Championship Week and conference tournament play brought some shake-ups to the NBA Draft big board. Most notably, Duke’s Jayson Tatum soared up draft boards after a strong four-day string of games in the ACC Tournament.
Most relevant to the Hoosiers is the stock of their potential first-round picks in Thomas Bryant and O.G. Anunoby. The latter may have evaded his stock falling with his injury, though, as his poor start to the season saw him slowly start to slip down many draft boards.
Bryant, meanwhile, did not avoid that fall. After opening year in the teens on Draft Express, Bryant’s plummeted to the late-first/early-second range, putting into question whether he will declare or not.
With that in mind, let’s dive in and see where the Hoosiers fall among the other draft prospects in this first-round mock draft.
1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn) - Markelle Fultz, Washington, PG
The Celtics don’t really have a point guard problem with Terry Rozier on the roster, but Markelle Fultz is far and away the best prospect in this draft and whoever lands the top pick is taking Fultz regardless of the fit.
2. LA Lakers - Lonzo Ball, UCLA, PG
Personally, I don’t have Lonzo Ball No. 2 on my big board, but I think, after Fultz, the next three prospects are fluid. Add that with Ball being a hometown product and I think that’ll be too much for the Lakers to turn down.
3. Phoenix Suns - Josh Jackson, Kansas, SF
Jackson is likely the best perimeter defender in this class and the Suns need lots of help defending with Devin Booker on the team. Jackson helps fill an immediate need and can join a solid young core in Phoenix.
4. Orlando Magic - Jayson Tatum, Duke, SF
Tatum was the most consistent player for Duke in their run to the ACC Tournament title and it didn’t go unnoticed. I think, long-term, Tatum is a stretch four and Aaron Gordon fills that spot on the roster. I also think the Magic should draft a point guard, but they’ll probably do a dumb thing that really doesn’t fit and draft Tatum.
5. Philadelphia 76ers - Dennis Smith, NC State, PG
The 76ers should have any big men far, far off their big board. Dennis Smith doesn’t play much defense but is not a big man, so he’s a perfect fit.
6. Sacramento Kings - Malik Monk, Kentucky, PG/SG
I like Malik Monk most out of the Kentucky guards and, much like Philly, Sacramento shouldn’t drafted anyone that isn’t a guard.
7. New York Knicks - Jonathan Isaac, Florida State, SF
There were a couple intriguing ways the Knicks could go here and I like the idea of Lauri Markkanen and Kristaps Porzingis together, but Jonathan Isaac is simple the best player available.
8. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans) - De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky PG
The first step is to draft both Kentucky guards to go along with Willie Cauley-Stein. The second step is to hire John Calipari. The third step is to lose in the NBA Playoffs to Indiana Pacers head coach Tom Crean.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves - Lauri Markkanen, Arizona, PF
Markkanen is an intriguing prospect that is hard to pinpoint. While there are some limitations, putting him next to Jay Williams’ favorite player Kris Dunn, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns should help cover those up.
10. Dallas Mavericks - Miles Bridges, Michigan State, SF/PF
I think Miles Bridges is a good prospect. I do not know what his long-term position is. What I do know is that Rick Carlisle is the perfect type of coach to help figure him out.
11. Charlotte Hornets - Frank Ntilikina, Belgium, PG
Three fun facts about the Hornets:
1. Miles Plumlee is making $37.5 million over the next four years and has a 12.6 PER this year
2. They have $102 million tied up in next year’s roster already
3. Ramon Sessions is still in the NBA and has played for 8 teams
12. Portland Trailblazers - Robert Williams, Texas A&M, PF/C
Funner fact: the Blazers have $132 million dollars guaranteed for next season already.
13. Chicago Bulls - Terrance Ferguson, USA, SG
I’m not really sure what the Bulls are going to do come draft time, but this might be a pick as part of a team looking to rebuild after dealing Jimmy Butler. Ferguson went the route of someone like Emmanuel Mudiay by going pro instead of one-and-done and he isn’t known for three-point shooting, which already makes him a perfect Bulls player.
14. Miami Heat - Justin Jackson, SF, UNC
The Miami Heat once looked to be heading straight for a top 3 pick before Dion Waiters happened. They’ll be adding Justise Winslow to the roster next season and Justin Jackson can complement him well.
15. Denver Nuggets - Isaiah Hartenstein, Germany, PF
I’m just assuming Denver drafts someone to stash overseas since they already have 451 young guys on the roster.
16. Milwaukee Bucks - OG Anunoby, Indiana, SF
Here’s the deal: the situation for Anunoby is what matters most. Odds are very high that he won’t play a game in 2017. A team like the Pacers or Thunder, who are in more win-now mode, won’t want him. A team like the Bucks who both have a young core and a history of dealing with knee injuries (sorry Jabari Parker). If OG pans out, a lineup with him, Giannis, Thon can cover the full length of the court in wingspan alone.
17. Detroit Pistons - Justin Patton, Creighton, C
The Pistons were supposed to breakout this year and didn’t. They’ve been shopping Andre Drummond and Justin Patton could help fill the potential void along with whatever return they get.
18. Indiana Pacers - John Collins, Wake Forest, PF
I’m going to assume Rakeem Christmas’ recent solid play won’t last long-term and Al Jefferson will continue to get old, meaning the Pacers will need a big man.
19. Portland Trailblazers (via Memphis) - Caleb Swanigan, Purdue, PF
I don’t think Caleb Swanigan is going to be a good pro, but Noah Vonleh is the current starting power forward and I don’t know how, so it’s a relatively low bar to clear.
20. Oklahoma City Thunder - Luke Kennard, Duke, SG
In theory, Luke Kennard is the best type of guard to put next to Russell Westbrook because he can shoot, is a good cutter and can handle the ball. I think he’d be a perfect complement to the backcourt next to Victor Oladipo and Russ.
21. Atlanta Hawks - Donovan Mitchell, Louisville, SG
Tim Hardaway Jr. is about to demand a big payday and the Hawks owe a whole lot of money to Kent Bazemore, so I’m assuming they’ll look to replace the former in the draft.
22. Toronto Raptors - Rodions Kurucs, Latvia, SF
There aren’t a lot of holes in the Raptors’ rotation, assuming they re-sign Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. Rodions Kurucs could be a draft-and-stash guy for them.
23. Orlando Magic (via LA Clippers) - Tyler Lydon, Syracuse, SF/PF
Again, I’m just going to assume the Magic don’t do the smart thing, which is draft a point guard.
24. Utah Jazz - Josh Hart, Villanova, SG
The Jazz were looking at guard help at the trade deadline. There’s a chance they don’t bring back George Hill, but even if they do, Hart could provide some help off the bench.
25. Brooklyn Nets (via Boston) - Harry Giles, Duke, PF
26. Brooklyn Nets (via Washington) - Bam Adebayo, Kentucky, C
The Nets are in a place where they need to take some risks on assets considering they owe yet another pick to Boston next season. Hypothetically, I can’t imagine Anunoby slides further than this. Harry Giles was a guy once ranked No. 1 in the class pre-injury while Bam Adebayo has a whole lot of potential if given time.
27. Portland Trailblazers (via Cleveland) - Johnathan Motley, Baylor, PF
No but really, Vonleh is the starting power forward and is averaging 3.4 points and 4.2 rebounds.
28. LA Lakers (via Houston) - Dillon Brooks, Oregon, SF/PF
The Lakers need some depth on the wing and Dillon Brooks is a solid pick-up for a young roster.
29. San Antonio Spurs - Ivan Rabb, Cal, PF
I’m not entirely sure on Ivan Rabb, but the Spurs turn questionable prospects into stars so I’m assuming that’s what they do here.
30. Utah Jazz (via Golden State) - Thomas Bryant, Indiana, Center
If Bryant declares, I can’t imagine a better place for him than Utah. The Jazz basically have a factory where they churn out quality big men before watching them move on. Bryant is still only going to be 20 by the start of next season and has a lot of tools NBA teams desire in big men, namely his shooting. I’d imagine this is best-case scenario for him.