This Better Work– The Latest Lakers Edition

One month later and Laker fans are saying the same thing, “This better work”.

 

It started off mid-season last year when Jeanie Buss fired her brother and Mitch Kupchak, for the glamorous Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. The 2nd half of the season gave fans reason to hope.

D’Angelo Russell made a game winner and scored 40 on the defending champs, Brandon Ingram put up new career highs on a nightly basis along with a poster dunk, Ivica Zubac showed flashes of potential to be the next Lakers center of the future, Jordan Clarkson looked prime to be the sixth man of the year, and the list goes on and on.

The offseason consisted of questions about Lonzo Ball and D’Angelo Russell’s fit and questions about whether or not Paul George would be a Laker. The season couldn’t start soon enough.

The only knock on Magic Johnson as the new president of basketball operations was could he be patient enough to let the young guys develop? He seems to love Brandon Ingram, as he has stated multiple times he is untouchable. D’Angelo Russell didn’t get much praise since the new regime came in.

On June 20, 2017, the Lakers future and plans changed drastically. No longer would the Lakers be developing young talent and turning into “the next Warriors”. Magic and Pelinka shipped D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and pick 27 in the draft.

D’Angelo was the first player to bring the Lakers out of the Kobe era. His “Ice in my veins” and flashy plays, brought Laker fans excitement. The front office didn’t think Russell was a good enough leader, so they shipped him off for an expiring deal above average center and a deep 1st rounder. Lakers Outsiders put it best, “He gave the Lakers Ice in His Veins and they responded with the cold shoulder.”

Mozgov was also traded and that part of the trade shows the Lakers new focus. Get stars to come back to La La Land. By getting rid of the god-awful Mozgov, the Lakers cleared up 56 million dollars in cap. They can now sign one and possibly two max deals in 2018. LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant didn’t make it clear enough. The Lakers don’t have the appeal they used to anymore. Yes, Paul George’s situation is different because he has publicly told the Lakers and Pacers he wants to go there. But is the Lebron scenario that much different?

These type of moves were the ones that us, as Laker fans, were worried about. Magic pulled the trigger on a two-year removed #2 overall pick, to HOPE that the Lakers can get Lebron. The new gameplan is sign stars, but let’s hope Magic and Pelinka have a different way of doing it than Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. We know how that worked out.

This better work. Because if not, it could be a LONG process back to the top.

Dan Magers’ NBA Big Board

Markelle Fultz (1)
In this loaded draft class, Markelle still stands out as the number one player. He is very athletic, can shoot, can handle the ball, and has great playmaking ability. Fultz is arguably the most complete player in the draft.
Lonzo Ball (2)
Lonzo has the most potential out of anyone in this draft, but he is a little more of a risk than Markelle. His shot is a little funky and there are questions on the defensive side of the ball, but he makes everyone around him better and that will be hard to pass on for many teams.
Josh Jackson (3)
Jackson can do it all on a basketball court… except shoot. This man plays great defense, can drive the lane, and finish at the rim. If he can figure out a jump shot, Jackson could be the next big thing in the NBA.
De’aaron Fox (4)
Fox has been rising up draft boards of late. He is a very fast guard that is explosive at getting to the rim. The only question is if he can develop a jump shot.
Jayson Tatum (5)
Tatum is one of the most athletic players in the draft. He can generate offense and create spce very well. One problem I see with him is standing around when the ball isn’t in his hands. His upside though will give him many looks on draft day.
Malik Monk (6)
Kentucky had the best shooter in college basketball this past year. Monk is an athletic pure shooter. He could be a future all star, but his development could take a little more time because he played a different role at Kentucky than what a lot of teams want at the next level.
Frank Ntilikina (7)
Frank is an athletic player that can finish at the rim and plays outstanding defense. The thing that stands out though is his length. He is a 6’5 PG with an almost 7 foot wingspan.
Dennis Smith (8)
Smith is a very powerful point guard that can finish well at the rim. He is a typical athletic point guard. John Wall is a great comparison in my opinion.
Jonathan Isaac (9)
There are many great athletes in this draft, but Isaac is probably the most athletic of any. He plays great defense where he exceeds in his shot blocking. Isaac has a lot of the tools to be a great player in the future.
Lauri Markkanen (10)
The 7 footer from Arizona is a great shooter. And right now that might be it. He needs to improve in many parts of his game, but having the ability to shoot the ball standing at 7 feet tall could give him a great career in the NBA.
Luke Kennard (11)
Watching this man at Duke had me thinking why mock drafts didn’t have him in the lottery early on in the draft process. But all of these predraft workouts have changed the minds of many. Kennard is a great scorer and can handle the ball very well. He isn’t as athletic or powerful as the players in front of him. That is why he will not go top 10.
Donovan Mitchell (12)
Mitchell has been rising up draft boards a lot of late. His height doesn’t show the way he plays his game. His 6’10 wingspan along with great athletic ability will give a great chance to thrive at the next level.
Zach Collins (13)
Collins is one of the best two-way players in the draft. He can finish at the rim while also having a great defensive understanding on the other end. This Gonzaga big man will hear his name called pretty early on in the draft.
OG Anunoby (14)
Anunoby suffered a season ending injury last year at IU. Although that hasn’t stopped teams from considering him in the lottery. He is 6’8 with a 7’2 wingspan and can guard almost every position on the court. His potential will make teams think twice about passing on him.
Jarrett Allen (15)
Jarrett Allen is one of the biggest projects in the draft. He has a lot of issues with on court awareness and where to be at the right time. Although scouts are optimistic about his future in becoming a legitimate center.
Justin Patton (16)
Here is another player that will need a lot of time to develop. He is efficient on the offensive side of the ball. The questions are in his rebounding and all around game. Patton could be a future starting center in this league.
John Collins (17)
Collins finished 2nd in ACC Player of the Year voting, and that was with a lot of great company. His shooting was very productive this year along with great rebounding. Maybe his greatness in college will transfer well into the NBA.
Harry Giles (18)
Giles is the biggest risk in the draft. This is a man that was the projected number one overall pick after his senior year in high school. Although his knee would have a different plan for him. He injured his knee and was never the same in his freshman year at Duke. If he can somehow get back to his potential in high school, then we have something to really look forward to.
Ike Anigbogu (19)
Anigbogu doesn’t have much offensive firepower, but he can defend really well. He is one of the youngest players in the draft, so he will be a great project for a team. But if he can develop, then he might be a great rim protector in the future.
Justin Jackson (20)
Justin has one of the best jump shots in all of the draft and can score the basketball at will. He has a great offensive mind, but his weight could scare some teams as he is too thin to get through defenders. But if his jump shot sticks then some team could have a great offensive weapon.
TJ Leaf (21)
When Leaf gets drafted, teams will have to decide what position they want him to play. He goes back forth defending positions, but his offensive game reflects more of a wing where he can catch and shoot. So we will have to see what this team decides to do with him.
Terrance Ferguson (22)
Ferguson, at 185 lbs, could struggle at the next level with being so thin. But his shooting ability could make up for a lot. If he can develop a way to create his own shot, then we’ll have something cooking.
Bam Adebayo (23)
Teams will have to figure out the kind of role they want with Adebayo. He works hard at throughout a whole game especially rebounding, but there are many question about his defensive ability. There are different paths he could take as maybe a shooter or a rim protector, but teams will have to figure that out when they pick him.
DJ Wilson (24)
I really like DJ Wilson and I think a team will find a gem with him late in the draft. He is very athletic, has great size, and can defend very well. The only problems I could find are his streakiness and rebounding, but other then that he could be a great player at the next level.
Derrick White (25)
This is another player that has risen up draft boards of late. Many have him getting picked at 30 to Utah, but he could actually get picked up sooner. All of this has mainly come from his combine and predraft workouts. He can score really well and there are minor improvements to be made in his passing.
Anzejs Pasecniks (26)
Pasecniks is a great shooter and has some mobility at a height of 7’2. He has a lot to learn at the next level, but he has some great offensive and physical tools to get there.
Ivan Rabb (27)
Rabb made the wrong decision moneywise last year by coming back for his sophomore year at California. The 6’10 forward would’ve been a lottery pick last year. His physical tools look good along with his mid-range shooting and finishing ability. But he didn’t “wow” anybody with his play last year.
Isiah Hartenstein (28)
Hartenstein is probably the definition of a project. He’s can rebound and pass well, but his defense and inconsistent shot raise questions.
Tony Bradley (29)
Bradley has potential of being something great on defense. He is very mobile on the court and has a 7’5 wingspan. This could help him translate well to the NBA.

Caleb Swanigan (30)
Swanigan has two main problems. One is that he is 6’9; the other is that isn’t always in great shape. His 7’3 wingspan makes up for his height though and he has great talent with rebounding and scoring. Swanigan played great in college, but scouts do not see that game translating at all into the NBA.

Dylan Stagge’s NBA Big Board

  1. Markelle Fultz

Fultz is an elite offensive weapon. His ability to make tough shots and get to the rim with his height is amazing. Many of his weaknesses came from lack of effort, which I believe will improve leaving the terrible situation in Washington. His offensive skillset and defensive potential are unmatched by any other prospect in the draft.

Player Comparison: James Harden

  1. Lonzo Ball

Ball’s height, defense, transition, and range makes him one of the best PG prospects to come out in a while. However, I don’t see the quickness, and the lack of a mid range game along with some baggage in his dad (especially if he doesn’t go to the Lakers) pushes him below Markelle Fultz.

Player comparison: Jason Kidd

  1. Josh Jackson

Josh Jackson has a lot of versatility and athleticism in his game. He can score from anywhere inside the 3 point line and excels in making explosive plays. However, he is undersized to be able to truly be a defensive stopper at 207 lbs. Lebron James and big 4s will dominate him. Once Jackson fills out and improves the 3 point shooting, he will be an all-around great 3.

Player Comparison: Justice Winslow

  1. Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum reminds me of Melo, and I think that is exactly what he becomes in the NBA. He doesn’t have elite athleticism, but doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses either. Mid range game is strong and can continue to improve on defense.

Player Comparison: Melo

  1. De’Aaron Fox

In the time it took me to write this sentence, De’Aaron Fox just ran around Lonzo Ball again. Fox is speedy and is nearly unstoppable in transition and is a defensive stopper at PG with a 6’3.5 height. Once he fills out and develops a consistent jump shot, it won’t be the last time he drops 39 on Lonzo.

Player Comparison: Dennis Schroeder

  1. Dennis Smith Jr.

Smith is a great all around player and could be a top 3-5 pick in many drafts, but continues to fall down mock drafts. He is a great, explosive scorer, but an average passer and defensive player. With NBA players around him, he will become a better passer. Smith may not be picked until the end of the top 10 or even outside though.

Player Comparison: D-Wade

  1. Malik Monk

Monk has one of the most complete offensive games in the draft. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, but is also streaky. Another downside to Monk is his size, only a 6’4 SG. I compare his game to CJ McCollum, another undersized SG that shoots from everywhere. I think Monk can be just as good in the NBA.

Player Comparison: CJ McCollum

  1. Jonathan Isaac

Isaac is a project, but has the tools to be an elite defender against positions 1-4. He shows flashes on offense, but still has a lot of work. He has a high ceiling that could go as high as Giannis, but could end up being a complete bust.

Player Comparison: Brandon Ingram

  1. Frank Ntilikina

Ntilikina is very raw, especially on offense. He can come in and contribute right away on defense with a 6’5 height and 7’0 wingspan. His offense is a work in progress, but his defensive potential alone gives him a floor of a defensive PG off the bench.

Player Comparison: Dante Exum

  1. Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell has risen quickly up draft boards with his combine performance and athleticism. He does it all: scores from all three levels, is explosive, and is solid on D. His ceiling would be Dwyane Wade and a floor would be Trey Burke.

Player Comparison: Avery Bradley

  1. John Collins

John Collins a a bouncy 4 that also shoots the ball well. He did it all for a bad Wake Forest team last year, so his numbers are a bit inflated. He is not polished defensively but has the body to guard both 3s and 4s. Overall solid late lottery pick with Blake Griffin potential

Player Comparison: Blake Griffin

  1. OG Anunoby

OG is a defensive stopper. With his quickness and 7’6 wingspan, he will be lockdown in the NBA. On offense, he finishes well and his jumper has potential. He will never be able to lead a team on the offensive side though, and his knee injury raises some concerns.

Player Comparison: Luc Mbah a Moute

  1. Lauri Markkanen

Markkanen is the Dirk/Porzingis stretch 4 type. He shoots the ball extremely well, and that opens up driving lanes for him. However, I believe Markkanen struggles greatly on the defensive side in the NBA. He can’t guard smaller, quicker stretch fours and big centers bully him. I think Markkanen has a role in the NBA, but won’t be a star.

Player Comparison: Ryan Anderson

  1. Harry Giles

Giles could have been the #1 pick in this draft if not for injuries. However, 3 knee surgeries limited his time at Duke and plummeted his draft stock. He still showed flashes post-injuries but if he can get back to what he was before, he will be the steal of the draft.

Player Comparison: Joel Embiid

  1. Luke Kennard

Kennard=JJ Redick- white guys from Duke that shoot the lights out. They also have the same weaknesses though. Kennard lacks athleticism (see: white guy) and only has a 6’5 wingspan. Kennard definitely has a role in the NBA as a shooter with all the 3s teams throw up these days.

Player Comparison: JJ Redick

  1. Zach Collins

Collins is a solid offensive player. He is good around the basket and shot the 3 efficiently when he (rarely) stepped out behind the line. However, he doesn’t do anything exceptional and his defense is below average. I wouldn’t spend a lottery pick on him

Player Comparison: Nicola Vucevic

  1. Jarrett Allen

Long, rangy, athletic rim protector. Not great yet on offense and is a bit of a project, but lots of potential.

Player Comparison: Tristan Thompson

  1. Justin Jackson

He shoots the ball well and went back to work on his shooting. He can also guard 3s and 4s in the NBA. He has average athleticism but could become at least a good 3 and D guy.

Player comparison: Matt Barnes

  1. Bam Adebayo

He tested well at the combine and is extremely athletic. He can provide a major impact on defense, but his offensive versatility does not match with the modern NBA big man. His athleticism and defensive potential could turn him into Deandre Jordan though.

Player Comparison: Deandre Jordan

  1. Semi Ojeleye

Ojeleye is big and extremely versatile. He can play 3 positions in the NBA (SG, SF, PF) and his shooting stroke and toughness will find him a role somewhere.

NBA Comparison: Jimmy Butler

  1. Terrance Ferguson

Ferguson decided to go overseas, and gained lots of experience playing against bigger guys at only 18 years old. He could end up being a great scorer in the NBA.

NBA Comparison: Terrence Ross

  1. Justin Patton

Good offensive versatility and scores well as a big man. He is limited defensively though as he is not super quick. Lots of potential though and could be a steal

Player Comparison: Jahlil Okafor

  1. TJ Leaf

Laef is a great, versatile scorer who will have a role somewhere as a stretch 4. However, his defense is limited and I don’t believe he ever develops into more than a bench shooter.

Player Comparison: Josh McRoberts

  1. DJ Wilson

Wilson is a bouncy 4 that can also shoot the ball. He does a little bit of everything and could probably play the 3 too. He isn’t very strong yet, though, and is not a great rebounder. If he continues to improve, he could find a Draymond Green type role in the NBA.

NBA Comparison: Aaron Gordon

  1. Ike Anigbogu

Anigbogu has the tools to become a solid offensive player and a defensive anchor. However, he didn’t play a lot at UCLA and struggled with much of his looks not at the basket. Lots of potential but is definitely a boom or bust prospect.

Player Comparison: Ed Davis

  1. Anzejs Pasecniks

Pasecniks is still underweight for an NBA center, but shows lots of potential to turn into a versatile big man who can step out and shoot the rock. Draft and stash candidate.

NBA Comparison: Myles Turner

  1. Ivan Rabb

Rabb is another guy with stretch 4 potential. He shoots it well and still grabs 10 reb a game. He didn’t do much to improve his stock (in fact dropped it) between freshman and sophomore year, but it could be due to a bad Cal team.

NBA Comparison: Andrew Nicholson

  1. Derrick White

White is a combo guard that can do a little bit of everything (18 ppg/4 rpg/4 ast/1 blk/1 stl). He can come off the bench right away to play either guard spot in the NBA.

NBA Comparison: E’twaun Moore

  1. Isaiah Hartenstein

Hartenstein has a body that can translate to the NBA. He is a good rebounder and is solid defensively. However, he struggles to finish and does not have the jump shot down yet. He has potential as a draft and stash candidate.

NBA comparison: Donatas Montejunas

  1. Tyler Lydon

Lydon does a little bit of everything, and will be a solid 3 and D prospect. He shoots it well and can defend other 3s pretty solidly.

NBA Comparison: Sam Dekker

Zach Munson’s NBA Big Board

1.Markelle Fultz – Fultz is simply the best player in the draft. In a draft where every player at the top of the draft has flaws, Fultz is a player with no clear weakness. He has a tremendous scoring ability, great shooting, wonderful ball handling and vision, as well as elite athleticism. Additionally, this playmaker even boasts a 6’10” wingspan, which should aid in his rebounding and defense. He checks every major box of a lead guard in the NBA and will be a future superstar.
2.Lonzo Ball – Ball has the potential to be the best player in the draft. Potential. We all know he is an elite passer, which help him draw comparisons to Jason Kidd. His playmaking instincts and court vision are tremendous. He makes his teammates better and can elevate a team. However, his defense is concerning, which was highlighted by De’Aaron Fox dropping 39 points against him in the NCAA tournament. I am not too worried about the impact of LaVar Ball on his career, neither do I think many teams are either. Lonzo, wear your own ZO2 shoes! If you aren’t going to wear them, why should anybody else?
3.Josh Jackson – Jackson is an elite athlete who can defend four positions. He has great instincts and strong feel for the game. He is very fast and strong and can get to the basket at will. However, the one glaring concern is his jumper. However, he did shoot the ball better as the season went on. If we can improve this, he will be a star.
4.Jayson Tatum – Tatum is arguably the most NBA-ready prospect. He has no problem on the offensive end, scoring and getting to the basket with ease. He is athletic and can create space from his defender very well. Some concerns are his defense and his ability to help the team when he does not have the ball in his hand. If he could improve his range, that would help him tremendously.
5.De’Aaron Fox – Fox had a great NCAA tournament, notably seen by his 39-point performance on Lonzo Ball. As a result, he has been creeping up draft boards. His elite athleticism and amazing speed help him be a monster in transition. His tremendous defense is what separates himself from the pack. However, his jump shot is a real concern. If he had a better shot, he would be higher on this Big Board.
6.Malik Monk – Monk is a tremendous 3-point shooter, has elite athleticism, and can get himself open from his defender with ease. These are the tools which could lead to his NBA stardom. However, at 6’3”, his size is a concern. He needs to improve his defense and shot selection.
7.Dennis Smith Jr. – Smith has elite scoring, explosiveness, and playmaking. Possibly the best isolation scorer in the entire draft, he can be a star point guard in the NBA. However, he could improve his passing and defense, which he has shown promise when he tries.
8.Jonathan Isaac – Isaac, at the very least, will bode as a great defender. His size, length, and athleticism will allow him to be a tremendous defender and weak-side shot blocker. However, his offensive game has question marks. He needs to improve his jump shot and passing to be a future star.
9.Lauri Markkanen – Markkanen is arguably the best shooter in this entire draft and might be the best shooter at his position in the entire NBA. However, he lacks rebounding, defense, and passing ability. However, in today’s NBA, he will be valued as a stretch-4 who can extend the defense and easily get his shot off.
10.Frank Ntilikina – Ntilikina is a long guard who can be a star ball handler in the NBA. He’s a great shooter and defender, but he needs to improve his athleticism and strength to improve his driving ability. He’s a little unpolished, but is the top overseas prospect for a reason.
11.Zach Collins – Collins showed lots of promise at Gonzaga, namely in the NCAA tournament. He is very skilled, has great touch around the basket, tremendous post moves, and valuable rim protection. However, he needs to improve his strength and feel for the game around him.
12.Luke Kennard – Kennard is also arguably the best shooter in the draft. Highlighted by his offensive ability, he is great in pick-and-roll and is a great passer. However, question marks loom around his defense.
13.Donovan Mitchell – Mitchell is a monster athletically and has an enormous 6’10” wingspan. He is a great defender, playmaker, and shooter. He can be a star if he can develop a better game off the dribble.
14.OG Anunoby – At the very least, Anunoby will be a great defender who can guard 4 positions. His size, athleticism, and length make him the most promising defenders in the draft. However, he needs to improve his offensive game and shooting ability to become a star. Additionally, he is currently recovering from a torn ACL, and teams should not expect him to play his first season.
15.Justin Jackson – With great size at 6’8”, Jackson is one of the best shooters in this draft class. Although he lacks athleticism, he has a great feel for the game around him and will immediately help space the floor and extend the defense.
16.John Collins – Collins was perhaps the most productive player in college last season. His offensive production was second to none, averaging 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. However, he does have defensive holes in his game.
17.Jarrett Allen – Allen was a player who tremendously improved his game as the season progressed. Many teams are turned off by his lack of commitment, as he has lots of interests outside of basketball. He has great physical tools and has great touch around the basket. He lacks polish and is a very raw project, but shows some promise.
18.T.J. Leaf – Leaf is a tremendous shooter and has perhaps the most diverse skill set in the entire class for a big man. He has huge hops and is a great rebounder. However, he lacks length and lateral quickness, which has turned teams off. However, his great scoring ability and shooting will draw teams towards him.
19.Terrance Ferguson – Ferguson is a great shooter, defender, and elite athlete. He needs to improve his dribble drive game and is a little thin for the NBA right now.
20.Harry Giles – Giles has been suppressed by his multiple ACL injuries. He has lost a lot of his bounce and explosiveness, which scares teams. However, he is a strong rebounder. He is the riskiest player in the draft his stock relies on his medicals. However, teams will take a chance on him. If he returns to the player he was two years ago, he will be the steal of the draft.
21.Justin Patton – Patton has showed tremendous offensive production, passing, and touch around the basket. His size and mid-range shooting ability offers great promise at the next level. However, he needs to improve his rebounding and defending to be a star.
22.Semi Ojeleye – Ojeleye shows promise as a two-way role player at the next level. He is a great defender and can drive to the basket, as well as score from all areas of the court. Although he is not very long, he can be a formidable 3 or 4 in the NBA.
23.D.J. Wilson – Wilson is one of my favorite players in this draft class. He is a great shooter from deep, has tremendous size, and has promising defensive sills. He can switch on defense during pick-and-rolls, which is very valuable as he can guard multiple positions. His ability to stretch the floor will pay dividends in the NBA. Although his rebounding is a small concern, there are so many things to like about his guy.
24.Isaiah Hartenstein – Hartenstein is an elite athlete, 3-point shooter, and outlet passer. He has many tools that NBA teams will covet. However, he is certainly a raw project for any team. Although he is skilled, his defensive game lacks. It is unsure how his sills will translate to the next level.
25.Ike Anigbogu – Anigbogu has amazing physical tools and elite athleticism. He was a great defender for UCLA, however he lacks offensive production. He is not going to be a reliable option on offense initially, but he offers great upside as a defender and rim-runner.
26.Jawun Evans – Evans showed tremendous production at Oklahoma State. His instincts, ball handling, and speed are incredible. However, his finishing and jump shot need to improve.
27.Jordan Bell – Bell is arguably the most NBA-ready defender in this entire draft class. He has the quickness to guard the perimeter, as well as shows promise as a rim protector. He boasts great instincts and toughness. Although he lacks an offensive game, his defense will be valued at the next level.
28.Tyler Lydon – Lydon shows tremendous promise as a stretch-4 in today’s NBA. His combination of great shooting and size will allow him to stretch the floor and extend the defense. He is a good rebounder and has great touch around the basket. However, his defense and consistency will be a question mark in the NBA.
29.Derrick White – White had arguably the best showing at the NBA draft combine. He was one of the most productive players at Colorado and was an elite defender at the collegiate level. He is quick and is able to play both guard positions. An improvement to his game would be his passing.
30.Bam Adebayo – Adebayo has tremendous strength, rebounds very well, and plays above the rim. Also, he does not need the ball in his hands very much to perform his job. He lacks post skills and over half of his shots at Kentucky were dunks, which is concerning. He needs to improve on the defensive end, but his rim protection is promising. Also, Adebayo needs to improve his jump shot to carve out a formidable role in the NBA.

Jason Gandhi’s NBA Big Board

 

  • Lonzo Ball (1)

 

      1. Lonzo’s court vision and his ability to set his teammates up are the reasons he is my #1 player. He makes guys want to share the ball and orchestrated the fastest offense in college last year. Defensively, there is some work to do, but defense is a mentality. With his shot making ability, court vision and length, Lonzo, on the right team, could be a superstar in this league. My player comparison for him is Steve Nash or Jason Kidd.

 

  • Markelle Fultz (2)

 

      1. Everyone’s number one guy on their big board. I am not as high on him purely because of how dependent he is on having the ball and not having the winning pedigree. He can still score from anywhere and is very comfortable in pick and roll, something he has over Lonzo. He has superstar potential but needs to get more disciplined on defense and be better off the ball. My player comparison is D’Angelo Russell.

 

  • Jayson Tatum (3)

 

      1. Tatum, in my opinion, is the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft. He is 6’8” with a 6’11” wingspan, which will allow him to play the stretch 4 at the next level. He is very polished offensively but really needs to be more consistent on offense. He lacks elite athleticism but makes up for it with his length. This guy could be a perennial all-star. My player comparison is Danny Granger.

 

  • Josh Jackson (4)

 

      1. Jackson’s defense is the best in the draft. He is able to consistently guard 4 positions and is a freak athlete. His offensive game is where I’m hesitant. His shot needs a lot of work, and I’m not sure he can ever develop one. If he does, I think he could be the best player out of the class, but I personally do not buy that he develops it. My player comparison for him is Kawhi Leonard assuming he gets his shot.

 

  • De’Aaron Fox (5)

 

      1. De’Aaron Fox is hard to get a read on from NBA scouts. Some like him more than Ball, but others will put him below Dennis Smith Jr. I like him in the middle because of his potential to be a star in the league. His shot is below average, but he can still hit mid-range and floaters. His athleticism is phenomenal but weighing only 170 pounds factors into whether or not his athleticism will be put on display. He needs to get stronger in order to be able to take it into the paint in the NBA. My player comparison for him is John Wall.

 

  • Malik Monk (6)

 

      1. Monk is one of the safest picks in the draft. If nothing else develops, teams at least get a solid shooter to instantly score. If his defense and basketball IQ can develop, he can be a steal in the draft. He is this class’s best scorer so whatever team gets him at least gets an offensive stud. My player comparison is Devin Booker/Eric Gordon

 

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (7)

 

      1. Dennis Smith is another prospect who is very NBA ready already. He fits the modern NBA very nicely, being able to run PnR as well as score when necessary. He is on the rise for me right now as I watch more and more of his film. He has elite bounce and athleticism and that will make him a lot of people’s favorite player to watch out of this draft. My player comparison is Derrick Rose in his prime.

 

  • Jonathan Isaac (8)

 

      1. The best athlete of the draft. His freakish body and athleticism along with stellar defense this year has some scouts liked him as a better prospect than Jayson Tatum. Isaac’s offensive game needs too much work for me to put him that high, but I do like his potential in the right system. My player comparison is Giannis Antetokounmpo or Rashard Lewis

 

  • Frank Ntilinka (9)

 

      1. Ntilinka has a very raw offensive game. He struggles to shoot from deep but can drive the lane if needed. His defense is the reason he is so high on draft boards. The Mavericks are a team that has scouted him very thoroughly and the Knicks are another team that is in play, in the early lottery, to look at Ntilinka. My player comparison is Dante Exum.

 

  • Harry Giles (10)

 

      1. Giles’ is the hardest prospect to gauge. His talent puts him as a top 5-10 player easily. It’s the medical side that is the problem. With multiple ACL tears, teams have to be worried about. He has had three knee surgeries since 2013, so a major flag. If his tests come back showing no issues, he could be a late riser on draft night. My player comparison is Chris Webber or Julius Randle with a longer body.

 

  • Lauri Markkanen (11)

 

      1. Some people have said Markkanen has the best shot in the draft. I’d say he is second to Monk. He is the definition of a stretch 4 but really can’t go inside even if the team needed him to. He is very weak inside which limits his value to me, but his shooting makes him a definite lottery pick in the draft. Stretch 4’s are the most coveted position in the NBA right now. My player comparison is Dirk Nowitzki or Ryan Anderson

 

  • Zach Collins (12)

 

      1. Although Collins only attempted 21 threes (made 10), many project Zach Collins as a stretch 4 in the NBA. I don’t see it yet, but with his size and athleticism that could be his future. A lot of his position depends on where he is taken on draft night. To me, Collins is a lock to be a lottery pick on draft night, but where is the real question. My player comparison is Bill Laimbeer or Gorgui Dieng.

 

  • OG Anunoby (13)

 

      1. Giles is very similar to Giles in the respect that his talent his lottery-worthy, but the question mark pops up with his health. After injuring his ACL in January, teams need to decide whether a lottery pick is worth a player with injury history. His defense, pre-injury, would rival with Jackson for best in the class. The only concern was offensive consistency and getting a shot down. Very similar to Josh Jackson pre-injury. My player comparison is Stanley Johnson.

 

  • Donovan Mitchell (14)

 

      1. Coming into the combine, I, along with others, was not this high on Mitchell. He had the best testing at the combine without playing a minute of basketball. He showed his 6’10” wingspan and a better athlete and defender to a very similar Luke Kennard. Kennard and Mitchell are battling it out to see who will get called first. My player comparison is a less athletic Dwyane Wade.

 

  • Luke Kennard (15)

 

      1. As mentioned above, Kennard and Mitchell are very similar. Both are rising up draft boards as the day nears this week. Kennard is a better shooter than Mitchell but doesn’t have the athleticism. I think Kennard has more defensive potential, but right now Mitchell is a better defender. My player comparison is Klay Thompson with less defensive ability.

 

  • Justin Jackson (16)

 

      1. I like Jackson more than others. I think his potential as a 3 and d prospect is one that can keep in the league for a long time. If he can consistently defend 4 positions, and shoot the 3 in the high 30%’s, he can be a starter in this league for many years. My player comparison is Evan Turner.

 

  • Justin Patton (17)

 

      1. I think he has potential to be a steal in this draft. He isn’t a great athlete, but he can score in the post and rebound very effectively. The only concern I have with him is his lateral movement. He has poor foot speed, which could hurt him against quicker bigs. My player comparison is Myles Turner.

 

  • Terrance Ferguson (18)

 

      1. Ferguson has spurts in his game that make him look like a lottery pick, but there are also times when he looks like a 2nd rounder. He is VERY inconsistent. But he has potential to be an offensive stud. He was able to score at will some games so scouts have reason to be excited. My player comparison is Terrence Ross.

 

  • John Collins (19)

 

      1. John Collins had a phenomenal offensive season for the Demon Deacons. He was the focal point of Wake Forest’s offense last year and he blossomed nicely. His testing at the combine helped his stock rise, including a 38.5 inch vertical. He played a small center in college but being only 6’10” with a 6’11” wingspan, he will have to transition. Defensively, he isn’t long enough. He needs to show his shooting ability this summer and if he can get that going, he has a long future in the NBA.  My player comparison is Nikola Mirotic.

 

  • Jarrett Allen (20)

 

      1. Jarrett Allen’s length is his main selling point. He has a 7’5” wingspan and is going to be a defensive nightmare. The only real issue is his raw skill. He could be a major project in the league, similar to Roy Hibbert for the Pacers, but if he develops, he could be special. My player comparison is Robin Lopez or Rudy Gobert

 

  • Bam Adebayo (21)

 

      1. Edrice “Bam” Adebayo has risen and fallen throughout the year. For me, when I would study Fox or Monk’s tape, I couldn’t help but watch Adebayo and all the energy and athleticism he brought to the game. He tested well at the combine and might be rising again. He could go anywhere from late teens to end of the 1st. My player comparison is Tristan Thompson.

 

  • Jordan Bell (22)

 

      1. My 2nd favorite player in the draft. Bell seems to never run out of energy. He is going to make a team with his defense and shot-blocking ability and the rest is gravy. Seeing his workout, he is focusing heavily on his offensive game and a jump shot. I believe the team that gets Bell, is getting a top 5 defender in the draft and the potential to be the #1 steal of the draft. My player comparison is Thomas Robinson or Javale McGee with a better shot.

 

  • TJ Leaf (23)

 

      1. I am not a huge fan of Leaf and Anigbogu. Both players benefitted from Ball running the show at UCLA. Leaf has a lot of skill, but I have questions about his defense and length. I’m not sure he can play the 3 or the 4, so he is in a tough spot for an adjustment to the NBA. If he can play either position consistently, then he would rise, but I’m not convinced he can. My player comparison is Channing Frye.

 

  • Tony Bradley (24)

 

      1. Bradley has A TON of potential. In limited minutes at UNC, he showed flashes of greatness. My only concern is his lack of foot speed in the lane. He needs to improve his agility and speed to become a force to be reckoned with down low. He needs to go to the right team, but if he does, he could start for many years on a team. My player comparison is Andrew Bynum or Rudy Gobert.

 

  • Ike Anigbogu (25)

 

      1. I am not as high on Ike as others. I think he benefitted greatly off of Lonzo running point, and if he wasn’t there, I don’t think Ike would be a conversation until the end of the 1st round if not 2nd. With that being said, he has a 7’6” wingspan so his potential is high purely based on his body. He can rebound very well, just offensively, I am very hesitant. My player comparison is Bismack Biyombo.

 

  • Anzejs Pasecniks (26)

 

      1. I think he is the most NBA-ready international player after Ntilinka. He just needs to get stronger and bigger, but his workout at his pro day in LA, had him shooting up draft boards. I’m not sure if he will pan out to be another Kristaps Porzingis, but he can shoot the ball from anywhere and is crazy long. My player comparison is Donatas Motiejunas.

 

  • Isaiah Hartenstein (27)

 

      1. The perfect draft-and-stash project. He has the size and skills to play but needs some time to really refine those skills. If Hartenstein develops a jumper, he could be a dominant player in a year or two. I like him more than Pasecniks long-term, but Hartenstein isn’t as NBA-ready yet. My player comparison is Nikola Jokic.

 

  • Semi Ojeleye (28)

 

      1. Ojeleye, a transfer from Duke, really impressed scouts this season. He showed his ability to stretch the floor averaging 18.2 points per game. He could even shrink down to the three if a team wants to go with a tall lineup. Ojeleye’s success in the league varies on the team that takes him. If he finds the right team, he could be a sixth or seventh man and instantly provide scoring. My player comparison is Draymond Green.

 

  • Ivan Rabb (29)

 

      1. Rabb is all over the place on teams boards. Last year, he was a projected lottery pick and scouts hoped he would refine his game and be a top pick. Throughout the season he was very underwhelming which has led him to fall to a borderline 1st-2nd rounder. I still like his skill set due to his 7’2” wingspan and how fluid he moves offensively. He is 6’10” and needs to bulk up as he weighs only 220 lbs.  I’m higher on his game, but consistency is going to be huge for him. My player comparison is Chris Bosh.

 

  • Caleb Swanigan (30)

 

    1. Swanigan was a monster last year for Purdue. I like his game a lot, I just worry about his transition to the NBA. I think he will be a small-ball 5, similar to Draymond’s role in Golden State. In order for that to happen, he needs to be put in the right organization and get a lot quicker. The team he is drafted by will have a major impact on how his career plays put. He can shoot the ball already which helps him, his body though is the number one concern for teams. He is too short to play the 5 and is too slow to play the 4. My player comparison is a much shorter KG or Draymond Green.

NBA Mock Draft– Post Celtics/76ers Trade

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Jason Gandhi

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (from Kings)- Markelle Fultz
  2. Los Angeles Lakers- Lonzo Ball
  3. Boston Celtics (from Nets)- Jayson Tatum
  4. Phoenix Suns- Josh Jackson
  5. Sacramento Kings (from 76ers)- De’Aaron Fox
  6. Orlando Magic- Jonathan Isaac
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lauri Markkanen
  8. New York Knicks- Frank Ntilinka (nee-lah-kina)
  9. Dallas Mavericks- Dennis Smith Jr
  10. Sacramento Kings (from Pelicans)- Malik Monk
  11. Charlotte Hornets- Luke Kennard
  12. Detroit Pistons- Donovan Mitchell
  13. Denver Nuggets- Zach Collins
  14. Miami Heat- Justin Jackson
  15. Portland Trail Blazers- Harry Giles
  16. Chicago Bulls- OG Anunoby
  17. Milwaukee Bucks- Jarrett Allen
  18. Indiana Pacers- John Collins
  19. Atlanta Hawks- Justin Patton
  20. Portland Trail Blazers (from Grizzlies)- TJ Leaf
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Terrance Ferguson
  22. Brooklyn Nets (from Wizards)- Ike Anigbogu
  23. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers)- Isaiah Hartenstein
  24. Utah Jazz- Andzejs Pasecniks
  25. Orlando Magic (from Raptors)- Tyler Lydon
  26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cavaliers)- Rodions Kurucs
  27. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics)- DJ Wilson
  28. L.A. Lakers (from Rockets)- Bam Adebayo
  29. San Antonio Spurs- Semi Ojeleye
  30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors)- Derrick White

NBA Mock Draft

6 days away from the NBA Draft! Our latest NBA Mock Draft is here with all the guys putting one out today. We will put one more out on Wednesday hopefully! Enjoy!

Check out our podcast for analysis over every pick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDueMwRK7vs

NBA Team: 6/16/17 Jason Gandhi: Dan Magers: Dylan Stagge: Zach Munson: Michael Bailey:
1.     Boston Celtics Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz
2.     Los Angeles Lakers Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Josh Jackson
3.     Philadelphia 76ers Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Lonzo Ball
4.     Phoenix Suns Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jonathan Isaac
5.     Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox
6.     Orlando Magic Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Malik Monk Jayson Tatum
7.     Minnesota Timberwolves Lauri Markkanen Lauri Markkanen Lauri Markkanen Jonathan Isaac Malik Monk
8.     New York Knicks Malik Monk Malik Monk Dennis Smith Jr. Dennis Smith Jr. Frank Ntilikina
9.     Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Dennis Smith Jr.
10.  Sacramento Kings Luke Kennard Zach Collins Malik Monk Lauri Markkanen Zach Collins
11.  Charlotte Hornets Dennis Smith Jr. Luke Kennard Zach Collins Zach Collins Donovan Mitchell
12.  Detroit Pistons Donovan Mitchell Donovan Mitchell Donovan Mitchell Donovan Mitchell Luke Kennard
13.  Denver Nuggets Zach Collins Dennis Smith Jr. OG Anunoby OG Anunoby Justin Patton
14.  Miami Heat Justin Jackson OG Anunoby Harry Giles Luke Kennard Harry Giles
15.  Portland Trailblazers OG Anunoby Justin Jackson John Collins Justin Jackson Lauri Markkanen
16.  Chicago Bulls Harry Giles Jarrett Allen Luke Kennard Jarrett Allen Jarrett Allen
17.  Milwaukee Bucks Jarrett Allen Justin Patton Jarrett Allen Justin Patton Justin Jackson
18.  Indiana Pacers Terrance Ferguson TJ Leaf Justin Jackson TJ Leaf OG Anunoby
19.  Atlanta Hawks TJ Leaf John Collins Justin Patton John Collins John Collins
20.  Portland Trail Blazers Bam Adebayo Harry Giles Bam Adebayo Harry Giles Terrance Ferguson
21.  Oklahoma City Thunder John Collins Ike Anigbogu TJ Leaf Ike Anigbogu Jawun Evans
22.  Brooklyn Nets Justin Patton Terrance Ferguson Ike Anigbogu Terrance Ferguson Bam Adebayo
23.  Toronto Raptors Ike Anigbogu Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon
24.  Utah Jazz Isaiah Hartenstein Andzejs Pasecniks Semi Ojeleye Semi Ojeleye Ike Anigbogu
25.  Orlando Magic Jordan Bell Bam Adebayo Frank Jackson Bam Adebayo TJ Leaf
26.  Portland Trail Blazers Andzejs Pasecniks Isaiah Hartenstein Andzejs Pasecniks Isaiah Hartenstein Semi Ojeleye
27.  Brooklyn Nets Tony Bradley Ivan Rabb Terrance Ferguson DJ Wilson Isaiah Hartenstein
28.  Los Angeles Lakers Tyler Lydon DJ Wilson Ivan Rabb Jordan Bell Jordan Bell
29.  San Antonio Spurs Ivan Rabb Caleb Swanigan Isaiah Hartenstein Andzejs Pasecniks Ivan Rabb
30.  Utah Jazz Derrick White Derrick White Derrick White Derrick White Derrick White