Re-Drafting the 2017 NBA Draft 1st Round

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterApril 16, 2018

Re-Drafting the 2017 NBA Draft 1st Round

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    The 2017 NBA re-draft looks a lot different compared to the actual one from June. 

    Unexpected rookie seasons, good and bad, have drastically changed scouting reports. If the Philadelphia 76ers had to select again, we'd likely be looking at a new No. 1 overall pick.  

    The order stays the same, and trades made before and during last year's draft are honored. 

No. 30-21

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    No. 30: Los Angeles Lakers (via Jazz): Semi Ojeleye 

    The Lakers overlook Ojeleye's rookie numbers for the eye-test results, which show a smart, versatile defender with three-point range. 

       

    No. 29. San Antonio Spurs: Caleb Swanigan 

    Swanigan logged 27 NBA games, including three starts, as a rookie, but he did most of his damage in the G League, where he averaged a double-double. A high-level rebounder with developing offensive skill, Swanigan could give the Spurs bench a physical presence and potential floor-spacer if he can continue to improve his shooting.

       

    No. 28. Utah Jazz (via Lakers): Tony Bradley 

    Bradley didn't play much as a rookie, but he averaged 15.4 points and 10.2 rebounds in the G League. And at 20 years old with 6'10", 248-pound size, length, mobility and soft hands, he will get his NBA rotation shot in due time.

       

    No. 27. Los Angeles Lakers (via Celtics): Sterling Brown 

    After going No. 46 overall last June, Brown sneaks into the re-draft's first round for his energy, defensive versatility and shooting potential. He made himself playable in certain matchups for Milwaukee, and he could likely fill a similar role with the Lakers.

        

    No. 26. Portland Trail Blazers: Derrick White

    The Blazers could use another scorer off the bench, and though White didn't have a big rookie role, he averaged 20.1 points in the G League. He just scored seven points in 13 minutes for the Spurs in his playoff debut.

        

    No. 25. Philadelphia 76ers (via Magic): TJ Leaf

    Leaf only played 8.6 minutes per game as a rookie, which causes him to fall in the re-draft. It could make him a steal at No. 25. Leaf did convert 18-of-42 threes, and his ability to shoot and attack closeouts suggests he's a fit in today's NBA.

       

    No. 24. Denver Nuggets (via Jazz): Justin Jackson

    Jackson falls in the re-draft, but the Nuggets still see value in his shot-making potential. If his jumper is off, so is his game, though. Denver should assume he'll improve on his 30.8 percent three-point mark.

       

    No. 23: Toronto Raptors (via Clippers): Dillon Brooks

    Brooks was a surprise rookie contributor after falling into the 2017 second round. He averaged 11.0 points and proved to be a versatile scoring option who still has room to improve as a shooter.

       

    No. 22. Brooklyn Nets (via Wizards): Terrance Ferguson

    Ferguson is still 19 years old, and despite only playing 12.5 minutes as a rookie, he showed enough flashes of athletic plays and shooting to be taken here. Long-term potential gets him back into the first round.

       

    No. 21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Justin Patton

    Patton's first season was a wash after a summer injury that put him behind the eight ball and never game him a chance. The Kings should still see worthwhile upside this late. At 7'0" and 236 pounds, Patton is a fluid athlete with post moves and capable shooting touch out to the arc.

No. 20-11

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    No. 20. Sacramento Kings (via Blazers): Josh Hart

    Though 23 years old, Hart is a scoring threat that the Kings could use in their rotation. With the opportunity to play in a full-time role, he averaged 23.8 points over his final four games, showing the ability to generate offense inside the arc and behind it.

       

    No. 19. Atlanta Hawks: Malik Monk

    It took months, but Monk came to life toward the season's end, when he averaged 20.4 points over his last five games. He'll need to find ways to get himself easier scoring chances, but the Hawks should still see an NBA shooting guard who can score in bunches once his confidence starts pumping.

       

    No. 18. Indiana Pacers: Luke Kennard

    Kennard established himself as an immediate shot-maker capable of handling the ball and scoring in various ways. The Pacers could use his 41.5 percent three-point shooting behind Victor Oladipo. 

       

    No. 17. Milwaukee Bucks: Jarrett Allen

    Though limited offensively, Allen proved to be a finishing weapon at the rim, having shot 58.9 percent from the floor. Even if he never develops into a skilled post player or shooter, his size, length and mobility should translate to easy baskets and blocked shots (1.2 per game). 

       

    No. 16: Minnesota Timberwolves (via Bulls): Jordan Bell

    Bell would be ideal for the Wolves with his defensive energy and ability to guard all over. Just like he has in Golden State, he'd be able to continue playing to his strengths in Minnesota behind Karl-Anthony Towns.

       

    No. 15: Sacramento Kings (via Blazers): Bam Adebayo

    Adebayo has been an effective big in Miami for his finishing around the basket and defensive versatility. Occasional flashes of skill suggest he could wind up becoming more than just an energy player.

       

    No. 14: Miami Heat: John Collins

    Collins offers value at No. 14 after he averaged 10.5 points on 57.6 percent shooting and 7.3 rebounds in 24.1 minutes. He's already an efficient, productive and active role player by using his tools and explosiveness. Now the question is how much more he'll improve his ball skills, shot and defense.

       

    No. 13: Utah Jazz (via Nuggets): Frank Ntilikina 

    Theoretically, the Jazz don't have Donovan Mitchell, so they could use some backcourt help. Ntilikina, 19, looked raw his rookie year, but it was still easy to see why the New York Knicks originally drafted him in the top 10. A 6'5" combo guard, Ntilikina flashed exciting defensive potential, strong passing instincts and a promising jump shot that will only improve.

       

    No. 12: Detroit Pistons: OG Anunoby 

    Anunoby gives the Pistons a versatile defender at the 3 or 4, and though not overly skilled offensively, he shot 47.1 percent from the floor and averaged a three-point make per game during the regular season. It won't be long before this 6'8", 235-pound combo forward emerges into a high-end three-and-D role player. 

       

    No. 11: Charlotte Hornets: Zach Collins 

    It seems unlikely the Hornets see Dwight Howard in their long-term plans. They'd re-draft Collins, who's already earning playoff minutes for his ability to stretch the floor and move defensively. Only 20 years old with 7'0" size, a promising jumper and budding skills, Collins appears on track to becoming a solid starting NBA center.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (via Kings): Jonathan Isaac

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Injuries limited Jonathan Isaac to just 27 games as a rookie, which is the main reason he fell to No. 10 in this re-draft. 

    Flashes of defensive versatility still fuel plenty of optimism. Isaac guards inside and out, showing the ability to block shots (1.1 in 19.8 minutes), switch out to the perimeter and quickly recover. 

    He's further behind offensively, but he possesses an intriguing skill set for a 6'10" big. Isaac made a respectable 16 of his 46 three-pointers, and in space, he's shown he can handle the ball and make a move. 

    Zach Collins has come on late for the Trail Blazers, and he wouldn't be a bad pick again in the re-draft. But Isaac has the chance to be a unique defensive weapon and face-up mismatch, as long as he can stay on the floor. 

9. Dallas Mavericks: Kyle Kuzma

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    Reed Saxon/Associated Press

    Age (22) and defense allow Kyle Kuzma to fall to No. 9 in a re-draft. Otherwise, it's pretty obvious he's an NBA scorer, having just averaged 16.1 points on 45.0 percent shooting. 

    He'd give the Dallas Mavericks a tough one-two punch with Harrison Barnes at the forward spots. 

    Kuzma flashed advanced skills and sharp versatility as a shot-maker (2.1 threes per game) and shot-creator, which ultimately was masked at Utah and led to his falling deep into the 2017 first round. 

    Not in the re-draft—Kuzma should have been a top-10 pick for his ability to put the ball in the basket.

8. New York Knicks: De'Aaron Fox

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    Frank Ntilikina made his mark on defense while flashing sporadic signs of shot-making and facilitating ability, but De'Aaron Fox's athleticism and upside remain too enticing.

    He puts pressure on defenses the way Ntilikina can't. Fox showed more star potential, having also come through multiple times in the clutch with key last-minute buckets as a rookie. 

    Even his big weakness, shooting, looked better than expected, with Fox having made 47 threes.

    He'd give the Knicks a different look and new dimension of speed they don't get with Ntilikina or Trey Burke. 

7. Chicago Bulls (via Timberwolves): Lauri Markkanen

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    History repeats itself in the re-draft with the Chicago Bulls sticking to their guns and taking Lauri Markkanen. 

    He just set the franchise rookie record with 145 three-point makes. But Markkanen proved to be more than just a spot shooter, showing the ability to create and make shots off the dribble or score out of the post. 

    Still 20 years old, Markkanen, a 7-footer, averaged 15.2 points and should offer more long-term upside than the 22-year-old Kyle Kuzma. Capable of playing minutes at the 4 or 5, he will also make it easier for the Bulls to build around him up front.

6. Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr.

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    The Orlando Magic need a point guard and won't pass on one who averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 assists in his rookie year. 

    Dennis Smith Jr. has a lot to improve on, and he still put up starting-caliber numbers. There is exciting upside for him to hit if his three-point shot and playmaking skills catch up to his explosive athleticism. 

    The Magic have one of the league's most underwhelming backcourts, and though Jonathan Isaac flashed major defensive potential, he had trouble staying healthy and generating offense. Plus, the Magic have somewhat of a logjam up front. 

    Unlikely to draft a point guard top-five in 2018, the Magic would likely take Smith in a re-draft.

5. Sacramento Kings: Josh Jackson

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    It started to click for Josh Jackson the final third of the season, when he averaged 18.5 points over his last 29 games. 

    And that was with his three-ball still struggling to fall. One would think Jackson's shooting will improve, a development that would propel and enhance his scoring versatility.

    The Sacramento Kings could view him as the best player available at No. 5 (he went No. 4 in the real draft) but also as a need on the wing. Projected to pick No. 7 in 2018, they could look to fill that point guard hole with Trae Young. 

4. Phoenix Suns: Lonzo Ball

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    Josh Jackson had a strong second half of the season, but he doesn't have as much difference-making potential as Lonzo Ball.

    Ball would help unlock the Phoenix Suns' talent and convert it to more wins and offensive efficiency (ranked No. 30, per ESPN).

    They wouldn't need him to score 20 points a night. Ball only shot 36.0 percent as a rookie, but the Suns would value his lead-guard decision-making, which doesn't always show in the stats.

    He still averaged 7.2 assists, and his shooting (1.7 threes, 30.5 percent) will only improve.

3. Boston Celtics (via 76ers): Jayson Tatum

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    The Boston Celtics would be thrilled to steal Jayson Tatum again at No. 3 after he just averaged 13.9 points on 47.5 percent shooting and 43.4 percent from three. 

    He proved he can adjust his game, which he quickly did after being a top scoring option throughout high school and college.

    Tatum remained efficient throughout the regular season by taking what the defense gave him as a complementary option. It's a role he'll be capable of perfecting, as it seems unlikely to change with Gordon Hayward back next season and Jaylen Brown on the verge of blowing up.

    Unless the Celtics have major concerns over Kyrie Irving's knee, in which case they could look at Lonzo Ball, Tatum will be their man once again.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Markelle Fultz

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    The youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, Markelle Fultz is back and showing why so many scouts ranked him No. 1. 

    The Los Angeles Lakers couldn't get him last June, but they'll have their chance in the re-draft. Still 19 years old until May, Fultz could give the Lakers both scoring firepower and playmaking, while Lonzo Ball will mostly only bring the latter. 

    There would likely be some in the organization pulling for Jayson Tatum, who'd be a fine pick, even at No. 1. But Fultz appears back on track toward becoming the star guard NBA evaluators fell in love with last year. 

    With Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle (restricted free agent) making exciting progress, the Lakers pass on Ball and Tatum and trust the preseason evaluation and projection on Fultz.

1. Philadelphia 76ers (via Celtics): Donovan Mitchell

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    It would be too difficult for the Philadelphia 76ers to look past Donovan Mitchell, already a 20.5-point-per-game scorer for a No. 5 seed in the West. 

    Markelle Fultz could get there in a few years, but there is can't-pass certainty with Mitchell plus plenty more upside for him to hit, being that there is room for him to improve his three-point shooting (34.0 percent) and playmaking (3.7 assists). 

    And there are still questions concerning Fultz's jumper, considering he's only taken one three-pointer in 14 games. 

    With Ben Simmons running the point and JJ Redick entering free agency, Mitchell, who'd become the team's second star scoring option, would also be a fit and need at shooting guard.