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Jason Jones’ lottery mock draft: Kings prioritizing point guard, best shooter available

Five freshmen who could be drafted by the Kings

The Kings have two picks in the top 10 of the 2017 NBA draft. Here are five players, all freshmen last season, who the Kings could select.
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The Kings have two picks in the top 10 of the 2017 NBA draft. Here are five players, all freshmen last season, who the Kings could select.

It’s good to be the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are in the Eastern Conference finals, have the third overall pick from last year’s draft on their roster (Jaylen Brown) and own the first overall pick in this year’s draft thanks to owning the rights to Brooklyn’s pick.

It’s not often a team in contention to win its conference can collect top-three picks in back-to-back seasons. Now Boston can add another prime prospect that could be the dynamic player it needs to pair with Isaiah Thomas.

With more than a month before the NBA draft, here is the first crack at my mock draft, picks 1-14.

1. Boston Celtics

Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington

An elite scorer who could take offensive pressure off Thomas.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA

The best playmaker in the draft might be the leader the Lakers have needed to replace Kobe Bryant.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas

The Sixers could opt for a point guard, or Jackson who is the best wing available.

4. Phoenix Suns

Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke

Devin Booker’s new running mate could be Tatum, who would fill a big void on the roster.

5. Kings

De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky

Dynamic athlete who can impact a game on both ends of the floor.

The Kings have the fifth and 10th picks in this year's NBA draft. Here are all their first-round picks since 2010.

6. Orlando Magic

Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky

If the Magic want to pick up the pace and score more, Monk would fit in.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State

Wolves are stocked with young talent, so Isaac could develop slowly.

8. New York Knicks

Dennis Smith, PG, North Carolina State

It doesn’t matter what offense the Knicks run – they need talent and Smith can play.

9. Dallas Mavericks

Frank Ntilikina, PG, France

A 6-foot-5 point guard who gives the Mavs a piece to work with as Dirk Nowitzki’s career nears an end.

10. Kings

Lauri Markannen, PF, Arizona

Kings need a small forward, but can’t pass on one of the best shooters available.

11. Charlotte Hornets

Zach Collins, PF, Gonzaga

Came on strong in his freshman season and showed promise on offense and defense.

12. Detroit Pistons

TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA

Showed good all-around skills as a freshman, including the ability to shoot from 3-point range.

13. Denver Nuggets

Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina

A junior who could be more prepared than younger prospects to help a team as a rookie.

14. Miami Heat

Bam Adebayo, PF, Kentucky

Big and athletic, Adebayo would benefit from the structure in Miami.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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