Draft Big Board

Top 10 Big Board of the 2017 NBA Draft. Surprise starting at #1


First thing to get clear, this is not my mock draft, this is my big board leading up to the final month before the draft. This is who I think 10 years from now when all these players are in their prime are going to be the 10 best players from this draft. A deeper look into each prospect will come with the mock draft, the top 30 picks in the mock draft will be released a day at a time leading up to the draft. So time to get this thing started.

1. Dennis Smith Jr, Freshman, NCST

(Grant Halverson/GettyImages)

Now before everyone clicks away and thinks this guy has no clue what he's talking about, where the hell is Fultz or Ball? Just give me a chance to explain and hear me out. Dennis Smith Jr has all the makings for the perfect PG in today's NBA. Freakish athleticism, elite handles, can run the pick and roll as well as any PG in the draft, can finish at the rim with his explosiveness and feathery touch and his jumper has a lot of potential. His game is going to explode once in the NBA.

Best landing places: Dallas, Minnesota, New York

2. Lonzo Ball, Freshman, UCLA

(Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages)

Lets push aside all the different thoughts you have on Lavar Ball, either it's him being a marketing genius or just some crazy helicopter parent and lets focus on Lonzo the player. Looking at just stats Lonzo may not end up as a top 3 player from this class but I have him 2nd for a reason. I know it's as cliche as it gets in sports but this kid is just a winner. The impact that he had on UCLA was tremendous and once he gets to the NBA and gets to play with the spacing and shooting in today's game, this dude is going to be leading high power offenses for a long time. Get ready to see him in the playoffs year after year.

Best landing places: LA, Phoenix, Minnesota

3. Jayson Tatum, Freshman, Duke

(Lance King/GettyImages)

The offensive savant out of Duke can do it all. You need a guy that can get you a bucket all on his own? He's your man. You need a guy that can play within an offense and keep that ball moving? He's your man. When you think of Tatum the first thing you think of is his Mid range game and rightfully so, he has some of the best moves and footwork in the mid range we have seen since Brandon Roy. His 3pt shot is a work in progress but when you watch his shooting form you know it wont be long till he becomes automatic from 3 as well. Unlike most offensive studs coming into the league (especially from Duke), Tatum also brings it defensively as well. Explosiveness around the rim is his biggest question mark and is what keeps him from being #1.

Best landing spots: Sacramento, New York, Dallas

4. Markelle Fultz, Freshman, Washington 

(Christian Peterson/GettyImages)

The player that many consider the consensus #1 for this draft falls to #4 on my big board. He's the best scoring guard prospect to come into the NBA since Kyrie Irving and he has tremendous size as well. He falls to #4 because a lack of quickness and the length advantage that he has doesn't really mean all that much because he maybe the worst defender in the top 10. As long as the 3pt shot that he showed in college follows him to the NBA, you should be looking at an efficient 20+ point per game scorer in his prime and should be the favorite for ROY next year.

Best landing spots: Boston, Philly, Sacramento

5. Josh Jackson, Freshman, Kansas

(Ed Zurga/GettyImages)

The jack of all trades and master of defense lands at the #5 spot on this big board. If there were ever a clone of Andre Iguodala, Josh Jackson is it. A 6'8" athletic wing that will be able to defend 2s and 3s from day one and in his prime will be guarding 1-4. Josh Jackson is what everyone wanted and hoped Andrew Wiggins would be defensively. There is a fire and passion Jackson plays with on defense that you know he is going to rack up NBA All Defensive Teams in his career. Also like Iggy, Jackson is a jack of all trades offensively where he can be a solid facilitator or use his high basketball IQ to find perfect cutting lanes off the ball. His free throw shooting and huge hitch in his jumper is where his offensive potential takes a hit. But he did show some promise shooting 43% from 3 in conference play in the Big 12.

Best landing spots: Philly, Phoenix, Orlando

6. Lauri Markkanen, Freshman, Arizona

(Ezra Shaw/GettyImages)

The 7 footer from Finland has one of the purest shooting strokes you will find in the draft. Shooting over 42% from 3 while taking over 4 attempts a game and 83% from the line should tell you all you need to know about this big's shooting ability. He's also not just a 3pt specialist, he shot an extremely efficient 69% at the rim and was money from the mid range while shooting 42%. Now he has solid mobility so he has some defensive potential but with zero rim protection and average rebounding, his best case scenario defensively is a guy that just doesn't hurt you on that side.

Best landing spots: Dallas, Sacramento, Orlando

7. De'Aaron Fox, Freshman, Kentucky

(Joe Murphy/GettyImages)

The lightening quick Fox checks in at #7. He is a blur with the ball in his hands and in the open court and is a one man fast break just waiting to happen. He's going to need all that speed and quickness when considering he only measured at 6'3 with a 6'6 wingspan and weighed in at only 170 pounds. His measurements matter more than the other guards because Fox makes his name on the defensive end. Offensively he has good vision and passing ability but he needs to work on his handles, he can tend to be a high dribbler and his handles can get loose too often. His jump shot has good form but don't count on him being a threat from 3 for quite some time if ever. 

Best landing spots: Sacramento, New York, Dallas, Phoenix (if they part ways with Bledsoe)

8. Jonathan Isaac, Freshman, FSU

(Michael Hickey/Gettyimages)

The tall forward out of FSU has been compared to the likes of Kevin Durant and Brandon Ingram for the past few years and are those comparisons valid? No not really, Isaac is very different than the two wiry perimeter players. Isaac is a defensive first player with raw offensive skills. Don't count on Isaac walking the ball up and creating his own shot from out on the perimeter like we have seen Durant do for so many years and what we saw Ingram begin to do at the end of this past year. Isaac is your more traditional (if we can call it traditional now) stretch 4. A defensive first forward that can help rebound and protect the rim, while being able to step out and catch and shoot from the 3. 

Best landing spots: Charlotte, Sacramento, Dallas

9. Malik Monk, Freshman, Kentucky

(Joe Robbins/GettyImages)

The ultra athletic guard out of Kentucky maybe the most explosive scorer in the draft. When this guy is on from 3 he can explode for close to 50 points with ease. The question becomes what position does he play? With only being 6'3 and having a 6'3 wingspan and not what you would call a knack for playing defense, he maybe too big of a liability to start at the SG position. He also doesnt have the handles or vision to where you want him running your offense for any long periods of time. Monk to me is the next in line of the Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford's of being an ultimate spark off the bench. 

Best landing spots: Philly, Orlando, Sacramento

10. Donovan Mitchell, Sophomore, Louisville

(A.J. Mast/GettyImages)

The one non freshman to crack the top 10 this year. Mitchell is your prototypical SG in today's NBA. This is the guy that you can pair next to your score first guard who is lacking on the defensive end of the ball and offensively he has a ton of promise to be a good 3pt shooter. Mitchell while lacking in the height department (just 6'3), makes up for it with his crazy 6'10 wingspan and elite athleticism. If Mitchell can get his 3pt shot up to around 40%, look for him to have a career similar to what we are seeing from Avery Bradley in Boston.

Best landing spots: Charlotte, Miami, Dallas

May 27, 2017


David Graves