The 2017 NBA Draft is three months away and the biggest news surrounding the draft is who will be selected 1st overall. Notable 1st overall selections in the past drafts were: Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, Patrick Ewing, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, and the great Hakeem Olajuwon. There were some players though who did not live up to the expectations of performing at a high level who were drafted #1, but there is always excitement surrounding the draft. With the 2017 NBA Draft rapidly approaching, some notable top players in the upcoming draft include Markelle Fultz from Washington, Lonzo Ball from UCLA, Jayson Tatum from Duke, Jonathan Isaac from Florida State, Josh Jackson from Kansas, Malik Monk from Kentucky and Dennis Smith from NC State. Many of these top prospects happen to be freshman, and getting drafted into the NBA at the age of 18 as a freshman is a pretty big deal. Throughout the season these highly-skilled freshmen players continue to thrive.
Every month there seems to be another upperclassman player breaking out each month. With the 2017 NBA draft nearing, NBA teams looking to acquire first round picks include the Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers after acquiring them at this past trade deadline. The NBA Mock Draft suggests that the Boston Celtics should pick up Markelle Fultz, freshman PG from Washington. Fultz offers more firepower as well as a potential future all star. Fultz would fit in well with the team and would be able to give Boston’s general manager more options. The Phoenix Suns could benefit tremendously from UCLA PG Lonzo Ball. This season they stand at 18 wins with no definite identity. Ball would be a crucial addition to the team and would promote ball movement and quick decisions.
As we look later on in the draft, teams such as Atlanta, San Antonio and Toronto will be looking to add to their arsenal of star players in an attempt to have more depth for when the playoffs roll around. Isaiah Hartenstein from Germany is getting many looks because of his big 6’ 11” frame, and he can be a threat down low. Atlanta is in desperate need of a big man to pair up with Dwight Howard so Hartenstein would be the ideal fit for the Hawks. Toronto may look to add some shooters to surround their star point guard, Kyle Lowry. Luke Kennard from Duke looks to be a great asset to the Raptors in an attempt to compete with the higher shooting teams in the league like Cleveland and Boston. San Antonio is in the hunt every year for a title and ranks usually at the top of the Western Conference but lack big men in the backcourt with rebounding and has costed them big games down the stretch of the playoffs. The Spurs will have their eyes on Johnathan Motley from Baylor, Cam Oliver from Nevada, and Tony Bradley from North Carolina. All of these men bring height and aggressiveness to the court and may get the Spurs deeper in the playoffs. The NBA Draft is almost here and questions will be answered as to what teams will draft the best and worst and most importantly, who will be #1?