The 2017 NBA draft is still more than five months away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start looking ahead to see which players might come off the board first. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders did just that today, publishing his first mock draft of the year. It’s a bare-bones edition of the 2017 mock, since there’s still plenty of time for players to improve their draft stock, and for teams to move up or down in the draft lottery standings. Nonetheless, Kyler’s first mock has Markelle Fultz coming off the board at No. 1, with Dennis Smith Jr. and Lonzo Ball right behind him.
Here are a few more draft-related items to pass along:
- Although Fultz went first in Kyler’s mock draft, ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) suggests that the field for that top pick is “wide open.” According to Ford, he has heard from executives and scouts that seven different prospects hold the No. 1 spot on at least one NBA team’s draft board. Ford and ESPN’s Kevin Pelton have Fultz and Ball first and second on their respective boards, in some order, with Smith, Josh Jackson, Malik Monk, and Jayson Tatum also earning top-five consideration.
- Fultz, Ball, Smith, and top prospect De’Aaron Fox are all point guards, creating a deep and talented draft class at that position. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman spoke to 15 NBA executives about the group, and passed along some of the more interesting comments. “It’s not an easy decision,” one NBA general manager said of the top four point guards. “They could all go in the top 10. Whoever gets any of them has a chance to have a guy you can build around.”
- Bobby Marks of The Vertical examines how the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will impact first-round picks — Marks focuses on both future first-rounders and players selected in the top 30 in recent years.
- Be sure to check out our Reverse Standings feature to see how the 2017 draft class currently looks.