2017

Draft

NBA Mock Draft 2017

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

Point Guard / 6-5 / University of Washington / Freshman
23.2 ppg, 5.9 apg

Fultz is the prospect who offers the most upside as a go-to scorer and playmaker. While consideration will need to be made about how he meshes with point guard Isaiah Thomas, the fact that he is nearly 10 years younger than IT gives him the ability to learn under him and presumably take control of the team when the time is right. Trading Thomas is another possibility, but the Celtics can exercise all options and take their time with Fultz in the fold.

Twitter: @MarkelleF
Comparison: James Harden
Salary: $5,091,500*
Point Guard / 6-6 / UCLA / Freshman
14.6 ppg, 7.6 apg

The Lakers and Ball appear to be the big winners of lottery night. It has been reported that Ball is set to only work out for the Lakers, and Ball ending up in L.A. for the Lakers appears to be destiny.

Twitter: @ZO2_
Comparison: Jason Kidd
Salary: $4,555,500*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Kansas / Freshman
16.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg

Jackson is the best prospect available and could end up the best player in this draft. The Sixers could also opt to trade back a few spots to draft a shooter such as Jayson Tatum or Malik Monk. Drafting Tatum here at No. 3 is another possibility as there are ties between the Colangelos and Coach K, and Tatum is a safe pick. However, he seems to be a bit of a reach here. There are a number of teams that could move up to three to target De’Aaron Fox or Josh Jackson, so a trade with Sacramento for 5 and 10 or a deal with Phoenix or another team are possibilities.

Twitter:
Comparison: Kawhi Leonard
Salary: $4,090,900*
Point Guard / 6-3 / Kentucky / Freshman
16.7 ppg, 4.6 apg

Fox would give the team a potential upgrade or eventual replacement for Bledsoe and a younger running mate for Booker. GM Ryan McDonough seems to have a thing for Kentucky guards as he has taken one in almost every draft (Archie Goodwin, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis) plus the team’s starting point guard Eric Bledsoe is a UK alum. The team would like to target a big, however it’s unlikely any of the bigs available would be enough value to select at 4. The Suns could look to take Jackson if available, or listen to offers to move down into the 7-10 range and target a big like Zach Collins.

Twitter: @Swipathef0x
Comparison: John Wall
Salary: $3,688,400*
Small Forward / 6-8 / Duke / Freshman
16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg

Tatum would give the Kings a surefire high-level starter and a player with go-to scoring ability on the wing. While he may lack some of the upside of other prospects, like Jonathan Isaac, he’s one of the least risky prospects available. The Kings are said to be looking to address their PG position with this year’s draft so Fox or Smith are possibilities here, and if they opt for one of the wings, they could gamble that French PG Frank Ntilikina falls to their second pick at 10.

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

The Magic always seem to be one pick away from grabbing an elite player (see Porzingis). With the sixth pick this year, they should have the opportunity to grab a player with a lot of potential. It’s a great draft to have a mid lottery pick as there is a lot of talent available and a lot of prospects with similar value. Picks 5-8 could easily challenge the Top 4 in this year’s draft in the long run, which makes it a unique draft.

Twitter: @jisaac_01
Comparison: Rashard Lewis
Salary: $3,033,600*
Point Guard / 6-2 / North Carolina State / Freshman
18.1 ppg, 6.2 apg

After selecting Kris Dunn early in last year’s draft, it may be difficult for the Wolves to select another point guard. But Dunn has been unimpressive and Smith offers the most value at their pick. Malik Monk is another possibility as he would give them a shooter to go along with Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins.

Twitter: @Dennis4Smith
Comparison: Steve Francis
Salary: $2,769,300*
Shooting Guard / 6-3 / Kentucky / Freshman
19.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg

The Knicks could use a dynamic young guard to groom for the future to play alongside Kristaps Porzingis. While GM Phil Jackson hasn’t done the greatest job of signing free agents or hiring head coaches, his selection of KP at 4 was a magnificent one. Whether he can duplicate that draft magic at 8 remains to be seen.

Twitter: @AhmadMonk
Comparison: Louis Williams
Salary: $2,537,000*
Center / 7-0 / Gonzaga / Freshman
10.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Collins is the player that offers a great deal of upside at the Mavs’ pick. Lauri Markkanen is an intriguing prospect as the team could attempt to mold him into another Dirk, with Dirk’s tutelage. However, Collins shows more strength to carry weight and eventually impact both ends of the floor.

Twitter: @zcollins_33
Comparison: Brad Daugherty
Salary: $2,332,100*
Point Guard / 6-5 / Strasbourg IG (France) / 1998
5.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg

The Kings would love to upgrade their current point guard position as Darren Collison, while solid, is more suited for a backup role. Ntilikina is a bit of an unknown as his level of competition at PG leaves some doubt. He would give Sacramento hope for the future at the position. If a PG they covet is available to them at 5, they will likely opt for a big here. Zach Collins, Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen are all possibilities.

Twitter:
Comparison: Dante Exum
Salary: $2,215,400*
Center / 6-10 / Texas / Freshman
13.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg

Charlotte has a solid big man in Frank Kaminsky, but adding a more defensive oriented athlete in Allen to pair with Frank could be more appealing than a power forward that duplicates his face-up game. Allen is still a few years away, but shows upside as a defender and athlete.

Comparison: Lorenzen Wright
Salary: $2,104,700*
Power Forward / 7-0 / Arizona / Freshman
15.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Markkanen would figure to be a very good pairing along with center Andre Drummond. If Markkanen can fill his potential and become a high-level starter in the league, his skill set, namely his ability to spread the floor and fill it up from outside, would figure to work well with Drummond’s defensive and rebounding prowess.

Comparison: Ryan Anderson
Salary: $1,999,500*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Adelaide 36ers (Australia) / 1998
4.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg

The mystery man drew positive reviews from those around him in Australia. He remains a bit of a project, but for a team like Denver, he would work well as they have a young nucleus. At 19, his shooting could help to eventually replace Gallinari who at 28 may be closing in on the twilight of his career.

Comparison: Rudy Fernandez
Salary: $1,899,500*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Wake Forest / Sophomore
19.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg

Collins is more of a traditional power forward, although at times he showed some touch on his face up game. Assuming he maximizes his potential and develops into an NBA starter, he could pair with Hassan Whiteside to form an extremely athletic frontcourt.

Twitter:
Comparison: Richaun Holmes
Salary: $1,804,600*
Power Forward / 6-10 / UCLA / Freshman
16.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg

Leaf seems to be a player that is currently being undervalued by NBA teams… which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as he figures to be a face-up four that fits into today’s spread-the-floor style perfectly.  Leaf is a skilled, finesse power forward who could fit well with their terrific backcourt and Jusuf Nurkic.

Twitter:
Comparison: Nick Collison
Salary: $1,714,200*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Utah / Junior
16.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg

No. 16 may seem high for Kyle Kuzma, who is all over the place on team’s boards following a stellar draft combine. The Bulls could use some help in their frontcourt and Kuzma could push the inconsistent Mirotic for minutes. Despite being nearly 22, Kuzma offers a nice mix of experience and upside as a potential face-up four.

Twitter:
Comparison: Jared Jeffries
Salary: $1,628,600*
Center / 7-1 / Creighton / Freshman
12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg

The Bucks are in solid shape in the backcourt and overall talent and would like to add a big man to compliment their nucleus of Greek Freak and Jabari Parker. They have handed the keys over to Giannis as their quarterback, so a young, skilled big would seem to fit the bill. GM John Hammond has had an outstanding recent track record, and seems to target length with his picks.

Comparison: Brendan Haywood
Salary: $1,547,100*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Kentucky / Freshman
13.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg

This pick may be contingent upon whether the Pacers decide to move Paul George instead of keeping him in the final year of his deal, and whom they feel they can get in return.  Bam is a player that seems to be undervalued as teams are shying away from the more traditional players in favor of the versatile, multifaceted guys. Indiana had luck with the Davis Brothers in the 90s and Bam is cut from the same ilk.

Twitter: @Bam1of1
Comparison: Markieff Morris
Salary: $1,469,800*
Small Forward / 6-8 / North Carolina / Junior
18.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Jackson is likely to benefit more than anyone from UNC’s title and provides experience and shooting. The Hawks are a playoff team that could use another shooter and also a player ready to come in and produce, so JJ checks a number of boxes for them.

Agent: Travis King
Comparison: Rod Higgins
Salary: $1,403,600*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Duke / Freshman
3.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Giles is obviously a big-time talent, but his inability or unwillingness to explode off his knee has left a lot of skepticism and concern about his future. With three picks in the first round, the Blazers are in excellent position to take a flyer on him and live with the consequences if his knees do not show any further recovery/improvement.

Twitter: @HGizzle1
Comparison: Bobby Portis
Salary: $1,347,400*
Power Forward / 6-10 / California / Sophomore
14.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg

The Thunder made an excellent pick last year in Domantas Sabonis after moving Serge Ibaka. Rabb isn’t the sexiest of prospects as he doesn’t run the floor very smooth, but he’s a tremendous kid with both the drive and intelligence to improve, plus the shooting to spread the floor. Rabb would be a steal if he were to fall this far.

Twitter: @YoungIvee
Comparison: Andrew Nicholson
Salary: $1,293,500*
Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Kentucky / Freshman
17.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg

The Nets need to use their picks (22 and 27) to swing for the fences and add as much upside as possible. This was the worst team in the league and after their apocalyptic trade in which they sent numerous unprotected picks to the Celtics for Twilight KG and Pierce, it will be years before this franchise recovers. Hami is as good a roll-the-dice pick as any at this point of the draft.

Comparison: Shabazz Muhammad
Salary: $1,241,800*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Syracuse / Sophomore
13.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg

Lydon isn’t the typical athlete that GM Masai Ujiri targets with his picks, but his ability to shoot it should work well as the team continues to be one of the challengers in the East. The question is whether Lydon can defend well enough to get on the floor early in his career.

Comparison: Nikola Mirotic
Salary: $1,192,200*
Shooting Guard / 6-6 / Duke / Sophomore
19.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Kennard seems to be a Jazz type of player, and fits into their system. The team already has two top notch shooters in Gordon Hayward and Joe Ingles. But you can never add enough shooters and Kennard gives them further depth on the wing.

Twitter: @LukeKennard5
Comparison: Nik Stauskas
Salary: $1,144,500*
Shooting Guard / 6-3 / Louisville / Sophomore
15.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg

After drafting a forward at 6 in Isaac, the Magic take an undersized 2 with their second pick. The team has shown a commitment to drafting players with defensive ability, and while there is new decision maker in place, Mitchell fits into their sceme. 

Comparison: Norman Powell
Salary: $1,098,700*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Florida State / Sophomore
17.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg

With three first-round picks, it’s conceivable the Blazers could look to package their picks to move up or possibly trade away one of their (15, 20, 26) picks. Bacon is a versatile guard who would add depth to a loaded Blazer backcourt.

Comparison: Gerald Wilkins
Salary: $1,062,300*
Shooting Guard / 6-3 / Duke / Freshman
10.9 ppg, 1.7 apg

Jackson could offer the Nets a potential future starter if he can develop at the point guard position. The minutes Jackson could receive on a team like Brooklyn would be valuable.

Twitter:
Comparison: Cory Joseph
Salary: $1,031,600*
Small Forward / 6-9 / FC Barcelona B (Spain) / 1998
9.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg

The Lakers could opt for a European here to stash for a year or two and bring over or bring in right away and look to provide scoring. The team is likely to grab Lonzo Ball at No. 2, so taking a big or a wing here at 28 makes sense.

Twitter: @RODIONS1
Comparison: Sam Dekker
Salary: $1,025,300*
Center / 7-0 / North Carolina State / Freshman
5.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg

The Spurs always seem to be two steps ahead of everyone with their draft strategy. If a player that has no business falling to them does (DeJounte Murray, Kyle Anderson, etcetera) they jump all over them, and if no American players with value are available, they generally find value going International with a player they can stash and put into the right situation in Europe to facilitate their development. Yurtseven has a good deal of upside left to develop and at 29 there isn’t a lot of risk.

Twitter:
Comparison: Raef LaFrentz
Salary: $1,017,800*
Point Guard / 6-6 / South Carolina / Sophomore
13.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Dozier would be a steal at 30 for Utah and while he probably duplicates Dante Exum to a degree, his ability to defend and play multiple positions adds to his value. The Jazz, while not on the level with the Warriors, Cavs and Spurs, are clearly developing into a second-tier team.

Twitter: @Dozier_Kid
Comparison: Shaun Livingston
Salary: $1,010,500*

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

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