A 2017 NBA Mock Draft just one day after the 2016 NBA draft is over? Certainly. We do this every year. It’s fun.
1. Harry Giles, Freshman, F, Duke – Is he a Baby Kevin Garnett? Sure looks like it. And at 6-11, 225, he’s got a similar body type.
2. Josh Jackson, Freshman, SF, Kansas – The best Jayhawks recruit since Andrew Wiggins, Jackson’s an explosive scorer, adept at getting to the basket and he’s a dynamite finisher.
3. Jayson Tatum, Freshman, F, Duke – Smooth wing player who makes it look easy. Thin, but not Brandon Ingram-thin. Scouts says he reminds them of Rudy Gay.
4. Thomas Bryant, Sophomore, C, Indiana – Only played 22.6 mpg and still put up 11.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg. Not a great rebounder, but there’s a lot to like offensively. Saved his best for Kentucky in March: 19 points.
5. Ivan Rabb, Sophomore, PF, Cal – I think he’d have gone in the lottery of the bad 2016 draft; he might be the best non-freshman in college basketball next year. Averaged 12.5 ppg, and 8.5 rpg in only 28.7 mpg as a freshman while shooting 61 percent.
6. Frank Jackson, Freshman, PG, Duke – MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game will start from Day 1. He also won a dunk contest. There’s even a “Duke is likable again!” narrative all because of Frank Jackson!
7. Bam Adebayo, Freshman, F, Kentucky – Freak. Moves like a young Patrick Ewing in these highlights. Curious to see how he plays against players his size.
8. Markelle Fultz, Freshman, PG, Washington – Couldn’t crack the high school varsity squad until his junior year, then went bananas in the summer and basically, in one calendar year, became a 5-star prospect.
9. Tyler Lydon, Sophomore, F, Syracuse – Four double-doubles as a freshman, with two coming against ranked teams. Blew up in the NCAA Tournament with 20 blocks in five games. On the cusp of stardom, especially if that 3-point shot improves.
10. Lonzo Ball, Freshman, G, UCLA – The hype is palpable. Will he wait for his brothers to join him at UCLA, or blow up immediately and bolt? Won’t be long before it’s his team. Averaged a triple double last year (26-13-11).
11. Grayson Allen, Junior, G, Duke – Nearly entered the 2016 draft after improving dramatically as a sophomore 21.6 ppg on 46/41/83 shooting. Will be surrounded by so much talent, he’ll probably get better run in practice than he would have sitting on a bench in the NBA or playing in the NBDL.
12. De’Aaron Fox, Freshman, PG, Kentucky – A Kentucky guard has been drafted in the 1st round since 2010.
13. Caleb Swanigan, Sophomore, PF, Purdue – Averaged 10.2 ppg and 8.3 rpg as a freshman and wisely stayed in school. Reminds me of Zach Randolph-lite at times.
14. Jalen Adams, Sophomore, G, UConn – Hidden behind vets in the backcourt, Adams put up a modest 7.3 ppg in only 23 minutes a game. I’m expecting a large leap.
15. Melo Trimble, Junior, PG, Maryland – Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was way wrong about him making the leap as a player during his sophomore year. I’m told there was some off-the-court drama that impacted his play, but I’m not looking for an excuse. He regressed. But he’ll undeniably be The Man in College Park, which may be what he needs to show he’s a future pro.
16. Frank Ntilikina, PG, Belgium – Were there seven International players drafted in the 2016 draft because the college crop was weak, or because the Euro players were so talented? Or, because it made more sense to draft and stash and wait for the pro-ready college stars in 2017?
17. Ethan Happ, Sophomore, F, Wisconsin
18. Justin Jackson, Junior, SF, UNC
19. Blaz Mesicek, SG, Slovenia
20. Dillon Brooks, Sophomore, SF, Oregon
21. Ogugua Anunoby, Sophomore, SF, Indiana
22. V.J. Beachem, Junior, SF, Notre Dame
23. Rodions Kurucs, SF, Latvia
24. Josh Hart, Senior, SG, Villanova
25. Monte Morris, Senior, PG, Iowa State
26. Antonio Blakeney, Sophomore, G, LSU
27. Jordan Bell, Junior, F, Oregon
28. Mikal Bridges, Sophomore, F, Villanova
29. Jordan Woodward, Senior, G, Oklahoma
30. Allonzo Trier, Sophomore, SG, Arizona