Tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery 2017 will give teams and fans a better indication of where future stars such as Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson will wind up. With the lottery system, the teams vying for top picks will all learn their exact spot in the upcoming NBA Draft. Among the teams that are in line to receive the first overall pick or a top three pick, are the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers. Which of these teams will end up with the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft, and who will be the top player selected?
As Sports Illustrated reminded heartbroken Brooklyn Nets fans, they won’t receive a top NBA Draft pick in June, despite the fact they had the league’s worst record at 20-62. The pick goes to the Boston Celtics due to a big trade back in 2003 involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being sent to the Nets. The Celtics just so happen to have punched their tickets into the Eastern Conference Finals as of last night. So with luck on their side, the Celtics could score the No. 1 pick in tonight’s lottery and even win the NBA Championship all in the same year. That’s almost like winning a lottery twice for Boston fans.
So who is the likely No. 1 pick in June? The player whose name has been continually been mentioned in NBA mock draft speculation is Washington Huskies’ point guard Markelle Fultz. While he was unable to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament, his stats over his freshman season speak volumes about his talent. Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists for the Huskies and seemed like he will be able to step into a system right away. The Boston Celtics are ideal too, as they already have Isaiah Thomas there to play the role of mentor for the rookie guard.
While Fultz seems to be the consensus for the top NBA pick, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball continues to linger as a possibility. That possibility grows stronger if the Los Angeles Lakers are in the top spot. The Sporting News website gives Ball a 15.6 percent chance of being the first pick if the Lakers are drafting No. 1 overall. Ball is not the scorer that Fultz would provide to a roster, but he is a special player in that he likes to get his teammates involved. That could be just what Magic Johnson and the Lakers need to rejuvenate their struggling NBA franchise.
The third pick will probably leave Kansas small forward Josh Jackson available for whoever is in the spot after the lottery. It could be the Phoenix Suns who will draft the Kansas standout or another team that sneaks into the top three. Keep in mind that the Philadelphia 76ers have a caveat with this draft order. If the Lakers end up with any of the top three spots after the lottery, they will keep the pick. If the Lakers end up getting the fourth spot or lower, Philadelphia will receive their pick. That could make things interesting regarding watching to see what unfolds for these two struggling teams.
Latest Mock Draft Top 10
- Celtics – Markelle Fultz (Washington, PG)
- Lakers – Lonzo Ball (UCLA, PG)
- Suns – Josh Jackson (Kansas, SF)
- Sixers – Jayson Tatum (Duke, SF)
- Magic – De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky, PG)
- T’Wolves – Lauri Markkanen (Arizona, PF)
- Knicks – Malik Monk (Kentucky, SG)
- Kings – Jonathan Isaac (FSU, SF/PF)
- Mavs – Dennis Smith (NC State, PG)
- Kings – Frank Ntilikina (Strasbourg, PG)
Fans will quickly notice that the top 10 of this year’s NBA Draft is at least half full with aspiring point guards. Malik Monk could also play the point even though he’s listed as a shooting guard. Some of these prospects will become decent players in the league, a few may turn out to be superstars, but probably not all will end up being All-Stars. However, this year’s draft class could provide a few struggling teams some gems if they choose wisely.
The NBA Draft Lottery 2017 special will be presented at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday night, just an hour before the tip-off between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. ESPN will show the event live on television for cable and satellite subscribers. Live streaming for the event is also available through the WatchESPN website or compatible mobile apps. Also, SlingTV subscribers can watch the event via live stream feed if they have ESPN on their channel lineup.
Anyone who has a hi-speed internet connection can also sign up to try a free week of SlingTV. The channel streaming service offers ESPN as part of its basic channel lineup. Signing up for the free trial at Sling.com will allow viewers to watch tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery 2017, as well as upcoming games on ESPN such as the Spurs vs. Warriors Game 2 tonight.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]