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article image2017 NBA Mock Draft: First round projections from leading experts

By Larry Seely     Feb 18, 2017 in Sports
Boston - With the NBA All Star game festivities taking the headlines, fans can turn to college hoops to get their fix and take a good look at the next group of young men that will keep the league going strong.
Boston is having a good season on the court and things could get better with a high chance the franchise will get the number one overall pick in June's draft. General manager Danny Ainge has assembled a strong squad, but depth will be an issue when the playoffs begin later this year.
Ainge will have his choice of players, but Washington Huskies freshman sensation Markelle Fultz is the likely choice, no matter what team gets the top selection. The 6'4" youngster has all the skills to become a force in the league and with a chance to ease his way into the professional level with Boston, the sky could be the limit for this talented point guard.
Speaking of point guards, this years player rankings are littered with floor leaders, in fact, six of the top ten players set to enter the NBA play the one position. Lonzo Ball is regarded as the second most talented player available this summer and the UCLA product is making a strong case as the top overall choice.
Phoenix and Philadelphia both need help and rumors have both franchises willing to make a deal to move up in the first round, depending on where they finish after the lottery takes place. The 76ers have the resources to make a deal with any team in the league and adding a player like Fultz or Ball could make this franchise a playoff contender in 2018.
Teams are always looking for the next great big man, but this years talent pool is lean on depth at the center position. Arizona Wildcats seven-footer Lauri Markkanen is one of the exceptions. The freshman could use another year at the college level to help improve his offensive game, but most experts expect a move to professional ball and that will have teams like Charlotte, Miami, and Denver all looking to add the young man in June.
This year is deep in talent and could prove to be one of the best draft classes in recent memory. With so many teams looking to gain ground on the likes of Golden State and Cleveland, adding the right young players this summer could help close that gap and give fans reason for excitement heading into next season.
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