2017 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions for Prospects Whose Stocks are On the Rise

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2017

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) advances the basketball during a NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
Brody Schmidt/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors are league champions, but their celebration will soon become an afterthought when the Boston Celtics are officially on the clock in the 2017 NBA draft.

Markelle Fultz has long been linked to Boston, while Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and De'Aaron Fox have consistently been considered top-five picks. However, there is plenty of movement behind the quintet due to performance at the NBA combine and private workouts.

And in some cases, that performance is an overwhelming positive. Whether it's a lottery pick, fringe first-rounder or potential second-round pick moving up, they're headed in the right direction for a larger payday on June 22.

Reports will continue to emerge until then, but the latest news has raised the stock of a few talented prospects.


2017 NBA Mock Draft Round 1

1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn): Markelle Fultz, G, Washington

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Jackson, F, Kansas

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA

4. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum, F, Duke

5. Sacramento Kings (via Philadelphia): De'Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky

6. Orlando Magic: Malik Monk, G, Kentucky

7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State

8. New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr., G, NC State

9. Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona

10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans): Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga

11. Charlotte Hornets: Frank Ntilikina, G, France

12. Detroit Pistons: Luke Kennard, G, Duke

13. Denver Nuggets: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas

14. Miami Heat: Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville

15. Portland Trail Blazers: John Collins, F, Wake Forest

16. Chicago Bulls: Justin Jackson, F, North Carolina

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Harry Giles, F/C, Duke

18. Indiana Pacers: TJ Leaf, F, UCLA

19. Atlanta Hawks: Justin Patton, C, Creighton

20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis): Isaiah Hartenstein, F, Germany

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jawun Evans, G, Oklahoma State

22. Brooklyn Nets (via Washington): Tony Bradley, C, North Carolina

23. Toronto Raptors (via LA Clippers): Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA

24. Utah Jazz: Kyle Kuzma, F, Utah

25. Orlando Magic (via Toronto): OG Anunoby, G, Indiana

26. Portland Trail Blazers: (via Cleveland): Jordan Bell, F, Oregon

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Boston): Terrance Ferguson, G, Australia

28. Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston): Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky

29. San Antonio Spurs: D.J. Wilson, F, Michigan

30. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Josh Hart, G, Villanova


Trending Upward

De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky

The Sacramento Kings own a pair of top-10 selections in the 2017 draft. Well, for now, at least.

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Fox is appealing enough that the Kings are discussing packaging the fifth and 10th picks in order to trade up. After all, the Kentucky product is worthy of consideration once Fultz is off the board.

Roster fits must always be taken into account, and Jackson, Ball and Tatum appear to have a more ideal set of complementary skills than Fox in their respective mocked locations. That hypothesis is being tested, of course.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times noted the Lakers brought in Fox for a workout, and the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey reported the guard is slated to visit the 76ers.

The most likely outcome is Fox following Fultz, Jackson, Ball and Tatum. But if Sacramento takes those workouts seriously and is determined to leave the draft with Fox, he'll provide an unanticipated shakeup to the beginning of the draft.


Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State

The Russell Westbrook show is exciting, exhilarating, enthralling and all of those great adjectives. But the Thunder are a complete disaster without the MVP candidate on the floor.

Jawun Evans cannot be expected to single-handedly run Oklahoma City's reserve unit. However, he would be an upgrade to a group that rolled out Norris Cole or Semaj Christon during the playoffs. They posted net ratings of -52.1 and -46.6, respectively.

Part of the problem was the Thunder's ineffectiveness in the pick-and-roll sans Westbrook. Cole and Christon combined for just seven possessions as the ball-handler, per NBA.com.

Meanwhile, Evans could hardly be more comfortable creating on offense. The crafty guard tallied 19.2 points and 6.4 assists per game while initiating Oklahoma State's attack last year. He also attempted 48.1 percent of his shots at the rim, per Hoop-Math.

Oklahoma City has hosted Evans, according to Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript. If the in-state talent falls to No. 21, the Thunder shouldn't think twice before snatching Evans.


Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA

Although stretchy forwards and centers are important pieces in today's pace-and-space league, rim protectors like Ike Anigbogu are still highly regarded role players.

The 6'9" prospect could develop into a reliable interior defender, and the Raptors definitely need that skill set. Serge Ibaka is no longer the premier shot-blocking threat he once was, and depth at center is lacking behind Jonas Valanciunas.

In addition to being well-built physically, Anigbogu offers an impressive 7'6" wingspanwhich, according to DraftExpress, is only topped by Jonathan Jeanne, who unfortunately received a career-threatening diagnosis recently.

Abigbogu is a work in progress offensively, but his combination of size, strength, length and defensive potential is enticing. Being 18 years old doesn't hurt, either. He's undoubtedly worth trying to develop as a late first-round pick.

Follow Bleacher Report NBA Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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