The 2017 NBA Finals begin Thursday night when the Golden State Warriors play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Game 1 at Oracle Arena.
While the eyes of the basketball world will be on these teams as they square off in the championship series for a third consecutive season, 28 other front offices already have turned their attention to the offseason. The event on the offseason calendar is the NBA draft at the end of the month.
Much has been made — and rightly so — of the talent and potential of Washington guard Markelle Fultz and UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. They are fantastic players and likely will be the first two picks on draft night. But one of the underrated prospects not receiving enough attention (and who could be selected higher than expected in the top 10) is Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox.
Fox has incredible speed and attacks the basket very well. His outside shooting must improve, but he has the athletic talent to be a dynamic point guard at the next level.
Washington Wizards point guard John Wall — who, like Fox, played at Kentucky — believes his fellow Wildcat could be the best point guard from the 2017 draft class.
“A lot of people say it’s bias because he’s from Kentucky, but I think De’Aaron Fox might end up being the best point guard out of that class,” Wall said, per Chase Hughes of CSN Mid Atlantic. “He reminds me of myself a lot, just a lefty.”
That’s some high praise from an elite NBA point guard.
Here’s our 15th 2017 NBA mock draft of the season:
1. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets): Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
3. Philadelphia 76ers (via Sacramento Kings): De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
5. Sacramento Kings (via Philadelphia 76ers): Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac, PF, Florida State
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
9. Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen, C, Arizona
10. Sacramento Kings (from New Orleans Pelicans): Dennis Smith Jr., PG, N.C. State
11. Charlotte Hornets: Justin Patton, C, Creighton
12. Detroit Pistons: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
13. Denver Nuggets: Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
14. Miami Heat: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
15. Portland Trail Blazers: Ivan Rabb, PF, California
16. Chicago Bulls: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
17. Milwaukee Bucks: TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
18. Indiana Pacers: P.J. Dozier, SG, South Carolina
19. Atlanta Hawks: Terrance Ferguson, SF, Australian League
20. Portland Trail Blazers (from Memphis Grizzlies): Dwayne Bacon, SG/SF, Florida State
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Harry Giles III, PF, Duke
22. Brooklyn Nets (from Washington Wizards): Bam Adebayo, PF, Kentucky
23. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse
24. Utah Jazz: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
25. Orlando Magic (from Toronto via Los Angeles Clippers): Sindarius Thornwell, SG, South Carolina
26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cleveland Cavaliers): Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
27. Brooklyn Nets (from Boston Celtics): Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
28. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston Rockets): Marques Bolden, C, Duke
29. San Antonio Spurs: Johnathan Motley, PF, Baylor
30. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): Jordan Bell, C, Oregon
Thumbnail photo via Mark Zerof/USA TODAY Sports Images