Breaking news, rankings, predictions and analysis all in one place.

NBA Draft 2017: Top 40 Big Board

View 2017 Mock Draft here
De'Aaron Fox

1. Markelle Fultz, G, Washington
Projection: 1st to Philadelphia
Strengths: Polished jumper, instant offense, decent defender
Weaknesses: Leadership, lack of elite speed
Bust Potential: Low
Widely regarded as the top overall prospect in the Draft, Markelle Fultz has all the tools to be a highly productive NBA player for a long time to come. He brings a proven jumper to the table, which mixed in with his impressive size and strength equates to a wonderful all-around offensive game. He still has to prove himself defensively, but Fultz proved he could carry a team on his back, putting up gaudy stats on a terrible Washington team. The hope is that he won't have to do something similar in Philadelphia, where an impressive core of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid awaits.
2. De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Projection: 5th to Sacramento
Strengths: Breakneck speed, court vision, dominant in transition
Weaknesses: Reliable jumper
Bust Potential: Low
The latest in a long line of John Calipari point guards, De'Aaron Fox's playmaking abilities and insane speed are reminiscent of John Wall when he was selected first overall in 2010. With that speed, impressive court vision and well-beyond-his-years maturity, it is easy to see Fox putting up big-time assist numbers for a long time at the next level. His big weakness is his jump shot, which has to become more consistent. If he can discover that, he can certainly evolve into a multiple All-Star in the NBA.
3. Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Projection: 2nd to Los Angeles Lakers
Strengths: Court vision, athleticism, fearless offensive game
Weaknesses: Broken jumper, off-the-court questions
Bust Potential: Moderate
The basketball world is completely split on Lonzo Ball. Some view the former UCLA Bruin as a legitimate star ready to take the NBA by storm, while others question his jump shot, defense and how his loudmouth father may impact his future. I view Ball as an extremely impressive overall prospect; he has proven he can take over games when needed and his ability to pass the ball will immediately upgrade any offense right away.
4. Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
Projection: 3rd to Boston
Strengths: Dominant in isolation, fabulous in paint, overall versatility
Weaknesses: Average defender, needs to get stronger
Bust Potential: Low
One of the top prospects in the 2016 recruiting class, Jayson Tatum did not disappoint in his lone season with the Blue Devils. The versatile forward grew into one of the team's most consistent offensive weapons, displaying a wide range of offensive abilities. He will add an effective forward to any number of NBA teams, and could become even more lethal on the offensive end if he can add some size and bulk to deal with bigger and tougher NBA defenders.
5. Josh Jackson, G/F, Kansas
Projection: 4th to Phoenix
Strengths: Athleticism, rebounding, defense
Weaknesses: Unreliable jumper, inconsistent free throw shooter
Bust Potential: Moderate
Much like Tatum, Josh Jackson was a highly touted recruit coming into the 2016-2017 season, and his improvement over the course of the season has scouts excited. The former Kansas wing still struggled to make a reliable three-pointer, but he showed he could impact the game in a ton of different ways. His athleticism and defensive abilities are perhaps the most impressive in the entire Draft class, and he has proven time and time again he can stuff the stat sheet full. With his potential, it would not be surprising at all to see Jackson land in the Top 5, perhaps even as high as second overall to Los Angeles.
6. Zach Collins, F/C, Gonzaga
Projection: 7th to Minnesota
Strengths: Length, defensive impact, spacing the floor
Weaknesses: Inexperience, strength
Bust Potential: Low
While this Draft Class isn't stock full of dominant big men like some have been in the past, I'm really excited about what Zach Collins can do at the next level. Despite coming off the bench for much of the season at Gonzaga, Collins displayed defensive dominance, using his rangy wingspan and overall seven-foot size to constantly disrupt opponents in the paint. Collins also showed he could space the floor with a very refined jump shot, and he could fit the role of a stretch four in the NBA, something teams are always searching for. 
7. Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
Projection: 8th to New York 
Strengths: Explosiveness, passing ability, ability to excel through contact
Weaknesses: Streaky shooter, injury history
Bust Potential: Moderate
Despite tearing his ACL his senior year of high school, Dennis Smith Jr. showed no signs of slowing down in his lone season in Raleigh, North Carolina, putting on an absolute show for the NC State Wolfpack. Smith's explosive athleticism and ability to get to the rim and finish are both top-notch and should serve him well as he begins his journey in the NBA. However, teams are still concerned about that torn ACL (which obviously has impacted point guards in the past) and his streaky shooting, which could threaten to drop him out of the Top 10.
8. Frank Ntilikina, G, France
Projection: 11th to Charlotte
Strengths: Size, great passer and ball-handler, good feel for the game
Weaknesses: Inconsistent shooter, transition to NBA game
Bust Potential: Moderate
Every single year there is some "mystery man" from the International route, and this year that man is Frank Ntilikina from France. Ntilkina has not gone to the NBA Combine nor worked out for any NBA teams, but scouts are fascinated by his physical gifts and long-term potential. At 6'5", he has ideal size for a point guard in the NBA, and possesses a great understanding of how the game works. He still is improving as a shooter, but the rest of his offensive tools are impressive, and his defense should fit right into the league.
9. Jonathan Isaac, F/C, Florida State
Projection: 6th to Orlando
Strengths: Rim protection, shot-blocking abilities, offensive upside
Weaknesses: Unreliable outside of paint, very young, very raw
Bust Potential: Moderate
Considered by many to be the best big man available in the Draft, Jonathan Isaac's ability to protect the rim and alter shots would immediately fit a major need for a long list of NBA teams (including Orlando, where I have him mocked). However, Isaac is extremely raw on the offensive end of the court, and will need significant work. Though, the potential is certainly there for him to evolve into a very skilled and effective big man at the next level.
10. Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
Projection: 10th to Sacramento
Strengths: Fabulous shooter, tremendous athlete, can take over games with offense
Weaknesses: Inconsistent at times, weak defender, needs to bulk up
Bust Potential: Low
Malik Monk showcased his elite scoring ability on multiple occasions at Kentucky, including a 46-point outburst against UNC earlier in the season. That ability to absolutely take over games with his offense certainly has to intrigue a wide variety of NBA general managers. Monk has to be able to get more consistent, however, and also add to a relatively thin frame if he wants to really compete in the physical NBA. With that being said, there are still a number of teams willing to take a chance on a guy with his offensive pedigree.
11. T.J. Leaf, F, UCLA
Projection: 20th to Portland
Strengths: Very good shooter, reads defenses well, solid rebounder
Weaknesses: Not elite-level potential, disappears at times
Bust Potential: Low
12. O.G. Anunoby, G/F, Indiana
Projection: 14th to Miami
Strengths: Exceptional athleticism, can defend multiple positions
Weaknesses: Coming off injury, mediocre jumper
Bust Potential: High
13. Luke Kennard, G, Duke
Projection: 21st to Oklahoma City
Strengths: Lights-out shooter, can play multiple positions, quality passer
Weaknesses: Fit in NBA offense, size
Bust Potential: Low
14. Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona
Projection: 9th to Dallas
Strengths: Spaces the floor well, proven leader, very mobile big man
Weaknesses: Doesn't have ceiling of others in Draft, average defender
Bust Potential: Low
15. John Collins, F/C, Wake Forest
Projection: 13th to Denver
Strengths: Significant upside, terrific athlete, incredibly strong
Weaknesses: Foul trouble, unfocused at times
Bust Potential: Moderate
16. Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
Projection: 17th to Milwaukee
Strengths: Length, rim protection, good feel around the rim
Weaknesses: Inexperienced, poor at free throw line, doesn't run the floor very well
Bust Potential: Moderate
17. Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
Projection: 12th to Detroit
Strengths: Productive scorer, efficient overall player, can hit the three-ball
Weaknesses: Average upside, tweener
Bust Potential: Low
Justin Patton
18. Justin Patton, C, Creighton
Projection: 15th to Portland
Strengths: Very physical, great rebounder, good defender
Weaknesses: Doesn't run floor very well, still very raw offensively
Bust Potential: Moderate
19. Harry Giles Jr., F, Duke
Projection: 22nd to Brooklyn
Strengths: Immense potential, great athleticism, terrific finisher around the rim
Weaknesses: Serious injury concerns, unproven beyond collegiate ranks
Bust Potential: High
20. Justin Jackson, F, North Carolina
Projection: 16th to Chicago
Strengths: Good three-point shooter, impressive length, terrific floater
Weaknesses: Average defender, needs to bulk up
Bust Potential: Low
21. Terrance Ferguson, G/F, Australia
Projection: 27th to Los Angeles Lakers
Strengths: Elite in transition, superb athlete, solid defender
Weaknesses: Poor shooter, very inconsistent, prone to mistakes
Bust Potential: High
22. Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
Projection: 18th to Indiana
Strengths: Can carve out space down low with size, very good rebounder
Weaknesses: Incredibly raw, needs significant work offensively
Bust Potential: Moderate
23. Josh Hart, G/F, Villanova
Projection: 40th to New Orleans
Strengths: Plays with a chip on his shoulder, versatile offensive game, proven winner
Weaknesses: Low upside, average athleticism
Bust Potential: Low
24. Isaiah Hartenstein, F/C, Germany
Projection: 26th to Portland
Strengths: Fantastic potential, very good shooter, fast learner
Weaknesses: Very young & inexperienced, prone to defensive lapses
Bust Potential: Moderate
25. Caleb Swanigan, F/C, Purdue
Projection: 31st to Atlanta
Strengths: Fantastic college player, overpowers opponents with his size, underrated shooter
Weaknesses: Average upside, not very mobile, mediocre defender
Bust Potential: Low
26. Kyle Kuzma, F, Utah
Projection: 38th to Chicago
Strengths: Great defender, great finisher around the rim, provides terrific energy
Weaknesses: Average upside, not a great shooter
Bust Potential: Low
27. Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky
Projection: 19th to Atlanta
Strengths: Incredibly strong, powerful finisher, good rebounder
Weaknesses: Very limited offensive game, poor at free throw line
Bust Potential: Moderate
28. Semi Ojeleye, F, SMU
Projection: 25th to Orlando
Strengths: Exceptional athlete, great defender, weapon in transition
Weaknesses: Prone to turnovers, poor jump shot
Bust Potential: Moderate
29. Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State
Projection: 23rd to Toronto
Strengths: Fantastic playmaker, incredibly quick, fearless offensive player
Weaknesses: Poor defender, poor jumper, leadership questions
Bust Potential: Moderate
30. Tony Bradley, C, North Carolina
Projection: 28th to Los Angeles Lakers
Strengths: Impressive size, good shot-blocker, offensive upside
Weaknesses: Very unproven, very raw
Bust Potential: High
31. Jonah Bolden, F, Australia
Projection: 34th to Sacramento
Strengths: Versatile, incredibly strong, effective rebounder
Weaknesses: Unfocused at times, struggles in college
Bust Potential: High
32. D.J. Wilson, F/C, Michigan
Projection: 24th to Utah
Strengths: Terrific athlete, quick learner, showed ability to hit three-pointer
Weaknesses: Needs to add muscle, poor defender
Bust Potential: Moderate
33. Derrick White, G, Colorado
Projection: 32nd to Phoenix
Strengths: Ideal size, good decision-maker, rock-solid defender
Weaknesses: Average upside, won't wow anyone with physical tools
Bust Potential: Low
34. Dwayne Bacon, G, Florida State
Projection: 36th to Philadelphia
Strengths: Can score in bunches, very dangerous from deep, good size
Weaknesses: Poor defender, turnover-prone, sometimes overconfident
Bust Potential: Moderate
35. Frank Jackson, G, Duke
Projection: 30th to Utah
Strengths: Fabulous shooter, underrated defender, plenty of upside
Weaknesses: Tweener, leadership questions
Bust Potential: Moderate
36. Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Latvia
Projection: 41st to Charlotte
Strengths: Incredible size, decent shot-blocker, solid jump shot
Weaknesses: Very untested, will need significant time to adjust to NBA speed
Bust Potential: High
37. Ivan Rabb, F/C, California
Projection: 29th to San Antonio
Strengths: Spaces the floor very well, versatile offensively
Weaknesses: Not very big, average upside
Bust Potential: Moderate
38. Tyler Lydon, F, Syracuse
Projection: 33rd to Orlando
Strengths: Very good shooter, plenty of potential, very mobile
Weaknesses: Not very big, wildly inconsistent
Bust Potential: Moderate
39. Wesley Iwundu, G/F, Kansas State
Projection: 43rd to Houston
Strengths: Can play multiple positions, polished offensive game, great at getting to the rim
Weaknesses: Streaky shooter, average defender
Bust Potential: Low
40. Frank Mason, PG, Kansas
Projection: 49th to Denver
Strengths: Superb leader, incredibly durable, excellent decision-maker
Weaknesses: Very little long-term potential, extremely undersized
Bust Potential: Low

No comments:

Theme images by LUGO. Powered by Blogger.