One more week to go…
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.
So here is how we see it:
For the first time in a few iterations I’ve moved Kansas big man Joel Embiid back into the number one spot, but I just don’t feel good about it. The Cavaliers have a real predicament on their hands and have to be spending a lot of long nights debating over which direction they should go.
There’s the potential for this offseason to be franchise altering, even if they don’t persuade LeBron James to return. The No. 1 overall pick gives them the opportunity to get an instant-impact player from one of the most anticipated draft classes in recent memory; they also have ample cap space to fill out their other roster holes and add talent. However, while the right moves could vault them back into the contention, the wrong ones could extend their lottery streak until who knows how long.
There’s no doubt in my mind who has the most upside between Embiid, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. It’s Embiid and if there wasn’t any health concerns, the Cavaliers’ decision would have been made already. He’d be the selection and there wouldn’t be any reason to consider anyone else. That’s not the case, though. His health concerns are at least somewhat legitimate and have to terrify a Cavaliers team that cannot get this pick wrong.
Being four years removed from their last postseason appearance, the pressure is really on the Cavaliers to turn things around next season. They don’t have time to wait for development or for injuries to heal. They’ve done enough of that over the last four years. They need to win now, and Parker or Wiggins probably helps them more in year one and two.
Cavaliers GM David Griffin clearly has some pull within the organization and has owner Dan Gilbert on board with his plan. He’s not going to be run off with one bad year, but does he feel confident enough about his job security to take a gamble on Embiid when Wiggins and Parker hold so much potential to help them right away?
The biggest favor another team in the league could do for the Cavaliers right now is offer them a deal for the top selection that they cannot refuse and take the decision out of their hands. They need to guarantee that they’re in the top eight in the East next year and while anyone of the top three guys could help them with that, choosing the wrong one will lead to years of regret. Acquiring an established talent would make life a lot simpler in Cleveland.
Joel’s Notebook: There are rumors circulating that the Chicago Bulls, predictably, would like to package their two picks (No. 16 and No. 19) for a late lottery pick, but they’re having a hard time doing that in a draft where even a late lottery pick could make a pretty big difference for his new team. Ideally, though, they need shooting, especially considering the fact that they were 30th in the league in points per game and 27th in the league in three-point shooting last season. With the right trade they could get their hands on Nik Stauskas or Gary Harris to help with that, or if they were lucky, perhaps even Doug McDermott.
That’s Plan A, but in this week’s mock I have Harris falling to the Bulls at No. 16, anyway, plus they’re able to get themselves an apt yet inexpensive backup point guard in Tyler Ennis, as well. If they keep the picks, something like this is really their best-case scenario.
Other players Chicago is rumored to adore include Rodney Hood, Adreian Payne and Elfrid Payton. Doing the math based on the players available and how many of the good ones must, inevitably, be left on the board when Chicago picks, especially at No. 16, it looks like the Bulls are going to end up with at least one really nice player for their rotation, and two certainly isn’t out of the question.
There’s no reason to expect Chicago to stop attempting to package those two picks for a better one, with Denver at No. 11 being an ideal partner, as others have reported. Utah wants to move down, too, but Chicago’s two picks won’t be enough to earn a pick quite so high. However it works, the Bulls are going to be active in shopping these picks, but even if they stay put, it looks like some really good players are going to fall to them.
Alex’s Notebook: For the first time, I have the Orlando Magic picking someone other than Dante Exum at No. 4.
While Exum and Marcus Smart are obviously still possibilities for Orlando at No. 4, I’m starting to wonder if the Magic will go with Noah Vonleh with their first pick and then try to land their point guard of the future at No. 12.
Vonleh recently had a great workout with the Magic and it seems like he could be a serious possibility with the fourth overall pick. The 18-year-old is attractive because of his incredible upside, and he has an interesting skill set for a big man. At the combine, 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 second-largest hands of any player in NBA combine history. He’s a stretch four who has range out to NBA three and he could play alongside Nikola Vucevic, giving Orlando a very scary frontcourt for years to come.
The other reason I think the Magic may be willing to pass on Exum at No. 4 is that they really like Elfrid Payton, who I wrote about in last week’s notebook. He has been climbing draft boards lately and dominating workouts, and the Magic are said to be really high on him. Orlando worked out Payton recently and may have him in for a second workout before the draft. A backcourt of Payton and Victor Oladipo would be downright unstoppable on the defensive end.
It’s hard to get a read on the Magic, but they may feel that Vonleh and Payton is better than going with Exum and the best player available at No. 12 (such as, say, James Young or Jusuf Nurkic).
Vonleh and Payton would be very interesting for Orlando, and they would be able to fill two positions of need and land two players who have really impressed them during the pre-draft process.
Steve’s Notebook: With less than a week to go until the 2014 NBA Draft gets underway, things are starting to settle into place and there are a few things worth talking about:
The Cleveland Cavaliers still don’t have their pick locked in. While Joel Embiid is the favorite, the Cavs are still weighing their options and looking at other picks. At the end of the day Embiid looks to be the guy, but it’s far from decided.
The Bucks are one of the few teams that have gotten all four top level guys to commit to come in for a workout. Despite buzz that Embiid’s camp doesn’t want him in Milwaukee, they still met with the Bucks and are doing medical for them. That means all of the talk of Embiid’s camp trying to steer him away from the Bucks really becomes moot, which begs the question of why did he skip the combine again?
Elfrid Payton has done really well for himself in the workout process. He had some fans coming in, and now that they have put him through his paces there are several teams debating on where to draft him and whether they would have to trade up to get him. There has been talk that Chicago might be in the hunt and they would be willing to package their two first-round picks to land high enough to grab him. The Kings, who are sitting on the number eight, are also said to be very high on Payton.
The Lakers are scheduling a head to head with Marcus Smart and Payton, so that should tell you something about where Payton’s stock is at right now.
The flip side to that coin is Smart. Maybe it’s that there was so much expected, maybe it’s that he’s been talked about so much as being NBA ready, but word is he’s not working out incredibly well. In fact, sources say that the second visit with the Magic was more about trying to erase what some have said was a “ho-hum” first meeting. If you have been following the mock draft world, there was a sense that Smart was Orlando’s guy, then all of a sudden Noah Vonleh started being linked to the Magic; this was after the second Smart workout.
There is a sense that Smart may not go nearly as high as expected when this process started.
There is a very real smear campaign taking place with Vonleh and no one will say where it started. There is a smidge of truth to the idea that Vonleh was not in ideal shape for some of these workouts, but to classify him as “out of shape” as some have is completely untrue. Vonleh has re-worked his shot, which has some puzzled, especially with the timing. And there have been some back channel comments and questions about off-the-court stuff that are completely untrue. Most of the executives we’ve spoken to are enamored with what Vonleh could be at the next level, but it is clear Vonleh is getting smeared unfairly on a lot of fronts.
On the way down? Unfortunately it seems that James Young and possibly K.J. McDaniels are headed into the 20s. The nature of one guy’s stock going up is that another guy’s stock has to go down and it seems both Young and McDaniels are headed into the 20s. Around the combine, there was a sense that Young was a late lottery pick and that McDaniels was likely gone in the teens, however after some up and down workouts, it seems both could be headed down not up.
Young is very much on the radar for the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns and there is talk that Memphis could be his floor.
McDaniels is said to have had a strong workout for the Rockets and that could be his floor, but he is in the mix for the Raptors, Grizzlies and Bulls if they hang on to the 19.
The biggest riser in the process might be Missouri guard Jordan Clarkson. He was pegged as a second rounder at the start of the process and it now seems he may be supplanting a number of the “named” guy in the early twenties.
Three sleepers to watch for in the bottom of the first round — Jarnell Stokes, who has done really well in the process and is in the hunt in the bottom five. Spencer Dinwiddie, who a number of teams like a lot, but could slip into the early 30s. Vasilije Micic, who seems to be the top draft-and-stash guy now that Kristaps Porzingis pulled out of the 2014 Draft class.
2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock
What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.
What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.
Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:
2020 NBA Mock Draft – First Round – 08/21/2020
The 2020 NBA Draft order is now locked in, however, there are tons of additional questions to be answered in the coming weeks. Here is a look at the first round, in this Basketball Insiders Mock Draft.
To say the 2020 NBA Draft has been chaotic is an understatement, however with last night’s NBA Draft Lottery out of the way, things are starting to at least trend in a positive direction.
That doesn’t mean there are not challenges ahead, namely when the actual NBA Draft will take place.
There is a growing sense that the NBA and the players are going to push back the start of the next cap year, which will likely impact when and how the NBA Draft plays out.
Typically, the Draft is a major transaction window for NBA teams, and with so much unknown surrounding how the salary cap will be set, and when trades and transactions typically consummated around the draft would become official, there is a lot of uncertainty, making the 2020 NBA draft wide open on many fronts.
The hope among teams is that some clarity on all of this will surface in the coming weeks, but for now most teams are operating in uncharted waters.
With all of that in mind, here is a look at the 2020 NBA Draft First round, which will be the first of many weekly Mock Drafts we’ll be dropping all the way up to the draft, whenever that finally gets set.
The Basketball Insiders Annual Consensus Mock Drafts will begin in September, as will full 60-pick mocks starting next week, so stay tuned.
2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Final
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft, here is their final look at all 60 picks.
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week they provided an updated mock draft that reflected how each writer saw the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts and information from the pre-draft process as well as a notebook, outlining each writers’ thoughts, observations and reporting on the draft.
Keep in mind we are trying to find commonalities, which is why it is called the Consensus. The writers involved do not see each other’s selections until these are posted. It is done deliberately to make sure each writer is not influencing the others.
Here is the Final Consensus Mock for the 2019 NBA Draft:
*** The 30th pick in the first round was traded to the Detroit Pistons, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 32nd pick in the second round was traded to the Indiana Pacers, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 41st pick in the second round was traded to the Golden State Warriors, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
Jesse’s Notebook Some recent trades, including the trades for Anthony Davis and Mike Conley, as well as a few other transactions have shifted the draft board yet again. First-round picks are being moved around after a period in which prying away a first-rounder from another team was basically a non-starter. With the way the last few days have unfolded, and with the Western Conference seemingly wide open, I am predicting there will be several major trades on draft night. Add in the uncertainty surrounding several star free agents, and it’s simply impossible to predict with much precision what will happen on Thursday. However, this is the sort of environment that excites fans almost as much as the actual playoffs and NBA Finals, and I am not one to complain.
What is interesting about this is the fact that this draft seemingly drops off a cliff (arguably) once we get to the ninth pick. It would be more understandable to anticipate major moves on draft night with a loaded class, but that simply isn’t the case this year. My draft board has moved around wildly throughout this process, and I am bracing myself to be off the mark on draft night. All it takes is one trade for things to get thrown off in a major way, and I am anticipating at least a few major moves.
Throughout this process, I was looking for a handful of players to grab my attention and never let it go. Last season, that player was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and I was very interested in seeing where Michael Porter Jr. would ultimately land given his talent and injury issues. That player never really emerged this year, however. I think Cameron Reddish is one of the more intriguing players in the class considering his talent and upside, but shaky college record.
I look forward to revisiting this draft a few years down the road. At least one general manager is going to get a steal somewhere in the middle or backend of the draft. Considering how comparable the talent is throughout the board once we get past the lottery, it’s hard to say who the steal of the draft may be. Again, I am fully prepared for draft night to go off script in a major way. I recommend all NBA fans do the same.
Drew’s Notebook After months of planning, the 2019 NBA Draft is finally upon us. And per the usual, the closer we get, the harder it is to differentiate between fact and fiction given the number of smokescreens generated by agents and teams.
The Grizzlies appear dead set on Ja Morant. And rightfully so considering they traded away Mike Conley. The Knicks have continued to do their due diligence having worked out Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland just yesterday – and those close to Garland say the interest is real. On the flip side of the Knicks’ decision, RJ Barrett claims to have made considerable improvements since we last saw him at Duke – take that with a grain of salt. But the Knicks still appear to be the first team with a real decision to make.
We also hear that Nassir Little could go as high as nine to Washington and that Sekou Doumbouya might have a guarantee from Orlando at 16. So watch out for those curveballs, too.
As far as teams looking to consolidate their picks are concerned, the Hawks have resisted the idea of packaging the eighth pick along with 10 and/or 17, which may prohibit them from moving up as high as they would prefer. Atlanta owned six picks coming into the draft process – 8, 10, 17, 35, 41 and 44. They’ve already dealt 41 to Golden State and 44 to Miami. We’ll see if they continue moving/consolidating picks in hopes of mitigating the number of rookies they bring into training camp.
We’ve also heard that the Celtics would like to package their picks to move up, but it seems as though they’ve struggled to gain any traction – probably because teams can’t accurately predict who will be available with their selections (the Celtics’ first selection is 14). Boston may have to wait for some names to come off the board before others decide if trading back for multiple selections is the right move.
Draft night will inevitably deliver a number of surprises to the Brooklyn crowd. I expect heavy trade activity tomorrow night in advance of another wild free agency period, beginning June 30.
Spencer’s Notebook The day is here, folks! Tonight marks the official date of the 2019 NBA Draft, which will begin potentially one of the most hectic summers the association has ever seen.
In past notebooks from different versions of our Consensus Mock, I surmised that much of the shakeout would depend on what happened with Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Well, that situation resolved itself this past week when the Los Angeles Lakers made a franchise-altering trade with the Pelicans to land “The Brow” in Hollywood.
New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin now holds significant draft capital, as the team has both the first and fourth pick in this upcoming class. He also swindled three more first-rounders along with The Big Easy’s new upstart talents in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Due to the abundance of young guard/wing talent, and multiple teams vying to trade up using different packages, there’s a reason for the Pelicans to deal away No. 4.
And because of the uncertainty of what will happen at that slot, it’s difficult to predict how the draft will ultimately shake out. For example, if New Orleans decides to hang onto it, they could take Darius Garland, or RJ Barrett (if he falls) or whomever they deem fits their organization. However, if a team like the Atlanta Hawks jumps the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, it could cause a domino effect that may completely alter everybody else’s plans.
Just in the past 48 hours, we learned about developments in New York. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Knicks brass is seriously considering Garland at No. 3 and worked him out Wednesday. Whether this is actual interest or a way to drive up an asking price for their draft pick in order to make a deal of their own, we don’t actually know. The same thing could be said for Cleveland, who despite having Collin Sexton, is intrigued by the dynamic point guard.
At this point in the process, the real information could differ completely from what’s being leaked. Smoke is already filling up the room. It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in this year’s draft, especially when most people around NBA circles believe that, at the tail end of the lottery, there could be draft picks moved every which way.
This is like throwing a dart blindfolded. As I tweeted last night, we might be burning our mock drafts at the rate we rip up brackets in the month of March.
The Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks already moved their first-round picks in separate deals. That could only be the beginning. Who knows what the Hawks and Boston Celtics will do with three first-round selections in such a difficult class to differentiate player talent?
We won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Enjoy draft night, everyone!
Steve’s Notebook The 2019 NBA Draft is tonight in Brooklyn, New York, and while the suspense at the top of the draft board looks unchanged, there is a lot of potential for movement everywhere else.
As things stand today, Zion Williamson will be the top overall pick with almost no surprise there.
At number two, there continued to be talk last night that New Orleans was trying to pry the number two pick out of Memphis to grab Duke’s RJ Barrett, which would push Memphis back to the fourth spot and catching either Murray State’s Ja Morant or Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, after the Knicks select at three. While these talks remain fluid, it does not appear at this point there will be a deal, but as is true with all trades, the right combination of assets changing hands can often turn a “No” into a “Yes.”
The New York Knicks have done their fair share of waffling on what to do at number three. While RJ Barrett remains the odds on favorite, the Knicks did take a long look at Garland on Wednesday in New York, as well as having surveyed executives from other teams for their views on Barrett, which is common due diligence, but also shows there may be some doubt on the long-term fit of Barrett.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have also been busy working on trade scenarios that could include in the fifth overall pick, the partially guaranteed cap clearing contract of JR Smith and their second pick at 26. The narrative around Cleveland is that they want to build around last year’s pick Collin Sexton, but the potential availability of Garland could test that commitment. Since the NBA Draft Combine, the Cavs have been linked to Duke’s Cam Reddish in trade down scenarios. There has been a belief that if Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver is there at five, the Cavs may grab him and flip him to the Atlanta Hawks for either of the eighth or tenth picks and the Hawks pick at 17 which they obtained from the Brooklyn Nets.
As for some of the notable teams:
The prevailing thought is the Chicago Bulls are grabbing either Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter or UNC’s Coby White at 7.
The Washington Wizards seemed to have three guys in their sights: White, UNC’s Nassir Little and Limoges CSP’s Sekou Doumbouya.
The Hawks seem to be where Mega Bemax’s Goga Bitadze is going to land, likely at the ten spot.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are said to be extremely high on Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, although things could get interesting if Texas big man Jaxson Hayes is still on the board.
The Miami HEAT seem very open to trading their pick at 13, and there was talk in New York that Darius Bazley may be the HEAT’s guy, even as high as 13 if they keep the pick. The Pistons are also believed to be very high on Bazley.
The 2019 NBA draft is shaping up to be one of the turbulent drafts in recent years. A typical draft will have 15 to 18 transactions, most involving moving picks around. This year’s draft may double that when all the trade volume is done, so don’t get too attached to anyone your team may draft – they may not be there long.
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