2017 NBA Draft: ITA Live Blog

Tonight is the 2017 NBA Draft. There figure to be quite a few ACC alumni selected throughout the draft, particularly in the lottery portion. Follow along with managing editor Justin Cates and associate editor Mike McDaniel as we break the whole thing down.

It should be wide open and exciting, as far as drafts go at least.

Here’s what you need to know up front.

When: Thursday, June 22, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center, New York
TV: ESPN

FIRST-ROUND DRAFT ORDER

1. Philadelphia 76ers (from Celtics)
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston Celtics (from 76ers)
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Sacramento Kings (from 76ers)
6. Orlando Magic
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
8. New York Knicks
9. Dallas Mavericks
10. Sacramento Kings (from Pelicans)
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Denver Nuggets
14. Miami Heat
15. Portland Trail Blazers
16. Chicago Bulls
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. Indiana Pacers
19. Atlanta Hawks
20. Portland Trail Blazers (from Grizzlies)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
22. Brooklyn Nets (from Wizards)
23. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers)
24. Utah Jazz
25. Orlando Magic (from Raptors)
26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cavaliers)
27. Los Angeles Lakers (from Nets)
28. Los Angeles Lakers (from Rockets)
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors)

Check right back here beginning shortly before 7 p.m. for our first entries.

Justin Cates @ 6:19:

Things are nearly underway in New York where the drafting is happening. If you’re into all the gaudy, yet highly questionable attire worn by these soon-to-be millionaires, ESPN’s Darren Rovell has you covered. Out of all the reporters let go at ESPN recently, that guy still gets to report on “business”. Nice.

If you have $40 you were thinking about setting on fire in the street, perhaps consider purchasing some fine NBA cranial attire instead.

A handful of ACC guys will go in the top ten and likely as many as seven will be picked in the lottery, if not more.

I won’t make predictions apart from stating that the New York Knicks will most assuredly do something stupid. Then again, maybe not. Phil Jackson might sleep through the whole thing.

Before things kick off, I’d just like to point out some hilarious shade thrown by Andrew Sharp in his final mock draft for Sports Illustrated.

“Then a knee injury derailed his senior season, while “going to NC State” derailed his lone year at NC State.”

Ouch. Sharp projects Smith Jr. going to the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 7 pick.

Justin Cates @ 7:08:

I’ve just been informed that Mike is only on the 15th hole while playing golf. This is unexpected, but something to be commended.

The bigger bummer is that we apparently have to listen to Mike Wilbon all night. I do love having Jay Bilas to drown him out. I also have full confidence that all picks will be spoiled before they’re made. Twitter giveth and Twitter taketh away.

Speaking of which, what the Hell is this thing?

Justin Cates @ 7:42:

As everyone has expected for about a year, the first choice in the draft is Markelle Fultz. The Dematha product had an outstanding year for a miserable nine-win Washington team. Fultz averaged 23.2 points on 47.6 percent shooting, with 5.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game. He’s a very complete player with a nice 6’4″, 195-pound frame. He can improve a bit on defense, but that can be said for many of the top players in the draft.

Justin Cates @ 7:52:

There goes Lonzo Ball and his entire family off the board to the Los Angeles Lakers. His Dad is insufferable and everyone knows that. Still, the kid can really play. He shoots really well making 55.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from behind the arc. He can play in transition and score off the dribble too. The Lakers got a great talent.

Meanwhile, this craziness is percolating.

Justin Cates @ 8:17:

Our first ACC player has been chosen at No. 3 with Jayson Tatum going to the Boston Celtics. Tatum may be the best offensive player and the best shooter available, even when considering the two players chosen ahead of him. He’s a swingman who can do a lot of things and still has a pretty big upside. He leaves something to be desired as a defender at this point, but again that’s common with young players.

This is Duke’s fourth top-three pick in the last four years. Coach K doesn’t like the one-and-done thing but he’s working the system quite well.

Mike McDaniel @ 8:18:

I really like the Tatum selection for the Celtics. I’m a die-hard Boston fan, for those of you who didn’t know, and I’m thrilled with the offensive upside of Tatum for Boston. There are some rumors about the Celtics trying to swing a deal for Paul George, but even if that does not happen, I think that Tatum instantly makes the Celtics better from a wing scoring perspective. He should fit in well with Brad Stevens’ offensive system.

Justin Cates @ 8:25:

Jonathan Isaac is quite possibly my favorite player in the entire draft. I think I chose him as preseason ACC Rookie of the Year. I’m not certain, but it feels like I did which is the important part. He goes at No. 6 to the Orlando Magic.

Regardless, this kid has incredible shooting range for a man of his size. The 6’10” forward averaged 12 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season. He made more than half of his shots from the field and a respectable 34.8 percent from three-point range. Isaac also made 78 percent of his free throws. He needs to pack on weight as he currently comes in at just 210 pounds. His 7’2″ wingspan makes him an impact player on defense.

He becomes the second highest Seminole ever drafted. Dave Cowens went No. 4 to the Celtics in 1970. Isaac is the 12th Seminole to be picked in the first round.

Mike McDaniel @ 8:28:

First question with this pick, is Aaron Gordon on the trading block for the Magic?

That’s legitimately the only question I have. In my opinion, this is a home run pick for Orlando. Isaac is a bit raw as a prospect offensively, but his ability to defend makes him a no-brainer at this spot for the Magic.

Justin Cates @ 8:33:

I want to know who mixed the hummus spoons. There should not be yellow on purple. This is the question of the night.

Justin Cates @ 8:41:

While I’m ruminating on chickpeas, there goes Dennis Smith Jr. at No. 9 to the Dallas Mavericks. The 6’3″, ACC Freshman of the Year is the first player in conference history to record two triple-doubles in the same season. His much-ballyhooed 48-inch vertical leap proves just how good of an athlete he is.

I think he can be a fine pro given what he was able to accomplish with an underachieving N.C. State club last season. He posted 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and shot 45.5 percent from the field. Say it with me, he needs to improve his defense. Still, he’s got the skill to make it.

He referred to himself in third person during his ESPN interview. He’s off to a good start. Let’s hope he’s brushed up on his cliches.

Justin Cates @ 8:44:

And now for something completely different…

Mike McDaniel @ 8:52:

The Pistons take Duke’s Luke Kennard at pick number 12 and they may have their point guard of the future. The Pistons have discussed moving Reggie Jackson numerous times over the last year and a half or so, and this pick makes me wonder if those talks will continue this summer. Kennard is a deadly three point shooter and a very good playmaker, but will need to improve his defense at the NBA level in order to make the full impact that the Pistons are expecting him to make.

Mike McDaniel @ 9:00:

Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell is finally off the board, as he was selected by Denver before his rights were traded to the Utah Jazz for the #24 pick and former Kentucky forward Trey Lyles. During his interview with ESPN, Mitchell expressed excitement about heading to the Jazz, because Utah was his first workout in the pre-draft process.

Mitchell is long and athletic defensively, with plenty of upside on the offensive end that make him one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.

Justin Cates @ 9:32:

Fun fact, that was also Mike’s face when he finally joined us and was immediately swamped by ACC alums getting drafted. (“LOL”–Mike)

The latest pick comes from the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels. Combo guard/forward Justin Jackson was chosen by the Sacramento Kings at No. 15.

He’ll be a forward who can handle the ball at the next level. He led the Tar Heels with 18.3 points per game and set a North Carolina single-season record with 105 made 3-pointers. He also finished second on the tea, in assists with 113.

I like Jackson a lot as his range makes him a tough match up defensively. I’m not sure anyone can make a meaningful impact right now in Sacramento, but he’s a step in the right direction.

Justin Cates @ 9:40:

The Atlanta Hawks have selected Wake Forest forward John Collins with the 19th pick overall. The Hawks traded Dwight Howard to Charlotte this week which means they needed a big man. One could argue they needed one even if they’d kept Howard.

Collins was just shy of a double-double average last season with 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. He shot 62 percent from the floor and 74 percent from the free throw line. He was chosen as the 2016-17 ACC Most Improved Player of the Year for the strides made between his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Loads of upside with Collins and I really like the pick. He’ll help them out in the post and perhaps just as important, he won’t be a headache.

Mike McDaniel @ 9:46:

Duke’s Harry Giles selected by the Sacramento Kings, and I absolutely LOVE what they have done tonight. The Kings have now landed De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, and Giles, who has boatloads of potential at the forward position when healthy.

This is a great way to start the first offseason without DeMarcus Cousins, as Giles can be a potential transcendent talent when he is at his best. He was one of the top recruits in the Class of 2016, and his ability as an interior player both offensively and defensively makes him well worth the risk at pick number 20.

Mike McDaniel @ 10:10:

The Denver Nuggets have selected Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon with the 24th pick in the NBA Draft. Lydon is a deadly three point shooter and an excellent team defender, but will need to improve his footwork defensively at the next level as he makes the adjustment from zone defense to man-to-man defense.

Lydon will struggle to guard larger bigs individually, but at 6’10”, he can create many problems when switching out on the perimeter. I like this selection by the Nuggets, and think Lydon can fly under the radar and become one of the more intriguing picks in the entire draft.

Justin Cates @ 10:49:

North Carolina’s Tony Bradley is headed to the Utah Jazz via the Los Angeles Lakers and a trade. He was taken with the 28th pick of the first round. It’s always a good sign when a team moves up to draft you, and Bradley will join fellow ACC star Donovan Mitchell who was acquired in a similar move.

Bradley is a bit of a project who significantly has to improve his stamina. He played just 14.6 minutes per game but made the most of his time on the court. Bradley averaged 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds during those minutes. At 6’11, 250-pounds he’s got good size and his 57.3 percent shooting percentage shows his upside.

Utah has had a nice night and has picked up a couple of big-time ACC talents.

That’s the end of the first round. We’ve made the executive decision to call our live blog at this point. Keep an eye out tomorrow for a recap of any other ACC-related picks.

Thanks for joining us.

 

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