2017 NBA Mock Draft

The 2017 NBA Draft is happening tonight — how will everything go down?

Has the process come to an end?

The 76ers sure hope they’ve at least accelerated the process by acquiring the No. 1 overall pick from the Boston Celtics last Monday.

The acquisition almost certainly guarantees that the 76ers will make Markelle Fultz their number one overall selection in today’s draft. Pairing Fultz with last year’s No. 1 overall selection, Ben Simmons & dynamic big man Joel Embiid gives the Sixers one of the most dynamic young cores in the league.

With Fultz's versatility in the fold, Brett Brown should look to mix the Sixers primary ball handling duties between Simmons & Fultz. That’s what makes this match so ideal for the Sixers — Fultz is elite on and off the ball and can be an efficient enough shooter to play as a compliment to Simmons when he is running the show as the point forward.

The Warriors are currently constructed to dominate today’s NBA but their is no question that the Sixers could be lurking in the shadows for years to come.

After dealing D’Angelo Russell to the Nets, Magic Johnson & Rob Pelinka have cleared deck — making way for Lonzo Ball.

Ball’s play is similar to the likes of Ricky Rubio, just with more efficient perimeter shooting. Ball is an intriguing prospect for the Lakers, although he may have trouble creating easy baskets for himself within the half court — Ball makes everyone else better out on the court.

Spacing will be key with Ball as he possesses superior court vision and excellent decision making skills. The Lakers need to continue to add dynamic players who can shoot the ball in order to keep the floor spaced.

With the addition of Ball, the Lakers are staring to build something very intriguing out West. Could the addition of Paul George be next? Dare I say LeBron James in 2018?

The rumors will continue to swirl but drafting a talent such as Lonzo Ball is an excellent first step for the Lakers.

Danny Ainge either has a bigger trade up his sleeve or he feels that the talent gap between the No. 3 pick and the No.1 pick are closer than people think.

After trading down and collecting an additional future first round asset, the Celtics can go a number of directions with the third selection. I think Tatum is the safest bet.

He will instantly bring a scoring punch to the table for the C’s. His defense may be a little suspect, but the Celtics will surround him with capable defenders. If the Celtics don’t go with Tatum here, look for them to select either Josh Jackson or Jonathan Isaac. Or even deal the pick in an attempt for a star player like Kristaps Porzingis.

With the 76ers entering the top 3 via the Kings, the Suns were pushed back to the 4th pick. Luckily for the Suns, this draft is loaded with talent.

They would love if Lonzo Ball somehow fell into their lap here at 4, but the Suns can still go a number of directions with this pick. De’Aaron Fox & Jonathan Isaac are two names to keep an eye on. In this scenario I have them selecting Josh Jackson at 4.

Jackson is super athletic and could be the best defender in this draft. He will give the Suns additional lineup flexibility to a lineup already full of a young talent. If Boston decides to go with Jackson at 3, Fox makes sense at 4 thanks to his superior athletic ability which would pair nicely with the offensive minded Devin Booker.

De’Aaron Fox has made it clear to the Sacramento Kings that he wants to be their franchise star. How crazy is that? Someone actually wants to play for the Kings?

Fox fits a pressing need for the Kings as they lack talent at the point guard position. After years of rolling over point guard after point guard, drafting Fox at 5 would be a huge step in the right direction for the Kings.

The biggest knock on Fox is his jump shot. Fox shot just 24.6% from the college 3-point line at Kentucky. Teams will force Fox to beat him with the jumper. Fortunately for Fox, he is able to use his athletic ability to help negate his lack of consistent shooting from the perimeter. If teams want to go under the pick and rolls he can use his speed to his advantage. He possesses blazing speed that may rival John Wall & Russell Westbrook some day.

Fox has a lot of similarities to Mike Conley, who entered the league as a questionable shooter but has developed a super reliable shot. Fox could be the steal of the draft here at No. 5 if he starts to consistently knock down jumpers.

Isaac is a freakish athlete who can stroke the ball from deep and use his length to his advantage on the defensive end.

The Magic’s new general manager John Hammond famously took a risk while drafting with the Bucks, selecting Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick back in 2013. Look how well that has panned out. Giannis is now a superstar in the league. Don’t be surprised if the Magic follow a similar path taking more of a developmental project in Isaac over someone a little more polished right now.

Here is where my mock gets really interesting. Their have been rumblings that Minnesota is looking to trade back in order to get Zach Collins who would be a more ideal compliment to Karl Anthony-Towns thanks to his two way playability.

Most people are pegging Lauri Markkanen to the Wolves, but I think at some point Head Coach Tom Thibodeau wants to inject more of a defensive identity. That’s where Collins will help, he offers excellent rim protection. He needs to work on staying out of foul trouble, but he, Kris Dunn & Andrew Wiggins look to be plus defenders.

Oh boy, are the Knicks a mess or what? Phil Jackson is currently shopping their only franchise player, Kristaps Porzingis. If they somehow move Porzingis, the Knicks will most likely have two top 10 picks. In that scenario it seems the Knicks are enamored with Josh Jackson.

With Phil Jackson’s fingerprints all over the roster, I would not be surprised if the Knicks decided to take Frank Ntilikina here at 8. The long, lengthy point guard is a perfect fit for Jackson’s outdated triangle offense. The Mavericks are also rumored to be in the mix for Ntilikina, could a deal be on the horizon?

The Mavericks in the lottery!? What a rare sight! After a disheartening 33–49 season, full of late seasoning tanking, the Mavericks were only able to muster up the 9th pick in the draft. If they would have tanked a tad earlier they most likely would have had a better chance to draft one of the three players they are drooling over: Jonathan Isaac, Dennis Smith & Frank Ntilikina.

In this instance, the Mavericks draft the last player of the three the dynamic point guard from North Carolina State, Dennis Smith. Smith is the perfect point guard prospect for Rick Carlislie and his spread pick and roll system. Smith may be one of the best athletes in the draft. Smith at 9 to Dallas could end up being one of the steals of the draft.

After dealing Boogie Cousins before last seasons trade deadline, the Kings are in position to add two potential franchise altering pieces within the top 10 of this draft. In this scenario I have the Kings continuing the long rebuild with taking the talented, but injuried OG Anunoby. Anunoby if healthy, could be a top 5 pick he has that much talent.

With the Kings losing Rudy Gay to Free Agency don’t be surprised if they take OG here. If OG does not go here to the Kings, a likely landing spot would be #13 to the Nuggets.

Malik Monk took the biggest dive in this mock. He may go 8 to the Knicks, but in this instance he falls all the way to 11 to the Hornets. The Hornets desperately need shooting on the roster and Monk solves that problem. The Hornets traded for Dwight Howard this week to shore up their frontcourt. Monk would be a perfect fit to upgrade their backcourt with this selction.

He’s an elite shooter, maybe the best shooter in the draft (sorry Luke Kennard). If Monk gets his shot going, he has the potential to put up 30 points quick. The Hornets need more offensive production, Monk helps drastically in that department.

Kennard could go as high as 8 to the Knicks but he is a safe pick here at 12 to Detroit. With KCP most likely leaving town, Kennard could fill in as a reliable 3-point shooter. His defense is horrendous, which will be a problem in the NBA. But I like the Pistons taking a chance on him thanks to his superior shooting ability.

The way this mock fell, Lauri tumbled all the way down to 13 to Denver. Denver is taking the best available talent on the board here. Markkanean may be somewhat of a liability on defense but he sure can stretch the floor shooting. He will be a proven shooter from day one. He is most certainly in play for the Timberwolves at 7.

Collins is a very skilled big man that has been rising up the draft boards thanks to his impressive workouts. He seems like a good fit in Miami next to Hassan Whiteside. He has sort of an old-school feel to his game which is intriguing at the end of the lottery.

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