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Re-Drafting The 2017 Draft Class: Philadelphia Sixers Select Jayson Tatum, Los Angeles Lakers Draft Donovan Mitchell

Re-Drafting The 2017 Draft Class: Philadelphia Sixers Select Jayson Tatum, Los Angeles Lakers Draft Donovan Mitchell

The 2017 Draft Class is one of the most talented in recent history since most of these players have become stars or starters early on in their careers. Many of the best young players originated from the 2017 Draft and teams have built the entire core off of their potential. With the immense amount of talent, some of these picks were selected quite well but there would be some major changes had the re-draft occurred.

The 2017 class was truly stacked with talent, and it is time to re-draft the group knowing what we now know. To start things off, it is time for the Philadelphia 76ers to form one of the best duos in the league with Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

Original Pick: Markelle Fultz

Re-Draft Pick: Jayson Tatum

The 76ers made the expected move when they selected Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick. As an explosive point guard at 6’3”, Fultz was expected to become a star in the league. He could shoot, attack the basket, and had leadership qualities as a playmaker in college. But of course, very few of those things were actually true. Fultz struggled to keep healthy, and shoulder issues prevented him from being able to shoot the ball effectively. Once a promising talent, Fultz has had an unfortunately poor career while Jayson Tatum is one of the best young players in the NBA. Had Philly selected Tatum to pair with Joel Embiid, they might have been in the Finals by now.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Original Pick: Lonzo Ball

Re-Draft Pick: Donovan Mitchell

It was a foregone conclusion that the Los Angeles Lakers were selecting Lonzo Ball, especially with legendary point guard Magic Johnson at the helm of the decision. Lonzo had incredible hype, thanks to LaVar Ball, and was supposed to be the next star at the point guard position. Fast forward a few years, and Lonzo is a very good player but not a star. With Tatum going No. 1, the Lakers should have taken budding superstar Donovan Mitchell. With Mitchell on the roster, the Lakers would have the best team in the NBA if LeBron James and Anthony Davis ended up in Los Angeles as well.

3. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Jayson Tatum

Re-Draft Pick: Bam Adebayo

The Celtics ended up getting the best player in the draft in Jayson Tatum, but Bam Adebayo would have been an excellent choice as well. The big man is an All-Star talent who can dominate on defense and is offensively proficient, meaning Boston would have had their big man intact for the next decade. Bam is thriving in Miami at the moment, but he still would not have been a more impactful player for the Celtics than Jayson Tatum.

4. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Josh Jackson

Re-Draft Pick: De’Aaron Fox

Phoenix Suns fans are not too concerned with the point guard position thanks to the brilliance of Chris Paul, so missing out on De’Aaron Fox is not the biggest disaster to happen to the franchise. But there is absolutely no way that Phoenix should have selected Josh Jackson at No. 4, even if he looked promising at a first glance. Jackson has only averaged 11.9 PPG and 4.2 RPG so far in his career, while Fox is a fringe All-Star with averages of 18.4 PPG and 6.3 APG.

5. Sacramento Kings

Original Pick: De’Aaron Fox

Re-Draft Pick: John Collins

The Atlanta Hawks had John Collins fall right into their laps because the big man should have gone No. 5. But the Sacramento Kings probably would have been slightly unlucky in the re-draft because Collins is not as great as Fox is. De’Aaron Fox has the ability to be a franchise player, similar to a young John Wall, but has kinks to work out. Collins is an athletic forward who can shoot and also score inside, making him a valuable big man in the modern NBA.

6. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Jonathan Isaac

Re-Draft Pick: OG Anunoby

The Orlando Magic thought they had a gem in Jonathan Isaac, but the player has yet to make an impact in the league. The lengthy forward has not played for 2 seasons now, including this season so far, and nobody knows if he will ever reach his potential. Instead of waiting for Isaac to show promise, the Magic should have taken lockdown defender OG Anunoby. The current Raptors player is averaging 20.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG this year, numbers that would have convinced Orlando to keep OG on the roster long-term.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Original Pick: Lauri Markkanen

Re-Draft Pick: Lonzo Ball

The Timberwolves made a solid choice with Lauri Markkanen with the No. 7 overall pick, but they should have taken Lonzo Ball. Ball is often criticized for not being a star player, but he is an excellent starting point guard who can defend and also be a primary playmaker. With Ball and Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota would have two fixed pieces for their future. Markkanen is a solid two-way player as well, but his impact has been decent at best so far.

8. New York Knicks

Original Pick: Frank Ntilikina

Re-Draft Pick: Jarrett Allen

The New York Knicks made a shocking choice when they selected Frank Ntilkina with a top-10 draft pick because the Frenchman was not expected to become a star no matter what. Rather, the Knicks should have gone for an athletic big man in Jarrett Allen. Allen is averaging 17.1 PPG and 11.3 RPG this season, very strong numbers for a starting center. Ntilikina has yet to show he is more than a bench player, which means the Knicks got their pick wrong.

9. Dallas Mavericks

Original Pick: Dennis Smith Jr.

Re-Draft Pick: Lauri Markkanen

Dallas were keen on getting Dennis Smith Jr., an explosive point guard who could raise the energy in the crowd. The Mavericks figured an above-average athlete at the point guard spot would have been a safe option, but going for a shot-blocking forward in Markkanen would have made sense. Lauri is averaging 15.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG, better numbers than Smith’s 11.4 PPG and 4.3 APG averages.

10. Sacramento Kings

Original Pick: Zach Collins

Re-Draft Pick: Kyle Kuzma

Sacramento were lucky with De’Aaron Fox, but they would have been luckier if they selected Kyle Kuzma with the No. 10 overall pick. Kuzma, despite his criticism, is an above-average player when he is focused. The forward has averaged 15.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG in his career and is putting up 13.4 PPG and 8.3 APG this season. Zach Collins has injury issues and is not as talented as Kuzma is on the offensive side of the court.

11. Charlotte Hornets

Original Pick: Malik Monk

Re-Draft Pick: Derrick White

The Hornets tried to find a diamond in the rough with Malik Monk, but the energetic guard seems to be nothing more than a scoring threat off the bench. Monk is capable of having some big scoring nights, but he is not as consistent as Derrick White. White is averaging 13.3 PPG and 5.1 APG this season, while Monk is putting up 10.3 PPG and 2.2 APG. Charlotte are in the playoff mix this year and the services of White would have been great for them at this stage.

12. Detroit Pistons

Original Pick: Luke Kennard

Re-Draft Pick: Thomas Bryant

Detroit went the safe route and opted for shooting when they made their draft choice at No. 12 overall. Kennard had a strong 3rd season with Detroit (15.8 PPG), but he does not have the ceiling of Thomas Bryant. The center can shoot the three (36.2% for his career), rebound (6.0 RPG), and also block shots (0.9 BPG). Bryant is an effective starter when healthy, and he would have been a nice building piece for the Pistons going forward.

13. Denver Nuggets

Original Pick: Donovan Mitchell

Re-Draft Pick: Dillon Brooks

The Nuggets had a star in their hands with Donovan Mitchell, but they let him go to the benefit of the Utah Jazz. Mitchell has averaged over 20 PPG for 5 straight years to start his career and can be a superstar in the league. Of course, the Nuggets should have held onto him but had the re-draft occurred, they would have selected scoring guard Dillon Brooks to eventually pair with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic.

14. Miami Heat

Original Pick: Bam Adebayo

Re-Draft Pick: Monte Morris

The Miami Heat could not believe their luck when a top-5 talent in the 2017 draft was available at No. 14. Adebayo was an easy gamble at No. 14 because an athletic big man always has the chance to be an impactful player. Bam is one of the best players in the league right now, and a major reason why the Heat are contending at the moment. In the re-draft, Miami would have taken Monte Morris, a steady point guard who does a lot of good things on the floor.

15. Portland Trail Blazers

Original Pick: Justin Jackson

Re-Draft Pick: Jonathan Isaac

Justin Jackson was not a good pick, because the forward has averaged under 10 PPG every season in his career so far. Rather, Portland should have taken a stab at a potentially great defender in Jonathan Isaac, who still might become a star in the league. Isaac has yet to play a lot of games due to injury, but he is worth the gamble with the No. 15 pick.

16. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Justin Patton

Re-Draft Pick: Josh Hart

The Chicago Bulls are a great franchise right now, due to the amount of talent on their roster. But in 2017, they should have brought in two-way swingman Josh Hart to fortify their depth. Hart is averaging 11.1 PPG and 6.4 RPG this season and has shown flashes of being a long-term starter in the NBA. The Bulls would have been better off with Hart rather than Patton, who did not play for the franchise.

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Original Pick: D.J. Wilson

Re-Draft Pick: Luke Kennard

The Milwaukee Bucks went for athletic big man D.J. Wilson with the No. 17 pick, a player who has yet to average over 6 PPG in a season. Wilson is nothing more than a bench filler at this stage, and they would have been better off with three-point extraordinaire Luke Kennard who is nailing 41.7% from three so far.

18. Indiana Pacers

Original Pick: T.J. Leaf

Re-Draft Pick: Markelle Fultz

With the No. 18 overall pick, the Pacers should have selected injury-prone Markelle Fultz. Even though the guard has not had a normal career to start, there is hope for him to stay healthy and become the starting-caliber player he should become. Not to mention, Fultz would have been a better option than T.J. Leaf who averaged 3.3 PPG for his career.

19. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: John Collins

Re-Draft Pick: Zach Collins

The Hawks got a perfect forward in their system with John Collins, a versatile forward who is the perfect lob partner for Trae Young in the offense. Had the re-draft occurred, Atlanta would have ended up with Zach Collins, a less athletic and talented big man who is averaging 5.7 PPG and 4.0 RPG in his career.

20. Portland Trail Blazers

Original Pick: Harry Giles

Re-Draft Pick: Josh Jackson

Josh Jackson is a solid role player, and he would have been a better option for the Trail Blazers with the No. 20 overall pick. Jackson’s numbers (11.9 PPG and 4.2 RPG) are better than Giles’ numbers (5.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG), and he would have improved Portland’s roster alongside stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

Original Pick: Jarrett Allen

Re-Draft Pick: Dennis Smith Jr.

The Oklahoma City Thunder generally make smart draft decisions, as seen throughout their history with the likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. This year, they made some more smart moves by taking Josh Giddey. Looking back at 2017, the Thunder would have taken explosive point guard Dennis Smith Jr. to bolster the team’s backcourt depth.

22. Brooklyn Nets

Original Pick: Terrance Ferguson

Re-Draft Pick: Chris Boucher

Chris Boucher is a versatile big man on offense because he can hit the three (38.3% last season) and also score inside while acting as a solid rebounder. Even though the 28-year-old is not a star, he would have been a perfect piece for the Brooklyn Nets because the franchise could have used a lengthy big man who is not a liability on offense. Terrance Ferguson is only averaging 4.5 PPG over his career and is currently not playing any minutes this season.

23. Toronto Raptors

Original Pick: OG Anunoby

Re-Draft Pick: Malik Monk

The Toronto Raptors were extremely lucky to have OG Anunoby fall into their hands with the No. 23 pick, but in the re-draft, they would have selected Malik Monk. The guard is putting up 10.3 PPG this season, not too far from his career-high 11.7 PPG last year. Toronto would have been worse off with Monk than Anunoby, but with the No. 23 pick, it is expected to not find a star.

24. Utah Jazz

Original Pick: Tyler Lydon

Re-Draft Pick: PJ Dozier

The Utah Jazz would have loved to draft PJ Dozier with the No. 24 pick because the versatile wing player can hit the three-point shot and also play defense. The original pick, Tyler Lydon, is averaging 0.9 PPG through 2 seasons in his career. The last time Lydon played was in the 2019 season, while Dozier is part of Denver’s rotation.

25. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Anžejs Pasečņiks

Re-Draft Pick: Frank Ntilikina

The 7’1” center Pasečņiks was selected with the No. 25 overall pick, and he was decent in his rookie season by putting up 5.8 PPG. But Orlando would have been better off with Frank Ntilikina, a defensive guard who is solid although unspectacular. Pasečņiks only lasted 2 seasons in the league, while the French point guard is capable of filling a team’s roster spot in the NBA with ease due to his defense.

26. Portland Trail Balzers

Original Pick: Caleb Swanigan

Re-Draft Pick: Jordan Bell

The Trail Blazers were not expecting much with the No. 26 overall pick, and Caleb Swanigan was unspectacular as he is only averaging 2.3 PPG for his career. The big man has not played an NBA game since the 2020 season, while Jordan Bell (3.7 PPG and 3.1 RPG) would have been a much better option for the Trail Blazers.

27. Brooklyn Nets

Original Pick: Kyle Kuzma

Re-Draft Pick: Harry Giles

Brooklyn were smart to take Kyle Kuzma, even if the forward did not play a game for them. The Nets would have instead selected Harry Giles with the No. 27 pick had the re-draft happened. Giles is averaging 5.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG over his career and does have the potential to be a rotation player in the NBA if he continues to improve his game.

28. Los Angeles Lakers

Original Pick: Tony Bradley

Re-Draft Pick: Tony Bradley

Tony Bradley is an effective center because he has tremendous size and is adept at clogging the post for his opponents and also tipping rebounds to his players. Bradley is not putting up big numbers, but his impact comes in his energy and length. At No. 28, the Lakers would have selected Tony Bradley had the re-draft occurred.

29. San Antonio Spurs

Original Pick: Derrick White

Re-Draft Pick: Wesley Iwundu

The Spurs were lucky with Derrick White, even if the guard has not put up extraordinary numbers. White can defend, attack the rim, and plays hard whenever he is on the court. Overall, the Spurs were fortunate to draft White ahead of Wesley Iwundu who is averaging only 4.3 PPG and 2.4 RPG.

30. Utah Jazz

Original Pick: Josh Hart

Re-Draft Pick: Damyean Dotson

The Jazz got a gem with Josh Hart because the No. 30 overall pick does not, generally, land a starting-caliber player. Hart has his faults, but as a rebounding forward who can score at a decent level, he should have been taken much higher in the draft. The Jazz would have selected Damyean Dotson instead, a shooting guard who has career averages of 7.5 PPG and 2.5 RPG on 34.6% shooting from three.