The Official BLymanWarrior NBA Mock Draft 2017
I am excited for the day when I get to assume the grand title of father.
Being the steward and parent of a child is a huge responsibility, an ability to mold and teach another human to become a great upstanding member of society. Holding that infant in your arms, knowing that you helped bring them into this world is by all accounts a supernal feeling. You feel a greater sense of purpose and responsibility. You feel more light in yourself, you feel like you’ve reached a new level of human interaction and relationship. You feel a taste of the divine.
All that fails to match the feelings that I’ve had in the past week being a fan of the NBA.
It is a fulltime job to keep up with the cocaine rush of NBA Draft and trade rumors and I am a controlled junkie. On Monday we started out with the official announcement of the Philadelphia-Boston trade, continued through Paul George deciding to just stab the entire collective soul of Indiana and his ensuing rumors, the follow-up of Jimmy Butler trade ideas, and capping it off with a nice healthy addition of “WTF Dan Gilbert” in the David Griffin firing. It was dawn to dusk of a variety of tasteful rumors, a potpourri of current All-Stars, 19-year-olds, and nonsensical Cavaliers things (they enjoyed 18 months of competence, which is an absurd amount for a Cleveland team).
All this league gossip throws a huge wrench into draft proceedings, at least for us mockers. I can’t accurately predict who’s going to be selected at the #3 spot if Chicago trades for it two hours before the draft starts on Thursday. I feel completely inadequate to say what the Knicks will do when they’re looking (excuse my pronoun usage there, PHIL is looking) to break the current first rule of Knicks management, which is “DON’T TRADE PORZINGIS UNLESS IT’S FOR LEBRON AND EVEN THEN, BE CAUTIOUS”. It’s all a powder keg about to explode and most likely Golden State will be the only team standing at the end of it, simply because nothing realistic can affect their chance of winning a title next year. Does a Paul George rental to Cleveland REALLY change the series that much? I’d end up saying Warriors in 6, which would be one more than they managed this year. It doesn’t seem to affect the bottom line that much, however Dan Gilbert is now at the county fair throwing dollar store darts at $150 million balloon. It’s going to pop and the air is going to rush out like LeBron moving to LA. Three schools of thought pervade in the NBA right now, first is to either join in the arms race to get as much as talent as possible to go at Golden State, second is to hunker in the barricade for five years and emerge when the Warriors tornado has blown by, and third is only employed by the Orlando Magic, who are currently doing everything in their power to be irrelevant not only now but in the future as well.
With where the league stands right now, I feel that the following draft order will certainly be changed by Thursday, and even further on the night of the draft itself. However, as Gandalf the Grey says, all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. Can’t make a draft selection on what *might* happen. I mean in the middle of this paragraph the D’Angelo Russell-Timofey Mozgov alert just hit my phone notifications so now I’m grappling with that. Within a couple weeks I’ll write up a detailed article about how we’re going to realistically assemble the Banana Boat Squad (LeBron, Carmelo, DWade and CP3) on one team, but for now we’ve gotta focus on the task at hand. Grown men placing their job security in 19-year olds from the University of Kentucky is one of our most beloved American traditions and I am its Benjamin Franklin. Let’s mock.
#1 — Philadelphia 76ers — Markelle Fultz, PG, University of Washington
Listen up you half bit melty old kit-kats-I am SICK and TIRED of defending Markelle Fultz to all of you. “How can he be that good if his team didn’t make the tournament? What’s he even good at? I prefer my players to have a WINNING PEDIGREE, all Markelle cares about is glitz and money!” (that last one is actually a verbatim quote from some idiot Jazz fan on Twitter saying why he wouldn’t want Paul George on his team lol cmon man you’re wild). I get the concerns with Fultz’s exposure and his team’s record. There’s two answers to both of those and they’re basically the same answer, essentially Washington’s former head coach Lorenzo Romar is an idiot. That’s it. He’s gotten top flight prospects to his school and then mismanaged, miscoached and misused them all. He was fired even though he had gotten the #1 recruit of 2017, Michael Porter, to commit to UW as well. He’s just dumb. The team suffered from hi mistakes, and apart from Fultz there was no real talent on the roster. Because they were bad you didn’t watch them. No one is turning on ESPN to see Washington take on Oregon State. So if you watch his tape you see the player that lies beneath the Seattle shenanigans. He’s a decent shooter who will surely improve in the big leagues, has displayed terrific playmaking and passing abilities, and runs the pick and roll like he listened to broadcasts of Stockton and Malone in the womb instead of Beethoven. He’s quick when he needs to be, while also having a bag of dribbling tricks to utilize apart from speed. Great length and athleticism, takes contact well and finishes at the rim ambidextrously. I love this kid so much. I love Markelle so much. Just take him. Just don’t even think about it and draft Fultz.
#2 — Los Angeles Lakers — Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Another thing I’ve had enough of defending to all y’all haters-LaVar Ball. This man is loud and brash and annoying and self-assured and wilding out 24/7, and I love him for it. He’s making people mad online every single day and he hasn’t had to pay a single cent for it. ESPN, FS1 and to a lesser extent all of you are fueling money into the Ball Family without them even trying. LaVar says everything with a twinkle in his eye as he knows what he’s doing. He’s getting you all to pay attention-for free.
That said, his son’s talent stands alone from what his father says. Lonzo is a breathtaking talent to watch in person. Like I said earlier I’m an avid draft fan, and usually only watch NCAA if there’s a first-round talent playing, so naturally I ended up watching a fair share of UCLA games. Seeing his effect on the team throughout the season manifested itself for me as I attended the PAC-12 Tournament in Las Vegas in March. N their games Lonzo exhibited a preternatural feel for where everyone would be and when they would be there. He anticipated defenders’ movements and thwarted them, as well as exactly when his own teammates would cut and roll. I was frankly surprised to see a 19-year-old run a high-powered offense so efficiently. There’s other concerns about Lonzo apart from his father (which in all candidness I don’t feel like LaVar is an issue at all. He’s loud, brash and loves his son. He’s not going to submarine the efforts of the most iconic and successful NBA franchise of all time), such as his occasional laziness on defense and whether he can get a shot off with his hitch jump shot at the next level. With those issues listed however, he’s still an ethereal offensive force that can help a team just purr on that side of the basket. The Lakers are going to take him and be happy, haters and naysayers notwithstanding.
#3 — Boston Celtics — Josh Jackson, SG/SF, University of Kansas
I’ve ran back and forth on this pick for days. Who does Boston want. Back when they were #1 it was easy, take Fultz and figure out your roster later. But now it’s tricky. Does Jackson fit their needs? And according to reports it’s a little awkward right now, as Jackson still hasn’t worked out for Boston and apparently WON’T work out for them unless he’s got a guarantee to be selected third. A week ago Jackson’s camp was saying they had a guarantee from a top three team, but that seems to have waned now, as I’m assuming it was Philadelphia who’ve now moved up to the first spot. Reports are circulating as well that the Celtics want Tatum and view him as the best prospect. No one knows for sure. Smokescreens abound in draft projections and rumors, as Ainge and Jackson could both be playing a con game and he’s easily the pick at three, even with a backdoors guarantee. This pick is the fulcrum point of the draft, and every time I swap out a different player in the 3rd spot the next five picks change drastically. I’ll leave Jackson here because he’s been the usual consensus third best player in the draft, but Boston grabbing Tatum, Fox, Smith Jr., or even trading down is not out of the question.
As for Jackson he’s the mold for what every team is looking for. Long athletic wings who can affect a game on both sides of the ball. He’s a pogo stick, a Tasmanian devil, any type of analogy you want to use to describe his play on the court he’s valid. He’s a tenacious defender who will be in contention for the DPOY award year in and year out. He’s going to lock guys up. There are legitimate oncerns with his shot, as his free throw percentage was abysmal and that might be the best indicator for shot mechanics. Can he be fixed? Absolutely. People can change their shots. Kawhi Leonard is the easiest example, but I’d be wary of throwing him out there as a comp lackadaisically. For every Kawhi there’s a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. That seems to be Jackson’s absolute floor, and with the right system around him he could still be a 20ppg scorer. I believe in it enough to give him a shot, and the Celtics have a filled out roster and should definitely look to just go best player available.
#4 — Phoenix Suns — Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Man I don’t know what to make out of Jayson Tatum. The dude is getting absurd amounts of love and there’s plenty of talk of him being picked by the Celtics at #3. I don’t see it. I don’t see much more than another Tobias Harris. I would LOVE to be proven wrong. I’m an optimistic critic, I want every single player in this draft to do well and succeed and be MVPs but that just ain’t realistic. He’s been rising steadily up draft boards, and people can’t help but throw the Paul Pierce comparison out there So let’s run with it and give Devin Booker a good wing to open up that offense.
In a nutshell, Tatum projects to be an elite scorer. Knows what he’s doing in the post, can flex his midrange shooting and also get to the rim. He’ll definitely get buckets in the NBA, there’s no doubt about that. However, I don’t think he manifests enough talent in other areas to be worth the salivation scouts are wasting over him. He’s not a good defender, doesn’t pass well and will look like a ball stopper a lot of games. He’s like Julius Campbell, “Imma look out for me and get mine”. I think the best scenario you’re getting from him is Danny Granger, and with the wide range of talents that are left here (including John Wall Lite at the next pick), why would you choose Danny Granger? (Danny if you’re reading this no disrespect I always loved your facial hair, you a good guy, let’s get lunch sometime)
#5 — Sacramento Kings — De’Aaron Fox, PG, University of Kentucky
One day I aim to love something as much as the Sacramento Kings love De’Aaron Fox. It’s such a pure love, he’s all they want and they’ll do anything for him. And luckily Fox has reciprocated the attraction. He’s stated that he enjoys the team and would love to play there, and their quick rebranding certainly helps. The Kings are going through a rehabilitation process, and while the Cousins trade was lambasted in the moment, they’re looking much better as of now. The Kings gained an extra lottery pick, and more minutes for Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Georgios Papagiannis were a boon to their development. They need a point guard more than anything now, and a Fox-Buddy Hield backcourt could be a mainstay for ten plus years in Sacramento. Hope springs eternal now, and Fox might be the star they desperately need.
Whenever I talk about Fox I ask people “Do you like John Wall? Ok great, you’ll love Fox.” The glaring hole in Fox’s skillset is his complete lack of a jumper. The dude can’t hit a pond with a skipping stone for heaven’s sake. That’ll most likely always be a “thing” for him. He can improve, but I don’t see him becoming a plus shooter in the long run. And that’s okay, because he makes up for it in a million other ways. He has cheetah speed mixed with dime-stopping timing, all of which leads to a deadly transition player and finisher at the rim. He’ll probe the defense off of screens, leading to his own shot or dump-offs to a big for an easy layup. He’s a superb defender. Always active, always running, always moving. On or off ball, it doesn’t matter, he’s there. He’ll make big plays in big games, that much is guaranteed. If you’re afraid of his shooting struggles, fine, don’t take him. But for the Kings he’s everything they’d want and more. Love is in the air for the Fox and the hounds.
#6 — Orlando Magic — Malik Monk, G, University of Kentucky
Monk can shoot the absolute leather off the ball and positional fit ccan come later. Monk is an absurd scorer and will get buckets at the next level. People are continuing to write him off as simply a Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams type but I think that’s unfair to his abilities and room to grow. The kid is 19. When I was 19 I was absolutely stupid. I’m still just like barely stupid, but I’ve grown. Same with Monk. If you have one elite ability that can translate then you’ll make it. Luckily Monk also has the possibility to grow into more. He’s phenomenally quick and finishes well at the rim. He has all the scoring ability you want apparent in your point guard, and with coaching and prodding he can reach it more.
The Magic are in an odd position roster wise, as they have a top-ten selection at nearly every spot but none of them have panned out to their original expectations. After Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier, I don’t see anyone on this roster worth keeping. Elfrid Payton flatout hasn’t shown anything of value, and they desperately need shooting. Why not get the best shooter. Monk will start at either guard position and make do. He’s not a great defender and can lose his head on the court at times, but Orlando needs some talent to produce and Monk could be their best shot at that. He may not be a multi-year All-NBA player, but he’s certainly better than just a sixth man of the year award.
#7 — Minnesota Timberwolves — Jonathan Isaac, PF, Florida State
The Timberwolves are such an odd collection of talent. They’ve drafted pretty well for the past five years, and are filling a roster with young talent. Towns, Wiggins and Lavine all project to be All-Stars at this point, and event hough Dunn certainly doesn’t look that great so far, it’s only been one year and no one after him looked to be that much better in his draft. But wins haven’t come yet. They’re still toiling in the lottery, and head coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t deliver immediate results. It seems like we’re just waiting for it to click and them to all of a sudden win 55 games. Maybe this year is it. This pick might be their last addition to a championship cast.
And Isaac projects to fit it perfectly. His downsides are maskable, as most negatives revolve around nitpicky mistakes. Not the best pulling up into shots, doesn’t get involved physically and isn’t a great passer. Apart from the physicality which is certainly a learnable trait, neither of those seem to hurt him. He should be able to stretch the floor as well as take advantage of any mismatch. He’ll go right over short defenders and blow by taller and slower ones. His defensive comp is somewhere along the lines of Andrei Kirilenko, and can run out to the wing as well as hold his own in the post. He’s a near dream player for this era of basketball. He may not project to have the 30ppg average that the rest of the Wolves can all achieve, but he’s going to fill a wide litany of roles, and could end up being the most important defensive piece for Thibs. He’ll fit there, and maybe they’ll start fitting into title contention.
#8 — New York Knicks — Dennis Smith Jr., PG, North Carolina State
Dennis Smith is the personification of the word bubbles from a 1950’s Batman episode (RIP Adam West). BAM! POW! KABLAM! WHIPAKOW! He runs through the lane with wild abandon, he loves to dink and finish creatively off the glass and will bottom out as at worst a scoring bench player in the NBA. He might not be a perfect point guard, and with the Knicks’ macabre dedication to the archaic triangle maybe that’s okay (this paragraph is a Kristaps Trade Rumor Free Zone just so you all know). Smith could end up like Russell Westbrook to a tee. Hes athletic enough to figure that out. Westbrook wasn’t a high enough rated prospect when he came to the draft, and OKC taking him fourth overall was a bit of a shock to most analysts. He could follow a similar trajectory, and Smith loves the spotlight so he and New York could be a perfect fit. He’s not the best passer yet and he doesn’t care about defense as much. Oh well. Take the guy, get buckets and get moving. And pull your head out of your butt Phil (ok it wasn’t completely Rumor Free but close enough).
#9 — Dallas Mavericks — Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
I think this is Dallas’ first first-round pick in 36 years and they’re going to make the most out of it by drafting a raw as a bleeding cow point guard from France.
That’s excessively negative I apologize to my three Mavericks fan friends. Ntilikina could end up the best defender in this draft. He can guard multiple positions, plays tough and takes charges with gusto. He fights screens and is always active off-ball. He may be just a hair shy of 19 years old, but he defends like a prime DPOY candidate. That side of the ball is almost a complete picture. Now on offense he gets a little bit iffy. He’s not the most accurate of passers, and he definitely has to learn how to run an offense rather than let it flow around him. His shot isn’t horrendous, but it’s certainly not a major plus. I like Ntilikina, and I especially like him under the tutelage of coach Rick Carlisle. I don’t want it to be too negative, but he is excessively raw. Luckily a prime cut of steak is there, as long as Chef Carlisle knows how to season and grill it (guys, let’s talk. I’m so sorry about that analogy. That was so lame and bad and just not a good thing but I’m not feeling the excessive need to delete it. Sometimes modern art is like that, it’s attacking and abrasive and uncomfortable, but you’re reacting to it. THAT’S art. THAT’S what I’m doing here for you readers. Putting you in places of uncomfortableness in order to reach that peak of modern art. Let’s get there together. Onto the next).
#10 — Sacramento Kings — Lauri Markannen, PF, University of Arizona
The Kings would love a wing here that could play the four spot in a pinch but sometimes you don’t get what you want. It’s guard and big heavy this year, so take what you can and get out. They have a lot of young bigs already, but Lauri certainly won’t have too much positional overlap with a couple of them. Markannen is thin as a rail and is going to struggle hard in rebounding and defense at the next level but that sweet Finnish shooting stroke will translate at any court across the globe. If the Kings get absolutely funky they could masquerade with Markannen at the three and just give it a shot. He’s so tall he can get his shot off against wing defenders, and his skillset lends itself much more to a small forward’s play style. None of the next five or so picks make sense for the Kings so grab a talent and figure out fit later. If I was in the war room in Sacramento I’d lead an OG Anunoby revolution but I don’t think that would get far. Take Lauri, launch threes, get wins, do not pass Go.
#11 — Charlotte Hornets — Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
Luke can shoot. That’s all you need to know. Ceiling is J.J. Redick. I mean I don’t have anything to tell you, he’s another Duke sharpshooter. You know what you’re getting here. Move along.
#12 — Detroit Pistons — Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
The Pistons have hit the salary cap and flown by it, with their payroll soaring past the tax line. They’ll most likely let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope walk this summer, as he’s going to gain a $100 million contract from multiple suitors. Let him walk and grab his replacement in the same summer. He can defend at a high clip, and can easily run the point whenever Reggie Jackson isn’t on the floor. He may be undersized for a shooting guard position, but he has an absurdly long wingspan that can keep up with most players at that position. He has to learn to develop some semblance of a three pointer, but he’ll jump into the starting rotation easily enough to be a plus defender.
#13 — Denver Nuggets — OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
Anunoby is a conundrum. He’s chiseled from pure Greek God granite, and if he taps into his athletic potential he could be a top twenty player in the league. Whether that will actually happen is another question entirely. He’s got a long wingspan, can defend near any position, and loves to rebound. He might not be able to score a lot at any point in his career, but maybe playing next to a stable crop of guards and catching easy passes from Nikola Jokic in the post might be enough for him to have a very valuable niche in the league. Look for him to fill the three spot in Denver’s lineup, make a living off backdoor cuts, and eventually swallow up some of the top wing scorers in the league in his defensive chamber. He usually plays into his role and doesn’t commit stupid mistakes, so he’s perfect for what they’re brewing in Denver.
#14 — Miami Heat — Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
I know the Heat already have Hassan Whiteside for a while, but there’s not enough intriguing prospects at any other position, and Collins can play plenty of minutes at the four. He’s a safe bet. No glaring holes and he’s definitely moldable after just one year at the collegiate level. He’ll score at all areas within the three point line, block shots and grab rebounds. He’s young, and it shows in his skyhigh foul rate, but the Heat’s team organization is strong enough to knock out dumb mistakes. He’s a low-risk pick, and that’s what you want in the middle of the draft.
After the lottery the draft hits some arbitrary point where the selections just aren’t as interesting. There’s no huge tangible difference between #14 and #15, but it feels like an abyss. Either way, you and I both don’t want to be here any longer than necessary so you’re getting three sentences max about the second half of the first round.
#15 — Portland Trailblazers — Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
Ike is a very raw prospect whose stats don’t pop off the page at all, but digging deeper into his profile lends itself to a fantastic player in the future. Portland has three total picks in this draft so they can afford to take chances on prospects that can pay huge dividends, especially with their capped out situation. Angibogu is a good fit for this NBA, as he can protect the rim, catch lobs, rotate well on defense, and run the PnR towards easy buckets.
#16 — Chicago Bulls — Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
Allen has a great frame, with height and wingspan all combined to be a freak athlete. He’s got upside to function as a great defender and complimentary offensive piece, but there’s concerns about his instinctual reads and intangible efforts. Sometimes he just doesn’t look like a basketball player, however his potential makes up for it for the Bulls.
#17 — Milwaukee Bucks — Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
Milwaukee would probably prefer some type of guard at this stage of the draft, but it’s very heavy on big men after the lottery, so Jackson fits their mold of flexible wings. Jackson can shoot, defend, and move well, and has the height and speed combo to keep up with most wings. Not a freak athlete by any means, but he’s a plug-and-play type of guy and he’ll be able to contribute off the bench almost immediately.
#18 — Indiana Pacers — Terrance Ferguson, G, Adelaide
Like stated before, the draft is heavy on big men at this stage, but Indiana is set at the center position and needs to find more guard options, hence a reach for Ferguson is in order. He’s a pure athlete who can be molded to fit any type of skillset. Still learning the game and will definitely be a player who requires time, but his upside is high for a team that’s devoid of future impactful players.
#19 — Atlanta Hawks — John Collins, C, Wake Forest
I feel like the Dwight Howard trade was absolutely absurd, but oh well, not my call to make I guess. Collins fits in as a bruising big center who can anchor an offense and has room to grow defensively. He’s not a superb rim protector, but defense is based a lot off effort, and Budenholzer has proven to be a good coach for helping players reach potential.
#20 — Portland Trail Blazers — Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State
Evans is small but quick, a dynamo who can jump in and direct an offense with ease. He will excel in a variety of sets at the next level off the bench, and can function as a long-term serviceable backup and possibly low-end starter. Not the best scorer, but his playmaking and hardnosed defense makes up for it.
#21 — Oklahoma City Thunder — Derrick White, PG, Colorado
Older rookie at age 23, but OKC needs contributors immediately, especially with a moribund second unit led by the woeful Semaj Christon. White can shoot from most areas of the court, finish at the rim and pass well to make others look better. He’s not a fast guard however, and his upside is essentially tapped out at this point.
#22 — Brooklyn Nets — Bam Adebayo, C, University of Kentucky
The Nets need make or break players, and Bam was a former top ten recruit out of high school. He’s long, fluidly athletic, and will affect shots at the rim. He’s never going to have much of an offensive game, but he’s going to be an athletic and energetic starter for ten years in the league, and the Nets need big talent like that.
#23 — Toronto Raptors — Justin Patton, PF, Creighton
The Raptors are continually looking to fill their power forward spot, and it’s not guaranteed that Serge Ibaka will be back. Patton is a lanky athlete who could switch back and forth between the four and the five. Great leaper and could be the best rim runner in the league in five years, defends most positions effectively and continually expands his offensive skillset. Unfortunately, he’s not a great rebounder, mainly due to his lack of size and strength and he could flame out as sloppiness and laziness take over the moldable aspects of his game.
#24 — Utah Jazz — T.J. Leaf, PF, UCLA
Leaf looks like the same player as Trey Lyles currently is, but could easily project out to be a much better player. The Jazz may have already given up on Lyles as he fell continually back in the rotation, and Leaf could leapfrog him quickly and end up starting next to Gobert for eight years as a stretch the floor forward. Great shooter from all areas of the floor and keeps the ball moving to contribute to a high-octane offense.
#25 — Orlando Magic — Semi Ojeleye, SF, SMU
Ojeleye is undoubtedly drawing Kawhi comparisons, and if he turns out to be half the player as Leonard is he’ll be a steal at this spot. Defends like an absolute pitbull and showcases his strength against all types of opponents, big or small. Definitely has tweaks to work out on defense as well as how he operates with the ball in his hands, but he can function as a long-term role player as his floor.
#26 — Portland Trail Blazers — Harry Giles, PF, Duke
With their third pick the Blazers go for broke and draft Giles, a former top high school recruit. Giles’ knees are currently made of paper mache, but if he gets healthy he’s comped out to be Amare Stoudemire, an MVP candidate in his prime. Giles’ skillset touches on all aspects, shooting, driving, dribbling, rebounding, and defending; so if he pans out it’ll be wonderful for Portland.
#27 — Los Angeles Lakers — Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Latvia
He still has room to grow as a player in this league, but the Lakers just need to get talent and hope over 50% of it pans out. He’s got potential as a rim-running/outside shooter, despite his fundamental flaws in many areas. He won’t rebound well or pass exceptionally well either, but if he can keep up a shooting streak and score in the paint he’ll be a welcome bench addition.
#28 — Los Angeles Lakers — DJ Wilson, F, Michigan
Wilson is purely high upside, and as upside goes, he has a high ceiling. He’s drawn comparisons to Lamar Odom and they’re completely valid. Long versatile defender, plays like a fast-twitch guard in a forward’s body, and can stretch the floor. Not good inside and lacks strength and awareness, but that’s the risk you run at the 28th pick in the draft.
#29 — San Antonio Spurs — Isaiah Hartenstein, F, Germany
I tried to avoid the typical “Spurs take a foreigner” shtick that goes around, but he’s simply the best player left on the board. He’s going to be a good shooter, and handles the ball very well. Loves to rebound and shows good vision. Under the tutelage of Spurs coaching and development staff, he can blossom to a starting four in this league.
#30 — Utah Jazz — Frank Jackson, G, Duke
Jazz need scoring off the bench, and Jackson fits that role. A lot of concerns arise from Jackson not being a true table-setting point guard, but Utah doesn’t need that, they need someone to come in and drop 18 points every five games or so. A hometown boy, Frank would be a perfect plug-and-play guard off the bench.
In the second round I like big man Tony Bradley out of UNC, Ivan Rabb the combo big from Cal-Berkeley, shot blocking forward Jordan Bell of Oregon, uber athlete Cameron Oliver from Nevada, wing Jarno Blossomgame of Clemson, and 3-and-D specialist Devin Robinson from Florida. Take it all with a grain of salt, as almost every projection ever about any draft is always wrong. I’ll get 25% of these right but yknow what that’s a success rate I’m willing to live with. Tune in mainly to see the on-air unscripted reactions to Phil Jackson actually being dumb enough to trade Kristaps Porzingis. Until then, happy mocking fellow fans.