2017 NBA Mock Draft – 1/6/17

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# Team Player H/W Hometown Position School 16-17 Stats
1. Boston Celtics (from Nets)  slhg02hbef3j1ov4lsnwyol5o Josh Jackson, Fr 6’8, 207 lbs Detroit, MI SG/SF Kansas 15.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.3 apg
After a somewhat promising start to the season, the Nets have fallen apart again. Which, of course, means that Boston will have another top five pick. Josh Jackson has put up amazing numbers all across the board, from the stats you see above to a shooting percentage over 50%, with some blocks and steals included. Scouts were worried about Jackson’s jump shot, and so far, those worries have been justified. The talent is there to be an all NBA defender. If Jackson can improve the range on his jumper, he has All Star potential. Side note, I wonder if a package involving Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and the first overall pick would be enough to pry DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings?
2. Philadelphia 76ers 21870342016 Markelle Fultz, Fr 6’4, 195 lbs Upper Marlboro, MD PG/SG Washington 22.3 ppg, 6.5 apg, 6.1 rpg
There is talent to be found in the city of Philadelphia, but this is still a very bad team. Getting Ben Simmons back will help, and so will two lottery picks. The Sixers need to add back court talent, and Markelle Fultz looks like the early leader as the best of a very strong group of guards. Tough and aggressive, Fultz has the look of a Kyrie Irving, John Wall or Derrick Rose. The only issue among scouts could be the fact that Fultz is putting up big numbers for a bad team.
3. Miami Heat burm5gh2wvjti3xhei5h16k8e Lonzo Ball, Fr 6’6, 190 lbs Chino Hills, CA PG UCLA 14.6 ppg, 9.3 apg, 5.0 rpg
Hassan Whiteside has been worth every penny of his max contract, but the rest of the Heat players are simply role players. Miami could look to sell high on Goran Dragic and rebuild around Whiteside. Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith Jr., De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball could not be any different prospects. Ball has some Jason Kidd to his game, and could quickly become a fan favorite in Dallas thanks to his NBA friendly game.
4. Phoenix Suns 23843702014 Dennis Smith Jr., Fr 6’3, 195 lbs Fayetteville, NC PG North Carolina State 19.6 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.1 rpg
The Suns have good players, but the makeup of the roster has been a problem for years. I have no idea who to mock to the Suns so I will just go with the best player available. Dennis Smith Jr., coming off his first triple double, has shown the ability to be a lights out scorer, and has some Damian Lillard to his game. If the Suns land Smith and can move Eric Bledsoe and/or Brandon Knight for front court help, they could have a Golden State/Portland-like scoring back court with Smith and Devin Booker.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves zq8qkfni1g087f4245egc32po Jayson Tatum, Fr 6’8, 205 lbs St. Louis, MO SF Duke 16.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.4 apg
Despite three 20 point per game scorers, the Timberwolves are slugging through yet another losing campaign, thanks in large part to terrible defensive play. Tom Thibideau never plays rookies, so whoever they draft here is likely to ride the bench. Unlike the other three ballyhooed Duke freshman, Jayson Tatum is off to a good start with the Blue Devils. He is an aggressive scorer who has very strong defensive potential. His shooting leaves something to be desired, but Thibideau would theoretically enjoy his ability to provide defense off the bench.
6. Dallas Mavericks ifk08eam05rwxr3yhol3whdcm De’Aaron Fox, Fr 6’3, 187 lbs Houston, TX PG Kentucky 15.6 ppg, 6.8 apg, 5.0 rpg
Mark Cuban and the Mavericks need to rebuild through the draft, because the free agent route continues to be a miss. Point guard is the biggest area need, and fortunately this is the best point guard class in years. De’Aaron Fox is off to a fantastic start. Scouts knew he was a solid defender, but his offensive game is more advanced than expected. With continued improvement in his jump shot, he could be an All Star.
7. Philadelphia 76ers 21870342016 Malik Monk, Fr 6’4, 200 lbs Lepanto, AR PG/SG Kentucky 22.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.0 apg
It is a shame Sam Hinkie could not see his plan until the end, because this could finally be the draft where all of the tanking pays off. The front court looks to be set going forward with Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons. Malik Monk would be a perfect compliment to Simmons and Markelle Fultz. He has shown tremendous scoring ability and should have quite a few open looks in this lineup.
8. New Orleans Pelicans 496226812014 Edrice Adebayo, Fr 6’10, 260 lbs Washington, DC PF/C Kentucky 13.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg
Anthony Davis has been playing at an MVP level, but this looks like another lost season for the Pelicans. New Orleans has simply failed to surround Davis with the necessary pieces to be competitive. New Orleans needs an actual center to keep Davis from having to match up with the more physical big men in the NBA. Edrice Adebayo is more than just a lumbering big man. He is quick and agile and has the ability to become a decent scorer, as well as a solid rebounder and shot blocker.
9. Denver Nuggets xeti0fjbyzmcffue57vz5o1gl Harry Giles, Fr 6’11, 227 lbs Winston-Salem, NC PF Duke 3.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.5 apg
Denver has been bad enough to miss the playoffs, but good enough to not land a top five pick, which has given them a deep roster without franchise talent. With Harry Giles still on the board, it is a risk well worth taking. Giles is being brought along very slowly, but has started to see more minutes as conference play has started. A double double in only 17 minutes of action shows why he was the top overall recruit. If the knee holds up, he has All Star potential.
10. Portland Trail Blazers bahmh46cyy6eod2jez4g21buk Lauri Markkanen, Fr 7’0, 230 lbs Jyvaskyla, Finland PF/C Arizona 15.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.3 apg
Perhaps no team has been as disappointing as the Trail Blazers. After a historic off season spending spree, Portland is languishing in the lottery. Portland has a dynamic back court, but the rest of the roster is full of bit role players. Lauri Markkanen has been as good as advertised for the Arizona Wildcats, showing a big time ability to stretch the floor on offense. He is not much of a defender, but should fit in nicely as a third option on offense for this team.
11. Detroit Pistons 3079 Jonathan Isaac, Fr 6’10, 210 lbs Naples, FL SF/PF Florida State 12.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg
The Pistons have a solid roster, but have underachieved thus far. Detroit usually just drafts the best player available, so that is the route I have them taking here. Jonathan Isaac is still a project who has hit a bit of a lull offensively, but has the perfect blend of shooting and defense that teams covet at the small forward position.
12. Orlando Magic wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4 OG Anunoby, So 6’8, 235 lbs Jefferson City, MO SF/PF Indiana 11.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg
General Manager Rob Hanigan has done the best he could to deal Frank Vogel a losing hand, but Vogel still has Orlando in the playoff hunt. The Magic simply lack difference making talent. The draft community has been very high on OG Anunoby, even after a quiet freshman season, and it has been easy to see why. Anunoby brings shooting, athleticism and defense to the forward position, making him a solid fit for pretty much any team.
13. New York Knicks 2nn48xofg0hms8k326cqdmuis Frank Ntilikina 6’5, 170 lbs Brussels, Belgium PG France 5.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.1 apg
Derrick Rose called the Knicks the NBA’s “other” super team, but shockingly, New York is not on pace to play the Warriors in the Finals. Predictably, most of Phil Jackson’s off season moves have paid little dividends. Fortunately, New York actually has a draft pick this year, and needs to make the most of it. Like most of the point guards in this mock, Ntilikina is a jump shot away from being a complete point guard. He has the size and quickness to be a matchup nightmare in the NBA. However, like most overseas prospects, he gets little run for his European team, which makes him a bit of a mystery.
14. Washington Wizards 21956712016 Ivan Rabb, So 6’11, 220 lbs Oakland, CA PF California 15.3 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.8 apg
After a miserable start to the season, the Wizards have been on fire. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat are all having spectacular years. Unfortunately, the bench may be the worst in the league. That means the Wizards should just draft the best player available. While Ivan Rabb lacks the upside of many players picked ahead of him, he is a safe bet to come in right away and produce as a rebounder and weak side defender. Rabb’s production would have landed him in the top five of the 2016 draft, which is a testament to how deep this class is.
15. Chicago Bulls (from Kings) hj3gmh82w9hffmeh3fjm5h874 Aaron Holiday, So 6’1, 185 lbs Chatsworth, CA PG UCLA 13.4 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.9 rpg
It is not often that a player loses his starting spot to a stud freshman, but ends up actually benefiting. That is the case with Aaron Holiday, who has excelled in his role as the backup to Lonzo Ball. Holiday’s shooting percentages have skyrocketed and he has shown improved court vision and defensive prowess as well. While he does not have the size scouts like out of point guards, he has starting ability and could eventually take over for Rajon Rondo in Chicago, and become the third Holiday brother in the NBA.
16. Chicago Bulls hj3gmh82w9hffmeh3fjm5h874 TJ Leaf, Fr 6’10, 225 lbs El Cajon, CA PF UCLA 17.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.7 apg
The Bulls were going to rebuild, decided to make a push, and now might rebuild again. Who knows with this team. While all eyes have been on Lonzo Ball at UCLA, fellow freshman TJ Leaf has been just as impressive. Leaf lacks the athleticism to be a top ten pick (perhaps) but has the ability to stretch the floor, grab some rebounds and even handle the ball. All valuable commodities to have as a modern power forward.
17. Indiana Pacers 3083 Robert Williams, Fr 6’9, 237 lbs Vivian, LA PF Texas A&M 10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.5 bpg
Of all the quality freshman, perhaps the most underrated has been Robert Williams. Despite playing only 20 minutes per game, he has made his impact as a rebounder and shot blocker. He will be a project to be sure, but has the ability to be a Derrick Favors type in the NBA. His game is a nice contrast to fellow front court mates Myles Turner and Paul George.
18. Milwaukee Bucks 22582752016 Edmond Sumner, So 6’6, 186 lbs Detroit, MI PG/SG Xavier 15.3 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.5 rpg
Lost in the point guard mix has been the fantastic play of Xavier’s Edmond Sumner. You could make a case that he deserves to be drafted ahead of Frank Ntikilina, a player who is projected to be a lot like Sumner. Sumner has great length and the ability to be a solid all around guard. The Bucks found a gem in Malcolm Brogdon but need more back court talent.
19. Atlanta Hawks 22091682016 Tyler Lydon, So 6’9, 228 lbs Elizaville, NY SF/PF Syracuse 13.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Two short years after the Hawks won 60 games, it looks like they are going to start the rebuild process, which means best player available (which is usually the case at this point in the draft anyway). Syracuse has been bad, but that is not the fault of Tyler Lydon, who has continued to improve as a shooter and defender. He has the strength and game to be a modern stretch four with shot blocking and rebounding capabilities.
20. Charlotte Hornets 512019262015 Miles Bridges, Fr 6’7, 230 lbs Flint, MI SF/PF Michigan State 15.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.0 apg
How good is this draft? Players who would have been easy lottery picks in 2016 are still available in the 20’s this year. Before suffering an injury, Miles Bridges was the lone bright spot for the struggling Spartans. Bridges reminds me of Stanley Johnson with a slightly better jump shot, which could be a a good or a bad thing.
21. Denver Nuggets (from Grizzlies) xeti0fjbyzmcffue57vz5o1gl Rodions Kurucs 6’8, 190 lbs Riga, Latvia SF Latvia 5.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.1 apg
With two first round picks and a deep roster, Denver can afford to draft for potential. Rodions Kurucs has good length and a nice jump shot, though he is obviously a couple of years away from being a quality NBA regular. The Nuggets can draft and stash him in Europe in hopes he develops into a poor man’s Danilo Gallinari.
22. Oklahoma City Thunder khmovcnezy06c3nm05ccn0oj2 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Jr 6’8, 205 lbs Cherkasy, Ukraine SG/SF Kansas 11.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 apg
It has taken a while, but Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has finally worked himself into first round consideration. It is important to remember that he will not be 20 years old until July, even though he is a junior. Mykhailiuk has upped his percentages considerably as a junior, and could be a very solid NBA shooter. That is exactly what the Thunder front office would like to surround Russell Westbrook with.
23. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics) hsuff5m3dgiv20kovde422r1f Bruce Brown, Fr 6’5, 190 lbs Boston, MA PG/SG Miami 10.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.2 apg
I continue to ride with Bruce Brown as a legitimate first round prospect. He is a strong, athletic guard, can handle the rock and is a superb on the ball defender. If he can continue to improve his jump shot and keep defenses honest, I think he could be a Russell Westbrook lite, as blasphemous as that sounds. Regardless, he would be a welcome addition to the least talented team in the NBA.
24. Utah Jazz 23467492017 Isaiah Hartenstein 6’11, 225 lbs Eugene, OR PF Germany 3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.5 apg
Isaiah Hartenstein has lottery talent, but he has not shown much for his Lithuanian team, though that is common with European prospects. With proper development, he could become a starter in this league. He has the size, strength and rebounding ability. The Jazz are deep enough to bring him along slowly, and have a solid track record of developing big men.
25. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers) 22745782016 Dwayne Bacon, So 6’7, 221 lbs Lakeland, FL SG/SF Florida State 18.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.6 apg
The Raptors are rumored to be interested in Paul Millsap, which could cost them Terrence Ross. Toronto would be able to help supplement his bench scoring with Dwayne Bacon. Bacon has greatly improved his three point stroke to go along with his elite slashing ability, and could become a solid bench scorer in the NBA.
26. Toronto Raptors 22745782016 Cameron Oliver, So 6’8, 225 lbs Sacramento, CA SF/PF Nevada 15.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.9 bpg
Cameron Oliver has been a one man wrecking crew for the Wolfpack. He rebounds, has range out to the three point line, and is even among the NCAA leaders in blocks per game. The only knock against him is the level of competition, but the Mountain West has produced plenty of NBA prospects. He would be a nice big off the bench for the Raptors.
27. Houston Rockets 8xe4813lzybfhfl14axgzzqeq EthanHapp, So 6’10, 232 lbs Milan, IL PF Wisconsin 13.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.8 apg
Who? Wisconsin sophomore Ethan Happ, one of the best big men in college basketball. Happ has improved on a solid freshman season, upping his numbers and percentages across the board. Especially impressive is a 63% shooting percentage. He would fit in nicely with the Rockets team mentality.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers e4701g88mmn7ehz2baynbs6e0 Melo Trimble, Jr 6’3, 190 lbs Upper Marlboro, MD PG/SG Maryland 17.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
This pick is rumored to be heading to Portland as a part of the Kyle Korver trade, but I have not found any concrete transaction evidence. Maryland is off to a fantastic start, and Melo Trimble has been the main reason why. Trimble has really improved as a scorer. Dangerous from anywhere on the court, he has worked his way into first round consideration. Trimble could come in right away and provide offense off the bench for whatever team selects him.
29. San Antonio spurs 827 Caleb Swanigan, So 6’9, 250 lbs Fort Wayne, IN PF/C Purdue 18.3 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 2.8 apg
You can say a lot of negative things about Caleb Swanigan, but he is a gamer who does a lot of things very well. The Spurs are one team who could properly maximize his talents. Swanigan will be a fringe first round pick, but rebounding usually translates to the NBA.
30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors) 23467492017 John Collins, So 6’10, 235 lbs West Palm Beach, FL PF/C Wake Forest 16.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.6 bpg
It has been a long time since the once great Wake Forest Demon Deacons have been relevant, but they could be on their way up, thanks to guys like John Collins and Bryant Crawford. Collins is still a project, but is putting up big time numbers in only 24 minutes per game.

Round 2

31. Hawks (from Nets) – SF VJ Beachem, Sr, Notre Dame
32. Pelicans (from 76ers) – PG Jalen Brunson, So, Villanova
33. Grizzlies (from Heat) – SG Terrance Ferguson, United States
34. Suns – SF Justin Jackson, Jr, North Carolina
35. Mavericks – PF/C Thomas Bryant, So, Indiana
36. Celtics (from Timberwolves) – PF/C Jonathan Jeanne, France
37. Lakers – C Jarrett Allen, Fr, Texas
38. Pelicans – SF Jaron Blossomgame, Sr, Clemson
39. Rockets (from Nuggets) – C Tacko Fall, So, UCF
40. Rockets (from Blazers) – SG Kostja Mushidi, Germany
41. Kings – PG Kobi Simmons, Fr, Arizona
42. Magic – PG Frank Mason III, Sr, Kansas
43. 76ers (from Pistons) – SG Josh Hart, Sr, Villanova
44. Jazz (from Knicks) – PG Monte Morris, Sr, Iowa State
45. Wizards – SF DJ Hogg, So, Texas A&M
46. Nets (from Pacers) – PF Chimezie Metu, So, USC
47. Knicks (from Bulls) – C Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., Jr, Baylor
48. Bucks – PF ALec Peters, Sr, Valparaiso
49. Hawks – SG Diego Flaccadori, Italy
50. Hornets – SG Grayson Allen, Jr, Duke
51. Nuggets (from Grizzlies) – PG Joel Berry II, Jr, North Carolina
52. Nuggets (from Thunder) – PF/C Alpha Kaba, France
53. Nets (from Celtics) – SG James Blackmon Jr., Jr, Indiana
54. Jazz – PF Johnathan Motley, Jr, Baylor
55. Celtics (from Clippers) – PG George De Paula, Brazil
56. Raptors – SG Antonio Blakeney, So, LSU
57. Knicks (from Rockets) – PG Jawun Evans, So, Oklahoma State
58. Celtics (from Cavaliers) – PG/SG Isaiah Briscoe, So, Kentucky
59. Spurs – SF Dillon Brooks, Jr, Oregon
60. Jazz (from Warriors) – SF/PF Dedric Lawson, So, Memphis

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