Mavs Donuts: The DallasBasketball.com Dallas-Centric 2017 NBA Mock Draft

Mavs Donuts: The DallasBasketball.com Dallas Mavericks-Centric 2017 NBA Mock Draft ... (except it's 'Mavs-Centric' and it's 'Donuts,' so we go 12 deep!)

PRE-DONUT: The Ground Rules

Mavs Donuts: The DallasBasketball.com Dallas Mavericks-Centric 2017 NBA Mock Draft ... and understand our parameters here: We've had our conversations with NBA people -- especially with people with knowledge of the Mavs' thoughts. Those thoughts can be boiled down to "The Big 9-Plus'' (as we explain below.) We're also predicting where guys will go, not where they "should go.'' And finally, it's 'Mavs-Centric' and it's 'Donuts,' so we go 12 deep ... 

DONUT 1. Philadelphia 76ers

Markelle Fultz | Washington | PG | 6-4 | 195      

Fultz has been No. 1 on Dallas' board since the fall. He's probably the pick for everyone ... except, obviously, Boston, which swapped out of this pick. The Sixers aren't keeping any secrets here; their existing players are all over social media touting Fultz, who observers in Dallas think might grow into a Dwyane Wade-type star. Fultz has range (he shot 41.3 percent behind the arc), can distribute, gives effort on D and can lead. "Trusting The Process'' might be on the verge of working.

DONUT 2. Los Angeles Lakers

Lonzo Ball | UCLA | PG | 6-6 | 190

The Lakers have puffed a lot of smoke here, but the Mavs' Big Board reflects a belief that it's been Lonzo to LA for the longest. The hype machine isn't a problem because the Lakers like the hype. The dad isn't a problem (Mark Cuban tells me the dad isn't a problem to the Mavs, either) because the kid can play ... though those who know Lonzo wonder if he's too shy and introverted to be a true leader. (Critics tell me he has skipped some team interviews because he knows how uncomfortable he comes in them.) This is a pass-first point guard with BBIQ and maybe his low-key'ness will keep him grounded as other stars start, over the next couple of years, to join the Lakers "brand.'' If you like him, you think he's Jason Kidd. If you don't, you predict he's Shawn Livingston.

DONUT 3. Boston Celtics TRADE DOWN to Chicago Bulls at 16

De'Aaron Fox | Kentucky | PG | 6-4 | 170


We're forecasting a trade here, with Boston dealing with the Bulls as a way to help bring Jimmy Butler to the Celtics. (Yes, we know he wants to be traded to the Cavs ... but the Cavs are rudderless now, so who knows?) Outside of Fultz, Fox is the apple of Dallas' draft eye. He is the exact opposite of Lonzo in terms of personality, a charismatic natural leader who is a two-way player, a pass-first distributor, and a blur on the floor. We've got the Bulls getting this right in getting a John Wall-like player.

DONUT 4. Phoenix Suns

Josh Jackson | Kansas | SF | 6-8 | 205

Jackson is not a great shooter, but he's still a fine two-way player and he's a terrific prospect in every other way. He fits right into a Suns lineup that is guard-heavy. Some folks think he's worthy of being No. 1 overall, though among small forwards Jayson Tatum) might be right behind him. If this works right, he's another Kawhi Leonard.

DONUT 5. Sacramento Kings

Jayson Tatum | Duke | SF | 6-8 | 205

Jayson Tatum’s greatest attribute? “Adaptabilty’,’’ one scout tells me. Tatum hasn’t yet developed 3-point range, but everybody thinks he’ll get there, and the Mavs think highly enough of him to compare Tatum to Harrison Barnes. One Kings issue that needs to be massaged: Lots of these fellas don't wish to land there.

DONUT 6. Orlando Magic

Jonathan Isaac | Florida State | PF-SF | 6-11 | 205

This is where things start heating up for the Mavs. They have intel that Orlando loves Jonathan Isaac as much as they do. Orlando also likes Dennis Smith Jr. and Zack Collins, two other players Dallas believes belong in "The Big 9-Plus.'' Isaac can score (it's just that his school's system oddly didn't call for that) and he digs playing defense. He's thin, but otherwise without many holes. ... and you can envision him doing some Kevin Durant-type stuff. Yes, we're serious.

DONUT 7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Malik Monk | Kentucky | SG-PG | 6-4 | 185

Dallas continues to watch the board and the clock intensely as Minny takes Malik Monk, with whom the Mavs, as reportedly exclusively here by DallasBasketball.com, had a Sunday workout that went very, very well. Is he the next Jason Terry? Minny has been connected forever to Lauri Markkanen, but Dallas thinks that's a smokescreen.

DONUT 8. New York Knicks

Frank Ntilikina | France | PG | 6-5 |170

The Frenchman, 18, has been told by the Knicks that he is beloved in New York. Oh, and he's been told the same thing by Dallas, in person, by Cuban and Donnie, over breakfast in Italy. Dallas has engaged in in-house debates all week between French Frank and Smith Jr. ... the Knicks will make the decision for Donnie and the gang by taking Ntilikina. And yes, we say that even amid the rumors of Phil Jackson courting Lauri Markkanen and mindlessly considering trading Porzingas.

DONUT 9. Dallas Mavericks

Dennis Smith | North Carolina State | PG | 6-3 | 195

Smith is marvelously athletic, an attacking leaper who play above the rim at 6-foot-3. He'll need to work on his perimeter game, and teams will force him to -- because they'll play off him, lest he blow by defenders. He played big minutes a a freshman, suggesting the old high school knee injury shouldn't be a problem. Dallas will want to craft his personality (if you hate him, you see him as a "coach-killer'') and he's not at all the "pass-first'' point guard the Mavs were coveting. But they attended his private workout last week and had lots of their questions answers and lots of their doubts quelled. If Phil passes on Frank, and Dallas is left with Frank vs. Smith ... we think the Mavs are leaning to Smith. But it's close ... an in-house debate, for real.

And that's where we stop, except to note a trio of players that are high on Dallas' radar ... and maybe next up at Nos 10, 11 and 12.

DONUT 10. Zach Collins

Zach Collins | Gonzaga | PF | 7-0 | 230

The Mavs like Collins - he’s who makes Dallas think of this as “The Big 9-Plus.’’  Collins averaged just 17 minutes on a deep, veteran college team. In another draft, he goes higher. If Dallas didn’t already plan on keeping Nerlens Noel, he might go higher, too. Warning, though: If somehow Dallas does draft Collins, it’s a bad sign about the Nerlens vibe. The 10 spot belongs to the Kings.

DONUT 11: Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen | Arizona | PF | 7-0 | 225

The "Next Dirk'' thing isn't fair. Nor is the "Next Porzingis'' thing. But Markkanen, from Finland, can run and he can shoot. This is a great example of another kid who would go higher in a "normal'' draft. (Of course, Phil might make him go higher, anyway.) This is Charlotte's spot. 

DONUT 12: Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell | Louisville | SG | 6-3 | 210

Mitchell worked out for the Mavs on Monday, and his athleticism and defensive prowess is off the charts. He's not exactly in The Big 9-Plus ... but the Mavs are in the top nine (12 is Detroit's spot), so all's well. ...

... Until we're on the clock Thursday and all NBA heck threatens to break loose.

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