NBA MOCK DRAFT: Here’s what the experts are predicting for all 30 first-round picks

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Ron Jenkins/Getty

The NBA Draft is upon us now that the season has concluded.

With just over a week remaining until the draft, ’tis the season for rumors of trades and surprise picks, many of which can be smokescreens.

This year’s draft is considered one of the most talented and deepest in years, highlighted by point guards that many experts believe can turn into valuable contributors or even franchise stars.

To get an idea of how the first round may shake out, we surveyed mock drafts from seven experts and compiled a consensus.

Our experts: Chad Ford of ESPN, DraftExpress, The Ringer, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated, Gary Parrish of CBS, and NBADraft.net.


1. Boston Celtics — Markelle Fultz, G

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Christian Petersen/Getty

Experts: 7 of 7

School: Washington

Other possibilities: none

Key expert quote: From Howard-Cooper: “The height at point guard, and 18 years old with the chance to still grow, the ability to create space to get to the rim or pull up from the perimeter, the versatility to play some shooting guard as well – he has been the consensus top pick most of 2016-17.”


2. Los Angeles Lakers — Lonzo Ball, PG

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

Experts: 6 of 7

School: UCLA

Other possibilities: Josh Jackson (G/F, Kansas)

Key expert quote: From The Ringer: “Has the potential to be the best passer in the NBA; a transcendent playmaker who makes his teammates better.”


3. Philadelphia 76ers — Josh Jackson, G/F

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Ron Jenkins/Getty

Experts: 5 of 7

School: Kansas

Other possibilities: Jayson Tatum (F, Duke)

Key expert quote: From Parrish: “The 6-8 wing was tremendous in one season at KU while averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He projects as a high-level contributor on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. In fact, he’s probably the best defensive wing available.”


4. Phoenix Suns — Jayson Tatum, F

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Gregory Shamus/Getty

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Duke

Other possibilities: Josh Jackson (F, Kansas), De’Aaron Fox (PG, Kentucky), Lonzo Ball (PG, UCLA)

Key expert quote: From The Ringer: “Combo forward with classic go-to scoring potential, though he must improve in secondary areas to become truly elite.”


5. Sacramento Kings — De’Aaron Fox, PG

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Andy Lyons/Getty

Experts: 6 of 7

School: Kentucky

Other possibilities: Jayson Tatum (F, Duke)

Key expert quote: From Sharp: “He’d fit well next to Buddy Hield, and he’s got the sort of energy on the court and personality off the court that can help change the culture of a team that hasn’t mattered in a decade.”


6. Orlando Magic — Dennis Smith, PG

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Grant Halverson/Getty

Experts: 3 of 7

School: North Carolina State

Other possibilities: Jonathan Isaac (F, Florida State), Malik Monk (G, Kentucky)

Key expert quote: From Howard-Cooper: “Good NBA defenders may have trouble staying in front of Smith as a rookie. He has that much explosiveness, with speed and leaping ability while constantly in attack mode, assets that allow him to break down defenses, get inside and play above the rim at 6-3.”


7. Minnesota Timberwolves — Jonathan Isaac, F

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Robert Franklin/AP

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Florida State

Other possibilities: Lauri Markkanen (PF, Arizona), Malik Monk (G, Kentucky), Dennis Smith Jr. (North Carolina State)

Key expert quote: From Sharp: “He’s got the height and length to project as a stretch-five in certain lineups, and he’d be equally effective as a stretch four. As the NBA game gets smaller, faster, and generally stranger, Isaac is the kind of Swiss-Army Knife role player who should be really valuable on a good team.”


8. New York Knicks — Malik Monk, G

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Andy Lyons/Getty

Experts: 5 of 7

School: Kentucky

Other possibilities: Dennis Smith Jr. (PG, North Carolina State), Jonathan Isaac (F, Florida State)

Key expert quote: From Ford: “Monk may be the highest upside player and best fit of the group. If he lands here, Knicks fans will love him when he heats up.”


9. Dallas Mavericks — Frank Ntilikina, G

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YouTube

Experts: 4 of 7

School: France

Other possibilities: Dennis Smith Jr. (PG, North Carolina State)

Key expert quote: From The Ringer: “A defensive stopper at the point guard spot with excellent feel, but his rawness leaves his upside a complete mystery.”


10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans Pelicans) — Lauri Markkanen, PF

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Rick Scuteri/AP

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Arizona

Other possibilities: Zach Collins (PF/C, Gonzaga), Frank Ntilikina (G, France), Justin Jackson (F, UNC)

Key expert quote: From Howard-Cooper: “Markkanen, from Finland, will beat defenders down court on the break or pick them apart in half court with range that resulted in making 42.3 percent of his threes while attempting 4.4 per game.”


11. Charlotte Hornets — Zach Collins, PF/C or Donovan Mitchell, G

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Zach Collins.
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Mark Humphrey/AP

Experts: 2 of 7 each

School: Gonzaga (Collins), Louisville (Mitchell)

Other possibilities: Lauri Markkanen (PF/C, Arizona), Luke Kennard (G, Duke)

Key expert quote: The Ringer on Collins: “A skilled two-way center who easily projects as a good role player and could reach much higher levels as a scorer.”


12. Detroit Pistons — Donovan Mitchell, G; Luke Kennard, G; or Zach Collins, F/C

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Donovan Mitchell
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Andy Lyons/Getty

Experts: 2 of 7 each

School: Louisville (Mitchell), Duke (Kennard), Gonzaga (Collins)

Other possibilities: Justin Jackson (F, UNC)

Key expert quote: The Ringer on Mitchell: “Supreme athlete with NBA strength who is still developing his point guard skills.”


13. Denver Nuggets — OG Anunoby, F

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Darron Cummings/AP

Experts: 4 of 7

School: Indiana

Other possibilities: Jarrett Allen (C, Texas), Justin Patton (C, Creighton), Zach Collins (F/C, Gonzaga)

Key expert quote: Ford: “Even with the possibility he’ll miss next season, I’m not sure the Nuggets will be scared off. They could use a long, athletic player like Anunoby, who can guard five positions on the floor.”


14. Miami Heat — no consensus

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John Collins
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Robert Franklin/AP

Possibilities: Harry Giles (PF/C, Duke), T.J. Leaf (PF, UCLA), OG Anunoby (F, Indiana), John Collins (PF, Wake Forest), Zach Collins (F/C, Gonzaga), Donovan Mitchell (G, Louisville)

Key expert quote: DraftExpress on John Collins: “Collins was one of the most prolific per-minute scorers and rebounders in college basketball last season and is also one of the youngest players in the draft, giving him plenty of upside.”


15. Portland Trail Blazers — no consensus

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Streeter Lecka/Getty

Possibilities: Harry Giles (F, Duke), OG Anunoby (F, Indiana), Luke Kennard (G, Duke), John Collins (PF, Wake Forest), Justin Jackson (F, UNC), T.J. Leaf (F, UCLA), Justin Patton (C, Creighton)

Key expert quote: The Ringer on Kennard: “A sharpshooting combo guard with elite feel and fundamentals, but has questionable defensive upside.”


16. Chicago Bulls — John Collins, PF or Justin Jackson, F

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Justin Jackson
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Gerry Broome/AP

Experts: 2 of 7 each

School: Wake Forest (Collins) and UNC (Jackson)

Other possibilities: T.J. Leaf (F, UCLA), Terrance Ferguson (G/F, Australia), Luke Kennard (G, Duke)

Key expert quote: The Ringer on Jackson: “A jack-of-all-trades wing who can easily fill a complementary role for any team, though he must prove that his shooting progression is sustainable.”


17. Milwaukee Bucks — Ike Anigbogu, C

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Jamie Squire/Getty

Experts: 2 of 7

School: UCLA

Other possibilities: Jarrett Allen (C, Texas), Justin Patton (C, Creighton), Harry Giles (PF/C, Duke), Donovan Mitchell (G, Louisville)

Key expert quote: From Ford: “Anibogu would give the Bucks an athletic rim protector who can use strength to clear out the paint and finish above the rim. He lacks polish but has long-term potential as a defensive-minded 5.”


18. Indiana Pacers — no consensus

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Terrance Ferguson
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Morne de Klerk/Getty

Other possibilities: T.J. Leaf (F, UCLA), John Collins (F/C, Gonzaga), Donovan Mitchell (G, Louisville), Jarrett Allen (C, Texas), Bam Adebayo (C, Kentucky), Terrance Ferguson (G/F, Australia), Ike Anigbogu (C, UCLA)

Key expert quote: Sharp on Ferguson: “Ferguson’s a streaky shooter with fantastic athleticism, and he was one of the top players in his high school class a year ago … he has a higher ceiling than almost anyone in the bottom half of the first round.”


19. Atlanta Hawks — Jarrett Allen, C

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Jarrett Allen.
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Charlie Neibergall/AP

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Texas

Other possibilities: Justin Patton (C, Creighton), John Collins (PF, Wake Forest), Justin Jackson (F, UNC)

Key expert quote: Howard-Cooper on Allen: “His level of agility and reach equals the potential to become a good shot blocker and rebounder, and the NBA noticed he strung good games together after a slow start … Front offices love to see upward trajectory.”


20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis Grizzlies) — Harry Giles, F

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Chuck Burton/AP

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Duke

Other possibilities: Ike Anigbogu (PF/C, Gonzaga), Bam Adebayo (C, Kentucky), Justin Patton (C, Creighton), Kyle Kuzma (PF, Utah)

Key expert quote: From Parrish: “Giles has reportedly looked way better in recent workouts than he ever did at Duke, which is encouraging and the reason why somebody will take a flyer on him in the first round.”


21. Oklahoma City Thunder — no consensus

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Ivan Rabb
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Ethan Miller/Getty

Possibilities: Justin Jackson (F, UNC), Ivan Rabb (PF, California), Terrance Ferguson (G/F, Australia), Luke Kennard (SG, Duke), D.J. Wilson (PF, Michigan), Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)

Key expert quote: Howard-Cooper on Rabb: “Rabb remains a candidate for the teens, with the ability to score inside, either from the post with a nice touch or on the run with good mobility, and rebounds. But he will need to improve to make an impact when he moves away from the paint.”


22. Brooklyn Nets (via Washington Wizards) — no consensus

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Justin Patton
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Nati Harnik/AP

Possibilities: Justin Patton (C, Creighton), John Collins (PF, Wake Forest), Ike Anigbogu (C, UCLA), Terrance Ferguson (G/F, Australia), Tony Bradley (PF, UNC), Anzejs Pasecniks (C, Spain), Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)

Key expert quote: Ford on Patton: “… He remains a player that many scouts feel has tremendous upside. He’s raw, but the Nets can throw their lot with a player who needs time to develop.”


23. Toronto Raptors (via Los Angeles Clippers) —Anzejs Pasecniks, C

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YouTube

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Spain

Other possibilities: Rodions Kurucs (SF, Spain), Tyler Lydon (F, Syracuse), Terrance Ferguson (G/F, Australia), Semi Ojeleye (F, SMU)

Key expert quote: From Sharp: “Pasecniks is mobile with good touch on his jumper… and he’d be a decent investment in the future, particularly if Valanciunas isn’t sticking around long-term.”


24. Utah Jazz — no consensus

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Tony Bradley
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John Locher/AP

Possibilities: Ike Anigbogu (PF/C, UCLA), Tony Bradley (PF, UNC), Semi Ojeleye (F, SMU), Bam Adebayo (C, Kentucky), Tyler Lydon (F, Syracuse), D.J. Wilson (PF, Michigan)

Key expert quote: Ford on Bradley: “Bradley is a mixed bag. While he’s a terrific rebounder with the requisite size and length to play in the league, teams worry about his heavy legs.”


25. Orlando Magic (via Toronto Raptors) — Isaiah Hartenstein, PF/C

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YouTube

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Lithuania

Possibilities: Frank Jackson (G, Duke), Rodions Kurucs (SF, Spain), D.J. Wilson (F, Michigan), Wesley Iwundu (G/F, Kansas State)

Key expert quote: From Howard-Cooper: “He can score from different areas, inside and out and also on the run, a sign of his mobility at that size while still growing at 18 years old.”


26. Portland Trail Blazers — T.J. Leaf, PF

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Rick Scuteri/AP

Experts: 2 of 7

School: UCLA

Other possibilities: Isaiah Hartenstein (PF/C, Lithuania), Bam Adebayo (C, Kentucky), Semi Ojeleye (F, SMU)

Key expert quote: From The Ringer: “A skilled forward with the kind of high-level offensive instincts to carve out a role in the NBA, as long as he gets stronger.”


27. Brooklyn Nets — Caleb Swanigan, C

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Darron Cummings/AP

Experts: 2 of 7

School: Purdue

Other possibilities: Terrance Ferguson (G/F, Australia), D.J. Wilson (PF, Michigan), Semi Ojeleye (F, SMU), Ike Anigbogu (C, UCLA), Jonah Bolden (PF, UCLA)

Key expert quote: From Parrish: “The 6-9 forward averaged 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds for the outright Big Ten champions and was a consensus first-team All-American. And the fact that he shot 44.7 percent from 3-point range suggests he’s equipped to step away from the basket at the NBA level too.”


28. Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston Rockets) — no consensus

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D.J. Wilson.
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Gregory Shamus/Getty

Other possibilities: Ivan Rabb (PF, California), Anzejs Pasecniks (C, Spain), D.J. Wilson (F, Michigan), Tyler Lydon (F, Syracuse), Tony Bradley (PF, UNC), Josh Hart (G, Villanova), Jordan Bell (F, Oregon)

Key expert quote: Ford on Wilson: “The Lakers are said to be high on this high-flying stretch-4. When Wilson isn’t boarding above the rim or launching 3s, there isn’t a lot to his game, but those two attributes can get a player into the first round.”


29. San Antonio Spurs — Jordan Bell, F

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Ronald Martinez/Getty

Experts: 4 of 7

School: Oregon

Other possibilities: Isaiah Hartenstein (PF/C, Lithuania), Ivan Rabb (PF, California), Anzejs Pasecniks (C, Spain)

Key expert quote: From Sharp: “Jordan Bell is one of the best defensive prospects in the draft, and probably the best pick-and-roll defender of any big man on the board. What he lacks in size at forward (6’8″-ish), he makes up for with a 7’0 wingspan and excellent foot speed.”


30. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors) — Jawun Evans, PG

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Brody Schmidt/AP

Experts: 3 of 7

School: Oklahoma State

Possibilities: Rodions Kurucs (SF, Spain), Ivan Rabb (PF, California), Frank Jackson (G, Duke)

Key expert quote: From Parrish: “Evans is little and not necessarily a run-the-team point guard. But he’s so good in pick-and-roll situations that there’s no obvious reason he can’t become an instant-offense scorer off of somebody’s bench.”


Now, look back on a draft that had a huge impact on the NBA…

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Kathy Kmonicek/AP

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