One of the most exciting times of the NBA year is just a few months away as the 2017 NBA Draft is set to take place towards the end of June. As a fan, you look forward to this day as you get to see all of the new and upcoming potential stars that will join the league.
We really expect a strong NBA Draft with Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson. It will be very interesting who will pick the future superstars or maybe... the future busts of the NBA Draft.
Check top 10 best prospects in the NBA Draft 2017.
10. Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen
15.6 PPG; 7.2 RPG; 0.9 APG; 0.4 SPG; 0.5 BPG; .492 FG%; .423 3P%; .825 FT%
The next Dirk? Maybe, or maybe not. Markkanen is the ideal player for Dallas, especially having a guy like Nowitzki to help him develop his game at an NBA level. Markkanen is a Finnish 7'0" big man out of Arizona with the ability to score with ease. He too can stretch out the floor, causing opponents to have defensive switches every possession and eventually leaving a shooter open.
Dallas started the season having the worst record in the league for the first 15-20 games or so due to injuries. But with their veteran coach and players on the team, they found a way to make a late playoff push this season. They will likely fall short of it, so they need to take full advantage of their lottery pick.
Nowitzki can be the perfect mentor for a guy like Markkanen, both being from different countries and having the same ability to stroke the ball from deep.
9. Sacramento Kings: T.J. Leaf
16.3 PPG; 8.2 RPG; 2.4 APG; 0.6 SPG; 1.1 BPG; .617 FG%; .466 3P%; .679 FT%
Teaming up with Lonzo Ball at UCLA, Leaf is a very talented big man coming into the league.
He can really stretch out the floor with his ability to shoot beyond the arc as a 6'10" player, which in this day and age of the NBA isn't that rare anymore.
The league continues to grow with bringing in big men who are able to shoot anywhere on the court, and Leaf complements that very well.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Dennis Smith Jr.
18.1 PPG; 4.6 RPG; 6.1 APG; 1.9 SPG; 0.4 BPG; .455 FG%; .359 3P%; .715 FT%
Minnesota is one of the league's youngest teams with a veteran head coach in Tom Thibodeau that need some help, and Smith can be that guy. Although drafting Kris Dunn with the 5th overall pick last year, they may need another PG because it looks like Rubio may not be back with the team next season.
Smith was one of the top recruited guards in his class due to his skillset being above and beyond most of the others. After tearing his ACL in the summer of 2015, leaving him out for over half a year, people were questioning whether or not he would still be himself. He proved all of those people wrong as he continued his successful career at NC State.
With already having Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine, the Wolves would bring in an already talented young guard to continue their rebuilding process.
7. New York Knicks: De'Aaron Fox
16.7 PPG; 4.0 RPG; 4.6 APG; 1.5 SPG; 0.2 BPG; .479 FG%; .246 3P%; .736 FT%
Considering the mess the Knicks organization has been in the past couple of years, having Fox drop this far to them would be an absolute blessing. Not knowing what next season holds for them, New York should look deep into Fox and hopefully see what he can bring to the table. Derrick Rose may be done with New York, so Fox is the ideal pickup for them if he's still available when they pick.
Although he doesn't have the biggest of body's out of the prospects, and his 3-point shot is very questionable, his athleticism and pure passing ability can help him become one of the league's most talented guards in the near future.
6. Sacramento Kings: Jonathan Isaac
12.0 PPG; 7.8 RPG; 1.2 APG; 1.2 SPG; 1.5 BPG; .508 FG%; .348 3P%; .780 FT%
Sacramento dealt superstar center DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans last month at the trade deadline. Cousins is hard to replace, but Isaac is a nice upgrade to pair with Willie Cauley-Stein.
Isaac is a monster underneath and is hard to deal with one on one. He brings a lot of attention when he's on the court. This could create a lot of space for newly acquired Buddy Hield to let loose his 3-point shot that caught everyone's attention back in college.
Isaac can also stroke it from deep if needed to. The Kings would get themselves a beast underneath the glass if the could snag Isaac when they pick.
5. Orlando Magic: Malik Monk
19.8 PPG; 2.5 RPG; 2.3 APG; 0.9 SPG; 0.5 BPG; .450 FG%; .397 3P%; .822 FT%
Monk is one of my favorite players coming out of this class. His ability to scorch opposing teams with his gifted shot is why he's ranked so highly by NBA scouts. Although the heartbreaker against UNC in the Elite Eight, Monk hit the 2 most clutch 3-point shots for Kentucky all game.
Monk can complement Elfrid Payton real nice by giving him a nice sharpshooter to look to pass out for the shot. Monk can be a solid upgrade for Orlando at this point.
4. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum
16.8 PPG; 7.3 PPG; 2.1 APG; 1.3 SPG: 1.1 BPG; .452 FG%; .342 3P%; .849 FT%
Tatum was a top 3 recruit in his class coming out of high school. His skillset can make a smooth transition into the NBA. His ability to run the floor with a strong offensive game and a solid defensive game can make NBA scouts fall in love with Tatum instantly.
Tatum proved he can be a talented forward in the NBA while playing at Duke. He has a flashy skill set and can pass the ball quite smoothly as well. Teaming Tatum up with Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, and the rest of the NBA's youngest team in Phoenix, the Suns have something to look forward to in the future.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Jackson
16.3 PPG; 7.4 RPG; 3.0 APG; 1.7 SPG; 1.1 BPG; .513 FG%; .378 3P%; .566 FT%
With the hopeful signs pointing towards Ben Simmons returning at the start of next season with Joel Embiid, Jackson can possibly be the one piece the Sixers need to start climbing into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
Coach Brett Brown has made it clear that he will be looking to start Simmons at point guard next season, so Jackson can fill in that SF role for Philly very nicely. Jackson is the highest rated forward in this year's draft because of his ability as not only a beast in the paint but his playmaking as well.
With a lineup of Simmons, Luwawu-Cabarrot, Jackson, Saric, and Embiid, the 76ers can be a serious threat in the near future if all remain healthy.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball
14.6 PPG; 6 RPG; 7.6 APG; 1.8 SPG; 0.8 BPG; .551 FG%; .412 3P%; .673 FT%
Home sweet home, right LaVar? If Ball is on the board when the Lakers pick, consider it a given that they will select the UCLA prodigy. Ball took over the NCAA this year with his flashy passes, clutch shots, and great shooting ability with the Bruins.
However, he played one of the worst games in his college career against Kentucky in the Sweet 16 in this year's March Madness tournament. Some people think that may hurt his draft stock, but it's hard to believe that one game like that will end up dropping him in the draft. Yes, it was the most important game of his career at the time, but let's not forget about what he brought to the court every single night prior to that game.
The Lakers are clearly in rebuilding mode, and adding Ball to the roster would boost them as a whole very quickly.
1. Boston Celtics: Markelle Fultz
23.2 PPG; 5.7 RPG; 5.9 APG; 1.6 SPG; 1.2 BPG; .476 FG%; .413 3P%; .649 FT%
To be honest, I'm not 100% sold on Boston keeping this pick if they do happen to get the 1st overall pick. To me, it will be hard to pass up on Fultz and Ball with the #1 and #2 picks this year. And with Boston already having a strong backcourt leading them to the potential 1st seed in the east, I can't see them taking another guard. I'm putting Fultz here, however, because he is without a doubt the top prospect to me in this year's draft. Not making the NCAA tournament this year shouldn't hurt his stock, however, especially seeing how Ben Simmons went first overall last year while failing to make the tournament as well.
Don't be surprised if you see Boston trading this pick to move down in the draft to add more assets to their team.