For teams fortunate enough to have a team in the NBA playoff race, this week marks the start of the postseason. For many other fans, today marks the beginning of the build up to the 2017 NBA Draft in what has been a frustrating season for many fan bases. This year, more than any year in recent memory there is more anticipation for the draft with the amount of talented players at the top. The NBA differs from the NFL model where there is a long buildup to the draft. Just a little over two months remain before the NBA Draft on June 23. There will be mere weeks between the NBA Finals and the NBA Draft. Before we get there, here are a few storylines to watch.
The NBA Draft Lottery will take place on May 16. As part of the terms of a prior trade with the Nets, the Celtics have an opportunity to get the number one pick and make the NBA Finals in the same season. As far as the players go, teams and fans will continue to debate whether Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball will get selected first. After these two players, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and De'Aaron Fox are just a few of the prospects fighting to be the first player out of that next group. Since the college basketball season has ended there have been no real surprises from the top prospects. Players like Malik Monk, Zach Collins and Fox have all declared for the draft. This is good news for the NBA as it looks to be a deep draft for lottery teams. A quick note about the player evaluations, I have had the opportunity to see Jonathan Isaac, Fox, Monk, Ball and several other first round players in person giving me a unique perspective on quite a few top prospects. While the official lottery draft order will not be determined until May, the order for our mock draft is based on where each team is slotted to pick based on their record. We will continue to update this as the season ends as games become final and the lottery odds shuffle around. As always, happy to talk more about the draft on Twitter @JonDAdams. Click the right arrow to see Heavy's latest NBA mock draft for the lottery teams. (Getty)