2017 NBA Mock Drafts: Gary Parrish

Gary Parrish
By Gary Parrish
CBSSports.com College Basketball Insider


Markelle Fultz has long been projected by most to be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. And he still will be. But he'll be playing in Philadelphia as opposed to Boston thanks to a surprising trade between the Eastern Conference franchises.

Philadelphia is now picking first.

Boston is picking third.

That development didn't change this mock draft as it pertains to which players will be selected first, second and third. But it does mean I now have Fultz playing in Philadelphia and Josh Jackson landing in Boston -- where he should be a rotation player for a team that will make, and advance in, the 2018 Eastern Conference Playoffs. That's a good spot for Jackson. And this could be a blessing for Fultz too. He no longer has to worry about whether he can play with Boston's Isaiah Thomas, who is another ball-dominant guard. Now he can be Philadelphia's primary ball-handler and backcourt scorer from Day 1 -- not to mention a part of a young nucleus that could do big things in Philadelphia for years to come.
NBA Mock Draft - 06/22/2017
Round 1
1. Philadelphia 76ers
Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington: The Sixers did not move from third to first to select anybody other than Fultz. So he'll be the first pick, and I love it for Philadelphia. Contrary to what some think, I genuinely do believe Fultz is the best prospect in this draft. And he's also a position of need for the Sixers. So this is a win-win. And a young core of Fultz, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could be terrific in time.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA: The Lakers are reportedly not completely sold on Ball, which must be frightening for LaVar. And I totally understand why Los Angeles might seriously consider at least three other players -- specifically Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and De'Aaron Fox. But, ultimately, I think Ball is the right selection. He has star-potential, undeniably. And the Lakers would regret it forever if he developed into a star somewhere else.
3. Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke: Danny Ainge has made it clear that the Celtics will get the same player picking third that they would've gotten picking first, which means he was never as high on Fultz as most. And everything I've heard in the past 48 hours suggests Tatum will be the pick. The one-and-done prospect from Duke should crack Boston's rotation immediately and provide playmaking ability that'll make Thomas' job easier. It's not often that a top-three pick joins a 50-win team. So Tatum should feel fortunate if things break this way.
4. Phoenix Suns
Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas: Whether Jackson will develop into a star is up for debate. And I've heard some analysts refer to him as a "role player." But, at worst, he's going to be a high-motor wing who competes on both ends of the court, every possession, for years. And there's value in that. Literally every NBA franchise needs a lockdown wing defender who can guard multiple positions. Jackson can do that. And if he develops a consistent jumper to go with everything else, watch out.
5. Sacramento Kings
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky: The Kings are desperately in need of a young point guard with a high ceiling, and Fox is exactly that. At 6-4, he has nice size for the position and is super-fast with the ball. He was sensational in Kentucky's Sweet 16 win over UCLA while finishing with 39 points. And though his 24.6 3-point percentage is a concern, it's neither something that can't be improved nor the type of thing that should prevent Sacramento from selecting Fox here -- provided he's available. Which is no guarantee, by the way. Fox could easily go second, third or fourth overall. But the Kings should hope he doesn't.
6. Orlando Magic
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona: Recent reports suggest the Magic are leaning toward Jonathan Isaac. But this is an organization that shot 32.8 percent from 3-point range last season. So Orlando needs shooting in the worst way. And Markkanen can provide it. The 7-footer shot 42.3 percent from beyond the arc in his lone year of college. He's a perfect stretch-4 in the modern NBA. Nice player. Nice fit.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State: The Timberwolves can take Isaac, play him with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and now we're talking about something with big potential. Minnesota would then have a core of Isaac, Towns, Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio. Those are some nice pieces that could soon have the Timberwolves advancing in the Western Conference playoffs -- especially if Towns develops into an All-NBA player. Remember, he's still only 21 years old.
8. New York Knicks
Frank Ntilikina, PG, International: The Knicks have been considering moving Kristraps Porzingis for multiple picks and/or assets. But, ultimately, I do not believe that'll happen in advance of the draft. So they'll pick eighth. And they need a point guard, which means I won't be surprised if they go with Ntilikina -- the 19 year old from France who met with them earlier this week. At 6-5, he has great size for the position. And he can make perimeter jumpers. So he's perfect for what New York should be trying to build around Porzingis.
9. Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State: The Mavericks need a point guard and should probably take whichever of the five best drops to them. In this mock, that's Smith. The NC State product averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds in his one season of college basketball. Some have questioned whether he plays hard enough all of the time. But with the right coah and right organization, he could turn into a star.
10. Sacramento Kings
Malik Monk, PG, Kentucky: Fox and Monk worked well together at Kentucky. So why not take them both, if you're Sacramento and you can? That's what I'd do if I were the Kings and Monk remains on the board at 10. He's an athletic combo guard who made 39.7 percent of his 3-point attempts while averaging a team-high 19.8 points for a Kentucky team that won the SEC and made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Why he doesn't use his athleticism more to get into the lane consistently remains a mystery. But if Monk ever does that, he could develop into something special. Make no mistake, the potential for stardom is there.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Luke Kennard, SG, Duke: Just about everybody in the NBA not named the Warriors could use a player who can dribble, pass and shoot. And Kennard can dribble, pass and shoot (well), which is why he could end up being the steal of this draft. The 6-6 guard was among college basketball's biggest breakout stars as a sophomore while averaging 19.5 points and shooting 43.8 percent from 3-point range for a Duke team that won the ACC Tournament. He's one of the hottest names right now because of an impressive pro day during which he blew scouts away with his ability to make jumpers from basically everywhere on the court.
12. Detroit Pistons
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville: Mitchell had a breakout season and averaged 15.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for a Louisville team that won 25 games. Yes, he's only 6-3. And he's not really a point guard. But he's an elite athlete with a 6-10 wingspan who has been rising on draft boards thanks to a versatile game that seems capable of transferring to the NBA.
13. Denver Nuggets
Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga: Collins is the first one-and-done player in Gonzaga history. The 7-foot forward shot 47.6 percent from the 3-point line on the season -- and finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in the Zags' national semifinal win over South Carolina. Those numbers and that performance on such a big stage helped secure a place in the top 20 of this draft. He could go in the top 10. But he won't go much lower than this if he doesn't.
14. Miami Heat
OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana: Anunoby suffered a season-ending knee injury in January, which will cost him with some franchises and sideline him for at least the start of the season. But the 6-8 wing remains a lottery talent and should be evaluated as such. He's probably a top-10 pick if not for the medical setback. His ability to guard multiple positions could make him special in time.
15. Portland Trail Blazers
Justin Patton, C, Creighton: Patton is the rare one-and-done redshirt freshman. He's a 7-foot forward who averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in just 25.3 minutes while helping Creighton stay ranked for much of the season despite the loss of Maurice Watson. He's a work in progress, sure. But he's also a player with an undeniably high ceiling.
16. Chicago Bulls
Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina: The Bulls were 24th in 3-point shooting this season. So they could use a shooter. And Jackson shot a career-high 37.0 percent from 3-point range as a junior, which greatly enhanced his NBA stock. He's a national champion who should be able to contribute immediately at a position of need for Chicago.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Jarrett Allen, C, Texas: Allen was a better prospect than player in his one year at Texas. But the 6-11 athlete was consistently good from February on and showed flashes of why he's worthy of being selected in the top 20. The only center on Milwaukee's roster that averaged more than 20 minutes per game is Greg Monroe. That makes Allen a sensible option on multiple levels for the Bucks.
18. Indiana Pacers
Terrance Ferguson, SG, International: Ferguson, as expected, was inconsistent while playing in Australia this season. But that shouldn't affect his standing with NBA scouts too much. He only shot 31.3 percent from 3-point range in 30 games. That's not good. But that's not an accurate reflection of how well the former Arizona signee can actually shoot from beyond the arc.
19. Atlanta Hawks
John Collins, PF, Wake Forest: Collins was ranked 230th in the Class of 2015, according to 247Sports. But he still developed into a player who averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds this season and emerged as a legitimate NBA prospect. In other words, he's one of this draft's most surprising stories and the type of thing Wake Forest coach Danny Manning can use to influence recruits going forward.
20. Portland Trail Blazers
Harry Giles, PF, Duke: Giles has reportedly looked way better in recent workouts than he ever did at Duke, which is encouraging and the reason why somebody will take a flyer on him in the first round. Will Giles ever become what so many projected him to become -- i.e., the next Chris Webber? Honestly, I'm not sure. But he might. So he's worth a gamble in the 20s -- and perhaps even in the teens.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA: Leaf averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 46.6 percent from 3-point range this season. He was overshadowed by his teammates at UCLA but still a statistical monster. He's a perfect stretch-4 for the modern-day NBA. Russell Westbrook could use him in Oklahoma City the same way Kyrie Irving uses Kevin Love in Cleveland.
22. Brooklyn Nets
Ike Anigbogu, PF, UCLA: Anigbogu only played 13.0 minutes per game for UCLA, which suggests he's nowhere close to contributing at the NBA level. But he's still an interesting prospect who is only 18 years old. His tenacity and toughness should get him picked in the first round.
23. Toronto Raptors
Tyler Lydon, SF, Syracuse: Lydon shot 40.0 percent from 3-point range in two seasons at Syracuse and averaged 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds as a sophomore. He'll be a stretch-4 in the NBA and capable of cracking a rotation as a rookie thanks to that reliable jumper.
24. Utah Jazz
Semi Ojeleye, SF, SMU: Ojeleye started his college career at Duke, where he was just a bit player. But the 6-7 forward was tremendous at SMU this season. He averaged 19.0 points and 6.9 rebounds while leading the Mustangs to American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
25. Orlando Magic
Edrice Adebayo, C, Kentucky: Adebayo lacks the skillset most NBA front offices desire from frontcourt prospects these days. But he's still a high-energy explosive forward who produced for a Kentucky team that advanced to the Elite Eight. Throw it near the rim, and he'll dunk it. And, yes, this means I have the Magic selecting a pair of John Calipari's one-and-done players in the first round.
26. Portland Trail Blazers
Anzejs Pasecniks, C, International: The Blazers have three first-round picks. So they could trade this one or use it on a draft-and-stash option. If they choose the latter, Pasecniks is an obvious option. He's an athletic big who can play either frontcourt position. And it's possible he could play in the NBA next season, if Portland prefers as much.
27. Brooklyn Nets
Caleb Swanigan, PF, Purdue: Trade to Lakers -- There has to be a place in the NBA for anybody who produces at the high-major level the way Swanigan did this season. The 6-9 forward averaged 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds for the outright Big Ten champions and was a consensus first-team All-American. And the fact that he shot 44.7 percent from 3-point range suggests he's equipped to step away from the basket at the NBA level too.
28. Los Angeles Lakers
Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, International: Hartenstein was reportedly just OK at the Nike Hoop Summit and thus didn't do much to enhance his reputation with NBA scouts. Still, it's hard to imagine him not going somewhere in the first round. And, with three first-round picks, the Lakers can afford to take a flyer on an international player.
29. San Antonio Spurs
Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State: Evans is little and not necessarily a run-the-team point guard. But he's so good in pick-and-roll situations that there's no obvious reason he can't become an instant-offense scorer off of somebody's bench. And San Antonio needs point guard help, obviously. So this pick would add a talented piece and also fill a need.
30. Utah Jazz
Ivan Rabb, PF, California: The idea that Rabb might be available this late suggests he didn't help himself in scouts' eyes with that second year at Cal. But Rabb swears he doesn't regret his decision to skip last year's draft. And, either way, the good thing about going late in the first round is that you usually join a quality team. So Rabb wouldn't have to suffer through losing seasons in Utah, and there's something to be said for that.
Round 2
31. Charlotte Hornets
Tony Bradley, PF, North Carolina: Bradley could've possibly been a lottery pick next year. But he opted to leave North Carolina after one season and will now likely lip into the second round.
32. Phoenix Suns
D.J. Wilson, PF, Michigan: Wilson is an athletic forward who could become a nice stretch-4 in the NBA. He shot 37.3 percent from 3-point range this season.
33. Orlando Magic
Frank Jackson, SG, Duke: Jackson recently underwent foot surgery, which will prevent him from working out for teams anymore before the draft. But his ability to play both backcourt positions and shoot make him an intriguing second-round option.
34. Sacramento Kings
Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon: Bell is a super-athlete with a great motor who can block shots and rebound. The Kings should be thrilled to exit this draft with him -- plus Fox and Kennard.
35. Orlando Magic
Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso: Peters, like Monk, could add a shooter to Orlando's roster. He shot 41.6 percent from 3-point range in his four-year career at Valpo.
36. Philadelphia 76ers
Derrick White, PG, Colorado: White averaged 18.1 points and shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range in his one season at Colorado. He's one of the most remarkable stories of this draft.
37. Boston Celtics
Thomas Bryant, PF, Indiana: Bryant didn't have a great sophomore season. But he's still only 19 years old and capable of developing into one of the steals of this draft.
39. Philadelphia 76ers
Mathias Lessort, PF, International: Lessort averaged 10.0 points and 6.9 rebounds in just 22.0 minutes per game in the French A-League this season. Some have compared him to former French-league standout Clint Capela.
40. New Orleans Pelicans
Josh Hart, SG, Villanova: Hart was a consensus First Team All-American this season -- after helping Villanova win a national title in 2015. He shot 40.4 percent from 3-point range as a senior.
41. Atlanta Hawks
Dillon Brooks, SF, Oregon: Brooks helped Oregon win 64 games over the past two seasons. He averaged double-figures in each of his three years with the Ducks.
42. Utah Jazz
Tyler Dorsey, SG, Oregon: Dorsey should be one of three Oregon players selected in this draft. He's a 6-4 guard with a reliable jumper.
43. Houston Rockets
Johnathan Motley, PF, Baylor: Motley is a Houston native who could develop into a small-ball center for the Rockets. He averaged 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds for a Baylor team that spent time ranked No. 1.
44. New York Knicks
Devin Robinson, SF, Florida: Robinson is a 6-8 forward who shot 39.1 percent from 3-point range this season while averaging 6.1 rebounds in 26.4 minutes. He can play either forward position.
45. Houston Rockets
Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas: Mason was named the consensus National Player of the Year after helping Kansas earn the No. 1 overall seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. He's small but will likely develop into a rotation player in the NBA, at worst.
46. Philadelphia 76ers
Monte Morris, PG, Iowa State: Morris was consistently great the past three seasons at Iowa State. His assist-to-turnover ratio suggests he'll be able to run an offense and take care of the ball.
47. Indiana Pacers
Kyle Kuzma, SF, Utah: Kuzma averaged 16.4 points and 9.3 rebounds for Utah while shooting 50.4 percent from the field. The only issue is that he doesn't really shoot it well from the perimeter.
48. Milwaukee Bucks
PJ Dozier, SG, South Carolina: Dozier is a former McDonald's All-American who helped South Carolina advance to the Final Four. If not for an inconsistent jumper, he might go in the first round.
49. Denver Nuggets
Wesley Iwundu, SF, Kansas State: Iwundu went from a three-star prospect to a legit NBA prospect in a four-year career at Kansas State. He's a 6-7 forward who can do a little of everything.
50. Philadelphia 76ers
Dwayne Bacon, SG, Florida State: Bacon was a highly productive player in two years at Florida State. He averaged a team-high 17.2 points as a sophomore.
51. Denver Nuggets
Sindarius Thornwell, SG, South Carolina: Thornwell was phenomenal all season and especially during South Carolina's run to the Final Four. He's a super-strong guard who can score and rebound.
52. Washington Wizards
Cameron Oliver, PF, Nevada: Oliver averaged 16.0 points and 8.7 rebounds for a Nevada team that won the Mountain West and made the NCAA Tournament. He's a 6-8 forward who can stretch the floor.
53. Boston Celtics
Edmond Sumner, PG, Xavier: The Celtics passed on Fultz, sure. But that doesn't mean they couldn't use a point guard with size -- and Sumner is one. The only thing keeping him out of the first round is a season-ending knee injury suffered in February.
54. Phoenix Suns
Sterling Brown, SG, SMU: It's hard to believe that SMU has turned into a program that can have multiple draft picks. But Brown's development into a capable guard at the AAC school suggests it's possible.
55. Utah Jazz
Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson: Blossomgame did not improve his stock with a senior season of at Clemson -- mostly because he shot just 25.5 percent from beyond the arc. But he's still an interesting prospect.
56. Boston Celtics
Davon Reed, SG, Miami (Fla.): Reed averaged 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range as a senior. He's worked out well in recent weeks and is 100 percent on NBA radars. At worst, I think, he ends up with a two-way contract.
57. Brooklyn Nets
Kobi Simmons, PG, Arizona: The Nets need talent upgrades everywhere. So why not take a flyer on a 19-year-old who is a former top-30 national recruit?
58. New York Knicks
Nigel Hayes, PF, Wisconsin: Hayes did not have great seasons after Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker left campus. But there's some obvious talent there that could turn into something interesting.
59. San Antonio Spurs
Nigel Williams-Goss, SG, Gonzaga: Tony Parker won't play forever. So the Spurs adding an older and accomplished point guard might be a wise move so late in this draft.
60. Atlanta Hawks
L.J. Peak, SG, Georgetown: Peak is a 6-5 guard who averaged 16.3 points in his final season at Georgetown. He's a capable shooter even if he didn't shoot a good percentage as a junior.