NBA Mock Draft 2017: Predictions for Lottery & 1st Round

The moment of truth is about to arrive as the NBA lottery determines who will have the top pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Heavy explored the lottery teams earlier this week after we conducted a lottery simulation. We looked at what the lottery could look like if the Sixers won the lottery.

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.

No.  TEAM PLAYER
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
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