2017 Mock Draft 1.0 – Ball over Fultz?

This will be my first official article of my career. I created a complete 2-round mock for the 2017 NBA draft along with analysis on the lottery. Enjoy!

  1. Celtics – Lonzo Ball
  2. Lakers – Markelle Fultz
  3. 76ers – Josh Jackson
  4. Suns – Jayson Tatum
  5. Kings – De’Aaron Fox
  6. Magic – Dennis Smith Jr.
  7. Timberwolves – Malik Monk
  8. Knicks – Frank Ntilikina
  9. Mavericks – Lauri Markkanen
  10. Kings – Jonathan Isaac
  11. Hornets – Zach Collins
  12. Pistons – Justin Jackson
  13. Nuggets – John Collins
  14. Heat – Harry Giles
  15. Trail Blazers – OG Anunoby
  16. Bulls – Luke Kennard
  17. Bucks – Jarret Allen
  18. Pacers – Donovan Mitchell
  19. Hawks – Justin Patton
  20. Trail Blazers – Ivan Rabb
  21. Thunder – Rodions Kurucs
  22. Nets – Isaiah Hartenstein
  23. Raptors – TJ Leaf
  24. Jazz – Tyler Lydon
  25. Magic – Terrance Ferguson
  26. Trail Blazers – Jonathan Jeanne
  27. Nets – Hamidou Diallo
  28. Lakers – DJ Wilson
  29. Spurs – Frank Jackson
  30. Jazz – Jawun Evans
  31. Hawks – Kyle Kuzma
  32. Suns – PJ Dozier
  33. Magic – Ike Anigbogu
  34. Kings – Cameron Oliver
  35. Magic – Jonah Bolden
  36. 76ers – Frank Mason
  37. Celtics – Caleb Swanigan
  38. Bulls – Alec Peters
  39. 76ers – Anzejs Pasecniks
  40. Pelicans – Josh Hart
  41. Hornets – Derrick White
  42. Jazz – Omer Yurtseven
  43. Rockets – Jordan Bell
  44. Knicks – Nigel Williams-Goss
  45. Rockets – Sindarius Thornwell
  46. 76ers – Dwayne Bacon
  47. Pacers – Dillon Brooks
  48. Bucks – Monte Morris
  49. Nuggets – Tyler Dorsey
  50. 76ers – Devin Robinson
  51. Nuggets – Semi Olejeye
  52. Wizards – Jonathan Motley
  53. Celtics – Kobi Simmons
  54. Suns – Edmond Sumner
  55. Jazz – Wesley Iwundu
  56. Celtics – Jaron Blossomgame
  57. Nets – Tony Bradley
  58. Knicks – Sterling Brown
  59. Spurs – Aleksander Vezenkov
  60. Hawks – Kosta Mushidi

The Big Question: Why would the Celtics take Ball?

This is a very valid question for people to be asking, as Fultz outdoes Ball in almost every category and shows up 1 in over 90% of online drafts, however Danny Ainge is the GM of the Boston Celtics, allowing anything to be realistic with this pick. I believe Ainge will make the very savvy move of taking Ball first and negotiating a trade with the Lakers in order to send Ball there in return for their second pick along with a young big like Julius Randle or Ivica Zubac, or even a future first round pick.

Josh Jackson to the 76ers was almost a no-brainer to me. The Sixers have been taking the best player available in the draft ever since Sam Hinkie was hired. Overall the strategy could have been more successful as they have drafted a future bust (Jahlil Okafor), an injury prone star (Joel Embiid), and four guys to completely miss their rookie seasons, but I don’t see them changing now.

Jayson Tatum is a perfect player to play next to Devin Booker. I could see them joining forces and showing some qualities of Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter, two great scoring wings surrounded with rebounders and shooters. The only thing Suns fans would hope for then would be for the two to stick together through the majority of their careers, a reoccurring issue with former Suns players.

De’Aaron Fox to the Kings was a pick I am surprisingly skeptical about. Most of Sacramento has already rallied around Fox and Hield being the future of our team even though I believe a guy like Smith or even Ntilikina would be a better fit in Dave Joerger’s system. Fox’s lack of a jump shot could really kill his potential, especially in a system integrated around half court offense. If Fox passes the ball off, he needs to be able to get open and sink jump shots along the perimeter to be a valuable piece with the Kings.

Dennis Smith Jr. is an uber-athletic point guard with a developing jump shot. Sound familiar? Elfrid Payton is a very similar player to Dennis Smith and I think they could set a very interesting back and forth competition with point guards in Orlando.

Malik Monk falling to the Timberwolves at seven is huge steal for the young wolves. They tried Kris Dunn in the draft last year and unless a drastic improvement occurs, Minnesota is still in need of a starting point guard. Even though Monk is more of a combo guard, he, Lavine, and Wiggins can share the ball-handling duties on the floor.

Frank Ntilikina is a bit of a dark horse in this draft. The long point guard out of Belgium is not only an above average athlete, but also one of the best shooting playmakers in this draft as well. In the limited amount of tape I’ve seen of him, he looks very smooth on the floor and shows some qualities I see in John Wall in the half court.

Lauri Markkanen has the potential to be a Dirk Nowitzki with strength and defensive ability. Why would the Mavericks not take him?

Jonathan Isaac is one of the most unpredictable guys in this draft. I’ve seen him going as high as seven, but I could also see him slipping to the later portion of the lottery. If the Kings do draft Fox, Isaac might not be the best idea due to his lack of a jump shot. He has shown flashes of a potential jumper, but nothing substantial enough to trust and will need serious work to be developed.

Michael Jordan and the Hornets have had extreme interest in 7-footers with a legitimate jump shot as of late, drafting Frank Kaminsky, signing Spencer Hawes, and resigning Marvin Williams. Zach Collins might be the perfect guy to play next to Kemba. His legendary run to the NCAA championship was matched only by his future teammate, Kemba Walker.

The Pistons had a rough season last year. Reggie Jackson played like the selfish sixth man we used to see on the Thunder. Andre Drummond struggled to get the ball deep in the post, and maybe even worse, they don’t have a lot of cap space for this free agency. The Pistons need a guy that can give them valuable minutes right now. The North Carolina Junior, Justin Jackson seems like the perfect fit.

Kenneth Faried has been all over the trade blocks ever since the Nuggets failed to make the playoffs a few years back. With the potential of a Faried move occurring this offseason, the Nuggets are going to need another high energy rebounder next to Nikola Jokic, who plays a lot on the perimeter as a point-center.

A year ago today, Harry Giles was a lock for the number 1 pick. Unfortunately for him and Duke, multiple surgeries have hindered his development in becoming an NBA superstar. Some drafts see him going as late as 30, but I see the Heat pulling the trigger on the young star power forward to pair with Hasaan Whiteside.

I might release a couple more mock drafts before the real one. The more feedback I get the better, so feel free to leave criticism. Thanks for reading!


One thought on “2017 Mock Draft 1.0 – Ball over Fultz?

  1. Pingback: Donovan Mitchell – Dwyane Wade Clone? – 916kingscourt.wordpress.com

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