Now that the NBA season is well under way and the college basketball season is just beginning, it’s time to look at where the college stars may fall in the upcoming, highly anticipated 2017 NBA Draft for the Philadelphia 76ers.
This upcoming crop of young players have potential of being on of the most talented bunch in recent memory; whatever hole your team has, this draft will undoubtedly fill it. The same teams will most likely be at the top of the draft again, including the Philadelphia 76ers, and this draft may finally give that team the talent to tip them over the edge or to finally give them a star to build around.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington, Fr
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Fultz may be the final piece that the Sixers are looking for. He offers the outside shooting to fit around Simmons as well as the electric athleticism to play an up-tempo style of play. Fultz will get a chance to lead the Washington Huskies this season, taking over from Dejounte Murray; a similar position to D’Angelo Russell at OSU. Washington’s offence will be centred around Fultz’s unselfish playmaking and scoring ability, with Fultz having the keys.
2. New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Kansas, Fr
Jackson may be the most athletic player in all of college basketball, making him a much watch throughout the whole season waiting for a jaw-dropping dunk. Jackson’s immense athleticism gives him potential to be an incredibly gifted defender. Jackson comes into the season similar to how Andrew Wiggins entered college basketball, there’s a ton of hype surrounding Jackson. He may be the replacement for Tyreke Evans, who is in a contract year.
3. Dallas Mavericks: Harry Giles, PF, Duke, Fr
This would be an ideal situation for Giles as he could learn valuable lessons off of future Hall of Famer, Dirk Nowitzki. Giles’ past injury problems are a massive cause for concern but his natural ability and sky high potential makes it worth the risk. Giles is still raw on the offensive end, making Dallas a good spot to learn, he already has the foundations but needs to work on making his post moves more consistent. His defense and athleticism is what watches everyone’s eyes, it’s the reason why he was one of the top recruits this past year.
4. Minnesota Timerwolves: Ivan Rabb, PF, California, So
There isn’t really a specific need for the Timberwolves as they have their core in place, they’re just waiting for them to improve. Rabb would be a good fit to play behind or alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. Pekovic seems to be slowly deteriorating with injuries taking over him, Rabb could be an ideal replacement. Rabb will at another strong, athletic rebounder to the front court mix. The Timberwolves could be frightening very soon. Look out NBA.
5. Washington Wizards: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke, Fr
Jayson Tatum fit seemingly into the Wizards team, going along with the athletic build of the team. He would replace Otto Porter, someone who hasn’t lived up to the expectations after being selected 3rd overall back in 2013. Tatum offers great offensive awareness, capable of doing anything. One criticism would be his inconsistent 3-point shot, many young players have this problem and overtime you will see his percentages rise.
6. Miami Heat: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, North Carolina State, Fr
This would be a steal for Miami getting Smith at No. 6. Goran Dragic hasn’t lived up to expectations after being traded from the Phoenix Suns in 2015. Smith and Whiteside could be a scary dynamic duo, sharing incredibly frightening athleticism. Depending on how the draft order goes, Smith could easily be one of the first players off the board. Coming off a torn ACL, Smith looks like his usual self but that injury may come into account when choosing who to select.
7. Phoenix Suns: Jonathan Isaac, SF, Florida State, Fr
Isaac getting selected in the top 10 will mainly be off the potential that he possesses. A 6-10 forward with guard like ball handling makes him a mismatch nightmare at times. Similar to Brandon Ingram, Isaac will need to add strength and build up his slim frame. He will struggle at times throughout the season due to his lack of strength and inefficiency.
8. Orlando Magic: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky, Fr
The Elfrid Payton era didn’t quite go as expected, a change at point guard is what is needed. Fox will inject some life and athleticism into the Magic’s backcourt. He could fill the void left behind by Victor Oladipo. His electric speed will get the Magic many fast break points and create many scoring chances with his playmaking skills.
9. Boston Celtics (via Nets): Marques Bolden, C, Duke, Fr
Bolden will give Boston some much needed rim protection, Zeller and Olynik hasn’t been good enough on that part. His 6-11 size and 7-6 length make Bolden an imposing figure in the paint. His offensive skill set is still fairly raw, the Celtics will be hoping it improves over time. But they just need some rim protection, this asset could be enough to tip the Celtics over the edge.
10. New York Knicks: Malik Monk, SG/PG, Kentucky, Fr
Malik Monk will give the athleticism that Derrick Rose had in the prime of his career. Monk his a human highlight reel waiting to happen. His lack of size for a 2-guard is a problem, but players like Monta Ellis gives hope to undersized shooting guards.