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Mock Drafts

2016 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 3.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts will do a 2016 NBA Mock Draft. Here are their third mocks.

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2016 NBA Draft. Included is 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.

 

Alex’s Notebook: Former Utah center Jakob Poeltl has cracked the top 10 in three of our mock drafts this week, which isn’t very surprising considering he’s one of the best big men in this draft.

Last season, Poeltl averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting 64.6 percent from the field (eighth-best in the nation). Poeltl’s 31.1 Player Efficiency Rating was the ninth-best in the nation and first among prospects who are projected to go in the 2016 first round. He was also ranked eighth in the country in Effective Field Goal Percentage (.646) and 15th in Win Shares (6.8).

He made huge strides as a sophomore, not only emerging as the Utes’ go-to player, but becoming one of the most productive players in college basketball – as his advanced analytics suggest. He led Utah in scoring (nearly doubling his freshman average), rebounding and shot-blocking and was a major reason Utah won 27 games (including a victory in the NCAA Tournament).

At the moment, Poeltl seems like a lock to be selected in the lottery. Steve Kyler has Poeltl projected the highest of all our writers, slotting him in as the No. 6 overall pick to the New Orleans Pelicans.

At the NBA Draft Combine, Poeltl measured in at 7’1 in shoes with a 7’2.75 wingspan. While he weighs just 239 lbs. and will need to put on weight in the NBA, his 5.8 percent body fat was very impressive. All of these measurements show that Poeltl has a build that’s very similar to that of Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein (as our friends at DraftExpress noted).

Poeltl had plenty of dominant games throughout his sophomore campaign. Here were some of his most impressive performances:

  • Against Temple, he had 32 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals while hitting 10-12 shots from the field and 12-14 free throws.
  • Against BYU, he had 26 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks while hitting 11-16 shots from the field.
  • Against #7 Duke, he had 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in just 28 minutes while hitting 8-11 shots from the field.
  • Against USC, he had 29 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals while hitting 11-13 shots from the field.
  • Against Fresno State, he had 16 points, 18 rebounds and four assists to help Utah advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Poeltl is a very intriguing prospect, so don’t be surprised to hear his name called sooner than later on draft night.

Joel’s Notebook: With four different teams owning three first-round picks (Boston, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Denver), I find myself struggling to figure out what, exactly, they’re going to do with all of those selections. As I’ve done these mocks, I’ve found myself using the third of those picks on a project or international player because it’s hard to imagine three rookies all making big influences on their new teams, but that led to me doing some really odd things this time around.

Denver, for whatever reason, got the oddest treatment this week. There’s no way they’re drafting Kris Dunn for themselves at No. 7 now that we know Emmanuel Mudiay is for real, but when Jamal Murray, Buddy Hield and Jaylen Brown all went right ahead of Denver’s pick at No. 7, I couldn’t justify passing on the most talented guy left on the board just because he didn’t fit a need. Dunn would absolutely not be happy playing behind Mudiay, and in fact he’d be wasted there, but I don’t see how else Denver could make the most of their pick at that point than to just pick Dunn. Ellenson, Davis, Labissiere and Poeltl represent a big drop-off for me.

Cheick Diallo at No. 19 is probably my biggest stretch this week, but it’s the third of Nuggets’ three picks and they can take a risk at that point. I’m of the belief that Diallo is actually really good and just couldn’t crack Bill Self’s vet-heavy rotation at Kansas after returning from his early-season suspension. Had he actually played this year, we’d probably be talking about him as a lottery pick, so him at #19 isn’t as crazy as it looks. He has a higher ceiling than Prince, Ulis and Johnson.

Ulis-Johnson-Beasley at 24, 25 and 26 would be amazing for the Sixers and Clippers, by the way. Any of those three could be the steal of the round if they drop that low.

Moke’s Notebook: Similar to last year, there still seems to be a bit of a split among the observers as to who will go first overall to the Sixers. Either way, at this point, we know who the top two selections will be in the draft – with most beginning to tab Dragan Bender as the consensus third pick. Where things get interesting, to me, is what transpires after that.

I have been a fan of Buddy Hield for quite some time and he is one of the players I have been mentioning as having the ability to crash the top five. The biggest wildcard in all of this, though, is what the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves do at four and five, respectively.

The Timberwolves seem to have a promising young core already, and I personally think Skal Labissiere would fit nicely next to Karl-Anthony Towns. Labissiere hasn’t been tabbed as a “top five” talent for quite some time, though, and drafting him over a player whose perceived value is higher (such as Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray) may be too risky of a proposition for Tom Thibodeau to co-sign with the exercise of his first pick as the head cheese in Minneapolis. Still, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of the Timberwolves reaching for Labissiere and completely destroying everyone’s first-round projections. The Pelicans are in a fairly decent position at number six and will likely take a wing player who can contribute in the areas where Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon have mostly failed.

Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz are both interesting, as well. I expect those guys to eventually round out the lottery, with Wade Baldwin being one of the better players selected in the top 20. Toward the end of the first round, I think both Diamond Stone and Malachi Richardson will have a shot to sneak in, with Thon Maker and Zhou Qi also possessing the same sort of round-busting potential as Bender and Labissiere.
Truth be told, in the weeks immediately following the NBA Draft Combine and lottery, there is a lot of conjecture or “smoke screening.” For the most part, we begin to get clarity as to what teams are thinking once the NBA Finals begin. Fortunately, that’s in the not-so-distant future.

Steve’s Notebook: Pro days are about to begin. This is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the NBA Draft process, just as it has become huge in the NFL. A pro day is agent-controlled access to draft eligible players and that starts with organized workout days where teams are invited to see those players work out in very controlled conditions. Those will get under way this week across the country.

To pull back the curtain on that a little, agents leverage team interest in upper-tier prospects to not only limit who gets access to those players, but also to showcase some of their other clients who may not be draft worthy or, in some cases, are current free agents.

The controlled nature of the workout is interesting because what agents are looking for is a stronger sense of who is genuinely interested, rather than sending their client on 15 or 20 individual workouts.

These controlled workouts are also a means for some agents to filter out undesirable situations. While agents play a big role in the process, there is still some selling even the agent has to do. Let’s say a team has a logjam at a position, but has expressed interest in the agent’s player. They can get face time with the player and explain to him how he’d fit in their situation. This becomes helpful for teams as they decide whether they would trade a player they already have to free up minutes for the prospect they want – if that player agrees to a workout and, more importantly, agrees to shut down his workouts with other teams in favor of a draft promise.

Which then bring us to the next part: the promise.

What most agents are seeking is a firm understanding of a player’s floor – the team that player will not get past on draft night. Knowing the lowest point a player could get drafted helps an agent shape a workout schedule so they can try to help that player’s stock.

Just because one team commits to drafting a player does not mean that player is guaranteed to go there, but it gives all involved a sense of things. More and more NBA teams are asking players and their agents to shut down workouts and access in exchange for the firm commitment.

Last year, the Thunder asked Cameron Payne to shut down workouts and, for the most part, he did. He only worked out for teams in the top 10 and did not meet with teams past the Thunder’s pick at 14.

Neither side is bound to a commitment; a team could change their mind if a particular player falls to them and there is always a chance a different team takes the player earlier than the promise. Players and their agents have to weigh if the fit is good enough to warrant shutting down workouts and meetings and if the situation is ideal enough to not try and move up.

The name of the game is to get drafted in the best situation possible, not only in terms of the rookie-scale deal, but in the long-term so the player can get a big pay day when it’s time for the first big contract.

While players want to be drafted as high as they can for a lot of reasons, finding the right fit has become more and more a part of the process even if that means they’re picked six or seven spots lower.

The gamesmanship of the draft is a big part of the process and, for many players, that will get underway seriously over the next few weeks.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 18 seasons. Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last nine years. Moke Hamilton is a Senior Writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last six years. Joel Brigham is a Senior NBA Writer and has covered the NBA for the last 11 years.

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 3/19/19

With the field of teams set for the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament, things should get noisy over the next few weeks on the NBA Draft front. Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick Mock Draft before all the zaniness begins.

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Let the Madness begin.

The basketball world will shift its attention to college basketball’s biggest stage over the next few weeks, especially this weekend’s opening round of 64.

While the tournament doesn’t necessarily make or break a player’s draft stock, this will be the first time some notable draft prospects will face elite talent and, more importantly, the pressure of the big stage. You can check out march madness predictions 2019 here.

Expect things in the draft world to start to percolate, not just because of the magnitude of the games, but also because a lot of NBA scouts will be in the same places, which is where the draft chatter originates.

Equally, a lot of NBA teams will watch games together in the conference rooms this week, so more group discussion on players will happen inside NBA teams’ front offices, and that could lead to new preference information flowing into the NBA Draft information bubble.

Here is this week’s 60-Pick Mock Draft, based on NBA games played through 3/18/19:

Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

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

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 3/12/19

The annual March Madness tournament gets underway next week, and draft hype will really start to rev up. Steve Kyler offers up another 2019 60-pick mock draft.

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Things are starting to heat up on the NBA Draft front specifically for those teams already eliminated or facing playoff elimination this week.

The 2019 March Madness Tournament kicks off next Tuesday with the “First Four,” and the major teams and players take the floor on March 21st and 22nd, which will ramp up draft talk and ranking speculation.

It’s important to state that while the NCAA Tournament brings a ton of visibility to players, it isn’t nearly the deciding factor some like to make it out to be. Most NBA teams have a good grasp on their top 100 players and have thoroughly scouted and investigated those players. The tournament stage often helps answer questions and assumptions, but usually, teams already have an idea of what players are going to be at the next level.

That’s not to say a bubble guy can’t push himself one way or the other with a strong or weak performance, but usually, the idea that the tournament can catapult a guy way up or way down typically is not the case. Most insiders will say a good tournament can help win over scouts and executives, but that a bad showing doesn’t necessarily hurt as much as you’d think, unless its an utter collapse. So be careful about tournament exuberance – the hype is never as real as you think, any more than the idea of draft stock declines.

There is some truth to this idea, a lot of NBA general managers – especially ones running winning teams – don’t spend as much time scouting as say teams looking at the lottery, so there is a chance for a player to catch a GM’s eye, especially players on non-major teams. The draft is littered with mid-major guys jumping into the discussion, but usually, it means more draft workouts.

Donte DiVincenzo helped himself tremendously last year, but it was his draft workouts that really sealed the deal for him. No one is drafting a guy on his tournament play. It’s way too big a decision for one weekend to make or break a player at the next level.

Here is this week’s Mock Draft:

Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

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

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft 3/5/19

With the college basketball season starting to wind down, the NBA Draft will play a bigger part of the NBA conversation, Steve Kyler offers up another 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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As the college basketball regular season starts to wind down, and the March Madness Tournament starts to rev up, the 2019 NBA Draft will play a bigger and bigger role in the NBA conversation, especially with NBA teams already eliminated from the postseason (sorry Phoenix).

The Basketball Insiders Top 100 has had its biggest update of the season (http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/), which means this week’s Mock Draft reflects some of the biggest moves so far.

It’s important to note that the Mock Draft process is not meant to be a direct reflection of the Top 100 prospects. While the top of every draft reflects the top guys, as the draft plays out, many teams – especially those with multiple picks will start to use those picks for the future – meaning draft and stash scenarios come into play.

Also, keep in mind some picks are safer bets than others, even safer than betting on the Final Four.

With that in mind, here is how this week’s Mock Draft played out:

There are a number of first-round picks that are owed. Here is how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

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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