2017 NBA Draft – First Round Mock

The dust has settled, the ping pong balls have been drawn and the final order of the 2017 NBA Draft is now known. The Celtics, owning Brooklyn’s pick this year (and next), are the big winners and the Lakers will pick 2nd for the 3rd year in a row. The 76ers were the big riser on draft night, using their swap rights to pick two picks earlier than the Kings due to a lamentable Kings Front Office move (Stauskas? Stauskas).

While I have taken a look at the Top 14 picks pre-lottery, and Joel has reviewed a number of first round prospects earlier in the year, this is our first consolidated mock for picks 1 through 30.

Without further ado, here’s how the draft could shake out on June 22.

1. BOSTON CELTICS – MARKELLE FULTZ (PG / FRESHMAN / WASHINGTON)
Fultz 2

Prospect profile here

Widely considered the best player in this draft class, Fultz will be brought along slowly as the key backup to All-Star PG (and fellow Washington Husky) Isaiah Thomas. It will be an interesting dynamic next year, with Thomas and Avery Bradley both out of contract at the end of the 2018 season, and a decision likely having to be made on Marcus Smart this off-season.

2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS – LONZO BALL (PG / FRESHMAN / UCLA)
Lonzo Ball 2

Prospect profile here

The Chino Hills product and UCLA alumn gets his wish. Ball gets to live his dream as a Laker, and Luke Walton will be charged with turning him into some sort of Steph Curry/Jason Kidd hybrid. Some interesting questions arise on whether Ball and D’Angelo Russell can coexist in the backcourt, and the Lakers will also be active in the trade market with new GM, Magic Johnson.

3. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS – JOSH JACKSON (SF / FRESHMAN / KANSAS)
Jackson 2

Prospect profile here

I’m not entirely convinced the Sixers keep Jackson, as there appears to be better fits amongst Phillies talented young core. However, given his value, Jackson will surely be the pick. If the Sixers do decide to keep him – he’d be a solid fit as a defensive minded 3/4 with a developing jumper, supreme athleticism and elite cutting ability (which would be pretty neat alongside a transcendent passer like Ben Simmons).

4. PHOENIX SUNS – JAYSON TATUM (SF / FRESHMAN / DUKE)
Tatum 2

Prospect profile here

The Suns would be very keen on Josh Jackson if he slides to #4, and may also look at making a deal with Philly here to take him. If not, Jayson Tatum would give the Suns a talented and multi-faceted SF who could play some PF when he gets a little stronger. Tatum fits a true need for the Suns and could start immediately, while adding to their stack of quality young players in Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.

5. SACRAMENTO KINGS – DE’AARON FOX (PG / FRESHMAN / KENTUCKY)
Fox 2

Prospect profile here

The Kings would be thrilled to land De’Aaron Fox here, as he fits an immediate need at the PG slot, while adding such much needed ball hawking defence. Darren Collison is better suited as a backup longer term (should they choose to retain him), while Fox will be given the keys to the Kings offence early in the season. Fox has prototypical size and length for an NBA PG, while being extremely quick and proficient in the open court. His jumper needs a fair bit of work to be serviceable, but he would be an outstanding compliment to the Kings young core in Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere.

6. ORLANDO MAGIC – DENNIS SMITH JR (PG / FRESHMAN / NC STATE)
Smith Jr 2

Prospect profile here

The Magic are in desperate need of some star power, as recent high lottery picks and FA moves have fizzled into nothing. Enter Dennis Smith – the high flying, athletic PG who would give you a reason to tune into Orlando games. The jury is out on Orlando’s long term plan with Elfrid Payton, and Smith would be a suitable replacement should they choose not to extend Payton in the near future. Smith got through his first season post ACL tear and showed flashes as to why he was so highly rated coming into his Freshman year at NC State.

7. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES – JONATHAN ISAAC (SF / FRESHMAN / FLORIDA STATE)
Isaac 2
Prospect profile here

The Timberwolves keep adding to their bevy of talented youngsters, having perhaps the most enviable young core in the NBA. Isaac slides in perfectly at the 3 or 4 – allowing extra room for Towns to operate given his 3pt range, and with his elite wingspan, has fantastic shot blocking potential to assist in protecting the rim. Isaac needs to stack on some weight to play in the pros, but will be a terrific fit when this young Wolves team starts to show its teeth.

8. NEW YORK KNICKS – MALIK MONK (SG / FRESHMAN / KENTUCKY)
Monk 2

Prospect profile here

For once, a pick that may actually not be booed at the Draft by the local New Yorkers. Monk fits an immediate need for New York at the SG slot, and could help bring some swagger back to this proud but downtrodden franchise. Questions remain on whether Monk has the ball handling capability to play any PG, but if there ever was an offence that would help, it’s the triangle. As an off the ball weapon, there aren’t any better catch and shoot players in the Draft. Monk has unlimited shooting range, and provided the Knicks can play a little more uptempo next season, he could thrive on the big stage at MSG. Monk will form an exciting young duo with Unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis…assuming that he’s still on the roster by Training Camp!

9. DALLAS MAVERICKS – LAURI MARKKANEN (PF / FRESHMAN / ARIZONA)
Lauri 2

Prospect profile here

Poetic justice, as Markkanen arrives in Texas to learn under the tutelage of Europe’s biggest basketball star, Dirk Nowitzki. Markkanen has elite size and one NBA ready skill – his jump shooting ability, having shot 42% from 3pt range and 54% overall in his one year at Arizona. Dallas has many needs, and may also look at a PG like Frank Ntilikina at this pick, but Markkanen would be a nice long term fit alongside Nerlens Noel and Harrison Barnes as new building blocks for this Dallas franchise.

10. SACRAMENTO KINGS – ZACH COLLINS (PF / FRESHMAN / GONZAGA)
Collins 2

Prospect profile here

Having taken their PG of the future at #5 in Fox, the Kings turn their attention to adding to their frontcourt. Zach Collins was hyper productive in limited minutes during his Freshman season at Gonzaga, averaging 10/6 in just 17 minutes per game. Collins lifted his stock tremendously during the NCAA tourney, particularly in his 14 point, 13 rebound and 6 block game vs South Carolina. Collins gives the Kings another big option that can play the 4 or 5, and can be brought along slowly behind Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein.

11. CHARLOTTE HORNETS – FRANK NTILIKINA (PG, FRANCE/BELGIUM)

Physical profile: 6’5″ and 170lbs with a 6’11” wingspan
Age: 18 years
Pro position: PG/SG
The numbers: 5.1ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.4apg, 0.7spg, 0.2bpg on 51%fg, 41% 3fg, 61%ft in 19mpg

The first “pure” international player off the board, Ntilikina has elite size for a PG – standing 6’5″ with an almost 7″ wingspan. The Hornets are in desperate need for a backup guard who can play both positions, and Ntilikina’s size would allow him to play alongside Kemba Walker in certain lineups – while providing a very lengthy lineup if Clifford wants to get freaky with Ntilikina/Batum/MKG type rotations.

12. DETROIT PISTONS – JUSTIN JACKSON (SF / JUNIOR / NORTH CAROLINA)
Justin Jackson 2

Prospect profile here

After a disappointing season, Detroit opt to go for some experience at the SF slot in Justin Jackson, the NCAA Championship winner from North Carolina. Jackson would add some shooting ability (2.1 3’s per game on 37% in his Junior season) which would be very welcome in Detroit’s lineups, particularly if they opt not to retain Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Jackson offers a “jack of all trades” type of game, as he doesn’t have many weaknesses. Given Detroit’s roster, there’s something to be said for consistency in a players approach.

13. DENVER NUGGETS – OG ANUNOBY (SF / SOPHOMORE / INDIANA)

Physical profile: 6’8″ and 215lbs with a 7’2″ wingspan
Age: 19 years
Pro position: SF primarily, but could split time at the 4 and even 5 in some matchups
The numbers: 11.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, 1.3bpg on 55%fg, 31% 3fg, 56%ft in 25mpg

Anunoby came to prominence last season by giving eventual lottery pick Jamal Murray fits in the NCAA Tourney. His Sophomore season ended early due to an ACL tear, which he says will be fully healed in time for Training Camp this year. Anunoby would be a perfect fit in Denver, as his defensive minded attitude, athleticism and versatility would see him fit seamlessly into a multitude of lineups alongside cornerstone Nikola Jokic. Just when Murray thought he’d seen the back of OG, he’s going to have to line up against him every day in practice!

14. MIAMI HEAT – JOHN COLLINS (PF / SOPHOMORE / WAKE FOREST)

Physical profile: 6’9.5″ and 225lbs with a 6’11” wingspan
Age: 20 years
Pro position: PF/C
The numbers: 19.2ppg, 9.8rpg, 0.5apg, 0.6spg, 1.6bpg on 62%fg, 75%ft in 26.6mpg

The most productive player in college basketball last season (#1 in PER), Collins would be a solid fit in Miami, playing both the 4 and 5 spots. Collins is a Palm Beach native, so getting to play in-front of his hometown would be a big bonus – and fill in the shoes of another former Miami Heat star PF in Chris Bosh (no pressure John). Question marks remain over Collins’ passing ability and jump shot, however he may have dispelled some concerns on the latter in his excellent showing in jump shooting drills at the Combine.

15. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS – JARRETT ALLEN (C / FRESHMAN / TEXAS)

Physical profile: 6’11” and 224lbs with a 7’5″ wingspan
Age: 19 years
Pro position: PF/C
The numbers: 13.4ppg, 8.5rpg, 0.8apg, 0.6spg, 1.5bpg on 57%fg, 56%ft in 32mpg

While Portland managed to net the impressive Jusuf Nurkic at the trade deadline, Jarrett Allen fits a need as his backup – given the options are currently Meyers Leonard and…well…he sucks. Allen has an elite profile for a big man, with a huge 7’5″ wingspan. He also possesses a soft touch around the basket and an increasingly proficient mid range jump shot. Allen is light on his feet and moves up and down the court well, which would provide a yin to Nurkic’s more lumber-some yang.

16. CHICAGO BULLS – JUSTIN PATTON (C / FRESHMAN / CREIGHTON)
Patton 2

Prospect profile here

The Bulls are in desperate need of some help in their big man department, and adding the talented Patton would be a good start. Patton is light on his feet, athletic and would be a nice option as the roll man with Rondo (not that you want to focus on building your team around Rajon…). Patton has shown potential with his developing jump shot, which will be key to opening up his attacks to the hole going forward.

17. MILWAUKEE BUCKS – IKE ANIGBOGU (C / FRESHMAN / UCLA)

Physical profile: 6’9.75″ and 252lbs with a 7’6″ wingspan
Age: 18 years
Pro position: C
The numbers: 4.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 0.2apg, 0.2spg, 1.2bpg on 56%fg, 54%ft in 13mpg

Following the Bucks tradition of drafting solely by wingspan, Milwaukee picks up Anigbogu to develop as their interior defender and lob threat in a position of need. Anigbogu is one of the youngest players in the Draft, and the Bucks have done very well out of their draft slots in recent years. Assuming the Bucks see Thon Maker’s long term future at the 4 spot, Anigbogu can be brought along slowly as an energy big while he develops his mid-range game.

18. INDIANA PACERS – IVAN RABB (PF / SOPHOMORE / CALIFORNIA)
Rabb 2

Prospect profile here

We ranked Rabb at #10 earlier in the season, and while he struggled a little in his Sophomore season, he was constantly double teamed in the post. In addition, California didn’t have great guards to get him easy buckets – a common issue for bigs in the NCAA. Rabb would be a nice long term fit next to Myles Turner in big lineups, but also has the ability to slide to the 5 spot as a backup – particularly if he can add some weight. Good value at #18.

19. ATLANTA HAWKS – DONOVAN MITCHELL (SG / SOPHOMORE / LOUISVILLE)
Mitchell 2

Prospect profile here

Arguably the biggest athletic freak at the combine, Mitchell would add some much needed athleticism to the Hawks back-court. Standing just 6’3″ but with a huge 6’10” wingspan, Mitchell can play much bigger than his size – perhaps as a more athletic version of Avery Bradley, if he receives a similar level of opportunity in the early part of his career. Mitchell would provide good coverage for the Hawks should Tim Hardaway Junior find a different fit this off-season.

20. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS – RODIONS KURUCS (SF / LATVIA)

Physical profile: 6’8″ and 195lbs
Age: 19 years
Pro position: SF
The numbers: 9.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.4apg, 0.8spg, 0.8bpg on 56%fg, 32% 3fg, 80%ft in 21mpg

Having three 1st round picks, Portland are in the position where they can take a “draft and stash” player, and Kurucs fits the bill. Kurucs has good size for a wing player, and reminds some of a less athletic Mario Hezonja or Rudy Fernandez (a player that PDX fans might remember fondly). Even if Kurucs was to head across as early as next season, he would provide handy depth at the wing position.

21. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER – LUKE KENNARD (SG / SOPHOMORE / DUKE)
Kennard 2

Prospect profile here

Perhaps no player raised their draft stock more than Duke’s Luke Kennard, who frankly dominated his Sophomore season at Duke. He may be a bit of a T-Rex (6’6″ with a 6’5″ wingspan), but Kennard has a shifty, “slow” game (think Joe Ingles or Gordon Hayward) and a level of craftiness that will serve him well at the next level. OKC badly need shooters and another playmaker, and Kennard has a strong resume (43.8% from three and 2.4 makes per game).

22. BROOKLYN NETS – ISAIAH HARTENSTEIN (PF/C / GERMANY)

Physical profile: 7’1″ and 250lbs with a 7’2″ wingspan
Age: 19 years
Pro position: PF/C
The numbers: 1.0ppg, 0.8rpg, 0.2apg on 67%fg, 100%ft in 3mpg

Brooklyn are in the dire situation where they need to swing for the fences. Hartenstein is a big gamble, given he has very little actual court time against serious competition to compare against, but he’s the type of player they need to look strongly at. Given their one true asset is Brook Lopez (who appears destined to be dealt very soon), Hartenstein would be a good option as a PF/C with range that could grow with this young Nets team. Plays a little like a former Nets FA target, Donatas Motiejunas.

23. TORONTO RAPTORS – TYLER LYDON (SF/PF / SOPHOMORE / SYRACUSE)

Physical profile: 6’10” and 225lbs with a 7’0″ wingspan
Age: 21 years
Pro position: SF/PF
The numbers: 13.2ppg, 8.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.0spg, 1.4bpg on 47%fg, 39% 3fg, 84%ft in 36mpg

The Raptors are pretty thin at the 3 and 4 slots, and Lydon has a nice all around game with a lethal outside shot. He badly needs to get in shape, as he had the highest body fat % out of any player in the combine, but at 6’10” with a 7’0″ wingspan – Lydon would be a solid addition to the Raptors wing rotation. Lydon can also play some stretch PF in a role similar to Patrick Patterson, who is an unrestricted free agent this off-season.

24. UTAH JAZZ – TJ LEAF (PF / FRESHMAN / UCLA)

Physical profile: 6’9.75″ and 222lbs with a 6’11” wingspan
Age: 20 years
Pro position: PF
The numbers: 16.3ppg, 8.2rpg, 2.4apg, 0.6spg, 1.1bpg on 64%fg, 47% 3fg, 68%ft in 30mpg

Probably the floor of where Leaf could go, but the Jazz would be happy taking him this late. Leaf had a solid Freshman season alongside Lonzo Ball at UCLA, averaging 16 ppg and 8 rpg on excellent percentages, while also flashing an intriguing outside game in a league that values stretch 4’s. Leaf’s defensive weaknesses could be masked next to a player like Rudy Gobert, and his versatile offensive game would make him a nice replacement for Boris Diaw if he’s not retained.

25. ORLANDO MAGIC – HARRY GILES (PF / FRESHMAN / DUKE)

Physical profile: 6’10.5″ and 232lbs with a 7’3″ wingspan
Age: 19 years
Pro position: PF/C
The numbers: 3.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 0.3apg, 0.3spg, 0.7bpg on 57%fg, 50%ft in 12mpg

At this point in the Draft, he’s worth the punt. Harry Giles’ knee issues are well chronicled, having torn 2 ACL’s in high school – but this is the former #1 rated player in his high school class. The talent is there if he can get himself healthy. Giles helped himself at the combine by measuring exceptionally well, both in wingspan and hand size (he has the biggest hands in the Draft). Having gone with a guard earlier in the Draft in Dennis Smith, going big and bringing Giles along slowly could pay dividends down the track for a Magic franchise that needs to pull a rabbit out of their hat.

26. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS – FRANK JACKSON (PG / FRESHMAN / DUKE)

Physical profile: 6’3.5″ and 202lbs with a 6’7.5″ wingspan
Age: 19 years
Pro position: PG/SG
The numbers: 10.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.7apg, 0.6spg, 0.1bpg on 47%fg, 39% 3fg, 76%ft in 25mpg

Having gone big at #17 (Jarrett Allen) and then a draft and stash wing at #20 (Rodions Kurucs), Portland go for a Point Guard at #26. Jackson’s stock has been on the rise since the tourney, with great physical tools for a PG and solid play at the NBA Combine. Jackson has signed with an agent and booked himself in for foot surgery, which sounds a lot like a first round promise. Given the Blazers hole at backup PG (sorry Shabazz), this could be his landing spot.

27. BROOKLYN NETS – JONATHAN JEANNE (C / FRANCE)

Physical profile: 7’2″ and 207lbs with a 7’6″ wingspan
Age: 19 years
Pro position: C
The numbers: 3.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 0.4apg, 0.4spg, 0.8bpg on 48%fg, 25% 3fg, 52%ft in 13mpg

Another player who has risen from nowhere, Jeanne helped himself at the Combine by his freakish measurements alone. The comparisons to fellow countryman Rudy Gobert are obvious, however Jeanne profiles more as a jump shooting big with potential 3pt range. It remains to be seen whether he can impact the game defensively anywhere close to the Gobert level, particularly given his super light frame, but he’s worth the punt for Brooklyn at this point in the Draft.

28. LOS ANGELES LAKERS – BAM ADEBAYO (PF/C / FRESHMAN / KENTUCKY)
Adebayo 2

Prospect profile here

Adebayo projects as an energy big at the next level, and would be a solid option at #28 for the Lakers – who are in desperate need of some quality size at the 5 spot. They may continue to be high on last years 2nd round pick, Ivica Zubac, but Adebayo would be a good option as an athletic, high energy Center who would be a lob threat for Lonzo Ball in the half court.

29. SAN ANTONIO SPURS – TERRANCE FERGUSON (SG / ADELAIDE)
Prospect profile here

The Spurs are familiar with the NBL, given their love for Aussie players, and would’ve kept a close eye on Ferguson in his lone season in Australia. Ferguson is talented, athletic, has a solid 3pt shot and projects as the ever popular “3&D” player – but is quite raw. The Spurs can bring him along slowly while they continue to contend in the West.

30. UTAH JAZZ – DERRICK WHITE (SG / SENIOR / COLORADO)

Physical profile: 6’4.5″ and 190lbs with a 6’7″ wingspan
Age: 22 years
Pro position: PG/SG
The numbers: 18.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.3apg, 1.2spg, 1.4bpg on 51%fg, 40% 3fg, 81%ft in 33mpg

Perhaps similar to last year’s 2nd round steal Malcolm Brogdon, White becomes the first Senior off the board as the last pick in the 1st round. White was highly productive at Colorado, and projects as a ready made guard option for the Jazz with both George Hill and Shelvin Mack unrestricted free agents this off-season. The Jazz may also look to move on from former 1st round picks Alec Burks and Dante Exum as their backup guards.

Thanks to Frankie Vision and DraftExpress.


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