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NBA mock draft 2017: Markelle Fultz leads a fresh corps of point guards

Our latest NBA mock draft has a poetic twist.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NBA draft is less than three months away. Teams have an incredible opportunity to shape their futures with the deepest, most high-potential collection of talent in perhaps 14 years. What happens on June 22 could tilt the league on its axis and flip the paradigm, creating new superpowers.

Franchises in the throes of historic playoff droughts could find salvation in the form of 19-year-olds on structured contracts. A powerhouse team could get another incredible weapon for its arsenal in the quest to take down LeBron. Trades old and new could twist everything into impossible knots.

This draft is a deadly serious milestone on the NBA’s timeline. So let’s do a haiku mock draft.

What follows is a mock draft based on the standings as of Saturday, going through the top 14 picks. The twist is that, as in years past, it is littered with haiku. And I do mean littered: this haiku is unsightly, gross, and a little depressing. Enjoy!

1. Celtics (from Nets): Markelle Fultz, G, Washington

Fultz is Number 1.
That much has become quite clear.
(Missing Madness helped.)

Celts have a point guard.
His name: Isaiah Thomas.
He is fricking great.

Take Fultz anyway?
You must!, lest you trade the pick.
Don’t think about fit.

It will all work out.
Rookie challenging All-Star?
I.T. will be fine.

It’s not like he has
a huge chip on his shoulder
or something. It’s fine.

2. Lakers: Josh Jackson, F, Kansas

Lonzo in L.A.?
It makes too much sense! And yet ...
Jackson could go here.

Dope wings are vital
to building a playoff squad.
There, the Lakers lack.

Jackson has some skills,
good size, bounce, and court vision.
A hell of a mix.

Of course, L.A. could
lose its pick altogether.
This one is frosting.

3. Suns: Jayson Tatum, F, Duke

Tatum is real good.
Tremendous feel for the game.
Elite size, also.

The Suns’ summer should
be intriguing. Balancing
youth and growth is hard.

Tatum, in that sense,
provides a bridge. He’s ready
now, strong upside too.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs UCLA Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

4. Magic: Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA

Will Lonzo Ball fall?
Can the Magic scoop him up?
Can he fix that team?

Lonzo’s divisive.
Some see Kidd. Some see just hype.
His shot’s the question.

Can he get it off
against NBA size, length?
Will his pace survive?

The jury is out.
But I think he has a chance
to be quite special.

Lonzo Ball! Lonzo?
Lonzo! Lonzo Ball! Lonzo!
And dad LaVar, too.

(That was a jingle.
I will send the invoice to
you, Big Baller Brand.)

5. Sixers: Dennis Smith, Jr., G, NC State

More guards please, Philly.
We want to see you win games.
Embiid needs some help.

Saric has been bright,
but T.J. and Cov? You need
more people, Sixers.

Dennis Smith can fly.
His explosiveness would give
the Sixers some boom.

6. Knicks: Malik Monk, G, Kentucky

Who will make this pick?
Is P-Jax sticking around?
Or is it Melo?

This is a big deal.
The Knicks have a chance to add
a bright young player.

Kristaps needs a pal.
A point guard? That would be nice.
But anything helps.

Monk can shoot and score.
And he plays with so much heart.
New York will love him.

7. Kings: De’Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky

Now that Boogie’s gone
there’s a thirst for young prospects.
A rebuild is here.

That starts at the point;
luckily, there are some good
lead guards in this draft.

Fox could be the best
at running a team, defense,
and revving up fans.

Point guards who can’t shoot
are forever a dice roll.
That’s a risk you take.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

8. Timberwolves: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State

Yo! Sleeper alert!
Bridges has a lot of fans
among the draft folk.

Sparty ain’t known for
its athletes, more like tough guys.
But hey: why not both?

9. Mavericks: Isaiah Hartenstein, F, Germany

Wait, a tall German?
A power forward who shoots?
Hmm, sounds familiar.

10. Kings (from Pelicans): Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State

So what if you take
Brandon Ingram, stretch him out
like taffy? Isaac!

11. Pistons: Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona

Could he go top five?
Yes! Lauri’s a great prospect.
This draft is killer.

He fits in Detroit
supposing the team still plays
S.V.G.’s style.

12. Hornets: Justin Jackson, F, North Carolina

This is too easy.
He’s ready to play, and he’s
a Tar Heel. Alright!

13. Nuggets: Frank Ntilikina, G, France

Can’t use his last name.
Not sure the N is silent.
Haiku mock draft: hard.

14. Bulls: Jawun Evans, G, Oklahoma State

It is not Juwan.
Memo to all broadcasters!
It is not Juwan.