2017 NBA Draft: Roundtable predictions for the first round

Welcome to our 2017 NBA Draft roundtable predictions. This year's NBA Draft showcases many young stars in the making as the talent level in this year's 2017 class is set to open some eyes.

2017 NBA Draft: Roundtable predictions for the first round
Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are the highly-talented guards in this year's draft and are most likely going to be the No. 1 and 2 picks. Photo: Jennifer Buchanan/USA-TODAY Sports

With how the past week has turned out, this year's NBA Draft is expected to pull off even more surprises. The Philadelphia 76ers will once again have the first pick in the draft for the second consecutive year in a row but this time instead of winning the No. 1 pick in the lottery, they traded up to get Boston Celtics' pick. Now with the draft less than 48 hours away, there is no question that the highly-touted Markelle Fultz from the University of Washington will be this year's No. 1 pick. UCLA's Lonzo Ball, making the most noise in this year's draft, partly because of his father, LaVar Ball, looks to be headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, but anything after that is a big question mark so let VAVEL USA writers Sully Akbari, Youssef Machkhas, and Austin McConnell give you their predictions on who will get drafted where and which player will be the biggest steal of the draft.

Sully's Mock Draft Predictions

1. Philadelphia - Markelle Fultz
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Lonzo Ball
3. Boston - Jayson Tatum
4. Phoenix - Josh Jackson
5. Sacramento - De'Aaron Fox
6. Orlando - Jonathan Isaac
7. Minnesota - Malik Monk
8. New York - Dennis Smith Jr.
9. Dallas - Lauri Markkanen
10. Sacramento - Zach Collins
11. Charlotte - Donovan Mitchell
12. Detroit - John Collins
13. Denver - Luke Kennard
14. Miami - Frank Ntilikina
15. Portland - Justin Patton
16. Chicago - Justin Jackson
17. Milwaukee - Jarrett Allen
18. Indiana - OG Anunoby
19. Atlanta - T.J. Leaf
20. Portland - Kyle Kuzma
21. Oklahoma City - Bam Adebayo
22. Brooklyn - D.J. Wilson
23. Toronto - Semi Ojeleye
24. Utah - Tyler Lyndon
25. Orlando - Harry Giles
26. Portland - Ike Anigbogu
27. Los Angeles Lakers - Derrick White
28. Los Angeles Lakers - Alec Peters
29. San Antonio - Caleb Swanigan
30. Utah - Rodions Kurucs

Steal of the Draft: SF - Justin Jackson, University of North Carolina

Justin Jackson, a junior coming out of the University of North Carolina will end up being the biggest steal of this year's NBA Draft. Jackson is a 6-foot-8 small forward who is an excellent and efficient scorer. He is able to go from the three-point and drive to the basket or pull-up from mid-range and them down. Other than his below average three-point shooting at 34 percent, he shot 46 percent from the field during his three-year career at UNC, so there is no question if his offensive game is ready for the NBA level.

His defensive skill is up there too as he is a good on-ball defender, however, he is undersized for his position, weighing at 193 pounds. This is where he will need to bulk up so that he doesn't get beat by players who are bigger and are offensive threats.

Overall, Jackson can be a solid two-way player in the coming years and has ready NBA-experience as he and his Tar Heels made back-to-back NCAA National Title appearances, losing one to the Villanova Wildcats last year and winning against the Gonzaga Bulldogs back in April.

Justin Jackson will look to regret teams for passing up on him. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Justin Jackson will look to regret teams for passing up on him. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Youssef's Mock Draft Prediction

1. Philadelphia - Markelle Fultz
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Lonzo Ball
3. Boston - Jayson Tatum
4. Phoenix - Josh Jackson
5. Sacramento - De'Aaron Fox
6. Orlando - Jonathan Isaac
7. Minnesota - Malik Monk
8. New York - Dennis Smith Jr.
9. Dallas - Frank Ntilikina
10. Sacramento - Lauri Markkanen 
11. Charlotte - Luke Kennard
12. Detroit - Donovan Mitchell
13. Denver - Zach Collins
14. Miami - OG Anunoby
15. Portland - Justin Jackson
16. Chicago - Justin Patton
17. Milwaukee - Harry Giles
18. Indiana - T.J. Leaf
19. Atlanta - Jarrett Allen
20. Portland - John Collins
21. Oklahoma City - Terrance Ferguson
22. Brooklyn - Ike Anigbogu
23. Toronto - Jordan Bell
24. Utah - Ivan Rabb
25. Orlando - Juwan Evans
26. Portland - P.J. Dozier
27. Los Angeles Lakers - Caleb Swanigan
28. Los Angeles Lakers - Bam Adebayo
29. San Antonio - Isaiah Hartenstein
30. Utah - Frank Jackson

Steal of the Draft: PF - Harry Giles, Duke

Injuries are going to be the main reason why Giles falls all the way to the Milwaukee Bucks at the 17th pick. But even after having knee surgery in late 2016, he recorded the sixth-best shuttle run and ninth-best lane agility. Not impressed yet? The guy is a 6-foot-11 power forward that can play center.

On the other hand, his college stats weren’t that great. A combination of his injury and depth at his position forced him to only play 11.5 minutes per game. That won’t happen in Milwaukee, as Greg Monroe is most likely leaving for free agency. He will be competing with John Henson, Spencer Hawes, and Thon Maker for minutes. Jabari Parker’s injury will most likely keep him out past the beginning of the 2017 season so that just means more opportunities for Giles.

His per 40 minutes stats are good. He would only be averaging 13.6 points per game, but what stand out are the 5.47 offensive rebounds. They ranked 29th in that category last season and Giles can help them get extra possessions. Even though he didn’t score that much, he made 57.7 percent of his shots, meaning he has good shot selection. That is important to have, especially for a 19-year-old. He can work on his offensive game and become more confident as he gets older.

Giles is going to drop because of the injury concern. However, his combine numbers he’s close to if not at 100 percent healthy. The Bucks have a knack for turning athletic players into key starters (Giannis Antetokounmpo and a very promising Maker). Giles can be the next one.

Harry Giles is one of the athletic big-men in this year's draft class. Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Harry Giles is one of the athletic big-men in this year's draft class. Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Austin's Mock Draft Predictions

1. Philadelphia - Markelle Fultz
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Lonzo Ball
3. Boston - Josh Jackson
4. Phoenix - De'Aaron Fox
5. Sacramento - Jonathan Isaac
6. Orlando - Jayson Tatum
7. Minnesota - Lauri Markkanen
8. New York - Frank Ntilikina
9. Dallas - Dennis Smith Jr.
10. Sacramento - Malik Monk
11. Charlotte - Donovan Mitchell
12. Detroit - Zach Collins
13. Denver - Justin Jackson
14. Miami - John Collins
15. Portland - Jarrett Allen
16. Chicago - Luke Kennard
17. Milwaukee - Justin Patton
18. Indiana - Terrance Ferguson
19. Atlanta - OG Anunoby
20. Portland - Juwan Evans
21. Oklahoma City - Semi Ojeleye
22. Brooklyn - T.J. Leaf
23. Toronto - D.J. Wilson
24. Utah - Tyler Lyndon
25. Orlando - Harry Giles
26. Portland - Isaiah Hartenstein
27. Los Angeles Lakers - Ike Anigbogu
28. Los Angeles Lakers - Bam Adebayo
29. San Antonio - Tony Bradley
30. Utah - Anzejs Pasecniks

Steal of the Draft: PF – Jordan Bell, Oregon

If Bell ends up slipping to the second round (or even late in the first), he could be a major steal. The junior forward is a defensive monster who averaged 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes despite his average size for the position. He also rebounds at a solid rate and has a plus motor, which suggests he will have a role in the NBA from day one. It’s impossible to predict his true ceiling, but there is some Draymond Green potential here. There are going to be several NBA executives who regret passing up on Bell after the lottery.

If Jordan Bell falls deep in the first round or drop down to the second round, teams will be pay the price for passing on him later on. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
If Jordan Bell falls deep in the first round or drop down to the second round, teams will be pay the price for passing on him later on. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

That concludes our roundtable predictions from the first round of this year's NBA Draft. The NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 22, at 7 p.m. E.T.

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