The 2017 NBA Draft took place this morning (AEST) and the NBA teams were wheeling and dealing their way through 60 picks. The Boston Celtics finished the season atop the Eastern Conference but due to deals in previous years, they also ended up with the number one pick in this Draft! However, a couple of days ago they moved that on to the Philadelphia 76ers and dropped themselves down to the third pick.
Here’s a full rundown of the first round of the Draft with a few random thoughts thrown in for good measure.
Pick 1: Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz
No surprise with the pick here, this is what was touted as happening a couple of days ago. The 76ers have a very good offensive talent to pair alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Trust the process.
Pick 2: Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball
Again, not a big surprise with this pick as there’s been so much talking happening, mostly by his father LaVar. No doubt the kid can play though, Lakers have a good one here.
TRADE ALERT: Jimmy Butler and the #16 pick are heading to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls receive the #7 pick, Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine.
Pick 3: Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum
A good pick by the Celtics, this was the first pick of the Draft that was considered a bit of a mystery. Defense is a bit iffy for now but can improve, he excels at scoring and will push Jaylen Brown for minutes.
Pick 4: Phoenix Suns – Josh Jackson
Probably won’t worry the scorers too much throughout the season but what he lacks there he will make up for in rebounding and defense.
Pick 5: Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox
Crazy quick across the court but his shooting does need some work.
Pick 6: Orlando Magic – Jonathan Isaac
A good athlete who could guard multiple positions but he needs to add some muscle mass, there’s not much to him at the moment and could find himself battered and bruised through a game.
Pick 7: Minnesota Timberwolves – Lauri Markkanen
This pick is going to the Chicago Bulls as part of the earlier mentioned Jimmy Butler trade. A 7’0″ good shooter and the Bulls needed a shooter, will be a good stretch 4-5 option for them.
Pick 8: New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina
18 year old from France who was the MVP in the FIBA U18 Championships, can shoot, defend and is decent athletically. A good pick for the Knicks.
Pick 9: Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Smith Jnr
An explosive athlete that is an ok defender but he tends to lose focus on the court for patches. If the Mavs can get him to focus for the full time he’s on the court then they have a very good PG to take them forward.
TRADE ALERT: The Portland Trailblazers will now use the #10 pick as they receive it from the Sacramento Kings in return for the #15 and #20 picks.
Pick 10: Sacramento Kings – Zach Collins
As per above, this pick is now going to the Trailblazers. A good shooting big man and a solid defender but he is very foul prone and will need to try to limit his contact when trying to defend in the NBA. Put alongside Nurkic, a good front line for the Blazers.
Pick 11: Charlotte Hornets – Malik Monk
One of the better shooters in the Draft, could start alongside Kemba Walker from the get-go to further space the floor for Walker and new Hornet, Dwight Howard.
Pick 12: Detroit Pistons – Luke Kennard
A little bit of a reach for the Pistons to take Kennard here. Most likely picked for his 44% three point shooting but could find himself struggling for minutes throughout the season with the other personnel the Pistons have.
TRADE ALERT: The Denver Nuggets will trade the #13 pick to the Utah Jazz in return for Trey Lyles and the #24 pick.
Pick 13: Denver Nuggets – Donovan Mitchell
As per the above trade alert, Mitchell is off to the Jazz not the Nuggets. Fits the mindset of the Jazz of being a solid defender.
Pick 14: Miami Heat – Bam Adebayo
An interesting pick for the Heat who already have a big man in Hassan Whiteside. Has to continue to develop his shooting form so that the pick could be what I’m guessing the Heat are after – a stretch 4-5 option to pair with Whiteside.
Pick 15: Portland Trailblazers – Justin Jackson
As per a previous trade alert, this is going to the Kings. Will look to shoot but won’t look to do too much else in terms of rebounding at least.
Pick 16: Chicago Bulls – Justin Patton
As per a previous trade alert, this pick will be off to the Timberwolves. The Wolves needed a centre to take the place of the waived Nikola Pekovic. Will see a few minutes off the bench as an efficient scorer.
Pick 17: Milwaukee Bucks – DJ Wilson
Why not add more length at the Bucks? It seems to the thing to do at the Bucks. Another shot blocking threat for the Bucks.
Pick 18: Indiana Pacers – TJ Leaf
A stretch-4 that should play well alongside Myles Turner if the Pacers wanted to go that way. Pairing two young bigs who can both shoot the three ball would prove a difficult match up for opposition teams.
Pick 19: Atlanta Hawks – John Collins
Depending on what the Hawks decide to do with their team (e.g. rebuild or trade players in), Collins could start instantly in my mind. Good offensively and on the boards, needs to improve defensively but the Hawks will definitely like what they have on the interior with him.
Pick 20: Portland Trailblazers – Harry Giles
As per a previous trade alert, this is going to the Kings. Has had knee problems throughout his play so far and that likely saw him slide down to this pick, could have been top 10 easy.
Pick 21: Oklahoma City Thunder – Terrance Ferguson
Ferguson played here in Australia for the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL. Extremely athletic and can shoot the ball, will need to improve his consistency at this level and fills the need for the Thunder as a 3-and-D player.
Pick 22: Brooklyn Nets – Jarrett Allen
After trading away Lopez earlier in the week the Nets needed to get a big man. A better rebounder and shot blocker, or at least has the potential to be, than Brook Lopez. Not much of a threat on the offensive end outside of the paint but will battle for the Nets.
Pick 23: Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby
Missed the end of the season with a knee injury and that is the cause of his slide down the picks. A very solid defender who is very athletic and quick in transition.
Pick 24: Utah Jazz – Tyler Lydon
As per a previous trade alert, this pick is heading to Denver. Could fit alongside the players currently listed for the Nuggets as he is a low usage player (doesn’t need the ball in his hands a whole lot) whereas others on the roster are high usage.
Pick 25: Orlando Magic – Anzejs Pasecniks
Making his way through the crowd (sitting in the stands), played in the U18 Latvian National team with Kristaps Porzingis. An athletic big man that could play alongside Nikola Vucevic as a role player but will need to improve his defense for this level of play.
Pick 26: Portland Trailblazers – Caleb Swanigan
A stretch big man for the Blazers but his issue will be at the defensive end of the court, his lateral quickness may be exposed at this level.
Pick 27: Brooklyn Nets – Kyle Kuzma
This pick is heading to the LA Lakers as part of the Brook Lopez deal earlier in the week. An athletic player that has improved his shooting as this past season has gone on.
TRADE ALERT: The Lakers are sending pick #28 to the Jazz in return for pick #30 and pick #42.
Pick 28: Los Angeles Lakers – Tony Bradley
As per the above trade alert, this pick is going to the Jazz. The Jazz are getting themselves another long big man that can chop out Rudy Gobert for a couple of minutes a game.
Pick 29: San Antonio Spurs – Derrick White
Can play in either guard position on the floor and can finish at the rim pretty well.
Pick 30: Utah Jazz – Josh Hart
As per a previous trade alert, this pick will head to the Lakers. A very good rebounder for a guard, can finish at the rim and plays solid defense. A good 30th pick for the Lakers.