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 Feb 7, 2017 Mock Draft 3.0: Top draft picks for Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and more

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PostSubject: Feb 7, 2017 Mock Draft 3.0: Top draft picks for Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and more   Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:18 pm

ESPN Insider article
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Mock Draft 3.0: Top draft picks for Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and more

Where are top prospects Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and more projected to go in the draft? Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2017

Chad Ford
ESPN Senior Writer

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We're halfway through the NBA season and moving toward the end of the college basketball regular season, which means it's time for the third full mock for the 2017 NBA draft.

It's our best stab at a full first-round mock -- assuming every eligible prospect who has yet to state his intentions on the draft declares -- after taking into account team needs and conversations with NBA scouts and general managers.

We'll be using ESPN's Basketball Power Index (BPI) to project the order for Mock Draft 3.0.
1. Boston Celtics (via Nets)*

Markelle Fultz
Washington
Freshman
Guard


Celtics president Danny Ainge was in Seattle last week, watching Fultz go head-to-head with UCLA's Lonzo Ball and USC's De'Anthony Melton. Fultz was good but not spectacular in both games, but blame much of that on a lackluster roster at Washington.

The Celtics don't really need a point guard (they passed on Kris Dunn last year because of how loaded they are at the position). However, I don't think that will stop Boston from drafting Fultz.
2017 NBA draft

Get ready for Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and the 2017 draft, with analysis from Chad Ford and other ESPN experts.

Big Board 3.0
Draft tiers for top freshmen
Who's the No. 1 pick?
Ford: Top 100 prospect rankings

Fultz has the size and natural scoring ability to play either the 1 or the 2. And his 3-point shooting should be especially appealing to the Celtics. In the two games Ainge watched, Fultz was 9-for-18 from 3.

Odds of winning lottery (if Brooklyn finishes with the worst record: 25 percent (Boston owns the rights to swap picks with Brooklyn.)

Projected record (Nets): 17-65
2. Los Angeles Lakers*

Lonzo Ball
UCLA
Freshman
Guard

The Lakers are up to a 44.4 percent chance of landing a top-three pick in the draft, according to BPI. That's up 10 percent from last month. So while the odds still favor the 76ers landing this pick, things are looking up for Lakers fans at this point.

Kevin Pelton and I recently went deep on what the Lakers would do if they got the No. 1 pick. Despite the solid play of second-year point guard D'Angelo Russell, both of us felt like they'd grab Ball or Fultz if they were on the board.
Editor's Picks

NBA draft 2017: Complete coverage

From prospect projections to the lottery and draft night, ESPN.com has complete coverage of the 2017 NBA draft.

Ball is especially appealing to the Lakers. His elite passing ability combined with his unselfishness has the potential to make everyone on the roster better and allow head coach Luke Walton to play the sort of game at which the Warriors have excelled. Russell can swing to the 2 and, along with Ball and Jordan Clarkson, would give the Lakers three ballhandling guards.

Odds of winning lottery: 19.9 percent (Sixers get the Lakers' pick if it falls outside the top three)

Projected record: 27-55
3. Phoenix Suns

Josh Jackson
Kansas
Freshman
Forward


Jackson has been terrific in Big 12 play and has certainly made a strong case for being the No. 1 pick. I don't see teams taking him over Fultz or Ball, but it doesn't mean he's not worthy of such a high selection.

His motor and versatility on both offense and defense make him a high-impact player. And that hitchy jump shot is starting to fall with more consistency this year. He should be a great fit on the wing next to Devin Booker.

Odds of winning lottery: 15.6 percent

Projected record: 27-55
4. Philadelphia 76ers

Malik Monk
Kentucky
Freshman
Guard


Falling to No. 4, paired with the Lakers moving up to No. 2, is a bit of a worse-case scenario for the Sixers when it comes to the draft lottery. But this draft is so loaded, it won't stop them from landing another major building block.

Monk makes a lot of sense for the Sixers. Ben Simmons can play the point, so what they need is a dynamic scorer and shooter to pair with him. Monk is the most electric scorer to come into the draft in some time. He can be streaky, but when he gets going he's difficult to stop. He should be able to instantly transform the Sixers' offense.

Odds of winning lottery: 11.9 percent

Projected record: 27-55
5. Orlando Magic

Dennis Smith
NC State
Freshman
Guard

The Magic are a mess and could end up in a major front office and roster overhaul this summer. That makes projecting team needs a bit difficult.

There are several good options on the board for Orlando here, but Smith seems like a solid fit. Elfrid Payton is up and down and even when he's on, it wouldn't prohibit the Magic from grabbing Smith. Smith's elite athleticism and dynamic scoring ability should give the Magic some real offensive punch in their backcourt.

Odds of winning lottery: 8.8 percent

Projected record: 31-51
6. New Orleans Pelicans

Jonathan Isaac
FSU
Freshman
Forward

The Pelicans are still searching for the right players to complement Anthony Davis. Last year's lottery pick, Buddy Hield, was supposed to be that guy, but so far he has been one of the bigger disappointments from the 2016 draft. The Pelicans opted for now instead of the future -- which is why they passed on Jamal Murray -- and once again it has burned them.

I expect that at some point they have to take a more aggressive and risky swing, and drafting Isaac here represents that. Based on pure upside and talent, he may be a better overall prospect than Brandon Ingram. He just needs to add a lot of strength.

The Pelicans don't feel like they can afford to be patient. But Isaac is worth the wait.

Odds of winning lottery: 6.3 percent

Projected record: 31-51
7. Sacramento Kings*

Jayson Tatum
Duke
Freshman
Forward

The Kings will have a tough choice here if they land at No. 7. Drafting a young point guard has been a need for years. Rudy Gay is out for the season (and possibly longer) with a torn Achilles and can opt out of his contract in the summer, which would open up a hole at the 3. And none of the Kings' 4s are particularly effective. Basically, with the exception of DeMarcus Cousins, the whole roster is a wash.

Tatum probably has the rawest talent of the players left on the board. He's a prototypical NBA 3. If he can ever get his 3-point shot to fall with regularity, he'd be a steal this late in the draft.

Odds of winning lottery: 4.3 percent (If the Kings move ahead of Philadelphia in the lottery and are in the top 10, they swap spots with the Sixers. If Sacramento's pick falls outside the top 10, it will go to Chicago.)

Projected record: 33-49
8. Minnesota Timberwolves

Lauri Markkanen
Arizona
Freshman
Forward

Markkanen has slowly moved closer to Tier 2 alongside Jackson, Monk, Smith, Isaac and Tatum. The versatile 7-footer is shooting a crazy 49 percent from 3 on nearly five attempts per game.

A few scouts have made comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki. That seems a bit hyperbolic to me. There are some similarities there, especially with Markkanen's shooting ability for his height, but a Ryan Anderson comp might be more fitting.

Either way, getting another shooting big would be a nice fit for the Wolves -- if Tom Thibodeau can handle another player on the roster who doesn't play great defense.

Odds of winning lottery: 2.8 percent

Projected record: 33-49
9. Dallas Mavericks

Frank Ntilikina
France
Age: 18
Guard

The Mavs are about ready to hit a full reset. Nowitzki, 38, is aging along with much of the rest of the roster. Harrison Barnes seems like the only real true building block for the future (and, no, I'm not on the Yogi Ferrell future Hall of Famer bandwagon yet). That gives the Mavs a lot of flexibility when it comes to the draft.

Ntilikina is probably underrated right now. If he were in the NCAA, I think he'd be three to four spots higher in our Big Board rankings. Luckily for the Mavs, they have the best international scouting department in the league. They aren't sleeping on Ntilikina.

Odds of winning lottery: 1.7 percent

Projected record: 35-47
10. Miami Heat

Harry Giles
Duke
Freshman
Forward

Giles remains the trickiest prospect in the draft to evaluate. He's playing anywhere from seven to 18 minutes a game. When he plays 14 minutes or more, good things seem to happen in flashes. But overall, he still doesn't look like the Giles we saw in high school. It will be hard for teams to draft him over some of the less talented but less risky players above him.

I don't think the Heat (or Wolves, for that matter) should pass on him, though. His upside is as high as anyone's in the draft. He's shaking off a lot of rust right now, but when he gets fully healthy, he has superstar potential.

If the Heat can grab him here, they'll be thrilled. His work ethic and toughness fit Miami's culture perfectly. In a year or two, this pick could be the steal of the draft.

Odds of winning lottery: 1.1 percent

Projected record: 35-47
11. New York Knicks

De'Aaron Fox
Kentucky
Freshman
Guard

The depth of the draft remains ridiculous. Fox is having a terrific season for the Wildcats, he might be the fastest player in the draft and he can't crack the top 10.

The good news for Fox is that I think he'd be a great fit in New York. Both Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are free agents this summer. At some point the Knicks are going to have to transition from Carmelo Anthony's team to Kristaps Porzingis's team. Landing Fox would be a great way to start that transition.

Odds of winning lottery: 0.8 percent

Projected record: 35-47
12. Denver Nuggets

Miles Bridges
Michigan State
Freshman
Forward

Bridges' hot start has cooled a bit thanks to injuries and a tough season for the Spartans. He remains an appealing prospect who could be a nice long-term fit in Denver.

He's versatile, super athletic and has proven he can hit college 3s at a 41 percent clip. He's still turnover prone, but it's often because he's asked to do too much. Put him around young talents like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and I think he'll thrive.

Odds of winning lottery: 0.7 percent

Projected record: 36-46
13. Milwaukee Bucks

Justin Patton
Creighton
Freshman
Center

Patton has been on a meteoric rise and is the highest-rated center on our Big Board. The Bucks just dumped Miles Plumlee and have been looking to move Greg Monroe for a year.

Although Patton isn't the type of player who will come in and dominate right away for the Bucks, he's the long-term building block they've been looking for in the middle. He has tremendous upside and seems to just be scratching the surface on what he can do.

Odds of winning lottery: 0.6 percent

Projected record: 37-45
14. Detroit Pistons

Terrance Ferguson
Australia
Age: 19
Guard

The quality of the draft starts to slip a bit after those top 13 are off the board. There are several intriguing prospects left for teams to choose from, but here the draft dips to Tier 4 and it gets pretty wide open.

Ferguson's stint in Australia has been solid. He's not shooting the ball particularly well, but he has picked up valuable experience and teams like his long-term upside as a shooter. The Pistons could use depth behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the 2.

Odds of winning lottery: 0.5 percent

Projected record: 40-42
15. Portland Trail Blazers

T.J. Leaf
UCLA
Freshman
Forward

Leaf is one of the most gifted scorers in college basketball. He has the full arsenal of skills on the offensive end of the court. Defensively, however, he's a bit of a liability and that causes him to slide just a bit down the draft board.

Al-Farouq Aminu, Meyers Leonard, Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh are all struggling in Portland right now. Leaf could be a long-term upgrade.

Projected record: 38-44
16. Charlotte Hornets

Robert Williams
Texas A&M
Freshman
Forward

Williams is raw, but his athleticism and defensive potential are off the charts.

The Hornets really don't have anyone on the roster who fits that mold anymore.

Projected record: 40-42
17. Chicago Bulls

Jarrett Allen
Texas
Freshman
Center

The Bulls are a mess and the rumblings that there could be major changes to the front office and team this summer appear well-founded. Trying to discern what's next for them, given the team chaos, is difficult.

Allen is a project, but an intriguing one. His defense is ahead of his offense right now, but over the course of the past few weeks he has been making major offensive strides as well.

He seems to be coming on at the right time and could be a nice backup to Robin Lopez for the next year or two while he adds strength and experience.

Projected record: 40-42
18. Indiana Pacers

Ivan Rabb
Cal
Sophomore
Forward

The Pacers don't have a lot of real depth behind Thaddeus Young at the 4. Rabb has probably moved from overrated to underrated this season.

While scouts are infatuated with the freshmen, Rabb is quietly averaging a double-double and has had 12 or more rebounds in eight of his past 11 games. He's still figuring things out and needs to add strength, but he's a phenomenal talent this late in the draft.

Projected record: 41-41
19. Atlanta Hawks

John Collins
Wake Forest
Sophomore
Forward

The Hawks' entire crop of power forwards is set to enter free agency this summer. Collins ranks second in the NCAA in player efficiency rating (PER).

He's crazy efficient around the basket, a great athlete and a very good defender. He might be the most underrated player on the board. I won't be surprised if he moves up significantly before the draft.

Projected record: 44-38
20. Oklahoma City Thunder

OG Anunoby
Indiana
Sophomore
Forward

Anunoby underwent knee surgery last Tuesday and will miss the remainder of the season. NBA teams are still trying to discern the exact nature of the injury and what his rehab timetable will be.

Regardless, most teams still see him as a potential top-20 pick, even if he can't play his rookie season in the NBA. His combination of raw strength, power and the ability to stretch the floor make him an elite 3-and-D-type prospect. The Thunder have been searching for a long-term wing solution. If they're patient, Anunoby should deliver.

Projected record: 45-37
21. Washington Wizards

Zach Collins
Gonzaga
Freshman
Center

Marcin Gortat is still holding his own in the middle for the Wizards, but they'll need to start thinking about a long-term replacement and Collins is a very intriguing option.

He can be a modern 5 who stretches the floor and protects the rim. He has been one of the most efficient players in college basketball and ranks fourth in the NCAA in PER.

Projected record: 46-36
22. Denver Nuggets (via Grizzlies)*

Rodions Kurucs
Latvia
Age: 19
Forward

Kurucs is starting to get more playing time in Spain and has made the most of it, averaging 15 points in his past five games.

He's a project, but with two (likely) first-round picks, the Nuggets can afford to stash him overseas and wait for him to develop.

Projected record (Grizzlies): 47-35 (Denver will get Memphis' first-round pick if it falls outside the top five.)
23. Utah Jazz

Isaiah Hartenstein
Germany
Age: 18
Forward

The Jazz don't have any real needs right now, which gives them flexibility to either take a project or to find a player who can fit into the rotation someway.

While Hartenstein might be the least ready of the 4s we've ranked, there is a high ceiling with him. There aren't many 7-footers with his combination of athleticism, elite skill level and motor. He can be volatile, but he should be worth a gamble at this stage of the draft.

Projected record: 49-33
24. Toronto Raptors (via Clippers)*

Tyler Lydon
Syracuse
Sophomore
Forward

The Raptors' biggest weakness is at the 4, where rookie Pascal Siakam starts, but his play is below replacement level.

Lydon doesn't really have a true position, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. On offense, he has deep range on his jumper and can stretch the floor. On defense, he's an above-average shot-blocker. He needs to get stronger, but he looks like he'd be a good fit in Toronto.

Projected record (Clippers): 51-31 (Toronto will get L.A.'s first-round pick if it falls outside the lottery.)
25. Brooklyn Nets (via Celtics)*

Andrew Jones
Texas
Freshman
Guard

Losing out on players like Fultz and Ball must be heartbreaking for the Nets. At this point in the draft, they aren't likely to land anywhere near that caliber of player. But there are a lot of scouts who feel like Jones is a major sleeper.

He's an elite athlete, plays above the rim and has shown the ability to knock down the 3. He's really come along in Big 12 play. The Nets need to continue to swing for the fences with these late draft picks and hope they strike gold. Jones is a good bet down this low.

Projected record (Celtics): 51-31
26. Toronto Raptors

Ike Anigbogu
UCLA
Freshman
Center

This is the type of player Toronto GM Masai Ujiri loves: underrated and a little raw but with athleticism and toughness that should translate to the NBA.

Anigbogu doesn't play a huge role for UCLA, but his athleticism and shot-blocking have turned a lot of heads.

Projected record: 51-31
27. Portland Trail Blazers (via Cavaliers)

Donovan Mitchell
Louisville
Sophomore
Guard

Mitchell is having a strong sophomore season. He's one of the most athletic players in the draft and is emerging as a shooter.

He's a bit of a tweener, but he should be especially attractive to the Blazers if he can handle backup point guard duties, something he has been recently tasked with at Louisville.

Projected record (Cavaliers): 55-27 (Portland owns Cleveland's first-round pick.)
28. Houston Rockets

Luke Kennard
Duke
Sophomore
Guard

The Rockets really like to let the ball fly. They take and make more 3-pointers than any team in league, averaging a crazy 39 3s per game.

Kennard might be the best pure shooter in the draft this year. The Rockets can always find a home for a player like that.

Projected record: 56-26
29. San Antonio Spurs

Josh Hart
Villanova
Senior
Guard

Hart just feels like a Spurs player: solid, no ego and can hurt you in a number of ways, such as hitting 3s and getting to the basket.

The Spurs have Danny Green to do a lot of that, but with Manu Ginobili potentially in his last season, Hart could be a nice fit.

Projected record: 62-20
30. Utah Jazz (via Warriors)*

Kostja Mushidi
Belgium
Age: 18
Guard

This is the second first-rounder for the Jazz, and I wouldn't be surprised if they go international.

Mushidi is a raw prospect who needs to improve his shooting, but his athleticism and scoring talent make him an attractive option. He ended up averaging 14.7 PPG for Germany in the FIBA Under-18 European Championships.

His 8-for-42 shooting from 3 is the big reason he isn't higher on our board.

Projected record (Warriors): 69-13 (Utah owns Golden State's first-round pick.)

BPI projected records current as of Feb. 5.










Feb 7, 2017
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PostSubject: Re: Feb 7, 2017 Mock Draft 3.0: Top draft picks for Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and more   Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:35 am

This class has almost literally no bigs but veeeery guard heavy. Good for the Knicks who could use one of those guards. I definitely wouldn't mind De'Aaron Fox at #11.

Harry Giles at #10 after all the hype in high school. CJ

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PostSubject: Re: Feb 7, 2017 Mock Draft 3.0: Top draft picks for Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and more   Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:25 pm

Markelle Fultz is the only guaranteed superstar type of player in this draft

Then you have the Malik Monk/Josh Jackson's who could turn into Ben McLemore type or average 25 a game

Celtics shouldn't trade their likely top 4 Nets pick for nothing though, it could def get Jimmy Butler or something
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