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The basketball gods landed the Boston Celtics with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and now that the order is set, mock drafts can have a little more relevance.
Mock drafts in any sport are a series of educated guesses and here at Amico Hoops, we’d like to compile a list of mock drafts to compare and contrast different analysts’ picks.
I’ll include my projections, as well and after the Draft, we’ll see how each mock draft fared.
The sites we’ll be referencing in this list include:
Let’s get started.
1. Boston Celtics
The Ringer: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
NBADraft.Net: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Draft Express: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Chad Ford ESPN: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Medley’s Pick: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
It seems like a no-brainer. There’s no question Fultz has the talent to play at a high level in the NBA. The only question I have about Fultz is if he can turn into a guy who leads a franchise.
If he were going to a situation (like the Lakers) where it’s more of a rebuild from the basement up, it would be a bit of a mystery if he’s the type of guy to handle the bright lights and change the culture.
If Fultz ends up in Boston, he’ll enter into a winning culture with established leaders and should be ready to plug in and play at a high level early on.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
The Ringer: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
NBADraft.Net: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Draft Express: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Chad Ford ESPN: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Medley’s Pick: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Part of me wants to see the Lakers trade the pick to the Pacers for Paul George because nothing says “Big Baller” like the cornfields of Indiana, but in all reality, this seems like a match made in heaven.
While Fultz has the edge in talent and skill, I think there’s something to be said for Ball’s ability to handle the spotlight, playing in big time games at UCLA, and being a homegrown product that should make him a great fit for the Lakers. People tend to overlook the fact that he’s tremendously talented because of his dad’s outlandish comments, but soon he’ll be able to let his game do the talking.
And let’s be honest, we’ve all had our moments where we’ve had to tell people, “don’t mind any of that, that’s just my crazy dad talking.”
3. Philadelphia 76ers
The Ringer: Malik Monk, PG/SG, Kentucky
NBADraft.Net: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas
Draft Express: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas
Chad Ford ESPN: Malik Monk, PG/SG, Kentucky
Medley’s Pick: Malik Monk, PG/SG, Kentucky
There’s a lot to like about either of the two prospects, Jackson and Monk. Jackson is more of a versatile two-way player and it would be intriguing to see what he can do with a similar player, Ben Simmons on the floor with him.
The reason I like Monk with this pick is the Sixers were sorely missing that explosive scorer, capable of going off for 20-plus points and creating his own offense.
Joel Embiid already can deliver those kinds of scoring numbers and the Sixers are hoping Simmons develops into a productive scorer, as well, but it’s still a mystery how he’ll bounce back from a troubled injury history.
Monk appears to have a higher offensive ceiling and while he may not be “as safe” a pick as Jackson, the potential scoring outburst he could deliver is worth taking the chance.
4. Phoenix Suns
The Ringer: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas
NBADraft.Net: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Draft Express: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Chad Ford ESPN: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas
Medley’s Pick: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas
The Suns were one of the worst defensive teams in the league in 2016-17 and although a team with as many holes as Phoenix shouldn’t base its draft off of filling position needs, Jackson would be a big step in the right direction to sure up that end of the floor.
It’s not like Jackson is a bad scorer either, but with guys like Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe (for who knows how long) and TJ Warren, the Suns haven’t had much trouble putting the ball in the basket. It’s just a matter of getting stops on the other end.
Jackson has some similarities to Boston Celtics’ 2016 first-round pick Jaylen Brown and versatile wings like those two are becoming especially valuable in a league where so many players need to be able to guard multiple positions and so many elite scoring guards/forwards are leading the way throughout the league.
5. Sacramento Kings
The Ringer: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
NBADraft.Net: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Draft Express: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Chad Ford ESPN: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Medley’s Pick: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
In today’s NBA, it’s imperative to have an elite point guard. The Kings have a reliable guy with Darren Collison, but compared to the guys on contending teams around the league, Sacramento’s point guard group leaves much to be desired.
Fox is still a pretty raw product on offense, but showed flashes of what he’s capable in some of the biggest games in his college career. His solid defense should allow him to be ready to compete from Day 1, but he has a lot of work to do to improve his shooting.
The Kings are in no rush to push for the Playoffs and Sacramento would be a good opportunity for Fox to see significant minutes to develop and bloom in his rookie season, along with seeing what Buddy Hield can turn into.
6. Orlando Magic
The Ringer: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
NBADraft.Net: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
Draft Express: Malik Monk, PG/SG, Kentucky
Chad Ford ESPN: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Medley’s Pick: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Tatum is a versatile forward, who already has a wide array of moves to beat defenders off the dribble or create space to get a good look. His post-up game was impressive in college, but it’s a little different going against power forwards in the NBA.
He may not come right in and start, but his wingspan and athleticism make for a great fit to match up with the elite forwards of the league and he has a smoother game than most 19 years old entering the draft.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Ringer: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
NBADraft.Net: Dennis Smith, PG, NC State
Draft Express: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
Chad Ford ESPN: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
Medley’s Pick: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
The way the Timberwolves have been building, a player like Isaac seems like he’d fit in great at the stretch four position between Kris Dunn, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns.
Isaac can space the floor, knock down open three’s and should be given plenty of opportunities for good looks from Dunn’s great passing, Wiggins’s ability to penetrate, and with the amount of attention Towns commands, that should leave Isaac in a prime position to do damage.
Isaac also is reliable on defense, an area the Timberwolves desperately need to improve from last season.
8. New York Knicks
The Ringer: Dennis Smith, PG, NC State
NBADraft.Net: Malik Monk, PG/SG, Kentucky
Draft Express: Denis Smith, PG, NC State
Chad Ford ESPN: Dennis Smith, PG, NC State
Medley’s Pick: Dennis Smith, PG, NC State
When’s the last time the Knicks had a great point guard? Derrick Rose does not count. Smith is raw, but he’s an explosive athlete, can get to the rim and finish.
His passing needs some work and in all honesty, it’s tough to trust the Knicks would be the type of franchise to let this guy grow and bloom, but he has a big enough upside to become a fun player to watch at Madison Square Garden along with Kristaps Porzingis and (who knows how long) Carmelo Anthony.
9. Dallas Mavericks
The Ringer: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
NBADraft.Net: Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
Draft Express: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
Chad Ford ESPN: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
Medley’s Pick: Jarett Allen, C, Texas
The Mavericks could go a lot of ways with this pick, but their backcourt appears to have found some stability in the second half of the 2016-17 season. Harrison Barnes put together an impressive season after the Mavericks received loads of criticism over his hefty contract.
It would make most sense to me for Dallas to address the frountcourt with this pick. Dirk Nowitzki’s days are numbered and the rest of Dallas’s frontcourt once Andrew Bogut was traded left much to be desired.
I like Allen (6-foot-10) with this pick due to his strength, size, ability to protect the rim and finish with a soft touch on the other end.
10. Sacramento Kings
The Ringer: OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiansa
NBADraft.Net: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
Draft Express: Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga
Chad Ford ESPN: Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga
Medley’s Pick: Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga
Collins makes a lot of sense with this pick, assuming the Kings will grab Fox at No. 5. The potential frontcourt duo of Willie Cauley-Stein and Zach Collins could make for an imposing group and the Gonzaga product would be able to see significant minutes alongside Kosta Koufos.
It couldn’t hurt to have the Nor Cal fan base on his side already from playing at Gonzaga and although no one’s expecting Collins to replace Boogie Cousins’ talent, it’s a position that needs addressed after that trade.
11. Charlotte Hornets
The Ringer: Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga
NBADraft.Net: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
Draft Express: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
Chad Ford ESPN: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
Medley’s Pick: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
The Hornets could really use a better backup for Kemba Walker and it’s not like the 27-year-old is going to be in his prime forever. Ntilikina can spend the first few seasons of his career learning from one of the league’s elite point guards and could be ready to step into a more prominent role when Walker is either past his peak or no longer in Charlotte.
It seems like a win-win for both sides. Ntilikina is a raw product, but there’d be no rush to throw him into the fire with Walker holding down the fort.
12. Detroit Pistons
The Ringer: Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
NBADraft.Net: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
Draft Express: Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
Chad Ford ESPN: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
Medley’s Pick: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
This pick makes a ton of sense for the Pistons. They’ve been missing that stretch four that Stan Van Gundy loves to use to fit in his system and Markkanen could be just what the doctor ordered.
Detroit is at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to determining the future of their core.
Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson are far from safe bets to be in Detroit for the long haul.
But that trio, along with the steady reliable production from Tobias Harris could really use someone like Markkanen to space the floor and knock down open jumpers.
13. Denver Nuggets
The Ringer: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
NBADraft.Net: Terrance Ferguson, SG, USA
Draft Express: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
Chad Ford ESPN: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
Medley’s Pick: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
Aside from having the coolest name in the draft, Anunoby, the 6-foot-8 forward seems like a great fit for Denver.
The Nuggets are already building an intriguing core with young, athletic players and Anunoby would be another strong link in that chain of solid, versatile defenders.
Anunoby wouldn’t have a ton of pressure on him to produce right away, but with budding stars Nikola Jokic, Jamaal Murray and an impressive group of role players, he could carve a role into the rotation as a defensive stopper from early on in the year.
14. Miami Heat
The Ringer: Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
NBADraft.Net: John Collins, PF/C, Wake Forest
Draft Express: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
Chad Ford ESPN: Harry Giles, C, Duke
Medley’s Pick: John Collins, PF/C, Wake Forest
Hassan Whiteside can’t do it all and Miami’s froncourt could use another big body down low.
There’s a lot to like about Miami’s backcourt and wings. Collins would provide some much-needed help in the rebounding department and is an effective scorer in the paint.
*Continue to next page for picks 15-30*