The 2017 NBA Draft lottery is in the books. Now that we know who is selecting where, it’s time to unleash our updated mock first round projections.
The draft will take place on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The draft will be televised by ESPN with coverage starting at 7:00 PM ET.
2017 NBA Draft: Post Lottery Draft Order & Projections
The Boston Celtics own the No. 1 pick via the Brooklyn Nets. Not bad for a team that’s currently playing in the Eastern Conference Finals.
There’s going to be plenty of talk over what the Celtics will do with that pick. The top players in the draft are both points guards. The same position as arguably their best player in Isiah Thomas. Many speculate that Boston will try and trade the pick for a superstar. It’s just a matter if another team is willing to take the bait.
One thing is for certain. Be prepared to see the same teams make multiple picks in the first round. In fact, there are six different teams who have two selections. The Portland Trail Blazers lead the way with three picks. The Sacramento Kings are also worth noting, as they own the No. 5 and No. 10. The only team with multiple choices in the Top 10.
NBA Mock Draft: 1st Round Predictions & Pick Analysis
Round 1, Pick 1
If the Celtics can’t make a deal with say Chicago or Indiana to land someone like Jimmy Butler or Paul George, I think they take the best player available. Most agree that’s Washington’s Markelle Fultz. Much like Ben Simmons last year, Fultz wasn’t surrounded with much in his one-year at the collegiate level. Biggest thing here is he’s more than capable of sharing the floor with Thomas.
Los Angeles Lakers
Round 1, Pick 2
This is where Ball and his attention seeking father want him to land and I think it’s a good fit. I’m not sold on his jump shot, but the rest of his game is NBA ready. He should start right away on a Lakers team that figures to still be a few years from being a serious contender.
Round 1, Pick 3
Assuming the 76ers play Simmons at the point, I expect them to take their pick of Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum. I’m a little higher on Jackson, but hard to argue with either player. Jackson is ready to help out right now and should be a force defensively. Just how good he becomes will depend on his ability to develop a consistent outside shot.
Round 1, Pick 4
The Suns likely aren’t all that happy that they ended up picking 4th after having the second best odds for the No. 1 pick, but it’s not all bad. This year’s class is loaded with talent and Tatum is a player who can help them right away. He could form quite a tandem at forward with last year’s first round selection in Dragan Bender.
Round 1, Pick 5
Fox is one of my favorite players in the draft and someone that I believe resembles a young Russell Westbrook. He should thrive in transition and will find ways to score even with a poor outside shot. Something you can develop with practice. Could very well be the piece that returns this franchise back to a contender.
Round 1, Pick 6
It wouldn’t surprise me if Monk ended up going higher. Today’s NBA is all about 3-point shooting and many believe this is the best outside threat in this year’s class. His shot-making ability is something Orlando lacked last year. He also figures to be a good fit alongside pass-first point guard Elfrid Payton.
Round 1, Pick 7
Most didn’t foresee the Timberwolves being a lottery team, but it’s a nice luxury for one of the league’s most promising young rosters. Minnesota could go a number of different directions here. I like the upside of Isaac and his ability to fit in alongside Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
New York Knicks
Round 1, Pick 8
New York struck gold two year’s ago by taking an overseas start in Kristaps Porzingis. With all signs pointing to Carmelo Anthony leaving town, it’s going to be Porzingis’ team sooner rather than later. I’m just a believer that Rose is ever going to regain his MVP form and just isn’t a great distributor. Ntilikina out of France is a great fit for the Knicks. He could take over the point for Rose or play off the ball at shooting guard.
Round 1, Pick 9
I know the Mavs fell in love with Yogi Ferrell at the point after parting ways with Deron Williams. I just don’t know that Ferrell is the long-term solution. Smith was once considered a Top 5 pick and I think Dallas won’t let him slip any further.
Round 1, Pick 10
After drafting the point guard of the future in Fox, I look for the Kings to go big at No. 10. I have them taking Arizona’s Markkanen, who is 7 ft power forward that can stroke it from deep. A nice fit alongside the defensive minded Willy Cauley-Stein.
Round 1, Pick 11
I know some other mocks have Collins going a lot earlier. I just think teams are going smaller and not prioritizing big men like they use. That’s not to say someone like Collins from Gonzaga can’t help a team. He could very well be a steal here at No. 11. One of his strengths is rebounding and the Hornets needs to improve in that area.
Round 1, Pick 12
Here is another guy I like. Sure he struggled from long-distance in the National Championship against Gonzaga, but he still contributed in multiple areas. He led a talented UNC team with 18.3 ppg and set a school-record with 105 3-pointers made.
Round 1, Pick 13
The Hoosiers weren’t the same after losing Anunoby and it’s not a surprise if you watched this kid play. He’s got the ability to play the 3 and move to a stretch 4 when teams want to go small. He’s got some work to do on the jump shot, but can make an impact with his defense an athleticism.
Round 1, Pick 14
Here’s an example of a kid who made ridiculous improvements this past year. Collins averaged a mere 7.3 ppg and 3.9 rpg as a freshman at Wake Forest. Last year as a sophomore, he led the team with 19.2 ppg and 9.8 rpg in just 26.6 minutes/game. He’s a better outside shooter than most people realize and his drive to get better is something you can’t teach.
Portland Trail Blazers
Round 1, Pick 15
Yes, the Blazers just traded for Jusuf Nurkic, but he’s a free agent after next season. Even if he stays, I think Allen out of Texas is a good fit in Portland. This kid has a 7’5 wingspan with great mobility. He got better and better as the year went on. Has the potential to be an elite defender and solid offensive contributor.
Round 1, Pick 16
The Bulls are set at center for the time being with Robin Lopez, but he’s starting to get up there in age. Chicago also doesn’t have a done of depth inside. Anigbogu out of UCLA is a younger more athletic version of Lopez, who could contribute right away on the defensive side of the ball.
Round 1, Pick 17
Concerns over his knees will scare a lot of NBA teams, but there’s no denying this kid has the talent to be a Top 10 pick. Milwaukee has a solid young nucleus and can afford to bring him along slowly. If they are patient and the knees hold up, they could have found a an absolute steal here.
Round 1, Pick 18
I had a difficult time predicting what the Pacers should do here. I think Paul George’s days in Indiana are numbered. Rabb tried to do the right thing and stay in school an extra year, but he hurt his stock by not making a big improvement. The tools are there and if he falls into the right situation he could be a major factor for a playoff contender picking in the later portion of the draft.
Round 1, Pick 19
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Hawks look like come next year, as they got a number of key players entering free agency. This is a team that likes to spread the floor and share the basketball. They also like to shoot the 3-ball. I believe it makes Kennard a great fit for Mike Budenholzer and his staff.
Portland Trail Blazers
Round 1, Pick 20
Like we saw last year with Boston, who also had 3 picks in the first round, I think Portland looks to stash one of their selections overseas. Kurucs is a 19-year-old that will get a chance to keep developing with Barcelona. Could prove to be a great investment a couple years down the road.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Round 1, Pick 21
As good as Westbrook is, he can’t do it on his own. Oklahoma City has the bigs inside. What they desperately need is someone who can shoot from outside at a high rate. Ferguson could be the answer to the puzzle. He’s a knock down 3-point shooter than can also play defense.
Round 1, Pick 22
Who knows what the Nets gameplan is, but I think the smart move here is to snag Mitchell out of Louisville if he’s still on the board. Mitchell has a massive wingspan and vertical that make him an intriguing 2-way player for Brooklyn.
Round 1, Pick 23
Toronto went all-in to try and win the East this season and came up well short of their goals. The big questions is will they re-sign Kyle Lowry. Not to mention Serge Ibaka, Patrick Peterson and P.J. Tucker are also free agents. A stretch 4 that can knock down the outside shot is one thing they could use and Leaf out of UCLA fits the bill.
Round 1, Pick 24
The Jazz are set inside with starters Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, but lack depth behind those two. Not too mention both have a history of missing time with injuries. Hartenstein out of Germany would be someone they can mold into a key piece of their rotation.
Round 1, Pick 25
I’ve seen Patton all over boards, including a late lottery selection. That speaks to the potential he has. I’m just not as sold on him developing into that player down the road. With that said, Orlando would be wise to take a shot on him if he falls this far.
Portland Trail Blazers
Round 1, Pick 26
I think Bell is someone who could push for playing time right away. He’s not the most gifted offensive player, but gives you everything he’s got when it comes to rebounding and defense. Some scouts even went as far as to say he’s a young version of Dennis Rodman.
Round 1, Pick 27
I think Brooklyn is a team willing to take chances and they could strike gold with this selection of Jeanne out of France. The kid is 7’2 with a 7’6 wingspan. The concern is his size, as he’s only listed at 210 pounds. With most selections at this point, it’s worth the risk to take a shot on someone with this high of a ceiling.
Los Angeles Lakers
Round 1, Pick 28
The Lakers are putting together quite a young nucleus and could add to it here with Kentucky’s Adebayo. He’s more athletic than any of the big currently on LA’s roster and I think he could flourish playing alongside Ball, who is an excellent passer.
San Antonio Spurs
Round 1, Pick 29
It wouldn’t surprise me if Tony Parker retired and Patty Mills is an impending unrestricted free agent. Like the Patriots, you never quite know what the Spurs are going to do. I’m going with what I feel is the best fit in Evans out of Oklahoma State.
Round 1, Pick 30
Closing out the first round, I got the Jazz taking Lydon out of Syracuse. Like Rabb, he didn’t take that huge step after sticking around for his sophomore season in college. While that’s concerning, he shot 40% from 3-point range, which will be hard to pass up for a guy that is listed at 6’10.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the draft and free agency impact NBA win totals for next season. As well as team’s odds to win the NBA Finals.
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