The Flyer’s 2017 NBA mock draft

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The Flyer’s 2017 NBA mock draft

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The draft lottery was calculated and completely randomized by www.tankathon.com.

  1. Miami Heat – Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA/ For the Heat, who are 19-30, it’s about obtaining leadership and efficiency. Both come with the 6’6, unorthodox point guard. Ball is truly a do-it-all ball player, and the number one pick is usually the best player available, but I think he is the best prospect in the country. With the 15 points and six rebounds a game, he’s been dishing out dimes at a top five rate at almost eight a game. He could have more, but his unselfishness and willingness to let his teammates take control when they should is uncanny. As far as team needs go, the team has one listed point guard, Goran Dragic, who has played a lot of undersized two, so that wouldn’t be a problem. It would be a better fit for the Heat too, considering Dragic is 46th in the league with a 2.1 assist to turnover ratio. Ball, although in college, has a 3.2 ratio which is amazing when you put it with his 54.1% field goal and 43% three point percentages. Efficiency is definitely a trait he portrays, as is leadership as he lead his H.S. team to a state title last year with a triple-double and is one of the leaders of his UCLA squad as a freshman who will almost for sure leave next year. I’m sensing a much more athletic Jason Kidd here which would be hard to fathom. Long story made short, the 19 year-old freshman may be the long term answer after D-Wade and Lebron scrambled back to their homes.
  2. Dallas Mavericks – Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington/ With the second pick, Dallas needs to just go with talent. Dirk Nowitzki is too old to be this team’s star player, Diggler can no longer put the team on his back. Harrison Barnes isn’t a star player either, although he’s getting mad paid. Deron Williams is another star player of yesterday, and isn’t the answer at point guard for long. Enter a 6’4 twitchy blur of a scorer, Markelle Fultz. Fultz, statistically has been the best player in the nation by an enormous margin rather, averaging 23.2 points, six assists, six rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game while Washington has been absolutely bombing at 9-14. A true stat sheet stuffer, his consistency is possibly his only worry, but he counters that con with how hot he gets at times. When the young gun heats up, there isn’t anyone in the NCAA who can halt him. Instincts, skill, and athleticism is all there and he has debatably the most star potential in the entire draft. The star of the collegiate world will head to the lone star state if Mark Cuban and company have anything to say about it.
  3. Philadelphia 76ers – Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State/ The last time the Sixers took a point guard with a lottery pick, it was Michael Carter-Williams. They traded him the next year for a PF/C, like they’ve had an act to do. They have a plethora of young big men, but it’s time for “The Process” to finally come together and I have a feeling they’d complete it with the savvy, uber athletic point guard of the future, Dennis Smith Jr. These point guards coming out this year are absolutely ridiculous and all three have potential to be some of the best players the game of basketball has ever seen. Smith has been amazing this year as well, while nowhere as efficient as the first two taken, his athleticism is Derrick Rose-esque. The elite first step, deadly quickness, and incredible leaping ability, all have scouts drooling over this physical wonder at the one position. “Junior,” as he’s referred to at times, has blown away the college world so far, especially dazzling with a particular performance, upsetting an unraveling Duke team. With his court general attitude, the guy is a great leader with competent 6’2, 185 point guard size. Smith, Simmons, and Embiid will be a big three lavishing the fans who trusted the process.
  4. Boston Celtics (From Brooklyn) – Harry Giles, PF, Duke/ Here’s where the draft is going to get interesting. The Celtics will be by far the most talented team selecting in the lottery due to the laughing stock of the league’s (cough, cough, the Nets) horrible move for a title, trading their future for the Celtics’ past. There is so many different ways the Celtics can go with this one, so if I was the genius Danny Ainge, I’d address team needs and Boston’s lowest ranking statistic and biggest reason for struggle is rebounding. Welcome Harry Giles, the biggest question mark among the top prospects. Giles was actually the number one player in the class before this year, but quickly dropped due to torn ACL his senior season of high school and more ACL trouble right before his freshman season at Duke. With still so much promise, game tape of this kid makes me excited for his future. Ainge and the Celtics have been unpredictable in year’s past. In only a handful of games he’s played since coming back, Giles has been mildly impressive as one of the best coaches ever, Mike Krzyzewski has been slowly weaning him back. Showing post skills, mobility with that size, and those athletic big man plays that get the fans hyped. Such a risky choice, but the best case scenario is certainly that coveted 18th Finals trophy.
  5. Phoenix Suns – Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas/ The Suns are having such a rough season, 15-33 and they are desperate for rejuvenation. With Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, and Marquese Chriss, they have the building blocks for an interesting, exciting team. Josh Jackson, the high flying, hard nosed defending, and competitive wing out of Kansas could inject life into Phoenix and their defense who is ranked 29th in points allowed. Jackson has the tools to be an emotional game changer and has matured a lot since coming to Kansas. His upside is near Jimmy Butler’s level of play. Such an intriguing upgrade from T.J. Warren who is averaging 13 points a game in 29 minutes of play on 45% shooting and 27% from three. Warren has solidified his spot as a solid role player, and with Jackson going to the Suns, that ideal situation will be reality.
  6.  Philadelphia 76ers (From Los Angeles) – Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke/ Philly strikes gold as the pick acquired in a trade giving up Carter-Williams who was formerly mentioned. The pick is top three protected, and the Sixers will be able to snag a nice piece like the big, smooth small forward, Jayson Tatum. The Duke product is for sure going top ten.
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona/ An intricate player, Markkanen is, a 7-foot stretch four whose efficiency has been through the roof and has an opportunity with Towns to start with a young, dynamic lineup. He definitely has the tools, it’s whether or not he can sharpen them correctly to blossom and fulfill his full ceiling which is somewhere around a Ryan Anderson type of player.
  8. Orlando Magic – Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky/ The Magic have been trying to get out of the slump Dwight Howard left them in, but haven’t gotten the franchise building block necessary yet. Payton has shown he’ll be a solid player in the league, and they traded Victor Oladipo for a nice frontcourt piece, Serge Ibaka. They won’t get a cornerstone, but Monk, a Calipari product, is an electrifying, undersized, scoring two guard. Probably the best shooter in the draft, he can fill it up, as he proved this season, breaking the freshman scoring record with 47 points one game.
  9. New Orleans Pelicans – Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida St./ Another very interesting player, Isaac started H.S. basketball as a 6’5 shooting guard and developed his skill set to that specific role. Little did he know, Isaac would grow six more inches and start improving things like rebounding, rim protection, and post play. While still scrawny and filling out his frame, Isaac has maintained coordination. He shoots, creates shots, and slashes like the shooting guard he was brought up as, but now adds lethal developments to his range as a player. The 6’11 Isaac has the versatility Anthony Davis would be ecstatic about.
  10. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky/ In Sac-town, things have been moving in the wrong direction for quite too long. Demarcus Cousins is growing frustrated, and this awful front office just needs to trade him and start from scratch. In this low of a spot, the Kings just need to go with the biggest game changer left, which is undoubtedly Fox. Malik Monk’s backcourt mate has been dreadful from the three point range but otherwise, compiled a nice stat line to go along with his 200 mile per hour game film. Fox is probably the quickest player in the draft, and the 6’4 frame does nothing but help his stock.
  11. New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg/ To too many, this name will be a head scratcher but this point guard prospect is no joke and Phil Jackson should be jumping up and down if he lands this lengthy, defensive menace of a floor general. Ntilikina is 6’5 with a whole seven feet of wingspan. An article in The New York Times reads, “Ntilikina’s spindly, springy body has been a blank canvas onto which people continue to project their visions of what he might become.” A lot of potential lies within, but the French stud has to convert in the league.
  12. Portland Trail Blazers – Justin Patton, C, Creighton/ The Blazers are lacking in defense, and rebounding. Why not add a 7’0 center with untapped potential? Patton has been flashing all the tools to be a big time big man, shooting 71% from the field, and doing so with inside dominance. Off the screen his weaponry is enticing, his mid-range jumper is fine and he’s 5-11 from three; not bad. His rebounding and rim protection is part of his ceiling, but with his size and correct development, Patton should fill a void for Portland.
  13. Milwaukee Bucks – Isaiah Hartenstein, PF/C, Germany/ The Bucks have one of the most unusual situations in the history of basketball. They have a nearly 7-foot small forward who can do literally everything you need a player to do, besides shoot threes, and with force at that. They also have Jabari Parker who has become a pretty good outside shooter while being 6’8, at the power forward. But bottom line, a stretch five completes Milwaukee. Hartenstein is by far the best player to come out of Germany since Dennis Schroeder, and he can do it all, while being an athletic big man. The only reason he’s falling is the basic concerns for a European big man.
  14. Detroit Pistons – Josh Hart, SG, Villanova/ So much comes with the senior from Nova, including a National title under his belt, and tremendous leadership qualities. The Pistons aren’t only lacking depth on the wing and at two guard, but they’re also lackluster from beyond the arc which is a problem when your star is a seven foot monster of the paint. For help in the three point department, Hart is an excellent choice, shooting 40.3% from outside, while averaging 18.9 points per game. Also a consistent rebounder and avid ball handler, he’s up for major Naismith consideration.