2017 NBA Mock Draft

Story posted June 20, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by David Arroyo and Tom Shively

The NBA Draft is less than a week from today, but the drama is already in full swing. The Philadelphia 76ers successfully traded up to the No. 1 pick, previously owned by the Boston Celtics. It’s the second straight year the 76ers will have the top overall pick, and the first time since 1993 that the top pick has changed hands before a player has been selected. Our editors David Arroyo and Tom Shively break down this year’s draft and how they expect the night to unfold.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

Arroyo: Markelle Fultz, PG (Washington)

The Sixers reap the rewards of past Sam Hinkie deals and take Markelle Fultz, who will fill a major need at the point guard position. Fultz will contribute immediately because of his scoring ability and will allow the Sixers to space the floor around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. With two number one picks set to make their debut in 2017 for the Sixers and a returning Joel Embiid, pressure will now begin to mount for the Sixers as fans expect winning in the future, if not next season.

Shively: Markelle Fultz, PG (Washington)

“The Process” appears to finally be taking a definitive shape with this major trade, as all signs point to the Sixers taking the Washington point guard. Fultz is a proven scorer who can fit in seamlessly with a team already loaded with young talent, most notably Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Arroyo: Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA)

Although rumors are saying the Lakers really like Josh Jackson and were unimpressed by Ball in his workout,  Jackson’s fit on the Lakers is questionable. Ball can distribute to the host of scorers the Lakers already have and is a reliable shooter when needed. Plug him in, and the Lakers’ entire team starts to make more sense.

Shively: Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA)

A return to showtime? Leave it to Magic Johnson to draft the flashiest player in the draft. All jokes aside, Ball clearly is the best passer in this draft and his presence would take pressure off other young breakouts like Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle. Ball has proven himself as a scorer as well, averaging 15 per game at UCLA on 55 percent shooting.

3. Boston Celtics

Arroyo: Jayson Tatum, SF (Duke)

If the Celtics want to catch the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are going to need some help on the offensive end. Tatum is perhaps the most NBA-ready of the prospects this year and will help that Celtics offense immediately. Add in the potential of signing Gordon Hayward and Tatum could see many wide open shot opportunities in Boston.

Shively: Jayson Tatum, SF (Duke)

Danny Ainge and the Celtics clearly feel that they can get the same player at No. 3 as they could at the top, prompting them to make the trade with Philadelphia. Tatum may not have as much of a defensive impact as a guy like Josh Jackson, but the Celtics already have a player very similar to Josh Jackson in Jaylen Brown, a guy they took in this exact position one year ago. Tatum’s ability 1-on-1 and court awareness can also take some of the pressure off Isaiah Thomas, who will turn 30 next year.

4. Phoenix Suns

Arroyo: Josh Jackson, SF (Kansas)

Josh Jackson has tons of upside and will help to improve a defense that does not currently have any real defensive stoppers. There are questions about his shot mechanics, but paired alongside Devin Booker, those question marks start to fade away. Adding Jackson to an already solid lineup will make the Phoenix Suns one of the most fun watches in the NBA next season. 

Shively: Josh Jackson, SF (Kansas)

The Suns have steadily been raking in young talent, and Jackson adds to that firepower that they already have in their backcourt. He’s a defensive power coming in for a team that ranked 28th in defensive efficiency last season and he is an immediate-impact type of guy that can come in and help continue to push this team in the right direction.

5. Sacramento Kings

Arroyo: De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky)

The last of the elite talent in the draft, the Kings snap Fox at five and finally get a player with some potential to build around. He is blazing quick and, although he has a poor shot, he will provide the Kings with a lift on the defensive end and someone who could potentially develop a shot down the line. 

Shively: De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky)

In a draft class loaded with point guards, Fox may be the most intriguing prospect of them all. His flashy speed and court awareness give him potential to be the best player in this draft class and for a team that has needs at every position across the board, Fox will be the best player available and an easy choice moving forward.

6. Orlando Magic

Arroyo: Dennis Smith Jr., PG (NC State)

Many people will call this a reach, but Dennis Smith, in his lone year at NC State, showed an uncanny playmaking ability and a burst in the full court that will have teams sweating. Elfrid Payton has struggled since being drafted, so the Magic restart with someone new.

Shively: Malik Monk, SG (Kentucky)

A year ago, many draft boards had Monk as the top overall player in this class. A college season and SEC Player of the Year now under his belt, Monk can provide the elite scoring and aptitude to thrive at the next level for a Magic team that has been stuck in limbo for the past few years.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Arroyo: Jonathan Isaac, SF (Florida State)

Jonathan Isaac could end up being the steal of the draft. Paired alongside Wiggins and Towns, Isaac will not have nearly the offensive pressure he might on other teams and will be able to shine on the defensive end. Even then, he still can shoot and pass well and at nearly seven feet tall, he will be a valuable asset in the new NBA.

Shively: Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona)

The 7-foot Finnish forward has drawn comparison to Dirk Nowitzki, as it’s rare to see a guy with his size have as elite a shooting stroke as he does. He’s a guy that can stretch the floor and also be physical in the post at the NBA level. Pair him with Karl-Anthony Towns inside and this suddenly becomes one of the better frontcourts in the league. 

8. New York Knicks

Arroyo: Frank Ntilikina, PG (France)

Phil Jackson takes a swing for the fences here much like he did with Porzingis a few years back and drafts Ntilikina, a general unknown from France. Most of the hype for him comes from his U18 European Championships performance, where he averaged 22.7 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 steals, and 1.7 blocks per 40 minutes. It will take some time for his game to translate in the NBA, but on the defensive side he will impact games from day 1.

Shively: Jonathan Isaac, SF (Florida State)

There’s no doubt Isaac is an incredibly raw talent, still developing a shot and finishing with more turnovers than assists in his lone season as a Seminole. However, the Knicks are notorious for making some risky selections, and if Isaac can find a way to iron out his issues, his length and pure athleticism may give him the highest ceiling in this class.

9. Dallas Mavericks

Arroyo: Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona)

The Mavericks make a play for the future and draft Dirk Nowitzki’s replacement in Lauri Markkanen. They play similarly, with Markkanen being a seven foot shooter who is efficient on the offensive end. Allow him to learn for a year under Nowitzki and Markkanen can be the future the Mavericks need.

Shively: Dennis Smith, PG (NC State)

Much like Markelle Fultz, Smith was simply a great player on a below-average team. While this may have hurt him a little in terms of exposure, his versatility was unquestioned, averaging 20 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast and 2 stl per 40 minutes. He forms a nice 1-2 punch with Yogi Ferrell in Dallas to go along with the overlooked-but-talented Harrison Barnes in the frontcourt.

10. Sacramento Kings

Arroyo: Zach Collins, PF/C (Gonzaga)

The Kings upgrade the center position with Collins, a guy who can provide Willie Cauley-Stein’s defense while being much better on offense. With Fox already drafted, the pick-and-roll between the two of them will be deadly.

Shively: Luke Kennard, SG (Duke)

In a league that focuses so heavily on the three-ball, Kennard is the best pure shooter on this team and can be an immediate role player on any team. Having already taken Fox earlier, Kennard gives the Kings a deep threat and hopefully sends them in the right direction as a franchise.

Picks 11-30

 

Teams

Arroyo

Shively

11. Charlotte Hornets

Malik Monk, SG (Kentucky)

Zach Collins, PF/C (Gonzaga)

12. Detroit Pistons

Donovan Mitchell, SG (Louisville)

Donovan Mitchell, SG (Louisville)

13. Denver Nuggets

Luke Kennard, SG (Duke)

Justin Jackson, SF (North Carolina)

14. Miami Heat

John Collins, PF (Wake Forest)

John Collins, PF (Wake Forest)

15. Portland Trail Blazers

Justin Jackson, SF (North Carolina)

Harry Giles, C (Duke)

16. Chicago Bulls

Harry Giles, C (Duke)

Frank Ntilitkina, PG (France)

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Jarrett Allen, C (Texas)

Bam Adebayo, C (Kentucky)

18. Indiana Pacers

OG Anunoby, SF (Indiana)

Harry Giles, C (Duke)

19. Atlanta Hawks

Justin Patton, C (Creighton)

Jarrett Allen, C (Texas)

20. Portland Trail Blazers

Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA)

OG Anunoby, SF (Indiana)

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

TJ Leaf, PF (UCLA)

Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA)

22. Brooklyn Nets

Terrance Ferguson, SG (Australia)

Justin Patton, C (Creighton)

23. Toronto Raptors

Tyler Lydon, SF (Syracuse)

Caleb Swanigan, PF (Purdue)

24. Utah Jazz

Semi Ojeleye, SF (SMU)

Terrance Ferguson, SG (Australia)

25. Orlando Magic

DJ Wilson, PF (Michigan)

Johnathan Motley, PF (Baylor)

26. Portland Trailblazers

Isaiah Hartenstein, PF (Lithuania)

Tyler Lydon, SF (Syracuse)

27. Los Angeles Lakers

Derrick White, PG (Colorado)

TJ Leaf, PF (UCLA)

28. Los Angeles Lakers

Caleb Swanigan, PF (Purdue)

Jaron Blossomgame, SF (Clemson)

29. San Antonio Spurs

Ivan Rabb, PF/C (Cal)

Jordan Bell, PF (Oregon)

30. Utah Jazz

Jordan Bell, PF (Oregon)

Ivan Rabb, PF/C (Cal)

 

 

David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email arroyodavid01@gmail.com.

 

Tom Shively is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email shivelyt97@gmail.com

About the Contributors

David Arroyo's photo

David Arroyo

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo is an editor for CommRadio and also contributes to the sports staff. He also has served as a producer for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball, and volleyball, and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. David has interned at B94.5 (State College). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Tom Shively's photo

Tom Shively

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Tom Shively is a sophomore from Ashburn, Virginia majoring in broadcast journalism. He is one of the CommRadio editors for the 2016-17 school year. He serves as a men’s basketball producer and has broadcasted several Penn State sports as well as hosting two talk shows airing weekly on CommRadio. Tom also works for GoPSUsports.com, doing feature-style coverage of women’s hockey and men’s gymnastics. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter @t_shives.