The 2017 NBA Draft is just a few weeks away and it is important to review what the league’s bottom will do in the lottery. Welcome to my ( aka Coach J’s) Lottery Mock Draft.
- Boston Celtics
Markelle Fultz is the best player on the draft board, period. The Celtics may end up trading the pick for a superstar, but he goes number one regardless. If the Celtics do keep the pick and select him they will have to move either Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley to make enough room for him to play alongside the Celtics miniature star Isaiah Thomas.
- Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball has made it pretty clear he wants to be a Laker. He only wants to work out for the Lakers according to Lakers Nation. The besides his shooting form the only other knock against his dad, but Lakers president of basketball Magic Johnson is not scared off by his father, according to ESPN. With Jordan Clarkson coming off the bench and moving D’Angelo Russell shooting guard, Ball will be able to push the pace of head coach Luke Walton’s offense.
- Philadelphia 76ers
Josh Jackson is a great fit for Philly’s hard nose defense and fast break type of offense. His ability to hits three’s is an issue, but he has time to develop it and he will be a more focal point on defense than offense. Head coach Brett Brown can fix a player’s shot, so no worries on that. He is a good solid piece around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
- Phoenix Suns
Jayson Tatum may be the final piece to the Suns rebuild. With Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Tyler Ulis already in place Tatum to join a potentially high powered offense. Tatum scores with the best of them. While other parts of his game seem incomplete, he will be able to help the Suns right ways with scoring.
- Sacramento Kings
Dennis Smith is the point guard that the Kings can finally build around. Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette were never really point guards. Evans is a play making small forward and Fredette is a ball dominant shooting guard. The Kings totally missed out of Isaiah Thomas when they drafted him. Smith has big scoring and play making abilities. He would a breat backcourt partner to Buddy Hield.
- Orlando Magic
Malik Monk is probably the toughest choice I’ve had to make. Orlando is at a crossroads with their rebuild. They have new president of operations in Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond. Hammond is known for taking for long players with plenty of potential for example Giannis Antetokounmp and Thon Maker. However, with Monk dropping to pick number six it may be too tempting for Orlando to pass on. He has star potentially all over him. He can become a star immediately which is what the Magic need to have after the post Dwight Howard trade.
- Minnesota Timberwolves
Jonathan Isaac may be picked by the Magic, however, I think the Magic will go for a immediate impact player in Monk. The T-Wolves needed a versatile defender pair with stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. He can stretch the floor as well. He fits a need the T-Wolves need and he maybe one of the best defenders in the draft. Head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau will be praying that Isaac is still there at their pick.
- New York Knicks
De’Aaron Fox is the pass first type of point guard that will help grow the Triangle offense in New York. Fox’s jump shot is the reason why he dropped down this far in the lottery. The worst case scenario for Fox is becoming Rajon Rondo in his prime. With Kristaps ability to stretch floor, Fox will not have to come in and be able to shoot right away.
- Dallas Mavericks
Frank Ntilikina is the big Europe talent and I am not going to act like I know a lot about him because I do not. This is what I do know, Yogi Ferrell is not the long term answer for the Mavs as the starting point guard. He could be a great backup, not the starter though. That being said, Ntilikina per 36 stats suggest he has the potential to be a very solid point guard in the league. He is still very young too so the Mavs will have time to develop him.
- Sacramento Kings
Terrance Ferguson is another international player that did not wow in the stats category in my opinion. However, he does have the size and skill to player either to two or three. The potential there with Hield, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein and in this mock draft Denis Smith, the small forward is the only position left to be filed and the Kings will need to fill to round up a rebuild starting five.
- Charlotte Hornets
Jarrett Allen is best pure center in the draft. Based on his college stats, Allen has the potential one of their premier big men in the league in the next three to five years. The Hornets have had bad luck in drafting a franchise big man Noah Vonleh, Cody Zeller, and Frank Kaminsky have not panned out in that role. Now Allen has the chance to fill that role.
- Detroit Pistons
Lauri Makkanen is a definition of a stretch big. At seven foot he hits three pointer at a 42.3 percent. The Pistons need bigs that can stretch the floor help Andre Drummond thrive. This selection fills the need that the Pistons have. However, if one of the already mentioned point guard drop this low do not be surprised if the Pistons take that point guard either.
- Denver Nuggets
Justin Jackson is the type of defensive small forward that head coach Mike Malone will want to have. Jackson going in the lottery is a bit of a stretch, but he can create his own jump shot and he has time to develop behind Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler. The Nuggets could take a flier on Jackson and hope he can develop.
- Miami Heat
T.J. Leaf is another great stretch four that is what the Heat need now that Chris Bosh is completely out of the picture. He is a great shooter, while at UCLA the six foot ten inch power forward shot 46.6 percent from the three point line. With Bosh gone, and Josh McRoberts constantly injured the team is missing a big that can stretch the floor. Leaf could develop into a Ryan Anderson type of player. Miami could steal a very good player at the end of lottery.
That is Coach J’s Lottery Mock Draft. Some picks were easy, some were not, but it was a fair evaluation of the talent at hand. The actually draft is only weeks away PopGates fans and this draft may give you a decent look of what teams in the lottery may plan on doing.