With the Finals finally over, it is time to start looking forward to the NBA draft. This year’s edition is considered the deepest draft since the LeBron James draft in 2003.
Most pundits have Markelle Fultz going first overall to the Boston Celtics, but Josh Jackson could also be in play for the Celtics. Lonzo Ball was slated to go to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the California based team was not blown away with Lonzo’s latest workout.
After Fultz, Jackson and Ball, it is rather wide open. There are rumours Philadelphia could take Sacramento’s 5th and 10th overall picks, respectively for the 3rd overall pick where the Kings would select Kentucky standout, De’Aaron Fox.
June 22nd will be a wild day for NBA fans across the world
Here is my mock draft
- Boston Celtics, Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
2016-2017 stats: 23.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.9 APG, 3P% 41.3, 3.2 TO, 1.6 SPG
Josh Jackson has shot up the mock drafts recently and there have been talks that the Celtics could potentially take him over Fultz. At the end of the day, I think the Celtics will take Fultz and shore up their backcourt. The best decision here would be to trade the 1st overall pick for a proven NBA veteran such as Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
- Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
2016-2017 stats: 14.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 7.6 APG, 3P% 41.2, 2.5 TO, 1.8 SPG
A dream scenario for Lonzo would be to end up in LA, which is exactly what I think will happen. Lakers were not extremely impressed with Ball’s last workout, but passing up on a PG of Ball’s stature would be a mistake, since Russell has not lived up to the hype. Ball would make Randle, Ingram and Zubac that much better. Something Russell has failed to do thus far. Also, stop worrying about his jump shot, he will be fine.
- Philadelphia 76ers, Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
2016-2017 stats: 16.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.7 SPG, FG% 51.3
The 76ers continue to re-tool by adding Kansas standout, Josh Jackson. Philadelphia has the scoring they need as of now with Embiid, Saric and Simmons (?). Adding a guy who has the potential to be a really good defensive stopper in the league is a must for a young Philly team. With that being said, Jackson is not only a defensive stopper, but he can take it to the rim and finish-something he did very well at Kansas.
- Phoenix Suns, Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
2016-2017 stats: 16.8, RPG 7.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, FT% 84.9
Tatum would probably be the best pick for the Suns here even though they already have Warren and Chriss. Tatum could potentially make either of the two aforementioned players expendable as the Suns frontcourt is getting a bit crowded. Suns could very well go for a PG with the 4th pick as well.
- Sacramento Kings, De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
2016-2017 stats: 16.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 2.4 TO
Collison and Lawson are both free agents, so taking Fox here would be a no-brainer for the Kings organization. Fox is not a great shooter from three (about 25% last season at Kentucky), but that plays into the hands of his backcourt teammate, Buddy Hield who hit about 43% from three since his arrival from New Orleans. This Kings backcourt could be fun to watch for years to come. You can pencil in Fox as the opening night starter.
- Orlando Magic, Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
2016-2017 stats: 12 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG, FT% 78
The Magic are thin at SF and PF, so taking Isaac here would make sense since he is versatile to play either position. Isaac is still fairly raw, but with patience and development he could turn out to be a pretty good inside and out big man. Developing his shooting is a must at the next level. Will also need to put on some weight.
- Minnesota Timberwolves, Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
2016-2017 stats: 19.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, FG% 45.0, 3P% 39.7
Minnesota ranked 20th in three point percentage and Monk is one of the better shooters in the draft. He would not start, but he would see minutes playing behind LaVine who had an injury-plagued 2016-2017 season. Monk is also very athletic, similar to a number of players on this T-Wolves team. They could be fun to watch next season.
- New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr., PG, North Carolina State
2016-2017 stats: 18.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.2 APG, 3.4 TO, 1.9 SPG
I know most Knick fans had their eyes set on Malik Monk because of his ability to shoot and stretch the floor, but Smith is a solid piece as well. Smith is a quick, athletic guard who will get Knicks’ fans on their feet more than a few times a game. Add Smith to Porzingis and you have two solid pieces to build around for years to come. Trading Anthony in the off-season and compiling even more picks and prospects would be a smart move for the New York organization.
- Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg
2016-2017 stats: 5.2 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.5 APG
Athletic PG with great size and a huge wingspan (close to 7’0). Ntilikina will need time to adjust to the NBA, just like many international players who come over. If the Mavs do not address their PG concern this off-season, Ntilikina could see himself playing a big role in his rookie season.
- Sacramento Kings, Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
2016-2017 stats: 10 PPG, 5.9 RPG, FG% 65.2, 1.8 BPG
I have seen Collins play a handful of times and I was really impressed how well he played in his freshman season at Gonzaga. If not for fouling out, Collins would have had a huge impact on the outcome of the North Carolina/Gonzaga title game. He is a solid big man, who is great in and around the basket. More importantly he has the size to really alter shots on the defensive end. Like Ntilikina, Collins is a prospect, so easing him in is a must.
- Charlotte Hornets, Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
2016-2017 stats: 18.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 3P% 37.0
Unlike every player taken before him, Jackson comes in with three years of experience in college and his offensive ability will help the Hornets offense that ranked 16th in points per game last season. Jackson is a good insurance policy to have behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who has dealt with injuries in the past two seasons. Jackson’s three point shooting should also help the Hornets immensely.
- Detroit Pistons, Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
2016-2017 stats: 19.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 3P% 43.7, FT% 85.6
With the likely departure of Caldwell-Pope, Kennard would slide into the SG role and start from day one. By taking Kennard, Detroit’s three point game would receive a huge boost, considering they ranked 28th in that category last season. He is not very athletic and his defense is not as good as Caldwell-Pope’s though.
- Denver Nuggets, Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
2016-2017 stats: 15.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, FT% 83.5, 3P% 42.3
Gallinari is more than likely leaving Denver, Faried’s future is up in the air and so is Chandler’s. Markkanen would stretch out the floor because defenders have to respect his ability to hit the three. An inside and out duo of Markkanen-Jokic could be fun to watch down in Denver. Add Markkanen to Murray, Harris and the aforementioned Jokic and this Denver team has some serious upside for the future.
- Miami Heat, John Collins, PF/C, Wake Forest
2016-2017 stats: 19.2 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 62.2 FG%
Match made in heaven if Collins falls to the Heat. The kid can rebound, score and run the floor. Add that to what Whiteside provides and this could be a tough match-up for any NBA team. Collins scored 31 points and added 15 rebounds vs Duke last season. This shows you he is not afraid of the big moment. Like most young big men, Collins has to work on his defense in the post.
- Portland Trail Blazers, Justin Patton, C, Creighton
2016-2017 stats: 12.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 67.6 FG%
Patton would obviously come off the bench as the Blazers have Nurkic as their starting C. Patton has outstanding size at 7’0, 230, but you would never tell if you judged him based on his rebounding numbers. He can score around the basket, but once you take him out of the key, he has trouble scoring. He has a tendency to fall asleep on the defensive end.
- Chicago Bulls, Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
2016-2017 stats: 15.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.1 SPG
Mitchell might be undersized as a SG (6’3), but his 6’10 wingspan more than makes up for that. Bulls need a SG, especially when you consider that Wade might not be back with the team next season. Mitchell might be small in size, but he does weigh 210 lbs and is not afraid of contact when going to the hoop.
- Milwaukee Bucks, Harry Giles, PF/C, Duke
- Indiana Pacers, Juwan Evans, PG, Oklahoma State
- Atlanta Hawks, Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
- Portland Trail Blazers, T.J. Leaf, PF, UCLA
- Oklahoma City Thunder, OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana
- Brooklyn Nets, Terrance Ferguson, SG, USA
- Toronto Raptors, Ivan Rabb, PF/C, California
- Utah Jazz, Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, SMU
- Orlando Magic, D.J. Wilson, PF, Michigan
- Portland Trail Blazers, Dwayne Bacon, SG/SF, Florida State
- Brooklyn Nets, Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse
- Los Angeles Lakers, Bam Adebayo, PF, Kentucky
- San Antonio Spurs, Caleb Swanigan, PF/C, Vanderbilt
- Utah Jazz, P.J. Dozier, PG/SG, South Carolina
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.