The ALOB team came together for a 2017 Mock Draft. The 5-member panel took turns acting as GM for each team and selecting the best fit for every team.
Greg is in Red
Ken is in Orange
Chris is in Green
Jake is in Purple
Tom is in Pink
1. Philadelphia 76ers - G Markelle Fultz (Washington)
Sam Hinkie strikes from the grave. The Sixers execute a pre-draft trade with Boston to move from 3 to 1 to take the best player in the 2017 draft, giving the team the dynamic point guard that they desperately needed. Hope is high in process-land, the future looks bright, long live The Process.
2. Los Angeles Lakers - G Lonzo Ball (UCLA)
For the second time in 3 drafts the Lakers are in position to take a big point guard who scouts think has elite passing ability. There's talk that the Lakers have promised Josh Jackson, who fits LA's need for a defensive minded player, but I'd look for Magic to take the flashy playmaker in this spot.
3. Boston Celtics - F Josh Jackson (Kansas)
The Celtics moved back in the draft and acquired another future pick because they had some concerns with Fultz and believed the gap between the top players wasn't as prominent. This may be Tatum, but Jackson provides well-rounded skills and versatility to contribute immediately in Boston.
4. Phoenix Suns - F Jonathan Isaac (Kansas)
The Suns have not made the playoffs since the '09-'10 season. With the emergence of Devin Booker, surprising numbers from Eric Bledsoe (21-6-5) and pending ex-lottery picks Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender's development you may see Phoenix fighting for the 8 seed with the addition of Isaac's versatility, athleticism and skill.
5. Sacramento Kings - G De'Aaron Fox (Kentucky)
Sacramento's two biggest needs are at the wing and point guard positions. With swing men Rudy Gay and Tyreke Evans both becoming unrestricted free agents this summer, there is a case to be made for taking Duke's Jayson Tatum, if available. But, multiple reports have stated the Kings' interest in the wiry, lightning-quick point guard from Kentucky, and it's not hard to see why. Darren Collison and Ty Lawson are both back-up level point guards who have faced issues off the court. But, Fox looks to be a high-character, high-motor player with little need for their mentorship. His jump shot still raises legitimate concerns, but he and back court running mate Buddy Hield project to be a watered down version of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
6. Orlando Magic - F Jayson Tatum (Duke)
The Magic have needs all over the floor considering their best player is Evan Fournier. They have solid players at 1-5 but no one who really wows you. Jayson Tatum has the game to be a big time scorer in the NBA and I don't think the Magic will pass that up if he falls to them.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves - F Lauri Markkanen (Arizona)
The Timberwolves have an extensive collection of young guards in a draft loaded with back court talent. They are also the team that drafted point guards with both the 5th and 6th picks of the 2009 Draft. That being said, this particular Wolves squad has the cornerstone pieces (KAT and Andrew Wiggins) to draft for fit in the 7th spot rather than talent. It makes sense for the long term development of the team to avoid cluttering an already crowded back court with the likes of Malik Monk or Dennis Smith, Jr. by taking Markkanen, a mobile big with a smooth stroke who looks to be a strong compliment to KAT in the front court.
8. New York Knicks - G Dennis Smith Jr. (NC State)
For me, this is a Best Player Available pick. My gut tells me that Smith Jr. doesn't necessarily fit with what Phil Jackson is trying to build in NY (whatever that is) but there are a lot of things to like about Smith Jr.'s game to make it difficult to pass on. He can work without the ball in his hands, which may be the case with the Knicks and has great athletic ability. His struggles as a "floor general" can be fixed through development. I also wouldn't be surprised if Phil Jackson totally blows this pick and is fired the next day. #RanchLife
9. Dallas Mavericks - G Malik Monk (Kentucky)
Dallas would be elated if the board fell this way. With the ninth pick they get a guy who easily could be the best scorer in this draft. The Cube's (you guys know him as Mark Cuban) loves making a splash and with Monk, Barnes and Noel they'd be on their way for a quick re-build.
10. Sacramento Kings - F OG Anunoby (Indiana)
As mentioned before, with Tyreke Evans and Rudy Gay heading to free agency, Sacramento is in dire need of a wing with size and athleticism. Anunoby may have the best physical profile in the draft this year at 6'8 with a 7'2 and a quarter wingspan and weighing in at a bouncy 232 pounds. He ideally becomes a solid three-and-D player, but there are valid concerns about his ability to live up to the "three" part. He shot a serviceable 36.5% on just 1.5 three-point attempts per game in college. But his poor free throw shooting is what's more worrisome. Either way, this guy is a top-10 talent and would potentially be taken even higher if it weren't for his knee injury this past season. Depending who you ask, it's a controversial pick, but the Kings don't shy away from that.
11. Charlotte Hornets - G Luke Kennard (Duke)
Kennard may be the best shooter in this draft class and in today's NBA, you can never have enough shooters. He'll help space the floor for Kemba Walker and potentially become a second or third option for a Charlotte team that lacks scoring punch.
12. Detroit Pistons - F/C Zach Collins (Gonzaga)
Collins is the type of big man the modern NBA is trending towards. He's a 7-footer who can both stretch the floor and protect the rim. The Pistons have been testing the market on Andre Drummond but even if the incumbent center isn't moved before the season Collins figures to have the skill-set to play alongside him. Collins shooting ability should give Drummond (who is still only 23) space to develop offensively and his rim protection will allow Drummond space to roam away from the rim with his surprisingly stout perimeter defense.
13. Denver Nuggets - F Justin Jackson (North Carolina)
Wow things are starting to get underwhelming. Justin Jackson is probably one of the better wings available at this point and I think he'll be good enough to provide serviceable defense and shooting around Jokic. Will Barton is the only reasonably priced wing on their roster so it'll help to start shedding big contracts *cough*Gallo/Manimal*cough* as they look to think toward the future. #MileHighMagic
14. Miami Heat - G Frank Ntilikna (France)
Value is one of the most popular terms around draft time and when you can get someone rumored to be a top 8 pick at pick 14? It's value that Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra will not pass up on and a great guy to pair with Goran Dragic as they can take turns playing on and off the ball. After their second half last season, they could consider a more experienced player who could contribute right away but if available I think "Frank Nitty" would be on his way to South Beach.
15. Portland Trail Blazers - G Donovan Mitchell (Louisville)
Between Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe and Meyers Leonard, Portland is committed to spending big bucks on some mediocre (to put it kindly) players for a long time. It would surprise no one if they packaged a combination of their three first-round picks (15, 20, 26) to unload some of their dead weight salary. But, in case the Blazers keep this pick, expect them to take Mitchell. He's 6'3, 210 lbs with a 6'10 wingspan and a frame to pack on muscle. He figures to be a great complementary back court pairing with either Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, both of whom would benefit from having Michell take on the tougher defensive assignment. He can play off the ball as a spot-up shooter or run the offense for bench units. Portland will have to address their holes at back-up center later in the draft.
16. Chicago Bulls - C Jarrett Allen (Texas)
The Bulls are at a major crossroads and they can really go in any direction with this pick. If Rondo, Wade, and Butler all return next season, the Bulls will be looking for help in the front court. After trading Taj Gibson and with the possibility of Nikola Mirotic leaving, the Bulls need a big who can come off the bench and contribute. On the other hand, if Wade opts out and the Bulls trade Butler, the Bulls could pick anyone.
17. Milwaukee Bucks - F Harry Giles (Duke)
With one oft-injured Dukie on the roster this pick is a risk, but do you know what the Bucks love? Length and versatility and Giles has both. He is 6'11" with a 7'3" wingspan. Before two knee injuries Giles was the top high school prospect in this loaded freshman class and boasted elite athleticism. If he can regain some of his old form Giles ability to rebound and defend multiple positions will fit well with this Bucks team that is already impossibly long and is moving towards positionless basketball. The thought of an anti-small ball lineup that includes Giannis, Middleton, Parker and Giles is something for Bucks fans to get excited about.
18. Indiana Pacers - F TJ Leaf (UCLA)
I was leaning toward giving the Pacers a "traditional" big man to help their poor rotation outside Myles Turner. But then I realized: all of these big men are underwhelming and the Pacers could really use scoring versatility. TJ Leaf can't really play primarily in the post, but does have strong skills in scoring on multiple levels and has above average explosiveness. He'll be a useful player for the Pacers as they look to a potential future sans Paul George. Leaf also hit up Taylor Swift on twitter, so that's worth a couple extra spots up my draft board.
19. Atlanta Hawks - C Bam Adebayo (Kentucky)
The man-child from Kentucky would get to be an understudy for former man-child Dwight Howard. Depending Bam's development timeline, it could open up the possibility of Atlanta going full rebuild mode by trading Howard and getting young pieces to grow with Schroeder and Hardaway Jr.
20. Portland Trail Blazers - C Justin Patton (Creighton)
Portland desperately needs a back-up center to develop alongside Jusuf Nurkic, and as a safeguard in case of injury. While F/C John Collins is the most talented big left on the board, there’s simply no fit given his defensive limitations. Patton brings a ton of upside to the Blazers’ front court, possessing a rare combination of size and athleticism for a prospect this late in the first round. He projects to be a Clint Capela-type player with a little less burst, but more touch around the basket.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - G/F Terrance Ferguson (Australia)
If the Thunder don't bring back Taj Gibson they could be looking for another big man but if they do bring him back they should look to add a shooter. Ferguson is a bit of an unknown as he skipped college to play professionally overseas but everyone seems to agree that he can shoot the basketball. The Thunder would be smart to mimick the blueprint used by the Rockets in surrounding their superstar point guard with a bunch of knock down shooters. In the end, it doesn't really matter who the Thunder pick since Russell Westbrook isn't going to pass him the ball. But if Westbrook is willing to pass the ball and his teammates hit shots, the whole game could get easier for him as defense will be hesitant to leave the shooters to help on Westbrook when he drives.
22. Brooklyn Nets - F/C John Collins (Wake Forest)
It's hard to know where to start with the Nets. They have no upside to losing (Danny Ainge relieved them of next year's first round pick) and no prospects of winning. At this point the best they can do is take a high-ceiling prospect, use this season to develop and hope for the best. Enter John Collins, a young big who put up strong numbers for Wake Forest on both the offensive and defensive ends. Collins attempted exactly 0 3-pointers in college but reports from his NBA workouts indicate a decent stroke. A couple years on the NBA stage with no pressure to win should give him the chance to develop a shot and become a solid two-way player.
23. Toronto Raptors - C Ike Anigbogu (UCLA)
The Raptors have a lot of money wrapped up in Jonas Valenciunas, who struggled to get on the court during the playoffs. A wise decision would be to pick a big who can be effective on the glass and also bring a little offensive versatility. Anigbogu isn't great. He actually isn't even great at what Toronto would want him to do (he was only 48% on shots after offensive rebounds, per Synergy). At this point of the draft you're looking for youth (Anigbogu was the youngest player in the NCAA last year) and development. This guy will kill it for Raptors 905 this season.
24. Utah Jazz - F Kyle Kuzma (Utah)
As mentioned in a later pick, Utah's draft is a little hard to predict. Free agency might alter the outlook of their team, so they should look for a player that play in any of the Jazz's future scenarios. Versatile Power Forward's are a necessary component for any successful modern NBA team, and Kyle Kuzma fits that mold. He's an athletic player who has strong ball handling skills. The Jazz may feel that Trey Lyles is developing into the versatile role, but Kuzma might have a better future outlook and in the short-term having both players can provide for some intimidating player rotations for the Jazz.
25. Orlando Magic - G Derrick White (Colorado)
White is one of those utility backcourt guys who can function as the primarily ball handler or play off the ball. He's not only a strong shooter, but he can put the ball on the floor with some catch and go action. He started his collegiate career in D-2 and has worked his way to become a legitimate first round talent. He's old for a rookie at 23 but the guy is a dog with a chip on his shoulder who will compete (and other cliches). He'll push elfrid Peyton in practice and be able to run the second unit offense at least as well as DJ Augustin.
26. Portland Trail Blazers - F/C Isaiah Hartenstein (Germany)
So far in this draft the Blazers have selected Justin Patton and Donovan Mitchell. While it seems likely they will move at least one of these picks to either try and shed some salary or get a player who can contribute now, in this scenario they still have the pick. If they hold on to all three picks, look for them to stash a player in Europe for a year or two. Hartenstein is from Germany so if he does come over right away, it will be nice to have him keep Nurkic company. They both play the same position and I assume all European teammates are automatically best friends so it seems like a good fit.
27. Los Angeles Lakers - F/C Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)
The Lakers acquired this pick from the Nets in a salary dumping trade involving Timo Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell. The Lakers made it clear they didn't value Russell and he became a necessary piece in trying to move the large salaries. Anyway, none of that has anything to do with Caleb Swanigan, who is a good front court player who should be able to help booster a rotation that was pretty thin last year. He can also rebound better than most of the current Lakers roster.
28. Los Angeles Lakers - F Tyler Lydon (Syracuse)
So I totally made this pick on my own and didn't consult DrafExpress' Mock Draft at all, I swear. Here's the thing, the Lakers roster is really, really bad. They played Corey Brewer 14 minutes a game last year! Fourteen! I think this dude Lydon can bring a lot of versatility to a roster filled with guys who, in theory, should be versatile but definitely aren't. Lydon is a good stretch big man, with an ability to run well in transition, which allows him to pair well with Lavar Ball's son. The Lakers are a decent rebounding team, and Lydon has above average offensive rebounding skills to contribute. The Lakers' roster is hard to project going forward, but I think Lydon can be a good piece in any scenario for the team.
29. San Antonio Spurs - G Wesley Iwundu (Kansas State)
This is the point of the draft where San Antonio usually drafts a foreign player and everyone rolls their eyes and assumes they'll be a great talent. With nobody fitting that mold value wise the Spurs take Wesley Iwundu, a 6'7" wing with a 7' foot wingspan who currently is limited in the half court offense. He'll get to study under Kawhi Leonard who was drafted as a 6'7" wing who was going to be limited in the half court but the Spurs gon' Spurs. Also in that 2011 draft the San Antonio Spurs drafted Davis Bertans from Latvia who made his NBA debut for them this year and was a weapon for them 5 years later!
30. Utah Jazz - F D.J. Wilson (Michigan)
No team has more up in the air this summer than the jazz. With the futures of franchise cornerstone Gordon Hayward and starting point guard George Hill in question, Utah has no business drafting for "need." They don't know what they need. Wilson is projected at 22 at Draft Express and 25 at nbadraft.net. He's long and agile for his size. He can shoot or put the ball on the floor on offense and switch on screens defensively. Bottom line is he has the highest upside potential of available prospects, so might as well take a big swing, regardless of fit.
Draft night is always an important night for the NBA's thirty teams. Players drafted can become cornerstones of franchises, important pieces in future trades, complete busts, or something completely unknown. Where did the ALOB crew get it right? Where were we completely wrong? Who was the drunkest during this mock?
Expect a draft preview podcast to come out sometime on Wednesday. It's almost time to party!