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2015 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 8.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the 2015 NBA Draft, including a revised Mock Draft based on the latest draft news and information.

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2015 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.

Previous Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0 | 7.0

Alex’s Notebook: Willie Cauley-Stein is one of the toughest prospects to project in this draft class.

While there are teams showing interest in the big man early in the draft (such as the New York Knicks at No. 4, the Orlando Magic at No. 5, the Sacramento Kings at No. 6 and so on), there’s also word coming out that those organizations are split on whether Cauley-Stein makes sense with such a high pick.

Cauley-Stein obviously projects to be a very good defensive player in the NBA, but will his offense and the rest of his game continue to develop? That’s the question that executives around the league have about him.

Keep in mind, Cauley-Stein is older than many of the other prospects in the top of the draft (he will turn 22 years old in August), so there’s a belief that he has less upside than his peers.

It’s possible that a team could talk themselves into taking Cauley-Stein higher than I have him (especially if things don’t go down the way I have it mocked), but I also think it’s realistic that the Kentucky product drops to the Charlotte Hornets at No. 9.

The Hornets recently had a solo workout with Cauley-Stein, so perhaps his camp realizes this is a legitimate possibility as well and wants to establish that as his floor.

Cauley-Stein could go on to have a long, successful career in the NBA. But with his age and limitations, teams are more likely to go for younger, higher-upside prospects at the very top of the draft.

Joel’s Notebook: The back end of the first round has become really, really hard to figure out. Usually by this point I’ve got about five-to-six guys I like to round out the end of the round, but in real life that’s usually when things start to get a little unpredictable, as teams fall in love with prospects that a lot of mocks didn’t have going quite so high.

This year, the end of my first round often has included Christian Wood, Jonathan Holmes, Chris McCullough, Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin, but I know from many of years of experience that at least half of those kids won’t be drafted until the second round. There are, of course, other players that could sneak into the first round, and I tried out a few of them in this week’s mock.

There has been, for example, plenty of chatter for a few weeks that Louisville’s Terry Rozier could be a first-round pick, but San Antonio is as high as I’ve ever had him. This also marks the first time I’ve had Michael Frazier in the first round, even though he comes out of Florida in a year where they were massively disappointing. Despite that, he’s got some good experience and is certainly much better than his recent tape shows. Arkansas’ Michael Qualls is another guy who could sneak into the first round, though he’s been overshadowed in this process by Razorbacks teammate Bobby Portis.

George de Paula, the Brazlian point guard with the huge hands, might have been a first-round pick, but he dropped out of the draft this year because he didn’t receive the first-round interest from teams that he desired. Plenty of other international kids could sneak into the back end of the first, though, with Nikola Milutinov, Guillermo Hernangomez, Arturas Gudaitis and Mouhammadou Jaiteh being the most likely candidates there. I don’t have enough international kids in my first round outside of the two lottery players. I think at least one of those four will get drafted in the first 30 picks, even though I don’t have them there right now.

Are these the sexiest names in the draft? Of course not, but as we’ve seen in recent drafts, there’s always a diamond in the rough at the end of the first round. One of the aforementioned players could be that diamond this year.

Moke’s Notebook: To this point, I have had Jahlil Okafor going to the Minnesota Timberwolves with the first overall pick up until this point, and this week, have decided to flip he and Karl-Anthony Towns. The reports out of Minneapolis are saying the T-Wolves have made their decision and because I do not have any sources close to or within that organization, I won’t continue to fight. I could easily see a scenario where Okafor falls to the New York Knicks at number four, but the odds of the Los Angeles Lakers passing up on him seem to be a huge risk for the organization, even though I do think there are some legitimate questions as to how he and Julius Randle will flourish together. Still, the Golden State Warriors once had similar concerns over Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry and we all see how that worked out…

Obviously, the rise of the stock of Kristaps Porzingis throws a wrench into the top five, but I can’t see the Philadelphia 76ers passing on D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay. The team needs a point guard and my understanding of the Michael Carter-Williams trade was that it was done with the intention of drafting a new lead guard this summer. So, my top four players remain the same, even though Okafor and Towns are swapping places.

I am sending Porzingis to the Orlando Magic at number five mainly because I think his skills would fit nicely between Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton. I don’t expect the team to bring Tobias Harris back, so I think Porzingis will fit in nicely. I still like Willie Cauley-Stein for the Kings at number six, and the way I have it shaking out is that the Denver Nuggets may be lucky at number seven with Justise Winslow.

The honest truth for me, though, is that I can easily see my draft board getting blown up. The prevailing sentiment that I have heard from the people that I talk to in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. is that this draft is believed to be much, much deeper than we initially thought and that although there are quite a few teams interested in swapping picks, there are a fair number of people reluctant to do so because nobody seems to know anything other than the fact that Towns will not be drafted anywhere below number two. That is the only thing that is being represented to me as a fact. Okafor could go as low as number four, while Russell or Mudiay could, as well. Some have Porzingis going as high as number three.

I thought things would be more clear as the draft approached, but the opposite has happened, especially with word out of New York City being that Cauley-Stein came away from his workout with the Knicks feeling as though he had impressed the pants off of them. This entire process has been much more dramatic than I think any of us imagined.

Steve’s Notebook: There are a few picks that can be had, and it seems there may be some movement all around the first round.

Word is that New York Knicks may trade out of the fourth overall pick if Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell come off the draft board as expected. This likely means the Knicks hold their pick until the draft starts to unfold and trigger something either with the pick directly or a player they draft at number four for another team, and consummate a deal when the other team seals the deal selecting a player the Knicks covet.

The name that keeps popping up is Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein.

It’s important to note that the fourth pick does carry a salary cap hit of $3.443 million. If the Knicks can trade down even to the No. 7 or 8 spot, they would save roughly $1 million in cap space and likely still come away with the player they seem to covet. That $1 million in cap space may be needed this summer in free agency.

There is talk that the Charlotte Hornets are open to moving up, as are the Brooklyn Nets and they could be dangling forward Mason Plumlee as inducement to get into the upper teens of this draft.

The L.A. Lakers are holding on to the 27th selection and they too are looking to move out of the $963,000 in guaranteed salary associated with it. There is a belief that if the Lakers cannot move up and grab a significant player in the mid-teens, they’d rather move out of that pick altogether.

The L.A. Clippers, who just consummated a trade for Lance Stephenson, are also looking to get into the draft. However, word is they are offering cash for a pick in the early 30s.

With the NBA draft roughly one week away, things are starting to heat up on the trade front as many teams are starting to get a feel for how this draft may play out and if the right guys are gone, moving down or out becomes realistic especially for teams with eyes on free agents.

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 seven years. Moke Hamilton is a Senior Writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last five years. Joel Brigham is a Senior NBA Writer and has covered the NBA for the last 10 years.

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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

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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. 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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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 1.0

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:



Jesse’s Notebook: The Draft Lottery is still two weeks away, so it’s somewhat difficult to put together a mock draft that feels completely well-grounded. This is especially the case with this year’s draft class, which features a consensus No. 1 pick in Zion Williamson but little else in terms of clarity. There are notable individual talents in this class, but a large range of opinions on what order these prospects should be drafted.

Considering this, I predict that team-fit will have a bigger influence on this draft class than previous classes, which have often featured more than a handful of top-tier prospects. For example, many scouts, talent evaluators and members of the media rank R.J. Barrett as the second best player in the draft and list him as likely to be drafted second overall. However, the Suns have a glaring hole at point guard, which means Phoenix might favor Ja Morant over Barrett in a scenario in which they have the second pick in the draft. The point here is that teams will likely be giving considerable weight to how players fit on their respective rosters starting as early as the second pick in the draft.

It’s always fun to dissect every bit of new information and adjust mock drafts in the weeks leading up to the draft. And for many NBA fans, it’s fun to engage in that process and pick apart the mock drafts of writers and journalists who cover the league. This summer should be an especially good year for fans to do so considering how different each writer’s mock draft boards will look compared to others. So be sure to stop by Basketball Insiders frequently to keep up with our mock drafts and give us your feedback on Twitter.

Spencer’s Notebook: The best time of the league year is here! While the remaining teams in the postseason continue to battle it out for a chance at a championship opportunity, those who aren’t in the dance are gearing up for a chance to add new talent to their respective franchises via the NBA Draft.

We might not be sure who lands where in the lottery as of yet—we’ll know on May 14 officially—but whatever ball club draws the first overall selection is a shoo-in to take Duke superstar Zion Williamson.

Williamson is not just a highlight reel, he’s the real deal. Though the freakish combination of power and athleticism captures everyone’s attention, it’s the intelligence and natural playmaking ability that will guide him at the next level. With the association trending towards higher possessions and more scoring in transition opportunities, the 6-foot-9 phenom will thrive with whatever team brings him in.

On to the remaining notables in this lottery—I went with Coby White to the Chicago Bulls at four because of their inconsistency at point guard. He’s a facilitator that can open up the floor due to his threat to score inside and make shots on the outside.

My favorite part of putting this together was adding two top-five worthy picks to the growing core of the Atlanta Hawks. After a sizable leap in his sophomore season at Texas A&M, Jarrett Culver proved to be one of the most sought-after wings in this entire draft class. His length is a matchup nightmare for any team, as is his ability to put it on the floor and get to the line.

Along with Culver, I have Travis Schlenk taking a flier on Oregon’s Bol Bol. The luxury of having two lottery picks is being able to take risks. The 7-foot-2 big man displayed flashes of greatness with his versatility on both ends. He’s able to move and handle the ball exceptionally well for a player his size, can knock down jump shots and, obviously, protect the rim. He’ll need to bulk up more and, unfortunately, he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and only played nine games. But if the success of Joel Embiid—who had the same exact injury in the other foot in 2014—has taught us anything, it’s to be patient and trust the process.

Drew’s Notebook: With the NBA Draft Lottery only two weeks away, front offices around the league are in serious exploration mode, familiarizing themselves with all of the prospects eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft.

And speaking of prospects, lots will change regarding how they are viewed thanks to the NBA Draft Combine, which is set to run from May 15-19 in Chicago. It’s worth noting that while the combine commences on May 15, teams can begin private workouts before the combine. For example, the Atlanta Hawks began workouts on April 30, kicking things off with a six-player workout headlined by Nevada forward Jordan Caroline.

The next big date to keep an eye on following the combine is May 29, which is the withdrawal deadline for all prospects who would like to maintain NCAA eligibility. By May 30, we will all have a much clearer picture of who will go where. Until then, the only (almost) certain thing about the 2019 NBA Draft is Zion Williamson will be selected first overall by whichever team wins the lottery.

Steve’s Notebook: The 2019 NBA Draft looks to be a little unpredictable; outside the top 3 or 4 players, the next 20 players could go in a wildly unexpected way, mainly because NBA teams do not few this draft class the same way, and a lot of the notable players are viewed as a little interchangeable. For example, how much of a difference is there at the next for UNC’s Coby White and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver? It will come down to the team selecting and not some perceived gap in skill, potential or ability.

The same seems to be true of Texas’ Jaxson Hayes, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford. Hayes looks like the best of the group and more likely to come off the board first. However, what’s coming from teams – is they view a lot of these guys in the same group and are looking for them to go head-to-head to settle some of the debate on who could be the better long-term pro and ultimately a draft pick.

There are also some guys to watch in terms of stock dropping.

There are real medical concerns on Oregon’s Bol Bol; teams will want a long look at his medical. The belief from scouts and executives is that if he were healthy, he’d be a top 10 prospect, but with the navicular injury and his tremendous size, there is a desire to fully understand where he really in his recovery is before some teams would commit to him.

UNC’s Nassir Little is a mixed bag among NBA scouts, some point to his tremendous high school career as a reason to believe, but his underwhelming season at Carolina has impacted how teams view him. He will need to answer a lot of questions for teams in the workout process. The current read is that Little could go anywhere from 15 to 35. Workouts and personal interviews could go a long way towards cementing what side of that range he really lands.

Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey is another name to watch. The word around NBA teams is that he may pull out of the 2019 NBA Draft if he does not get feedback at the NBA Combine suggesting he’d go in the first round. Word has it that his camp is looking for the ideal situation, and a soft promise might keep him in the draft. If teams are non-committal, he may pull out.

There are also some names projected lower in this draft that could surprise.

Virginia’s Kyle Guy has some fans. He could be one of the guys that could go 8 to 10 picks higher than his currently projected range. International guard Henri Drell could go late in the first round or early in the second round. It seems he has fans among teams holding multiple picks.

Washington State’s Robert Franks has had some teams in to see him recently, and the buzz on his is really positive. Franks is currently projected in the middle of the second round. However, there are some teams late in the first that seems to be very high on him; a solid workout schedule could garner a draft promise.

It is important to note that there are two different types of commitments teams give players – the first is the hard fast guarantee of selection. This usually accompanies a player shutting down workouts with other teams. In a typical draft, there are usually three or four of them made per draft.

The other is the soft commitment, which usually means a team pledged to draft the player, assuming the draft plays out as expected. This is a little riskier for the player in terms of shutting down workouts, because if the right player falls, they could be left without a chair.

Why do teams do these things – control and certainty. The draft is very unpredictable, and if a team is sold on a specific player, locking them in allows them to focus on other things in the transaction window. Because a team commits to a player, does not preclude a team higher up from drafting that player, they may not get the chance to work that player out.

Most smart agents will explain to their player that finding the ideal fit matters way more to a long NBA career than going one or two spots higher and getting that guaranteed floor, allows for the player to focus on being ready for Summer League and ultimately training camp.

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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