2017 1st-Rd Mock Draft

2017 1st-Rd Mock Draft

 

1 Markelle Fultz – 76ers
6’5″ PG, Washington
2 Lonzo Ball – Lakers
6’5″ PG, UCLA

 

3 Jayson Tatum – Celtics
6’8″ SF, Duke
4 Josh Jackson – Suns
6’8″ SF, Kansas

 

5 De’Aaron Fox – Kings
6’3″ PG, Kentucky
6 Malik Monk – Magic
6’3″ SG, Kentucky

 

7 Jonathan Isaac – Timberwolves
6’11” SF, Florida State
8 Lauri Markkanen – Knicks
7’0″ PF, Arizona

 

9 Frank Ntilikina – Mavericks
6’5″ PG, France
10 OG Anunoby – Kings
6’8″ SF, Indiana

 

11 Luke Kennard – Hornets
6’6″ SG, Duke
12 Donovan Mitchell – Pistons
6’3″ SG, Louisville

 

13 Dennis Smith – Nuggets
6’2″ PG, NC State
14 Harry Giles – Heat
6’11” PF, Duke

 

15 Zach Collins  – Trail Blazers
7’0″ C, Gonzaga
16 John Collins – Bulls
6’10” PF, Wake Forest

 

17 Terrance Ferguson – Bucks
6’7″ SG, Australia
18 Justin Jackson – Pacers
6’8″ SF, North Carolina

 

19 Justin Patton – Hawks
6’11” C, Creighton
20 Jonah Bolden – Trail Blazers
6’10” SF, Australia

 

21 Tony Bradley – Thunder
6’11” C, North Carolina
22 Anzejs Pasecniks  – Nets
7’1″ C, Latvia

 

23 Edrice Adebayo – Raptors
6’10” PF, Kentucky
24 TJ Leaf – Jazz
6’10” PF, UCLA

 

25 Jarrett Allen – Magic
6’10” C, Texas
26 Isaiah Hartenstein – Trail Blazers
6’11” PF, Germany

 

27 Josh Hart – Lakers
6’5″ SG, Villanova
28 Jordan Bell – Lakers
6’9″ PF, Oregon

 

29 Ivan Rabb – Spurs
6’10” PF, California
30 D.J. Wilson – Jazz
6’11” PF, Michigan

NBA Finals Preview

NBA Finals Preview

For the third consecutive season, we will see the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers meet in the NBA Finals.

This is the first time in NBA history that the same two teams have met in the Finals for three consecutive seasons, but we are here for it.

Let’s all be thankful and take a look at this year’s matchup.

Predictions:

Tyler: Warriors in four

Let’s think about this for a second; the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead last year. Everybody knows that. Had Draymond Green played in Game 5, I still say the Warriors win that game and close out the series. He’s suspended, and they lose. Andrew Bogut also goes out for the remainder of the Finals in this game. Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry both are playing through injuries, and it takes the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead for LeBron and company to beat them.

The series before that, you might recall Kevin Durant and the Thunder, (my pick to win it all last year,) blew a 3-1 lead against the Warriors.

Fast forward to this season.

The Warriors acquire Kevin Durant. Many believe him to be the best scorer in league and one of the top three players in the world.

I don’t see a way the Cavaliers can beat this team. I just don’t.

The Warriors are quite possibly the greatest team we’ve ever seen assembled. It’s just that simple.

They are all unselfish, they have great scorers, and they have the best defense in the league. And while LeBron is the best player in the world, the Warriors are out for revenge this year. I do think the Cavs can win one, maybe two games, but I don’t think they can win four.

And with Kevin Durant still awaiting his first ring, he’s trying to get there in as few games as he possibly can, especially with LeBron on the other side.

Get the brooms out. Dubs in four.

Devin: Cavaliers in six

The Cavaliers quest for another championship is within reach. After steamrolling through the playoffs, they look ready to become the 12th team in NBA history to repeat as champions.

They’ve seemingly flipped the switch once the playoffs started and have looked like a completely different team; their defensive woes have vanished and the team is fully healthy.

LeBron is on a mission these playoffs coming in with the best playoff team he has had as a Cavalier as he is surrounded with better quality talent than what he had last season. They’ve added Kyle Korver and Deron Williams for these playoffs, and I believe those two will play a big factor in this series.

Korver is a premier 3-pt shooter and has to be respected on the offensive end, unlike last year having Matthew Dellevadova who made an impact defensively, but wasn’t a threat shooting. Williams can provide a veteran PG that’s not afraid of the big moment, along with keeping the offense moving when LeBron and Kyrie are on the bench.

Kevin Love is looking much more comfortable in his role with the team and is shooting 47% in the playoffs, while Kyrie is looking more like Uncle Drew as each game passes. Tristan Thompson has also looked like a man amongst boys on the boards.

LeBron is leading his team in every statistical category except for rebounds during this playoff run, and is averaging nearly a triple-double with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. The King is on his way to making history having the highest average ppg in the playoffs passing Michael Jordan.

Most people are going with the Warriors in this series for a multitude of reasons, but LeBron will once again prove everyone wrong as the Cavs take it in six games.

 

Nurkic for Plumlee Swap

NBA: Preseason-Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers

One of the first big trades to start off what is expected to be an active NBA trade deadline was between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trailblazers. These are two teams that find themselves in a tight race for the 8th playoff spot in the West. Portland has failed to meet their high season expectations while Denver is a young, quick pace team that is looking to show they are a playoff caliber team.

The Nuggets traded (C) Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 1st round pick to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for (F/C) Mason Plumlee and a 2018 2nd round pick.

On Portland’s end, they took a young big man still on his rookie contract with lots of potential. Before Nikola Jokic started blossoming into a superstar, Nurkic was the building block of the future for the Nuggets. He has shown the capability of being a starting caliber center that can be a low post scoring threat, which is something that the Trailblazers need. Being a heavily guard-dominated team, they need someone they can throw to on the low block and watch them go to work for tough buckets. The best part of this trade for Portland was the acquisition of the 2017 1st round pick. They now have three in this summer’s draft that they could potentially look to package in a trade for another big man if this trade doesn’t work out, or move up to the top of the draft to grab an elite young talent.

On the opposite side, Denver finds themselves currently in the last playoff spot in the West and were looking for someone to pair alongside Nikola Jokic, while also looking to unload Nurkic since he’d fallen out of the rotation most nights due to Jokic being so dominant. They acquired a high-energy, skilled big man in Mason Plumlee who is a team player and is willing to take on any role that his team needs. He should be a nice compliment alongside Jokic.

Plumlee will get most of his shots off putbacks and will give his all on both ends of the floor. The Nuggets are finally starting to get healthy and are one of the best offensive teams in the league, ranking fourth in points and assists. Plumlee should easily fit in with the Nuggets and should solidify them as the best rebounding team in the league, (currently first.)

Both teams benefit greatly from this swap even with it is an inner division trade, and it should help both sides in the short and long term.

Boogie to Nola

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If you were wondering why DeMarcus Cousins only played two minutes in Sunday’s All-Star game, wonder no more. News broke shortly after the game that DeMarcus Cousins had been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans was the host city of All-Star weekend and also has fellow All-Star big man and MVP of the All-Star game, Anthony Davis.

In the trade, the Pelicans received All-Star (C) DeMarcus Cousins and (F) Omri Casspi from the Sacramento Kings. In return, they sent Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 1st-round pick and a 2019 2nd-round pick.

The Pelicans clearly came out on the better end of this deal. They now have the top two big men in the NBA and two of the top five scorers in Cousins (4th) and Davis (5th.) This duo has the potential to be one of the greatest big man pairings the league has ever seen. 

Davis’s bread and butter is defense, while Cousins is an offensive specialist. The Pelicans are currently two-and-a-half games back of the 8th spot in the Western Conference and look to be well equipped to succeed during the second half of the season.

Sacramento is clearly just unloading someone that they apparently feel they need to move on from. This was definitely not the best offer they could have gotten for Cousins, but with the trade deadline looming, they didn’t want to lose him for nothing during free agency. The Kings ultimately didn’t want to pay him the 5-year $210 million contract during the offseason. 

The Kings franchise is now trending in the wrong direction. They already made a questionable trade that saw them dump three NBA salaries on the Sixers and trade swap rights in 2017 and an unprotected 2019 pick while receiving nothing in return. Now they’ve just sent the best center in the NBA away for really nothing concrete in return—a rookie, and  a player that they let leave in free agency the year prior.

Ibaka for Ross


The Orlando Magic have not improved the way they thought they had over the offseason.

The trading of Victor Oladipo to bring in Serge Ibaka was a questionable move in the first place. Having give up so much to acquire him, they still find their franchise in a rebuild situation and have young talent like Aaron Gordon they need to find more minutes for. 

In this trade, they sent Serge Ibaka to Toronto in exchange for (SF) Terrance Ross and 2017 1st round pick. They’re getting a high flying 3-pt shooter who never really got an opportunity for a starting role in Toronto and looks to prove himself with this fresh start. Also, they acquired a 1st round pick in this summer’s talented draft which will be the lower pick of the Raptors and Clippers, (Toronto owns both.)

The Toronto Raptors are playing great this season; fighting for a top seed in the playoffs, they were looking to add a finishing touch to their roster. They have been missing a defensive post player since the Magic signed Bismack Biyombo during the offseason. They thought they had found a replacement this offseason in Jared Sullinger, but he’s only played 11 games this season. The Raptors now acquire Serge Ibaka who is going to provide them with an interior post presence, as well as stretch the floor. Ibaka seems like he could be a key piece to the Raptors having post season success. He has been to the playoffs before, even making a Finals run in 2011-12 with OKC, and he has contributed at a high level during the playoffs. 

This could be the finishing touch to a roster that is hoping to make a deep playoff run.

 

The Cleveland Show

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The reigning NBA champions have been off to a rough start in 2017, going 7-8 during the month of January. Eight of the games were on the road while seven of them were against Western Conference teams, which could lead to the slumping start having just been a result of the team’s heavy travel schedule.

LeBron James has not been shy about sharing his feelings during his team’s slump.

He has talked about the team’s hesitancy spending money, the need for another playmaker and the roster being too top heavy. The team has not made any improvements to its roster since the NBA Draft when they took Kay Felder who has not shown as much promise since his Summer League stint.

In this respect, LeBron has a point in stating that his team needs another playmaker. LeBron is one of the best playmakers to ever play the game, but his team has had to resort to using Iman Shumpert as the primary backup point guard, which will be cutting it close if the Cavs plan on making a return to the NBA Finals.

They’ve started to explore other options and have looked into acquiring a veteran via trade. They’ve held a large workout with veteran free agent point guards as they look for someone to come in and be a floor general for the second unit.

The team has also been playing subpar defense while losing or keeping in close games with the likes of some of the worst teams in the NBA over the past month, (Kings, Pelicans, Suns, Nets and Mavericks.)

It all comes back to LeBron, though. Whether or not the Cavs do acquire another playmaker should make no difference—LeBron James is the best playmaker in the league.

He has help all over the court. Kyrie Irving has proven time and time again to be one of the most clutch players in the game. Kevin Love has accepted his role as the third option on the team and is actually blossoming in that role; and with the shooters LeBron has around him, including the recent addition of Kyle Korver, and J.R. Smith who has been out with injury while the Cavs have struggled as of late, he has most of what he needs to get back to the NBA Finals.

“The Process” has begun

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The Philadelphia 76ers started the season with bad news when 1st overall pick Ben Simmons broke his foot during a preseason practice. All of that, though, has been shadowed by the return of Joel “The Process” Embiid.

After being sidelined for the past three seasons with injuries, (back and foot,) this season he has seen his minutes restriction increase from 22 minutes and no back-to-back games, to 28 minutes with no back-to-backs. The Sixers also have plans to reassess his restrictions at the start of the new year.

He certainly has not disappointed through the first quarter of the season. While only playing 15 games due to his restrictions, he’s averaging 18.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.5 blocks, showing off his full repertoire of offensive talent while his game changing defensive presence has the team fully believing that he was worth the wait.

“The Process” looks like everything the Sixers and basketball fans imagined he would be. Embiid is the true franchise player the team’s been desperately looking for, and with hope for the return of Ben Simmons sometime this season, things could be looking up quickly in Philadelphia.