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2014 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 7.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers break down the 2014 NBA Draft and offer a revised Mock Draft based on the latest info. Here is Version 7.0.

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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:

Check out: Ver.1.0 | Ver. 2.0 | Ver. 3.0 | Ver. 4.0 | Ver. 5.0 | Ver. 6.0

Get the 2014 NBA Draft Issue of Basketball Insiders Magazine. The magazine can be purchased in three ways: You can buy it on the web, and the magazine will work on all devices. | You can buy it from the iTunes app store (for Apple users) | You can buy it from the Google Play store (for Android users). Get yours today!

Yannis’ Notebook:

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.


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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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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