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2014 NBA Mock Draft: Final Consensus

Basketball Insiders unveils their final 2014 Consensus Mock Draft. Who will your favorite team pick on Thursday?

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It’s finally here… the 2014 NBA Draft is Thursday and after weeks of projecting and mocking, it’s time to unveil the final Consensus Mock Draft of the season.

Four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes around the 2014 NBA Draft since the first week of May, including the latest news, workout rumors and information from in and around the process.

So this is finally how we see it:

Check out: Ver.1.0 | Ver. 2.0 | Ver. 3.0 | Ver. 4.0 | Ver. 5.0 | Ver. 6.0 | Ver. 7.0 | Ver. 7.5

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 just the third time since 1994, the Los Angeles Lakers will be drafting in the lottery on Thursday night, or at least that’s where they’re projected to pick as of right now.

Perhaps more so than any other team picking in the top 14, the Lakers are determined to make this another rare trip to the lottery – so don’t be surprised if their draft pick never actually makes it onto their roster.

The Lakers are going into free agency with the highest aspirations, hoping to try to lure LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to join forces with Kobe Bryant and immediately rise back to contention.

What they do on draft night could tip their hat over just how confident they are in that plan. If they end up moving the pick off for very little in return, perhaps to help rid themselves of Steve Nash’s $9 million expiring contract, then they’ve likely received at least some sort of indication that their game plan is feasible.

If they address two of their biggest positional needs, like power forward or point guard and hold onto them through the night, they’ll likely be a part of the foundation moving forward. The Lakers have long been in need of an influx of young talent, so this wouldn’t be the worst case scenario for them. Although they have a limited body of work in the lottery, they are 2-for-2 with Eddie Jones and Andrew Bynum, who both developed into major contributors, the latter serving as the center piece for two championships.

However, the preference for the Lakers has always been to re-tool their roster through trades and free agency rather than rebuild around high draft picks.

There has already been a couple of significant rumors involving them, including trading the pick as a part of a three-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors, in which they would acquire Klay Thompson. There was also a report that they could send it to the Philadelphia 76ers along with Steve Nash for Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young. Both rumors seem to have lost steam heading into draft night, but it’s clear that the Lakers are one of the more aggressive teams right now, both with their approach to the draft and free agency.


Alex’s Notebook: How far will Joel Embiid slip on draft night? That’s the big question that everyone is asking as the 2014 NBA Draft approaches.

If healthy, Embiid would likely be the first player off of the board because he’s one of the best big man prospects we’ve seen in recent years. He has made huge strides in his four years of playing organized basketball and he has so much potential.

But, of course, nobody is talking about Embiid’s on-court abilities these days. The narrative surrounding Embiid is his injured back and foot, which could severely limit him throughout the course of his NBA career.

So where will Embiid be selected when all is said and done? I can’t imagine him going in the top three, as it’s hard to pass on Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Dante Exum for damaged goods. If Embiid isn’t able to have an effective career and each member of that trio goes on to dominate, the general manager who selects Embiid will look horrible and nobody wants to have that on their resume.

So once you get outside of the top three, which situation makes sense for Embiid?

The Orlando Magic have avoided injured players during Rob Hennigan’s tenure as general manager, expressing zero interest in Nerlens Noel last year and passing on banged up big men like Brook Lopez and Andrew Bynum when they were trading Dwight Howard several summers ago. Not to mention, Orlando already has a center of the future in Nikola Vucevic, who has shown flashes of brilliance early in his career. The Magic have other needs and aren’t big on taking risks on injured players, so it’s hard to imagine them being the team that ultimately selects Embiid.

The spot that makes the most sense for Embiid may be the Utah Jazz. While there have been reports that the Jazz want to move up and select a perimeter player like Parker or Wiggins, if they end up stuck at No. 5, Embiid could be a great value pick for them.

Enes Kanter hasn’t exactly panned out as they hoped in recent years and the Jazz can be patient with Embiid – not only as he gets healthy but as he continues to develop. Because Utah isn’t a team that is going to be competitive anytime soon, they can ease Embiid into their program and give him all of the time in the world, much like the 76ers did last year with Noel.


Joel’s Notebook: The Chicago Bulls want to trade one or both of their picks ahead of tomorrow’s draft to preserve as much cap space as possible in their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James this summer, and while there are a number of ways they have explored trying to do that—packaging both for a single, higher selection, offering them in trades for veteran players, simply trading them for future first-rounders—so far, none of their overtures have panned out. That means there’s a good chance that Chicago makes two first-round picks that they don’t really want.

One way to keep their assets without having at least one of the picks count against the cap next year is to draft Dario Saric, the Croatian forward who signed a new contract with his European team just days before the 2014 NBA Draft. The new contract won’t let him come over to the NBA for two seasons, but that’s probably fine with Chicago, who not only needs the cap space but could also have a European rookie already coming over this season in Nikola Mirotic.

Taking Saric at No. 16 means they’d probably draft a true rookie at No. 19 (the less expensive of the draft selections), and there are several guys that could get a look from them there. Don’t expect them to draft a project, though, as Tom Thibodeau has little interest in projects and the Bulls need to milk production out of every player on the payroll, even the first-round pick. Shabazz Napier, Rodney Hood and Adreian Payne seem like the most logical picks there.

It’s possible they could draft-and-stash both picks, but taking someone like Walter Tavares or Bogdan Bogdanovic that high would be a waste of an asset when so many more highly-valued players are still available at No. 19. This is a player they could potentially trade later for Kevin Love or Anthony, so picking the right guy is still important, even if they’re not thrilled about having to make a pick there.

Of course, it’s not too late to make a trade, and Chicago will undoubtedly try to do so. If they’re stuck with the picks, though, this seems like the most reasonable course of action for them.


Steve’s Notebook: So all the hype, all the intrigue and all the guessing comes to end tomorrow. Fortunately, we still have today to speculate on what’s going to happen in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Here are some of the things we are hearing:

The Cavaliers are still more likely to keep the top pick than trade it. As one source close to the process stressed, the first order of business for any team in the draft is to identify the players they would take with a specific pick, then explore if they can do better in trade. There is a sense that the Cavs have some real offers for the top pick, which they are weighing, but equally with so much value being placed on the number one, that has the Cavs strongly considering keeping it. Historically, the Cavs have taken their draft day decisions down to the wire; this year may not be much difference.

It appears we have some commitments…

The Charlotte Hornets seem to have committed to Michigan big man Mitch McGary; he had one workout for them and shut down the process. Equally, his camp is apparently unwilling to share medical information with other teams.

The Chicago Bulls may have a commitment to Jordan Adams with the 19th pick, as he has been in to see them twice and their interest in him seems to be really high. It’s possible someone scoops him up before the Bulls get there, but Adams seems to be fairly locked in to the Bulls.

Creighton big man Doug McDermott’s floor seems to be the Charlotte Hornets at number nine. The Hornets have had McDermott locked in for most of the process. There is a sense that Sacramento could take McDermott at eight assuming their first few options are off the board, but should McDermott still be there at nine, it seems he’ll be a Hornet.

It appears we have some floors to talk about too…

Tennessee big man Jarnell Stokes may have a floor of No. 26 to the Miami HEAT. The HEAT have had Stokes in twice and are leaning in his direction. Stokes has drawn a lot of interest in the bottom of the first round with Memphis, Houston and Miami all said to be weighing him seriously with their first-round picks.

Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis seems to have a floor of No. 20 to the Toronto Raptors. Ennis has serious interest from several teams in front of the Raptors but it’s believed that Toronto would be as far as he goes, if Chicago does not grab him at No. 16, assuming they keep the pick.

Louisiana-Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton seems to have a floor of No. 12 to the Orlando Magic, although his camp believes he’ll be off the board before the ninth pick with the Lakers and Kings having expressed the most interest in drafting him.

And finally… Joel Embiid’s floor looks to be No. 10 to the Philadelphia 76ers, although there is real consideration for Embiid at five to Utah, at six to Boston and at seven to the Lakers. League sources have said there is still enough interest in Embiid’s upside that his uncertain injury status may get overlooked, but the big hurdle is not going to be persuading the basketball guys of his talent, it’s going to be getting the medical staff and ownership to sign off on him and that appears to be a mixed bag from team to team.

Basketball Insiders will have instant reaction to all of the picks in the first round, so as the picks happen on Thursday look for commentary, quotes and insight on each selection.

We will also be recapping all of the trades and transactions, as well as offering initial draft grades.

To stay current with everything that’s going on, make sure to check out the 2014 NBA Draft Day Diary, which will be updated throughout the next two days with all the news rumors and notes – all in one place.


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

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 4.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2019 NBA Draft.

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. With every new version, you’ll see an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees 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.

As this process plays out, the mocks will evolve, so look for a new Consensus each Wednesday, all the way up to draft day on June 20th.

Here is this week’s Consensus Mock:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0

Spencer’s Notebook: With the NBA Draft Lottery set and the 2019 NBA Combine in the books from Chicago, there are some significant changes to my mock draft.

Brandon Clarke tested out at the top of his position with a 34-inch standing vertical, a 40.5-inch max vertical and a 3.15-second three-quarter court sprint. He was already a lock to go anywhere from the lottery to the early 20s before the event, so it’s clear that this performance should vault the Gonzaga forward leaped into the top 10.

Outside of the physical portion of the Combine, the rumor mill was churning. We learned of multiple promises for players going to teams, including one about Darius Garland being rumored as the Los Angeles Lakers guy once he left the combine. However, it is the Phoenix Suns that many also believe are interested in the Vanderbilt product with the sixth pick.

Another situation to monitor is the New York Knicks and the third overall pick. Everything seems to be hinging on what happens with the Anthony Davis situation in New Orleans. The Pelicans’ new vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, would prefer the All-Star big man to stick around once they bolster the team’s core of Jrue Holiday and himself with rookie sensation Zion Williamson.

An ultimatum will be extended to Davis—if he changes his mind about wanting out, they’ll bury the hatchet. If he sticks to his original request, Griffin will begin looking for trade partners.

The Knicks would like to choose the second scenario. Their main focus is on adding marquee free agents to usher in a new era of basketball at Madison Square Garden. If the rumors are true and Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving come to town, they probably won’t want to play with a rookie in the chase for a title. Offering the third pick along with a combination of their young talents—Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier—could be a package worthwhile for New Orleans in the Davis talks.

If Davis is moved elsewhere—Boston is a destination often mentioned with Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and picks or if the Pels persuade him to stick around for one more year before his free agency period hits in the summer of 2020, New York could be stuck in a predicament. RJ Barrett should be the pick at three, yet there are members of the team’s coaching staff who are enamored by another highly touted Duke prospect—Cameron Reddish.

The Cleveland Cavaliers met with Reddish last Friday, but at the same time, their front office is a big fan of Barrett’s. Should the Davis scenario not go the way the Knicks would hope, maybe the two could work out a deal to swap picks? Cleveland does have two first-round picks (five and 26) and quite a few assets to offer. New York is reportedly interested in moving Frank Ntilikina as well.

The trade idea is purely that, but it almost sets up perfect, doesn’t it?

Jesse’s Notebook: The NBA Lottery certainly shook things up last week with the New Orleans Pelicans winning the Zion Williamson sweepstakes and the Los Angeles Lakers landing the fourth overall pick. With the Lottery and Combine behind us, there is a bit more consistency in most mock draft boards.

The player I am keeping an eye on right now is Cam Reddish. Reddish didn’t have a standout freshman season at Duke, but his combination of athleticism, skill, and upside make him an intriguing prospect. I would not be surprised if a team with a top pick takes the risk that his game is well-tailored for the NBA and his lone season at Duke is not indicative of the player he will become. There is also a risk that Reddish slips a bit on draft night, but that is a less likely scenario in my opinion. For more on Reddish, take a few minutes to read this insightful article from Basketball Insider writer Shane Rhodes:.

Drew’s Notebook: The NBA Draft combine is complete, and we’ve walked away with a few key learnings:

First of all, it appears that some promises were made to a select few prospects including Darius Garland and Rui Hachimura. This sets a floor for them and their camp. While it’s not entirely clear which teams made them promises, in some instances, it’s pretty intuitive (e.g., PG-desperate Suns probably ensured Garland’s camp that they’d nab him at six).

The guy who I’m most enamored with based on the combine is Luka Samanic. Samanic is a 6-foot-10, 227-pound forward with a 6-foot-10.5 inch wingspan. He demonstrated a nice shooting stroke last week at the combine and proved he can stay in front of quicker guards for periods via the 5-on-5 scrimmage. While he’s incredibly unlikely to break into the lottery, I see Samanic climbing into the late first-round.

Bol Bol continues to be an enigma. His wingspan is impressive, and we know he can stroke. But at 7-foot-3 and 209 pounds, will he be able to impact that gain enough from a physicality standpoint and/or stay healthy? Those are huge questions for whichever team selects him – which will likely be team with a relatively high lottery selection.

I was discouraged by Naz Reid registering a 14% body fat percentage (highest of all prospects) –especially since he was someone I pegged as a sleeper in the draft. Now his position as a first-round draft pick may be in question. However, I still feel that Reid’s ability to shoot threes mixed with his 7-foot-3 wingspan spells huge potential. This should be viewed as an opportunity to snatch up a strong prospect at a lower spot considering NBA training regimens.

Tyler Herro represents another challenge for front offices. His 6-foot-3 wingspan was a bit of a surprise, and it presents a slight problem for whoever ultimately selects him – albeit one that can worked around given the right personnel. Fortunately for Herro, it was assumed by many that his floor is a three-point shooting specialist. So while his wingspan presents a physical limitation, he wasn’t assumed to be an above average athlete/attacker/defender anyway. He’ll still probably be a top-20 pick given the perpetual need for shooters.

Finally, the big news (pun intended) out of the combine was Tacko Fall. Fall is 7-foot-7, 289 pounds with an 8-foot-2 wingspan and a 10-foot-2 standing reach. Fall is definitely on the raw side of all serious prospects, but his mobility and skill set are fairly impressive considering his size. He is not a serious consideration for any team in the first round; however, it will be interesting to see who roles the dice on Fall in the mid-to-late-second round. While Fall and Mitchell Robinson are ENTIRELY indifferent players, teams may look back at passing on Robinson and think twice before passing up another unique big man.

With the draft less than a month away, teams have already begun ramping up their workout schedules. We will learn a lot more in the next few weeks. And we’ll probably be fooled by a number of smoke screens, too. Stay tuned!

Steve’s Notebook: With NBA teams now past the Combine and well into Pro Days, there has been a tremendous amount of chatter on where some players may have early draft commitments, and how teams may really feel about some of the notable names.

It’s important to clarify the role commitments have in the draft process. There are two kinds of commitments teams will offer a prospect, one is the hard fast promise. The promise is exactly what you think it would be, a team zeros in the player they want and offers to select that player with their pick removing the pressure and uncertainty of the draft process in exchange for the player shutting down workouts and access for other teams. Players and their agents take a little risk in trusting the team will keep their word, which is why teams typically shy away from promises unless its exactly the player they covet.

The other type of commitment teams make is what’s commonly referred to as the floor – the lowest level a player will likely fall. Teams tend to make these kinds of commitments to players they like, but understand that they may go higher, but in the event the player falls, they know they have a landing spot.

Why does either side care about all this? For teams it is hard to plan around uncertainty, there are so many things that can happen around the draft and knowing they can secure a player they want, means they can move on the seeing what else can be done to improve the roster or gain assets. For players, it allows them to lighten the workout load and possibility for an injury, and start focusing on their NBA careers. It’s always possible a team can grab a player earlier than expected, but for the most part teams and agents work fairly hard to make sure promises are kept.

With all of that in mind here is what’s being talked about in NBA circles:

Word is Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland received a promise in the top ten, with most believing is was the Phoenix Suns that made the promise with their sixth overall pick. League sources said it’s possible that the Lakers still consider Garland with the fourth pick, but the prevailing thought is Garland will not workout or meet with anyone below the sixth pick.

Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura is also believed to have received a draft promise in the top 12, with the Minnesota Timberwolves believed to have been the team to make the promise with their 11th overall pick. The problem with promises outside of the top five or six picks is the domino effect of players falling out of the expected range, but at this point, it seems Hachimura is headed towards being a lottery pick.

Oregon’s Bol Bol is something of a draft enigma. According to a team drafting in the mid-teens, they do not expect he’ll be on the board when they drafted, and there was a belief that he was the first name on the board for the Atlanta Hawks with their eighth overall pick. The Hawks hold two picks in the top 10, so they have the luxury of taking a gamble on Bol. While Bol doesn’t seem to have a promise, there is a belief one of the teams with two first round picks would grab him, simply because his upside is off the charts.

Washington’s Matisse Thybulle was believed to have a promise from the Oklahoma City Thunder at 21, however, a few days after the Combine wrapped, the tone on that promise changed. The current chatter has the Celtics making that promise with their 20th overall selection. One league source said that Thybulle checked all of the advanced analytic boxes that the Thunder covet in a player, so it will be interesting to see if the Thunder try and jump in front of the Celtics to nab a player they are believed to be very high on.

There are a couple of other players to watch as the workout process continues:

Boston College’s Ky Bowman has been doing very well in individual workouts, and there is talk that he may have played his way in the solid second round situation, if not a late first. Bowman has had some solid workouts and seems to be a name to watch as the process plays out.

Duke’s Cam Reddish had his pro day in Phoenix yesterday, and while he only did one on zero work, there are many in NBA circles that believe he’ll be a Paul George-type NBA player, and that he is firmly in the hunt in the top 10.

Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter skipped the annual NBA Draft combine, but there is a belief that he is high on the board for the LA Lakers with the fourth overall pick and the Cavaliers with the fifth overall pick. Hunter seems to be a player whose draft stock is improving simply be being absent.

Things on the team front will heat up the first week of June, that’s when teams are expected to start seeing lottery level players in their gyms, and that’s when will really lock in on players.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 21 years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last five years. Spencer Davies is also a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last three years. Drew Maresca is an NBA Writer for Basketball Insiders and is finishing his first season covering the NBA.

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, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 3.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2019 NBA Draft.

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The 2019 NBA Draft lottery produced some unexpected results. Here are the results:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0

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, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 2.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2019 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week you’ll see an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees 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.

As this process plays out, the mocks will evolve, so look for a new Consensus each Wednesday, all the way up to draft day on June 20th.

Here is this week’s Consensus Mock:



Version: 1.0

Jesse’s Notebook: The NBA Combine is set to take place next week with 66 players expected to attend. Many of these players are going to scrimmage, take measurements, go through a variety of drills, and interview with teams. The Combine should provide a good amount of intel on these prospects that either isn’t available yet or has thus far been overlooked. This is also the time when teams will start giving more clues about their thoughts on certain prospects, what their respective teams are looking for and who is catching the attention of several teams. Oftentimes prospects start setting themselves apart and climbing team draft boards based on their performance at the Combine. On the flip side, some prospects are likely to start falling down team boards as new information is discovered. However, this is also a time where some players may get too much hype based on their measurements and other data points (let’s not forget the hype surrounding Luke Babbit after the 2010 Combine).

Mock draft boards are already all over the place and are sure to start shuffling even more as we move towards the Combine. However, the overall picture should start to become a bit clearer as prospects interview with teams, receive feedback, and as front office executives start making soft commitments to players and leaking out information about the players they have an eye on.

Spencer’s Notebook: In version two of our consensus mock draft, my top nine draft picks stayed the same as they were last week, but there was some slight tweaking otherwise.

As Steve said in the inaugural mock, predicting selections outside of the top slots is difficult. A good amount of teams could be picking for their need first and foremost rather than having a simple “best player available” approach. The picture will be a little clearer next week when we learn the results of the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14.

My most notable observation—there is an abundance of talented wings, raw and polished, in this 2019 NBA Draft class. Younger players such as RJ Barrett, Jarrett Culver, Cameron Reddish and De’Andre Hunter have the tools to succeed. However, finding the right organization to put those respective skill sets to use in the correct manner will be imperative to every one of them to reach their full potential.

Playoff teams are going to be able to add the more pro-ready prospects at that position, with multiple upperclassmen forwards who may be able to help right away – regardless of what team they end up with. Rui Hachimura, Cameron Johnson, Brandon Clarke, Matisse Thybulle and Grant Williams all fit the bill in that sense. While collegiate experience hardly compares to that of the NBA, the maturation of playing the game longer puts these guys ahead of the curve if you were to ask me.

Drew’s Notebook:Not much has changed since last week. The most noise we’ve heard in the last seven days is around accepted invitations to the NBA Draft Combine, as well as workouts. But fear not NBA fans, the Draft Lottery takes place this Tuesday with the Combine beginning the very next day. Things will definitely heat up soon!

With that being said, I spent a lot of time looking at the top teams in terms of draft order and thought a lot about their needs: the Bulls, Suns and Wizards could all be interested in adding a lead guard. This is, of course, an exercise in futility because we have not yet landed on a final draft order. Never the less, this led me bump Darius Garland up a few spots. I think he is extremely NBA-ready. And while a little undersized, he has an IT factor that most prospects at his level do not possess (excluding Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett). Garland could develop into Kyrie Irving-type of player, or he could end up closer to D.J. Augustin. But I really like his confidence and how he moves with the ball. And until the Draft Lottery dictates the final order on 5/14, I’ve got to arrange prospects by my feelings on overall talent.

Another guy I plan to plan to study more closely is Sekou Doumbouya. I was compelled to drop him a few spots after watching more film of him over the weekend, but his youth (18 years old) and perceived versatility indicate that he’ll grow into an effective NBA player, assuming he’s given the proper time and resources to develop. And potential is just as important (if not more) as refined skill. I’m excited to see what, if anything, we can learn about Doumbouya at the Combine.

Tuesday, May 14 can’t get here soon enough.

Steve’s Notebook: The invite list of the 2019 NBA Draft Combine is out, and 66 players accepted the NBA’s invite to take part in the NBA’s annual draft showcase event. It’s important to note that there are three types of invitations; the first is extended to those players expected to go in the top 20, which does not require participation in the on-court portion of the Combine. Those players will undergo medical testing and face to face interviews with teams. The next group will do the same medical and interviews but are also expected to participate in the on-court portion as well. The third tier are those players willing to be last minute alternates in the event players pull out.

This year the NBA is holding a G-League event for draft-eligible players, just prior to next week’s Combine, the NBA has pledged the possibility of a full Combine invite to players that stand out among those additional 40 plus players that were invited to participate.

Why is a Combine invite important? In a typical year, more than 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted, making the Combine list a pretty solid barometer on who is legitimately in the draft discussion.

There are two notable players that declined the NBA’s invitations, the first being Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Washington’s Matisse Thybulle.

While it is not uncommon for players to bypass the Combine, especially if the players is all but assured to be drafted, it also usually signifies a player may have a draft commitment they are comfortable with making the dog and pony show of the Combine less desirable.

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th, with the Combine itself getting underway on Wednesday with face to face team interviews.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 21 years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last five years. Spencer Davies is also a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last three years. Drew Maresca is an NBA Writer for Basketball Insiders and is finishing his first season covering the NBA.

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, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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