At the time, the 2017 NBA draft was labeled to be one of the best incoming classes in recent memory. With Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball at the forefront, many thought this draft had what it took to rival classes such as the 1996 and 2003 drafts. Although the 2017 draft has shaped out to be quite a good class, it comes nowhere near expectations, despite having a solid mix of star power and depth.
In a lot of cases, teams will take the best player on the board. In others, the team’s fit schematically comes into play with their decision. Not only that, but the team’s expectations come into play as well. If a team wants to win now, they’ll select a guy that comes in right away ready to perform. If not, they’ll search for the player with the best possible ceiling down the line. With that being said, here is TWSN analyst Justin LaCertosa’s 2017 NBA redraft.
1- Philadelphia 76ers Select- Jayson Tatum (Original Pick- Markelle Fultz)
Without hesitation, the Philadelphia 76ers select Jayson Tatum first overall. Tatum has clearly molded himself out to be the draft’s best player, as year by year, Tatum has made consistent leaps and bounds in his game. He’s become one of the league’s premier wings quickly, as his combination of size and scoring repertoire makes him one of the hardest players in the league to guard. His length and height give him all the tools to be great defensively, and he’s been nothing short of that thus far into his NBA career, as he’s commonly regarded as one of the league’s best defenders. Playmaking-wise, he’s become one of the best wings in the game, and all around, he’s easily one of basketball’s top talents. Pairing Joel Embiid with a wing of Tatum’s caliber creates a one-two punch that the league won’t be able to match for the next five to 10 years.
2- Los Angeles Lakers Select- Donovan Mitchell (Original Pick- Lonzo Ball)
Up until this season, Donovan Mitchell had a strong argument to be labeled as the best player in the class. Year in and year out, Mitchell is able to consistently be the offensive engine of a weak Utah Jazz team, leading them to a top playoff seed every year. His shiftiness as a creator allows him to will himself into the lane, and with a proper supporting cast, Mitchell would be seen as one of basketball’s best playmakers. With a Mitchell trade potentially on the horizon this offseason, when he’s eventually found himself a new home, he’ll be able to prove his doubters wrong and prove he’s an All-NBA talent.
3- Boston Celtics Select- Bam Adebayo (Original Pick- Jayson Tatum)
Since the 2020 NBA Bubble, Bam Adebayo has struggled to progress as a player, however, the player he is now is still a top-three lock in this redraft. Adebayo was able to rack up Defensive Player of the Year love this season, as his combination of rim protection and switchability on the perimeter makes him arguably the best defender in the entire league. His offensive package is what holds him back from being any higher, as he’s quite passive as a scorer and doesn’t put his true skillset to the table night in and night out. However, he still remains one of the best transition “bigs” in basketball, as well as one of the best playmaking “bigs”. If he rounds out his game as a scorer, Adebayo could make a run to be higher on this list.
4- Phoenix Suns Select- De’Aaron Fox (Original Pick- Josh Jackson)
At the time, De’Aaron Fox was the clear pick for Phoenix at number four, but they ultimately passed up on him to take Josh Jackson. Fox has proven that he should’ve been taken here at number four, and with Phoenix selecting him, he forms one of the most skilled backcourts in basketball with Devin Booker. Fox is in the realm of Russell Westbrook, John Wall-Esque point guards, as he’s one of the faster and more athletic guards in basketball. His scoring game is underrated, as he can get to the rim at will and finish with the best of them while being a steadily efficient mid-range creator. He’s also one of the best floor generals in the league, using his lethal passing game to break down defenses easily. This time around, Phoenix makes the pick they should have always made in 2017.
5- Sacramento Kings Select- Jarrett Allen (Original Pick- De’Aaron Fox)
With Fox off the board slightly earlier, Sacramento takes the next best thing in Jarrett Allen. Allen came into the league right away as an impactful role player but has slowly come along to becoming an All-Star level center. He’s one of the better defenders in the league due to his rim protection, and if it wasn’t for an injury, Allen’s name would’ve been brought up far more in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation this past season. Offensively, his game is as simple as it gets, but quietly impactful as well. He’s arguably the best pick and roll “big” in the league, and in the low-post, he’s developed better footwork throughout the years, while improving upon his touch.
6- Orlando Magic Select- Ogugua Anunoby (Original Pick- Jonathan Isaac)
The Orlando Magic selected Jonathan Isaac in real life to be a two-way specimen, but due to his inability to stay on the floor, they go a different route with Ogugua Anunoby. Anunoby is exactly what Orlando wanted Isaac to become, a two-way beast with a combination of shooting, self-creation, and defense. Anunoby is one of the top wing defenders in basketball, and you can slot him in any lineup as a small forward, power forward, or even center. His offensive game has come around slowly but surely, and in a situation like Orlando, he can really become an offensive star.
7- Minnesota Timberwolves Select- Lonzo Ball (Original Pick- Lauri Markkanen)
After being deemed as the next Jason Kidd, Lonzo Ball falls to seventh in this redraft. Although Ball has fallen completely short of expectations, he’s still carved out a nice role for himself in the league. His scoring game has been disappointing, but he’s a way better spot-up shooter than anyone would’ve expected. His defense has also been way better than what anyone could’ve expected, and as a passer, he’s been as good as advertised. Although not the generational point guard many expected him to become, Ball is one of basketball’s best role players, and that’s not a problem at all.
8- New York Knicks Select- John Collins (Original Pick- Frank Ntilikina)
The New York Knicks did the most New York Knicks thing possible in this class, selecting Frank Ntilikina who has panned out to do nothing thus far into his career. Despite having a log-jam in the frontcourt at the time, New York takes the best player available in John Collins. Collins has seemingly hit a plateau just five years into his NBA career, however, he’s still a more than impactful tertiary option. He’s one of basketball’s best lob threats, and his ability to space the floor is impressive. Defensively, there’s nothing to write home about, but he impacts the game as a help defender down low. New York simply goes best player available, which is frankly their only option here.
9- Dallas Mavericks Select- Dillon Brooks (Original Pick- Dennis Smith Jr.)
Dillon Brooks did not have a great showing this past postseason, however, he’s still one of the 10 best players in this class. Brooks is arguably the best in the NBA at navigating screens, and his ability as a defender at all levels makes him a near-elite wing defender. Brooks can also play the role of tertiary creator while having an impact as an off-ball mover and spot-up shooter. Brooks is the perfect complementary option in today’s NBA, and with Dallas drafting Luka Doncic just the next season, Brooks would form a great pairing with Doncic in the starting group.
10- Portland Trail-Blazers Select- Josh Hart (Original Pick- Zach Collins)
The Trail Blazers have Josh Hart in real life, but now, they select him five years early at number 10. Hart is your do it all wing, as he uses his strength to be an impactful defender and will his way to the rim for easy buckets. He’s also a sound shooter, and his passing has gotten better year by year. His positional versatility is up there with the best in the league, as he can effectively play all five positions when called upon to do so. Portland gets one of the best wings in the class here, five years earlier than when they actually did.
11- Charlotte Hornets Select- Kyle Kuzma (Original Pick- Malik Monk)
Kyle Kuzma has had arguably the weirdest career of anyone in this draft not named Markelle Fultz. He went from being regarded as the early steal of the draft, to a player who fails to impact winning, to a player with an All-Star future. Kuzma was dealt to the Washington Wizards as part of the Russell Westbrook trade, and since, has developed his offensive game with a change of scenery. He’s an efficient shooter who can put the ball on the floor and create on all three levels, and his passing has steadily improved with more touches. There’s still some work to do with his IQ, however, he’s jumped up to 11 with a promising season in a new environment.
12- Detroit Pistons Select- Derrick White (Original Pick- Luke Kennard)
Derrick White had an on and off postseason for the Boston Celtics, but the one thing that remains certain is that he’s one of basketball’s more impactful bench players. Despite the streaky shooting, White’s passing repertoire combined with his guard defense is valuable to any team, and when he gets hot, he can go for 20-to-25 points on any given night.
13- Denver Nuggets Select- Monte Morris (Original Pick- Donovan Mitchell)
Monte Morris has been the epitome of reliability and consistency throughout his time in the league. He’s been a near-perfect backup guard for this Denver Nuggets team, as he’s one of the smartest and most reliable passers in the game with his assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s a good complimentary piece as a scorer due to his off-ball movement and shooting. With his steady creation game, he can create for himself when needed to. It’s near baffling to hear his name in trade rumors, as he’s the perfect backup for a contending Denver team.
14- Miami Heat Select- Jonathan Isaac (Original Pick- Bam Adebayo)
If healthy, Jonathan Isaac would be much higher in this redraft, however, his inability to stay on the floor hurts his ranking tremendously. Before his injuries, Isaac was in Defensive Player of the Year conversations, and offensively, his game was coming along slowly but surely. However, after being sidelined for the last two years with an injury, Isaac falls to 14. If he could stay on the floor consistently, Isaac is a near-perfect replacement for Bam Adebayo at 14.