The 2017 NBA draft is expected to be the best draft class in recent years due to its overloaded amount of depth and very good players, especially near the top of the draft.
1st Pick: Boston Celtics select Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA
Lonzo Ball is a very good all-around player on the court. He can play any position from point guard to small forward. He is arguably the top player in all of college basketball this season and has the stats to prove it. He puts up 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists pergame and led UCLA to a record of 29-4.
The Celtics could trade this pick away for a proven superstar like Paul George or Jimmy Butler, whom they were linked to heading toward the trade deadline. The Celtics could fall in the draft lottery and not have the first overall pick, which would effect the Celtics drastically, not getting the full value that they could have gotten at the trade deadline.
Lonzo Ball fits perfectly into what the Celtics have as they are already close to being title contenders, and just need that final piece to get over the hump.
Lonzo Ball not blaming thumb injury for struggles against Arizona
— theScore (@theScore) March 11, 2017
2nd Pick: Los Angeles Lakers select Markelle Fultz, G, Washington
Yes, the Lakers already have two good young guards in Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell. So what is the need for another one? The answer is that Fultz is too good of a player to pass up on with this pick.
Russell plays more like a shooting guard than a point guard as he doesn’t have the best playmaking abilities for his position. The reason for not taking Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum here is because they already have Brandon Ingram, who they took with the second overall pick in last years draft and look to build their team around in the future.
Fultz puts up 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists at Washington and is the nations best player. Under Magic Johnson, Fultz can become one of the best guards in the NBA and a future All-Star.
3rd Pick: Phoenix Suns select Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
With Fultz and Ball off the board, Jackson has to be the select here. With T.J. Warren being a free agent next offseason, this is a very good selection for the Suns.
The Suns are obviously building their team around up-and-coming superstar, Devin Booker. If Fultz was still on the board, it would be smart for the Suns to draft him and let him develop behind Eric Bledsoe. Jackson puts up 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists per game at Kansas.
4th Pick: Philadelphia 76ers select De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
The 76ers don’t need much right now as they have a very bright future with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Malik Monk and the 76ers have been tied together because a shooting guard is what the 76ers need desperately, but it is just too early for a team to take a flyer on Monk.
Taking a player like Fox or Dennis Smith would be huge for the 76ers moving forward, but Fox is the better of the two players, and would give the 76ers a good two-way point guard rotation with T.J. McConnell and Fox.
5th Pick: Orlando Magic select Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
The Magic have been lacking a consistent small forward since they traded away Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons. Drafting a point guard would also be good for the Magic, but with Elfrid Payton improving his game a lot since the All-Star break, it isn’t as much of a need.
This selection here could be a tossup between Tatum and Jonathan Isaac, but Tatum is the better all-around player, and would help the Magic more on the defensive side of the ball and mid-range scoring.
6th Pick: Sacramento Kings select Dennis Smith Jr, PG, NC State
Smith is the best player available here for the Kings, and is regarded as the most athletic player in this years draft. His athletic abilities have drawn comparison to the Washington Wizards’ John Wall, and there is definitely a case for that.
The Kings have turned themselves into the laughing stock of the NBA with their recent trading of Demarcus Cousins, but got this very pick plus rookie Buddy Hield in the process. Smith averages 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists per game at NC State.
Congratulations to @Dennis4Smith for being named ACC Freshman of the Year! Dennis led ACC freshmen in points, assists & steals
— NC State Men’s Bball (@PackMensBball) March 5, 2017
7th Pick: Sacramento Kings select Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
With the Pending free agency of Rudy Gay and needing just about every position, Isaac is a very good selection here. They just drafted Smith Jr. with the last pick and with Isaac, the Kings would have a very solid future.
Isaac averages 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist per game at FSU .
8th Pick: New York Knicks select Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
The Knicks need to explode their roster. The only promising player on their team is second year player, Kristaps Porzingis. Carmelo Anthony has grown very frustrated with the team and had been in trade rumors multiple times heading toward the trade deadline. The Knicks were supposed to be a “super team” and contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, but that’s nowhere near happening.
Monk can play the point guard and shooting guard positions, and would be huge for the Knicks to pick up as their current point guard. Derrick Rose is expected to leave in free agency.
9th Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves select Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M
Williams has jumped up draft boards with his recent play with the Aggies, and would be a very good select for the Wolves. The Timberwolves already have a very good young core with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Kris Dunn.
Williams has shown his athleticism with his 6’9″ frame and 40″ vertical. He has very good offensive skills with being able to create for himself and possesses outstanding footwork. However, he has below average post work for his position.
10th Pick: Dallas Mavericks select Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
With Dirk Nowitzki rumored to retire in the next season or so, it is smart to add a very good player to develop under him. The Mavericks, early in the season looked to gain a top five selection in this year’s draft, but with the recent play of Seth Curry and Harrison Barnes, the Mavericks are just 1.5 games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
11th Pick: Portland Trail Blazers select Frank Ntilikina, G, Belgium
The Trail Blazers were expected to be a top five team in the Western Conference this season, with the play of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum last season. However, they have not lived up near to expectations. Drafting a very good player in the situation they’re currently in should help the Blazers get back to the playoffs.
VIDEO: Grayson Allen lobs it up to Harry Giles for thunderous alley-oop vs. UNC.
— theScore (@theScore) March 11, 2017
12th Pick: Charlotte Hornets select Harry Giles, PF, Duke
The Hornets need a lot right now. Frank Kaminsky was supposed to be a very good player, and right now he is just a role player for the Hornets.
Drafting Giles would help them at power forward, and they could possibly move on from the former ninth overall pick. Giles hasn’t lived up to his expectations this season but that shouldn’t really effect his draft stock.
VIDEO: Duke’s Kennard doesn’t get a call, slaps ref’s hand when he tries to help him up.
— theScore (@theScore) March 11, 2017
13th Pick: Milwaukee Bucks select Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
The shooting guard position isn’t a big need for the Bucks. Khris Middleton missed most of the season heading into the All-Star break, and the Bucks may look to shop him around on the trade market.
The Bucks experimented with playing Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard this season but it just isn’t going well. Kennard puts up 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, as he is one of the nation’s best scorers.
The Bucks drafted Malcolm Brogdon in the second round last year and he is expected to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Both Kennard and Brogdon play the shooting guard position, but they should be able to fit in perfectly with each other.
14th Pick: Chicago Bulls select T.J. Leaf, PF, UCLA
Leaf has gotten a lot of media attention playing alongside Lonzo Ball. The Bulls thought that they could be a top team in the East when they brought in Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, but that just isn’t working out. Leaf would immediately help this team with his consistent mid-range scoring and on ball defensive abilities.