Chad Ford NBA Mock Draft 2017: Notable Picks from ESPN Guru's 2nd Mock

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2017

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 28: Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins tries to get around Dillon Brooks #24 of the Oregon Ducks late in the game at Matthew Knight Arena on December 28, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

ESPN.com NBA draft guru Chad Ford released his second mock draft of the season on Tuesday despite the year being less than halfway completed. 

But it's never too early to start thinking ahead, as Ford's predictions can be seen below:

Chad Ford's 2017 NBA Mock Draft 2.0
1Philadelphia 76ersMarkelle FultzGWashington
2Boston Cletics (via Nets)Lonzo BallGUCLA
3Phoenix SunsJosh JacksonFKansas
4Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers)Malik MonkGKentucky
5Miami HeatDennis SmithGNC State
6Dallas MavericksFrank NtilikinaGFrance
7Orlando MagicJayson TatumFDuke
8Minnesota TimberwolvesHarry GilesFDuke
9New Orleans PelciansJonathan IsaacFFlorida St.
10Sacramento KingsDe'Aaron FoxGKentucky
11Denver NuggetsMiles BridgesFMichigan St.
12New York KnicksOG AnunobyFIndiana
13Indiana PacersLauri MarkkanenFArizona
14Chicago BullsTerrance FergusonGAustralia
15Portland Trail BlazersT.J. LeafFUCLA
16Washington WizardsRobert WilliamsFTexas A&M
17Detroit PistonsJarrett AllenCTexas
18Atlanta HawksIvan RabbFCal
19Milwaukee BucksEdrice AdebayoFKentucky
20Charlotte HornetsLuke KennardGDuke
21Denver Nuggets (via Grizzlies)Rodions KurucsFLatvia
22Oklahoma City ThunderTyler LydonFSyracuse
23Utah JazzMarques BoldenCDuke
24Brooklyn Nets (via Celtics)Omer YurtsevenCNC State
25Toronto Raptors (via Clippers)Isaiah HartensteinFGermany
26Houston RocketsJawun EvansGOklahoma St.
27Toronto RaptorsIke AnigboguCUCLA
28Cleveland CavaliersTony BradleyCNorth Carolina
29San Antonio SpursJosh HartGVillanova
30Utah Jazz (via Warriors)Kostja MushidiGBelgium


Notable Picks

Markelle Fultz, G, Washington

Ford's Prediction: No. 1

It's difficult to decipher a clear-cut No. 1 pick for the June 22 draft, but Ford believes that the Philadelphia 76ers will have the top selection and will go with Markelle Fultz.  

The 6'4" Maryland native is one of numerous highly touted freshmen who will likely head to the NBA next year, but he is one of the best. 

In 13 games this season, Fultz has averaged 22.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game as a versatile athlete who can play the 1, 2 or 3:

He can shoot from distance with a 45.5 three-point field-goal shooting percentage but isn't afraid to penetrate the defense and show his aggression near the basket. 

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That all-around style of play would be a welcomed addition alongside Ben Simmons and the 76ers' numerous young big men to help round out the roster and start the organization's ascent up the standings in the Eastern Conference. 

Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA

Ford's Prediction: No. 2

Another freshman in the Pac-12, UCLA's Lonzo Ball has been nothing short of electrifying so far this season. 

He is a 6'6" point guard who can run the floor and dish the rock, as evident by his 8.1 assists per night. But he can also jump out of the gym as a high-flyer near the rim, via the Pac-12 Network:

Pac-12 Network @Pac12Network

IS THERE ANYTHING HE CAN'T DO😱 #Pac12Hoops Watch: https://t.co/YfMNDWtSGW https://t.co/7CpLldE9BC

Thanks to the Brooklyn Nets' struggles, the Boston Celtics might have a chance to draft him at No. 2 overall. 

Even though Boston does have a crowded backcourt, especially at the point guard position with Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and Demetrus Jackson, Ball's all-around excellence could be too much for the Celtics to pass up.


Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State

Ford's Prediction:  No. 11

An ankle injury has held Michigan State forward Miles Bridges out for the last seven games, but he is expected to return on Wednesday against Rutgers, per Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News

That gives him plenty of time to raise his draft stock considering that he is one of the most explosive talents expected to declare for the 2017 draft. 

The 6'7" freshman is unstoppable near the basket when he's at his best and can turn a game on its head thanks to his athleticism, via SportsCenter:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Miles Bridges vs. the rim might be something to look out for this season... https://t.co/15OQdSuCPw

But he's also a decent facilitator, as he's averaged two assists per game alongside his 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds. 

Those kinds of intangibles will be difficult to pass up, even if he does have some more maturing to do. 


Stats courtesy of ESPN.com


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