#1 Overall Pick: Philadelphia 76ers
Chris: Donovan Mitchell
While Devin and I agree on Donovan Mitchell as the first pick in the 2017 draft, we disagree on our reasoning. It took a lot of convincing on Devin’s part because I feel Jayson Tatum will be the best player from the draft 5 years from now. However, when one looks at the 76ers roster and considers the inevitable situation of Ben Simmons being on the bench, there is nobody who can facilitate the offense in his place. Mitchell is unique in that he can play off the ball when Simmons is in, but he can also run the point when Simmons is on the bench. Despite our disagreement as to why Mitchell deserves the top pick, we both are fascinated by the idea of two rookie of the year candidates on the same team.
Devin: Donovan Mitchell
When I look at Donovan Mitchell I see a potential MVP. When I look at the 76ers I see a weakness in Ben Simmons. Simmons is a great point guard that will most likely win ROY, but when he is on the bench or can barely get you 2 points in a playoff game you need a guy that can flat out score. Donovan Mitchell doesn’t need Ben Simmons on the floor to be great but I think Ben Simmons would be a better player if he had Mitchell as his two guard. Jayson Tatum would be a good fit here as well but the 76ers need someone who can score on their on own the best. Donovan Mitchell is better in isolation than Tatum is, therefore, Mitchell is the better fit here because of his ability to take over by himself.
#2 Overall Pick: Los Angeles Lakers
Chris: Dennis Smith Jr.
The Lakers would take a point guard, if they could do it all over again, but there is no way they would take Lonzo Ball. The Lakers would look at Dennis Smith Jr. and see a point guard with Russell Westbrook esque explosiveness and a willing passer despite being just 20 years old. Dennis Smith Jr. is also a player that a team could build their franchise around. Mark my words; when Dirk eventually retires Smith Jr. will be the face of the Mavericks. The Lakers wouldn’t want to miss out on this kid.
Devin: Dennis Smith Jr.
Los Angeles needs a point guard at this point to go with their hopeful small forward in Brandon Ingram. The best available point guard in my opinion would be Dennis Smith Jr. His ceiling is higher than any other point guard in this draft, especially De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball. I know the reason for drafting Ball is to hope that stars will want to play for a pass-happy point guard, but stars also want to play with other stars. Dennis Smith Jr. is the most likely point guard in this draft to become a star.
#3 Overall Pick: Boston Celtics
Chris: Jayson Tatum
Why wouldn’t you take Tatum with the number 3 pick in the draft? The kid can shoot, pass, play defense, and has hit clutch shots all regular season and playoffs despite being 19/20 years old in his rookie campaign.
Devin: Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum because it is so obvious that he is probably the second best player in the draft. He shoots the ball exceptionally and can score in the midrange consistently, which is a lost art. He’s athletic and plays solid defense as well. At the end of the day, this is a no-brainer.