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NBA Mock Draft 2017: Edition 1

Josh Jackson to Philadelphia
1. Boston Celtics: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington (Scouting Report)
As of right now, Boston is in prime position to not only get to the Eastern Conference Finals, but also land the top pick in the Draft, still reaping the rewards of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade to Brooklyn years ago. Despite the play of Isaiah Thomas, who has been godly in the last few Playoff games, Boston could use further help in the backcourt, and Fultz is the clear-cut top prospect in the Draft.
2. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
After taking some time to adjust to the collegiate level, Jayson Tatum was an absolute monster for Duke over the last few months. With a polished inside-out game, and impressive versatility, he has all the tools to be effective right away in the NBA. Phoenix needs all the help they can get, and I love the fit.
3. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA 
Lonzo Ball has become a pretty popular name on and off the court in recent months, but there is no denying his immense playmaking potential. His jump shot is broken and off, but he still has shown the ability to score in a variety of ways, and his athleticism and court vision are unmatched. Him (and his father) seem like a good fit in the bright lights of LA, who will pair him with promising backcourt mates Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell.
4. Philadelphia Sixers: Josh Jackson, G/F, Kansas
Without a whole lot of backcourt help to build around, Philadelphia would certainly examine stud Kentucky products De'Aaron Fox or Malik Monk here, but Josh Jackson would still clearly be the top player on the board. Jackson has to round out his offensive game, but he has the length, athleticism and energy to do just that, and he'll immediately upgrade the wing for Philly.
5. Orlando Magic: De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
De'Aaron Fox really grew into his own at Kentucky this past season, and he could form a lethal backcourt combo with Elfrid Payton in Orlando. Fox still has to grow a reliable jump shot, but his speed and defensive skills already make him an impact player, and paired with Payton, Orlando could run opponents to death.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Zach Collins, F/C, Gonzaga
I absolutely love Zach Collins' game. He's a lengthy, smart big man who already is a proven disruptor on defense and his upside is off the charts. At seven feet tall, his length will allow him to make an impact in the NBA immediately on the defensive side of the ball, while he still works on growing and developing.
7. New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr., G, NC State
Despite acquiring Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah this past summer, the Knicks are a laughingstock, and they have next to know developmental options on this roster. They have to take the best player on the board, and Dennis Smith Jr. fits the bill. Despite tearing his ACL his senior year of high school, Smith showed impressive explosiveness and athleticism in his lone year with the Wolfpack, and he would immediately bring some bite to this stagnant offense.
8. Sacramento Kings: Jonathan Isaac, F/C, Florida State
Without Demarcus Cousins getting all the touches offensively, Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein both really came into their own in the season's second half, but neither can really be considered franchise building blocks. Isaac is extremely raw, but his length, shot-blocking abilities and strength give him the framework, and he should only get better.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona
One of the lesser-known commodities arriving in a good 2016 recruiting class for 'Zona, Markkanen turned out to be one of the premier freshman in the Pac-12. He proved to have a very diverse and polished offensive game, and could stretch the floor a bit. He doesn't quite have the upside of some of the other big men in the NBA, but he could certainly be a nice long-term replacement for Dirk Nowitzki, whose career has to be finishing up soon.
10. Sacramento Kings: Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
After snatching up Isaac earlier on Sacramento will use their draft pick acquired in the Cousins' trade to pick up the best pure scorer in the Draft. Monk is a little bit of a tweener at guard and not a great defender, but he has proven he can absolutely take over games. Him and Buddy Hield wouldn't be a great backcourt, but boy it'd be entertaining.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Justin Patton, C, Creighton
Despite not being highly touted coming out of high school, Justin Patton really impressed NBA scouts at Creighton. He showed that he could really finish around the basket, and he could use his wide frame to really work on the glass. He still has plenty to improve, but he appears to be one of the best pure centers in the Draft and could anchor Charlotte's low post for years to come.
12. Detroit Pistons: Frank Ntilikina, G, France
Easily the most difficult part of the NBA Draft is projecting International players. For every Dirk Nowitzki or Kristaps Porzingis, there seems to be about 100 Fran Vasquez or Andrea Bargani types. Even so, in the late lottery they aren't a super big risk, and Frank Ntilikina may end up being quite the steal. He's a speedy, aggressive offensive player who has proven he can produce on the big stage. He'd immediately add some energy to a Pistons' offense lacking much substance beyond Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond.
13. Denver Nuggets: Terrance Ferguson, G/F, Australia
Much like Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay before him, Terrance Ferguson shocked the basketball world by announcing he would forgo college and play one year overseas, fulfilling the NBA Draft requirements of one-year out of high school. He was very quiet in Australia, but his Draft stock will inevitably rise once scouts get to see more of his tremendous athleticism and scary transition game, which will be even more deadly in Denver's altitude.
14. Miami Heat: John Collins, F/C, Wake Forest
With Chris Bosh's time in South Beach effectively over and Hassan Whiteside still rather one-dimensional, Miami should favor adding a young prospect to help out the frontcourt. John Collins seems like a real good fit. He took a huge leap in his sophomore season at Wake Forest and while he still is improving offensively, he has all the tools to become very, very good.
15. Portland Trail Blazers: Jarrett Allen, F/C, Texas
With his size and defensive abilities, there remains a good chance Jarrett Allen will go in the lottery. With that in mind, he still is incredibly raw and some NBA teams could favor going with a more experienced, less-risky prospect. If he does drop a bit, Portland should bring him on, he'd give them a dominant true center they've lacked for a long time.
16. Chicago Bulls: Edrice "Bam" Adebayo, F/C, Kentucky
He may not quite have the superstar potential of former Kentucky big men Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns, but Bam Adebayo is going to really produce for some NBA team. He has to get better at the free throw line and defensively but he's already massive and powerful and he has so much potential.
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Isaiah Hartenstein, F/C, Germany
A common trend has emerged in the last couple Milwaukee Bucks' draft selections: insane potential and impressive length. Why not keep up the trend and go with an unproven, but high-upside center in Hartenstein, who just happens to have a 7'2" wingspan? If he works out, he could force out Greg Monroe, who seems to disrupt the rhythm of this offense.
18. Indiana Pacers: Justin Jackson, G/F, North Carolina
After suffering through some severe ups-and-downs in his first two years in Chapel Hill, Justin Jackson took huge strides this past season, emerging as one of the Tar Heels' go-to options. He has done a complete 180 as a three-point shooter, and his floater is a handy tool to have. Again, his upside may not be off the charts, but the Pacers should be happy to add a dangerous offensive weapon into the fold.
19. Atlanta Hawks: Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
Lost behind the hype of Lonzo Ball and the other UCLA freshmen, Ike Anigbogu has shown signs of growth and plenty of potential. He averaged just 4.7 PPG in his lone year with the Bruins, but he showed a knack for disrupting the opponents' offense down low and outmuscling defenders on the block. Dwight Howard has reportedly been frustrated with his role in Atlanta, so why not replace him with a younger, less dramatic version?
20. Portland Trail Blazers: Ivan Rabb, F/C, California
There were plenty of people shocked last year when Ivan Rabb announced he was going to stay another year at Cal, and it's hard to say it really paid off. He failed to really lead the Golden Bears, who dropped out of the NCAA Tournament, and scouts weren't enthralled by him. However, he showed enough to go in the first round, and the Trail Blazers need to upgrade the power forward position.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Luke Kennard, G, Duke
Even with Russell Westbrook bringing in triple-doubles every other night, OKC wasn't great in 2016-2017 and a lot of it had to do with poor three-point shooting. The good news is that the Thunder can land Luke Kennard here, a guy who took over at times this past season for Duke and can absolutely stroke it from downtown.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Harry Giles, F/C, Duke
Here is the deal with Brooklyn: they aren't going to be good in a long, long time so why not risk some of their draft picks and hope they turn into something? There is not a bigger boom-or-bust prospect n the Draft than Harry Giles. He was one of the top players in the 2016 recruiting cycle, but barely played at Duke as he recovers from significant injuries to both knees. If he does manage to get and stay healthy and capitalize on his potential, the Nets get a huge steal here at 22.
23. Toronto Raptors: Dwayne Bacon, G, Florida State
In his two seasons at Florida State, Dwayne Bacon struggled with consistency and turnovers but also proved he has wonderful talent and can carry a team on his back. With Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan, Toronto won't need that, but he can be a high-quality, instant offense option off the bench.
24. Utah Jazz: T.J. Leaf, F, UCLA
T.J. Leaf doesn't come out and wow you with any parts of his game, but he does bring a sharp, skilled big man to the table. He proved that he could stretch the floor often while at UCLA, and despite not being incredibly strong down low, he could handle himself down low. The Jazz should be more than willing to take a waiver on the low-risk option here late in the first.
25. Orlando Magic: O.G. Anunoby, G/F, Indiana
I absolutely love O.G. Anunoby as a prospect; he reminds me so much of another former Hoosier, Victor Oladipo, with his energy and quickness. When it's all said and done, I think he'll end up going higher than 25, but teams must be wary of his health after missing most of the season at Indiana. If he does fall, Orlando adds an elite defender with upside.
26. Portland Trail Blazers: Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
Donovan Mitchell made huge strides as a sophomore at Louisville this past season, and has emerged as a possible lottery pick. He brings NBA size for his position and a wide range of talents offensively, but he must also develop as a shooter. Portland would love a backup to C.J. McCollum, and Mitchell could be quite the get down here.
27. Brooklyn Nets: Rodions Kurucs, F, Latvia
For some of the same reasons mentioned above, Brooklyn could also add an international player or two, who they could stash overseas until his game grows. Kurucs could be good bet, as the Latvian is sure to impress with his slashing offensive game and proven defensive capabilities.
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Tony Bradley, F/C, North Carolina
The jury is still out on Julius Randle and Larry Nance in LA but even if those two make big improvements over the next few years, more frontcourt help will be necessary. Bradley's super young and there is a good chance he returns next season for UNC. If not, his shot-blocking abilities and wonderful upside make him an attractive option.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Josh Hart, G/F, Villanova
Most scouts don't view Josh Hart as a first-round prospect but we all know San Antonio loves their sleeper picks, and Hart seems like a great fit. He's a versatile, smooth player and is incredibly unselfish. In this type of offense, he could fit right in on the wing, alongside Kawhi Leonard.
30. Utah Jazz: Jawun Evans, G, Oklahoma State
Considering his youth, Utah should not give up on Dante Exum just yet, but the former Top-5 pick is still learning. With an abundance of options available late in the first, why not snatch up a perfect change-of-pace in Evans out of Oklahoma State? Evans is a fearless player who attacks the rim at every opportunity, differing from the conservative Exum. Those two would give Utah a pretty potent 1-2 punch moving forward.

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