2017 NBA Draft
First Round - Top Ten PicksPick 1
Josh Jackson - Shooting Guard - 21 years old - Kansas - 203cm - 92kg
With the first pick of the 2017 NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns select... Josh Jackson from Kansas.
It's an interesting decision by the Suns, although they couldn't really go wrong taking any of the three standout prospects that were available in this draft. It seems as though a wing scorer was their top priority after they traded Devin Booker to Philadelphia on draft day last year. That trade saw them acquire Joel Embiid, Corey Sanders, George Papagiannis. They also received guard Kendall Marshall and big man Tomas Vaughn in that trade but neither of them are still on the roster.
Some people expected them to take Duke forward Harry Giles and pair him up with Embiid. General Manager Ryan McDonough probably felt that Jackson was a better fit though as veteran Ryan Anderson has already formed a solid partnership with Embiid. He was probably thinking that having a star wing player like a LeBron or Kevin Durant was better for his team in today's NBA than having two star big man.
Jackson is a highly skilled player blessed with outstanding athleticism, solid passing ability for his size and a competitive will to win. He averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in his only season in Kansas.
NBA Comparison: Tracy McGrady
Fan Opinion: "Awesome! I've been a Suns fan for 25 years and we've never had the first overall pick in that time, so I'm just over the moon that we get to add a future star tonight. I think Jackson is the right choice and I can see him pairing well on offense with Joel Embiid and Brandon Knight."
Harry Giles - Power Forward - 21 years old - Duke - 211cm - 101kg
With the second pick, the Mavericks take Duke big man Harry Giles. You have to say that this is a brilliant selection for them as they have just landed a long-term replacement for legend Dirk Nowitzki. Giles very much fits the mould of the prototype for modern day NBA big men, just like Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns. He is a tremendous athlete, a great passer and a solid defender.
The main criticism of Giles during his college career has been about his shooting ability. But at least he will have plenty of opportunity to work on it in Dallas though as their roster is severely lacking quality. One potential thing working in his favour is the presence of former Duke point guard Tyus Jones on the team. Jones starred alongside Jahlil Okafor as Duke won the 2015 national championship game and his knowledge of how Giles will play should help the Mavericks in the future.
Perhaps the reason that he didn't go number one is due to his injury history. He had torn his ACL in both knees during his high school career, but it didn't appear to affect him during his college career. He averaged 30 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists per game with national championship-winning Duke team last season.
NBA Comparison: Chris Webber
Fan Opinion: "We haven't had much to cheer about since Dirk left, but right now we're all ecstatic with this news. Giles is gonna be a superstar!"
Jayson Tatum - Small Forward - 21 years old - Duke - 203cm - 93kg
And the Nuggets take Duke wing star Jayson Tatum with the third pick. Tatum is a great fit for Denver's backcourt alongside Emmanuel Mudiay and Malik Newman. They are going to be a serious contender in a few years if that trio can all reach their potential and stay healthy.
Last season was pretty dire for the Nuggets as they finished 14th and only won 25 games. One bright spot for their fans though was the form of number two pick Malik Newman. He led rookies in scoring with 18 points per game and finished second behind Boston's Ben Simmons in the Rookie of the Year award. Some media personalities argued that Newman deserved to win the award as he had been named western conference Rookie of the Month four times during the season.
Tatum averaged 24 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game as he helped Harry Giles win the 2016 national championship game. He and Newman should get plenty of open shots with Mudiay dishing out assists at a rapid rate. He ranked fifth in the league in assists last season with 9 per game.
NBA Comparison: Grant Hill
Fan Opinion: "Tatum is a beast. Newman, Mudiay and Tatum are gonna lead us to the finals soon!"
Dennis Smith - Point Guard - 20 years old - NC State - 188cm - 86kg
This is a tough spot for Detroit to be in. They already have Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings on their roster, and took Jamal Murray with the sixth pick last year. But the best player available is NC State point guard Dennis Smith and they couldn't really pass on him to take a player who would have been a better fit for their team, but who would have had a lower ceiling than Smith. They are unlucky because they had the equal-worst record last season, but fell to the fourth pick in the lottery.
It's not the worst problem in the world to have though. Smith is a great prospect with his combination of electric speed and scoring ability. He is a score-first guard, but he can certainly pass the ball. Smith's height may be an issue in the NBA, but he is actually taller than Chris Paul so his speed and athleticism should help him overcome that disadvantage. He is also someone who tore their ACL in high school and seems to have recovered from it fully.
It's more than likely that Detroit will look to trade one of their four point guards before the season starts in order to balance out their roster.
NBA Comparison: Chris Paul
Fan Opinion: "I'm not sure about this pick. We already had Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings and we took Jamal Murray at number six last year, so maybe we're looking at a trade?"
Rawle Alkins - Shooting Guard - 21 years old - Arizona - 193cm - 91kg
The Raptors select Arizona guard Rawle Alkins with the fifth pick. Some people thought that they may have gone with Indian big man Thomas Bryant in order to give Jonas Valanciunas some help, but instead they decided to add a scoring wing instead. Alkins impressed at Arizona with his ability to finish at the rim and create his own shot.
Alkins is also a terrific defender. He uses his strength and lateral quickness to harass ball handlers and is also a great defensive rebounder for his size. At times he has also shown that he can be a competent rim protector due to his leaping ability. His game should translate well into the NBA given that he has a mature body.
Toronto finished 14th out east last season after only winnings 25 games. They had the first pick last year and took Jaylen Brown, then midway through the season traded veteran Kyle Lowry to Utah in exchange for Dante Exum. So they have a good group of young players including Exum, Brown, Alkins, Valanciunas, Norman Powell and Trey Lyles. They will be hoping to push back into the playoff conversation in the next year or two led by DeMar DeRozan.
NBA Comparison: Lance Stephenson
Fan Opinion: "I like this pick. Our future looks bright with Rawle Alkins, Jaylen Brown and Dante Exum balling with DD and JV."
Thomas Bryant - Center - 21 years old - Indiana - 211cm - 113kg
This is a great spot for the Bucks to be picking and they land a gem in Thomas Bryant. They were always going to be hoping for either Bryant or Dennis Smith as those two filled their biggest needs. As it happens Smith went two picks before they got their shot, but they will still be thrilled to add Bryant to their team.
Bryant's main strengths are his great length, a great motor and his ability to finish around the rim. He is very passionate when on the court and has a big desire to win that made many NBA scouts fall in love with him. Some even went as far as to compare him to Kevin Garnett. Obviously it's way too early for such a comparison, but if Bryant can be even half as good as Garnett the Bucks will be delighted.
Milwaukee have one of the most exciting young rosters in the league which boasts the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton and Skal Labissiere. If Bryant can develop into a dominant big man at NBA level then this team could be a serious contender for a long time. For now though he will be backing up Miles Plumlee as he learns what it takes to be an NBA player.
NBA Comparison: Chris Kaman
Fan Opinion: "Brilliant pick by Hammond. Bryant will be great for us. I'm also glad we didn't reach for someone like Thon Maker this early in the draft."
Buddy Hield - Shooting Guard - 23 years old - Oklahoma - 196cm - 96kg
Minnesota take Oklahoma sharpshooter Buddy Hield with the seventh pick. The twenty-three year old guard is one the dying breed of prospects who completed all four years at college instead of just going the one-and-done route. Maybe it wasn't by choice though as he probably wasn't good enough to be drafted in the lottery in any of the past three drafts. He worked immensely hard to improve though and now he is a lottery pick.
Hield joins a Minnesota team on the rise. A team that suddenly looks pretty stacked on the wings with Andrew Wiggins, Wesley Matthews, Zach LaVine, Antonio Blakeney (Pick 9 from 2016 draft) and now Buddy Hield. Their roster is looking as strong as it has in years with Ricky Rubio and Deron Williams running their offense and the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Mirotic, Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng and Nemanja Bjelica roaming the paint.
Of course the big news in Minnesota right now is the retirement of legend Kevin Garnett. He had wanted to get the Timberwolves back into the playoffs before he ended his career but unfortunately they could only manage twelfth seed last season and his body didn't have another year in it. He leaves the franchise in good hands though. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins look set to be superstars in the coming years and will play a massive role for the Timberwolves if they stick around.
NBA Comparison: Brandon Roy
Fan Opinion: "Decent move. I would have preferred Markelle Fultz, but at least Buddy can contribute from day one."
Markelle Fultz - Point Guard - 21 years old - Maryland - 196cm - 84kg
Brooklyn select six-foot-five combo-guard Markelle Fultz from Maryland with the eighth pick. It's an interesting decision if they envision him playing point guard for them because they already have Aaron Brooks, Jerryd Bayless, Shane Larkin and Brian Roberts on their roster. And you would have to imagine that he won't be starting ahead of JR Smith at shooting guard.
Fultz has the potential to be the best player in this draft class though and you can understand why the Nets couldn't pass on him. He has so many things going in his favour, like his impressive height and length for his position and his immaculate ball-handling ability. He also possesses the ability to score from anywhere on the court. His athleticism and size allow him to the to the rim with ease, but he can also knock down shots from outside with sufficient regularity.
The Nets missed the playoffs last season by a single game and owner Mikhail Prokhorov will be expecting them to do better next season. They don't have much cap space to work with, so perhaps we'll see them make a big trade over the off-season to shake things up.
NBA Comparison: D'Angelo Russell
Fan Opinion: "Wooo! Welcome to Brooklyn Markelle. This guy is gonna be an all-star and lead us to a title one day."
Jonathan Jeanne - Center - 21 years old - France - 218cm - 95kg
With the ninth pick the Washington Wizards select French giant Jonathan Jeanne. In a few years people may look back on this selection as being the steal of the draft if Jeanne can develop his offensive skillset and become a genuine two-way player. The Wizards will be hoping he develops into more of a Dikembe Mutombo, than a Hasheem Thabeet.
Jeanne is blessed with freakish physical attributes and abilities. His enormous wingspan allows him to be an elite shot blocker and rim protector. His size makes him extremely difficult for opponents to score over because he can easily block or alter their shots. Another strength of his is his hunger for rebounds at both ends of the court. And somewhat surprisingly he is also an extremely competent ball-handler for someone of his size.
Obviously he is far from the finished product though. Firstly, he has an incredibly lean body and poor lower body strength, so he will no doubt get pushed around by veteran big men early on in his career. But if he can spend a few Summers in the gym and add some more to his offensive repertoire, then the sky is the limit for this kid.
NBA Comparison: Samuel Dalembert
Fan Opinion: "I honestly know nothing about him. I guess we just have to hope he turns out similar to Rudy Gobert."
Grayson Allen - Shooting Guard - 22 years old - Duke - 196cm - 88kg
The Nuggets make it three Duke players in the top ten by selecting shooting guard Grayson Allen with the tenth pick. After taking Jayson Tatum with the third pick it seems that they decided to add another shooter to help bolster their offense. They were one of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA last season.
Allen is a deadly outside shooter like fellow Duke alum JJ Redick. Allen however is much more athletic than Redick ever was and that will allow him to be a more complete scorer at NBA level. He joins an exciting young team where he won't have too much pressure on him. He can let guys like Emmanuel Mudiay, Jayson Tatum and Malik Newman take the double-teams and just get open in the corners for easy three pointers.
This could be bad news for Gary Harris. Last year's number two pick Malik Newman has cemented himself as the starting shooting guard in Denver and with Will Barton contracted for next season and Allen arriving, it may force Harris out. The twenty-three year old has only played four games in the past two seasons for the Nuggets and it seems likely that they will decline his team option for next season now.
NBA Comparison: Courtney Lee
Fan Opinion: "I'm assuming we just went for the best player available here. We already have Malik Newman, after all. I love the pick though."
First Round - Continued
11.) Miami Heat - Isaiah Hartenstein - Power Forward - 21 years old - Germany - 211cm - 102kg
12.) Los Angeles Lakers - Jonathan Isaac - Small Forward - 21 years old - Florida State - 208cm - 86kg
13.) Milwaukee Bucks - Edrice Adebayo - Power Forward - 21 years old - Kentucky - 206cm - 109kg
14.) Utah Jazz - Jonathan Cowen - Center - 21 years old - Oklahoma State - 216cm - 131kg
15.) Atlanta Hawks - De'Aaron Fox - Point Guard - 20 years old - Kentucky - 193cm - 81kg
16.) Denver Nuggets - Kostja Mushidi - Shooting Guard - 21 years old - Germany - 196cm - 95kg
17.) New Orleans Pelicans - Sarunas Dabanovic - Small Forward - 21 years old - Lithuania - 201cm - 110kg
18.) Chicago Bulls - Johnnie Walls - Center - 21 years old - Marquette - 216cm - 118kg
19.) Orlando Magic - Frank Ntilikina - Point Guard - 21 years old - France - 196cm - 82kg
20.) Charlotte Hornets - Malik Monk - Shooting Guard - 22 years old - Kentucky - 193cm - 84kg
21.) Houston Rockets - Robions Kurucs - Small Forward - 21 years old - Latvia - 203cm - 91kg
22.) Toronto Raptors - Donnell Conner - Center - 22 years old - Georgia - 213cm - 123kg
23.) Dallas Mavericks - Wade Baldwin - Point Guard - 21 years old - Vanderbilt - 193cm - 92kg
24.) Detroit Pistons - Thon Maker - Power Forward - 21 years old - Australia - 216cm - 98kg
25.) San Antonio Spurs - Michael Drake - Power Forward - 21 years old - Florida - 208cm - 104kg
26.) Cleveland Cavaliers - Kris Dunn - Point Guard - 23 years old - Providence - 193cm - 93kg
27.) Indiana Pacers - Dwight Fordham - Small Forward - 21 years old - Wisconsin - 203cm - 100kg
28.) Philadelphia 76ers - Omer Yurtseven - Center - 21 years old - NC State - 213cm - 104kg
29.) Golden State Warriors - Chucky James - Power Forward - 21 years old - Texas - 208cm - 109kg
30.) Toronto Raptors - Marcus Newsom - Center - 21 years old - Michigan - 213cm - 113kg
31.) Dallas Mavericks - Charles Berry - Power Forward - 22 years old - Georgia - 206cm - 100kg
32.) Utah Jazz - Richard Singleton - Small Forward - 21 years old - Oregon State - 208cm - 109kg
33.) Houston Rockets - Gheorghe Stefan - Small Forward - 21 years old - Romania - 203cm - 102kg
34.) Toronto Raptors - Lu Chan - Power Forward - 24 years old - China - 208cm - 107kg
35.) Phoenix Suns - Barry Karl - Power Forward - 21 years old - Alabama - 203cm - 102kg
36.) Milwaukee Bucks - Jackson Jones - Small Forward - 22 years old - Texas - 203cm - 107kg
37.) Boston Celtics - George Gale - Point Guard - 21 years old - Texas Christian - 193cm - 95kg
38.) Brooklyn Nets - Donny Hurley - Power Forward - 22 years old - Australia - 203cm - 119kg
39.) Washington Wizards - Karl Coles - Power Forward - 22 years old - Stanford - 206cm - 111kg
40.) Houston Rockets - Zach Bohannon - Center - 21 years old - Kentucky - 208cm - 126kg
41.) Atlanta Hawks - Claude Jefferies - Center - 23 years old - Massachusetts - 213cm - 118kg
42.) Los Angeles Lakers - Igor Chugainov - Power Forward - 23 years old - Russia - 206cm - 122kg
43.) Atlanta Hawks - Dwayne Watkins - Center - 21 years old - Pacific - 213cm - 121kg
44.) Utah Jazz - Bob Payne - Center - 22 years old - Michigan State - 213cm - 127kg
45.) San Antonio Spurs - Lloyd Newton - Point Guard - 21 years old - Michigan - 191cm - 82kg
46.) Oklahoma City Thunder - Luigi Oliverio - Power Forward - 21 years old - Italy - 206cm - 115kg
47.) Chicago Bulls - Simon Guerrero - Center - 20 years old - Indiana - 208cm - 112kg
48.) Sacramento Kings - Quincy Shelton - Center - 23 years old - Ball State - 216cm - 124kg
49.) Orlando Magic - Patrick Welch - Power Forward - 23 years old - Fresno State - 208cm - 114kg
50.) Charlotte Hornets - Rob Sheridan - Center - 23 years old - Louisville - 218cm - 131kg
51.) New York Knicks - Cody Nance - Center - 23 years old - Lafayette - 213cm - 112kg
52.) Boston Celtics - Kelvin Fortson - Center - 22 years old - Miami - 211cm - 111kg
52.) Utah Jazz - Jimmie Coleman - Center - 24 years old - Minnesota - 216cm - 127kg
54.) Chicago Bulls - Matyas Kaffka - Small Forward - 21 years old - Hungary - 201cm - 95kg
55.) San Antonio Spurs - Derrick Dawkins - Center - 23 years old - Northwestern - 218cm - 125kg
56.) Boston Celtics - Giovenco Oliverio - Power Forward - 21 years old - Italy - 208cm - 125kg
57.) Indiana Pacers - Keon Hill - Point Guard - 24 years old - Seton Hall - 188cm - 80kg
58.) Utah Jazz - Drew Weaver - Small Forward - 24 years old - Mississippi - 203cm - 107kg
59.) Oklahoma City Thunder - Wally Black - Power Forward - 24 years old - Texas A&M - 203cm - 107kg
60.) Golden State Warriors - Clark Larson - Small Forward - 23 years old - Virginia Tech - 201cm - 85kg
This was an interesting move by the Bucks. Stephenson only signed with them at the start of last season and had a very good season as the sixth man in Milwaukee. He averaged a career-high 15 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists per game despite the Bucks finishing thirteenth in the eastern conference with only 33 wins. He now finds himself on his fifth team in five seasons and will probably be hoping that he finds some security and stability in Sacramento.
Milwaukee received: Draft Rights to Edrice Adebayo (Pick 13)
Sacramento received: Lance Stephenson, Bucks 2018 Second Round Pick
It appears as though Milwaukee completed this trade because they are looking to free up cap room in order to target a big name free agent in the near future. It has been rumoured that they are planning to go after guys like Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and Dwight Howard. They may struggle to convince any of those guys to join them though, being a small market team. But they do have an exciting young core that may present an attractive story to anyone they try to sign.
Milwaukee used pick 6 to take Indiana center Thomas Bryant and then used pick 13 to select forward Edrice Adebayo. This may suggest that they will be targeting a point guard in free agency.
Sacramento are clearly looking to get off the mediocrity treadmill and return to the halcyon days of the early 2000s. Adding Stephenson gives them a solid youngish-veteran who can lead their second unit alongside Marcus Smart. The Kings actually have a fairly deep guard rotation now as Stephenson joins the likes of CJ McCollum, Jordan Clarkson, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Briscoe, James Young and Tim Quarterman.
The Kings have officially moved on from the DeMarcus Cousins era after shipping him out to Boston just before the trade deadline last season. The bunch of assets that they received from the Celtics in that deal all settled quickly and helped them eventually finish sixth in the western conference with 42 wins. They caused the upset of the playoffs by knocking San Antonio out in the first round after six tightly-contested games. They were eliminated by Golden State in the conference semi finals, but did manage to at least win a game against the 2015 champions.
Now, with their confidence high after those post-season exploits, they are looking to go "all-in" as they feel that they have the talent to compete for a title. Another reason for strengthening their roster is that they are trying to convince star man Rudy Gay to re-sign with them long-term.
This is an excellent move by the Bulls. They now have a highly talented point guard prospect as backup for injury-plagued star Derrick Rose and all it cost them was two late first round picks. That said, Rose has averaged 75 games in the past two seasons, but Murray is definitely an upgrade over veteran Shaun Livingston and rookie Alen Tavcar as leader of the Bulls' second unit.
Chicago received: Jamal Murray
Detroit received: Draft Rights to Thon Maker (Pick 24), Bulls 2018 First Round Pick
Chicago now have a good mix of experienced veterans like Rose, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, and young guys like Murray, Bobby Portis and Shabazz Muhammad who can provide energy play off the bench. Murray was the sixth overall pick last season and the Bulls are getting great value in this trade.
Last season they won 51 games and finished fourth in the eastern conference. Things didn't go according to plan in the playoffs though and they were unceremoniously dumped out in the first round against the Knicks in just five games. However, most fans believe that signing a veteran free agent or two could really help them push on and become a legitimate contender next season.
For Detroit, this trade is more about clearing up a logjam at the point guard position after taking Dennis Smith with pick 4 than it is about them being unhappy with Jamal Murray in any way. Clearly they just felt that Smith is a better prospect than Murray and that keeping veterans Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings will give them a better shot at improving quicker on the court.
That is the key thing here. The Pistons want to get better after a disastrous 2016-17 season that saw them win only 25 games and finish dead last in the eastern conference. They have star man Andre Drummond locked in for three more seasons, but if they want to keep him happy they can't afford another terrible season. This is perhaps why they to swung for the fences and took mysterious Australian big man Thon Maker with pick 24.
Maker seemingly has the potential to be an all star power forward and if he pans out then he could form a delightfully devastating partnership with Drummond. There are fears that he has a huge bust potential and the Pistons are certainly aware of that risk. They trust their coaching staff and culture to develop him into an NBA-level player though.
The NBA champions make a fairly simple trade, sending some cash to Toronto in order to facilitate a pick swap and move up two spots late in the first round. Apparently Sam Hinkie was impressed with Yurtseven at North Carolina last season and decided to arrange this deal after the Raptors took him with the 28th pick.
Philadelphia received: Draft Rights to Omer Yurtseven (Pick 28)
Toronto received: Draft Rights to Marcus Newsom (Pick 30), Cash considerations
This is a pretty solid transaction for the Raptors. They received almost $1 million for a two-pick downgrade and still picked up a promising seven-footer. Clearly adding frontcourt depth was their main priority after they took Rawle Alkins with the 5th pick as they also selected Georgia big man Donnell Conner with the 22nd pick.
It seems as though the Mavericks are already looking to build around number two pick Harry Giles. This trade gives them another bright young prospect and also gives them greater cap flexibility in the future. By swapping Jordan Hill for Kyle O'Quinn, they are basically swapping Hill's long-term contract for the expiring contract of O'Quinn.
Dallas received: Draft Rights to Wade Baldwin (Pick 23), Kyle O'Quinn
New York received: Jordan Hill, Heat 2019 Second Round Pick (via Dallas)
Adding Baldwin is a good move by them because last season they relied on thirty-three year old JJ Barea and Tyus Jones to fill-out their point guard rotation. Now they will have two twenty-one year old guards competing to take over from Barea within the next year or so. That competitiveness should be a positive thing for their development. It could be a busy off-season in Dallas, depending on how fast Mark Cuban wants his team to improve.
The Knicks are a team headed in the complete opposite direction to the Mavericks and this trade shows their "win-now" mentality. Star player Carmelo Anthony is thirty-three years old now and will be getting anxious that his championship-winning window is coming to a close. Adding Jordan Hill gives them more frontcourt depth and a good energy guy off the bench.
This deal may have been discussed for some time judging by the fact that the Knicks selection point guard Wade Baldwin with the twenty-third pick, despite already having Rajon Rondo, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant on their roster. They must have been picking on behalf of Dallas, which is interesting because they could have also taken Kris Dunn or Thon Maker with that pick. Perhaps the Mavericks preferred Baldwin due to him being younger than Dunn and maybe they felt that Maker was unnecessary after they just took Harry Giles with the second pick.