The Undefeated’s NBA lottery mock draft
With no trades — hey, it’s a mock — this is how the first 14 picks go down
There could be a lot of wheeling and dealing at the start of the 2017 NBA draft on June 22. But let’s assume that every team keeps its pick. Washington guard Markelle Fultz would be the top pick by the Boston Celtics. After talking to a high-ranking NBA team executive, here is The Undefeated’s lottery mock draft.
1. Boston Celtics
Pick: Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, 6-4, 195 pounds.
Comment: Boston should trade this pick to the Chicago Bulls for All-Star Jimmy Butler, but expect the athletic and unselfish point guard to be selected.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Pick: UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, 6-6, 190 pounds.
Comment: Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, has been infatuated with this local kid with Magic-like passing skills from a famous shoe-selling family.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Pick: Kansas small forward Josh Jackson, 6-8, 205 pounds.
Comment: Don’t be surprised if Jackson ends up being the top player in the draft because of his Kobe Bryant-competitive nature, athleticism and improving jump shot.
4. Phoenix Suns
Pick: Duke small forward Jayson Tatum, 6-8, 205 pounds.
Comment: Tatum kept improving as his freshman season progressed for the Blue Devils, has a 6-foot-11 wingspan and has an all-around skilled game.
5. Sacramento Kings
Pick: Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, 6-6½, 170 pounds.
Comment: The Sacramento Kings land a steal and long-coveted point guard who some NBA scouts believe is better than Ball. This speed demon, however, must improve his jump shot.
6. Orlando Magic
Pick: Florida State small forward/power forward Jonathan Isaac, 6-11, 205.
Comment: The versatile and athletic Isaac stays in Florida to fill a need at small forward for the Orlando Magic. He can protect the rim but needs to get stronger.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Pick: Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen, 7-0, 225 pounds.
Comment: The Minnesota Timberwolves now get a scary big-man scoring duo with budding star Karl-Anthony Towns and the deep threat Markkanen.
8. New York Knicks
Pick: North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith, 6-3, 195 pounds.
Comment: Finally, good news for New York. The Knicks desperately need a point guard and land one in the talented, athletic and hot-scoring Smith.
9. Dallas Mavericks
Pick: Gonzaga power forward-center Zach Collins, 7-0, 230 pounds.
Comment: The Dallas Mavericks get a 7-footer to eventually replace the franchise’s greatest player in 7-footer Dirk Nowitzki, who could be a great mentor.
10. Sacramento Kings
Pick: Creighton center Justin Patton, 7-0, 230 pounds.
Comment: Long athlete with a decent skill set who runs the floor. Needs to get stronger but has major upside and some range on his jump shot.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Pick: Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk, 6-4, 197 pounds.
Comment: Michael Jordan adds a Jordanesque-type of scorer to his Charlotte Hornets in the explosive Monk, who could play alongside All-Star Kemba Walker.
12. Detroit Pistons
Pick: French point guard Frank Ntilikina, 6-5, 170 pounds.
Comment: The Detroit Pistons fill a need for the future in a big, strong, pass-first point guard in a draft deep in point guard talent. Still needs to improve his jump shot.
13. Denver Nuggets
Pick: Kentucky center Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, 6-10, 240 pounds.
Comment: Denver Nuggets budding superstar big man Nikola Jokic will not have to play center when the athletic, tough, shot-blocking Adebayo is on the floor.
14. Miami Heat
Pick: Duke power forward Harry Giles, 6-11, 230 pounds.
Comment: The injury-plagued youngster would have been a high pick without his knee issues. Could be a great complement to center Hassan Whiteside.