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2017 NBA Mock Draft: Updated first round projections

The LA Lakers are one franchise that went from winning championships to the bottom of the pack in just a few short years. The franchise is making some headway with a solid group of young talent and that will continue over the summer.

With what appears to be the third overall pick this year, the front office is in a dire situation of needing to get this selection right, especially if they fail again to lure some big name free agent talent to Southern California.

Experts have the purple and gold looking for depth in the front court with Josh Jackson of Kansas being the popular choice. With Brandon Ingram being taken last year, this would appear to be the wrong choice. This team needs more depth in the paint and that would have Florida State youngster Jonathan Isaac as a good choice.

Point guards are a premium and this years player rankings have the top two prospects as floor leaders. Pac 12 stars Markelle Fultz of Washington and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball are both projected as stars at the next level and if either fall in the early stages of the draft, look for the Lakers to grab one of these talented players in a heartbeat.

Boston finished the 2016-17 NBA season tops in the Eastern Conference and with good fortune they will have the first overall pick in June. General manager Danny Ainge will have a tough decision, keeping the pick and taking more depth at the point, but the latest rumors have the Celtics front office possibly trading the pick for a veteran forward, solidifying and already solid roster and making this team one to watch next season.

For teams looking for help at center, Arizona product Lauri Markkanen is a young player that could develop into a solid player in the paint. Teams like Sacramento and Minnesota are both in need of help and could make the seven-footer the first big man off the board.

This years draft class is deep in talent, both from the college ranks and with a group of solid international players. Teams could really take a step in the right direction with the right picks and for teams like the Lakers, the time is now to start changing their recent losing ways.

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