2017 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0

2017 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0

Lavar Ball thinks all his boys will be Lakers
Lakers working out 2nd round prospects
Just enough Magic

Draft season is in full swing now that the tournament has kicked off and the NBA season is almost over. Prospects are being talked about more and more often. It only seems fair to release a big board before any player raises his stock in the tournament. Here are my top 10 prospects in this draft:

1Markelle FultzAlthough there has been a lot of talk about Lonzo Ball vs Markelle Fultz at the top spot, Fultz is still far and away the better prospect. Fultz is an elite pick and roll guard with insane athleticism and a super quick first step. He has a high defensive ceiling and is one of the most well-rounded prospects to enter the draft. Putting him in a tier of his own.
2Josh JacksonJosh Jackson has been one of the more steady prospects in this draft class. He has displayed outstanding playmaking and an insanely high motor on the defensive end and rebounding. His feel for the game allows him to be an excellent cutter. As an insane athlete, his first step allows him to get to the rim at a good rate and be deadly in the transition break.
3Jayson TatumAs much as I love Isaac as a prospect, Tatum's run in the ACC tournament is hard to brush over. Tatum has continued to improve from the 3 point line and his playmaking has made strides from where it was in his debut. He has a lot of talent and has one of the higher ceilings and floors of the draft. His defense and isolation scoring all ready set him up to be a solid starting wing. With continued expansion of his playmaking capabilities, he may end up being a top 10 player in the NBA.
4Lonzo BallLonzo Ball is probably the biggest enigma in this draft. His range has been from 1 to 7. I decided to take the middle because that's where I am with him. He is a great passer that is really unselfish. His pick and roll operation has questions for the next level. His defense when guarding the pick and roll is really bad. His best defense comes when the player goes into Lonzo. He uses his size to take advantage. His shot is a huge red flag. The shot is super weird and there are a lot of questions about how it will translate. He doesn't have the most burst in the world, but his speed is really good in the transition. He is still a very good prospect, just might not be a generational talent.
5Jonathan IsaacJonathan Isaac is my favorite player of this draft. He may not end up being a top 5 pick, but his skill set certainly should be creating that kind of hype. Isaac has insane length and size for a small forward. He is 6'10" with a 7'1" wingspan. The havoc he creates on defense can truly be game changing. He has had some amazing weak side blocks this year and his length allows him to get into passing lanes and get steals. He still needs to work on his creation skills and that is the only reason why he is at #5. If he can ever improve his scoring skill set, he can be a special player. Especially given his solid 3 point shooting numbers. As a 3/4 type player, Isaac has arguably the 2nd highest ceiling in this draft. His floor is also intriguing as a 3 and D wing.
6Dennis Smith Jr.Dennis Smith Jr. has insane athleticism and he can really get into the paint. His jumper has been pretty good for most of the year and it has allowed for his game to be on all 3 levels. On defense, he has plenty of positions where it just seems like he doesn't care at all. His measurables are not great so that already limits his defensive upside. He has the speed to be a good, pesty defender, but it will rely upon him getting in the right situation. If a team takes Smith and they surround him with a good supporting cast, he can be a possible top 5 point guard. He has a well rounded offensive game that definitely has a lot of upside. Sadly, he will be miss on the tournament which could of really boosted his stock.
7Frank NtilinkiaFrank Ntilikina is a long term project that has a lot of tools that can make him into a really good starting point guard. He has some freakishly long arms and a good height for a point guard at 6'5". At this height, he can also play a fair amount at shooting guard which adds to his versatility. His long arms help give a high defensive ceiling and combined with some quickness laterally, he can really become one of the best defenders in this class. His jumpshot is pretty good and it appears he will be at least a solid shooter. He isn't the best playmaker, but he can still make some good reads.
8Malik MonkMalik Monk has to be the funnest guy in the draft. When he is going off, it is truly amazing. Monk is a really good shooter that has shown ability to go supernova. He can put the ball on the floor and drive to the when the defenders closeout too aggressively. His playmaking has improved quite a bit as he now makes some good reads. He doesn't play much defense at all and most of the steals he gets are from gambles. At 6'4" he is an undersized shooting guard and isn't particularly long. His handle lacks creativity and he isn't all that great at creating his own offense. His shooting by itself gives Monk plenty of value, but his ability to put it on the floor and his athleticism could be enough to entice a team to take him in the top 7.
9De'Aaron FoxFox has been one of my biggest fallers. His inability to shoot has made me sour on him. He is still a really good guard defender that can defend most guards and create turnovers with his motor. His playmaking isn't great, but it has been good for most of the year. His finishing has been up and down. He needs to be really proficient in this area if he wants to be a starting point guard. His quickness and shiftiness allow him to navigate well off of screens, but having a decent shot would go a long way to letting him have offensive success. Fox may be a worthy investment if a team can talk themselves into thinking they can fix his shot.
10Miles BridgesMiles Bridges does a lot of things like a wing and has the size of a wing at 6'6", but he will end up playing power forward in the NBA which is less than ideal. Still, Bridges carries a lot of intrigue because of his defense and his ability to space the floor. That's not even mentioning that Miles is an insane athlete. Bridges shoots 39% from 3 and he averages 1.6 blocks per game. He doesn't have the highest I.Q. and his on ball defense could use some work. Even with his size issues, the athleticism and skill set could interest a team to take him pretty high.

Parting Shots

  • This draft class isn’t great for big men. None of them are in my top 10 right now. Teams may reach on a few, but most of them are situational bigs that can be good roles players. but probably aren’t starting caliber.
  • Wings and guards are the prizes of this draft. There are wings and guards of any kind in this draft. Defensive guards, athletic guards, skilled guards. There is also a good balance of defensively strong and offensively strong wings in this class. It really shows how the NBA is valuing these kinds of players. Most teams are likely more willing to take the wing over the big.
  • Free agency for Power Forwards may be rough because of the amount of 4’s found at the bottom of the draft. Players like Leaf, Lydon, Rabb, and Swanigan can give a contender or a team looking for some depth at the 4 spot a boost at an affordable rate.
  • I love Jonathan Isaac.