Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 Lottery Edition

The regular season is coming to an end which means two things. 

The NBA playoffs are fast approaching, and as well as the NBA Draft. The draft is one of the NBA’s most watched events as the stars of tomorrow enter the NBA. The draft also means writers making an NBA mock draft, trying to speculate how the draft will end up. Yes, even as early as now, mock drafts are being made despite the draft order not being set yet. It gives the fans an idea of how the draft will be. 

This is one of the interesting drafts as it is regarded by some as a very deep draft. The draft is highlighted by All-Star caliber guards and versatile wings that could make a difference right away for a team. 

Assuming the draft order stays as is, who goes number 1? Number 2?

Welcome to my NBA mock draft 1.0 (Lottery Picks only). 

1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn): Markelle Fultz – G, Washington

The Celtics luck out yet again by getting the draft rights to Brooklyn’s picks thanks to that lopsided trade. Markelle Fultz is arguably the best player in the draft and the Celtics shouldn’t have to overthink this. Fultz’s ability to score on all three levels makes him an intriguing player for the Celtics, who have Isaiah Thomas at their PG position. Can Fultz pair with Thomas in the backcourt?

nba mock draft. via: Getty Images

Has Markelle Fultz done enough to be the #1 pick in the draft? This NBA mock draft says yes. Via: Getty Images

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball – PG, UCLA

Lonzo Ball to the Lakers would make a lot of sense. His tremendous court vision and pass-first mentality would fit next to D’Angelo Russell in LA’s backcourt. Plus, he’s from LA. Ball and his family wouldn’t mind if he stays close to home for his job. 

Via: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball to LA is a match for both sides. Via: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

3. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson –  G/F, Kansas

Phoenix has a great guard tandem with Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, so adding a versatile playmaking wing would be smart for the Suns. That’s what Josh Jackson is known for. His defense, athleticism and overall versatility should help the Suns greatly as they build around Devin Booker.

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File

Josh Jackson is in consideration for the #1 pick in the draft. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

4. Orlando Magic: Jayson Tatum – SF, Duke

Tatum certainly helped his draft stock during tournament play, as he helped the Duke Blue Devils win 4 games in 4 days to win the ACC Championship. He showed his scoring and takeover ability for Duke, who seemed poised to win the NCAA title before losing to South Carolina (oops). The Magic could definitely use a scorer on the wing and Tatum fits that bill for the Orlando Magic. 

Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum’s strong tournament run has moved him in the draft boards. Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

5.  New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr. – PG, North Carolina State

Derrick Rose‘s future in the Big Apple seems uncertain so it would be wise for them to draft their PG of the future with this pick. Dennis Smith Jr. is the most athletic guard in this draft and his explosiveness would surely be welcomed in New York. It also helps that he is a very talented passer of the ball, which would benefit Kristaps Porzingis a lot. He has ways to go with his perimeter shooting, however, and that is needed for the Knicks if they do indeed stick to the triangle offense.

Via: N.C. State Athletics

The most athletic PG in the draft, Dennis Smith Jr is a can’t miss prospect. Via: N.C. State Athletics

6. Philadelphia 76ers: Malik Monk – SG, Kentucky

The 76ers have plenty of options at with the 6th pick. They could go for best player available or team fit. With the 76ers looking more and more promising, it is the time that they start to fit the talent together. With Joel Embiid dominating the interior and Ben Simmons taking over as Philadelphia’s playmaker, the team would be wise to add a capable scorer to counteract double teams. Malik Monk may be the best scorer in this draft class and he would flourish next to players like Embiid and Simmons.

AP Images

Malik Monk’s scoring is something to behold. AP Images

7. Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox – PG, Kentucky

The second Wildcat comes off the board in this NBA mock draft to the Kings at number 7. The Kings have options at this spot, where they can elect for a much needed PG like Fox or a versatile wing like Jonathan Isaac. They should address their PG position with this pick as Fox has shown he can run an offense and as well score when he wants to. He would fit nicely next to Buddy Curry, I mean Stephen Hield, oh wait, never mind. 

Video courtesy of  Frankie Vision

8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markannen – PF, Arizona

Markannen allows Minnesota to stretch the floor for Wiggins and Towns and give the young TWolves potential rim protection. Markannen has been excellent for the Wildcats and his impact in Arizona could be matched here in Minnesota, especially with a premier big man like Karl-Anthony Towns. 

Video courtesy of Frankie Vision

9. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans): Jonathan Isaac – F, Florida State

Sacramento gets another pick in the top 10 due to the DeMarcus Cousins trade. With the Kings already addressing their PG position earlier, they can obtain a versatile wing that makes life easier for the team. Isaac is a long versatile wing with a good offensive skill-set along with elite defensive potential. His stats at Florida State doesn’t wow anyone, but he has been very solid for FSU and should do the same for whichever team drafts him, in this case, Sacramento. 

Video courtesy of Frankie Vision

10. Dallas Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina – PG, France

The first “international man of mystery” of the draft comes off the board at #10 to the Mavericks. The Mavericks are in need of a point guard with J.J. Barea getting up there in age and Seth Curry being suited more as a 2-guard. They have Yogi Ferrell but the Mavericks could easily deepen their PG depth by selecting Ntilikina with this pick. He’s a tall point guard with good defensive instincts and a good feel for the game. The international point guard still has ways to go in terms of being an elite floor general and finish around the rim but has all the tools to succeed in the next level of basketball. 

(Photo by Rodolfo Molina/EB via Getty Images)

The draft always has an international man of mystery. Frank Ntilinka is that guy. (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/EB via Getty Images)

11. Charlotte Hornets: Justin Jackson – SF, North Carolina

Will Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ever become a consistent offensive option for the Hornets? It is clear that defense is his main calling but basketball in the modern NBA requires more than that. Justin Jackson has improved his three-point shooting in North Carolina and is a very promising scoring option for a team like Charlotte. He wouldn’t have to go far for his next job, as Jackson attends North Carolina. 

Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

UNC’s best player has been phenomenal. Will it carry over to the pros? Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

12. Portland Trailblazers: Miles Bridges – SF, Michigan State 

Trailblazers are obviously set at the backcourt and center position so adding a wing like Bridges makes a lot of sense for Portland. Bridges is one of the strongest in the draft making him very difficult to guard down low. He has the potential to be a very good outside shooter as well and is very underrated as a passer. Bridges could be an extra offensive option for the Blazers outside of their backcourt. 

Video courtesy of Frankie Vision

13. Detroit Pistons: TJ Leaf – PF, UCLA

Leaf has been extremely underrated this season due to freshman star Lonzo Ball dominating headlines. TJ has been UCLA’s top scorer this season and one of their best rebounders as well. He’s a versatile big with different ways to score and that could help Pistons big, Andre Drummond by spacing the floor more. 

Photo by Scott Chandler

While Lonzo Ball owns the spotlight in UCLA, TJ Leaf has been consistent for the Bruins as well. Photo by Scott Chandler

14. Chicago Bulls: Terrance Ferguson – SG, Adelaide 36ers (Australia)

Dwyane Wade might be leaving Chicago after a short stint with the Bulls so the Bulls would probably need a replacement at the wing. Ferguson is one of the elite athletes in this draft with also a reliable shot from the outside. Ferguson is technically an international prospect after foregoing the NCAA and deciding to play pro in Australia.

Video courtesy of ReBorn HD Highlights

Expect this mock draft to change often as the draft is one of the most interesting and unpredictable things in the NBA. The NCAA tournament is still on-going as well, so one good performance by a player can cause an entire shift in the NBA draft.

*Featured image credits goes to Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports*

Special thanks to Frankie Vision and ReBorn HD Highlights for the highlights. 

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