The NCAA Tournament is here and so is the Guy Boston Sports NBA Mock Draft Edition 1! First Round only with breakdowns for all lottery picks!
1. Celtics (via Nets): Markelle Fultz G, Washington
This is a really tough choice because I feel like Ball has the most superstar potential in the draft. Well his upside is a tick higher than Fultz, Fultz is more of a sure thing and has scores the ball better than Ball. Also, Fultz has more potential to be a shooting guard than Ball does, which would be a huge factor if the Celtics plan on keeping Isaiah Thomas around,
2. Lakers: Lonzo Ball PG, UCLA
Lavar Ball rejoices as another one of his predictions comes true and his son becomes a Laker. Personally I’ve always liked Russell more as a playmaking 2 guard, so having Ball be the true point and run the offense next to Russell is a look the Lakers should at least try for a while before actually deciding whether it’s time to move on from Russell or not.
3. Suns: Josh Jackson SG/SF, Kansas
Coming into the season Jackson was my favorite prospect, but his jumper has just been too poor to warrant discussion as a top 2 selection. Nevertheless, a perimeter trio of Jackson, Booker, and Bledsoe is enticing. Just hit on one of their big men prospects and they are a team that could start to make some serious headway in the west next year ala this years Nuggets.
4. Magic: Jayson Tatum SF, Duke
Orlando, Orlando, Orlando. They’ve had a poor run since Dwight left town. Aaron Gordon, Mario Hezonja, Victor Oladipo, and Elfrid Payton. All those picks and no progress. Last year they gave up on the draft and just traded Oladipo and their lottery pick for Ibaka. Which didn’t work out either. Jayson Tatum has shown flashes in college and could be a fringe All Star type player in the NBA if everything goes right. For Orlando’s sake, they need him to be.
5. 76ers: Dennis Smith PG, NC State
The 76ers clearly need perimeter help and the best bet is Dennis Smith. The 76ers loves Kris Dunn last year and Smith is a similar type of player. He’s the best point guard prospect on the board and well his hit with Simmons is up in the air, his similarities to Dunn would indicate the 76ers would take him.
6. Kings: Jonathan Isaac F, Florida State
This is what I would consider the smart pick to make. I don’t trust the Kings to make it, but I won’t bring myself to figure out who the next Papagiannis is. Isaac is a perfect stretch 4 for the modern NBA. He’s a lot like Rashard Lewis. He can play either the 3 or the 4 and has a little bit of a handle and athleticism to go along with a sweet jumper. He’d be great if the Kings don’t end up ruining him.
7. Kings (Via New Orleans): Malik Monk G, Kentucky
This is my favorite. I know what you’re thinking. I know, they just traded for Buddy Heild. But hey! If they’re searching for the next Steph Curry, why not double down? Come out next season with a backcourt of Monk/Heild! It would just be a whole lot of run for NBA and college basketball fans alike, and hey, I had to figure out something crazy for the Kings to do. I would have had him going 6th, but having Monk go right before the Knicks pick was something too funny to pass up.
8. Knicks: Frank Ntilikina PG, France
THE TRIANGLE! The talk of how Frank Ntilikina is the perfect point guard for the triangle is already one of my favorite storylines of the draft. If the Knicks actually take him, it will confirm the complete Phil Jackson takeover is complete! No one will be able to stop him!
9. Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen PF/C, Arizona
The Timberwolves PF spot could use some improvement. I’m sure they’re happy with Wiggins, Towns, and Lavine moving forward, and one of Dunn or Rubio, and so drafting the tall and versatile Arizona product to pair next to KAT could solidify their roster for the future.
10. Hornets: Robert Williams F, Texas A&M
Marvin Williams has fallen off this year, and so have the Hornets. It’s not completely because on Marvin Williams that they are struggling, but they could definitely use someone to come in and take the role over. Robert Williams can do just that.
11. Mavericks: Harry Giles PF, Duke
The Mavericks should bet on Giles upside here. They need a superstar, and well they were in a good position to get one just a few weeks ago, now they’ve just won too much, and they’ll have to take a chance on Giles to get one. If Giles can rehab hard enough to get back to his old self, this would be a steal. But that’s a big “if”...
12. Trail Blazers: TJ Leaf PF, UCLA
The Trail Blazers just need more talent. The players they have around McCollum and Lillard leave a lot to be desired. TJ Leaf has shown his ability to play with a superstar guard this year at UCLA so he should be ready to fit in next to the backcourt in Portland.
13. Bulls (via Sacramento): De’Aaron Fox PG, Kentucky
The great De’Aaron Fox slide of 2017 is over! I just don’t know how eager teams will be to draft a point guard who can’t shoot at all in 2017, no matter how skilled. However, the Bulls seem to have no problem building a team of players who can’t shoot at all, so he’s perfect for them! I didn’t really consider him until 9 and at that point the next 2 teams likely weren’t going to draft a point guard. I thought about Dallas, but after the Rajon Rondo experiment, I doubt they’ll want to try it out again with Fox. The Bulls it is!
14. Bucks: Miles Bridges F, Michigan State
The Bucks are very versatile. Bridges would just add to that for this Milwaukee team, and if he can become a legitimate starter, a death lineup of Brogdan, Middleton, Antetokounmpo, Parker, and Bridges could be a whole new monster for the NBA to face.
15. Nuggets: Bam Adebayo PF/C Kentucky
16. Pistons: Luke Kennard SG, Duke
17. Heat: Ivan Rabb PF, Cal
18. Pacers: Isaiah Hartenstein PF, Germany
19. Hawks: Tyler Lydon PF, Syracuse
20. Trail Blazers (via Memphis): Rodions Kurucs SF, Latvia
21. Thunder: Justin Jackson SF, UNC
22. Raptors: John Collins PF/C Wake Forest
23. Magic (Via LAC): Dwayne Bacon SG/SF Florida State
24. Nets (via Washington): Zach Collins C, Gonzaga
25. Nets (Via Boston): Grayson Allen SG, Duke
26. Jazz: Frank Jackson G, Duke
27. Trail Blazers (Via Cleveland): Johnathan Motley PF, Baylor
28. Lakers (Via Houston): Justin Patton C, Creighton
29. Spurs: Terrance Ferguson SG, Australia
30. Jazz (Via Golden State): Caleb Swanigan PF/C, Purdue