New order, new destinations. This is our latest mock 2017 NBA Draft.
College basketball has come to an end and the NCAA Tournament helped us hone our evaluations of several NBA prospects. In the first round, both North Carolina’s Justin Jackson and Gonzaga’s Zach Collins improved their positioning relative to their peers while others like Oregon’s Jordan Bell and South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell have solidified their position as early second rounders.
As usual, the order for the mock draft has been determined using the projections done by FiveThirtyEight and no changes have been made to the lottery order.
Here’s a look at the first round.
As a freshman, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game while posting a 55.8 true shooting percentage. He already excels playing in pick-and-roll — a staple of modern NBA offenses — and is comfortable shooting off the dribble. Both of those skills are necessary for lead guards in the league. Fultz also flashed the ability to knock down outside shots this season, hitting 41.3 percent of his 3s on nearly six attempts per 40 minutes.
While there are some concerns about Fultz’s consistency on the defensive end, he averaged 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes for the Huskies with a particular penchant for chasing down blocks in transition. Even if Fultz ultimately struggles to translate defensively, his size — 6-foot-4 with a nearly 6-foot-10 wingspan — will give him some cover as he can guard the worst perimeter player on the opposing team.