By: Tyler Noebe, GZ Sports Report Contributor
After a lackluster 2017 NBA finals series that led to a Golden State Warriors Championship in 5 games, we now look to the 2017 NBA Draft. With a lot in question coming into this years free agency class, big names such as Paul George, Jimmy Butler and even Chris Paul could be used as assets for blockbuster trade deals leading up to the draft. On Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers completed a trade with the Boston Celtics that had them swap picks in this years draft and gave the Celtics a future first round pick. As of Monday night, this is this years draft order:
- Philadelphia (From Boston)
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Boston (from Philadelphia)
- Sacramento (from Philadelphia)
- New York
- Sacramento (From New Orleans)
- Portland (From Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)
- Oklahoma City
- Brooklyn (From Washington)
- Toronto (From LA Clippers via Milwaukee)
- Orlando (From Toronto)
- Portland (From Cleveland)
- Brooklyn (From Boston)
- Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston)
- San Antonio
- Utah (From Golden State)
- Atlanta (From Brooklyn)
- Orlando (From Los Angeles Lakers)
- Sacramento (From Philadelphia via New Orleans)
- Philadelphia (From New York via Utah and Toronto)
- Boston (From Minnesota via Phoenix)
- Chicago (From Sacramento via Cleveland)
- Philadelphia (From Dallas)
- New Orleans
- Utah (From Detroit)
- Houston (From Denver)
- New York (From Chicago)
- Houston (From Portland)
- Philadelphia (From Miami via Atlanta)
- Denver (From Memphis via Oklahoma City)
- Philadelphia (From Atlanta)
- Denver (From Oklahoma City)
- Boston (From Cleveland)
- Phoenix (From Toronto)
- Boston (From LA Clippers)
- Brooklyn (From Boston)
- New York (From Houston)
- San Antonio
- Atlanta (From Golden State via Philadelphia and Utah)
It seems to be that the 76ers have their eye on guard Markelle Fultz from Washington. He is the number 1 overall pick on many draft boards. He’s got great size for a guard at roughly 6’4″ with a great offensive skill set. He does not have any glaring weaknesses but if you had to pick him apart, his defense could be improved and he comes from a team with an embarrassing win-loss record.
With the 2nd overall pick, the Los Angeles Lakers will most likely take guard Lonzo Ball out of UCLA. Lonzo’s play style shows characteristics similar to Lakers GM Magic Johnson during his Laker glory days. The guard has an unselfish style of play, but has a shot form that will need correction. The Laker organization has stated that they are not guaranteed to take Lonzo at #2 even though it may seem like fate. According to Lavar Ball, Lonzo’s father, Lonzo is a sure thing to the Lakers organization. I believe the Lakers will take Lonzo at 2, and all statements they have made otherwise are just strategic misdirection.
With the 3rd overall pick, I believe the Boston Celtics will select small forward Josh Jackson out of Kansas. In a draft where the top two prospects are guards, the Celtics have made it clear that they are confident in Isaiah Thomas by trading down to number 3. Some even consider Josh Jackson the most talented player in this draft. The Celtics are crafting their team awaiting the post-Lebron dominance era.
With the 4th overall pick, the Phoenix Suns will most likely select small forward Jayson Tatum out of Duke. The seemingly only weakness to Tatum is an unreliable 3 point game. He is a 6’8″ wing who nearly averaged 17 points a game. Combining him with Devin Booker could lead to a once again relevant Suns organization.
At the 5th overall pick, the Sacramento Kings should select point guard De’Aaron Fox out of Kentucky. De’Aaron Fox is an extremely athletic and quick guard who can make a splash on a team that desperately needs one from the Point Guard position. De’Aaron Fox has the potential to be the best guard out of this years draft class. Hopefully the Kings organization does not cripple his chances of being a star in the NBA.
Possible Trade Scenarios:
With the Cavaliers shopping around for another superstar to compete with Golden State, I look to see a deal be made involving three teams and a high draft pick. In order to get a star such as Paul George or Jimmy Butler, the Cavaliers would have to give up Kevin Love and a pick, or most of their meaningful bench players and a pick, with some help from a third party. I would not be surprised to see this get done before Thursday night’s draft.