2017 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting Each 1st-Round Pick Based on Early NCAA Season

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterDecember 3, 2016

2017 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting Each 1st-Round Pick Based on Early NCAA Season

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    Two weeks into the college basketball season, prospects have officially begun building their cases for the 2017 NBA draft. The field already looks strong, despite Duke's three potential lottery picks still rehabbing from preseason injuries. 

    The emergence of UCLA's Lonzo Ball has been the big storyline early on as well. Ball, along with six others in this mock draft's top 20, could help make this the strongest point guard class since 2009. 

    The order is based on the NBA standings as of December 1. Future trades were also accounted for.

1. Dallas Mavericks: Markelle Fultz (Washington, PG, Freshman)

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    The Dallas Mavericks' backcourt picked a convenient time to run out of gas.

    A popular No. 1 overall prediction among scouts over the summer, Markelle Fultz has come out firing to back up the preseason hype and would be a great fit.

    Averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.1 steals on 54 percent shooting, he hasn't given scouts much to complain about. The Washington Huskies already have three losses, but their inability to stop anyone won't stain Fultz's No. 1 overall case. Highly skilled and athletic, he's wowed with highlight-reel dunks, acrobatic finishes, mid-range scoring and deadly three-point shooting (13-of-27).

    Fultz has had no issues creating shots for himself and clearly no problems converting. But he's also flashed unselfishness, along with an impressive passing and playmaking ability, to complete the point guard package. Fultz has already delivered a number of high-IQ assists off pick-and-rolls and penetration. 

    With Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews each in their 30s and shooting below 40 percent from the floor, Fultz should look even more attractive to Dallas. The Mavericks will take him No. 1 as long as they're not turned off by his casual approach.

2. Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Jackson (Kansas, SF, Freshman)

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    Josh Jackson has caught on quickly.

    The NBA scouting lens immediately picks up his 6'8" size and athleticism, but it's the versatility that's created the most buzz. Along with his 14.1 points per gamewhich he picks up by running the floor, attacking from the arc, pulling up or tossing in floatershe's also averaging 3.3 assists, showing high passing IQ and vision.

    Throw in tremendous lateral quickness and the ability to guard multiple positions, and Jackson has established himself as the type of player who can impact games without needing to score.

    The only early knock is on the jumper—he's made just five of 17 threes and 54.1 percent of his free throws. But we've also seen Jackson get hot and connect in bunches once his confidence starts to pump.

    With so many strong point guard options and a number of teams in the lottery already set at the position, the Philadelphia 76ers take their chances on one being available at No. 13 instead. At No. 2, they'll fill another need on the wing with Jackson, who they'll view as the best player available.

3. Boston Celtics (via Nets): Lonzo Ball (UCLA, PG, Freshman)

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    The idea that Lonzo Ball is unique and potentially one of a kind makes him difficult for the Boston Celtics to pass on despite having so many quality point guards in their system. 

    He's already made a significant impression on scouts who've bought into his style of play and the Jason Kidd comparisons. UCLA's sixth-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom.com, can be directly tied to Ball's ability to find the open man and create high-percentage shots for teammates. 

    "I think Ball is a potential difference-maker on your team above and beyond North Carolina State's Dennis Smith Jr. for his ability to make others better," one scout told Bleacher Report"Fultz, with his shot-making has the advantage," an executive said. "But Ball has better leadership qualities...the kid is special. He'll be a success in our league, a la Jason Kidd."

    Ball has even made 18 of his first 28 three-point attempts. His strange mechanics will be a talking point all year, and he hasn't shown off much of a pull-up game, but he's doing things that are going to make teams ignore his ugly shooting form and mid-range scoring limitations.

4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman)

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    It's only a matter of time before the national spotlight picks up on Jonathan Isaac, who's averaging 15.1 points, shooting 68.3 percent inside the arc and 44.4 percent behind it.

    He hasn't had to go through much of an adjustment period; Isaac has been consistently effective with 6'10" size and guard skills. He's beating perimeter defenses and smoothly swooping to the rack for layups. Meanwhile, the three-point stroke also looks good: He's already made 12 threes on 27 attempts through seven games. 

    Even Isaac's rebounding (11.4 per 40 minutes) and defense have been impressive. He's competing around the basket and guarding in space, using his foot speed and length to switch and contain. Long-term potential was always easy to see, but this type of production and efficiency so early is fairly surprising. 

    The Minnesota Timberwolves could ultimately take Isaac with the idea of making him a small-ball 4 alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.

5. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum (Duke, SF, Freshman)

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    It's still unclear when Jayson Tatum will return from the preseason foot injury that was originally expected to sideline him for just two weeks.

    He shouldn't have trouble drawing top-10 interest once he's back, though.

    Tatum, who's 6'8" and highly skilled, possesses prototypical NBA tools, athleticism and scoring ability for a small forward. He comes equipped with advanced shot-creating moves and a jumper that projects out to the arc.

    The Phoenix Suns are already loaded in the backcourt and just drafted two power forwards during last year's lottery. Long term, Tatum, a potential go-to player in the half court, would slide between Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender.

6. Washington Wizards: Lauri Markkanen (Arizona, PF, Freshman)

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    Lauri Markkanen has looked awfully convincing through seven games, averaging 18.3 points on just 10.6 field-goal attempts.

    He's already made 15-of-32 threes and continues to strengthen his credibility as a future shooter at the stretch 4 position. But he's also proven to be more than just a spot-up threat; Markkanen has dazzled with step-back jumpers and the ability to make shots off the dribble. 

    He can create his own looks one-on-one as well, both from the perimeter and the post. Behind Fultz, Tatum and North Carolina State's Dennis Smith Jr., he's arguably the most advanced scorer in the class. 

    Markkanen has just five blocks on the year and only averages 9.5 rebounds per 40 minutes, numbers that highlight a weak interior presence. Still, the Washington Wizards should covet his mismatch offensive versatility for their relatively dull frontcourt.

7. Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr. (North Carolina State, PG, Freshman)

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    If the Boston Celtics grab Lonzo Ball at No. 3, Dennis Smith Jr. could slip to No. 7, given the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards already have lead guards.

    The Orlando Magic, who can't seem to get over the hump, should grab Smith to bolster their No. 30-ranked offense (in efficiency) in the league, per ESPNSmith's ceiling ultimately towers above incumbent point guard Elfrid Payton's. 

    Averaging 18.7 points and 5.1 assists, Smith has impressed with well-rounded scoring and playmaking. He's flashed an explosive first step and the ability to hang in the air and finish. We've also seen mid-range pull-ups and floaters, along with a capable—though erratic—three-point stroke (8-of-29). He's shown a willingness to move the ball as well, plus some smarts as a pick-and-roll facilitator.

    Smith hasn't looked like a one-man game-changer the way Ball has at UCLA, however. He has had some trouble with shooting and shot selection, but his combination of athleticism and skills clearly reflect NBA-starter talent.

8. Miami Heat: Ivan Rabb (California, PF, Sophomore)

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    It's only been four games for Ivan Rabb, but he already looks like a more dominant player than prior years. The Miami Heat could grab him to replace Chris Bosh, who happens to be an intriguing ceiling comparison for California's star big man.

    Rabb is coming off a career-best 25-point night against Louisiana Tech on Wednesday. Averaging 18.3 points and 11 rebounds—up from 12.5 points and 8.5 boards a year ago—his inside game, post skills and touch continue to show promising signs. 

    Regardless, his finishing ability, rebounding and potential in pick-and-roll coverage defensively form a package worth considering in the mid-first round. 

    If Rabb continues taking his offense to new heights, No. 8 overall will even be too low of a projection.

9. New Orleans Pelicans: Harry Giles III (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)

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    Still on the sidelines following surgery in October, Harry Giles III will avoid risk by sitting out his freshman season.

    That won't help his draft stock during a year when there are so many other attractive, safer options. With Markkanen, Rabb, De'Aaron Fox and Smith looking like cornerstone-type prospects, Giles, who's played just two seasons of basketball since starting high school, is a candidate to slip. 

    Even if he does come back and play well, teams could still feel hesitant about using a high pick on an 18-year-old who's already undergone three knee procedures. The medical report will ultimately be the biggest factor in determining where Giles winds up on draft night. But at some point, if he falls too far, a team will take a chance on landing the potential value selection of 2017.

    He won't get past the New Orleans Pelicans—they'll be too enticed by the idea of an Anthony Davis-Giles duo up front.

    Giles is a ridiculous athlete with 6'10" size, 7'3" length and explosive leaping ability. Flashes of back-to-the-basket scoring, pick-and-roll finishing, ball-handling and mid-range shooting highlight budding offensive skills.

10. Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox (Kentucky, PG, Freshman)

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    De'Aaron Fox created buzz Monday night against Arizona State with a triple-double that primarily showcased his playmaking and athleticism. 

    Defenses have had difficulty keeping up with his speed and ability to break them down and dish it out. The Kentucky Wildcats rank top-30 in tempo with Fox at the point, per KenPom.com. They haven't finished top-100 since John Wall's year in 2010.

    The Sacramento Kings should wind up loving Fox's knack for creating easy scoring opportunities even if question marks about Fox's shooting are legitimate. 

    Though confident with the 12- to 18-foot pull-up, the early results haven't been pretty (27.6 percent two-point jumpers, per Hoop-Math.com). And having missed 13 of his first 15 threes, it's clear his form and range need work.

    Quick with size and bounce for the position, Fox's transition play, passing and pesky on-ball defense should still fuel starter potential and help draw interest from top-10 teams.

11. Denver Nuggets: OG Anunoby (Indiana, SF, Sophomore)

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    OG Anunoby went down with an ankle injury against North Carolina on Wednesday, but not before strengthening his image with more flashes of athletic ability, shot-making and defense.

    Even without advanced skills or polish, he's scoring in transition, face-up situations—where he uses his quick first-step—and catch-and-shoot opportunities. He's converting 73.1 percent of his two-point attempts and a respectable 38.1 percent of his threes (8-of-21). 

    A three-and-D floor and high ceiling should help lock Anunoby into June's first round, regardless of when he returns or how much he produces.

    Still, it's the ability to guard bigs, wings and ball-handlers—along with enormous room for offensive growth—that could entice the Denver Nuggets at No. 11.

12. Indiana Pacers: Miles Bridges (Michigan State, SF/PF, Freshman)

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    Miles Bridges will miss at least two weeks with an ankle injury, but he's already created enough intrigue over his NBA potential. 

    A spectacular leaper for a 230-pounder, Bridges has turned heads with big plays above the rim off transition, cuts and putbacks. He soars over rim protection. 

    But he's also flashed some perimeter skills, including a jumper that's connected on 15 of 39 three-pointers. Bridges is still vulnerable to the ugly miss, while his ball-handling, shot-creating and decision-making remain suspect.

    Chances are, a team like the Indiana Pacers values his athleticism, strength and quickness in a small-ball 4 role. He lacks traditional power forward height but compensates with elite bounce, a wide frame and live motor under the boards (8.8 rebounds per game).

    Bridges will be a difficult cover for slower bigs, especially if it turns out the jumper is for real.

13. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers): Frank Ntilikina (France, PG, 1998)

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    If the Philadelphia 76ers grab a wing at No. 2, they'll hope to land a guard at No. 13. With De'Aaron Fox rising and the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers already set at the point, Frank Ntilikina could slip to the back of the lottery.

    He's playing off the ball for Strasbourg in France's top division, and it's limited his playmaking opportunities. But he's also managed to remain efficient in his complementary role, shooting 51.5 percent and an impressive 15-of-31 from three.

    Ntilikina's defensive potential is as attractive as his offense. With quick hands and feet to match his 6'5" size and long arms, he forces turnovers and guards both backcourt positions.

    Nothing about his game screams superstar, but the Sixers can use another ball-handler and strong decision-maker to pair with Ben Simmons. With textbook tools, developing skills, great maturity and experience at a high level, Ntilikina looks like a good bet to fit in anywhere.

14. Milwaukee Bucks: Malik Monk (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

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    Questions over Malik Monk's size and length suddenly don't seem as alarming.

    The shooting-starved Milwaukee Bucks should ultimately value his elite athleticism and microwave shot-making while ignoring the fact he's a 6'3" shooting guard. (They have enough extreme length at most other positions.)

    Averaging 19.3 points and three three-pointers a game, Monk has been cooking from the perimeter, where he's flashed deep, NBA range, a pull-up jumper and the ability to connect on difficult attempts. 

    Having converted just two field goals at the rim in the half court all season, per Hoop-Math.com, Monk leans heavily on shooting and transition for offense. But at the least, the Bucks add a sixth man capable of scoring in bunches.

15. New York Knicks: Edrice "Bam" Adebayo (Kentucky, PF/C, Freshman)

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    The easy buckets have been there from day one for Edrice Adebayo. But over the past week, we've started to see the big man show a little more of his offensive game, including baseline drop-steps into dunks, jump hooks in the lane and some mid-range touch.

    Regardless, his value will always show up in the form of athleticism and activity around the basket, where he finishes high above the rim, blocks shots (2.7 per 40 minutes) and rebounds (12.8 per 40 minutes).

    Adebayo would likely have to be paired with a stretch 4 or 5 once in the NBA. And though capable of making the highlight defensive play, he's had some trouble guarding pick-and-rolls. But 6'10", 260-pound high-fliers don't grow from trees. He'll draw first-round interest for his Dwight Howard-like physical profile and explosiveness alone.

    With Joakim Noah clearly on the decline, the New York Knicks can target Adebayo for some additional bounce up front.

16. Portland Trail Blazers: Marques Bolden (Duke, C, Freshman)

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    Marques Bolden's draft stock will remain fluid until more information is released on the lower-leg injury that's kept him out.

    Slotting him at No. 16 means expecting him to either impress upon his return or not come back to college basketball at all.

    The Portland Trail Blazers would be investing in Bolden's physical tools and potential, which should become worth the risk in the mid-first round. At 6'11", 245 pounds with a massive 7'6" wingspan, developing post game and passing instincts, there is starting-center upside that comes with Bolden panning out. 

    Powerful yet nimble, he's flashed both slick footwork and physicality around the basket, where he works as an inside scorer and putback machine on the offense glass. The jury is still out on his defense, but not his tools. He'd bring muscle and length to every team's defensive paint.

17. Detroit Pistons: Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State, PG, Sophomore)

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    Jawun Evans has taken a big leap to emerge as one of the country's most potent offensive weapons. Averaging 24.7 points and 5.1 assists, he's torched defenses with one-on-one scoring and playmaking.

    Assuming it continues, that 6'1" size won't look so troublesome for NBA teams, just as Kemba Walker's didn't in 2011.

    Evans is quick and strong with terrific ball skills. He gets to the hoop with sharp change of speed and direction (36 made field goals at the rim through seven games, per Hoop-Math.com), and he's shown he can create plenty of separation with a Walker-like pull-up and step-back.

    Though he's only making 1.2 threes a game, his career 58.8 percent true shooting percentage, per Sports-Reference.com, and overall shot-making are encouraging. Evans doesn't take many from deep, but he's made a good chunk of those he's attempted (career 29-of-58). His 38.4 percent assist percentage is also higher than Markelle Fultz's, Lonzo Ball's, De'Aaron Fox's and Dennis Smith Jr.'s. 

    By June, the production and eye-test results should translate to first-round interest. Evans is on the rise.

18. Atlanta Hawks: Kostja Mushidi (Germany, SG, 1998)

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    Unlike many of the other teenage prospects on the radar, Kostja Mushidi is producing overseas, where he's finished with at least 10 points in seven of Mega Leks' last eight games. 

    Mushidi is tough with 6'5" size, a strong frame and athleticism, along with versatile scoring skills and some playmaking ability. He's making 1.8 threes per game and generating offense with hard drives, floaters and pick-and-roll ball-handling. 

    Shooting just 37.6 percent, Mushidi is an obvious project, but at 18 years old with NBA physical tools and a well-rounded attack for a guard, there is enough here to warrant late-first-round consideration if he declares.

19. Charlotte Hornets: Robert Williams (Texas A&M, PF, Freshman)

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    Robert Williams has come out of nowhere to find the first-round radar while playing just 19.3 minutes per game. He's opened eyes with his 6'9", 237-pound size and exciting athleticism, which has translated to some big finishes and defensive plays.

    Shooting 56.5 percent, averaging a whopping 5.5 blocks and 12.1 rebounds per 40 minutes, Williams has been active and effective around the basket. He isn't skilled offensively, but his hands are sticky, and he's thrown down a number of big finishes early on.

    He's also surprised with passing out of the post, having dished out eight assists through six games with limited touches. 

    Williams' lack of polish is just as obvious as his potential. The Charlotte Hornets could wind up ignoring college production to chase the upside at No. 19.

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Celtics): Frank Jackson (Duke, PG, Freshman)

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    Frank Jackson is getting the chance to turn some heads while the Duke Blue Devils' three other freshman stars remain injured. Sporting a terrific 61.3 percent true shooting percentage through eight games, per Sports-Reference.com, he's burning defenses with the jumper, which he's nailed off spot-up threes and pull-ups inside the arc. 

    Jackson doesn't have an explosive first step, but he's still getting to the basket and finishing, thanks to his footwork, ball-handling and strength.

    He's a good passer, but not a flashy playmaker for a point guard. And at 6'3", he lacks traditional 2-guard size. 

    It won't stop a team like the Brooklyn Nets from drafting him in the first round. Jackson should convince scouts he can carve out a role with his defense, shot-making, decision-making and athleticism.

21. Utah Jazz: Jarrett Allen (Texas, C, Freshman)

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    Texas has struggled, but the losses won't mask Jarrett Allen's 7'0" size, 7'5 ½" wingspan and NBA potential.

    Though not particularly skilled or explosive, he's found ways to score around the basket, where he uses his length to finish and separate into easy hook shots. He's even shown occasional mid-range touch with the jumper.

    Teams will ultimately value Allen's interior presence, high-percentage offense and defensive tools, including mobile feet and long, shot-blocking arms. 

    Nothing about his game is exciting, but the same can be said about that of valuable NBA journeyman center Robin Lopez. Allen would fight for the backup center position for the Utah Jazz.

22. Denver Nuggets (via Grizzlies): Isaiah Hartenstein (Germany, PF, 1998)

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    Isaiah Hartenstein isn't getting much burn in Lithuania, but that won't kill NBA interest. He's been on scouts' radar dating back to Eurocamp in 2014.

    One general manager told me over the summer he thought Hartenstein could rise into this year's top five. 

    It seems unlikely at this point, given his limited playing time overseas. Still, at 6'11", 230 pounds, Hartenstein's physical tools, skills and overall versatility should remain highly enticing.

    With center size, he plays both back-to-the-basket and facing up as a shooter and attacker. And he'll occasionally whip a highlight pass, whether it's an outlet or bounce to a cutter.

    He's likely to struggle with defense and finding the right shots within an NBA offense. But late in the first round, obvious talent will make those questions seem insignificant.

23. Chicago Bulls: Tony Bradley (North Carolina, C, Freshman)

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    Tony Bradley has stood out by converting just about every scoring chance he's received. Shooting 68.2 percent from the field, averaging 22.9 points and 13.3 rebounds per 40 minutes, he's given the North Carolina Tar Heels a reliable source of interior offense and physicality. 

    Bradley's 6'10", 240-pound frame has developed nicely, and though not explosive, his feet and 7'4" wingspan serve him well. He uses those long arms to bring in 50-50 rebounds and separate with hook shots in the paint. 

    He'll have to answer questions about his rim protection, having blocked just two shots through eight games. Scouts will naturally want to see more made free throws (59.4 percent) and some signs of mid-range shooting potential as well.

    But it's tough to argue with Bradley's tools, efficiency and production as a freshman. And at 18 years old, the room for growth is substantial. With Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic in the final year of their deals, the Chicago Bulls could call on Bradley to provide some frontcourt depth and youth.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson (Adelaide 36ers, SG/SF, 1998)

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    Playing with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia's National Basketball League, Terrance Ferguson has held his own against older pros. NBA teams are no doubt tracking last year's Nike Hoop Summit co-MVP and consensus top-20 recruit (ESPN, Rivals, Scout).

    An athletic, 6'7" wing, Ferguson's game revolves around the jumper, which is connecting at a 38.5 percent three-point clip overseas. With just six assists through 10 games, he isn't a playmaker or an advanced one-on-one shot-creator, so Ferguson generates most of his offense in transition, spotting up and attacking in straight lines. 

    Still, between his physical tools, athleticism, quickness and shooting stroke, there is obvious three-and-D potential for the Oklahoma City Thunder to unlock.

25. Houston Rockets: Omer Yurtseven (N.C. State, C, Freshman)

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    Scouts only have to wait two more games for Omer Yurtseven to finish his suspension (due to benefits received while overseas). He isn't going to wow them with skills or polish, but at 7'0" and 18 years old with impressive mobility and excellent hands, he clearly has an NBA center foundation to build off.

    Yurtseven should ultimately do most of his work as a finisher and putback machine on the offensive glass. But he can also give the lineup some back-to-the-basket scoring on the block, as well as a big target in the pick-and-roll game. 

    While flashing some touch and signs of a post game would surely improve his stock, showing toughness and defensive competence are the main priorities. He doesn't come across as overly intense and isn't as forceful around the basket as you'd want your anchor to be.

26. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Lydon (Syracuse, PF, Sophomore)

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    So far, Tyler Lydon has backed up last year's 40.5 percent clip from deep by making 10 of his first 24 threes. With 6'9" size, he projects as your prototypical stretch 4.

    Other than spacing the floor and making spot-up jumpers, Lydon provides off-ball activity at the rim in the form of finishes, putbacks and shot-blocking.

    For a power forward, the fact he's averaging under seven rebounds for the second straight year is somewhat concerning. And without the ability to create, he'll have games like the one he had during Wisconsin's beatdown on Syracuse Tuesday nightwhen he scored nine points and made little impact.

    Lydon added some muscle, but his game looks relatively the same. He'll still draw first-round interest with the NBA-friendly, one-two punch of athleticism and shooting.

27. Toronto Raptors (via Clippers): Dwayne Bacon (Florida State, SG/SF, Sophomore)

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    Dwayne Bacon always looked the part with 6'7" size, athleticism and a grown man's 221-pound frame. Now he's playing it, averaging 18.1 points and shooting 48.5 percent (16-of-33) from three.

    Bacon projects as a scoring specialist: He's not a defensive difference-maker or playmaker, but teams in the 20s could value his transition game and ability to create and make shots from all three levels. 

    As long as he continues to shoot well and guard with a sense of urgency, Bacon should wind up drawing late first-round consideration.

    Think Sacramento Kings' wing Arron Afflalo when visualizing Bacon's NBA fit, purpose and offensive style.

28. San Antonio Spurs: Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson, SF/PF, Senior)

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    Jaron Blossomgame's jumper hasn't been falling, but it's still encouraging to see him average 17.8 points (on 47 percent shooting) without one. 

    He excels as a driver from the wings and a one-handed scorer in the paint, where he uses angles to convert around the blocks. Quick, strong and explosive with 6'7", 220-pound size, Blossomgame should also be able to play and guard both forward positions (3 and small-ball 4).

    To maximize his first-round chances, he'll want to convince scouts that last year's 44.6 percent three-point clip wasn't fluky. 

    The fact he's already 23 years old doesn't help his stock or suggest there's major room for improvement. But he passes the NBA eye test—his skills just need fine-tuning.

29. Cleveland Cavaliers: Monte Morris (Iowa State, PG, Senior)

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    We're two weeks through Monte Morris' final season to build a first-round case, and he's doing all the right things, including making jumpers and scoring more. 

    Scouts already know about his facilitating instincts and decision-making, given his career averages of 5.3 assists and 1.2 turnovers per game. Morris has a terrific feel for using hesitation and vision to set the table for teammates. 

    But as a senior who weighs 175 pounds and lacks blow-by burst or explosiveness, there has been general skepticism regarding his NBA potential. That doubt will fade as Morris becomes more dangerous behind the arc. 

    The Cleveland Cavaliers can target him as a backup point guard late in June's first round.

30. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Alec Peters (Valparaiso, PF, Senior)

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    It looks safe to count "Sharpie" Alec Peters in for 20-plus points every night. He's quietly emerged as one of college basketball's biggest stars and elite scorers.

    Fresh off a 27-point effort during a big win over a ranked Rhode Island Rams on Tuesday, Peters has become an interesting talking point within the 2017 draft discussion.

    It's clear he's taken another big leap forward after averaging 18.4 points his junior year. Peters compensates for uninspiring athleticism with advanced perimeter, face-up and post skills. A credible, accurate three-point shooter (career 41.7 percent on 581 total attempts), he's become much tougher inside the arc and now gets to the line nine times per game (4.5 last year). 

    Assuming the hot start isn't flukey and Peters carries Valparaiso to relevance, he's bound to earn support within NBA scouting departments.


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