2017 NBA Mock Draft
Fellow Millennials 365 writer David Shelmon and myself put together a mock draft for Thursday’s NBA Draft, taking turns making every-other selection. Before Thursday night’s excitement starts up, take a look at how the board fell in our latest mock draft:
1 Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington, Fr., 6-4/195, 19 years old
David: He is versatile on both sides of the floor and a capable defender while also possessing a unique athletic ability on the offensive side of the ball. The most NBA ready guard in a draft deep with point guards.
Player Comparison: Damian Lillard
2 Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA, Fr., 6-6/200, 19 years old
Ben: The Lakers have their sites set on 2018 free agency when LeBron James and Paul George are available. Lonzo simply makes the players around him better with his passing skills and would fit perfectly with a group of superstars.
Player Comparison: Penny Hardaway
3. Boston Celtics – Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas, Fr., 6-8/203, 20 years old
David: He brings his supreme athletic ability to the defensive side of the ball and is capable at finishing at the rim.
Player Comparison: Andre Iguodala
4. Phoenix Suns – Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, Fr., 6-11/205, 19 years old
Ben: The Suns are desperate for defenders that can guard multiple positions, and that’s exactly what Jonathan Isaac can bring. He has a long Durant-like body that he needs to grow into, but Phoenix is in no hurry to finish its rebuild. Isaac has serious 3-and-D potential in today’s position-less NBA.
Player Comparison: Harrison Barnes
5. Sacramento Kings – Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Duke, Fr., 6-8/204, 19 years old
David: He is a more-than-capable scorer with a nearly 7-foot wingspan.
Player Comparison: Danny Granger
6. Orlando Magic – Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State, Fr., 6-3/195, 19 years old
Ben: Orlando needs somebody, anybody, who can carry the team to a victory on any given night, and that’s what Smith does best. In most drafts he would be a Top 3 pick, but this year some would knock him going over De’Aaron Fox or Malik Monk. The Magic can hand Smith the keys and let me go off while they continue to rebuild a broken roster.
Player Comparison: Steve Francis
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, Fr., 6-3, 197, 19 years old
David: He is a great shooter who would be a much needed addition for a team that shot 34.9% from three in 2016.
Player Comparison: Eric Gordon
8. New York Knicks – De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky, Fr., 6-3, 171, 19 years old
Ben: Fox’s lightning speed and short-to-mid range scoring abilities makes him a solid fit for the Triangle Offense that Phil Jackson insists on running in New York.
Player Comparison: Mike Conley
9. Dallas Mavericks – Luke Kennard, SG, Duke, Soph., 6-6/202, 21 years old
David: His three point shooting would compliment Dirk Nowitzki.
Player Comparison: Wesley Matthews
10. Sacramento Kings – Frank Ntilikina, PG/SG, France, 6-5/170, 18 years old
Ben: After getting a go-to scorer at No. 5, Sacramento can finally fill the point guard position with this young, athletic guard.
Player Comparison: Avery Bradley
11. Charlotte Hornets – Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona, Fr., 7-0/225, 20 years old
David: He is a great shooter for a big man. He can provide size on the perimeter where this team lacks it.
Player Comparison: Ryan Anderson
12. Detroit Pistons – Donovan Mitchell, SG/PG, Lousville, Soph., 6-3/210, 20 years old
Ben: Mitchell projects as a solid two-way combo guard that could serve as a replacement to free agent shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Player Comparison: Marcus Smart
13. Denver Nuggets – Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky, Fr., 6-10, 250, 19 years old
David: He can provide much-needed energy, defense and rebounding in the paint.
Player Comparison: Bismack Biyombo
14. Miami Heat – O.G. Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana, Soph., 6-8/215, 19 years old
Ben: Coming off a significant knee injury, Anunoby is a long and athletic forward that can play the stretch-forward position. He’s a premiere defender and leaper with raw offensive potential.
Player Comparison: James Johnson
15. Portland Trail Blazers – Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga, Fr., 7-0/230, 19 years old
David: A big man with the potential to be a good role player on a team that already has two dominant guards.
Player Comparison: Jason Smith
16. Chicago Bulls – Justin Patton, C, Creighton, Fr., 6-11/226, 20 years old
Ben: The future of the Bulls is a toss up, with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler both set to hit free agency next offseason. But there’s not much up front for Chicago, and Patton oozes potential as a mobile big man.
Player Comparison: Myles Turner
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Justin Jackson, SF/SG, North Carolina, Jr., 6-8/193, 22 years old
David: He has the potential to be a great role player for a playoff-contending team. He should not mind coming in and contributing using his versatile skill set. The Bucks do not mind drafting NBA ready players now after Malcolm Brogdon panned out well.
Player Comparison: Matt Barnes
18. Indiana Pacers – Jonah Bolden, SF/PF, Australia, 6-10/227, 21 years old
Ben: Bolden might be the draft’s best kept secret. He’s known for his shooting and shows potential as a defender, but the 6-foot-10 combo-forward must put on weight to guard bigger power forwards.
Player Comparison: Shane Battier
19. Atlanta Hawks – Jarrett Allen, C, Texas, Fr., 6-10/224, 19 years old
David: His length at the 5 position makes him a suitable longterm replacement for Dwight Howard.
Player Comparison: Nerlens Noel
20. Portland Trail Blazers – John Collins, PF, Wake Forest, Soph., 6-10/225, 19 years old
Ben: Portland needs bigs that can compliment a great backcourt, and Collins’ explosiveness and rebounding could help him slide into the starting PF position in no time.
Player Comparison: Paul Millsap
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – T.J. Leaf, PF, UCLA, Fr., 6-10/220, 20 years old
David: He is an outside shooter who can help spread out the offense for projected MVP Russell Westbrook.
Player Comparison: Josh McRoberts
22. Brooklyn Nets – Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Latvia, 7-2/229, 21 years old
Ben: The Latvian big man checks in at over 7-foot, and he has a decent outside shot and mobility. The Nets just traded franchise center Brook Lopez and could find his future replacement in Pasecniks.
Player Comparison: Donatas Motiejunas
23. Toronto Raptors – Harry Giles, PF/C, Duke, Fr., 6-11/222, 19 years old
David: He is a raw big man who can come off the bench for a Raptors team that lacks front court depth.
Player Comparison: Julius Randle
24. Utah Jazz – Wesley Iwundu, SG/SF, Kansas State, Sr., 6-7/205, 22 years old
Ben: The Jazz may lose its star wing Gordon Hayward in free agency, and if so will need to fill a massive void. Iwundu is NBA ready and possesses the type of two-way abilities to make a difference on a competitive team like Utah.
Player Comparison: Kent Bazemore
25. Orlando Magic – Tony Bradley, C, North Carolina, Fr., 6-11/248, 19 years old
David: With his height, mobility and high basketball IQ, he is sure to help out a team desperate to contend for the playoffs.
Player Comparison: John Henson
26. Portland Trail Blazers – Terrence Ferguson, SG/SF, USA, 6-7/186, 19 years old
Ben: He’s athletic with raw scoring ability, but Ferguson is a project that won’t be ready to step into the rotation immediately.
Player Comparison: Nick Young
27. Los Angeles Lakers – Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, SMU, Jr., 6-7/235, 22 years old
David: His athletic ability can compliment any team. With comparisons to Stanley Johnson’s two-way abilities, he is a steal at this spot in the draft.
Player Comparison: Stanley Johnson
28. Los Angeles Lakers – Caleb Swanigan, PF/C, Purdue, Soph., 6-9/247, 20 years old
Ben: A big man with outside range and solid rebounding, he probably caps out as a potential role player, but his offense, rebounding and work effort will intrigue Magic.
Player Comparison: Zach Randolph
29. San Antonio Spurs – Josh Hart, SG/SF, Villanova, Sr., 6-5/204, 22 years old
David: He is a well-rounded player who can provide intangibles off the bench for a contender like San Antonio.
Player Comparison: Danny Green
30. Utah Jazz – D.J. Wilson, PF, Michigan, Soph., 6-11/240, 21 years old
Ben: Wilson helped his draft stock with an impressive NCAA Tournament. He’s the prototypical modern day power forward with a well rounded, versatile game that could go as high as the middle of the first round.
Player Comparison: Lamar Odom