Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 NBA DRAFT: MOCK DRAFT REVIEW



I was very successful in my mock draft projections this year


I got the first 6 all correct and 8 of the first 9 correct: 


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
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

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. 



At #7, Minnesota made a blockbuster trade to get Jimmy Butler from Chicago.

Chicago then drafted Arizona big man LAURI MARKKANEN at #7. I had him going #10 in my mock. 

My #7 pick MALIK MONK fell to the Charlotte Hornets at #11. Many experts are saying that this was the biggest steal of the draft. 

Another trade help shape the #10 pick as ZACH COLLINS was drafted by Sacramento and then traded to Portland for the #15 and #20 picks.  I had Collins going three spots later to Denver at #13. The Kings took JUSTIN JACKSON at #15 and HARRY GILES at #20. Ironically I had both players going exactly two picks later. at #17 and #22 respectively. 

Denver also made a trade at #13, sending #13 pick DONOVAN MITCHELL to Utah in exchange for the #24 TYLER LYDON and 2015 #12 pick Trey Lyles. 

I got the #12 pick correct with LUKE KENNARD. The Pistons now have an adequate contingency plan if Kentavious Caldwell Pope leaves via free agency this summer. 

My top 13 players were correct. 

 I got two more picks in the first round exactly correct.

The #16 pick JUSTIN PATTON and the #21 pick TERRANCE FERGUSON 


At #14, the Miami Heat threw the first real curve ball in my opinion by taking BAM ADEBAYO. I felt this was a major reach as I had him going at #33. 

Another reach in my opinion was DJ WILSON to Milwaukee at #17, I had him going #30.

My #14 pick JOHN  COLLLINS and #15 pick TJ LEAF had slight drops as Collins went to Atlanta at #19 and Leaf went to Indiana at #18. 

The same thing happened to my #18 pick OG ANUNOBY and #19 pick JARRETT ALLEN as Anunoby went to the Raptors at #23 and Allen went to Brooklyn at #22. 

My #25 pick DERRICK WHITE ended up getting picked four picks later at #29 to San Antonio. He is a combo guard that can help add some much needed youth to an aging Spurs backcourt. 

European big man ANZEJS PASECNIKS was taken at #25 by Orlando and then traded to Philly. I had him going one pick later at #26 to Portland

At #26 Portland took CALEB SWANIGAN, I had him going #31 in my mock. 

Rounding out the first round were KYLE KUZMA at #27, TONY BRADLEY at #28 and JOSH HART at #30. Kuzma was drafted by the Lakers, the Lakers then made a trade with the Jazz swapping picks #28 and #30. I had Kuzma going #36 and Hart going #32.  Those were only slight reaches to me. Bradley was a bigger reach, however I did have him going to team he ended up on as I had him going to the Jazz at #42. 

Only 5 of the players I had mocked in my first round fell out of the first round. Three of them fell into the thirties. 

My #20 ISAIAH HARTENSTEIN fell all the way to Houston at #43. 

My #23 pick IVAN RABB fell to #35, my #24 pick JAWUN EVANS fell to #39 and my #27 pick JORDAN BELL fell to #37. All three were valued higher than this as all three players ended up being traded to a team that entered the draft without a pick. Rabb went to Memphis, Evans went to the Los Angeles Clippers and Bell went to the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

My #29 pick JONATHAN MOTLEY did not get drafted. He did sign a two way contract with Dallas. A knee injury is the likely cause for Motley not being drafted. 


My second round was very good too. Only 6 of my second round projections went undrafted.

Overall it was a great draft and a very entertaining night as always. I felt everyone in the top 5 nailed it. I felt the Bobcats, Pacers and Hawks had the biggest first round steals. 

I felt the Heat, Bucks and Jazz all made reaches. 

I give every top ten team at least a B grade. 

In my opinion, Minnesota and Philly were the two biggest winners of the night. Both teams have young cores and could be title contenders as early as 2020. Minnesota should be a playoff team by next year.  

Lonzo Ball makes the Lakers relevant again while the Celtics continue to add young pieces while maintaining a playoff roster. 

Given his likely role and NBA readiness, De'Aaron Fox is my choice for Rookie of the Year in 2018.  







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