It's just a few days after the 2017 Draft Lottery and I'm returning with my annual mock draft. You can check out my 2016 draft by clicking here, and my 2015 one is lost in the abyss. My apologies. I always preface these mocks by stating that these picks don't necessarily represent the order of how I think the draft will unfold, it's more along the lines of where I'd like to see certain players end up, along with some educated guesses and need based picks. Mix in a few fake trades and some shenanigans and you have this not-so-serious but (hopefully) fun mock draft. Enjoy.
With the 1st pick, the Boston Celtics select... Markelle Fultz (G, Washington)
Before we get started, a word of caution to the ever-prideful Celtic horde. For the next month or so, you're going to need to take a page out of Leonard from Memento's book, and tape this to your thigh when your "friends" begin to politely suggest that Danny Ainge trade the pick for Jimmy Butler or Paul George, or make a different selection entirely because you already have IT lighting it up from Haverhill. The Green Bay Packers had both Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre on their roster concurrently and they didn't even have the luxury of being able to play them at the same time! Seeing what happens with Markelle at the two guard, or gorging him with significant minutes off of the bench isn't something that will cause irreversible damage — especially if you have a winning ball club.
If I'm forced to needlessly dissect Markelle Fultz and find something unsavory about him, it's that he appears to be one mundane dude. I don't know him personally, and maybe his close friends can vouch for his entertainment value, but I can feel it. He's a pop-a-shot playing, NBA 2K binging, The Walking Dead watching, completely normal student athlete. And hey, there's nothing wrong with that. If all you do is breathe basketball and conduct professional interviews with sensible answers and muted emotion at the age of 18, you're doing better than 99% of the world's population already. You just can't ignite the fire of being the last pick of the draft like Isaiah Thomas, you don't run purely off of sugar, ranch, and spaghetti sandwiches like Terry Rozier, and you damn sure don't have the entire opposition fuming from your presence on the court on a nightly basis like Marcus Smart.
You're just good ol' Markelle Fultz, and that's good enough.
With the 2nd pick, the Los Angeles Lakers select... Josh Jackson (F, Kansas)
This can happen, right? I'm not landing the TARDIS on an alternate Earth that will self destruct on impact if this happens? The Lakers would be wise to continue going about business as usual and not verbally handcuff themselves to the Ball Family with careless endorsements. I predict that Magic Johnson is going to be great for the Lakers — not because of judicious drafting and free agency decisions where he will have the ultimate say (although he could be a genius for all I know, just ignore his Tweets), but because the Lakers operate best when the team is in a constant state of turmoil, excitement and unrest. Josh Jackson claims he played out of position for the entire year, and he thrives in transition already, so the Luke Walton Lakers would be a fun landing spot for a player with Jackson's skillset.
I'm sorry, I tried to be serious for most of this Jackson mock, God, how do people do it?
With the 3rd pick, the Philadelphia 76ers select... Lonzo Ball (PG/G, UCLA)
LaVar Ball is the perfect Philadelphia sports father. Not only would he become utterly embraced in Philly like no other sports town, it also doubles as a place where LaVar can exercise his free speech with clear visibility to his theatrics. A world where LaVar Ball is drowned out by the opaque lights of the Staples Center is a world that I don't want to live in.
I need to see LaVar behind the visitor's bench pegging 14th men in the back of the head with chalk-hard Dubble Bubble while he sells ZO2's to greasy handed, Philly cheesesteak eating Sixers fans in an inconspicuous hallway of the Wells Fargo Center underground at halftime. And maybe you don't realize it quite yet, but you need that too.
It's no secret that Ben Simmons is going to have the ball in his hands more often than not next season, testing the point guard waters and letting his playmaking make the headlines. It's also no secret that Lonzo Ball functions best with the ball in his hands, setting his teammates up for easy baskets, being the unselfish future GOAT that LaVar so often predicts he will become. But even the Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis weren't crazy enough to task Giannis with purely point guard minutes the entire season, or let his success and failure at that spot alone dictate where their dreams died. They adjusted and made it so that Giannis was slotted in the most optimal role for his game to provide maximum impact — and in turn, his team to flourish. The Sixers hope to...
Somebody's at the door — hold on a second.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
If I don't finish this mock, just know that LaV--
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With the 4th pick, the Phoenix Suns select... Malik Monk (G, Kentucky)
Computer glitch. Nothing to worry about.
I'll throw hands with anybody that wants to say that Monk and Booker can't coexist on the Talking Stick Resort Arena (boy, is that a handful of words to name an arena) light hardwood floor. How can you watch the NBA in 2017 and come to the conclusion that two (potentially) deadly shooters on a team together is somehow a bad idea? And to be quite honest, Booker at this point in time is only a great scorer, his shooting is still developing into an area where it's palatable. Drafting Monk would not taint or overflow a cup of water in the Valley of the Sun.
To prepare themselves for a Monk arrival, the Phoenix Suns training staff should throw an open armed welcoming party to Eric Bledsoe and wrap him up in memory foam like Jake Berman in the Little Giants in hopes that he will stay healthy enough to thrive with their reverse-aging roster. Bledsoe/Monk/Booker/Warren/Big Sauce is a fun lineup. Switch in Ulis, Chriss and Bender for whoever is struggling for your optimal starting lineup, and you suddenly have a 👀 team to look out for nipping at your heels if you're a middling Western Conference playoff team.
In a year.
Talent aside, the Suns win the draft simply off of the power of Malik Monk's legendary name. If I were him, I'd completely own it and roleplay the fuck out of it, doing the whole head shaving/tonsure/pre-game robe thing for his branding, but that's also because I'm a giant nerd.
With the 5th pick, the Sacramento Kings select... De'Aaron Fox (PG, Kentucky)
VIVEK SEZ: FOX ROX!
With the 6th pick, the Orlando Magic select... Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke)
Isolation scorer ✅
Tobias Harris vibes ✅
Jayson "T." Buckets ✅
Silky smooth voice ✅
It's at this point that I have to remind you, or more appropriately, inform you that I am a fan of the Orlando Magic. Did you guys see Frank Vogel at the draft lottery? He's one step away from Boozer-ing his entire scalp, and the addition of the struggle beard is a good touch as a coach of the Magic. Hey, at least he didn't hand in a resignation letter and point middle fingers at every young player on the roster before peacing out.
The Orlando Magic need talent in the worst way. They can go Tatum here — they can also go Isaac or DSJ or Markkanen and I wouldn't bat an eyelid. One of the most pressing needs however, is a reliable scorer. Fournier is a solid but streaky scorer who just dyed his man bun blonde and thinks he's on acid when Vucevic isn't on the floor with him, the nickname "Coin Toss" Ross speaks for itself, and as fun as Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon are together, they don't have the skillset that Tatum can bring to the Magic.
Acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Tyus Jones for Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris and the #12 overall pick.
With the 7th pick, the Detroit Pistons select... Jonathan Isaac (SF/PF/C, FSU)
If there's one thing I've learned about making fantasy trades, it's that both fan bases will end up refusing to acknowledge that they actually have to give up talent to receive talent. I'm guilty of it myself. Do you know how many potentially great trade scenarios I've nixed in my head because Mario fucking Hezonja was involved in it? More than I'd like to admit.
The Pistons need to make a cannonball sized splash in the draft, in my humble opinion. If they somehow go into next season with a slightly tweaked version of this last season's roster, Stan Van Gundy is going to have an aneurysm, or even worse, be resigned to making can crushing videos on the internet. Giving up on Stanley Johnson is a tough sell, he's 20 and had an encouraging rookie season (besides the shooting numbers, don't look at the shooting numbers). Let him run around with the other young Wolves in the sea of minutes that Thibs has stored deep in his Samsonite briefcase and you'll forget about his sophomore slump quicker than you can say "42 minutes a game".
But this is about the Pistons. Isaac can come in, and SVG can figure out what position he's best at and let him rock. Tyus Jones is a nice throw in as a point guard prospect, since I'm assuming Stan wants to throw Reggie Jackson in Lake St. Clair. Re-sign KCP, let Isaac romp around with Ellenson and the rest of the sort-of-young Pistons roster, suck for a year and then you'll have a decently retooled roster in a relatively short amount of time.*
(*SVG the GM would surely give SVG the coach some leeway for the rebuild.)
With the 8th pick, the New York Knicks select... Dennis Smith Jr. (PG, NC State)
Double R, that's a Rolls, paint it yellow like it's dairy
I'm talkin' Rose like Derrick
I'm talkin' rolls like a belly (woo)
Fear not, Knicks fans — DSJ is not Derrick Rose. Er, well, he's not the Derrick Rose that played for you guys this season. Which was better than the Rose that played in the NBA the previous three years, but still not a Rose you necessarily want in the future. You know what, you get the point.
Anyway, fuck the triangle. The Knicks need a player that's going to go Apocalypto (warning, organs) on the opposition and bring a vicious, revenant version of Porzingis emoting out on the floor like the bloodthirsty Latvian he really is. It may be too late to convince some Knickerbocker fans to hop aboard the DSJ train, a good number of them are already thoroughly enamored with Ntilikina, with good reason. But DSJ is the guy you need to bring the culture forward — before long, he's going to be given carte blanche on any chop cheese he wants Uptown. Ntilikina ain't going Uptown.
Either way, the Knicks really want to get this pick right. given the fact that the last two #8 draft picks for the Knicks were Channing Frye and Jordan Hill. When your franchise has been running like the Long Island Rail Road since the departure of Patrick Ewing, you know you need help badly. Drop all of dead weight from the Knicks organization at the Hillside Support Facility and let them stew in their failure and think about what they've done before letting them back on the train.
With the 9th pick, the Dallas Mavericks select... Lauri Markkanen (PF, Arizona)
It will be fun, they said, he's sort of like Dirk, they said!
Dallas fans will probably think this is a lazy pick and comparison. You know what? Shut up. What do you even know about the lottery? You're just a visitor here. You call your Uber and Airbnb and call it a day — us Magic, Knicks, Kings, Timberwolves, and Sixers fans are really out here in the streets criticizing and bashing the hell out of each other's picks, even if we were just ranting and raving about that player minutes earlier before the selection. I slot him here because the Mavericks need a big man that will do some real damage out on the perimeter, unless you expect Nerlens Noel and Dwight Powell to poof into Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins overnight. Yeah, I'm really sorry that Nowitzki comparison is causing slight discomfort to you. God forbid he even becomes even 75% of what Dirk ever was.
Acquired from the Sacramento Kings along with Malachi Richardson and a 2018 second round draft pick for a protected 2018 first round draft pick, Paul Zipser and the #16 overall pick.
With the 10th pick, the Chicago Bulls select... Frank Ntilikina (PG, SIG Strasbourg)
The Chicago Bulls are uninspiring. Just writing that makes me feel like I don't even need to state it — you know it, I know it, Bulls fans know it. What I don't know is how they bumbled into the playoffs, but that was apparently A Thing That Happened — and so was the 2-0 lead on the Celtics. No real reason to talk about if anything happened after that, fake news. But if we want to get into the meat and potatoes of the Bulls roster, it starts with coming to grips with the future of the point guard position, and it isn't Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Canaan, or Michael Carter-Williams that will be trampling all over people in Pamplona.
Ntilikina is the man to lead the Bulls, but only after an Alpha hazing session (no, not soggy biscuit, sicko) from Butler, Wade, and a departing Rondo (hell, he could even come back and teach Young Frank a thing or two about Ray Allen).
Plus, his name as an anagram is a few letters away from "Knick Killa" — make of that what you will.
With the 11th pick, the Charlotte Hornets select... OG Anunoby (F, Indiana)
At some point this century, the Bobcats-Hornets organization is going to have to roll the dice on a high ceiling / unknown basement player (that basement might have some cool old baseball cards inside of it, you never know). In their twenty some-odd picks since Emeka Okafor was drafted, they've made a grand total of one interesting or inspiring pick in Kemba Walker — two if you want to include Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to that list.
OG Anunoby spent most of his last season injured, but has an air of gravitas that execs seem to love. He's a big dude, and moves pretty fluently with that frame, while doing a multitude of things on the court to impact the game.
Let it fly, Cho.
Acquired from the Detroit Pistons along with Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris, for Tyus Jones and the #6 pick.
With the 12th pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... TJ Leaf (PF, UCLA)
Okay, listen up, I'm not going to pretend that TJ Leaf is a name that will evoke any sort of excitement from the Timberwolves faithful — but I'll tell you why he's the superior choice to anybody they'd be able to field at the 7th pick.
It's simple. The asset collecting stage has already reached critical mass, and taking a swing on an Isaac or a Markkanen (realistically the only two players that can be picked without it causing log-jam issues) makes it so that a naturally inefficient rookie (surrounded by other young players who have yet find the "keys" to winning) may cause the team to drop games they didn't plan on dropping, or push back a time table that's already been ticking for far too long.
If I'm Thibs, I'd order Leaf to come off of the bench and shoot the fuck out of the ball with no conscience. You're going to pay attention to his future and treat him as a great prospect in practices and walkthroughs, but he's not a pressing development need for the future of the franchise like Isaac or Markkanen would be.
With the addition of Marcus Morris (a tough young veteran, the sort of player the Wolves need), Stanley Johnson (a 3rd year player with talent and something to prove), and TJ Leaf doing his thing off of the bench, the only thing left to do as a Wolves fan is calm down, watch the new season of Fargo, and enjoy the 2017-2018 campaign as your team emerges from the forest after a decade of Kahn induced pain.
Acquired from the Denver Nuggets for a future 2018 second round draft pick, the #24 overall pick and the #30 overall pick.
With the 13th pick, the Utah Jazz select... Zach Collins (PF/C, Gonzaga)
Another mock draft, another white-dude-heading-to-the-Jazz theme going on in my drafts. I swear this isn't intentional, and I 100% believe in the "Salt Lake City Actually Has A Really Good Night Life" thing, despite the weird defense mechanism response that Jazz fans apparently have to that criticism. You guys weren't even this vicious when sports media were accusing you of only drafting white players.
The Jazz consolidate their picks to move up and take Zach Collins in my mock draft. The power forward position isn't the most urgent need for the Utah Jazz, especially when you have a tumultuous point guard future with George Hill hitting free agency, Dante Exum maybe? being? a? decent? player? and Raul Neto and Shelvin Mack not exactly cementing your future at that position. But Trey Lyles has to prove his worth after a sophomore slump, and Derrick Favors isn't guaranteed to stick around after next year, leaving Gobert and a whole lotta nothing in his giant French shadow. Take Zach and throw the biggest party Salt Lake City has ever seen, and make sure to Tweet the pictures to @warriorsworld.
With the 14th pick, the Miami Heat select... Harry Giles (F, Duke)
What a year for the Miami Heat and their fans. The Wade-Riley Saga, Chris Bosh literally almost dying, the roller-coaster of being in the driver's seat for the Fultz sweepstakes to barely missing the playoffs, and most impressively, seeing Dion Waiters Island attract permanent residents.
A bunch of surgeries on a 19 year old knee doesn't scream *PICK ME*, but those knees belong to a kid that was hyped as a potential #1 pick this year before his second ACL tear. If Kodak Black can turn an 8 year bid into 2 months, Harry Giles can be a great NBA talent.
With the 15th pick, the Portland Trailblazers select... Justin Patton (C, Creighton)
The Portland Trailblazers don't exactly need a center after The Great Nurking of '17, the guy committed regicide on Lord Jokic I and cackled at his family afterwards with fresh blood still rolling down his cheeks. But when you peer beyond Nurkic's massive Bosnian shell, you're suddenly hit with the realization that you're depending on Meyers Leonard, Noah Vonleh and Festus Ezeli when it's all done, the latter exiting the team this offseason.
It wouldn't hurt for the Blazers to grab a young big with solid fundamentals to mold and throw out there into battle, having his size and strength off of the bench could be a valuable weapon in the future.
Acquired from the Chicago Bulls along with Paul Zipser, and a protected 2018 first round draft pick for the #10 pick, a future 2018 second round pick, and Malachi Richardson.
With the 16th pick, the Sacramento Kings select... John Collins (PF, Wake Forest)
A haul of Zipser, Collins, Fox, and a protected first rounder next year would be a wonderful haul for the Sacramento Kings. I'm patting myself on the back as I type this.
It's like watching an unboxing video, people on YouTube go ape shit for those. This is basketball mukbang, and for the first time in a while, fans of the Sacramento Kings can sit back and indulge without wondering what's going to pop out of the screen and jump scare them.
Labissiere, WCS, Papa, and Collins could end up turning out to be a fun 4-man big combination that will wreak havoc on the West for years to come.
With the 17th pick, the Milwaukee Bucks select... Jarrett Allen (C, Texas)
John Hammond: Does he have a wingspan picture?
Justin Zanik: Let me look.
Justin Zanik: Got it.
John Hammond: Boom.
With the 18th pick, the Indiana Pacers select... Hamidou Diallo (SG, Kentucky/HS)
One #whynot reason is that there is zero tape on this kid playing against college level competition, so technically you're drafting a high schooler, which is a semi-scary proposition as a general manager. But looking at this list of HS to NBA draftees,, you'll see that there is a damn good chance he's going to be something in the league.
Paul George is starting to sound a lot like Dwight Howard when he wanted to commit career suicide and leave the only place that caved in to his demands (I'm not bitter, I swear), and seeing a team field CJ Miles and Monta Ellis in George's wake doesn't sound like an enjoyable prospect to me, I don't know about you, Pacer fans.
Diallo has the ability to be an explosive, game changing guard on the court. Yeah, there is an issue of what he even has in his arsenal, but opening up a mix of his on YouTube or seeing him post a vertical of 44.5 inches at the Draft Combine doesn't make this seem like too big of a reach at all.
With the 19th pick, the Atlanta Hawks select... Luke Kennard (SG, Duke)
Do you know who the Atlanta Hawks missed last year? Kyle Korver.
Do you know who Luke Kennard could turn out to be? Kyle Korver.
I wrote both of those statements with zero thought given to it, but it could be true. Maybe not.
But honestly, Kennard just makes sense here. He's a great shooter that can spread the floor and work with anybody on the team, from Schroder to Millsap to Dwight. The Hawks still have Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. for next season, but if the Hawks suddenly don't want to pay Timmy as a RFA next year, Kennard can step up and be a cheap but effective gunner.
Plus, he seems like a guy that really will appreciate the organ player in Philips Arena. Can never give enough love to that organ player.
With the 20th pick, the Portland Trailblazers select... Donovan Mitchell (SG, Louisville)
I'm not going to trust any bench with Shabazz Napier coming off of it, I don't care how great he played for three whole games last year. Donovan Mitchell has the potential to add a special scoring dynamic off of the bench, something that the Blazers rarely enjoyed from their Turner, Crabbe, Shabazz guard rotation in their bench stints last season.
With the 21st pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select... Justin Jackson (F, North Carolina)
The Thunder could go in a variety of different directions with this pick, but I settled on Jackson to supplant Roberson at the SF position, who I feel would work better off of the bench where he can play freely without the pressure of focusing on the offensive side of the ball too much. Or maybe that puts more pressure on Roberson because of the lack of scoring on the court, and the fact that fans are just counting down the minutes until Westbrook hops back onto the court.
I just hope that Justin Jackson isn't too fond of his 14.9 FGA attempts a game as a Tar Heel, because those are going to go waaaaaaay down on the Thunder. But that's fine, it's not like Westbrook is going to force the kid to shovel ghost peppers down his gullet in the locker room for his personal amusement. I think.
With the 22nd pick, the Brooklyn Nets select... Terrance Ferguson (SG, Adelaide 36ers)
I bet I could pretend that I know all about Terrance Ferguson and his prospects as an NBA player after his single season in Adelaide and you'd be none the wiser.
Well, I'm not going to give away my scouting secrets, but trust me, I know all about this guy. So much. I can't hold all of it, I'm like the players at the Draft Lottery with all the hats in their hands. Help me, it's too much.
No, but seriously. I like how it looks on the court. He just looks natural out there — his stroke looks fine, his body control and movement is fluid, he looks to be in great shape. I like his prospects as an impact wing player for the Brooklyn Nets.
Bonus thought: First person to get a "Fuck Billy King" tattoo on their body next season on the Brooklyn Nets should be offered a lifetime contract by Sean Marks.
With the 23rd pick, the Toronto Raptors select... Isaiah Hartenstein (PF/C, Zalgiris Kaunas)
I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure if this is a bad pick or not. He's playing in a Lithuanian league, and I know that anything that has to do with Lithuania will throw Dwane Casey into a tizzy. I'd wager that he caps Hartenstein's minutes at 10 and calls it a day, cackling and eating poutine while muttering obscenities, with no front office member having the balls to inform him that Isaiah, in fact, has no Lithuanian ancestry.
I love Toronto. Their fans are insane, and I almost got attacked by a homeless man with a massive dog when I was in there. Good times. The Raptors are going to have to re-sign somebody, even if they don't want a similar team next year. I know that the Sixers are trying to poach Lowry from them, but it's hard to let him go, even with his age being a big factor in extension talks. Drafting Hartenstein softens the blow of a possible Ibaka and Patterson departures.
Acquired from the Denver Nuggets for the #24 overall pick and the #30 overall pick.
With the 24th pick, the Denver Nuggets select... Aodions Kurucs (SF, Barcelona)
Congrats! You just picked this dude and now you're stashing him!
(*I'm sorry Nuggets fans, I know this isn't the present that you want, but sacrificing the excitement of a draft pick for future success is a trade I'd take any day.)
The Nuggets have Mudiay, Murray, Jokic, Hernangomez, Harris, and Plumlee that need to develop and gel together towards the future, even Gallinari could end up staying. Drafting and stashing Kurucs is a realistic option for a team that plans on building around Jokic, Harris and Murray, while attempting to find more minutes for Hernangomez, seeing what the future holds for Mudiay in the powder blue, all while working in spot minutes for the veterans on the team.
And even if the Gallinari signing doesn't work out, you suddenly have a SF ready to come over and confuse you on how to pronounce his name. Perfect!
With the 25th pick, the Orlando Magic select... Tyler Lydon (F, Syracuse)
The Magic have a lot of needs. Starters, backups, jerseys, logo, president, possibly a new GM — even though I'd personally like for them to keep Matt Lloyd. If there's one thing I know after being a professional armchair GM for many years, it's that Lloyd can't be too particular about positions and overlapping in this draft. With two picks early in the second round, the Magic need to go after players that possess high ceilings but enough immediate impact so that the fans won't go insane waiting another 4 years for something to bubble up out of the cauldron. Or magic hat. Sigh. Lydon offers a wide range of skills: athleticism, a three point shot, solid post moves, shot blocking and maybe he streams on Twitch or something, what do I know?
Vogel's overuse of 5-man substitution units makes Lydon an ideal bench contributor that brings a different game to the court compared to the other bigs on the team; Vucevic, Biyombo, and Gordon.
Acquired from the Portland Trailblazers along with a future 2018 first round pick and a future 2020 second round pick.
With the 26th pick, the Golden State Warriors select... Ivan Rabb (F, California)
The Warriors pry their way into the first round and select the hometown kid, Ivan Rabb. It's a bit of a sob story for Rabb, returning to California only to find yourself on a mediocre team losing in the first round of the NIT. The millions he'd potentially lose from dropping to this spot also doesn't help, but I'd say it's a heck of a consolation prize to be drafted by the best team in basketball for the next (???) years. Not to mention, he can always work his way into Curry's Fave 5 and finagle a few million from his soon to be $200 million dollar contract.
With the 27th pick, the Brooklyn Nets select... Jonathan Jeanne (C, SLUC Nancy)
Jeanne, at least aesthetically, is too much of a Gobert clone to not have a team take a flyer on him in the first round. In going to the Brooklyn Nets, he'll provide juxtaposition to the suddenly perimeter-oriented Brook Lopez as well as much needed big man depth. Brook looks like an extremely easy guy to make friends with, and is the sole survivor of the Billy King regime — he's undoubtedly going to have some great stories to tell Jeanne during late night Waffle House sessions in Atlanta.
With the 28th pick, the Los Angeles Lakers select... Frank Jackson (PG, Duke)
Frank Jackson is good sized point guard that had a respectable-yet-unspectacular one-and-done freshman season at Duke. More importantly, the Lakers now officially have 40% of the Jackson 5 after this pick.
Not everybody is sold on D'Angelo Russell as the future starting point guard of the Lakers, preferring him to slide over to the shooting guard position. By passing on Lonzo and taking Frank at #28, that decision doesn't have to be made immediately. It eases Jackson into the role by letting him come off of the bench until he becomes comfortable enough to potentially start.
By the way, I lied. This is the second extremely boring Lakers write-up I did in my mock draft. I'm sorry Lakers Nation.
But hey, did you know Frank is Mormon?
With the 29th pick, the San Antonio Spurs select... Ike Anigbogu (PF/C, UCLA)
Oh, San Antonio. When you expect them to zig, they zag.
It's super easy to pencil in a skilled European stash pick here just because it's the Spurs and that's how they operate as a franchise. But I fancy this as a perfect Anigbogu landing spot. The space that he occupies is a box that Shea Serrano's favorite LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee, and Pau Gasol don't like to step inside and is ultimately what makes this a wine and cheese like pairing. And I'm quite sure Coach Pop loves his wine and cheese.
Acquired from the Utah Jazz along with a 2018 second round draft pick, the #24 pick for the #12 pick.
With the 30th pick, the Denver Nuggets select... Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)
Jawun Evans reminds me a bit of Ty Lawson, and the Nuggets last enjoyed great (adequate?) point guard play when Ty Lawson was off of the sauce and working up a sweat in that Mile High altitude. When you have The Mystery Files of Emmanuel Mudiay and whoever is masquerading as Jameer Nelson as point guard options, taking Evans here at 30 is a viable play. But then you have the issue of Murray, who is still most useful at shooting guard to me, but then so is Gary Harris, and so on and so on. I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, I don't need this headache. Give me a break, I'm tired. It's not my fault that this Nuggets team is 14 deep for no good reason.