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2014 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 5.0

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 5.0 featuring all 60 picks.

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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.

This week our team rolls out a look at all 60 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, so here is how we see it:


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Yannis’ Notebook: There are some intriguing international prospects in this year’s draft, led by Australian point guard Dante Exum, whose popularity has sky rocketed in recent weeks. Two others, Dario Saric and Jusuf Nurkic, are legitimate potential lottery picks as well, but their stock could tumble a bit on draft night.

First, what is there to like about them?

In the case of Saric, he’s coming off of an MVP run in the Adriatic League. He was a first teamer at the FIBA U19 tournament last summer along with Exum and has physical gifts that would be above average at either forward position. At 6’10, he’s versatile, skilled and has a high basketball IQ. There’s very little he can’t do on the floor and despite his youth, he’s quite experienced against high-level competition.

Meanwhile Nurkic is a physically imposing, low-post-oriented center who has an impressive feel for the game. His mannerisms on the court are very similar to Marc Gasol. He’s improved at a fast rate already and looks like he is only going to get better as he gets more experience. The increase in the speed of the game and the athleticism he’s facing will take some adjusting, but he’s well worth the gamble considering the lack of talent at the position in this draft class and his upside.

What works against Saric and Nurkic more than anything they’re incapable of doing on the court at this stage of their careers is their contract situations. There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Saric’s representation and his desire to come over immediately. He signed a three-year extension overseas, so his buyout could discourage him from coming over next season. He’s quickly becoming one of the biggest stars overseas and could make up to $8 million over the next three seasons, so the money is good as well. A report surfaced last week that he would come over immediately if the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics draft him. However, they’re both looking for help as soon as next year, and may not take the risk of drafting someone they’re not positive they can have on their roster next season. If Saric slips, he’s going to fall deeper down the rookie pay scale, making his buyout tougher to cover and decreasing the appeal of making the leap anytime soon. At one point, it didn’t even look like was going to stay in the draft. He has until 5 p.m. ET on June 16 to pull out if he and his camp desires.

Nurkic just signed a four-year extension with his club team, locking him up until 2018. Very little details on the deal have leaked; it’s completely unknown how much it will take to get him out of the contract. Considering how hot his stock has been, the decision to sign the extension, especially if it has a big buyout clause, is curious. He may not have interest in coming over immediately either. He’s a project who is likely going to need a couple of years to really make his mark, so staying overseas isn’t the worst thing for him, but teams drafting in the lottery may not have that kind of patience.

NBA teams are allowed to play $575,000 of an international buyout, so the fine print on the contracts of Nurkic and Saric are going to be very key come draft night – assuming they stay in.


Alex’s Notebook: Entering the pre-draft process, Rodney Hood was being projected in the 20-to-25 range, but he has really helped in his draft stock lately. Now, it seems that Hood will likely go just outside of the lottery.

In this week’s mock, I have Hood going to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 15, and it’s hard to imagine him falling past the Chicago Bulls at No. 16 given their need for scoring and three-point shooting.

The former Duke forward is automatic shooting the ball from just about anywhere on the court. He has really impressed teams in workouts with his scoring ability and gained a lot of new fans in front offices around the league.

Even though Hood’s shooting is his biggest strength, he’s determined to show teams that he’s much more than just a shooter. He’s an efficient scorer with a high basketball IQ, and he has been working hard to improve his ballhandling and finishing at the rim so he can be a more well-rounded scorer. He has also been spending a lot of time in the weight room to bulk up and add some strength to his lanky frame. Hood is also determined to prove that he’s a better defender than advertised.

Hood is working extremely hard, doing two-a-days in the gym at IMG Academy, and he’s also doing a number of other things to prepare for the pre-draft process including vision training, swimming drills, weightlifting, drills on the IMG football field and following a professional nutrition plan among others.

The only reason Hood isn’t being talked about as a lottery pick is because he’ll turn 22 years old in October. Some teams may feel that he doesn’t have the upside of a younger, teenage prospect. However, don’t be surprised if Hood has a long and successful career in the league, regardless of where he’s picked.


Joel’s Notebook: Since this is the first time that we’ve done a consensus mock with a second round attached to it, I thought it would be appropriate to explore who I believe some of the second-round values may be in this upcoming draft.

Last year, there wasn’t a whole lot of contribution coming from players selected deep in the draft, but this is a year in which GMs seem to believe value can be found later in the draft than usual. Philadelphia, for example, has five picks in the second round, so they’ve got a pretty decent chance of cashing in on some of the next tier of talent.

In any event, one of my favorite players likely to be chosen in the second round is Russ Smith, a little bitty shooting guard in a point guard’s body whom I love for his maturity, professionalism and winning pedigree. He won’t be a starter in the NBA, but he has the opportunity to make a roster and be a contributor.

Isaiah Austin’s blindness in one eye is killing his stock, and he had a horrible season last year, but his combination of size and athleticism is definitely worth a gamble in the second round, especially since he was, at one point, considered a lottery talent.

James McAdoo might have been a lottery pick a year or two ago as well, but even though we’ve seen his ceiling and it’s relatively low, his floor is also pretty high. He’s another mature kid who isn’t looking to be a star, just make it onto a roster, play hard defense and chip in how he can. He’s exactly the sort of second-round pick that has a long NBA career, even if he never does end up an All-Star.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is a bubble first-rounder, but he’s a heck of a shooting guard that’s good enough to eventually be an NBA starter, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo will be intriguing just because of how good his brother was in his rookie campaign. There are more, but this list is already getting pretty long.

The lesson here is that there are some really good players available in the second round, with those mentioned above likely topping the list of those available.


Steve’s Notebook: Houston, we have a problem… Okay, maybe it’s not Houston’s problem, but for whatever unexplainable reason Indiana’s Noah Vonleh has decided to radically alter his shooting motion as he tries to audition for NBA teams.

While changing shot mechanics and fine tuning defects in a player’s game is common in the draft preparation process, some are wondering why Vonleh, a solid shooter in college, would re-work his shot now, rather than waiting and addressing those issues after he is drafted.

Vonleh has just started the process of seeing teams, and while none of them seem to be scared away by Vonleh’s new jumper, he has introduced a wrinkle in the evaluation process. Many of the teams that have him high on their board have done so based on the hours they have spent scouting him, only to find a different looking player in their gym during workouts.

That might be the plan; show some improvement. Vonleh is still shooting it well, it’s the manner in which the shot is coming off that has changed.

It’s a curious move for a guy who likely did not need to make such a change, and one observer commented that it was clear he was pushing back on his new mechanics in workouts.

One high level executive commented that the problem with altering mechanics so quickly is that in pressure situations most guys revert back to what their comfortable with, and that makes for an inconsistent result.

Vonleh still draws rave reviews physically, and the teams that are hosting him for workouts are very much in the mix to drafting him. Vonleh has been in to see the Kings this week and also has the Lakers, Celtics and Magic on his schedule.

Vonleh is expected to be off the board in the top 10, and it seem very likely he could be gone in the top six or seven.

It seems odd for someone so highly regarded to alter the key aspect of his game that got him here, but it will be interesting to see how his workouts go.


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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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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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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