After months and months and months of 2017 NBA Mock Drafts – dating back a year! – here is our final one. For our final effort, Jason McIntyre and Ryan Phillips go head-to-head with who they think will be selected at each spot in the first-round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
1. Philadelphia 76ers
McIntyre: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
If Fultz, Simmons and Embiid can take this team to the playoffs next year, they become a darkhorse for LeBron James.
Phillips: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
The best player in the draft by a long shot. The Sixers made a brilliant move to get into this position and they’re taking a future star
2. Los Angeles Lakers
McIntyre: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
He’ll make Brandon Ingram an 18 ppg player next year.
Phillips: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
With D'Angelo Russell gone, this move makes even more sense. The Lakers get a hometown kid who desperately wants to be there. Lonzo Ball also fits Luke Walton’s system perfectly and makes everyone around him better.
3. Boston Celtics
McIntyre: Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
Duke needed him in the post, so that’s what he did, but there’s some Grant Hill in him. Add Gordon Hayward and Jimmy Butler, and they’re the favorites in the East. Add just Hayward and I’d need to think about it.
Phillips: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Jayson Tatum is the most NBA-ready player in the draft. While his ceiling isn’t close to as high as the guys selected around him, his floor might be the highest. The Celtics want to win now. He will help more than anyone else still on the board.
4. Phoenix Suns
McIntyre: Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
I feel like a De'Aaron Fox curveball is coming, but then they’d have to trade Eric Bledsoe and I’m not sure the GM/coach can sell another “give us 3 years” to the owner.
Phillips: Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
Josh Jackson joins one of the NBA’s most exciting young teams and makes them a League Pass must-watch. His ceiling is as high as anyone in the draft.
5. Sacramento Kings
McIntyre: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
I feel bad that he’s got to go here, because he’s such a talented player, and nobody succeeds in Sacramento. Certainly a contender for worst front office in the NBA.
Phillips: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
The Kings desperately need someone to run the point and take control of a dysfunctional roster. While Fox isn’t as polished as some, his defensive ability, length and athleticism give him a tantalizing set of tools.