NBA Draft 2017: Full 1st-Round Mock Draft, Most Surprising Potential Picks

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2017

FILE - In this Saturday, March 4, 2017, file photo, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State in Los Angeles. The UCLA freshman point guard has been one of college basketball's best players and could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. He's kept up his high-level of play over the past month as his father, LaVar, has become more vocal in the media.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The 2017 NBA draft has certainly set itself up for some major surprises. 

Lonzo Ball's desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and the shouting of his father is simply one angle. Feel free to sprinkle in others, such as high-end prospects only working out for one team, an Eastern Conference Finals participant clutching the top pick and depth unlike the league has seen in a long time at point guard, to name a few.

The Association itself, of course, won't mind all the potential shockers providing entertainment value. Fans simply shouldn't let it overshadow just how important this draft class is, given the talent and where certain franchises slot in the order.

Below, let's piece together an updated mock based on the prospect stock market, team need and more, then look at a handful of potential surprises.


2017 NBA Mock Draft

1. Celtics (via BKN)Markelle Fultz, G, Washington
2. LakersLonzo Ball, G, UCLA
3. 76ersJosh Jackson, F, Kansas
4. SunsJayson Tatum, F, Duke
5. Kings (via PHI)Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State
6. MagicDe'Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky
7. TimberwolvesZach Collins, C, Gonzaga
8. KnicksFrank Ntilikina, G, France
9. MavericksDennis Smith Jr., G, NC State
10. Kings (via NO)Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
11. HornetsHarry Giles, F, Duke
12. PistonsLauri Markkanen, F, Arizona
13. NuggetsTerrance Ferguson, G, Australia
14. HeatJustin Jackson, F, North Carolina
15. Trail BlazersIvan Rabb, F, California
16. BullsJohn Collins, F, Wake Forest
17. BucksTony Bradley, C, North Carolina
18. PacersJarrett Allen, C, Texas
19. HawksIsaiah Hartenstein, F, Lithuania
20. Trail Blazers (via MEM)OG Anunoby, F, Indiana
21. ThunderTJ Leaf, F, UCLA
22. Nets (via WAS)Dwayne Bacon, F, Florida State
23. Raptors (via LAC)Rodions Kurucs, F, Spain
24. JazzIke Anigbogu, C, UCLA
25. Magic (via TOR)Jordan Bell, F, Oregon
26. Trail Blazers (via CLE)Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
27. Nets (via BOS)Sindarius Thornwell, G, South Carolina
28. Lakers (via HOU)Jonathan Jeanne, C, France
29. SpursFrank Jackson, PG, Duke
30. Jazz (via GSW)Luke Kennard, G, Duke
Author's projections.


Most Surprising Potential Picks

Lakers Taking Anyone But Ball 

Let's just get the big one out of the way first—the Ball-Lakers saga. 

Ball going to the Lakers almost regardless of where they pick has seemed about as predictable as this year's Finals participants. He's a California kid, and the team could use a point to run the offense—the idea got some bonus points recently when Magic Johnson took over.

Heck, stretch it a little further and think about the fact the Lakers might want to pursue a big-name forward in free agency soon, such as Paul George. No need to draft one like Josh Jackson, right?

But tap the brakes—here's a note by Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz:

Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report

Per source, re Lonzo Ball: "It's not even close right now. Ball won't be a Laker unless they really start 2 buy into him as a star." #lakers

Nothing is concrete about the draft right now. Yet the Lakers passing on Ball, who is apparently only working out for them, isn't too crazy.

He's an outstanding prospect at 6'5" and 195 pounds and the best pure passer and court general to enter the league in years. But critics won't hesitate to point out his disappearing act in the Big Dance, the wealth of talent he got to play with at UCLA, such as TJ Leaf, and his lack of athleticism compared to others in the class.

Despite all these points, the above mock still has Ball going to the Lakers. Other noise aside, including a guy by the name of LaVar, the fit is too great to ignore, because it moves D'Angelo Russell to the 2 and gives the front office future-leaning options.

Even so, Ball has willingly backed himself into a corner where the Lakers taking someone such as De'Aaron Fox or Markelle Fultz and letting him fall on national television could be one of the most infamous moments in modern draft history.


Harry Giles in the Lottery

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Duke's Harry Giles coming off the board early isn't something most seem to expect.

The negatives are, admittedly, staggering. Giles was one of the best prospects in the world at one point, but a pair of devastating knee injuries made it easy to forget, and his simply blending in with the Blue Devils last year didn't help.

But the draft is about potential and upside, especially near the top. It's not often teams get a shot at a player who weighs in at 6'11" and 232 pounds and is arguably a more explosive athlete than anyone in the class at any spot.

Giles knows there's no changing how his career has unfolded to this point, hence his impressing teams so much in workouts.

"For me, it didn't go as planned. It wasn't as good as I thought it should have went or wanted it to go," Giles said, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. "But at the same time you can't worry about that. You can't rewrite a certain journey that happened. So for me it was just about accepting what happened and moving on from it and using it as motivation going forward."

On paper, Giles has enough upside to transform into the second or third best prospect from this class based on his combination of size, athleticism and two-way talent. It's why the mock above has the Charlotte Hornets rolling the dice on his upside.

On one hand, Charlotte is in a position where it shouldn't take a major risk because of the precarious state of the rebuild. On the other, if Giles is healthy and can actually start growing into his upside as a player, the Hornets could steal the draft's eventual best overall player.

Don't ignore Giles on draft day.


De'Aaron Fox in the Top Three

Stuart Ramson/Associated Press

There has been a rotation of names in the top three after Fultz and Ball as of late, ranging from Jackson to Fox and beyond.

Fox, though, has seemed like the most outlandish of the three simply because the idea of three points coming off the board to start the draft seems unlikely. Feel free to pair it with a few of Fox's notable issues, such as his inconsistent jumper, lack of range and 6'3", 169-pound frame.

That makes Fox sound like a worse prospect than he really is, of course. Really, he's arguably the most athletic point in the class, a monster fast-break presence and stout two-way player thanks to his on-ball defense.

Or in other words, another version of John Wall, to which the Washington Wizards point guard would agree:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"He reminds me of myself a lot, just a lefty.” John Wall believes De’Aaron Fox will be the best PG in the draft https://t.co/6uAHmNeofu https://t.co/AgFMEMcRm2

Given the upshot here and the aforementioned quest for huge upside near the top of the draft, Fox might just slip into the top three. It wasn't too long ago that Jonathan Givony of Draft Express dropped a rumor suggesting the Lakers will "take a long hard look at" him, too.

Oh, and now the Sacramento Kings, owners of the Nos. 5 and 10 picks, might consider moving up to take Fox, according to a rumor from ESPN.com's Chad Ford.

Either way, the momentum for Fox coming off the board earlier than most would've ever predicted isn't going away. The above mock still has him at No. 6 to the Orlando Magic based on need, but with a team like the Lakers wanting flash, the Kings perhaps ready to wheel and deal and countless other factors lurking in the shadows, this chatter around Fox might just pan out to be true. 


All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.