Redrafting the 2017 NBA Draft: Tatum is clear No. 1. The rest is debatable


After leading the Boston Celtics to an NBA Finals appearance, there's no one in the draft who can compare to Jayson Tatum. But who slots in the positions behind him is a bigger question.

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Position: SF
School: Duke
Original Pick: Markelle Fultz

Jayson Tatum can do it all offensively and looks to be just getting started. He was the centerpiece of a Boston team that made the NBA Finals in 2019 and in just five seasons he was named an NBA First-Teamer. Philadephia's desperate trade in which they swapped their No. 3 overall and 2018 first-round picks to slide up two spots to select a certain bust to be named later at No. 1 -- looks worse each day.



Position: C/PF
School: Kentucky
Original Pick: Lonzo Ball

Aside from Jimmy Butler, nobody rose their personal stock more than Bam Adebayo in the Orlando bubble. Finishing behind only Brandon Ingram for the 2020 Most Improved Player award, Adebayo is as versatile as it comes in a modern game that demands multitalented big men on championship teams. If a neck strain injury didn't take him out of two Finals games, could the Heat have pushed the Lakers further in that series? 



Position: PG/SG
School: Louisville
Original Pick: Jayson Tatum

Donovan Mitchell came just short of outdueling Jamal Murray and the Nuggets in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs, but that doesn't take away from his ability to run an offense. There are some talented point guards in this class, but none with more upside or scoring punch than Mitchell.



Position: PG
School: Kentucky
Original Pick: Josh Jackson

De'Aaron Fox is the fastest player with the ball in his hands aside from Russell Westbrook and John Wall. It's clear that the Sacramento Kings are building around him as they make strides to return to playoff contention. If they do, Fox could become one of the next stars in this league.



Position: C
School: Texas
Original Pick: De'Aaron Fox

Jarret Allen is one of the most dominant young bigs in the NBA and still has some budding potential with the newly established two-big system alongside Evan Mobley in Cleveland. Perhaps if Sacramento took him here, they would have finally found a competent center even though they lose Fox just a pick prior. 


Position: C
School: Wake Forest
Original Pick: Malik Monk

John Collins is as energetic on both ends of the floor as it gets, and had a career year during the 2019-20 season with playoff run to remember. Only 6-foot-9, Collins makes up for his lack of size with incredible effort, athleticism, and ability to put anyone on a poster.



Position: SF/PF
School: Utah
Original Pick: Lauri Markkanen

After being kicked to the curb by Lakers fans earlier in his career, Kyle Kuzma has established himself quite nicely. He has a championship ring on his hand and a role in Washington where he can be more than just a complementary player, which he was limited to in Los Angeles.


Position: SF
School: Indiana
Original Pick: Frank Ntilikina

The former Hoosier has really came into his own once Kawhi Leonard left Toronto. You can never have enough wings in today's switch-on-everything NBA and Anunoby has shown he can guard and rebound on defense. Originally taken at 23, his shot has consistently improved since entering the league.








Position: PG/SG
School: Iowa State
Original Pick: Dennis Smith Jr.

Drafted 51st overall originally, Monte Morris has turned himself into maybe the most reliable player in this class. You always know what you're going to get when he steps on the floor, and that's a defensive force who can make a play on the other end in the half court when needed. As a key contributor in Denver's improbable postseason run to the Western Conference Finals in 2020, Morris provided a great compliment to the backourt with Jamal Murray.

Now, he looks to do the same with Bradley Beal.









Position: PF
School: Arizona
Original Pick: Zach Collins

Markkanen is probably most known for what he didn't become on the Bulls as the No. 7 overall pick in Chicago. Nevertheless, the forward has turned himself into a servicable starter. He currently finds himself in a key position on an ascending Cavaliers team. 


Position: PG
School: UCLA
Original Pick: Malik Monk

After not living up to overhyped expectations in a Lakers uniform, Ball produced at a solid level for the Pelicans and now the Chicago Bulls. His most valuable asset comes with his vision in transition. With that vision, Charlotte takes the first Ball brother to eventually pair up with LaMelo. 



Position: PG
School: Colorado
Original Pick: Luke Kennard

Derrick White was a steal at the second-to-last pick in the first round in 2017 and Boston has to feel like he is a steal after trading a first-round pick and two role players for him. Detroit would put him in a similar situation as San Antonio where he's probably delt in a handful of seasons, but he racks up quite the stats on bad teams.


Position: PF/C
School: International/ Canada
Original Pick: Donovan Mitchell

If done all over again, there's no way Chris Boucher makes it out of the first round. Certainly he doesn't go undrafted like he did in 2017. He's a perfect blue-chip player for Nick Nurse's system in the North and that would translate to Memphis too.


Position: PG/SG
School: Villanova
Original Pick: Donovan Mitchell

There are no big weaknesses in Josh Hart's game, and it's looking like he'll be a serviceable role player for the forseeable future. Similar to Ball, Hart benefitted from a move and a bigger role in New Orleans, parlaying that to an incredible 2021-22 half season in Portland with 19.9 ppg while shooting 37.3% from deep.


Position: PG
School: Washington 
Original Pick: Justin Jackson

We all know what happened with Fultz. Not the worst No. 1 bust of all-time, but he's in the conversation. Even with the benefit of hindsight, there would be one franchise that believes they can fix Fultz and fully take advantage of his talents. There were flashes in Orlando. Here at No. 15, Portland can take a swing to put Fultz in a fun backcourt rotation with Damien Lillard.


Position: SF/SG
School: Duke
Original Pick: Justin Patton

Luke Kennard is a pro's pro, and would be higher on this list if he hadn't already hit his ceiling. There's probably not going to be much more Kennard can grow into as a player, whereas some of the wingmen ahead of him here are defensive dogs that are constantly improving their shot. The former Blue Devil had an increased role on a terrible Pistons team several years ago where he averaged 15.8 ppg. But now he finds himself as a role player.


Position: SG
School: Kentucky
Original Pick: Justin Patton

Malik Monk is a volume shooter, but an inefficient one at that. While his offensive acumen can really help an offense on a bad team, his defensive liability is a big reason why he'll likely never be anything more than a good scoring punch off the bench. Nonetheless, Monk can really posterize big men in the lane when he gets up for a dunk. 







Position: SF/SG
School: Oregon
Original Pick: T.J. Leaf

Originally a second-round pick, Brooks has proved his scoring capabilities shown at Oregon can translate to the big league. He's a sharpshooter, and can give some of the NBA's best fits on the defensive side. He remains a key figure in Memphis' rotation; now needing guards, Indiana would be thrilled he dropped this far.


Position: C
School: Indiana
Original Pick: John Collins

Thomas Bryant really came into his own as the Wizards primary center, improving his mid-range shot and defensive footwork. Injuries, however, have limited the Hosier to only 37 games over the past two seasons. Atlanta is always a team that takes swings on high-upside players and there is still a ton of up-tapped potential in his game. Without John Collins available, they still need someone in that spot.



Position: C/PF
School: Florida State
Original Pick: Harry Giles

Being a rim-running, post-centered big man has a limited role in today's NBA. Despite those limitations entering the draft, Isaac improved each season in Orlando to earn a starting spot for a team trying to rebuild. The best ability, though, is availability. He falls to No. 20 after missing 2.5 seasons of action due to lingering knee issues and a torn ACL.


Position: PG
School: NC State
Original Pick: Terrance Ferguson

Dennis Smith went from being passed by the Knicks in this draft to them trading their best asset (Kristaps Porzingis) for him. He's an intriguing player because he's got the explosive rim-to-rim athleticism of a Russell Westbrook, but without the same level of vision. Seems like that style of play worked well for several seasons down in OKC.


Position: SF
School: Kansas
Original Pick: Jarrett Allen

Josh Jackson saw a significant role reduction in getting traded from the Suns to Grizzlies, getting assigned to their G-League team affiliate for half the season. It was quick fall from his productive rookie season where he landed a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. He's continued to bounce around the association, now is on his fourth team in five seasons. 


Position: C
School: International/ Germany
Original Pick: OG Anunoby

When given the opportunity, the German has delivered in his limited NBA experience. Listed as a center, Hartenstein is an impactful player whose hustle and ability to defend away from the basket makes him a valuable depth piece on any contending team. 



Position: PG
Country: France
Original Pick: Tyler Lydon

Ntilikina has not delivered that his top-10 draft position would warrant. To be frank, few point guards were going to live up to the expectations put on him by the Knicks fanbase that early into his career. Hopefully the change of scenery in Dallas will help him find his footing.


Position: PF/C
School: Gonzaga
Original Pick: Anžejs Pasečņiks

Collins was a lottery talent when he was selected and that value is still considered here in a redraft. A lack of defensive impact has kept him off the floor for much of his career, especially deep down the bench. Perhaps a start in Orlando would have let him hit the ground running. 


Position: C
School: North Carolina
Original Pick: Caleb Swanigan

By now you should be sensing a theme. Value of power forwards and centers are not what they used to be. Those prospects are less likely to pan out than the top tier wings and combo guards. Bradley, however, manages to be one of the few to go a little earlier than he did in the original draft


Position: SG/SF
Team: SMU
Original Pick: Kyle Kuzma

Brown is a valuable depth piece that has carved himself a decent role as a bench player. He's hung around for five seasons and showed in Houston he can shoot at a high percentage (42.3% 3-point) when given volume (4.2 3PA per game).


Position: SF
School: UNC
Original Pick: Tony Bradley 

Though Justin Jackson is a proven scorer, he can't guard too well and his role has decreased each year in the league. From starting the majority of games his rookie season in Sacramento to bouncing around to six different teams, he's struggling to latch on to a franchise.


Position: C/PF
School: Duke
Original Pick: Derrick White

There was a lot of promise in Giles' game after his first two seasons in Sacramento where he could be a utility center. Injuries, however, have kept him out of the league for a majority of the past two seasons.


Position: PG/SG
School: South Carolina
Original Pick: Josh Hart

The second undrafted player to make the list, Dozier has improved his game significantly after coming off a couple two-way contract deals in Oklahoma City and Boston. With Denver, the former Gamecock provided relief and defensive tenacity when Jamal Murray was out with an ACL injury during the 2021-22 season.

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