2017 NBA Mock Draft: Current Projections for Every 1st-Round Prospect

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2017

TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 29:  Markelle Fultz #20 of the Washington Huskies during the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on January 29, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2017 NBA draft is just days away, and there's suddenly movement at the top of the board thanks to the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

"Trade between Philly and Boston will be finalized on Monday, per source," TNT's David Aldridge tweeted. "Sides have agreed. Sixers will get first pick and take Fultz."

Adrian Wojnarowski provided more details on the swap:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Clarification on deal: Besides its 2017 FRP, Philly sends '18 Lakers pick w/ protections. If it doesn't convey, 76ers send 2019 Kings pick.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The 2018 Lakers pick to BOS has protections on top and bottom that could keep it in Philly, and if so, then 2019 Kings' pick goes to Boston. https://t.co/l38PneUMdh

So, with the Sixers now in place at the top of the board, and all indications pointing to Markelle Fultz going there, the real challenge is projecting picks two through 30.

And that's exactly the purpose of this piece—trying to project how the rest of the first round will go. That, as well as breakdowns of the top 10, follow:


1. 76ersMarkelle Fultz (Washington, PG, Freshman)

As Aldridge noted in his report, the Sixers traded for the first pick so they could take Fultz. And his all-around game makes total sense there.

Fultz did everything for Washington last season, much like Ben Simmons did for LSU the year before. Having a combo guard in Fultz and a point forward in Simmons who both bring so much versatility should make the Sixers a nightmare to defend a few years from now.


2. LakersLonzo Ball (UCLA, PG, Freshman)

After some buzz (possibly smokescreens) that the Los Angeles Lakers might pass on Lonzo Ball in recent weeks, it looks like they're coming around to the idea of adding him after all.

"Sources in L.A. say that the Lakers have been moving closer and closer to selecting Ball in the past 48 hours," ESPN's Chad Ford reported at the start of the week. "More than ever, he's the heavy favorite to get his wish to play for his hometown team."

Distractions regarding LaVar aside, Ball with the Lakers seems to make too much sense to pass up. Much like L.A.'s general manager Magic Johnson, Ball has great size for a point guard. He's more pass-always than pass-first. And his vision is already better than most NBA players.

Some have wondered about his fit next to D'Angelo Russell, but Ball's size on defense and unselfishness on the other end should make it pretty seamless.

3. CelticsJosh Jackson (Kansas, SF, Freshman)

Prior to the big trade going down, there were rumors surfacing that the Celtics might like Josh Jackson more than Fultz.

"I've picked Danny's brain for years," a general manager told Ford. "Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he's keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I'm convinced they'll take Jackson No. 1."

If that's really how Ainge was thinking, the trade is just fine for Boston.

Jackson makes sense for Boston as another rangy forward who can defend multiple positions, something every team needs in today's NBA.

There is a chance Boston's not done dealing, though. Getting more assets together could help the Cs land Jimmy Butler or another wing in the trade market. This pick would likely be involved in such a scenario.


4. SunsJayson Tatum (Duke, SF, Freshman)

Assuming they don't trade Eric Bledsoe, the Phoenix Suns are pretty much set in the backcourt. Devin Booker dropped 70 in a game last season and Bledsoe averaged 21.1 points and 6.3 assists while posting a career-high Box Plus-Minus of 3.3, per Basketball Reference.

And while T.J. Warren is a solid scorer at the 3, the Suns could use another forward to complement their strong guard tandem. Tatum may have the highest offensive upside of any wing in this draft and could be an interchangeable 3-4 with Warren.


5. KingsDe'Aaron Fox (Kentucky, PG, Freshman)

As explained by HoopsHype's Bryan Kalbrosky, the Sacramento Kings have been interested in De'Aaron Fox for a while now. Selecting him without having to trade up would be ideal.

Fox would give the Kings a great athlete and competitor to pair with the outside shooting of Buddy Hield, who averaged 15.1 points and shot 42.8 percent from three after he moved to Sacramento last season.


6. MagicMalik Monk (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

Orlando has young players all over the roster, but none of them look like surefire stars at this point. So, the Magic can ignore positional need, and instead look at the numbers.

They were 25th in the NBA in made threes last season, and even worse, 29th in three-point percentage. Adding a shooter should be a priority.

And Malik Monk is one of the best shooters in this class. He led the SEC in both three-point attempts and three-point percentage, per Sports Reference


7. TimberwolvesJonathan Isaac (Florida State, PF/SF, Freshman)

Jonathan Isaac was top 10 in the ACC in a number of statistical categories, including rebounding percentage, block percentage and Defensive Box Plus-Minus, per Sports Reference.

His defensive ability at the 4 should help a frontcourt that includes Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, both of whom have struggled to defend at the NBA level.


8. KnicksFrank Ntilikina (France, PG, 18)

If Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are truly married to the Triangle Offense, and it appears that they are, French point guard Frank Ntilikina makes sense.

The system has often called for big point guards who can play off the ball. The 6'5" Ntilikina is shooting 43.1 percent from three in France this season.


9. MavericksDennis Smith, Jr. (NC State, PG, Freshman)

Yogi Farrell was a fun underdog story for the Dallas Mavericks last season, but Dennis Smith, Jr. sliding to this sport in the draft would give them more of a long-term answer at point.

At 6'3" with a 6'3" wingspan, Smith lacks ideal size for today's NBA, but he's among the most explosive athlete's in this class.


10. KingsZach Collins (Gonzaga, PF, Freshman)

Sacramento already has plenty of young talent inside with Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein and Georgios Papagiannis, but Zach Collins may have a higher ceiling than all of them.

In his lone season with 37-2 Gonzaga, Collins averaged 23.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes. He shot 67.2 percent from two-point range and 47.6 percent from three. His .703 True Shooting Percentage ranked fourth in the entire NCAA, per Sports Reference.

Collins' offensive skill level is off the charts for a traditional big, and his mobility means he's no slouch on the defensive end either.

11. HornetsLauri Markkanen (Arizona, PF, Freshman)

12. PistonsLuke Kennard (Duke, SG, Sophomore)

13. NuggetsOG Anunoby (Indiana, SF, Sophomore)

14. HeatJarrett Allen (Texas, C, Freshman)

15. BlazersJohn Collins (Wake Forest, PF, Sophomore)

16. BullsIke Anigbogu (UCLA, C, Freshman)

17. BucksDonovan Mitchell (Louisville, SG, Sophomore)

18. PacersTJ Leaf (UCLA, PF, Freshman)

19. HawksJustin Patton (Creighton, C, Freshman)

20. BlazersTerrance Ferguson (Australia, SG, 18)

21. ThunderJustin Jackson (North Carolina, SF, Junior)

22. NetsBam Adebayo (Kentucky, C, Freshman)

23. RaptorsIvan Rabb (California, PF, Sophomore)

24. JazzJonah Bolden (Australia, PF, 21)

25. MagicIsaiah Hartenstein (Germany, PF, 18)

26. BlazersJawun Evans (Oklahoma State, PG, Sophomore)

27. NetsTyler Lydon (Syracuse, PF/SF, Sophomore)

28. LakersHarry Giles (Duke, PF, Freshman)

29. SpursSemi Ojeleye (SMU, SF/PF, Junior)

30. JazzFrank Jackson (Duke, PG, Freshman)


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