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TravisMathew 2017 NBA Mock Draft

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Today marks the biggest day in the lives of dozens of young NBA prospects awaiting to hear their named called in the NBA Draft. No need to jump around from channel to channel or website to website to get your Draft info, we’ve done the work for you. Here’s how TravisMathew sees the first round breaking down tonight.

1. Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz, (PG, Washington)

Philadelphia, by courtesy of a recent trade with the Boston Celtics, will be making their second #1 overall pick in a row. The 76ers gave up two first rounders to have the rights to select Fultz, who will join the already youngest team in the NBA and create a potential “big four” with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Darco Saric.

2. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball (PG, UCLA)

If you haven’t heard already, Ball is going to the Lakers. Or at least that what his father will tell you and anyone else who will listen. Aside from the Ball Family Circus, “Lo” is a bona fide future All-Star at the point guard position, which court vision unparalleled by anyone in this draft or in recent memory. His defense and shooting form will determine his lasting power in the Association.

3. Boston Celtics – Josh Jackson (SF, Kansas)

After giving up the #1 overall pick with the 76ers for more future assets, General Manager Danny Ainge will either be drafting a player to compliment the terrific core of this playoff roster or a promising young talent to trade down the road for a proven star veteran to put this team over the top. We believe Jackson’s stay with Boston is short but he’ll be selected by the team nonetheless.

4. Phoenix Suns – Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke)

We think the Suns should take Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox and not because of their track record of Wildcat PGs (see Archie Goodwin ’13, Devin Booker ’15, Tyler Ulis ’16). Even the Suns’ current point guard, Eric Bledsoe, is a Wildcat (’10). Due to Fox cancelling workouts with Phoenix and the team in dire need for immediate help (that means passing on a two to three year project in Jonathan Isaac), we believe the Suns will go with the safer pick in dynamic scorer Tatum.

5. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox (PG, Kentucky)

If this scenario plays out, the Kings will be doing backflips in their draft room. The Kings need to add a franchise point guard and this draft class has been regarded as one of the most talented point guard crops since 2009 (Steph Curry, Ricky Rubio, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, and Jeff Teague, among others). Fox is an explosive playmaker that will be looked upon to be a main cog in this extremely young, upstart team.

6. Orlando Magic – Malik Monk (SG, Kentucky)

Orlando finds themselves with a new general manager and holes to fill in their roster. Do they add a small forward to allow Aaron Gordon to move back to his natural 4 position? Or grab a point guard and come to the conclusion that Elfrid Payton is best off the bench. The popular pick is adding in-state Isaac (Florida State), but adding a SF/PF doesn’t make sense with Gordon and wings like Evan Fournier and Terrance Ross already in place. We like the Magic to roll the dice and select dynamic shooter Monk to fortify the backcourt.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jonathan Isaac (PF, Florida State)

Despite the dearth of point guards in this draft, including still available Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina, Minnesota already has Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn on the roster. We believe Rubio will be traded at some point during the season, but the team’s greatest need is at the 3 and adding defense. Isaac provides both along with tremendous length and athleticism. At some point in 2017-2018, the T’Wolves could roll out a rotation of Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieg, Isaac, Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Rubio and Dunn. Not too bad.

8. New York Knicks – Dennis Smith (PG, NC State)

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Team X needs a point guard and this draft has some doozies. The Knicks, even if they bring back Derrick Rose, needs a point guard as bad as any team and at this point of the draft, they’ll most likely have a choice between Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina. Even in clear rebuild mode, they don’t have time to wait for Ntilikina to develop, so look for them to call the name of Smith on Draft Day.

9. Dallas Mavericks – Frank Ntilikina (PG, France)

It’s easy to assume Dallas would jump at the chance to take Lauri Markkanen, who is unfairly being compared to Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, both 7-foot, offensive-minded Europeans. Look for the team to still take an international player in Ntilikina, who fills the need of a point guard and can develop over time for the rebuilding Mavericks.

10. Sacramento Kings – Lauri Markaneen (PF, Arizona)

If the Kings luck out and land a point guard with their earlier pick in the first round, they’ll be able to take either the best player available on their draft board or pick from need. A stretch four like Markaneen checks off both boxes and along with returning sophomore guard Buddy Hield and the previously drafted Fox, Sacramento fans might have something to finally be excited about.

11. Charlotte Hornets – Luke Kennard (SG, Duke)

The Hornets need a star to complement their core players. Unfortunately, the odds at finding one at #11 is unlikely. They’ll be left deciding to either upgrade their bigs by adding Zach Collins or improving their outside shooting with the selection of Luke Kennard. We see the purple and teal adding the sharp-shooting Duke guard to compliment veteran point guard Kemba Walker.

12. Detroit Pistons – Donovan Mitchell (SG, Louisville)

At least one of, if not both, centers Zach Collins and Jarrett Allen are most likely to still be on the board, however Detroit already had big man Andre Drummond on the roster. Despite Drummond being a trade candidate, we see the Pistons taking Mitchell, the ridiculously athletic and skilled guard who is shooting up draft boards.

13. Denver Nuggets – OG Anunoby (SF, Indiana)

We expect one trade to go down before this pick is made, most likely a team in the top ten trying to move up for someone atop their draft board. When it comes to the Nuggets pick, they could very easily trade down or even out of the draft to add assets. We’re going to assume they stay put and take elite defender Anunoby, who could have found himself drafted in the top ten if not for a torn ACL.

14. Miami Heat – Zach Collins (C, Gonzaga)

Despite having one of the better centers in the league already in Hassan Whiteside, front-court size is still a need for the Heat. Having Collins land to them is a best-case scenario and his Chris Bosh-like talent is too much to pass up.

And because of the risk of trades disrupting the draft order, the volatility of team’s draft boards and we’re already late for happy hour, here’s just our picks for the rest of the first round, with a three-word analysis.

15. Portland Trailblazers – Jarrett Allen (C, Texas)

Raw big man.

16. Chicago Bulls – Justin Jackson (SF, North Carolina)

Jimmy Butler replacement.

17. Milwaukee Bucks – Harry Giles (PF, Duke)

Swing for fences.

18. Indiana Pacers – John Collins (PF, Wake Forest)

Size matches upside.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Justin Patton (C, Creighton)

Finesse seven footer.

20. Portland Trailblazers - T.J. Leaf (PF, UCLA)

Rangy power forward.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Semi Ojeleye (SF, SMU)

Much needed wing.

22. Brooklyn Nets - Ike Anigbogu (C, UCLA)

Free Brook Lopez.

23. Toronto Raptors – Bam Adebayo (PF, Kentucky)

Physical rim protector.

24. Utah – Isaiah Hartenstein (C, Germany)

Stash in Europe.

25. Orlando Magic – Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)

Underrated, short, tough.

26. Portland (From Cleveland) – Terrance Ferguson (SG, Australia)

Three and D.

27. Brooklyn (From Boston) – Jordan Bell (PF, Oregon)

Rebounding elite defender.

28. Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston) – DJ Wilson (PF, Michigan)

Future trade bait.

29. San Antonio Spurs – Rodions Kurucs (SF, Latvia)

Typical Spurs player.

30. Utah (From Golden State) – Frank Jackson (SG, Duke)

Natural scoring tweener.

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