2017 NBA Draft: April Edition

fox

For past versions click here: JanuaryFebruary – March

With the NCAA tournament concluded, the NBA playoffs in full-swing, and plenty of players having already declared, it’s time to get serious about the draft.  I’ll be expanding my big board from 10 to 15 and hopefully even more as the draft approaches.

1 – Markelle Fultz (PG – 6’4” 195 lbs, Washington – FR)

(previous rank: 1)

2 – Lonzo Ball (PG – 6’6” 190 lbs, UCLA – FR)

(previous rank: 2)

3 – Josh Jackson (SF – 6’8” 203 lbs, Kansas – FR)

(previous rank: 3)

4 – De’Aaron Fox (PG – 6’4” 171 lbs, Kentucky – FR)

(previous rank: 10)

5 – Jayson Tatum (SF – 6’8” 204 lbs, Duke – FR)

(previous rank: 4)

6 – Dennis Smith (PG – 6’3” 195 lbs, NC State – FR)

(previous rank: 5)

7 – Frank Ntilikina (PG – 6’5” 170 lbs, France)

(previous rank: 6)

8 – Jonathan Isaac (F – 6’11” 205 lbs, Florida St – FR)

(previous rank: 7)

9 – Malik Monk (G – 6’4” 185 lbs, Kentucky – FR)

(previous rank: 9)

10 – Lauri Markkanen (PF – 7’0” 225 lbs, Arizona – FR)

(previous rank: 8)

11 – Jarrett Allen (C – 6’11” 224 lbs, Texas – FR)

(previous rank: N/A)

12 – OG Anunoby (SF – 6’8″ 215 lbs, Indiana – SOPH)

(previous rank: N/A)

13 – John Collins (PF – 6’10” 225 lbs, Wake Forest – SOPH)

(previous rank: N/A)

14 – TJ Leaf (PF – 6’10” 220 lbs, UCLA – FR)

(previous rank: N/A)

15 – Jawun Evans (PG – 6’1″ 177 lbs, Oklahoma St – SOPH)

(previous rank: N/A)


Notes: Not much change at the top of the board other than De’Aaron Fox.  I’ve been a fan of Fox since last winter when I stumbled across his high school highlights, but I admittedly had followed the herd and softened on him over the course of the season.  We knew he had the speed, athleticism, and defensive potential that scouts would swoon over, but the heart and desire he showed in the tournament really put him back on the map.  He torched UCLA and Lonzo Ball for 39 points and left it all on the floor (literally) against North Carolina.  Lauri Markkanen slides a few spots after impersonating a ghost for much of the tournament – he’ll be valued in the NBA more than in college for what he is (a semi-athletic and enormous floor-spacer) but he may be more Ryan Anderson than Dirk Nowitzki.

Newcomers to the board include Jarrett Allen (an ultra-athletic rim-protector with upside), OG Anunoby (raw, but super-long wing defender), John Collins (a do-it-all post scorer that is a 3-point shot away from being a star), TJ Leaf (a bouncy stretch-four), and Jawun Evans (solid two-way guard who I wrote about previously in January).

Biggest riser: De’Aaron Fox (10 — 5)

Biggest faller: Lauri Markkanen (8 — 11)

On the bubble: Zach Collins (PF – Gonzaga), Terrance Ferguson (SG – Australia), Justin Patton (C – Creighton)


Flavor of the Month: Angel Delgado (PF – 6’8″ 215 lbs, Seton Hall – JR)

delgado

When picking players in the second round, to me there are four major considerations: (1) finances, (2) upside/projection, (3) value, and (4) conveyable skill.  From a fiscal standpoint, second-round picks are valuable because you can stash them and punt on the salary until a later date (or never), or get a player on a team-controlled and cap-friend deal for a few years.  Upside and value are counterparts for one another – look at Ike Anigbogu vs Josh Hart.  Anigbogu played sparse minutes at UCLA, but teams would love to take a flier on him, while Hart is “WYSIWYG” – a rotation-wing with a low-ceiling/high-floor.  The last consideration (thanks for bearing with me) is a conveyable skill – a skill that will carry over from NCAA to NBA from day one and allow a player to carve out a niche.  Angel Delgado has that skill in spades with his rebounding.  Delgado has flirted with a double-double in each of his three seasons at Seton Hall, breaking out this year for a line of 15/13.  Delgado isn’t big and won’t stretch the floor, but he can impact the game on both ends with tenacity on the glass.  He grabbed nearly 5 offensive rebounds per game and displayed a softer touch around the rim, showing some semblance of an offensive game other than put-backs and tip-ins.  He doesn’t block shots, shoot well, and turns the ball over too much, but he’s capable of grabbing 22 rebounds in a night as he did against Butler this past winter.  Maybe I’m just looking for the next Lou Amundson, but I do think Delgado can fill a role at the next level right out of the gate.


Sixers Mock Drafts

Current Picks (pre-lottery)

4: Josh Jackson (SF – Kansas)

36: Mathias Lessort (PF/C – France)

39: Sindarius Thornwell (SG – South Carolina)

46: Kostja Mushidi (SG – Belgium)

50: Alpha Kaba (PF/C – France)

Notes: The Sixers walk away with the most talented defensive prospect in the draft in Jackson, who would immediately make an already frightening defense (on paper) even more of a juggernaut.  With Brett Brown stating that Ben Simmons will be the team’s point guard, the lineup could feature Simmons/Jackson/Covington/Saric/Embiid.  Obviously Dario is the weak link defensively, but you can see the potential of what that could become.  Switching everything, filling passing lanes, and harassing smaller ball-handlers are just some of potential traits we’d see.  In the second-round, we see some familiar international faces as the team wouldn’t be able to roster five new players.  Lessort and Kaba provide organizational depth in the frontcourt while Thornwell would be a “3 and D” guard that could challenge for time early, or use his EZ-Pass on the way down I-95 to visit the 87ers.  Mushidi is an interesting guard who played well at the Nike Hoop Summit.  Fun fact: he plays for Mega Leks, which you may remember as the fantastic neon uniforms that Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot donned last season.

Simulated Lottery (via Tankathon simulation)

  • Sixers receive 2nd overall pick
  • Lakers receive 3rd overall pick
  • Kings receive 8th overall pick (no pick swap)

2: Lonzo Ball (PG – UCLA)

Notes: Lonzo Ball is a polarizing figure for many reasons, but the opportunity to place him in an up-tempo offense that will look to score in transition is too rich to pass up.  Ball has his flaws on the court (jumper, creating shot, strength) but he is the best collegiate passer I’ve seen and despite it’s ugliness, the shot does fall.  It’s a risky pick, but one that I wouldn’t hesitate to make.


#TrustTheProcess

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