The 2017 NBA Draft has finally arrived and the Celtics, Knicks, and new look Nets team seek to improve their rosters for the upcoming season. Although many rumors have circulated through the media, these are the picks each team should take if no trades occur on draft night.
The Boston Celtics will have the 3rd pick in the 2017 draft due to the trade via Philadelphia which recently sent the 1st overall pick to the 76ers for the 3rd pick and a 2018 Lakers or 2019 Kings first-round pick to the Celtics. According to sources, the Celtics were inclined to select Josh Jackson with the 3rd pick until recently. Although Jackson is a great athlete and has the ability to play well on the defensive end of the court, the Celtics need offense, and Jayson Tatum can come in and immediately provide scoring. The Celtics are not going to be able to hold elite teams in the league to score 90 points every night. The only way Brad’s crew is going to defeat the Cavs or Warriors is with scoring.
Tatum is a 6’8″ 204 pound small forward who shot 50.4 percent from 2 in his only year at Duke while also averaging 7.3 rebounds per game. Tatum’s game is very fluid but is not a “jump out of the gym” type of player. Jayson can guard the 1-4 which will be extremely effective in Brad’s system. He is great on the perimeter with the ability to take on anybody in the isolation, ranked in the 99th percentile in offensive efficiency per Synergy Sports.
NBA Comparison- Carmelo Anthony
There is quite a lot of Carmelo Anthony in Jayson’s game because of their lethal isolation games. Like Melo, Jayson can score from anywhere on the court and provides a matchup nightmare because of his frame. No matter who he compares to, Tatum will provide much-needed scoring for the upcoming C’s where Jackson will struggle early to create his own shot.
With the Knicks being an utter mess at the moment, they are in need of a franchise player to go alongside Kristaps (If not moved). Phil Jackson needs to keep a level head and realize that Kristaps brought some excitement back to the city, so there is no reason to dump him. Coming off a disappointing 31-51 season, it’s time for a .500 season.
Dennis Smith Jr. from NC State is the guy the Knicks need to get the ball rolling again. Before tearing his ACL just before his senior season of HS, Smith was shaping up to be a potential #1 pick in the draft. There were many questions coming into NC State if he could maintain his skills and be an elite player at the college level and boy did he answer. Smith averaged 18.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 6.2 APG in his only year at NC State. Smith is probably the most explosive player in this draft even though he is only measured at 6’2. Yes, his team did not finish at the top of the ACC, and sure he is not the biggest threat on the court, but with his explosiveness, an ability to get to the rim, and a decent 3 point shot, there is no reason to pass on Smith if he falls into their hands.
NBA Comparison- Russell Westbrook
That’s right… Russell Westbrook. The Knicks, as well as many other teams, are very high on Smith, and that is for a reason. His athleticism and on-ball skills have the potential to emulate a Westbrook-like player in the near future.
No reason to take a risk on Frank Ntilkina here, play it safe and draft Dennis Smith.
To most people’s surprise, the Nets recently acquired former Laker DeAngelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick. Overall a strong move from a struggling franchise, and now they can use DeAngelo as their franchise player moving forward.
The Nets hold the 22nd pick in this year’s draft and need to use it wisely. They are without their pick again next year, so grabbing a future talent is a must for the Nets. If Harry Giles is available at 22, there is no reason to pass on him, After a frustrating freshman year at Duke, Giles still holds potential since he was a top recruit coming out of high school. Standing at 6’10 230, Giles is a very gifted athlete. He runs the floor well and can play the 4 or the 5 if needed. 2 ACL tears are certainly a red flag, but this is the Nets. They need a player with high upside and possibly a future starter.
NBA Comparison- Bobby Portis
Big, athletic, solid player. Something Giles will hope to become for wherever he lands.
Will Danny Ainge pull a fast one and trade for Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis, or will the Nets trade up in the draft to better their roster for the near future? If you were Danny, Phil, or Sean Marks, who would you select?
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