The Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament begins Thursday, and for many of the top prospects in the NBA Draft, it’ll be the first time they’ve faced intense pressure in a major tournament.
One game to keep an eye on is No. 2 seed Kentucky squaring off with No. 3 seed UCLA in the South Region on Friday night.
Wildcats freshmen De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk will take on UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf with many NBA scouts watching. All four players are expected to be drafted in the first round, and Ball could be the No. 1 pick.
Josh Jackson of Kansas also is projected to be a top-three selection, and he’s off to a nice start in the tournament as the No. 1 seed Jayhawks cruised to an easy second-round win over No. 9 seed Michigan State.
Here’s our ninth 2017 NBA mock draft of the season (draft order based on standings as of March 22).
1. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets): Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
3. Phoenix Suns: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
4. Orlando Magic: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
5. Philadelphia 76ers: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
6. New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
7. Sacramento Kings: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
8. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen, C, Arizona
9. Sacramento Kings (from New Orleans Pelicans): Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
10. Dallas Mavericks: Jonathan Isaac, PF, Florida State
11. Charlotte Hornets: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
12. Portland Trail Blazers: Ivan Rabb, PF, California
13. Chicago Bulls: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
14. Denver Nuggets: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
15. Detroit Pistons: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
16. Milwaukee Bucks: Terrance Ferguson, SF, Australian League
17. Miami Heat: Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Germany
18. Indiana Pacers: TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
19. Atlanta Hawks: Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse
20. Portland Trail Blazers (from Memphis Grizzlies): Dwayne Bacon, SG/SF, Florida State
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Caleb Swanigan, PF, Purdue
22. Toronto Raptors: Harry Giles III, PF, Duke
23. Orlando Magic (from Toronto via Los Angeles Clippers): Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
24. Brooklyn Nets (from Washington Wizards): Justin Patton, C, Creighton
25. Utah Jazz: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
26. Brooklyn Nets (from Boston Celtics): Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
27. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cleveland Cavaliers): Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson
28. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston Rockets): Marques Bolden, C, Duke
29. San Antonio Spurs: Jonathan Motley, PF, Baylor
30. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): Alonzo Trier, SG, Arizona
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Mar 19, 2017; Tulsa, OK, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Josh Jackson (11) goes up for a shot during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. Kansas defeated Michigan State 90-70. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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