Timberwolves

Your 2017 NBA Mock Draft

1. PHILADELPHIA 76ers
Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Unless the 76ers players and social media team is just trolling everybody, this pick will be Fultz. Adding a point guard of this caliber to a core of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons makes Philadelphia one of the most interesting young teams in the NBA. – Alex Berg
Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
A player that can shoot from everywhere and score can fix the problems that Ben Simmons and his shooting setbacks presented. – Colton Molesky

2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Trading D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets, it became clear that the Lakers would take a point guard with the second overall pick. With Fultz off the board, the hometown Ball will likely be the pick. – AB
Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
Despite his father, the low-shot release and how he played against Kentucky in the tournament, he is still the best pick at number two. The way he sees the floor and finds the open player is worth taking in the second slot. – CM

3. BOSTON CELTICS
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
After trading out of the draft’s first pick, Boston now owns the third selection and seven (yes, seven) first round picks over the next two seasons. If they do not package this pick for Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or another superstar, Tatum makes sense. – AB
Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
The Celtics will look to fit Tatum into the Paul Pierce mold and try to get him producing on the offensive side next to Jaylen Brown’s defense presence. – CM

4. PHOENIX SUNS
Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
This would be an ideal scenario for Phoenix. With the rocky ending to Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight’s 2016-17 season, the Suns might look to add another point guard to pair with Tyler Ulis. Adding Jackson would give the team a third wing scorer to go with Devin Booker and T.J. Warren. – AB
Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
The Suns have clearly made a point to grab crazy good athletes. They make no exception with the Jayhawk stud that has dunked over almost everyone in college basketball. – CM

5. SACRAMENTO KINGS
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
Sacramento will probably look to add either Fox or North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith here to pair with Buddy Hield in the backcourt of the Kings future. – AB
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
The Kings have been in love with this kid since workouts started. He also makes too much sense next to Buddy Hield while bolstering the defense in the same pick. – CM

6. ORLANDO MAGIC
Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State
Depending how high the Magic are on Elfrid Payton, they might look at Smith here, but Isaac fits the most vacant need for Orlando. He could even slide into the starting lineup alongside Payton, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. – AB
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
While he is not a stud rebounder, the seven footer does have a nice shot and can use his size in isolation ball and in pick-and-roll plays. – CM

7. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
If Isaac is available when the Wolves are on the clock, expect head coach Tom Thibodeau to pick him here. If he’s not, it may be pretty wide open and it would not even be surprising if the pick was traded for a veteran. If the Wolves do make a pick here and Isaac is off the board, Monk makes sense simply because of the shooting ability he would bring to a team that desperately needs it. – AB
Dennis Smith Jr., PG, North Carolina State
Yes, they have used up a few picks at this spot the last couple drafts. But this is one of the few times when the best available player also meets the team’s need. This guy is explosive and can tear through opposing defenses.

8. NEW YORK KNICKS
Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg
If the Knicks are actually crazy enough to trade Kristaps Porzingis, they will probably take Lauri Markkanen here to be his replacement. Assuming the Knicks hold onto an ounce of sanity, Ntilikina makes as much sense as anyone here. New York will likely look to either replace Derrick Rose — who is a free agent this summer — or Carmelo Anthony, if the team moves on from him. – AB
Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
Picture pick-and-rolls with Kristaps Porzingis and Monk. This would be the best thing to happen as far as visual awesomeness. This would also give this team another young, long wing to play with the Latvian Gang Banger. – CM

9. DALLAS MAVERICKS
Dennis Smith Jr., PG, North Carolina State
Some expect the Mavericks to take either Markkanen or Gonzaga’s Zach Collins here to be the heir to Dirk Nowitzki’s throne, but passing on the team need of point guard here is difficult if Smith falls to them. – AB
Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
He is a long point guard that has a nice stroke. More importantly he would be a 6-foot-5 wing player to play defense against the elite shooting in the West. – CM

10. SACRAMENTO KINGS
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
After taking a point guard with the fifth overall pick, Sacramento will likely look to add a shooter here. Markkanen fits that profile and would be a good complement to center Willie Cauley-Stein. – AB
Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State
So the Kings now have Hield with a defensive point guard in Fox. The long two-way player from FSU is the next logical choice. The Kings clearly are working towards a young nucleus, and a long, rangy shooter like Isaac that can get back will be key. – CM

11. CHARLOTTE HORNETS
Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
After dealing away Marco Belinelli Tuesday night in a trade for Dwight Howard, Charlotte might look to add a shooter here. Taking possibly the best shooter in the draft makes too much sense. Plus, the Hornets have had a history of keeping Duke and North Carolina players in the state. – AB
Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
While it is concerning that he was unable to solidify as a PG or SG, floating between the two, this is the older shooter that the Hornets seem to enjoy picking. – CM

12. DETROIT PISTONS
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope being a restricted free agent and likely seeking a max contract, Detroit might look to get itself an insurance policy if it doesn’t want to pay the price tag to retain him. Taking Mitchell here does just that. – AB
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
The backcourt for this team needs a shot in the arm from either spot. Mitchell can play off of Reggie Jackson’s drive and kick by knocking down jumpers instead of crowding the paint. – CM

13. DENVER NUGGETS
Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga
After trading Jusuf Nurkic away to Portland last season, Denver may be searching for Nikola Jokic’s long-term frontcourt partner. Mason Plumlee has one more year left on his team-friendly contract, so the Nuggets may be interested in adding a third versatile big man. – AB
Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
The Nuggets have put together a pretty fun team around Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray. The sound shooting of Jackson would add a very reliable scorer to the mix on the wing. – CM

14. MIAMI HEAT
OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana
Anunoby is one of the more raw and talented players in this draft. His athleticism and length has drawn lofty comparisons to Kawhi Leonard, but his numbers at Indiana won’t jump off the page. Miami feels like the team that will take a chance on this 19-year-old and try to get the most out of him. – AB
Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
If there was ever a guy to try and follow the Draymond Green mold in this year’s draft, it is Collins. He is the scrappy, play-hard-every-minute guy that is willing to do everything. –CM

15. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
Portland will look to add a frontcourt partner for Jusuf Nurkic. Collins is a strong rebounder and could immediately challenge Noah Vonleh for minutes. – AB
Justin Patton, C, Creighton
After losing Mason Plumlee, the teeth the Portland front court had on the glass was mostly diminished. Patton would be a great fit here, as a really great talent who will not try and overextend his position. – CM

16. CHICAGO BULLS
Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, SMU
If the Bulls move on from Jimmy Butler this offseason, adding a player like Ojeleye makes sense for Chicago. This 6-7 forward is similar to Denzel Valentine in a sense that he can handle the ball a little and defend multiple positions. – AB
Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
As I write this, Jimmy Butler is still a Bull. While I probably do switch my pick if he leaves, Allen is a nice piece in the paint at 6-11, 224 pounds with Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Butler spreading the floor and giving him lots of space down low. – CM

17. MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Justin Patton, C, Creighton
Although it does not fit a team need as the Bucks drafted Thon Maker last season and recently found out Greg Monroe would accept his player option and spend another season in Milwaukee, Patton feels like a good fit. The Bucks have a history of willing to roll the dice on projects in the draft. Patton may be the ultimate risk-reward prospect in this draft. Similar to superstar Anthony Davis, Patton grew ten inches since the beginning of his high school career. – AB
John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
After shooting 62 percent for the Demon Deacons, Collins has shown that despite being more of an old school power forward, he can still be a prolific scorer, averaging 19.2 points a game. He would make for a deadly combo next to the Greek Freak. – CM

18. INDIANA PACERS
TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
The Pacers might be staring a massive rebuild sooner than they had hoped. With Paul George making his desire to play for the Lakers public and Jeff Teague being an unrestricted free agent this summer, Indiana might be wise to build around center Myles Turner. Leaf would give the Pacers a pair of big men that can stretch the floor. – AB
OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
This team has to prepare for Paul George’s departure. Grabbing a forward like Anunoby with high upside is a start. He is a solid spot-up shooter and great in rim-running transition as well as ball screening. If he can build on his jump shot he will be a great stretch forward. – CM

19. ATLANTA HAWKS
Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
After shipping Dwight Howard off to Charlotte and knowing Paul Millsap is an unrestricted free agent, expect Atlanta to add a post player in this draft. This 19-year-old has as high of a ceiling as anyone left on the board. – AB
Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky
After trading Dwight Howard away, the Hawks can reload with a rising star from the Wildcats. With his 7-3 wingspan and chiseled frame, he can play with other NBA players in the paint, giving the Hawks a valuable glass presence. – CM

20. Portland Trail Blazers
Derrick White, PG/SG, Colorado
The Blazers have struggled to find consistent production from its backup point guard for as long as Damian Lillard has been there. White averaged 18.3 points per game in his senior season at Colorado. Portland also has had a good history of drafting experienced guards coming out of college. – AB
TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
Leaf has surprising quickness and fluidity, despite being 6-10 and 225 pounds. He is also a very efficient scorer, hitting 64 percent from the field and 46 from downtown. His versatility matched with size and a willingness to find his spot makes him a great piece to pair with the Trail Blazers’ backcourt. – CM

21. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
DJ Wilson, PF, Michigan
With James Harden, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka out of the picture in OKC, the Thunder are still seeking additional scoring for Russell Westbrook. The team has capable players like Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter, but the pressure on Westbrook to score is still too high at times. At the very least, Wilson should be able to compliment either Adams or Kanter. – AB
DJ Wilson, PF, Michigan
He is everything the NBA is moving towards. Wilson had a slow start but displayed a clutch deep shot late in the season and into the tournament. He is the big PF that does not mind stepping back or driving into the lane. The OKC backcourt is solid with Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo, and a front court with a shooter would stretch the floor even more. – CM

22. BROOKLYN NETS
Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky
After trading away Brook Lopez to acquire D’Angelo Russell, the Nets now have an actual franchise building block, but also have a massive hole in their frontcourt. Draft picks are few and far between for this franchise, so swinging for the fences with the Kentucky product would be a high-risk, high-reward decision. – AB
Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
Much like a Tristan Thompson, he is going to do a lot of the dirty work on offense. Things like boxing out a few players to let the guard get the board or batting the ball out to the perimeter — things that do not hit the stat sheet but keep a team in a game. Not to mention they now have a hole to fill with the Lopez departure. – CM

23. TORONTO RAPTORS
Caleb Swanigan, PF/C, Purdue
Center Jonas Valanciunas saw his minutes reduced last season, and the Raptors struggled to rebound at times with him off the floor. If there is one prospect who looks like he can rebound at the NBA level, it is Swanigan. The Boilermaker averaged 12.5 rebounds per game last season. – AB
Semi Ojeleye, SF, SMU
Not only is he a solid scoring option, scoring 19 a game for the Mustangs, but he is a big defensive presence. He will slide in nicely with the likes of P.J. Tucker and DeMarre Carroll on the defensive side. – CM

24. UTAH JAZZ
Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
The Jazz will gladly take a falling Justin Jackson here as it anxiously awaits “the summer of Gordon Hayward.” If Hayward does leave, it will be a huge setback to the progress Utah made this season, but Jackson would be as good of an insurance policy as the team will find here with the 24th pick. – AB
Tyler Lydon, SF, Syracuse
For Utah, their team has done a great job at grabbing great wing defenders who can get hot, keeping the pace of games against high scoring teams. Lydon is one of those swiss-army-knife players to plug in on the wing and use some size in the paint. – CM

25. ORLANDO MAGIC
Ivan Rabb, PF, California
Rabb cost himself a lot of money by going back to school for a sophomore season. Despite a somewhat underwhelming freshman campaign, Rabb was likely going to
be a top-10 pick in a weaker draft last season. Orlando could take him here to pair with Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac to have a trio of very athletic forwards. – AB
Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Gran Canaria
Every year the Magic seem to snag a lanky tall center or forward, heading against the grain of the small-ball pace-and-space 2017 NBA game. This is their guy. – CM

26. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Harry Giles, C, Duke
The once highly-regarded prospect has fallen quite a bit but still offers a high ceiling if it is reached. A high ceiling and his size is enough for Portland to consider him with one of its three first-round picks. – AB
Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon
The Ducks offense, at their best, was a quick transition game that thrived on chaos and hitting from deep, mixed with a heavy splash late in the game of driving to the basket for fouls. In such an offense the lean, mean, jumping machine that is Bell found a lot of success winning in all the space. With the backcourt that Portland boasts, he will have lots of space to work and could be a very productive seventh or eighth man. – CM

27. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
The Lakers can use this pick to pair Ball with a fellow Bruin. Anigbogu didn’t produce much at UCLA, but his raw athleticism and 7-6 wingspan makes him worthy of a flier here. – AB
Caleb Swanigan, PF/C, Purdue
Going 18 and 12 in points and rebounds, Swanigan posted a double-double through his sophomore campaign. Now the Lakers have the chance to put him and Lopez together in the same frontcourt and give Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis a run for their money as the top front court duo. – CM

28. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon
Bell would be much more ready for the NBA than Anigbogu, as he averaged 11.0 and 8.7 rebounds for the Ducks. If the team decides to move Julius Randle for Paul George, it will be searching for frontcourt help that can play with Brook Lopez this season. – AB
Derrick White, PG, Colorado
With back-to-back picks, the Lakers can bolster the bench by adding a senior point guard to the squad. He is a player who has the potential to keep the second squad going late in games and help the pace of a game. – CM

29. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Terrance Ferguson, SG/SF, Adelaide
Is there a more fitting player for the Spurs to take? Ferguson is a relative unknown in this draft because he left the United States to play a season in Australia. He’s 6-7, has a good outside shot and can likely defend multiple positions. Sounds like a prototypical Spurs player. – AB
Josh Hart, SG, Vilanova
This is the most Spurs pick of any Spurs pick. The senior guard is so dedicated to grinding, fundamentals and the dirty work on the court, he may as well have been built in a Texas lab. He is one of the best finishers at the rim in college at the position and with 1.6 steals a game against only two turnovers, he is not a liability on the floor. – CM

30. UTAH JAZZ
Frank Mason, PG, Kansas
With George Hill potentially leaving town, Utah might be scrambling to find depth at the point guard position. The Jazz have Dante Exum under contract, but he has struggled to be consistent or stay healthy. Mason offers more stability and experience than any other prospect this late in the draft. – AB
Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State
There is something to be said about the player with the stones to pull up in a big game from anywhere and absolutely believe every time he will sink the shot. Utah tried to find it in Trey Burke and missed. This time with Evans, it sticks. While it is easy to fall in love with him after a great show in his tournament game against Michigan that saw him put up 23 points, it goes further than that. Yes, he will take difficult shots and get buckets, but he also will facilitate and get assists, averaging 6.5 a game, along with grabbing steals or getting to the charity stripe where he shot 80 percent. He is Burke with a higher impact rate. – CM

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