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2017 NBA Mock Draft: Chad Ford 6.0 released

De’Aaron Fox vs Lonzo Ball remains one of the hot topics in this year’s NBA Draft.

UCLA v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NBA season is winding down, but the 2017 NBA Draft is in full swing.

In just over two weeks, 60 players will have their NBA dreams realized as they are drafted into the world’s greatest basketball league. That will include several former Kentucky Wildcats.

It’s looking more and more like De’Aaron Fox will be the first Cat to hear his name called, as he’s rising up draft boards enough that it looks like he’s a lock to go somewhere in the top five.

ESPN draft guru Chad Ford just put out his latest mock draft, and he now has Fox going fourth overall to the Phoenix Suns:

4. Phoenix Suns: De'Aaron Fox

The Suns are hoping that Lonzo Ball falls to No. 4. They like him and think he's a good fit in their system alongside Devin Booker.

If he's not there, it will be between Jackson, Fox and Tatum. With Jackson off the board, Fox seems like an ideal fit. The Suns are loaded with offensive talent. Getting Fox's defensive versatility, intensity and play-making should really improve the Suns and open the door to an Eric Bledsoe trade.

Fox has been rising up draft boards enough to think there’s a real chance he could pass Lonzo Ball and go second overall to the L.A. Lakers, but Ford still thinks Ball gets the nod.

After Fox, Malik Monk is the next Cat to go off the board with the ninth pick by way of the New York Knicks:

8. New York Knicks: Malik Monk

The Knicks are looking at a number of backcourt players, including Monk, Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina.

Monk may be the highest upside player and best fit of the group. If he lands here, Knicks fans will love him when he heats up.

The third and final Cat to crack Round 1 is Bam Adebayo, who is all the way up to 20th overall to the Portland Trail Blazers:

20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Grizzlies): Edrice Adebayo

This is the second first-rounder for the Blazers. They've been shopping this around and at least one team, the Knicks, appears interested. It's doubtful Portland keeps all three first-round picks.

Adebayo is steadily rising back up draft boards and a very strong pro day has scouts buzzing again, especially at the terrific feet that allow him to guard multiple positions.

Whether this pick is for the Blazers or someone else, there's real value there.

Bam has been viewed as a borderline first-round pick for some time now, so seeing him go this high in ESPN’s mock is somewhat good news for his stock.

Here is how the entire first round played out:

1. Boston Celtics (via Nets) - Markelle Fultz

2. L.A. Lakers - Lonzo Ball

3. Philadelphia 76ers - Josh Jackson

4. Phoenix Suns - De'Aaron Fox

5. Sacramento Kings - Jayson Tatum

6. Orlando Magic - Jonathan Isaac

7. Minnesota Timberwolves - Lauri Markkanen

8. New York Knicks - Malik Monk

9. Dallas Mavericks - Dennis Smith

10. Sacramento Kings (via Pelicans) - Frank Ntilikina

11. Charlotte Hornets - Donovan Mitchell

12. Detroit Pistons - Luke Kennard

13. Denver Nuggets - OG Anunoby

14. Miami Heat - Zach Collins

15. Portland Trail Blazers - Harry Giles

16. Chicago Bulls - John Collins

17. Milwaukee Bucks - Ike Anigbogu

18. Indiana Pacers - TJ Leaf

19. Atlanta Hawks - Jarrett Allen

20. Portland Trail Blazers - Edrice Adebayo

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Justin Jackson

22. Brooklyn Nets - Justin Patton

23. Toronto Raptors - Jonathan Jeanne

24. Utah Jazz - Andzejs Pasecniks

25. Orlando Magic - Frank Jackson

26. Portland Trail Blazers - Isaiah Hartenstein

27. Brooklyn Nets - Terrance Ferguson

28. Los Angeles Lakers - D.J. Wilson

29. San Antonio Spurs - Tony Bradley

30. Utah Jazz - Rodions Kurucs