Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 NBA DRAFT: FINAL MOCK DRAFT

FIRST ROUND 


1. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 

MARKELLE FULTZ-PG-WASHINGTON
6-4/196/8-6 standing reach
Freshman/age 19.1
NBA Comparison: Derrick Rose/Jrue Holiday
ROLE: Possible superstar, starting point guard on a perennial playoff team eventually

Fultz is clearly the pick here. Philly made a Blockbuster deal with Boston in order to get the star guard that they covet. He will fit nicely with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. This young core will take their lumps early on but they have a good chance to be contenders by 2020. 

Fultz has star potential but will need a few years to develop his PG skills. He has drawn comparisons to James Harden and Russell Westbrook. However, I feel Derrick Rose and Jrue Holiday are more realistic comparisons given his size, skill set and athletic ability. Let's not forget how good both Rose/Holiday were before they got injured. If Fultz can become that, then he will clearly be worth the #1 pick this year. 


2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS 

LONZO BALL-PG-UCLA
6-6/190/8-5
Fr./19.6
NBA Comparison: Jason Kidd/Ricky Rubio 
ROLE: Starting PG on a good team, perennial top assists leader in the league

Ball is a pass first true PG with superstar potential. He is from Southern California and was a star at UCLA last year. Magic Johnson is the Lakers new team President and you have to believe he sees parts of himself in Ball's game. 


3. BOSTON CELTICS 

JAYSON TATUM-SF-DUKE  
6-8/205/8-11
Fr./19.2
NBA  Comparison: Harrison Barnes/Danny Granger 
ROLE: Starting SF with star potential, good shooter that may have to adjust to becoming a role player on a contender, top scoring option on an average/bad team

The Celtics traded down and will have their choice of Tatum and Josh Jackson. Head Coach Brad Stevens may want the better defender in Jackson. However Tatum and his offensive skill set may fit better with Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder in Boston. 


4. PHOENIX SUNS

JOSH JACKSON-SF-KANSAS
6-8/203/8-3
Fr./20.3
NBA Comparison: Stephen Jackson/Trevor Ariza 
ROLE: Starting SF with star potential, defensive stopper, #3/4 scorer on a playoff team

The Suns have a great young guard duo in Devin Booke, Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. They took two young power forwards in the 2016 draft in Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss. What they need now is a long, athletic SF. 

Jackson is a great young prospect with elite level athleticism and a developing offensive game. Phoenix would be a great fit for his skill set as he would only need to be the 3rd/4th offensive option. 


5. SACRAMENTO KINGS  

DE'AARON FOX-PG-UK 
6-3/170/8-4
Fr./19.4
NBA Comparison: Mike Conley/Nick Van Exel 
ROLE: Starting PG on a good team, eventual top 10 PG, 3rd best player on a contender 

The Kings need a new face of the franchise after trading away DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans. Fox is a lightning quick guard that is a mature leader at such a young age. The Kings could have a nice young backcourt with Fox and Buddy Hield. 

6. ORLANDO MAGIC

JONATHAN ISAAC-SF-FSU
6-11/206/9-0
Fr./19.6
NBA Comparison: Rashard Lewis/Jonathan Bender 
ROLE: Boom/Bust prospect with star potential, has the length to play the SF/PF/C with a good offensive skill set, should be a very good role player on a good team

Isaac has the freakish length that NBA teams covet. He may have the highest upside of any player but also could end up being just a very good role player similar to Bender when he was on the Pacers. New GM John Hammond valued length and upside with his draft picks while he was in Milwaukee. 


7. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

MALIK MONK-SG-UK 
6-3/206/8-3
Fr./19.3
NBA Comparison: OJ Mayo/Eric Gordon
ROLE: Starting SG, specialty scorer, great 6th Man 

This pick will be indicative on how Minnesota feels about last year's #5 overall pick Kris Dunn. If they feel that he is the PG of the future, they will likely draft Monk or a big here. If they don't see him as that then they will take Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr. 

8. NEW YORK KNICKS

FRANK NTILIKINA-PG-BELGUIM/FRANCE PRO A LEAGUE 
6-5/180
International/18.8
NBA Comparison: Dante Exum/Elfrid Payton
ROLE: Starting PG, better play maker than scorer, best as 4th/5th scoring option

Phil Jackson will likely take the better fit for the triangle offense here and pass on the more dynamic and athletic Smith Jr. Unless they can swing a trade for RIcky Rubio prior to the draft, the Knicks need to draft a PG here. 


9. DALLAS MAVERICKS
DENNIS SMITH JR.-PG-NC ST. 
6-3/190/8-1
Fr./19.6
NBA Comparison: Baron Davis/Eric Bledsoe 
ROLE: Starting PG, top 10 PG potential, elite athlete and volume scorer that may struggle as a role player on a good team. 

This kid is an athletic freak and has the big game to become the Mavs go to guy once Dirk retires. He could go as high as #3 but could also fall out of the lottery. 

10. SACRAMENTO KINGS  

LAURI MARKKANEN-PF-ARIZONA 
7-0/230
Fr./20.0
NBA Comparison: Christian Laettner/Andrea Bargnani
ROLE: Stretch 4/5, number one scoring option on an average/bad team, number 2/3 option on a playoff team, eventual 20 and 7 guy 

The Kings get another scorer and lights out shooter in Markkanen. He is NOT on the Dirk, Pau, Porzingas level, but he should be a very good starter for many years in the Laettner/Bargnaini mold. 


11. CHARLOTTE HORNETS 

DONOVAN MITCHELL-SG/CG-LOUISVILLE 
6-3/211/8-1
So./20.8
NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon/Tony Allen 
ROLE: Starting Combo guard, defensive specialist, great 6th man, mid level starter

Mitchell is an ideal fit in Charlotte as Head Coach Steve Clifford loves defensive minded players that can also score. Mitchell can also be used as a primary ball handler when Kemba Walker goes to the bench. 

12. DETROIT PISTONS
LUKE KENNARD-SG-DUKE  
6-6/196/8-3
So./21.0
NBA  Comparison: Michael Redd/Morris Peterson
ROLE: Sharpshooting starting SG, #4/5 option that may struggle to create his own shot at the next leve

The Pistons take the Duke sharpshooter that can serve as insurance in case Kentavious Caldwell Pope leaves via free agency this summer.  . 

13. DENVER NUGGETS
ZACH COLLINS-C-GONZAGA 
7-0/232/9-3
Fr./19.6
NBA Comparison: Robin Lopez/Cody Zeller 
Role: Role playing starting Center, upside to become a #3/4 scoring option

Zach Collins may need time to develop but he could end up being a very good all around big man. The Nuggets need depth up front behind 2017 break out player Nikola Jokic. 

14. MIAMI HEAT
JOHN COLLINS-PF-WAKE FOREST
6-9/226/8-11
So./19.8
NBA Comparison: David West/Patrick Patterson 
ROLE: Starting PF on a good team/eventually a 15 and 8 guy that could develop into a solid #3 scoring option

John Collins would be an ideal fit next to Hassan Whiteside with his ability to hit mid range shots. Collins is a South Florida native that burst onto the scene last year as he was dominant in ACC play. He has the skill set to be a starting PF for many years.  

15. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
TJ LEAF-PF-UCLA
6-10/222/8-11
Fr./20.2
NBA Comparison: Troy Murphy/Nick Collison  
Role: Starting PF, Good role player and rebounder, could develop into a solid #4 scoring option

Portland is in a very good spot to upgrade their frontcourt, they should have their choice of many high quality role players here. I think Leaf is the best fit to play alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, given his high IQ, rebounding and passing skills. 

16. CHICAGO BULLS
JUSTIN PATTON-C-CREIGHTON 
6-1/230/9-4
Fr./20.0 
NBA Comparison: Chris Kaman/Gorgui Dieng 
Role: Role playing starting Center, upside to become a #3/4 scoring option

Patton can give them a young big man to develop as he can play behind Robin Lopez for the next two years.  

17. MILWAUKEE BUCKS
JUSTIN JACKSON-SF-UNC
6-7/201/8-9
Jr./22.2
NBA Comparison: Matt Barnes/Bruce Bowe
ROLE: Defensive specialist, high level 6th/7th man, low end starting wing 

The Bucks and Head Coach Jason Kidd preach defense and hustle. Jackson can give the Bucks a high IQ player that can contribute early on defense and hit wide open 3 pointers on offense. He would be an ideal fit to play alongside offensive weapon Jabari Parker. 

18. INDIANA PACERS
OG ANUNOBY-CF-INDIANA
6-8/232/9-0
So./20.0
NBA Comparison: Solomon Hill/Bobby Simmons 
ROLE: Defensive stopper, has the skills to become an all-defensive team player early in his career, a hustle/glue guy, will need to stay healthy  

The Pacers grab the in state defensive stopper that can guard the two through the four. The Pacers must start preparing for life after Paul George so a guy that can start at SF would be a smart move here. 

19. ATLANTA HAWKS
JARRETT ALLEN-C-TEXAS
6-10/234/9.2
Fr./19.2
NBA Comparison: Hassan Whiteside/JaVale McGee 
ROLE: Defensive stopper and rim protector 

Allen is long term project that may take years to produce similar to Whiteside and DeAndre Jordan. With Dwight Howard getting traded, the Hawks are in the market for a young center.  

20. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
ISAIAH HARTENSTEIN-C/F-GERMANY/LITHANIAN LEAGUE 
7-1/250/9-1
Int./19.1
NBA Comparison: Brook Lopez/Mehmet Okur
ROLE: Stretch 4/5, number 2/3 scoring option on an average/bad team, second unit scorer on a good team

I think Portland with end up trading this pick along with a player to a team with a lot of cap space like Brooklyn or Philly. Both of those teams could end up taking Hartenstein here. The 19 year old German has a very solid offensive game for a young player yet lacks athletic ability and will need time to adjust the speed of the NBA game.  



21. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
TERRANCE FERGUSON-SG-USA/AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE   
6-7/186/8-7
Int./19.1
NBA  Comparison: Dorell Wright/Jeremy Evans 
ROLE: Starting SF/SG, long term prospect that will need a few years to develop. 3 and D potential 

The Thunder add another elite athlete to play with Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo. Ferguson is on that level as a dunker right now but he needs a lot of work on the rest of his game. 

22. BROOKLYN NETS
HARRY GILES-PF/C-DUKE  
6-11/232/9.2
Fr./19.2
NBA Comparison: Al Harrington/Josh McRoberts
ROLE: High injury risk player that can develop into a top 10 PF if he stays healthy 

The Nets can afford to take a risk here. Giles has top 5 talent but has had his career derailed by multiple knee surgeries. The Nets are a LONG way from contending so they might as well swing for the fences here.  

23. TORONTO RAPTORS
IVAN RABB-PF-CAL
6-10/220/9-1
So./20.4
NBA Comparison: Amir Johnson/Ed Davis
Role: Starting PF, Good role player and rebounder, high level backup

Ironically the two players I have for Rabb's player comparison had their best years when they played in Toronto. The Serge Ibaka experiment had mixed results and he is a free agent so the Raptors would be wise to grab a PF here. 

24. UTAH JAZZ
JAWUN EVANS-PG-OK ST.   
6-0/175/7-11
So./20.9
NBA Comparison: Ty Lawson/Lindsey Hunter
ROLE: Backup PG on a good team, starter on an average/bad team

George Hill is a free agent and Dante Exum is going into the final year on his rookie contract an has been very average thus far. The Jazz need to have a fall back plan.  Evans is undersized but is a very good all around guard that brings it on both sides of the court.

25. ORLANDO MAGIC
DERRICK WHITE-SG-COLORADO 
6-5/190/8-6
Sr./22.9
NBA Comparison: Allen Crabbe
KEY SKILL: Scoring/Playmaking 

White is a solid combo guard that has the size to cover both guard spots. He is NBA ready and could be a great bench player from day one. 


26. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
ANZEJS PASECNIKS-C-LATVIA/SPAIN ACB LEAGUE
7-2/230
Int./21.5
NBA Comparison: Primoz Brezec/Omer Asik
KEY SKILL: Mobility for size 

Another draft and stash player for the overcapped Trail Blazers. Pasecniks can eventually become a very good second unit big man with his size and mobility. 


27. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
JORDAN BELL-C/F-OREGON
6-9/224/8-9
Jr./22.4 
NBA Comparison: Chris "Birdman" Anderson/Bo Outlaw
ROLE: Role playing hustle player that can average close to 9 boards and 2 blocks per game

After going with the dime dropping, playmaking Lonzo Ball at #2, they will need to get a guy who can to the dirty work here. Bell is NBA ready and can add some toughness to a front line that needs it. 

28. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
TYLER LYDON-CF-SYRACUSE 
6-10/215/9-0
So./21.2
NBA Comparison: Omri Casspi/Doug McDermott
ROLE: Solid role playing stretch four, best as second unit scorer/shooter

Lydon is a skilled shooter that lacks ideal athleticism. The Spurs value guys with good college production. The Lakers will want to surround Lonzo Ball with guys that can hit open shots 

29. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
JOHNATHAN MOTLEY-PF-BAYLOR
6-9/238/9-0
Jr/22.2
NBA Comparison: Taj Gibson
KEY SKILL: Rebounding/Mid range shooting 

The Spurs almost always go best player available. Motley has been one of the best players in college basketball the past two seasons. The Spurs value guys with good college production that can do the little things well. 

30. UTAH JAZZ
DJ Wilson-PF-MICHIGAN 
6-11/234/9-2
So./21.4 
NBA Comparison: Charlie Villanueva/Brian Cook 
ROLE: Solid role playing stretch four, best as second unit scorer/shooter


The Jazz have a nice frontcourt, however Derrick Favors will be a free agent in 2018 and Trey Lyles has been mediocre at best in his first two season. Wilson is a stretch four that is rising up draft boards due to his shooting and length. 


SECOND ROUND


31. ATLANTA HAWKS
CALEB SWAINIGAN-PF-PURDUE
6-9/246/9-0
So./20.2
NBA Comparison: Carl Landry
KEY SKILL: Rebounding/Low block scoring

32. PHOENIX SUNS
JOSH HART-SG-VILLANOVA
6-5/210/8-5
Sr./22.2
NBA Comparison: Jodie Meeks
KEY SKILL: Shooting/Scoring 

33. ORLANDO MAGIC
BAM ADEBAYO-C/F-UK 
6-10/243/9-0
Fr./19.3
NBA Comparison: JJ Hickson/Thomas Robinson
KEY SKILL: Rebounding/Power 

34. SACRAMENTO KINGS  
SEMI OJELEYE-CF-SMU
6-7/241/8-6
Jr./22.5 
NBA Comparison: Jae Crowder/Kenneth Faried
ROLE: Defensive stopper, high energy hustle/glue guy

35. ORLANDO MAGIC
DWAYNE BACON-SF/SG-FSU
6-6/222/8-8
So./21.8
KEY SKILL: Length/Elite Athlete 

36. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
KYLE KUZMA-Stretch 4/CF-UTAH 
6-10/223/9-0
Jr./22.0 
NBA Comparison: Mike Muscala
KEY SKILL: Shooting big/Rebounding

37. BOSTON CELTICS
IKE ANIGBOGU-C-UCLA
6-10/252/9-3
Fr./18.7
NBA Comparison: Bismack Biyombo/Kyle O'Quinn
KEY SKILL: Rim Protection/Size/Shot Blocking

38. CHICAGO BULLS
WESLEY IWUNDU-SF/SG-WASHINGTON
6-7/193/8-10
Sr./22.5
NBA Comparison: Will Barton
KEY SKILL: Defense/Length 

39. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 
FRANK MASON-PG-KANSAS
6-0/189/7-10
Sr./23.2
NBA Comparison: Earl Watson
KEY SKILL: Leadership/Playmaking 

40. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS

SINDARIUS THORNWELL-SG-SOUTH CAROLINA 
6-5/212/8-7
Sr./22.9
NBA Comparison: Rashad McCants
KEY SKILL: Scoring/Defense

41. ATLANTA HAWKS
JARON BLOSSOMGAME-SF-CLEMSON 
6-7/219/8-9
Sr./23.7
KEY SKILL: Defense and hustle

42. UTAH JAZZ
TONY BRADLEY-C-UNC
6-11/249/9-5
Fr./19.4
KEY SKILL: Length/Size

43. HOUSTON ROCKETS 
JONAH BOLDIN-PF-AUSTRALIA/SERBIAN LEAGUE  
6-10/230
Int./21.4
KEY SKILL: Rebounding/Shooting 

44. NEW YORK KNICKS
CAM OLIVER-PF-NEVADA
6-8/240/8-11
So./20.9
KEY SKILL: Elite Athlete/Power

45. HOUSTON ROCKETS 
PJ DOZIER-SG/SF-SOUTH CAROLINA 
6-7/201/8-5
So./20.6
KEY SKILL: Length/Versatility

46. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
THOMAS BRYANT-C-INDIANA
6-11/248/9-5
So./19.8
KEY SKILL: Length/Size

47. INDIANA PACERS
TYLER DORSEY-SG-OREGON
6-5/183/8-4
So./21.3 
KEY SKILL: Shooting/Scoring

48. MILWAUKEE BUCKS
FRANK JACKSON-SG/CG-DUKE  
6-4/202/8.2
Fr./19.2
KEY SKILL: Shooting/Scoring

49. DENVER NUGGETS
MATHIAS LESSORT-C-FRANCE/FRANCE PRO A LEAGUE  
6-9/250
Int./21.7
KEY SKILL: Size/Hustle 

50. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS  
DILLON BROOKS-SF-OREGON
6-6/220/8-5
Jr./21.4
KEY SKILL: Scoring/Power for a wing 

51. DENVER NUGGETS
EDMOND SUMNER-PG-XAVIER
6-6/176/8-7
So./21.4
KEY SKILL: PG size/passing

52. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
MONTE MORRIS-PG-IOWA ST
6-3/175/8-1
Sr./21.9
KEY SKILL: Playmaking/Versatility

53. BOSTON CELTICS
KOSTA MUSHIDI-SF/SG-BELGUIM/SERBIAN LEAGUE  
6-5/226/8-8
Int./19.0
KEY SKILL: Defense/Power

54. PHOENIX SUNS
KOBI SIMMONS-PG-ARIZONA 
6-6/166/8-3
Fr./20.0
KEY SKILL: PG size/passing 

55. UTAH JAZZ
LJ PEAKE-SG-GEORGETOWN
6-5/212/8-7
Jr./21.3
KEY SKILL: Scoring/Size  

56. BOSTON CELTICS
VLATKO CANCAR-SF-SLOVENIA/SERBIAN LEAGUE
6-8/210/9-0
Int./20.1
KEY SKILL: Shooting/Scoring

57. BROOKLYN NETS
DAVON REED-SG-MIAMI
6-6/206/8-6
Sr./22.0
KEY SKILL: Defense/Shooting  

58. NEW YORK KNICKS
NIGEL HAYES-CF-WISCONSIN 
6-8/254/8-9
Sr./22.5
KEY SKILL: Versatility/Power

59. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
NIGEL WILLIAMS GOSS-PG-GONZAGA 
6-3/190/8-3
Jr./22.7
KEY SKILL: Passing/leadership  

60. ATLANTA HAWKS
DEVIN ROBINSON-SF-FLORIDA
6-8/200/8-10
Jr./22.2
KEY SKILL: Defense/Length