Another edition of our 2017 NBA Mock Draft is the last before the NBA combine begins on May 9th. Once the combine is through we will get a clearer idea of risers, fallers, and guys returning to school. The date for guys to return to school is May 24th. Based on combine performance many will drop out or sign with agents soon after the 14th, the combine finish date.
(It’s important to note, for now, the final official draft order has not been selected. The 16 teams in the playoffs are in their drafting spot as their position is based on their finish in the standings.)
2017 NBA Mock Draft: Top 30 Prospects
1) Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)- PG Markelle Fultz (Washington)
The combine will have no effect here, Fultz will be the number one pick barring something catastrophic. He has been in this spot virtually all year and almost nothing he will do during the combine will change that. Fultz is one of the few top guys actually attending the combine this week. While he won’t play or really test he will have a chance to solidify his spot with solid interviews.
2) Phoenix Suns- SF Josh Jackson (Kansas)
Josh Jackson would slide in well in the three spot next to Devin Booker on the wing. The Suns need a guy like this who can become a great defender with their atrocious defense. If the Suns won the lottery I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take Jackson first overall. With Bledsoe, Knight and rookie Tyler Ulis already on the team, another ball-dominant guard in Fultz may not make sense on a team starving for defenders.
3) Los Angeles Lakers- PG Lonzo Ball (UCLA)
Lonzo Ball is one of many top prospects skipping this week’s combine. Nothing changed since our last mock with the Lakers expressing tons of intrigue in Ball through the media. The only problem that may arise is if the Lakers fall outside the top three of lottery night their pick will go to Philadelphia. Magic Johnson has assured Luke Walton they will keep their pick though, which is…interesting.
4) Philadelphia 76ers- SF Jayson Tatum (Duke)
The Sixers feel Ben Simmons will be their point guard of the future even at 6’10” so they need wing scoring. Enter Jayson Tatum the best scorer in the draft. Tatum has a Paul Pierce/Carmelo Anthony vibe to his game. A smooth scorer, not a great shooter but a guy who can knock down shots. Tatum should slide in well on the wing on a team desperate for wing scoring.
5) Orlando Magic- PG De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky)
Fox helped himself in the NCAA Tournament bumping his stock into the top 5. Many question Fox’s jumper but at just 19 he has plenty of time improve. Surprisingly he shot better inside the arc than Dennis Smith including at the free throw line. The Magic might be scared to draft him with a similar guy in Elfrid Payton on the roster. But entering his fourth year he may not have shown enough to create long-term support.
6) Minnesota Timberwolves- SF/PF Jonathan Isaac (Florida State)
Minnesota chooses a guy with tantalizing potential at 6’10 with a 7’1 wingspan. Isaac can play the three moving Wiggins to the two spot but also play a stretch four with Lavine and Wiggins in the backcourt. To play the four he will need to bulk up from his slight frame. Isaac enters the league built similarly to Kevin Durant, their games are different but Isaac does have a nice stroke.
7) New York Knicks- PG Frank Ntilikina (France)
In Phil Jackson’s time as team President, he has not been afraid to take international prospects. Ntilikina is a nice point guard prospect to take over in the triangle if Derrick Rose doesn’t return. His defense is something the Knicks should covet. He also has shown the ability to knock down shots at a respectable clip.
8) Sacramento Kings- PG Dennis Smith (North Carolina State)
Smith has kind of fallen throughout the year from where he started. The Kings could use a floor general to mix with Buddy Hield. Smith with his explosiveness and penetration ability could be a good fit.
9) Dallas Mavericks- SG Malik Monk (Kentucky)
The Mavericks aren’t loaded at the two spot and could use more shooters and scorers in the backcourt. With all the top point guard prospects gone they settle for Monk. They’ll hope he can add some immediate scoring playing behind Wesley Matthews.
10) Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans)- PF Lauri Markkanen (Arizona)
Kings go best player available here and take Markkanen and add a stretch four here. Although they have someone similar in Skal Labissiere they drafted last year they bank on the 7’0″ Finn. Paired with Cauley-Stein as the defensive anchor it can help cover some of Markkanen’s defensive weaknesses. While Markkanen can help stretch the floor with Cauley-Stein’s lack of outside game.
11) Charlotte Hornets- C Zach Collins (Gonzaga)
Collins stock has risen significantly from the beginning of March to now. At this point, he is the best guy available but will also need time to be seasoned. He can bide his time and learn behind Cody Zeller until he is ready to slide into that starting center role.
12) Detroit Pistons- SG Terrance Ferguson (Australia)
Ferguson could add some shooting here to the Pistons backcourt behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. His athleticism is enticing too as Ferguson is one of the best leapers in the class. A 3&D guy earlier in his career, it will be interesting to see if Ferguson develops a dribble-drive game as he progresses.
13) Denver Nuggets- SF Justin Jackson (North Carolina)
The Nuggets would be wise to bring in a guy like Jackson to slide into the three spot. Whether it’s starting immediately or back that position up early in his career. Jackson’s shooting and scoring ability as a role player would fit well on this Nuggets team on the wing.
14) Miami Heat- PF John Collins (Wake Forest)
Collins could be a nice fit here right alongside Hassan Whiteside. Collins averaged 20 and nine in the ACC and showed off a respectable mid-range jumper. That jumper could be his way to play alongside Whiteside as Whiteside isn’t a guy who stretches the floor for the Heat.
15) Portland Trail Blazers- PG Donovan Mitchell (Louisville)
Mitchell began to fly up draft boards mid-season after his team’s point guard when out and he took over the duties. In that time Mitchell showed not only could he run a team but still produce scoring wise while at it. His shooting was much better this season and he kept that elite athleticism that made him well known as a freshman.
16) Chicago Bulls- C Jarrett Allen (Texas)
Allen slid down this mock a few spots with the last few teams being secure in the center spot. Chicago needs bigs and Allen is more talented than Felicio, Robin Lopez’s current backup. Allen may not be here at this pick if teams go best player available but the Bulls wouldn’t mind seeing him drop.
17) Milwaukee Bucks- SG/SF OG Anunoby (Indiana)
The Bucks love long athletic players and Anunoby fits that description better than anybody. The ability to add a potentially elite defender at 6’8″ with a 7’6″(!!!) wingspan is something the Bucks won’t pass up. Imagine the Greek Freak, Anunoby, and Thon Maker making up a future front court. That is length no team will want a part of.
18) Indiana Pacers- SG Luke Kennard (Duke)
Kennard’s ability to shoot has him just outside of the lottery and his shot making could be nice on a Pacers team who can struggle to shoot from the outside at times. Kennard has the chance to carve out a nice career for himself with his ability to shoot the basketball.
19) Atlanta Hawks- C Justin Patton (Creighton)
With Dwight Howard owning two more years on his deal the Hawks go for their center of the future. Patton is a guy not on the radar entering the year as a freshman and exploded onto the scene. He will need some time to develop, get stronger but when Howard’s deal is up Patton could slide right in.
20) Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis)- PF T.J Leaf (UCLA)
Leaf has shown the ability to stretch the defense at 6’10” while shooting 45% from three. This is a best player available pick as Leaf is similar to Meyers Leonard. With the Blazers owning three first round picks the latter two become BPA picks.
21) Oklahoma City Thunder- PF Tyler Lydon (Kentucky)
The Thunder need shooting but Nick Collison is at the end of his career. The Thunder could use a backup at the power forward position outside of Sabonis who could start next year. Lydon fixes both issues as someone who can stretch the floor and play the four position.
22) Brooklyn Nets (via Washington)- PF Harry Giles (Duke)
With the Nets won’t be good for awhile so why not take a chance on a guy like Giles. At this position in the draft, Giles becomes a low risk/high reward guy. With the Nets giving Boston their top three pick the Nets need to take a chance like this. They need to hope it nets them a star if Giles returns to his old form.
23) Toronto Raptors (via Los Angeles Clippers) SF Semi Ojeleye (SMU)
Ojeleye could be a nice depth piece on a Raptors team with not much wing depth. They are loaded at the one and down low but lack depth on the wing. Ojeleye shot well from three in a small ball four role and could be a nice player for the Raptors at this spot.
24) Utah Jazz- SF Rodions Kurucs (Spain)
Kurucs most likely is a guy to be stashed especially with the Jazz somewhat set on the wing at the moment. That could change with Gordon Hayward on the verge of free agency. As a result without any top center options to help Jeff Withey backup Gobert, they look for a small forward.
25) Orlando Magic (via Toronto)- PF Ivan Rabb (Cal)
Rabb risked coming back for his sophomore year after being a projected lotto pick last year. It did not turn out great as his stock dropped after he showed little improvement in his game. His numbers improved because of more touches but not as drastically as many assumed they should or would.
26) Portland Trail Blazers (via Cleveland)- PF Bam Adebayo Kentucky)
Many thought Bam would be a lottery pick entering the year but inconsistencies in his game hurt that. No longer thought of as a potential starter Bam will need to commit to being a great energy big. He has shown an ability to hit a 15-foot jumper and will need to further make that consistently.
27) Brooklyn Nets (via Boston)- PG Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State)
Evans is a Chris Paul clone, same size, and similar game. Evans was the best pick and roll player in the entire country this past season and consistently carved defenses up. He won’t reach Chris Paul all-star status but similar to Tyler Ulis last year will be in the league as a nice backup point guard for a long time.
28) Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston)- C Tony Bradley (North Carolina)
Bradley was a surprise entry into the draft. He has not hired an agent and will decide on that after receiving feedback from the combine. Bradley was a great offensive rebounder in his limited minutes on Carolina’s championship team. His potential is tantalizing at 6’10” with a 7’4″ wingspan. With a good combine showing he will move higher in the first round with possible lottery consideration.
29) San Antonio Spurs- SG Josh Hart (Villanova)
This is the perfect Spurs pick, an experienced guard, sound fundamentally and a total team player. Hart comes from a great culture at Villanova which is some ways similar to the way the Spurs play. While most joke the Spurs love international players but in this draft, Hart is their picture perfect player.
30) Utah Jazz (via Golden State)- PF/C Isaiah Hartenstein (Germany)
A stretch foot seven footer gets picked and can play both the four and five spot. He is relatively young so he may stay over in Germany for a year or two. Hartenstein has a chance to play with Gobert or back him up at the five in time.