The Ping Pong Balls Have Fallen Into Place And Now We Know Where Everyone Is Picking, But Who Is Your Favorite Team Picking?
Tuesday night for fans of the teams who did not make the 2017 NBA Playoffs, was like opening gifts on Christmas Morning. All across the country, fans packed their nearest bars, television set or sneaking a peek at work (Sorry, I’m one of the guilty ones) waiting to see who would have the chance to have the number 1 pick in June’s NBA Draft.
We saw Philadelphia fans “retire” Sam Hinkie’s jersey, fans of the Kings looking dumbfounded as ESPN pointed out that their team had a 0.0% percent chance of picking 1st in the draft and Lakers fans hoping that their pick landed in the top 3 just so that they could keep their 1st round picks over the next couple of seasons.
So without further ado, here is my latest Mock Draft (Yes, this mock draft has only the 14 lottery related teams. I will include all 30 opening round picks in Mock Draft 5.0 coming in early June).
- Boston (From Brooklyn)- Marquelle Fultz- PG/SG Washington
Everyone knows that Boston already has Issiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart already in a loaded backcourt rotation. But none of them have the combination of size, shot making ability and skill that the former Huskie possesses. Fultz could be the reason someone could get moved out of Beantown for a the “Superstar Piece” that Boston lack at this moment.
2. L.A Lakers- Lonzo Ball- PG- UCLA
Ball to the Lakers is the most known/unknown secret in the NBA. His father has petitioned in his own way for BBB’s 1st star player to be in his hometown. (Sounds like a LeBron and Derrick Rose type of homecoming) Ball comes in and energize a fan base like no player could. This is the reason Magic Johnson came back to run the Lakers. Ball’s emergence makes D’Angelo Russell (If he’s not traded, first) become an even more dangerous combo guard. Not to mention Jordan Clarkson the favorite for the 6th man of the year in 2018.
3. Philadelphia (From Sacramento)- DeAaron Fox- PG- Kentucky
We all know that Fox is not the best shooter in the class or isn’t as polished as some of the other players behind him on this list. But Fox has one thing that most of the players on this list, he wants to play in the “City of Brotherly Love”. He has already has said that him and Ben Simmons can work perfectively together as a ball handling duo. I don’t have to mention how good he is on the defensive side of the ball. Look I like T.J McConnell as a player, but he’s not a long-term solution at the Point Guard and Kyle Lowry will potentially cost too much.
4. Phoenix- Josh Jackson- SF- Kansas
A future of Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, Jackson and Marquiss Chriss sounds like a dangerous group going forward. Jackson is an athletic freak, who can defend at least 3 positions on the NBA Level. Sometimes he seems to disappear on the offensive side of the ball, but he could a better version of another former Kansas Jayhawk, Andrew Wiggins.
5. Sacramento (From Philadelphia)- Jayson Tatum- SF- Duke
Tatum could be the best player in the draft besides Fultz now. Jayson doesn’t do one thing special, he uses all of his above-average skills to very good use. He fits in a perfect with a team, who just had Rudy Gay decide to take a risk in this July’s upcoming free agency. A nice combination of Tatum, Buddy Hield, Skai Labasseire and who ever they pick with the 10th overall pick will be the foundation of the Kings for a while.
6. Orlando- Dennis Smith Jr- PG- NC State
At the NBA Draft, we got a look at Frank Vogel and his off-season look. By the looks of things, Frank has had a very long year in Orlando. The Magic didn’t catch much luck in the lottery this year. The Lakers ended up keeping their pick in 2019 (Sending 2 second-round picks to Orlando) and they also fell one spot in the Lottery as well. The good news is that Smith Jr brings the Magic a point guard option that isn’t afraid to put the ball in the basket. Dennis has a tremendous amount of talent and could be the most talented player that Magic have drafted in the last 10 years.
7. Minnesota- Jonathan Issac- SF/PF- Florida State
Could this be the Malik Monk spot? It would not be a shock to this writer or most across the county either. But also Issac might be available at this spot either. Issac is still developing his body and once he does look out. He can already rebound, block shots and has range out the NBA 3-point line. He has the biggest upside of any prospect in this class. The only question is that can he bring it every single night. If he can, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Issac could be the best frontline in the league in the next few years.
8. New York- Malik Monk- SG- Kentucky
Monk entered the national spotlight when he scored 47 points on a Saturday afternoon against North Carolina in Las Vegas. Malik can score the basketball at a NBA level already after one season at Kentucky. The Knicks had a struggle scoring the basketball if Carmelo and Kristaps wasn’t on the floor. Now enter Monk to this equation and the Knicks might have their best shooting guard since Allen Houston.
9. Dallas- Lauri Markkanen- PF- Dallas
Dallas will take this pick and will take Dirk’s future replacement in the sharp-shooting Arizona big man. Even though they would love to take Monk if he was here, but since he’s not let’s go for big who had the best single season shooting percentage from deep from a 7-footer in history of the NCAA. He’s an above-average rebounder and almost mid 80’s percent free throw shooter.
10. Sacramento- Frank Ntilikina- PG- France
As mentioned earlier in the mock the Kings needed one more piece to complete a nice young core and they take the French Point Guard with this pick. At 6 foot 5, Frank has a solid outside shot (He shot over 40% from deep) and is a terror with length on the defensive end. The real question with him like any other player making the jump to the NBA from Europe is can he really keep up?
11. Charlotte- Justin Patton- C- Creighton
Charlotte is an interesting spot here. A team that should have been in the playoffs this season, is now drafting in a spot where their biggest need won’t be available and there a lot of players with high risk/reward are available. So they take a player that can help address a lot of their inside scoring issues. Patton has a solid post game for a soon to be 20 year-old A solid shot blocker (2.0 per 36 minutes) and an average rebounder might scare some but Patton could develop into a nice option beside Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky in Buzz City.
12. Detroit- Zach Collins- PF/C- Gonzaga
Pistons fans might scream at this choice but here me out here. They are going to resign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in July and this the year Stanley Johnson will breakout, so in trying to add more firepower on the inside they will take a flyer on the former McDonalds All-American. He came off the bench for Gonzaga but he averaged 10 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in only 17 minutes a game. He brings Detroit another big man who can stretch floor, but could be a building block for a team moving to Downtown Detroit.
13. Denver- O.G Anunoby- SF- Indiana
With the team potentially losing Danilo Gallinari to free agency this summer, they will add a player that can be a game changing swingman. His abilty to defend is top-notch and is a has a villingness to take on the top player on any team and attempt to shut him down. Now he won’t be available until at least Mid-season due to an ACL injury he suffered during the college season and he’s a 57% Free Throw shooter as well, so that might scare you a bit if your Nuggets fan.
14. Miami- TJ Leaf- PF- UCLA
Miami came so close to making the playoffs and now they add the last young piece to one fot he best young cores in the entire league. Since you already have the defensive machine in Hassan Whiteside controlling the paint, you add the UCLA product who can score from all over floor. He even hit 27 3 pointers at a 45% clip. He should be another nice young piece to a group that has Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow.
What are your thoughts? Let me know. Comment below. Follow us at Full Court Press Radio on Facebook or hit me up on Twitter @nbadt29