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article image2017 NBA Mock Draft: Updated first round projections

By Larry Seely     May 22, 2017 in Sports
Boston - It appears for the third straight year it will be Cleveland battling Golden State for the NBA title, but that doesn't mean teams on the outside won't have a chance for a championship next year, especially with a strong off season this summer.
Boston sits in the driver seat with the number one overall pick, not bad for a team that finished first in the Eastern Conference this season, but the Celtics do have holes in their roster and help is needed to hoist that trophy.
Plenty of rumors and speculation surround the pick. General manager Danny Ainge could package a couple players and the number one pick to get another star player on the roster, something this team will need to compete with the Cavaliers, but this article is based on youngsters that could make the biggest impact and Washington Huskies point guard Markelle Fultz is that player. If Ainge decides to keep his selection, Fultz is the type of player that can make those around him better and another scoring option in the back court for the Celtics.
The LA Lakers are in desperation mode as the team has become cellar-dwellers over the last five years. Luke Walton did an admirable job in his first season as head coach, but more talent is needed for this roster to become a playoff contender.
Local product Lonzo Ball is the logical choice with pick number two and most mocks have the UCLA product staying in southern California, but with all his off court issues, including dealing with his hands on father, could make this difficult, despite his talent on the court.
Philadelphia owns pick three and there's little doubt this team needs more depth in the back court. The 76ers have struggled without a leader on the court and that has several NBA experts torn. Point guard De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky is the next best floor leader and a top-5 talent in the latest player rankings, but passing on Kansas guard/forward Josh Jackson could be difficult, despite the needs of the team.
This years draft will have plenty of intrigue and drama, especially if a couple of big trades happen early. Several former heavyweights need a big summer to get back into contention and it could all get started rolling with a strong summer.
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