Now it is time to take a deeper look at the entire first round. At the top of the draft, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are the leading candidates to be the first pick. ESPN’s Chad Ford reported Fultz has a 57.2 percent chance to be the top pick based on the lottery teams he polled.
Ford later reported that some teams have De’Aaron Fox ranked ahead of Ball. The Kentucky guard outplayed Ball in both matchups this season but most recently in the NCAA tournament game where nearly every NBA team was in attendance. While Fox’s stock is high, it appears unlikely he could go any higher than No. 2.
While NBA teams are publicly saying the LaVar Ball circus surrounding his son will not impact whether they draft Ball, it certainly cannot help his stock. Magic Johnson spoke with ESPN about his thoughts on the elder Ball’s impact on his son’s draft status.
“No effect at all,” Johnson told ESPN. “I think what you’re drafting is the son and not the father. I think that you also are gauging and evaluating his son on his ability and what he can do not only on the basketball court but also what he can do for your team. How he can enhance and make your team better.”
After the two point guards, Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Duke’s Jayson Tatum are fighting to be the top forward off the board. Both players are battling with Fox to be the next player off the board after the top two point guards.
Looking for a few players that helped themselves at the combine? Draft Express and Chad Ford both raved about Oregon big man Jordan Bell. In addition to Bell, Maryland’s Justin Jackson also had a solid week.
As expected, Florida big man Devin Robinson crushed the athletic testing at the combine. Robinson is an intriguing player who I had an opportunity to watch in person during the NCAA tournament. He does not always make the right play, but he never stops playing. With his athleticism, NBA teams at the end of the first round could be lining up to mold him into the NBA player they want him to be.
Keep it here for coverage of both the NBA Draft Lottery and the 2017 NBA Draft in one of the most anticipated draft classes in recent memory. Here’s a look at our latest first round mock draft. The order for the lottery teams is based on their odds to get the No. 1 pick.
|1||Boston Celtics (via Nets)||PG Markelle Fultz, Washington|
|2||Phoenix Suns||PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA|
|3||Los Angeles Lakers||SF Josh Jackson, Kansas|
|4||Philadelphia 76ers||PG De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky|
|5||Orlando Magic||SF Jayson Tatum, Duke|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||PF Lauri Markkanen, Arizona|
|7||New York Knicks||SG Malik Monk, Kentucky|
|8||Sacramento Kings||PG Dennis Smith, NC State|
|9||Dallas Mavericks||F Jonathan Isaac, Florida State|
|10||Sacramento Kings (via Pelicans)||F Zach Collins, Gonzaga|
|11||Charlotte Hornets||G Frank Ntilikina, France|
|12||Detroit Pistons||C/F Jarrett Allen, Texas|
|13||Denver Nuggets||F Justin Jackson, North Carolina|
|14||Miami Heat||PF John Collins, Wake Forest|
|15||Portland Blazers||PF Harry Giles, Duke|
|16||Chicago Bulls||F/C Bam Adebayo, Kentucky|
|17||Milwaukee Bucks||F OG Anunoby, Indiana|
|18||Indiana Pacers||SG Luke Kennard, Duke|
|19||Atlanta Hawks||SG Terrance Ferguson, Australia|
|20||Portland Blazers (via Grizzlies)||SG Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder||C/F Ivan Rabb, Cal|
|22||Brooklyn Nets (via Wizards)||SG Donovan Mitchell, Louisville|
|23||Toronto Raptors (via Clippers)||PG Frank Jackson, Duke|
|24||Utah Jazz||F Tyler Lydon, Syracuse|
|25||Orlando Magic (via Raptors)||PF Jordan Bell, Oregon|
|26||Portland Blazers (via Cavs)||PF T.J. Leaf, UCLA|
|27||Brooklyn Nets (via Celtics)||C Justin Patton, Creighton|
|28||Los Angeles Lakers (via Rockets)||C Ike Anigbogu, UCLA|
|29||San Antonio Spurs||C Jonathan Jeanne, France|
|30||Utah Jazz (via Warriors)||F Devin Robinson, Florida|