2017 NBA Mock Draft – 1/26/17

Hey look! I am completing a weekly NBA mock draft like promised.

Trying to whittle down the number of freshmen and sophomores in this mock draft. Out are TJ Leaf and PJ Dozier.

Please make sure to click here to view the latest 2017 NBA Mock Draft.

# Team Player H/W Hometown Position School 16-17 Stats
1. Boston Celtics slhg02hbef3j1ov4lsnwyol5o Markelle Fultz, Fr 6’4, 195 lbs Upper Marlboro, MD PG/SG Washington 23.7 ppg, 6.2 apg, 6.0 rpg
Markelle Fultz looks like the early leader as the best of a very strong group of point 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, but man are those numbers fantastic. Right now I simply do not see a better choice for the top overall pick. Boston has an All Star caliber back court with Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. Worst case scenario, they have a tremendous sixth man. Best case, they can package the top overall pick for a real superstar talent. It is a nice luxury to have for Danny Ainge.
2. Los Angeles Lakers uig7aiht8jnpl1szbi57zzlsh Dennis Smith Jr., Fr 6’3, 195 lbs Fayetteville, NC PG North Carolina State 19.5 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.4 rpg
Things have fallen apart in Los Angeles since a promising start, but that is probably a blessing in disguise. The Lakers are still in the infancy stages of a long rebuilding process, and the ability to keep their pick if it lands in the top three is huge in a draft this deep. The back court is crowded, but I am not sure D’Angelo Russell or Jordan Clarkson are good enough to be a franchise talent. Dennis Smith Jr. is the best player available for a team that still needs talent. He has shown the ability to be a tremendous scorer and leader. Smith Jr. is coming off a 32 point performance in a road win at Duke, and has the toughness and demeanor to succeed in the City of Angels.
3. Phoenix Suns 23843702014 Josh Jackson, Fr 6’8, 207 lbs Detroit, MI SG/SF  Kansas 15.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.1 apg
The Suns have had little issue scoring, but only the Nets have allowed more points per game than Phoenix. Josh Jackson may be the best perimeter defender in this draft. His peripheral defensive stats are very solid, and he can block shots as well.  On top of that, Jackson is a solid ball handler and very good rebounder for his position. What is the issue then? He has struggled mightily to shoot, and in the NBA, a wing player almost has to knock down three point shots to remain on the court. Jackson’s shooting mechanics will need to be reworked, but other than that, he is a complete player.
4. Miami Heat burm5gh2wvjti3xhei5h16k8e Lonzo Ball, Fr 6’6, 190 lbs Chino Hills, CA PG UCLA 14.9 ppg, 8.0 apg, 5.8 rpg
Hassan Whiteside has been worth every penny of his max deal, but the rest of the Heat roster is in shambles. Goran Dragic is having a very good season and should have quite a bit of trade value should Miami look to move him. With a top draft pick and a plethora of point guards to choose from, that would make sense. As far as point guards, Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith Jr., De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball could not be any different prospects. Ball has an uncanny ability to find the open man, and his shooting has been much better than scouts envisioned, which makes him a near shoo in for a top five pick, even with a lack of supreme athleticism. His NBA friendly game could quickly make him a fan favorite in Miami.
5. Dallas Mavericks ifk08eam05rwxr3yhol3whdcm Jonathan Isaac, Fr 6’10, 210 lbs Naples, FL SF/PF Florida State 12.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Harrison Barnes looks like the only player on the roster who will be a part of the post Dirk Nowitzki Mavericks, so Dallas just needs to draft the best player available. Out of all the ballyhooed freshman, Jonathan Isaac has flown under the radar the most, but that should not be the case. The Seminoles are a very good team, and Isaac has been even better than imagined. His signature performance could be a 23 point, 10 rebound, 7 block performance he just dropped on Notre Dame. Isaac scores at a high clip, rebounds, shoots threes and blocks shots. There is not much to dislike about his game, and he would be a perfect stretch four in today’s NBA.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves zq8qkfni1g087f4245egc32po Robert Williams, Fr 6’9, 237 lbs Vivian, LA PF Texas A&M 11.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg
Robert Williams continues to shoot up my draft board, and now he is securely in my top ten. The Texas A&M coaching staff has finally given it’s best player 27-30 minutes per game, and Williams has responded with three straight 10+ rebound games. Williams is still a project offensively, but is blessed with a great frame, powerful rebounding ability and tremendous shot blocking skills. His ability to bang down low and play defense would make him a great compliment to Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota’s front court.
7. Orlando Magic wd9ic7qafgfb0yxs7tem7n5g4 Lauri Markkanen, Fr 7’0, 230 lbs Jyvaskyla, Finland PF/C Arizona 17.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.1 apg
Orlando has individual talent, but it has not translated into a cohesive roster, and the Magic are paying the price this year. Orlando simply needs talent, preferably talent that can put the ball in the basket. This may seem high for a player who is basically offense only, but Lauri Markkanen fits what the NBA looks for in a stretch four to a tee. He is shooting the ball at a tremendous rate, and is a big time scorer. His range and rebounding should translate quite well to the NBA level. Markkanen will not guard anybody or block any shots, but pair him with a defensive center, and you have a lethal scorer on your hands.
8. Philadelphia 76ers 21870342016 Malik Monk, Fr 6’4, 200 lbs Lepanto, AR PG/SG Kentucky 21.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.4 apg
The 76ers are finally in the position where they can draft for need, and not just best player available. Every team in the NBA needs more shooting, and no one has done it better than Malik Monk. He has not been asked to do much other than score for the Wildcats, but he has done that well, with an average of over 21 points per game. With all of the ball handlers and slashers in Philadelphia, he will get a boat load of open looks each game.
9. New Orleans Pelicans 496226812014 Jayson Tatum, Fr 6’8, 205 lbs St. Louis, MO SF Duke 16.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 apg
New Orleans has 99 problems, and Anthony Davis is the only one they do not have, so they could and should just go with the best player available. 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 so do many other top prospects in this class. He would be a great value pick at number nine.
10. Sacramento Kings 24040432017 Frank Ntilikina 6’5, 170 lbs Brussels, Belgium PG France 5.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.4 apg
Since DeMarcus Cousins, no team has drafted as poorly as Sacramento. The Kings also failed to turn recent off season spending sprees to wins. The wasteland that is the Sacramento Kings continues on. 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. Drafting Ntilikina over De’Aaron Fox could be risky, but I like the potential of Ntilikina more, and the Kings need to hit a home run.
11. New York Knicks 2nn48xofg0hms8k326cqdmuis De’Aaron Fox, Fr 6’3, 187 lbs Houston, TX PG Kentucky 16.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.6 rpg
De’Aaron Fox has leveled off since a blazing hot start, but remains a mid to late lottery pick. Scouts knew he was a solid defender, but his offensive game is more advanced than expected. He needs to greatly improve a shoddy three point shot, which is the reason he has fallen a bit down this mock. Fox’ best asset is his ability to take care of the ball, as he is sporting a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio. The Knicks are a team and roster forever in flux, and point guard could be a need if Derrick Rose departs as a free agent.
12. Portland Trail Blazers bahmh46cyy6eod2jez4g21buk Harry Giles, Fr 6’11, 227 lbs Winston-Salem, NC PF Duke 5.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.4 apg
The Trail Blazers season has been a disappointment thus far, but they have enough time to turn it around and land the final playoff spot out West.  With the first tier of prospects off the board and a deep roster, Harry Giles is a gamble worth taking at this point for Portland. Giles is being brought along very slowly, and it is beginning to look like he will never be a difference maker at the college level. However, a double double in only 17 minutes of action against Georgia Tech shows why he was the top overall recruit in the country. If the knee holds up, he has All Star potential.
13. Detroit Pistons 3079 Miles Bridges, Fr 6’7, 230 lbs Flint, MI SF/PF Michigan State 16.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.0 apg
The Pistons have a solid roster, but have underachieved thus far. Detroit usually just drafts the best player available (other than center), so that is the route I have them taking here. Before suffering an injury, Miles Bridges was the lone bright spot for the struggling Spartans. He has come back in a big way, with scoring games of 16, 24 and 33 points. Bridges success as a three point shooter has eased concerns from scouts, and he could be what the Pistons thought they were getting with Stanley Johnson.
14. Milwaukee Bucks 22582752016 Edrice Adebayo, Fr 6’10, 260 lbs Washington, DC PF/C Kentucky 13.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.7 bpg
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. Adebayo is not the most flashy prospect, but is the best true center prospect in this draft, and should help stabilize a center position that has been a revolving door for the Bucks since Andrew Bogut was traded.
15. Denver Nuggets xeti0fjbyzmcffue57vz5o1gl Jarrett Allen, Fr 6’11, 235 lbs Round Rock, TX PF/C Texas 12.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg
The Longhorns have been miserable this season, but that is not the fault of Jarrett Allen, who has really come alive during conference play, and continues to rise up my board. Allen’s signature performance has been a 22 point, 19 rebound, 3 block performance against Kansas, the best team on Texas schedule. He is energetic, springy and very athletic, and could play either forward or center for the Nuggets, who have question marks in the front court other than stud in the making Nikola Jokic.
16. Chicago Bulls hj3gmh82w9hffmeh3fjm5h874 Ivan Rabb, So 6’11, 220 lbs Oakland, CA PF California 15.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.8 apg
Whether the Bulls want to admit it or not, this team probably needs to reboot and rebuild, which makes the best player available the way to go. 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.
17. Indiana Pacers 3083 Jalen Brunson, So 6’3, 190 lbs Lincolnshire, IL PG Villanova 14.1 ppg, 4.2 apg, 2.6 rpg
Jalen Brunson has flown under the radar for the defending champions, but is having a tremendous sophomore season. Brunson has been especially impressive on offense, with shooting percentages through the roof. This could be the best class of point guards in a decade, and Brunson belongs in the mid first round conversation. Jeff Teague has been great as the Pacers new starting point guard, but the rest of the back court has struggled.
18. Charlotte Hornets 512019262015 Rodions Kurucs 6’8, 190 lbs Riga, Latvia SF Latvia 8.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.0 apg
The Hornets are always on the need for additional scorers to go along with Kemba Walker. Rodions Kurucs has good length and a nice jump shot, and has started to elevate his game recently. Though he is obviously a couple of years away from being a quality NBA regular, he could eventually become a poor man’s Danilo Gallinari, and might wind up as a lottery pick when all is said and done.
19. Washington Wizards 21956712016 Johnathan Motley, Jr 6’10, 230 lbs Houston, TX PF Baylor 16.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.1 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, with an eye on the front court. Baylor is 19-1 on the season, and their best player has been junior Johnathan Motley. Motley exploded in a win against Texas with 32 points, 20 rebounds and 3 blocks, which has helped catapult him into the first round.
20. Denver Nuggets (from Grizzlies) xeti0fjbyzmcffue57vz5o1gl Isaiah Hartenstein 6’11, 225 lbs Eugene, OR PF Germany 3.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.4 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 Nuggets are a deep team that probably does not have room on it’s roster for two more rookies, and would leave him overseas to develop.
21. Atlanta Hawks 22091682016 Edmond Sumner, So 6’6, 186 lbs Detroit, MI PG/SG Xavier 15.3 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.5 rpg
The Hawks have one eye on contending and the other on the future, and could use some young players to develop. Despite a rough three game losing streak against three top fifteen ranked conference opponents, Edmond Sumner’s stock has not dropped. Sumner has great length and the ability to be a solid all around guard, though, like most prospects in this draft, he needs to improve his jump shot. He should be a very solid combo guard off the bench in Atlanta.
22. Oklahoma City Thunder khmovcnezy06c3nm05ccn0oj2 Justin Jackson, Jr 6’8, 210 lbs Tomball, TX SF North Carolina 18.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.7 apg
Justin Jackson was a former top recruit who has spent three years working his way into a first round prospect, and he has finally arrived as a junior. Jackson has become a much more aggressive scorer and capable leader as the years have gone on, and could become a decent starting small forward in time. Obviously, no number of draft selections will make up for the loss of Kevin Durant, but Jackson could at least absorb some small forward minutes and hit some jump shots.
23. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics) hsuff5m3dgiv20kovde422r1f Cameron Oliver, So 6’8, 225 lbs Sacramento, CA SF/PF Nevada 14.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.0 bpg
The Nets cannot score and are the worst defensive team in the NBA. Summary? This team needs talent anywhere it can find it. 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.
24. Toronto Raptors 22745782016 John Collins, So 6’10, 235 lbs West Palm Beach, FL PF/C Wake Forest 17.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg
John Collins continues to tear up tough ACC competition, with three straight 20 plus point scoring performances. For analytics nerds, his PER is one of the best in the country, thanks to his blend of shot blocking, rebounding and scoring efficiency. In a less deep draft, Collins could be a late lottery selection, and could work his way into the rotation for the Raptors.
25. Utah Jazz 23467492017 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Jr 6’8, 205 lbs Cherkasy, Ukraine SG/SF Kansas 10.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 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. With two first round picks in the 20’s, this is a solid gamble for the deep Jazz.
26. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers) 22745782016 Bruce Brown, Fr 6’5, 190 lbs Boston, MA PG/SG Miami 11.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.2 apg
I continue to serve as the conductor of the Bruce Brown hype train. He is a strong, athletic guard who 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. The Raptors could lose Norman Powell this off season, and Brown would be a nice replacement as a backup combo guard.
27. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cavaliers) bahmh46cyy6eod2jez4g21buk Dwayne Bacon, So 6’7, 221 lbs Lakeland, FL SG/SF Florida State 17.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg
Dwayne Bacon has been a bit overshadowed by superstar freshman Jonathan Isaac, but he has improved as a sophomore, especially his three point shot. Bacon will never be a super efficient scorer, but there is always a place in the NBA for wing players who can create his own offense. Portland is a deep team, but could use a third go to scorer.
28. Houston Rockets 8xe4813lzybfhfl14axgzzqeq Caleb Swanigan, So 6’9, 250 lbs Fort Wayne, IN PF/C Purdue 18.8 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 2.8 apg
Caleb Swanigan might be the NCAA player of the year,but will continue to have to answer questions about his weight and lack of athleticism. Players with his body type do not have a high track record in the NBA. He is a double double machine (including a 28 point, 22 rebound masterpiece against Minnesota) who even has three point range on his jump shot. He will be a liability on defense, but his production outweighs his deficiencies at this point in the draft, and could be a nice bench piece for the surprising Rockets.
29. San Antonio spurs 827 Tyler Lydon, So 6’9, 223 lbs Elizaville, NY SF/PF Syracuse 14.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Like the Syracuse team as a whole, Tyler Lydon has been inconsistent as a sophomore. However, with games such as his 26 point, 7 rebound performance against North Carolina, he shows that he is a legit first round prospect. His blend of length, shooting and shot blocking would be a welcome addition to the Spurs bench.
30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors) 23467492017 Anzejs Pasecniks 7’2, 229 lbs Riga, Latvia C Latvia 6.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.3 apg
The Jazz are too deep for two first round picks, so they draft the talented, yet thin, Latvia center Anzejs Pasecniks. Pasecniks has the ability to be a quality offensive center, but is obviously a long way from being NBA ready, even at 21 years old.

 

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