With the NBA’s All-Star Game around the corner, the trade deadline nearing, and the home stretch of the 2016/17 season not far off, it may not be the time to focus on June’s draft. But don’t tell that to ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link), who has published his newest 2017 mock draft, based on the current projected draft order.
In Ford’s latest mock, Markelle Fultz (Celtics), Lonzo Ball (Lakers), Josh Jackson (Suns), Malik Monk (Sixers), and Dennis Smith (Magic) are the first five players off the board. As ESPN’s draft guru explains, teams like the Celtics and Lakers don’t necessarily need another point guard, as their rosters feature bigger holes elsewhere. However, Ford thinks it will be hard for any team in the top two to pass up Fultz or Ball, based on their potential.
Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype spoke to a handful of current and former NBA players, including Caron Butler, Garrett Temple, and Rashard Lewis, about what it’s like to have one’s name mentioned in trade rumors, and how NBA players deal with those reports. “A lot of times, guys just want to be told the truth – no matter what that is,” Temple said. “What upsets guys the most is when the GM or personnel people are saying one thing to their face and doing something totally different behind the scenes.”
- James Anderson, who has appeared in 247 NBA games, including 51 for the Kings last season, is believed to be drawing NBA interest, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6’6″ wing has spent the season with Turkish team Darussafaka Dogus, with whom he has a two-year deal. However, Carchia writes that the club may be willing to let him out of that pact in the event of an NBA offer.
- Former Mavericks center Bernard James has been cut by French club Limoges just two games into his contract with the team, a source tells international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). It’s not exactly an ideal birthday gift for James, who turns 32 today.