NBA Draft 2017: Latest Mock Draft for the Best Prospects Atop Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 20, 2017

TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 25:  Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins handles the ball during the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on February 25, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 77-72.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After the NBA broke a few tiebreakers among teams, the order for the non-lottery portion of the 2017 NBA draft is official.

All that is left to settle are the teams who will take the first three slots in the NBA draft, which will be decided by a lottery held on Tuesday, May 16.

Until then, here's a new mock draft with the current order as well as a look at four of the top prospects and their best possible fits.

2017 NBA Mock Draft
PickTeamPlayerPositionCollege or Pro Team
1Boston CelticsMarkelle FultzPGWashington
2Phoenix SunsJosh JacksonSFKansas
3Los Angeles LakersLonzo BallPGUCLA
4Philadelphia 76ersMalik MonkSGKentucky
5Orlando MagicJayson TatumSFDuke
6Minnesota TimberwolvesJonathan IsaacSF/PFFlorida State
7New York KnicksDe'Aaron FoxPGKentucky
8Sacramento KingsFrank NtilikinaPGStrasbourg IG (France)
9Dallas MavericksLauri MarkkanenPFArizona
10Sacramento KingsZach CollinsCGonzaga
11Charlotte HornetsJustin JacksonSFNorth Carolina
12Detroit PistonsDennis Smith Jr.PGNorth Carolina State
13Denver NuggetsRodions KurucsSFFC Barcelona B (Spain)
14Miami HeatTJ LeafPFUCLA
15Portland Trail BlazersTerrance FergusonSGAdelaide (Australia)
16Chicago BullsJustin PattonCCreighton
17Milwaukee BucksHarry GilesPFDuke
18Indiana PacersDonovan MitchellSGLouisville
19Atlanta HawksIsaiah HartensteinPFZalgiris (Lithuania)
20Portland Trail BlazersLuke KennardSGDuke
21Oklahoma City ThunderJordan BellPFOregon
22Brooklyn NetsJawun EvansPGOklahoma State
23Toronto RaptorsSemi OjeleyePFSMU
24Utah JazzJohn CollinsPFWake Forest
25Orlando MagicIvan RabbPFCal
26Portland Trail BlazersCaleb SwaniganPFPurdue
27Brooklyn NetsOG AnunobySFIndiana
28Los Angeles LakersJarrett AllenCTexas
29San Antonio SpursDillon BrooksSFOregon
30Utah JazzJosh HartSGVillanova
Writer Projections

Markelle Fultz: Boston Celtics

On paper, this may not seem like a good fit at all considering that Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas is coming off a fantastic season (28.9 points per game).

But Fultz landing with the Celtics could work out long term. Fultz is considered by most to be the top player on NBA draft boards, and he will be just 19 years old when the 2017-18 season begins.

It's difficult for any player to be given the keys to an NBA franchise before they hit their 20s, so Fultz can benefit from coming off the bench and learning from a group of veterans around him to start his career. It's also not impossible to think that he and Thomas could play together if Thomas is in Boston long term.

That being said, it is no guarantee Thomas will be wearing Celtic green in two years, as he is an unrestricted free agent after the 2017-18 season. Therefore, if Thomas leaves, Fultz can man the point for Boston starting with the 2018-19 year.

 

Josh Jackson: Phoenix Suns

The Suns look like a future offensive powerhouse led by shooting guard Devin Booker, but their defense was one of the worst in the NBA last year, allowing the most points per game in the NBA (113.3). Teams can't win games by trading baskets, so Phoenix needs to focus on improving its defense.

Enter Josh Jackson, a fantastic two-way forward who shined in his one season at Kansas. The 6'8" Jackson could slot into the starting lineup right away and immediately provide some length and athleticism to help slow down some guards and forwards. He could be tasked with matching up with a team's No. 1 scoring option every night (provided that player is not a big man).

NBADraft.net is even comparing him to Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler. If Jackson reaches that ceiling, then the Suns would undoubtedly be thrilled.

 

Lonzo Ball: Los Angeles Lakers

It's pretty clear that Lonzo Ball loves to fly up and down the court and lead a fast pace of play. That worked well for UCLA last year, as it was second in Division I in offensive efficiency, per KenPom.comThe Lakers play fast as well, as they ranked sixth in pace last season, per ESPN.com.

Therefore, Ball, who is from nearby Chino Hills, California, could fill in at point guard and help lead the Lakers. He'd be a better facilitator than D'Angelo Russell, who is probably better suited in a shooting guard role.

A starting lineup featuring Ball, Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Ivica Zubac probably wouldn't land the Lakers a playoff spot next year, but it would certainly provide a lot of intrigue for the future.

 

Malik Monk: Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers need some help at shooting guard. On paper, it looks like the final missing piece for a potentially fantastic starting lineup that should feature point guard Ben Simmons, small forward Robert Covington, power forward Dario Saric and center Joel Embiid.

Malik Monk is the best shooting guard on the draft board this year and one of the top six or seven prospects this year. The 76ers taking Monk would a perfect marriage of filling a need and picking one of the best players available.

Philadelphia only made 44.2 percent of its field goals last year, which ranked fourth-worst in the NBA. The 76ers were also dead last in offensive efficiency, per ESPN.com. Monk, who averaged 19.8 points per game last year, can immediately step in and improve the struggling 76ers offense.