24 June, 2017
It's the fourth time in franchise history that the team has had the overall No. 1 pick.
Heron, who was a 5-star signee in the class of 2016, made a decision to stay at Auburn this upcoming season after a solid freshman campaign in which he averaged 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds.
As it turned out, Lonzo Ball and his controversial father LaVar got exactly what they wanted in the end.
He expects the on-court mesh to be just as smooth. Last season, he averaged 20.2 points and eight rebounds in 31 games in 2017. It trended on Twitter, stimulated normally microscopic viewership on the NBA network and, of course, ESPN, which forked over a princely sum for basketball rights (as did Turner) and is eager to make it pay dividends.
Boston, the first team to trade the number one pick before or during the first round of the draft in 24 years, used the third overall pick to add small forward Jayson Tatum of Duke, one of the most polished scorers in college basketball. The Suns picked fourth for the second straight year and selected Josh Jackson from Kansas.
Butler, 27, averaged career highs in points (23.9), rebounds (6.2) and assists (5.5) and as a top defender brings a key ingredient to a team that ranked 26th in defensive efficiency. Tatum also supplied 7.3 rebounds and is a pretty good free throw shooter as he shot 84% from the line last season.
Offensively, Fox is hard to stop as he scored 39 points in a Sweet 16 win by Kentucky over Ball and UCLA to send the Wildcats to the Elite Eight. While most will agree that dumping the promising D'Angelo Russell just to get out from under Timofey Mozgov's contract wasn't ideal, the Lakers made their extra picks count.
The Sixers kept the project rolling later in the first round, striking a deal with Orlando to acquire the 25th pick, center Anzejs Pasecniks from Latvia. The Sixers also hold four second-round picks (36, 39, 46, 50) on Thursday. Along with the addition of Markkanen, the Bulls are planning to re-sign Nikola Mirotic. This news was met with much criticism from analyst and anger from fans toward Knicks president Phil Jackson.
At No. 9, the Dallas Mavericks filled a key need, taking North Carolina State freshman point guard Dennis Smith. Mark Cuban's latest selection is arguably the most explosive guard in this draft class.