Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is that time again where dreams are achieved and instant millionaires are made in the 2017 NBA Draft. With all of the talk over the potential free agents for next year that include Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Russel Westbrook, many people have lost focus on some of the stars of tomorrow that are making their way to the NBA next year, so I am going to give you my personal rundown of what I believe will be the top 10 picks for the upcoming NBA and where a few elite college players could fall in some of the later rounds over the next couple of days.
Round 1 Pick 1: 76ers Markelle Fultz (PG Washington)
The Philadelphia 76ers gave up a haul to move up and get the number one pick in this years NBA draft and there is only one option they should be looking at. Markelle Fultz has proven that he can be an efficient point guard at the college level with the ability to create his own shot as well as create for others. With all of the size and athleticism the sixers have acquired through the draft so far, maybe it is finally time for them to be contenders for the playoffs in the east instead of bottom feeders.
Round 1 Pick 2: Lakers Lonzo Ball (PG UCLA)
Even with all of the rumors swirling about how Lavarr will attempt to control his sons branding and how the workouts for the Lakers seemed a little lackluster, Lonzo Ball is still one of, if not the most talented players in this years NBA Draft. He has the size at 6′ 5″ along with elite vision to see the entire court. His jump shot is a little strange and might need to be adjusted for the NBA game but he could be an All-Star point guard in the next three years if he is able to keep his baggage off the court
Round 1 Pick 3: Celtics Josh Jackson (SF Kansas)
You can read into all of the stories about how the Celtics were not able to get a good look at Josh Jackson with no private workout or how he wanted to be the top player on the Celtics board, but all in all, Jackson is the most athletic player in this draft when it comes to having the complete package. The Celtics did themselves a favor by trading out of the number one pick and acquiring more assets for the future. Jackson is the best for them since they have the point guard spot locked up.
Round 1 Pick 4: Suns Jason Tatum (SF Duke)
After the top 3 picks, the draft board starts to get a little dicey with a lot of options for the Phoenix Suns who already have a quality established backcourt and not a lot of size at the top of the draft. I don’t think Tatum is the player that they really need or want but if you are looking at the best available player on the board, he would be the likeliest candidate that is not a point guard. One solid season at Duke with a little less athleticism that Jackson, Tatum will need some work to be a quality starter in the NBA but he could get there.
Round 1 Pick 5: Kings Deaaron Fox (PG Kentucky)
If I asked you at the start of the year who do you think would be the first Kentucky player drafted this year, Fox probably would have been the 3rd or 4th option on that list. He’s too small, he’s not strong enough, he can’t handle the contact in college, much less the pros. Everyone seems to be missing the one crucial aspect that he has that cannot be taught, SPEED. Fox is, by far, the fastest player in this upcoming draft and he has shown the ability to be a good, if not great, defender. He could be the steal of this draft if he didn’t have to go play for the lowly Kings who seem to be spiraling down quickly.