2017 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Kings take point guard, then power forward
From 30 to 1...
The NBA Draft is just days away and we already have some moving and shaking. Following the Philadelphia 76ers big trade to acquire the top overall selection from the Boston Celtics, the top half of the draft is becoming more and more clear...
30. Jazz - Semi Ojeleye, Small Forward, SMU
Ojeleye will struggle to transition to the three at the NBA level, but the modern NBA team needs as many multi-positional players as they can find. This is a strong, mature player that can help a playoff team. t-->
29. Spurs - Caleb Swanigan, Power Forward/Center, Purdue
Swanigan can do it all He can score with either hand, shoot from the outside and rebound at an elite level. The Spurs value production and this is player that can step right in and compete for minutes in year one.
28. Lakers - Bam Adebajo, Center, Kentucky
The Lakers need talent. Bam has talent, but he’s also very raw. It will take time to develop, but the Lakers have plenty of time. They are a few years from competing, barring a handful of major free agent moves either this summer or next.
27. Nets - Frank Mason III, Point Guard, Kansas
Brooklyn needs an NBA ready player to step in and play minutes. Mason III has shown improvement at every turn and he’s a leader. He’ll also be an instant fan favorite with his highlight reel hops.
26. Trail Blazers - Isaiah Hartenstein, Power Forward/Center, Zalgiris, International
Hartenstein has impressed with his perimeter shooting, but he’s probably a few years away. This might be a good draft and stash player that pays dividends down the road.
25. Magic - D.J. Wilson, Power Forward, Michigan
Wilson is a big time athlete that has taken time to develop. He’ll need to get stronger, but teams will like his 6-foot-10 frame and 7-foot-3 wingspan.
24. Jazz - Ivan Rabb, Power Forward, University of California
Rabb made a mistake going back to college. He could have been a lottery pick a season ago and now he’s floating around the back end of the first round. He still has plenty of potential, but he hasn’t shown the ability to stand out or take a leap in production.
23. Raptors - Ike Anigbogu, Center, UCLA
Toronto needs a bruiser inside. Anigbogu is raw, but he has potential to develop into a physical force in the post. 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-6 wingspan, the 18-year-old UCLA prospect has plenty upside.
22. Nets - Justin Patton, Center, Creighton
The Nets need a lot of everything. Patton could go higher in the draft than 22, but he’s a great value pick here. Brooklyn is starting from scratch and they’ll have to do so without the luxury of their lottery pick. Patton is a low risk, high reward player.
21. Thunder - Tyler Lydon, Forward, Syracuse
Lydon is a high IQ player that can hit from the perimeter. He fits the mold of what we have seen from Sam Presti’s drafts over the past few seasons. You aren’t going to find immediate help at 21, but Lydon should develop into a rotational shooter.
20. Trail Blazers - Terrance Ferguson, Shooting Guard, International
The Blazers don’t have a lot of holes to fill, but they could use another player in the backcourt. Ferguson chose to play in Australia last season instead of heading to college. He’s a bigtime leaper with a smooth stroke from the perimeter.
19. Hawks - OG Anunoby - Forward, Indiana University
The Hawks love their wing defenders. They can wait out OG’s ACL tear and bring him along slowly behind the scenes. This is a super athlete with an aggressive streak. A team will just have to wait for him to heal.
18. Pacers - Harry Giles, Power Forward, Duke
The Paul George era is heading towards a conclusion and the Pacers need talent above all else. Giles was a top tier prospect two years ago, but multiple knee injuries have him sitting well below where he should be. If Giles’ knee hold up, he can be a special player at the NBA level.
17. Bucks - Justin Jackson, Small Forward, North Carolina
Milwaukee is young and filled with potential. They could use a mature wing player that doesn’t need the ball in his hands all game to make an impact. Jackson moves very well in space and has improved his shooting stroke.
16. Bulls - T.J. Leaf, Power Forward, UCLA
Leaf is a wild card. The leaper out of UCLA looked good with Lonzo Ball setting him up, but will his game transition to the NBA game? He has a too much potential to pass on, especially for a team like Chicago that lacks bodies on the frontline.
15. Trail Blazers - John Collins, Power Forward, Wake Forest
Nurkic needs a wingman. Collins is a beast in the post. He has advanced post skills and a very good feel for the game for a 19-year-old. Portland might shop this pick to dump salary, but Collins would be a nice addition up front.
14. Heat - Luke Kennard, Shooting Guard, Duke
Dion Waiters is primed to re-enter free agency, leaving a hole in the Heat’s guard rotation. Kennard is a high basketball IQ player that can really shoot the rock. He’ll fit in nicely with Erik Spoelstra's club.
13. Nuggets - Jarrett Allen, Center, Texas
Jokic is the man in the middle for Denver, but they need more size up front. Allen can play both the power forward and center position. He has an incredible wingspan, but he needs to add strength to play major minutes in the NBA. Michael Malone needs defenders and Allen fits the bill.
12. Pistons - Donovan Mitchell, Shooting Guard, Louisville
Mitchell doesn’t have a natural position, but he’s an active defender and scorer that will find minutes at the NBA level. He’s a Stan Van Gundy type of player that might develop into an elite defender.
11. Hornets - Malik Monk, Shooting Guard, Kentucky
Monk is the slide guy in this year’s draft. He’s a value pick at 11 and a great fit player next to Kemba Walker. He should go higher, but the buzz surrounding players like Jonathan Isaac and Frank Ntilikina could hurt him on draft night.
10. Kings - Zach Collins, Power Forward, Gonzaga
One of the more advanced post players in the draft, Collins has also turned heads with his ability to knock down the perimeter jumper. With the team opting out of Anthony Tolliver’s final year, they have a need for a versatile four. This is a tough kid that doesn’t mind banging in the post.
9. Mavericks - Dennis Smith, Point Guard, NC State
Smith has all the talent in the world, but he needs an established veteran group to teach him the ropes. He could be the steal of the draft. He could also get run out of Dallas in a heartbeat by coach Rick Carlisle. The Mavs will give Markkanen a solid look here as well, but Smith has All-Star potential at a position of need.
8. Knicks - Frank Ntilikina, Point Guard, France, International
Ntilikina is a risk, but one worth taking. He’s size and length at the point guard position projects well, especially on the defensive end. He’ll need plenty of time to develop, but the Knicks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
7. Timberwolves - Lauri Markkanen, Forward, Arizona
We’ve had Markkanen going here to Minny in the previous two mocks and there’s no reason to make a change. This is a premier shooter that will open up the entire floor for the T-Wolves. Sometimes you have to go with a perfect fit player.
6. Magic - Jonathan Isaac, Forward, Florida State
The Magic love to hoard long, athletic, combo forwards. Isaac has limited his workouts to the top four, but his draft stock has skyrocketed. This is a pick for the future as the Magic continue to spin their tires at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
5. Kings - De’Aaron Fox, Point Guard, Kentucky
Patience is a virtue. There were all kinds of rumors about the Kings moving up leading to the draft, but it is very possible that the player they want will be there at five. Fox held a private workout in Sacramento and chose not to travel to Phoenix to meet with the Suns brass. He’s one of the fastest players in the draft and he fills the Kings biggest position of need.
4. Suns - Josh Jackson, Small Forward, Kansas
There is no way the Suns pass on Jackson here at four. De’Aaron Fox is an interesting prospect, but with three other Kentucky point guards already on the roster, Jackson is not only a tremendous two-way player, but he also plays a position of need for Phoenix. Tatum also works at this spot if the Celtics choose Jackson at three.
3. Celtics - Jayson Tatum, Small Forward, Duke
The Celtics weighed their options and chose to stock up for the post LeBron James era. Danny Ainge will have up to seven first round selections over the next three seasons, many of which project as lottery picks. Boston will choose between Tatum and Josh Jackson at the three spot. Jackson is still in play, but Tatum is a polished offensive weapon that could step right in and produce for a high end playoff team.
2. Lakers - Lonzo Ball, Point Guard, UCLA
Ballgame. Rumors had the Lakers trying to move up to land Fultz, but in the end, they didn’t have the assets to compete with Philly. Ball is the best pure passer in the draft and his skillset will translate almost immediately to the pro game.
1. 76ers - Markelle Fultz, Point Guard, Washington
It's not official, but from numerous reports, Philly swung for the fences to move into the top spot, giving up plenty of future assets to acquire the right to select Fultz. The talented point guard prospect gives the Sixers an incredible core that includes Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric. If Fultz is as good as most people believe, this team could be a force in two or three seasons.