With the 2017 NBA draft just days away (Thursday, 5 p.m. on ESPN), eight Deseret News writers and contributors did their best to predict the draft. This year’s draft is deep in talent and intrigue, and several draft-day trades are expected.
Did we make the right picks? Let us know in the comments section.
1. Philadelphia 76ers (from Brooklyn via Boston)
Markelle Fultz, guard, Washington
The Sixers got draft week off to a roaring start with the completion Monday of a trade with the Boston Celtics that will give them the No. 1 overall pick for the second consecutive year in exchange for the No. 3 pick this year and a pick that will convey in either 2018 or 2019.
Philadelphia has controversially used “The Process” to get talented players through the draft over the past few years, but still lacked a guard who can shoot and score the ball. There isn’t really anyone projected in the range of the third pick who fills this need, but Fultz does perfectly.
The freshman can score from anywhere on the floor, and he has the size to play both positions in the backcourt. He didn’t show a great ability to defend in college but has the tools to do so. There has been some concern about how badly the Huskies struggled with him leading them last season, but his supporting cast was not good.
With a good, young player at every position now, the 76ers ought to at least be in contention for a playoff spot next season.
— Ryan McDonald
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball, point guard, UCLA
The Lakers already have two solid point guards in D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. But, as many pundits have pointed out in recent weeks, Ball is a special talent with…