Projecting the Top 10 picks of the 2017 NBA Draft

The 2017 NBA Draft is upon us and judging by all of the trades, rumors, and nonstop speculation over the past week, I expect nothing but pure madness come Thursday night. It’s getting to the point where if Vince McMahon walked out on stage and Hell in a Cell match broke out between all of the draft hopefuls, I wouldn’t think twice. Unfortunately that won’t be the case, but I’m still anticipating several surprises over the course of the night. Just like any other draft, one surprise, or one big trade can ruin a mock draft. But let’s just say if all top 10 lottery teams stayed in their respective draft slots and no big trades occured, this is how I envision the draft unfolding.

1.) Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, University of Washington
Pretty much the one guarantee in this draft. Sixers get “The Result” that completes “The Process”.
2.) Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, UCLA
LaVar Ball gets his wish and gets to see his oldest son run the offense for his hometown team. The D’Angelo Russell trade all but confirms that Lonzo was the pick all along.
3.) Boston Celtics: Jonathan Isaac, Florida State University
I went back and forth between Jackson/Tatum/Isaac but this is a Danny Ainge pick and quite possibly the best fit for the Celtics. Celtics traded back to #3 and still get their guy, the highest ceiling player in the draft.
4.) Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, University of Kansas
I could see Jayson Tatum going here as well, causing a mini-slide for Josh Jackson. But in the end I think the Phoenix Suns take Jackson.
5.) Sacramento Kings: Jayson Tatum, Duke University
For months I had De’Aaron Fox going to the Kings as an almost absolute lock. But it would be extremely hard to pass on Jayson Tatum, the best offensive player in the draft.
6.) Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr., NC State University
There’s a lot of smokescreens that the Magic’s guy is Jonathan Isaac. And having a GM that came from the Milwaukee Bucks, that could very well be the case (see: Giannis). If Isaac were to fall to 6 I could see the Magic taking him, but I truly believe Dennis Smith Jr. is the pick. The new regime has their floor general, a point guard with a 48 inch vertical and Lillard-like potential, to begin this new era of Magic basketball.
7.) Minnesota Timberwolves: De’Aaron Fox, University of Kentucky
A minor slide for De’Aaron Fox, whose ultimate ceiling is a John Wall type player. Shooting concerns cause him to fall a couple spots, but with plenty of scorers in Minnesota, and the uncertainty of Kris Dunn, Fox should fit right in.
8.) New York Knicks: Malik Monk, University of Kentucky
Back-to-back picks from the University of Kentucky. Although slightly undersized for a 2-guard, Malik Monk will fit right in to the triangle offense Phil Jackson still loves way too much.
9.) Dallas Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina, International
The Mavericks haven’t hid the fact that they want Frank Ntilikina, and there are even rumors about them trading up to get him. But in the end I think he slides down to #9 and Mark Cuban will be smiling from ear to ear.
10.) Sacramento Kings: Zach Collins, Gonzaga
Ending up with Hield/Tatum/Collins post-Boogie is not a bad haul whatsoever for the Kings.
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