2017 NBA Mock Draft: Final 2-Round Predictions
If the 2017 NBA draft is anything like the days leading up to it, we could be looking at an epic night in Brooklyn.
Trades may wind up turning the board upside down. The Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves are in position to destroy projections by moving down or out of the first round.
The only clear pick in the draft seems to be No. 1 overall. Otherwise, every other organization has something to think about.
Expect rumors and movement from teams throughout the evening, and possibly one of the most interesting drafts in recent memory.
1. Philadelphia 76ers (via Celtics): Markelle Fultz (Washington, PG, Freshman)
Trading No. 3 and a future first-rounder was all about Markelle Fultz for the Philadelphia 76ers. He's the guard they've waited on and collected asset to acquire.
Fultz couldn't complement Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid any better. He balances out a top-heavy lineup with exciting scoring and playmaking in the backcourt.
The Sixers now have potential All-Stars at three different positions. The foundation is set to build on. Now it's time to fill in the gaps.
Look for Fultz and Simmons to wind up battling each other for 2018 Rookie of the Year.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball (UCLA, PG, Freshman)
Trading D'Angelo Russell suggests the Los Angeles Lakers will be taking a guard and Josh Jackson is no longer in play. And after exploring every possible opportunity, it appears they'll circle back to Lonzo Ball.
Ball's potential to change the Lakers' identity and help Brandon Ingram develop gives him the edge over De'Aaron Fox.
Assuming the front office finds a way to land Paul George, whether it's now or next summer, a Ball-George-Ingram tandem brings a promising balance of passing, scoring and defense.
3. Boston Celtics (via 76ers): Jayson Tatum (Duke, SF, Freshman)
Unless the Boston Celtics trade the pick—in which case, Josh Jackson could be a target for someone else—Jayson Tatum looks like the selection for general manager Danny Ainge.
Tatum was the first prospect Boston worked out after moving back to No. 3. And Jackson will enter the draft without having worked out for the Celtics at all.
In the past, Ainge hasn't taken players early in the draft he hasn't worked out first.
Either way, it's not difficult to see why Boston could have Tatum higher on their board. His offensive upside appears greater than Jaylen Brown's and Jae Crowder's, and he's easily a more polished scorer than Jackson.
4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson (Kansas, SF, Freshman)
De'Aaron Fox will be tempting for the Phoenix Suns, but Josh Jackson's fit looks too promising. He comes off as exactly the type of two-way wing the roster could use between Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss.
Jackson could also easily go No. 3, either to the Boston Celtics or a team looking to move up.
It also wouldn't be shocking if Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, who's in the final year of his deal, traded this pick for a veteran. But if Phoenix stays, Jackson makes the most sense, unless McDonough views Fox as the clear-cut better prospect.
5. Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox (Kentucky, PG, Freshman)
The Sacramento Kings wind up sitting tight and hoping for De'Aaron Fox to fall.
He gives the Kings a playmaker they've needed, as well as a strong fit next to Buddy Hield, the better shooter.
Fox puts pressure on the defense with explosive driving the Kings don't get from Hield. And Fox gives them a needed perimeter defender to deny dribble penetration and force turnovers.
He won't make the same immediate impact as Ball, but long term, if he can improve his jumper, there is an argument to be made that Fox's ceiling is higher.
6. Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr. (North Carolina State, PG, Freshman)
The Orlando Magic need some offensive firepower. Malik Monk is an option, but Dennis Smith Jr. offers both scoring and playmaking. He also gives the Magic a reason not to commit long term to Elfrid Payton, who's still averaging fewer than 13 points per game and shooting below 30 percent from three.
Smith was viewed by many during the year as a top-five pick until North Carolina State missed the NCAA tournament and De'Aaron Fox took his game to a higher level.
Payton's ceiling only goes so high. Smith gives the Magic a potential big-name guard to restart the rebuilding process with new management.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman)
Jonathan Isaac makes the most sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who could use a defensive-minded 4 between Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
But this is a pick that's also likely to be shopped, with the Wolves already loaded with young players. Does another one this deep in the draft help?
Isaac jumps out as a high-upside trade target for someone looking to move up, just like Marquese Chriss in 2016. He fits Minnesota, but Isaac should also be coveted by other teams for his unique two-way versatility.
8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina (France, PG/SG, 1998)
We've had Frank Ntilikina going to the New York Knicks since February, and with draft night upon us, nothing has changed.
He just flew to New York for the draft in the middle of the LNB Pro A finals, where he's mixed impressive stretches with quiet ones. Ntilikina is expected to fly back for Game 5 on Friday.
Ntilikina is 18 years old with over 7'0" of length, massive defensive potential, accurate shooting numbers and two-way upside, which give him the edge over Malik Monk for the Knicks.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Zach Collins (Gonzaga, C, Freshman)
With all the point guards gone, the Dallas Mavericks could surprise with Zach Collins over Malik Monk, who some believe projects as more of a sixth man.
Collins brings a different skill set compared to restricted free agent Nerlens Noel.
This is also a spot on the board another team may trade up to. Collins has been a hot name since his NCAA tournament run. He's worked out for multiple top-10 teams.
In limited minutes at Gonzaga, he was incredibly productive and efficient and flashed post moves, shooting range and timing in rim protection. He has the chance to become the most complete center in the class.
10. Sacramento Kings (via Pelicans): Malik Monk (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)
Even with Buddy Hield, the Sacramento Kings aren't passing on the chance to pair De'Aaron Fox with Malik Monk.
Today's positionless game should allow all three guards to play together.
Monk gives the Kings more scoring, shot-making and athleticism. A Fox-Monk-Hield lineup will play grab-and-go offense.
Lauri Markkanen may make more sense in terms of positional needs, but bringing Kentucky's backcourt back together will be too enticing.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Luke Kennard (Duke, SG, Sophomore)
The Charlotte Hornets should feel inclined to surround Dwight Howard, their new acquisition in the middle, with shooters. Luke Kennard gives them one, as well as depth behind Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Kennard shot 43.8 percent from three and 85.6 percent from the line for Duke last year. There are questions about how much of his 19.5 points per game will translate, given his limited explosiveness, strength and length.
But Kennard comes off as smart, crafty and skilled enough to compensate as a scorer and passer.
12. Detroit Pistons: Donovan Mitchell (Louisville, SG, Sophomore)
The Detroit Pistons could could use guard and wing depth plus shooting after finishing No. 28 in three-point percentage.
Donovan Mitchell gives Detroit an additional perimeter scorer. And with explosive athleticism, quickness and a giant 6'10" wingspan, he has the potential to become a pesky on-ball defender.
Mitchell has gradually risen since January, from conference play, when he took over a number of games, to the NBA combine and workouts. He's arguably the best player available, but also fills a hole in the Pistons' rotation.
13. Denver Nuggets: Lauri Markkanen (Arizona, PF, Freshman)
The Denver Nuggets bring in Lauri Markkanen to score and shoot alongside Nikola Jokic.
That's Markkanen's calling card in the pros. He doesn't offer much rim protection or a physical presence inside, but his perimeter shot-creating and shot-making skills are highly advanced, particularly for a 7-footer.
He hasn't worked out for Denver, though it shouldn't matter, assuming the Nuggets' scouting department did its homework. Without any medical or character red flags and a game Denver's lineup could use, Markkanen makes enough sense with Danilo Gallinari opting out.
14. Miami Heat: John Collins (Wake Forest, PF, Sophomore)
John Collins would bring extra bounce and scoring to a Miami Heat roster with limited depth at power forward.
He's a best-player-available candidate at No. 14 based off his production and obvious NBA tools and athleticism. Collins led the country in player efficiency rating (33.3) and consistently put up big numbers against quality ACC opponents.
He should also be showing off a jumper he didn't have the freedom to shoot at Wake Forest. Collins could stand to improve defensively, but having Hassan Whiteside behind him should help.
15. Portland Trail Blazers: D.J. Wilson (Michigan, PF, Junior)
A big who can shoot, handle and slide, DJ Wilson's versatility turned heads during the postseason. He'll bring a different dimension of skills to any team's frontcourt.
There haven't been any signs or reports of him working out after pulled out of the combine with a quad injury.
It's possible he had a promise, but the interest could be contagious. Nobody has risen further over the past few months.
16. Chicago Bulls: Justin Jackson (North Carolina, SF, Junior)
The Chicago Bulls need a wing, but more importantly, they need the best player available and young talent.
Over the years, Chicago has tended to go for productive college players over projects, like Denzel Valentine, Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis. History says Justin Jackson could fit the description of a Bulls draft-night target, after he led North Carolina to a national title and sunk 104 three-pointers in the process.
He's a smooth perimeter scorer with convincing range and a patented floater. And he's shown flashes of defensive quickness, despite lacking great athleticism and strength.
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Bam Adebayo (Kentucky, PF/C, Freshman)
Thon Maker is the future in Milwaukee, but Bam Adebayo can give the Bucks some extra power around the basket.
Strong, explosive and nimble, he'll get the Bucks easy baskets by running the floor, rolling to the rim and crashing the glass. And he's shown enough promise with his post footwork and touch for scouts to think he could have some offensive game.
His value gets a big spike if he can convert all the muscle, length and foot speed into defensive versatility.
18. Indiana Pacers: Harry Giles (Duke, PF, Freshman)
There are likely debates about Harry Giles within every NBA front office. Teams are asking themselves where on the board is the potential reward worth the risk.
Giles visited Indiana for workouts and should be an option for the Pacers at No. 18. There haven't been any red flags released about his medicals and reviews from workouts have apparently gone smoothly.
For the Pacers, who'll likely be losing Paul George, Giles is a gamble worth taking. As long as he can hold up physically, he should be able to give Indiana easy baskets and activity in the paint.
19. Atlanta Hawks: Jarrett Allen (Texas, C, Freshman)
After trading Dwight Howard, the Atlanta Hawks could look to replace him in the draft.
Jarrett Allen visited them earlier in the month and could be available at No. 19. Though not the flashiest scorer, he'd bring stability and wild length to the Hawks' frontcourt that could suddenly look depleted after a few days of free agency.
Allen's wheels and long arms should translate to easy baskets and blocked shots, but signs of mid-range touch and post moves suggest there is more offensive potential for coaches to unlock.
20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Grizzlies): TJ Leaf (UCLA, PF, Freshman)
It wouldn't be overly surprising to see the Portland Trail Blazers trade out of No. 20.
But TJ Leaf is getting looks in the lottery. He'd be a value pick for at No. 20 for anyone.
He's too productive and skilled to pass on this late. His shooting and passing from the 4 spot are also what teams specifically look for in today's NBA.
There are some concerns about his ability to separate offensively or defend without great quickness, strength or length. But his versatility, motor and instincts spell long-term role player.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Frank Jackson (Duke, PG, Freshman)
The Oklahoma City Thunder could grab Frank Jackson for depth, athleticism and shooting behind Russell Westbrook.
He's been out with a foot injury, but he looked sharp at the combine and had enough flashes of shot-making and defensive potential.
He'll be a secondary ball-handler who can shoot off the catch or dribble. Jackson entered the combine without an agent and wound up committing to the draft after one day. He could have been told to stay in by a specific team.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Terrance Ferguson (USA, SF, 1998)
The Brooklyn Nets might as well swing for the fences at No. 22 after trading No. 27 and acquiring D'Angelo Russell from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nets' scout BJ Johnson should be familiar with Terrance Ferguson, who won gold medals with Johnson for USA basketball. Ferguson didn't play much this year in Australia's National Basketball League, but he's likely to have eased any concerns during workouts, where he had the chance to show off his athleticism and shooting.
His ball skills and creation are weak, but at 19 years old, it's worth buying into his three-and-D potential and hoping the rest of his game can develop with plenty of minutes to go around in Brooklyn.
23. Toronto Raptors: Semi Ojeleye (SMU, PF, Junior)
Semi Ojeleye gives the Toronto Raptors a shot-making forward and versatile, small-ball-4 scorer.
He brings an unique mix of power and shooting. And at 241 pounds, he's can put the ball on the floor and convert on the move.
Ojeleye wasn't a plus defender or rebounder at SMU, but his body and offensive game, which fit today's NBA and the Raptors' needs, put him in play at No. 23.
24. Utah Jazz: Anzejs Pasecniks (Latvia, C, 1995)
Whether the Utah Jazz keep this pick is debatable, but Anzejs Pasecniks makes sense as arguably the most intriguing player available. He grew up playing next to Kristaps Porzingis for the Latvian junior national teams, moves ridiculously easy for a 7'2" big man.
And he's flashed some shooting touch out to the three-point arc.
Strength and toughness are the big concerns with Pasecniks, but he's a fascinating hit-or-miss play late in Round 1.
25. Orlando Magic (via Raptors): Justin Patton (Creighton, C, Freshman)
Justin Patton may be a 2017-18 G-Leaguer, but the Orlando Magic will look at him through the long-term lens.
With eye-opening size, length, mobility and a budding inside-out skill set, Patton offers enticing upside anywhere on the board.
At this stage, he's shown questionable toughness inside and he isn't sharp enough to play around the perimeter. Patton's NBA-ready timetable appears lengthier than most, but this late, teams aren't looking for impact rookies.
26. Portland Trail Blazers: OG Anunoby (Indiana, SF, Sophomore)
The Portland Trail Blazers could take OG Anunoby or move the pick. He could be a target for someone else, given how unique his defensive versatility makes him.
Concerns over his offense—plus a season-ending knee injury that forced him to miss workouts—cause him to fall to No. 20.
If Portland keeps the pick, it could view Anunoby as the most intriguing player available. But this is also a likely trade-up spot on the board for another team looking to make a splash.
27. Los Angeles Lakers (via Nets): Ike Anigbogu (UCLA, C, Freshman)
The youngest prospect in the draft, Ike Anigbogu's youth and unmatchable tools should help buy him time.
He's completely raw offensively without any real skill. He'll wind up seeing more minutes in the G League next year than the NBA.
But at 252 pounds with 7'6" length, the Los Angeles Lakers could chase his defensive potential in rim protection.
Even if he struggles to develop any offensive game, he should still be good for layups and dunks at the rim off pick-and-rolls, dump-downs, lobs and putbacks.
28. Los Angeles Lakers (via Rockets): Jordan Bell (Oregon, PF/C, Junior)
Jordan Bell could be an option for the Los Angeles Lakers after they acquired a third first-round pick.
They shouldn't be concerned with his limited offensive game this late. Bell brings defensive energy and versatility with the ability to block shots and switch around the perimeter.
He's coming off a breakout year at Oregon and terrific NBA combine, and despite not offering any scoring ability, Bell made strides this year with his mid-range touch and passing.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White (Colorado, SG, Senior)
Derrick White's rise into the first round will be one of the better stories of the draft.
A former Division II standout, White's big season and impressive NBA combine have put him in play for teams in the 20s.
The San Antonio Spurs should admire his backstory and value his scoring and playmaking versatility.
30. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Tony Bradley (North Carolina, PF/C, Freshman)
Tony Bradley gives the Utah Jazz a potential backup center with 7'4" length, soft hands and a terrific nose for the ball on the offensive glass.
He could have likely gone top 20 in 2018 had he returned to North Carolina and entered the draft with more polish and production.
But at No. 30, the Jazz can buy into his NBA body and role-player potential as a big who'll finish, rebound and disrupt defensively.
31. Charlotte Hornets (via Hawks): Ivan Rabb (California, PF/C, Sophomore)
With their new second-round pick from the Dwight Howard trade, the Hornets could end Rabb's draft-night slide. He's a value pick at No. 31 for his potential to finish, rebound and score out of the post.
32. Phoenix Suns: Kyle Kuzma (Utah, PF, Junior)
Kuzma entered workout season as a hot name after being the obvious top performer Day 1 of the combine. The Suns will covet his valued mix of shooting, rebounding and passing skills.
33. Orlando Magic (via Lakers): Tyler Lydon (Syracuse, PF, Sophomore)
The Orlando Magic could use a big to shoot the three, which could wind up being a specialty that helps Tyler Lydon have a long NBA career.
He knocked down 49 threes in consecutive years and shot at least 39 percent from deep in both.
34. Sacramento Kings (via 76ers): Caleb Swanigan (Purdue, PF/C, Sophomore)
Despite the huge college production, Swanigan won't go high in the draft due to questions over his athleticism and fit. They shouldn't bother Orlando this late. Swanigan could be the draft's best rebounder and a developing shooter.
35. Orlando Magic: Wesley Iwundu (Kansas State, SG/SF, Senior)
Iwundu was a point forward at Kansas State. Teams are intrigued by his versatility at both ends, but unless he fixes his jumper, he'll have a tough time sticking.
36. Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks): Josh Hart (Villanova, SG, Senior)
With three cornerstones in Fultz, Simmons and Embiid, the Sixers can now look for their role players. Hart, a tough, versatile guard, could be the Malcolm Brogdon of the 2017 class.
37. Boston Celtics (via Timberwolves): Jonah Bolden (Australia, PF, 1996)
Bolden could be the sneakiest pick in the draft. He left UCLA for Serbia, where he shot the three, blocked shots and passed from big-man positions. His unusual backstory and journey may be the big reason for him going in the second round. Teams are still trying to get a good read on him.
38. Chicago Bulls (via Kings): Isaiah Hartenstein (Germany, PF/C, 1998)
Little playing time and a suspect performance at the Nike Hoop Summit could cause Hartenstein to tumble. He's a high-risk, high-reward inside-out big man loaded with versatility, but no go-to skills or bankable athleticism.
39. Philadelphia 76ers (via Mavericks): Johnathan Motley (Baylor, PF/C, Junior)
Motley gives the Kings an NBA body with long arms, a rebounding motor and scoring ability inside the paint. His ceiling says backup power forward, but getting one this late would be a win.
40. New Orleans Pelicans: Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State, PG, Sophomore)
Evans' playmaking potential is exciting, but limited size, length and explosiveness raise questions about how well his scoring ability will translate.
No. 41: Atlanta Hawks (via Hornets): Mathias Lessort (France, PF/C, 1995)
Lessort gives the Hawks another big man to score around the rim and crash the glass. His value rises if he proves he can guard around the perimeter.
42. Utah Jazz (via Pistons): Frank Mason (Kansas, PG, Senior)
Mason could come off as a backup point guard waiting in the second round due to his age and size. The Bucks could buy into his shooting and toughness off the bench.
43. Houston Rockets (via Nuggets): Thomas Bryant (Indiana, PF/C, Sophomore)
Bryant isn't the quickest or most athletic, but his long arms and energy could translate to second-chance points. His odds of making a roster and impact skyrocket if he can prove the flashes of shooting his junior year were legitimate.
44. New York Knicks: Luke Kornet (Vanderbilt, C, Senior)
Kornet wasn't invited to the combine, but the Knicks have shown interest in his rare combination of shooting and shot-blocking. He'll try to stick as a stretch 5 and rim protector.
45. Houston Rockets (via Blazers): Alec Peters (Valparaiso, PF, Senior)
Peters is cleared to play after missing months with a foot injury. Shot-making and scoring instincts give him a chance, despite his below-average athleticism.
46. Philadelphia 76ers (via Heat): Tyler Dorsey (Oregon, SG, Sophomore)
Dorsey's future role is already well-defined. He'll hope to stick by scoring in bunches off the bench.
47. Indiana Pacers: Edmond Sumner (Xavier, PG, Sophomore)
Sumner is an interesting buy-low pick while he recovers from a torn ACL. He couldn't shoot before the injury, but his size and athleticism for a ball-handler are enticing.
48. Milwaukee Bucks: Dwayne Bacon (Florida State, SG/SF, Freshman)
Bacon looks the part with size and athleticism for a wing. And he has the skill set to score from all three levels. He'd have gone higher if he demonstrated more consistency and polish.
49. Denver Nuggets (via Grizzlies): PJ Dozier (South Carolina, SG, Sophomore)
A complete project without any bankable strength, Dozier gets himself picked thanks to playmaking versatility and defensive potential.
50. Philadelphia 76ers (via Hawks): Dillon Brooks (Oregon, SF, Junior)
Brooks falls with major questions over his athleticism, size and length. The Sixers catch him for his scoring versatility and toughness.
51. Denver Nuggets (via Thunder): Damyean Dotson (Houston, SG, Senior)
Dotson's 108 threes his senior year help him get drafted in the second round. If he can defend his position and continue to shoot, Dotson could be a sneaky specialist waiting in the 50s.
52. New Orleans Pelicans (via Wizards): Davon Reed (Miami, SG, Senior)
Reed's shooting consistency is an interesting selling point that's flown under the radar. He could be a three-and-D wing who's fallen through the cracks.
53. Boston Celtics (via Cavaliers): Aleksandar Vezenkov (Bulgaria, PF, 1995)
Vezenkov's stretch-4 potential is worth looking into. Defense is an issue, but he's been one of the top young shooters overseas.
54. Phoenix Suns (via Raptors): Cameron Oliver (Nevada, PF, Sophomore)
Three-point shooting and shot-blocking make Oliver one of the more interesting second-round names. He'll have to find a way to compensate for limited shot-creativity.
55. Utah Jazz: Monte Morris (Iowa State, PG, Senior)
One of college basketball's top point guards, Monte Morris will try to find a backup gig by tapping into his basketball IQ.
56. Boston Celtics (via Clippers): Devin Robinson (Florida, SF/PF, Junior)
If it works out for Robinson, he'll become a consistent three-point shooter and versatile defender. But at this point, we've only see it in flashes through three years.
57. Brooklyn Nets (via Celtics): Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina, SG, Senior)
Thornwell's NCAA tournament run improved his recognition, but there are still too many holes in his NBA pitch. He'll try to make a roster with his defense and toughness.
58. New York Knicks (via Rockets): Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga, PG, Junior)
The Knicks grab Williams-Goss for his leadership and look to groom him into the second unit's point guard.
59. San Antonio Spurs: Kobi Simmons (Arizona, PG, Freshman)
Simmons is completely raw, but size and athleticism for a point guard suggest he's worth stashing in the G-League.
60. Atlanta Hawks (via Warriors): VJ Beachem (Notre Dame, SG, Senior)
Beachem has enough size and a smooth enough stroke to justify looking at as a possible shooting specialist in the second round.
Jonathan Wasserman covers the NBA draft for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @NBADraftWass.