2017 NBA Draft

Poll: Best Rookie Point Guard Season

The 2017 NBA Draft was loaded with talented point guards, including first overall pick Markelle Fultz, No. 2 selection Lonzo Ball, and fellow lottery picks De’Aaron Fox, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith Jr. 

Fultz showed flashes of brilliance in the NBA Summer League amid overall inconsistent play before he ultimately injured his ankle in his Las Vegas debut. The 76ers guard was promptly shut down for the remainder of Summer League. This season, the rookie figures to be a regular fixture in the Philadelphia backcourt.

After dominating his freshman season at UCLA, Ball won Las Vegas Summer League MVP honors, racking up assists (9.3 APG) and steals (2.5 SPG), as well as points and rebounds. Although it is not clear whether Ball will start for the Lakers right out of the gate, he will certainly be the beneficiary of a hearty amount of playing time.

Fox is also expected to see his fair share of action this season, but averaged just 21.3 minutes per game in four Las Vegas Summer League games. Like Fultz and Ball, Fox exhibited tantalizing athleticism. The Kentucky product averaged a solid 11.8 points per contest and 3.0 assists. Fox’s 2.3 SPG were extremely impressive.

The Knicks drafted Ntilikina eighth overall because of his speed and agility. Last season, the point guard averaged just 15.5 minutes per game for Strasbourg in France but displayed tremendous promise and improved noticeably as a shooter. With D. Rose out of town, it appears as if the keys to Madison Square Garden are about to be Frank’s.

In six games in Las Vegas, Smith averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 4.2 APG, shooting 45.7% from the floor and electrifying with the occasional powerful dunk. The Mavericks prospect also tallied 2.2 SPG.

This brings us to today’s poll: Which of these point guards will have the best rookie season in 2017/18?

2017 NBA Draft Pick Signings

Free agent news has dominated NBA headlines over the last week, but teams around the league are also taking care of the rookies they drafted last month, signing them to their first NBA contracts. Because cap holds for first-round picks now count for 120% of the rookie scale instead of 100%, there’s little incentive for teams to wait to lock up their first-rounders.

For first-round picks, rookie contracts are fairly rigid, having essentially been predetermined. The NBA’s rookie-scale structure dictates that first-rounders will be signed to four-year deals, which include two guaranteed years, then team options in years three and four.

The value of those contracts depends on where a player was drafted. This year, No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is in line for a four-year deal worth in excess of $37.4MM, which represents the maximum allowable 120% of his scale amount. No. 30 pick Josh Hart, on the other hand, figures to get a four-year contract worth just under $8.5MM.

The full breakdown of this year’s first-round rookie salaries and contracts can be found right here — if you see a first-rounder listed below as “signed,” you can assume his contract looks like that, unless otherwise indicated.

Second-round picks, meanwhile, aren’t assured of two guaranteed seasons, though some players will receive them. Teams can sign second-rounders to whatever amount they choose, using cap room or various exceptions. Those players who immediately join their NBA teams figure to get a minimum salary or something slightly above the minimum. We’ll make a note of contract details for second-rounders below, as they become available.

Finally, some second-rounders – and perhaps even some first-rounders – won’t sign in the NBA immediately, heading overseas to refine their games while their NBA teams retain their rights. We’ll make note of that below too, wherever it’s applicable.

Here’s a breakdown of 2017’s draft pick signings. This list will be updated as more draftees sign their first NBA contracts:

First round:

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, PG (Washington): Signed
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA): Signed
  3. Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum, SF (Duke): Signed
  4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF (Kansas): Signed
  5. Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky): Signed
  6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac, F (Florida State): Signed
  7. Chicago Bulls: Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona): Signed
  8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, PG (France): Signed
  9. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr., PG (North Carolina State): Signed
  10. Portland Trail Blazers: Zach Collins, F/C (Gonzaga): Signed
  11. Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk, G (Kentucky): Signed
  12. Detroit Pistons: Luke Kennard, SG (Duke): Signed
  13. Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell, G (Louisville): Signed
  14. Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo, C (Kentucky): Signed
  15. Sacramento Kings: Justin Jackson, SF (North Carolina): Signed
  16. Minnesota Timberwolves: Justin Patton, C (Creighton): Signed
  17. Milwaukee Bucks: D.J. Wilson, PF (Michigan): Signed
  18. Indiana Pacers: T.J. Leaf, PF (UCLA): Signed
  19. Atlanta Hawks: John Collins, PF (Wake Forest): Signed
  20. Sacramento Kings: Harry Giles, C (Duke): Signed
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson, G/F (Australia): Signed
  22. Brooklyn Nets: Jarrett Allen, C (Texas): Signed
  23. Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby, F (Indiana): Signed
  24. Denver Nuggets: Tyler Lydon, F (Syracuse): Signed
  25. Philadelphia 76ers: Anzejs Pasecniks, C (Spain): Will play overseas
  26. Portland Trail Blazers: Caleb Swanigan, F/C (Purdue): Signed
  27. Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma, PF (Utah): Signed
  28. Utah Jazz: Tony Bradley, C (North Carolina): Signed
  29. San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White, G (Colorado): Signed
  30. Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Hart, SG (Villanova): Signed

Second round:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans: Frank Jackson, SG (Duke): Signed
    • Three-year contract. Minimum salary. First two years guaranteed. Third year partially guaranteed.
  2. Phoenix Suns: Davon Reed, SG (Miami): Signed
    • Four-year contract. Minimum salary. First year fully guaranteed; second year half guaranteed.
  3. Orlando Magic: Wesley Iwundu, SG (Kansas State): Signed
    • Three-year, $4.05MM contract. Fully guaranteed.
  4. Sacramento Kings: Frank Mason, PG (Kansas): Signed
    • Three-year, $4.18MM contract. First two years fully guaranteed.
  5. Memphis Grizzlies: Ivan Rabb, F/C (Cal): Signed
    • Three-year, $3.95MM contract. First two years fully guaranteed.
  6. Philadelphia 76ers: Jonah Bolden, PF (Serbia): Will play overseas
  7. Boston Celtics: Semi Ojeleye, F (SMU): Signed
    • Four-year, $6.04MM contract. First year guaranteed. Second year partially guaranteed.
  8. Golden State Warriors: Jordan Bell, PF (Oregon): Signed
    • Two-year contract. Minimum salary. Fully guaranteed.
  9. Los Angeles Clippers: Jawun Evans, PG (Oklahoma State): Signed
    • Three-year contract. Minimum salary. First two years guaranteed. Third year team option.
  10. Charlotte Hornets: Dwayne Bacon, SF (Florida State): Signed
    • Three-year contract. Minimum salary. First two years are guaranteed.
  11. Atlanta Hawks: Tyler Dorsey, SG (Oregon): Signed
    • Two-year contract. Minimum salary. Fully guaranteed.
  12. Los Angeles Lakers: Thomas Bryant, C (Indiana): Signed
    • Two-year contract. Minimum salary. First year guaranteed.
  13. Houston Rockets: Isaiah Hartenstein, F/C (Lithuania): Signed G League contract
  14. New York Knicks: Damyean Dotson, SG (Houston): Signed
    • Three-year, $4.1MM contract. First two years are guaranteed.
  15. Memphis Grizzlies: Dillon Brooks, SF (Oregon): Signed
    • Three-year contract. Minimum salary. First two years are guaranteed.
  16. Milwaukee Bucks: Sterling Brown, SG (SMU): Signed
    • Three-year contract. Minimum salary. First two years are guaranteed.
  17. Indiana Pacers: Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA): Signed
    • Three year, $3.9MM contract. First year guaranteed. Second year partially guaranteed.
  18. Los Angeles Clippers: Sindarius Thornwell, SG (South Carolina): Signed
    • Three-year contract. Minimum salary. First two years are guaranteed.
  19. Denver Nuggets: Vlatko Cancar, PF (Serbia): Will play overseas
  20. Philadelphia 76ers: Mathias Lessort, F/C (France): Will play overseas
  21. Denver Nuggets: Monte Morris, PG (Iowa State): Signed
    • Two-way contract
  22. Indiana Pacers: Edmond Sumner, PG (Xavier): Signed
    • Two-year, two-way contract
  23. Boston Celtics: Kadeem Allen, PG (Arizona): Signed
    • Two-way contract
  24. Phoenix Suns: Alec Peters, PF (Valparaiso): Signed
    • Two-way contract
  25. Utah Jazz: Nigel Williams-Goss, PG (Gonzaga): Will play overseas
  26. Boston Celtics: Jabari Bird, SG (Cal): Signed
    • Two-way contract
  27. Brooklyn Nets: Aleksandar Vezenkov, F (Spain): Expected to play overseas
  28. New York Knicks: Ognjen Jaramaz, PG (Serbia): Expected to play overseas
  29. San Antonio Spurs: Jaron Blossomgame, F (Clemson): Will play in G League
  30. Atlanta Hawks: Alpha Kaba, C (Serbia): Will play overseas

Note: Players drafted in previous years who signed their first NBA contracts this offseason are not included here. They’ll be featured in a separate roundup.

Suns May Have Pushed Josh Jackson To Cancel Celtics Workout

There are rumblings out of Boston that the Suns may have encouraged Josh Jackson to skip his workout with the Celtics so he would be available for Phoenix with the fourth pick.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE passes along the theory that Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who spent 10 years in the Celtics’ organization, was behind Jackson’s decision to cancel a scheduled session with the team in Sacramento. McDonough joked about the situation Friday in Jackson’s introductory press conference, but later offered hints that there might be some truth to the allegations.

“Look, it is a competition,” he told reporters. “The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean [Jackson’s agent] B.J. [Armstrong] and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough pointed out that it wouldn’t violate any NBA rules if he and Armstrong had worked together to steer Jackson to Phoenix.

The Boston contingent, made up of president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM and team counsel Mike Zarren, didn’t find out about the cancellation until their plane landed in Sacramento, which sparked some anger toward Jackson.

“Flew across the country, are you kidding me? I had to get up at 4 o’clock and fly back home,” Ainge said.

Jackson claimed he had a phone conversation with Stevens this week, but Ainge said on draft night that no one in the organization had direct contact with the Kansas forward, Blakely relays in a separate story. Some believe Jackson was bitter that the Celtics didn’t give him serious consideration when they had the No. 1 pick and he didn’t want to join the team after it traded back to No. 3.

“There was something that he didn’t want to play for the Celtics,” Ainge added.

Projected Rookie Contracts For 2017 First Round Picks

As we explained in May when we published the rookie scale salary figures for 2017/18, the value of the contracts for this year’s first round picks depend on where they’re drafted. The NBA’s rookie scale for 2017/18 – which won’t change between now and next month, no matter where the salary cap lands – will determine what each player makes.

Each first round pick who signs an NBA contract this season will ink a four-year deal with two guaranteed seasons and team options on the third and fourth years. Players are eligible to sign for up to 120% of the rookie scale amount, or as little as 80% of that amount. However, virtually every rookie contract comes in at 120%. In fact, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement even alters the rules so that cap holds for first round picks count as 120% of the rookie amount now.

So even though the rookie scale amount for the No. 1 overall pick in 2017/18 is $5,855,200, Markelle Fultz‘s cap hold for the Sixers will be $7,026,240 — that’s 120% of his rookie scale figure, and the amount he’ll almost certainly receive in year one of his new NBA deal.

Listed below are this year’s top 30 picks, along with their projected rookie salaries, assuming they sign for 120% of their rookie scale amount. The total value of these contracts assumes that the third- and fourth-year team options will be exercised.

Additionally, we’ve listed the figures for players like Anzejs Pasecniks, even though he’s not expected to come to the NBA immediately. The rookie salaries for first round picks who are stashed overseas will look slightly different if they sign a year a two from now.

Here are this year’s expected rookie scale contracts:

(Click here for full-sized chart)

Salaries for 2017 draft picks

Complete 2017 NBA Draft Results

The 2017 NBA Draft is now in the books. The Sixers kicked off the night by nabbing Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick — as expected, with Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, and Josh Jackson coming off the board after him.

The full results of this year’s draft are below, with trades noted, including a blockbuster that will send Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.

First round:

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (from Nets via Celtics): Markelle Fultz, PG (Washington)
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA)
  3. Boston Celtics (from Kings via Sixers): Jayson Tatum, SF (Duke)
  4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF (Kansas)
  5. Sacramento Kings (from Sixers): De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky)
  6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac, F (Florida State)
  7. Chicago Bulls (from Timberwolves): Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona)
  8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, PG (France)
  9. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr., PG (North Carolina State)
  10. Portland Trail Blazers (from Pelicans via Kings): Zach Collins, F/C (Gonzaga)
  11. Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk, G (Kentucky)
  12. Detroit Pistons: Luke Kennard, SG (Duke)
  13. Utah Jazz (from Nuggets): Donovan Mitchell, G (Louisville)
  14. Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo, C (Kentucky)
  15. Sacramento Kings (from Trail Blazers): Justin Jackson, SF (North Carolina)
  16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Bulls): Justin Patton, C (Creighton)
  17. Milwaukee Bucks: D.J. Wilson, PF (Michigan)
  18. Indiana Pacers: T.J. Leaf, PF (UCLA)
  19. Atlanta Hawks: John Collins, PF (Wake Forest)
  20. Sacramento Kings (from Grizzlies via Trail Blazers): Harry Giles, C (Duke)
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson, G/F (Australia)
  22. Brooklyn Nets (from Wizards): Jarrett Allen, C (Texas)
  23. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers): OG Anunoby, F (Indiana)
  24. Denver Nuggets (from Jazz): Tyler Lydon, F (Syracuse)
  25. Philadelphia 76ers (from Raptors via Magic): Anzejs Pasecniks, C (Spain)
  26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cavaliers): Caleb Swanigan, F/C (Purdue)
  27. Los Angeles Lakers (from Celtics via Nets): Kyle Kuzma, PF (Utah)
  28. Utah Jazz (from Rockets via Lakers): Tony Bradley, C (North Carolina)
  29. San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White, G (Colorado)
  30. Los Angeles Lakers (from Warriors via Jazz): Josh Hart, SG (Villanova)

Second round:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans (from Nets via Hornets): Frank Jackson, SG (Duke)
  2. Phoenix Suns: Davon Reed, SG (Miami)
  3. Orlando Magic (from Lakers): Wesley Iwundu, SG (Kansas State)
  4. Sacramento Kings (from Sixers): Frank Mason, PG (Kansas)
  5. Memphis Grizzlies (from Magic): Ivan Rabb, F/C (Cal)
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (from Knicks): Jonah Bolden, PF (Serbia)
  7. Boston Celtics (from Timberwolves): Semi Ojeleye, F (SMU)
  8. Golden State Warriors (from Kings via Bulls): Jordan Bell, PF (Oregon)
  9. Los Angeles Clippers (from Mavericks via Sixers): Jawun Evans, PG (Oklahoma State)
  10. Charlotte Hornets (from Pelicans): Dwayne Bacon, SF (Florida State)
  11. Atlanta Hawks (from Hornets): Tyler Dorsey, SG (Oregon)
  12. Los Angeles Lakers (from Pistons via Jazz): Thomas Bryant, C (Indiana)
  13. Houston Rockets (from Nuggets): Isaiah Hartenstein, F/C (Lithuania)
  14. New York Knicks (from Chicago): Damyean Dotson, SG (Houston)
  15. Memphis Grizzlies (from Trail Blazers via Rockets): Dillon Brooks, SF (Oregon)
  16. Milwaukee Bucks (from Heat via Sixers): Sterling Brown, SG (SMU)
  17. Indiana Pacers: Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA)
  18. Los Angeles Clippers (from Bucks): Sindarius Thornwell, SG (South Carolina)
  19. Denver Nuggets (from Grizzlies): Vlatko Cancar, PF (Serbia)
  20. Philadelphia 76ers (from Hawks): Mathias Lessort, F/C (France)
  21. Denver Nuggets (from Thunder): Monte Morris, PG (Iowa State)
  22. Indiana Pacers (from Wizards via Pelicans): Edmond Sumner, PG (Xavier)
  23. Boston Celtics (from Cavaliers): Kadeem Allen, PG (Arizona)
  24. Phoenix Suns (from Raptors): Alec Peters, PF (Valparaiso)
  25. Utah Jazz: Nigel Williams-Goss, PG (Gonzaga)
  26. Boston Celtics (from Clippers): Jabari Bird, SG (Cal)
  27. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics): Aleksandar Vezenkov, F (Spain)
  28. New York Knicks (from Rockets): Ognjen Jaramaz, PG (Serbia)
  29. San Antonio Spurs: Jaron Blossomgame, F (Clemson)
  30. Atlanta Hawks (from Warriors): Alpha Kaba, C (Serbia)

Clippers Acquire Sindarius Thornwell From Bucks

JUNE 23, 12:35am: The deal is official, with the Clippers sending cash considerations to the Bucks in exchange for Thornwell’s draft rights, per a press release.

JUNE 22, 11:03pm: Having already reached a deal for the No. 39 pick, the Clippers have picked up another second-rounder, according to Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Turner reports (via Twitter) that Los Angeles has bought the No. 48 overall pick from the Bucks.

The Clippers are using the pick on South Carolina guard Sindarius Thornwell, per Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link).

Thornwell was the SEC Player of the Year in 2016/17, averaging 21.4 PPG to go along with 7.2 RPG and 2.1 SPG. He also upped his shooting percentages to .445/.395/.830, all career-bests.

The exact details of the deal aren’t yet known, but it appears that the Clippers paid cash to obtain the pick from Milwaukee.

Jazz Acquire Tony Bradley From Lakers

11:10pm: The deal is now official, according to the NBA. The Lakers used their picks on Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant.

9:33pm: The Jazz have agreed to acquire the No. 28 overall pick from the Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Wojnarowski reports that Utah will use its newly-acquired pick to grab UNC’s Tony Bradley.

In exchange for giving up the No. 28 pick, the Lakers will move back two spots and pick up an extra selection. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Utah is sending the 30th and 42nd overall picks to L.A. in the swap.

[RELATED: Complete 2017 NBA Draft Results]

The Lakers already used two first-round picks, selecting Lonzo Ball at No. 2 and Kyle Kuzma at No. 27. Now, the team will have two more selections to use, as Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka continue to stockpile assets.

As for the Jazz, it’s the second time they’ve traded up tonight. Utah used Trey Lyles in a deal with Denver to move up from No. 24 to No. 13 and select Donovan Mitchell. Now, they’ve used the 42nd overall pick to move up from No. 30 to No. 28 for Bradley.

Pelicans Acquire Frank Jackson From Hornets

11:07pm: The trade is now official, according to the Hornets, who used their newly-acquired pick on Dwayne Bacon (Twitter link).

9:58pm: The Hornets drafted Duke guard Frank Jackson at No. 31 and will trade him to the Pelicans, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Charlotte will receive pick No. 40 in return, along with cash. The selection they used to on Jackson was acquired from the Hawks in Tuesday’s Dwight Howard trade. The Hornets sent pick No. 41 to Atlanta in that deal, so they are essentially back where they started.

A 6’4″ combo guard, Jackson averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game during his lone season at Duke.

Bucks Acquire Sterling Brown From Sixers

JULY 6, 12:13pm: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Sixers.

JUNE 22, 10:56pm: The Bucks and Sixers have reached an agreement on the No. 46 overall pick, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Charania reports (via Twitter) that Milwaukee is acquiring the pick – and the draft rights to SMU’s Sterling Brown – from Philadelphia.

Brown is a 6’6″ senior who averaged 13.4 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Mustangs this season. He is the younger brother of former NBA player Shannon Brown.

In addition to top pick Markelle Fultz and Anzejs Pasecniks at No. 25, the Sixers came away from the draft with two second-rounders, Jonah Bolden at No. 36 and Mathias Lessort at No. 50.

Clippers Acquire No. 39 From Sixers, Draft Jawun Evans

JULY 6, 12:11pm: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Sixers.

JUNE 22, 10:32pm: The Clippers have reached a deal for the No. 39 overall pick, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Charania reports (via Twitter) that Los Angeles will acquire the pick from the Sixers, gaining the draft rights to former Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans. The Sixers will receive cash in return, per David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

Reports from earlier today had indicated that the Clippers were calling teams in the middle of the second round in an effort to get back into the draft. Los Angeles found a willing trade partner in the Sixers, who were loaded with second-rounders — Philadelphia entered the night with Nos. 36, 46, and 50 in addition to No. 39.

The Sixers aren’t eligible to receive more than $100K in cash in a trade this month, having already used most of their $3.5MM limit for the 2016/17 league year. As such, it seems likely that the two teams will wait until July to finalize the deal.