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2014 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 4.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the 2014 NBA Draft, including a revised Mock Draft based on the latest information; here is Version 4.0.

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes around the 2014 NBA Draft. Included is a revised Mock Draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts and information from in and around the process.


Yannis’ Notebook: From a positional ranking standpoint, things are extremely tight at the top for power forwards. Three freshmen, Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon, are the premiere players at the position, unless you consider Jabari Parker a four (which many don’t).

The each bring completely different skill sets to the table, so the order that they are drafted in is really going to come down to team’s needs and preferences.

Randle is rugged and physical. He has a blue collar mentality with elite physical gifts. He’s going to come in and be able to help his team immediately with his ability to rebound the basketball on both ends and score in the interior. Eventually he may develop into a legitimate face up threat who can take you off the dribble or hit the mid-range jump shot.

Vonleh is longer with a little bit more finesse to his game. He loves facing up, but is comfortable going right to his back-to-the-basket game if he can’t get by his defender. He is a very capable jump shooter and has shown a nice handle for someone of his size. He needs to get stronger and improve his footwork, but the Chris Bosh comparisons are valid.

Gordon is probably the best athlete of the three, which is saying something because Vonleh and Randle are no slouches in that department. However, he is also the most unpolished offensively. He’s primarily going to make an impact with his rebounding and defense early on in his career. He really needs to land in a situation where his offense is an added plus, not a necessity. He’s a strong finisher and will be able to convert when set up, but he’s at least a year or two away from being able to create for himself at the NBA level. He doesn’t turn 19 until September (Randle will be 20 in November; Vonleh will be 19 in August).

These three hold so much potential that there is very little chance they slip out of the top 10, despite the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team with a glaring need at the power forward position. There are other teams drafting in that range, like the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings who could justify going with a power forward, but they have other needs that are more pressing. The Lakers may be the only team that presents them the opportunity to start right away, though.

Once Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum are off the board, expect the trade offers to start roll in, because there are teams slated to pick later in the draft that need a power forward far more than the majority of the teams drafting in the top 10. Those who are unable to move up will have to keep their fingers crossed for Adreian Payne, but he may even be gone before the lottery is over.


Joel’s Notebook: Teams with two first-round picks are always fascinating because they have a real ability to get their mitts on a couple of players who could potentially be major rotation guys on affordable contracts for a solid handful of years. After completing my mock this week, I looked at the combinations of guys I paired up for those teams with multiple first-rounders and found some really interesting tandems (or, in Phoenix’s case, an interesting trio).

Philadelphia is going to end up with one of the top three players in this draft, and in this case that guy ended up being Jabari Parker, an offensive stud they can play at either forward position next year. I put Jusuf Nurkic with him despite the fact that Philadelphia already has a “center” in Nerlens Noel because I like the combination these two guys could create. Nurkic is a huge Euro prospect with impressive traditional big man scoring skills. Noel does not have those things, and could just as easily play power forward alongside him. Nurkic’s name isn’t as sexy as someone like Gary Harris or Doug McDermott, but Nurkic is a unique player in the lottery this year. There’s not a lot of bigs like him in this draft.

For Orlando, Dante Exum is the perfect fit and very likely the guy they’re hoping/expecting to get at No. 4. He gets paired up in this scenario with Doug McDermott, which was the first time I had him landing in Orlando in any of my mocks. He’d be a three-point specialist out of the frontcourt a la Kyle Korver, and that’s a nice complement to someone like Nikola Vujecic, who does most of his work inside.

Charlotte would be thrilled if Julius Randle fell all the way to them at #9, and uber-athlete Zach LaVine gives them some promise and potential at a position of need. Chicago gets their backup point guard in Tyler Ennis and some post-Luol-Deng Era depth at small forward with UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. OKC ends up with Nik Stauskas and Jordan Adams, a couple of steals at those draft slots, and Phoenix grabs Adreian Payne, K.J. McDaniels and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Not the biggest names in the draft, but all guys who could come in and make the rotation right away.


Alex’s Notebook: In recent months, Noah Vonleh has been considered a notch or two below the top prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft. He has rarely been included in the same sentence as Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Julius Randle. He tends to fall in that next grouping that includes Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Dario Saric among others. Vonleh has been viewed as a top-10 pick, but he’s not usually mentioned as someone who could be one of the first players off of the board on draft night.

However, that may change in the weeks leading up the draft. Vonleh has a lot of fans around the NBA and some teams are very high on the former Indiana big man. While his team didn’t experience much success during his lone collegiate season, he has all of the tools to be a spectacular NBA player.

Vonleh’s measurements and athletic testing wowed a lot of executives at the combine, where he measured in at 6’9.5 with a 7’4.25 wingspan and 9’0 standing reach. His max vertical was 37 inches and he had the largest hands of anyone in the draft class, and the second-largest hands of any player in NBA combine history.

He’s raw, but that’s expected for an 18-year-old who still has a lot of growing to do, on and off the court. His age is one of the reasons why he’s so attractive to teams, since he has a ton of upside and doesn’t seem anywhere close to reaching his ceiling.

Stretch fours are very popular in the NBA right now, and Vonleh has range out to the NBA three-point line. He has always been a great shooter, dating back to his high school days, and he has continued to work on this aspect of his game. He has also improved as a low-post scorer, but it’s still an area where he could use some work as he continues to develop his game.

At Indiana, he averaged 11.3 points and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 48.5 percent from three. Some executives believe his numbers could’ve been even better if he had been featured more in Indiana’s offense.

Don’t be surprised if Vonleh continues to climb in the coming weeks.


Steve’s Notebook: Things got interesting this week after NBA teams got an up-close look at top tier prospects Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. Al three skipped the Chicago NBA Draft Combine, so this was the first look teams had of them since their college season wrapped and in many cases it was the first time some teams saw them in person, although everyone drafting in the top 15 has been all over these guys for more than a year.

Embiid put all of his promise and amazing length on display. He attacked the basket aggressively. He did contact and jumping drills clearly designed to put questions about his back to rest. Teams they were there commented privately that Embiid looked as good as he could look, but that every expected that, what is still looming is what is his MRI looks like and how will team doctors view his back.

Embiid’s camp is still managing the process aggressively telling some teams if they want to see him they have to come to him. There is even more control being placed on who can see his medical materials.

It’s clear Embiid’s agent Arn Tellum wants to control where he lands in the draft which makes projecting him a clear cut number one pick a little tough. Cleveland is said to be “negotiating” a trip into Cleveland. While the Bucks are saying they may have to be “creative” if they want one on one time with the top level guys.

Parker put on a show in the same gym, showing his skill set for all to see. He was a better shape than many had expected as the word from Chicago during the Combine was that he was way out of game shape and had added anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds. Those estimates seem to be a little high. Its clear Parker has been going hard and his game stood out to those in attendance as the more polished and competitive of the three.

The sense that Parker could be the most ready to contribute of the three remains very real and he still has a large number of fans who suggest he could be the top pick once the Cavs get him in their gym.

Wiggins lived up to the hype which most wondered if that was possible. Wiggins is still viewed by most teams as the player that could be the brightest star of the bunch, but there are also concerns that his future stardom may be directly tied to where he is drafted. So there is some sense that he may not be a ‘one-size fits-all’ star, pairing him with the right coach and roster might be more important than some of the other top tier prospects.

While Wiggins is usually viewed an impact scorer, one aspect of his game that gets commented about the most among teams looking at him as a top level pick is the idea that Wiggins could become a very solid defender given his length and athleticism. Teams expect a learning curve on the offensive side, but there is a sense that Wiggins could be a very solid defender, even as a rookie.

While the “Big Three” did steal the attention of the league, some teams have started individual workouts.

Point guard Marcus Smart met with the Orlando Magic on Monday, and while the Magic are being very tight lipped about who they are meeting with, there is a sense around the Magic that players like Dante Exum may be gone before they pick at number four and Smart is viewed as very much on the board at number four depending on how things shake out.

The Magic hold the fourth and 12th pick as things stand today and are planning to work out as many as 30 players between those two selections.


Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Managing Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 17 seasons. Alex Kennedy is a Senior NBA Writer and Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last six years. Yannis Koutroupis is a Senior Writer and Editor and also serves as the NCAA Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last eight years. Joel Brigham is a Senior NBA Writer and has covered the NBA for the last nine years.

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  1. Pingback: NBA Draft 2014 | Contemplating Embiid, Wiggins and Parker (Mailbag Podcast, Pt. 2) | Interesting Read

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: The Top of The 2018 Draft Is Getting Crowded

The top of the projected 2018 NBA Draft is starting to get interesting, mainly because so many potential draft prospects are having incredibly dominant seasons.

Steve Kyler

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Things Are Getting Interesting

While the projected 2018 NBA Draft class doesn’t seem to have a future superstar sitting at the top of the board, there are potentially four players that are really looking the part of future NBA All-Stars and it’s making the top of the class very interesting.

Say what you want about stats, but there is little doubt that the numbers some of the top prospects are posting so far this season are pretty compelling.

Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is averaging 21.1 points per game to go with 10.9 rebounds. His 61.7 percent field goal average is impressive, especially when you consider he’s knocking in 34.6% of his three (9-26 on the season). Bagley has a 32.2 PER with a 64.6 True Shooting percentage and a 26.7 usage rate. In short, highly productive almost everywhere without having to own the basketball.

Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton is posting similarly ridiculous numbers, 19.5 points per game with 11.4 rebounds. His 61.7 percent from the field also comes with an impressive 30.4 percent three-point average (7-23 on the season). Ayton’s 32.3 PER is a nose higher than Bagley. He is also posting a whopping 65.6 True Shooting percentage with a 26.7 percentage usage rate. Again, highly productive in every way without being so ball-dominant to skew the numbers. Ayton hit the ground running at Arizona and really hasn’t had a bad game yet.

Oklahoma’s Trae Young has burst into the top-five discussion in a huge way. His 6’2 180-pound frame looks small on the court, but his game has been tremendous. Young is posting 28.7 points per game with a monster 10.4 assists per contest. He is grabbing 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.5 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from two-point range and a scorching 41.1 percent from three (44 of 107 on the season). Young’s 38 PER is tops in all of college basketball. He has a 65.2 True Shooting percentage and a 36.1 usage rate. Unlike Bagley and Ayton, Young does control the ball, but that’s typical for an impact scoring point guard. He offsets the ball dominance with incredible assist numbers. He is also pretty spectacular to watch.

International phenom Luka Dončić is having a solid season in his own right, although his averages are lower because he doesn’t play the same volume of minutes as the NCAA collegiate prospects. In 26 games in both the Euroleague and the ACB, Dončić is posting 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest. He is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from international three (48 of 135 on the season). Dončić is posting a 28.2 PER in Euroleague play and a 23.7 PER in ACB play. Dončić’s True Shooting numbers in Euroleague play are impressive at 66.2 percent. In ACB play his number drop a bit to 58.1 percent. His usage numbers illustrate the same slip. In Euroleague play, he posts a 30 percent usage rate while posting a 26.6 percent usage rate in ACB. Dončić typically plays more minutes and a larger role in Euroleague play. Hence the stat shift. If you haven’t seen him play, he’s so instinctual and gifted it easy to see why many see him as the top pick.

There are some compelling storylines to watch towards the top of the NBA draft board, which is likely why so many NBA executives seem split on who they would peg as the top talent in the projected 2018 Draft class.

So, with that out the way, lets jump into the latest first-round 2018 NBA Mock Draft:

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers’ 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015. The 76ers traded that pick to the Boston Celtics as part of the draft pick trade that became Markelle Fultz before the draft; it has 2 through 5 protections and based on the standings today would convey to Boston.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer. The Brooklyn Nets traded several unprotected picks to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trades in 2015.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would not convey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Jazz/Wolves Ricky Rubio trade this past summer. The Jazz acquired the pick as part of the Thunder’s deal to obtain Enes Kanter in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors’ first round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets’ first round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @MikeAScotto, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: Another 2018 NBA Mock Draft – 12/13/17

Basketball Insiders’ publisher Steve Kyler drops his latest 2018 first-round NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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A little less than a month ago we dropped the first 2018 NBA Mock Draft, which was met with a lot of disdain. Which is often a good thing because it sparks the discussion in NBA circles.

Since that Mock dropped, we’ve seen a bit more play out of some of the top prospects and many of the assumptions made almost a month ago are starting to settle into place a little more clearly.

The prevailing thought from NBA scouts and executives is that the possible 2018 NBA Draft class has a lot more questions than answers. The common view is that outside of the top 3 or 4 players there could be a very wide range on who the next 10-12 players will be; so expect for the second tier to evolve a lot over the course of the college basketball season.

A couple of things have started to surface among NBA scouts and executives, there seem to be three camps emerging around the top overall player – Duke’s Marvin Bagley III and international phenom Luka Dončić, seem to be the leading names mentioned most, with Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton making a strong push into the discussion. We can safely call this a three-horse race at this point.

The prevailing belief is that none of the three is far and away better than the other as a professional prospect, making it more likely than not that the top player selected will have a lot more to do with which team ultimately lands the pick, more so than the player themselves.

This class also seems to be brimming with promising athletic point guards, which unlike last year’s draft, could provide a lot of options for teams still trying to find that impact point guard.

There also looks to be 27 players in the projected top 100 that are 6’10 or bigger, eight of which project in the top 30. To put that into perspective, there were 11 players 6’10 or bigger drafted in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft, and 17 total in the 60 2017 NBA Draft selections.

As we get into the 2018 calendar year, we’ll start to do deeper dives into the tiers of players and their possible NBA strengths and weakness.

So, with all of that in mind, here is the second 2018 first-round NBA Mock Draft.

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Ricky Rubio trade this summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would not convey.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves first round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would not convey.

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors first round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets first round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

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Mock Drafts

NBA AM: The First 2018 NBA Mock Draft

With College Basketball getting underway and things starting to get interesting in the standings of the NBA, what better time to drop a 2018 Mock Draft than on Thanksgiving.

Steve Kyler

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The Thanksgiving 2018 NBA Mock Draft

With College Basketball getting underway and things starting to get interesting in the standings of the NBA, what better time to drop a 2018 Mock Draft than on Thanksgiving.

So with that in mind here is my first Mock Draft of the 2018 Season, look for more of these are we march on (and hopefully you like the new Mock Draft table design.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this summer.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would convey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Ricky Rubio trade this summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves first round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors first round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets first round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out our Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @MikeAScotto, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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