Written by: Str8up
The 2017 NBA Draft
1. Markelle Fultz: PG/SG, Washington (Fr.)
For months now (in my eyes) Fultz has unquestionably been the clear-cut number one prospect. He’s extremely versatile as he’s able to play either guard position and the ability to play on or off-ball will make for a seamless transition to the NBA as he will be able to fit with essentially any roster in the league.
2. Frank Ntilikina: SG/PG, Belgium (1998)
Similar to Fultz, Ntilikina is versatile as he’s able to play either guard position. At this stage he is probably more of a 2 than a lead guard. Frank’s upside is very dependent on where he lands. Ideally I’d love to see him playing for Rick Carlisle in Dallas, or perhaps New York. His defense will get him playing time from day one despite being more raw than some of the other lottery prospects.
3. Dennis Smith: PG, North Carolina State (Fr.)
I tend to agree with the comparisons to Steve Francis. Defense typically factors heavily into where I rank prospects, but I still like Dennis even though he’ll be a one position defender. In my opinion, he was the best ISO scorer in college basketball this season. A consistent 3pt shot and staying healthy is key for his success.
4. Lonzo Ball: PG, UCLA (Fr.)
You’re cooking up a recipe for disaster if you’re drafting Lonzo to be your first or second option. With that said, he possesses a LeBron-like ability to make everyone around him better. He’s a better athlete and defender than most give him credit for too. I don’t think he has as high an upside as some of the other top guards in this class, but Lonzo’s vision and feel for the game are something you can’t teach. I do worry about his complete lack of mid-range game and shooting mechanics. I don’t think it will pose too much of an issue though. Even a simple floater will go a long way for him.
5. De’Aaron Fox: PG, Kentucky (Fr.)
Fox has everything you want in a lead guard. Except for shooting. There are some other areas that he could improve on but a consistent 3pt shot is absolutely crucial for his success at the next level.
6. Jayson Tatum: F, Duke (Fr.)
I’ve compared Tatum to Tobias Harris for a while now. He’ll be a much better player than Tobias though. I’m not too sure which forward position he’ll play, most likely the 4. Tatum should be your number two guy at best if you want to win.
7. Josh Jackson: SF/SG, Kansas (Fr.)
Josh is a player who has been falling out of favor with me over the past couple of weeks. I think he has the highest floor out of maybe anybody in the draft, but I’m not confident in him being a top-3 talent. I see him eventually being an elite role player, similar to someone like Marvin Williams.
8. Jonathan Isaac: F, Florida State (Fr.)
Isaac is in my top-10 just off of defensive potential alone. I’m not sold on him developing into a rim protector, but I do think he can potentially guard just about every position which is extremely valuable in the modern day NBA.
9. Donovan Mitchell: G, Louisville (So.)
Great both on and off the court. An updated version of Marcus Smart.
10. Jarrett Allen: C, Texas (Fr.)
The center version of Myles Turner.
11. Luke Kennard: G, Duke (So.)
Reminds me a lot of D’Angelo Russell/Manu Ginobili. Underrated athlete and ball-handler, able to play some point. His offensive game completely negates his defensive limitations.
12. Justin Patton: C/PF, Creighton (Fr.)
Coaches are going to love Patton, at this stage you can essentially mold him into any type of player you want.
13. Semi Ojeleye: F, SMU (Jr.)
Tailor made for the modern day NBA, extremely versatile.
14. Cam Oliver: F/C, Nevada (So.)
Like Fultz, there isn’t really much for me to dislike about Cam Oliver. He fits the Paul Milsap/Draymond Green mold, but will he be able to think the game at the NBA level?
15. Malik Monk: G, Kentucky (Fr.)
At best I see Monk as a borderline All-Star. His success really depends on the roster around him and/or his ability to play the point.
16. John Collins: F, Wake Forest (So.)
Great athlete and elite rebounder. Even if he doesn’t become a consistent 3pt shooter he has all the tools to be highly effective at the next level.
17. Lauri Markkanen: F, Arizona (Fr.)
I understand the intrigue with Lauri, but I don’t see him being much more than an elite shooter.
18. OG Anunoby: F, Indiana (So.)
Similar to Isaac, Anunoby has the potential to guard pretty much any position. His frame is a lot more filled out than Isaac, but we can’t be too sure what to expect as he’s coming off of a serious injury. Probably an Mbah a Moute type player at least.
19. Terrance Ferguson: SG/SF, USA (1998)
I’m a lot higher on Ferguson than I once was. He has a lot of work to do but he’s a very low risk pick, potential 3&D guy with great work ethic and motor. He already has some professional experience as well which is a plus.
20. Ike Anigbogu: C, UCLA (Fr.)
High risk high reward. Only 18 but has an NBA ready body, I don’t think he’ll be much offensively outside of put-backs and transition dunks, but hopefully his shot blocking will make up for that. He’s worth the risk in my opinion.
21. Jawun Evans: PG, Oklahoma State (So.)
My absolute favorite player in the draft. I don’t disagree with the CP3 comparisons, but his lack of athleticism might be his downfall. It is really the only thing that separates him from Chris Paul at this stage in their careers. Most likely an elite backup point guard.
22. Anzejs Pasecniks: C, Latvia (1995)
23. D.J. Wilson: F, Michigan (Jr.)
Soft. The potential is there though.
24. Zach Collins: PF/C, Gonzaga (Fr.)
I don’t see him as anything more than a good role player, not an effective starter.
25. P.J. Dozier: G/F, South Carolina (So.)
26. Devin Robinson: F, Florida (Jr.)
I’d like to see him improve as a passer. Love the defensive potential from him as well. I could see him being an effective starter before some of the names I have ahead of him.
27. Jordan Bell: PF, Oregon (Jr.)
28. Derrick White: G, Colorado (Sr.)
29. Kyle Kuzma: PF, Utah (Jr.)
30. Caleb Swanigan: PF/C, Purdue (So.)
Hopefully he’ll be able to guard the perimeter if he keeps working on his body some more.
31. Isaiah Hartenstein: PF/C, Germany (1998)
Hartenstein has matured a lot over the past year which is a good sign. He still has a lot of work to do on his actual game however. Stretch 5 potential.
32. Harry Giles: C/PF, Duke (Fr.)
Even though his ceiling is a lot lower now due to unfortunate injuries, Giles still has a spot in the NBA thanks to his elite rebounding and ability to run the floor. His physical profile is a definite bonus as well.
33. Frank Jackson: G, Duke (Fr.)
34. TJ Leaf: F, UCLA (Fr.)
I don’t get it. He has some tools that could help him prove me wrong at least.
35. Mathias Lessort: PF/C, France (1995)
Defense reigns supreme once again here, if he lands on a team like San Antonio he will have a very long and productive career.
36. Johnathan Motley: PF/C, Baylor (Jr.)
37. Tyler Lydon: F, Syracuse (So.)
Should have came out last year.
38. Bam Adebayo: C/PF, Kentucky (Fr.)
I wouldn’t draft him in the first round.
39. Justin Jackson: SF, North Carolina (Jr.)
I’ve never been high on Justin Jackson, and I’m still not. Drafting him in the lottery, let alone the top-10, seems like it is going to be a terrible decision for one unfortunate team.
40. Ivan Rabb: PF/C, California (So.)
See: Tyler Lydon
41. Kadeem Allen: PG, Arizona (Sr.)
If he was a couple years younger I’d have him in my top 25. Best defender in the draft, great 3pt shooter and he has decent point guard skills. Not bad at attacking the rim either. Similar to Donovan Mitchell he’ll be able to guard the 1–3 thanks to his impressive 6’9″ wingspan.
42. Monte Morris: PG, Iowa State (Sr.)
Great college player, high IQ, floor general. Unfortunately I don’t see a lot translating to the next level. He’ll be a great backup point guard though.
43. Thomas Bryant: C, Indiana (So.)
See: Ivan Rabb
44. Tony Bradley: C, North Carolina (Fr.)
45. Sterling Brown: SG/SF, SMU (Sr.)
46. Jonah Bolden: PF, Australia (1996)
Could develop into an interesting bench piece.
47. Wesley Iwundu: G, Kansas State (Sr.)
48. Peter Jok: SG, Iowa (Sr.)
The best shooter in the draft, he’ll be a nice steal.
49. Alec Peters: PF, Valparaiso (Sr.)
50. Nigel Williams-Goss: PG, Gonzaga (Jr.)
Another great option for a backup point guard. He’ll have a long career.
51. Edmond Sumner: G, Xavier (So.)
He just keeps falling. Maybe he makes my top-60 because I’m out of time to watch film and drop him further.
52. Vlatko Cancar: SF, Slovenia (1997)
53. Aleksandar Vezenkov: F, Bulgaria (1995)
54. V.J. Beachem: SF, Notre Dame (Sr.)
55. Jaron Blossomgame: SF, Clemson (Sr.)
56. Frank Mason: PG, Kansas (Sr.)
Going to be the first Naismith winner to get selected outside of the first round (or undrafted).
57. George De Paula: PG, Brazil (1996)
58. Damyean Dotson: SG, Houston (Sr.)
59. Alpha Kaba: PF/C, France (1996)
60. Deonte Burton: SF, Iowa State (Sr.)