NBA Mock Draft 2017: 1st-Round Predictions, March Madness Edition

There is no better time for an NBA prospect to improve his draft stock than March. The stakes are higher, the lights are brighter, and the best players tend to rise to the occasion in the biggest ways. There are exceptions, of course. Markelle Fultz's college career is officially over without ever playing a game in March, but there's still a strong likelihood he hears his name called first on the night of June 22. For other prospects, though, the next two weeks will prove crucial.

The next few weeks are going to be important for NBA teams, as well. The Boston Celtics--who will have the right to swap picks with the Brooklyn Nets--are set to enter the lottery with the best chance at earning the No. 1 pick, but the No. 2 spot is still very much up for grabs. The Phoenix Suns' youth movement hasn't exactly gone according to plan, as guys like Tyler Ulis and Alan Williams have helped them win three of the last five games, allowing to the Los Angeles Lakers to "pass" them, but still only a game separates the two.

Ultimately, there are a number of pending trades that will depend on the order of the Top 10, and a number of different developments that may shake things up, but with conference championships on the horizon, it's the perfect time to take a closer look at the best prospects and where they may land. With that in mind, you can click through the gallery for my 2017 first-round mock draft. Note: Draft order is based on standings as of March 10 (Getty)