NBA Final Mock Draft 2017 (With Trades)
We’ve made it to Draft Day, and as we know, Markelle Fultz will be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in mere hours as the first overall pick in the draft. After that, however, there are a load of question marks and all kinds of moving pieces. Every year, there are plenty of surprise picks and draft day trades. Based on the current whisperings, we could even see another blockbuster with a star or two being moved along with one or two of the top five picks in the draft. Here is what tonight may have in store for NBA fans:
1.) Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz (PG – Washington)
We all know this is going to happen, and for good reason. Fultz is a perfect fit in this Philly offense and should score in the NBA from the get-go. He is a potentially elite perimeter defender with his nearly unbelievable 7’0″ wingspan and has the agility plus handles combo to be a serious playmaker in this league. He isn’t going to win any scoring titles, but could eventually develop into a guy who drops 20 points per game in the mold of Steve Francis.
**There has been a trade**
The Orlando Magic have acquired the 2nd overall pick
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired the 6th overall pick and a conditional future 1st round pick
2.) Orlando Magic: Lonzo Ball (PG – UCLA)
This may seem like a slam dunk for the Lakers with the writing on the wall being the De’Angelo Russell trade. That only means that the Lakers are taking one of the five potentially great point guards in this draft. Rumors have been swirling since the lottery, however, that the Lakers are dangling this pick and although Ball only worked out with the Lakers, some team might just pay what it takes to grab Ball. Virtually every analytical model shows Ball as being the top player in the draft. In a few seasons, he might be leading the NBA in assists while scoring as efficiently as any other guard in the NBA. The Magic are apparently gung-ho on landing a point guard, but if it isn’t them that trades up, we may be looking at the Knicks, Bulls or Kings in this spot.
3.) Boston Celtics: Jonathan Isaac (SF – Florida State)
Plenty of mocks have had Josh Jackson landing here but now the mocks have all been calling for Jayson Tatum. I’m convinced it will be neither. Ainge may have shown his hand enough that we can safely predict Jackson is not the pick. The Celtics’ GM has said that he is confident the player they would have taken first overall will be there for them to select at #3. Seeing that the Lakers are reportedly high on Jackson and considering him for the second pick, you’d have to ask why Ainge was confident he would get Jackson at #3 if that was indeed his preference. Add in the fact that Jackson didn’t even work out for Boston and it makes even less sense. So it comes down to Tatum and Isaac. Tatum needs the ball in his hands and while he is a terrific player, that doesn’t fit in with Isaiah and Gordon Heyward. Isaac is precisely what the Celtics need. He has guard skills and a 9’1″ standing reach. Isaac has a huge motor that could enable him to be the rebounder they need and most importantly, be the answer to Kevin Durant and LeBron James defensively. He has the potential to be the top defender in basketball and could guard the 1-4 depending on the matchup each night.
4.) Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum (SF – Duke)
If Jackson falls here, many would expect him to be the pick, but with Eric Bledsoe likely playing his last season in Phoenix, the Suns need a secondary scoring option behind Devin Booker. Tatum may be the best scorer in the draft with top-notch iso skills and an impressive outside shot. Jackson, on the other hand, needs a lot of work on his jump shot and can’t create for himself offensively. With a core of Booker, Alex Len, Marquese Chriss and Tatum, the Suns would have a string of appearances in the near future.
5.) Sacramento Kings: Josh Jackson (SF – Kansas)
De’Aaron Fox is high on the Kings’ board, but Jackson dropping to #5 would be too good to pass up. The Kings have another top 10 pick to get a point guard, so it would make sense to grab the piece that won’t possibly be available in five picks. Jackson is a long and athletic defender who could defend multiple positions well. He isn’t much of a shooter, but his motor and instincts will serve him well offensively. Jackson will stuff the fantasy stat sheet with steals, blocks and assists in the mold of a more physically gifted Andre Iguodala.
6.) Los Angeles Lakers: Dennis Smith Jr. (PG – North Carolina State)
L.A. fans might be furious if the Lakers actually make this move, but only for a few months. It is not crazy to consider that Smith, and not Fultz or Ball, might actually be the top point guard in the draft. He has dinosaur arms but a vertical that no one can compete with and the athleticism to be a special defender. Smith tore up the ACC with 18.1 points per game and 6.2 assists per game. His film screams Baron Davis and I can assure you, the Lakers would be thrilled to add a player like that while picking up an extra first-round pick for their troubles.
**There has been a trade**
The Minnesota Timberwolves have acquired the 7th overall pick
The Sacramento Kings have acquired the 10th overall pick and two second round picks
7.) Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox (PG – Kentucky)
With Smith going off the board, the Kings did what it took to move up and grab their guy before someone else had the same idea. Fox is the biggest gamble in the lottery, but it could pay off as he might have the highest ceiling in this draft. He needs to develop a better jumper so he isn’t one dimensional, but his penetration skills and defense scream potential superstar. If he can stay healthy and patch up his game, the Kings would be wise to have moved up, but there is reason for concern as he just might be a bust.
8.) New York Knicks: Malik Monk (SG – Kentucky)
The Knicks have been the joke of the NBA lately, but when you look at their roster, there is reason to be optimistic. Carmelo and Porzingas are two terrific players, Derek Rose is still just 28 and Hernangomez began to breakout last season before a nagging injury. The only missing piece in that starting five is a shooting guard, and Monk just so happened to fall into their laps. The Kentucky freshman is often considered the best shooter in the draft. He has range for days and is a dynamic athlete to boot. His game on the defensive side of the ball needs a lot of work, but getting an offensive talent like this at #8 is a steal.
9.) Dallas Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina (PG – France)
The Mavs have been linked to Ntilikina all off-season, and seeing that they hired his coach this summer, is seems destined to be. Analytics departments love Ntilikina’s potential and have even tabbed him as the most likely to be a star, but also the most likely to be a total bust. At 6’4″ with a 7’1″ wingspan, it is easy to see why everyone is raving about his defensive potential. He isn’t the playmaker that Smith is, but he probably has the most polished three-ball of any of the point guards in this draft. That would fit in well with what Dallas is looking to do, so unless Smith drops this far or another team scoops up Ntilikina a few picks earlier, expect the Mavs to add him.
10.) Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen (PF – Arizona)
Apparently, Phil Jackson loves Markkanen, who plays like Dirk-lite, so he may be off the board by this point, but if he is there at 10 and the T-Wolves do trade back, it is another ideal fit. The Wolves would move Towns to the five while Markkanen creates nightmares at the four. At 7’0″, he can pop outside and knock down a three, or dribble to the hoop and finish. He is a quality passer and has a high motor on the boards as well. His defense needs some work, but with the 10th pick, you can’t expect everything.
11.) Charlotte Hornets: Luke Kennard (SG – Duke)
The Hornets now have Kemba, an aging Dwight Howard and Nicolas Batum as their core pieces. Kennard fits right in with the bunch as an immediate offensive shot in the arm. He led Duke in scoring over Tatum, Harry Giles, Frank Jackson and Grayson Allen this season thanks to his sweet outside stroke. He can also dribble-drive and create for his teammates in the process. His athleticism is lacking and his defense unimpressive, but if the Hornets are looking for another shooter, they couldn’t do better here.
**There has been a trade**
The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired the 12th overall pick
The Detroit Pistons have acquired the 17th overall pick and two future 2nd round picks
12.) Milwaukee Bucks: Harry Giles (C – Duke)
The Bucks have a type and it’s name is upside. Before the injuries, Giles looked destined to be a top-five pick and perhaps first overall. There is risk of another knee injury, but if he stays healthy and develops to his potential, the Bucks would have a steal. Giles has appeared healthy at all the workouts and really wowed some teams. When healthy, he is an elite athlete for a big man who can run the court and finish. Most mocks have him going 5 to 10 picks later, but the Bucks are aggressive and wouldn’t hesitate to trade up if the price was right, and for what it’s worth, Detroit has been looking to trade this pick all off-season.
13.) Denver Nuggets: OG Anunoby (SF – Indiana)
This seems like the biggest gimme in the draft and it is really simple. The Nuggets are about to lose Danilo Gallinari and can replace him with with OG for much cheaper. Anunoby is recovering from a significant knee injury right now so there are plenty of question marks, but there is also a lot to dream on. He is a physical specimen so if his knee fully recovers, he could be a force on defense with his 7’2″ wingspan. Anunoby has a high motor and is a highlight reel dunker but his shooting needs quite a bit of work if he wants to become the hole on offense left by Gallinari.
14.) Miami Heat: T.J. Leaf (PF – UCLA)
As La’Var Ball told the nation, Leaf is not much of an athlete. He won’t be able to defend like Anunoby or create shots for himself like Justin Jackson, but Leaf does all of the little things right. His motor and instincts are unrivaled at the position in this draft class. Leaf also passes well for a big man and can range outside to hit open threes. There is a chance he falls into the mid-20s, but the Heat could use a glue guy like Leaf who can make an immediate impact.
The Non-Lottery Picks
15.) Portland Trail Blazers: Zach Collins (C – Gonzaga)
16.) Chicago Bulls: Donovan Mitchell (SG – Louisville)
17.) Detroit Pistons: Justin Jackson (SF – North Carolina)
18.) Indiana Pacers: Justin Patton (C – Creighton)
19.) Atlanta Hawks: Ike Anigbogu (C – UCLA)
**There has been a trade**
The San Antonio Spurs have acquired the 20th overall pick
The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired San Antonio’s 2018 #1 and two future 2nd round picks
20.) San Antonio Spurs: Anzejs Pasecniks (C – Latvia)
21.) Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson (SG – Australia)
22.) Brooklyn Nets: John Collins (PF – Wake Forest)
23.) Toronto Raptors: Jordan Bell (PF – Oregon)
24.) Utah Jazz: D.J. Wilson (PF – Michigan)
25.) Orlando Magic: Isaiah Hartenstein (C – Germany)
26.) Portland Trail Blazers: Jonah Bolden (PF – Australia)
27.) Los Angeles Lakers: Jarrett Allen (C – Texas)
28.) Los Angeles Lakers: Ivan Rabb (PF – California)
29.) San Antonio Spurs: Tyler Dorsey (SG – Oregon)
30.) Utah Jazz: Bam Adebayo (C – Kentucky)
10 Other Potential First Rounders
- Derrick White (PG – Colorado)
- Caleb Swanigan (PF – Purdue)
- Kyle Kuzma (PF – Utah)
- Semi Ojeleye (SF – SMU)
- Mathias Lessort (PF – France)
- Jonathan Motley (PF – Baylor)
- Josh Hart (SG – Villanova)
- Dwayne Bacon (SG – Florida St.)
- Frank Jackson (SG – Duke)
- Frank Mason (PG – Kansas)
Thanks for reading and enjoy the draft tonight!