2017 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Kings select point guard, forward
From 30 to 1...
The lottery has officially set the order for the 2017 NBA Draft, which is now less than a month away. Sacramento moved up in the draft, but had to pick swap with Philly and will now select at picks 5 and 10. The Lakers retained their pick, sliding up to No. 2 in a star-studded draft...
30. Jazz - Semi Ojeleye, Small Forward, SMU
Utah is a quality team with a major question hanging over their heads - will Gordon Hayward stick around this summer or bolt in free agency? Ojeleye isn’t a Hayward replacement, but he can provide depth and athleticism at the forward position.
29. Spurs - Rodions Kurucs, Small Forward, Barcelona 2, International
This used to be the modus operandi of the Spurs - draft a foreign born player and stash him overseas for a season or two. San Antonio is looking to be aggressive in free agency, which might mean that this pick is moved in a package to dump salary.
28. Lakers - Bam Adebajo, Center, Kentucky
The Lakers true path to recovery is through free agency, not the draft. Bam is a project big with tremendous size. He can grow into his position while Los Angeles pays Timofey Mozgov a mint to sit on the bench.
27. Nets - Juwan Evans, Point Guard, Oklahoma State
A score-first point, Evans plays bigger than his 5-foot-11 measurement at the combine. Brooklyn is looking for NBA ready players to eat minutes. This is a guy that won’t back down from a challenge.
26. Trail Blazers - Isaiah Hartenstein, Power Forward/Center, Zalgiris, International
A big draft-and-stash prospect makes sense here for the Blazers, who have three first round selections.
25. Magic - Tyler Lydon, Forward, Syracuse
The Magic need shooters and that’s what they’ll get in Lydon. He’s a combo forward with range and a high basketball IQ. In a rare move, Orlando might go with a skilled player, not a raw athlete.
24. Jazz - D.J. Wilson, Power Forward, Michigan
Derrick Favors can’t stay healthy and Boris Diaw is long in the tooth. Wilson has length, athleticism and a soft touch. He’s a late bloomer, but there is a lot to like.
23. Raptors - Ivan Rabb, Power Forward, University of California
Rabb is all over the board in most mocks. He hurt his stock by going back to school and not progressing in his sophomore season. He has nice size for the power spot, but he needs to find that next gear if he hopes to stick in the league.
22. Nets - Ike Anigbogu, Center, UCLA
In a draft stuffed with raw bigs with potential, Anigbogu stands out. Built like a tank, he’s a player that didn’t quite fit into the UCLA scheme. He can eat a few minutes this season if Brooklyn decides to move on from Brook Lopez, but he’ll need time to develop into an NBA regular.
21. Thunder - Terrance Ferguson, Shooting Guard, International
Ferguson took an unusual route to the NBA, jumping to Australia to play professionally instead of hitting the college scene. He’s a leaper with good size at the two and a smooth stroke.
20. Trail Blazers - T.J. Leaf, Power Forward, UCLA
Leaf is a perfect fit up front with Nurkic. He can run the floor, rebound outside of his area and even play a bit of defense. Portland’s decision to deal Mason Plumlee turned out to be a solid move. They might have the chance to replace him with a more offensive version in Leaf.
19. Hawks - Justin Patton, Center, Creighton
Patton is a big man with a developing offensive game. He’s be a perfect understudy for Dwight Howard in Atlanta. The Hawks have plenty of other needs, but they are caught between a rebuild and trying to stay competitive. It’s not a fun spot to be in.
18. Pacers - Justin Jackson, Small Forward, North Carolina
It appears that the Paul George era is coming to an end one way or another. Jackson gives Nate McMillan a plan B in case George is sent packing now or walks at the end of the season.
17. Bucks - Harry Giles, Power Forward, Duke
Milwaukee has become a great landing spot for young developing talent. Giles has all the potential in the world, but injuries have slowed him. If they bring him along slowly and provide the right support, the Bucks may have found another diamond in the rough.
16. Bulls - Donovan Mitchell, Shooting Guard, Louisville
Jimmy Butler’s tenure with the Bulls is never 100 percent solid. Chicago needs a two-way player to develop just in case they make a big move with their All-Star wing. Mitchell has big upside whether Butler sticks around long-term or not.
15. Trail Blazers - Jarrett Allen, Center, Texas
Nurkic is the man in the middle for Portland, but they need more size up front. Allen can play both the power and center position. He has an incredible wingspan, but he needs to add strength to play major minutes in the NBA.
14. Heat - John Collins, Power Forward, Wake Forest
It appears that the Chris Bosh era is officially coming to an end. Collins has a developed post game that would look great next to Hassan Whiteside. This is a major position of need for a Heat team on the rise.
13. Nuggets - OG Anunoby - Forward, Indiana University
Michael Malone needs defenders and OG has tons of potential on the wing. He’s raw offensively and he’ll need time to recover from an ACL tear, but he makes a lot of sense here to the high-octane, no defense playing Nuggets.
12. Pistons - Luke Kennard, Shooting Guard, Duke
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is about to get paid as a restricted free agent and the Pistons need shooting help. Kennard is one of the top marksmen in the draft and he can also handle the ball in a pinch. The Pistons need an unselfish high basketball IQ player like Kennard that can step in and produce right away.
11. Hornets - Frank Ntilikina, Point Guard, France, International
Long and athletic, Ntilikina will take time to adjust to the NBA game. But with Kemba Walker manning the point, Charlotte has time to let him grow into a player.
10. Kings - Jonathan Isaac, Forward, Florida State
A perfect draft for Sacramento would have Fox making it to five and Isaac still on the board at 10. Isaac will need time to develop, but he would fit in perfectly with Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein, aka, the “Thin Towers.”
9. Mavericks - Zack Collins, Power Forward, Gonzaga
Collins made noise in the tournament and the Mavericks are looking for an heir apparent for Dirk Nowitzki. He has potential on both ends of the floor and might be the sleeper of this year’s draft.
8. Knicks - Malik Monk, Shooting Guard, Kentucky
The Knicks need a scorer to pair with Kristaps Porzingis. In a different draft, Monk might be a top three pick. He has all the makings of a perennial 20-point scorer at the two.
7. Timberwolves - Lauri Markkanen, Forward, Arizona
Markkanen would open the spacing up for both Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Passing on Monk isn’t easy, but this is a perfect fit for their young core, a 7-footer with unlimited range.
6. Magic - Dennis Smith, Point Guard, NC State
Sometimes you have to gamble on greatness. Smith is one of the more talented players in the draft, but questions about his attitude have him sliding down most draft boards. Orlando needs a star and Smith has that kind of potential.
5. Kings - De’Aaron Fox, Point Guard, Kentucky
The Kings were big winners on draft night. No, they didn’t get to keep the third overall selection, but a top 5 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has the potential to be a star. Fox is a point guard the team can build around for the future and he’s another high character player to add to the mix.
4. Suns - Jayson Tatum, Small Forward, Duke
Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum would make an incredible wing pairing. Two years from now, they might be one of the highest scoring combinations in the league. If Eric Bledsoe can stay healthy and Marquees Chriss develops, the Suns might be onto something.
3. 76ers - Josh Jackson, Small Forward, Kansas
The Sixers are the lynchpin. They will help decide the next four or five selections with this pick. Jackson is a crazy motor player with tons of upside. De’Aaron Fox will get a long look here, but in the end, Jackson’s upside is too great.
2. Lakers - Lonzo Ball, Point Guard, UCLA
This pick is going to be a topic of discussion all the way up until draft night. Lonzo Ball is probably the second best prospect on the board, but there has to be major concern with adding a disruptive force like LaVar Ball to the mix. In the end, can Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka pass on a top tier lead guard?
1. Celtics - Markelle Fultz, Point Guard, Washington
Fultz is too good to pass on here for the Celtics. They’ll draft him and worry about what to do with Isaiah Thomas and their starting backcourt down the road. They have the pieces to be the team to beat in the East when LeBron and Co. begin their decline.