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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

2017 NBA Draft: My Top 10 Picks


March Madness is coming up, where college basketball stars will be on the biggest stage of their lives. But, that will change once the best of the best in college basketball enter the 2017 NBA Draft on June 23rd. All the teams in the NBA will be looking for the next big star that will help their teams win a championship. These are my top ten picks of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Washington’s Markelle Fultz is my prediction for the #1 overall pick. (Photo from The Ringer)

1. Boston Celtics (via Nets): Markelle Fultz (6-4, PG, Washington)

Markelle Fultz is one of the most versatile and athletic players in college basketball. Averaging 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists, Fultz is a frontrunner for the Freshman of the Year award. He can do everything. He’s a solid shooter and has incredible court vision. He always sets up his teammates for shots. The Celtics’ star guard Isaiah Thomas is one of the top scorers in the league. If drafted by the Celtics, Thomas and Fultz could be an unstoppable duo in the backcourt and help the Celtics make a championship run.

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2. Phoenix Suns: Jonathan Isaac (6-10, SF/PF, Florida State)

Many people are expecting Lonzo Ball to go #1 or at least #2. But, the Suns already have a talented young guard  who leads their team, Devin Booker. The Suns may draft Isaac because they have a strong backcourt, but their frontcourt is weak. Isaac has a 7’1 wingspan which is one of the reasons he averages 7 rebounds per game at FSU, while his average playing time is only 25 minutes. In 48 minutes, this is almost 14 rebounds. Isaac will add rebounding and other offensive and defensive capabilities to a young Phoenix team.

Forward Jonathan Isaac of FSU is one of the top prospects in this year’s draft. (MakePlayz)

3. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball (6-6, PG, UCLA)

“My son will only play for the Lakers,” said Lavar Ball, Lonzo’s father. Lonzo Ball grew up just outside of Los Angeles and he is currently playing at UCLA. His legacy in LA may continue with the Lakers. Ball is versatile, as he is 6’6 and extremely athletic, but also a lights out shooter. On the Lakers, Ball and D’Angelo Russell may have to share time running the point, but they still could lead the team. Ball and Russell are both great passers and shooters. Indiana Pacers’ star Paul George has said he intends to sign with the Lakers eventually and he may help Ball and the Lakers rebuild their team.

4. Orlando Magic: Dennis Smith Jr. (6-2, PG, NC State)

Dennis Smith Jr. is a point guard who is extremely quick and he plays way bigger than his height. He’s only 6’2 but he jumps and rebounds like he’s 6’6 or 6’7. His offense is way stronger than his defense, but the Magic really need a dominant scorer. Right now, the Magic don’t have a single player averaging more than 17 points per game. They desperately need someone to carry the team offensively, and that guy is Smith. He can drive to the basket and score on fast breaks, but if he really needs to, he’ll help his teammates make open shots.

5. Dallas Mavericks: Josh Jackson (6-8, SF, Kansas)

Dirk Nowitzki is 38 years old and probably only has two or three years left in him. Even though Nowitzki is a center and Kansas’ Josh Jackson is a forward, the Mavericks are going to need someone to pick up some scoring and rebounding slack. Jackson is a “point forward” which means he is tall and strong in the paint, but he also has ball-handling, court vision, and the ability to shoot from the outside. Jackson is leading the Jayhawks and is surprisingly close in assists considering that he is not a guard. Jackson would add a player to help the backcourt of Harrison Barnes and Seth Curry, and also be a strong presence in the paint.

6. Philadelphia 76ers: Malik Monk (6-3, SG, Kentucky)

The most well known part of Malik Monk’s game are his dunks. But, these monster dunks are the smallest part of his game. Monk is a scorer who can rack up points for any team. He is not a great playmaker but the 76ers don’t need a playmaker because of point guard TJ McConnell. Joel Embiid is becoming the leader of the team and Monk could be a great partner to Embiid. Also, 2016 #1 overall pick, Ben Simmons, is set to debut in the 2017-18 season due to injury. Simmons is one of the players with the most hype going into the league. If he lives up to it, Monk, Embiid, and Simmons could be Philadelphia’s big three.

7. Sacramento Kings (via Pelicans): Jayson Tatum (6-8, SF, Duke)

The Kings are in the process of rebuilding. After trading their biggest scorer and rebounder, DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings need to spend a few years dealing for new players to build a better team. One of the only advantages of the Cousins trade is that it came with draft picks. Jayson Tatum, a Duke Blue Devil, should be a good fit in Sacramento. One of the best parts about Tatum is his body. He is 6’8 with a standing reach of 8’10. Even with his size, he is still extremely quick. His ability to drive in the paint and finish above the rim will help the Kings, a relatively small team.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen (7-0, PF, Arizona)

Lauri Markkanen is the closest to Kristaps Porzingis you can get. He is a seven footer who is a lazer three-point shooter. He is averaging a double-double per 40 minutes and shoots 42% from three-point line. The Finnish talent has great feet on defense and has the ability to steal the ball from a guard, or block shots down low. Markkanen would add a lot to the Timberwolves. He would not have to transfer to center because of Karl-Anthony Towns. But, he would still provide strong rebounding and lock-down defense. Minnesota has the second-least three-pointers per game, and Markkanen could also help them out with that, given how valuable the three-ball is in today’s game. Lauri Markkanen will help the Timberwolves have one of the strongest defensive presences in the frontcourt and the backcourt.

9. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina (6-5, PG, France)

Frank Ntilikina is the least known player in this year’s draft. The flashy 18-year old from France is one of the best point guards in this draft. See his full highlights here. Derrick Rose isn’t doing very well on the Knicks and he is likely to be somewhere else for the 2017-18 season. Ntilikina has outstanding court vision and is an unselfish player. This will help the Knicks, who already have two scorers, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Ntilikina can also be a strong shooter and finisher if needed. If the Knicks draft Ntilikina and he is successful, the Knicks so-called “superteam” could become a reality.


10. Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges (6-7, SF/PF, Michigan State)

Miles Bridges is the leader of the Michigan State Spartans this year. One of the most valuable parts of his game is the way he uses both his hands, instead of just his dominant hand. You’ll see him dribbling and finishing using both his hands. He is also big and athletic which helps him on both offense and defense. The Hornets have all-star point guard Kemba Walker, but they don’t have any other extremely talented players. Walker is an offensive star but his weakness is defense. Bridges will pick up Walker’s slack on D, and be an offensive force for the Hornets.

By Saul Pink


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    Andrew BenedictFeb 20, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    you were soooooooo wrong Jayson Tatum is a god