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Mock Drafts

2016 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 4.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts will do a 2016 NBA Mock Draft. Here are their fourth 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: For the first time in these mock drafts, I put Ben Simmons first overall to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brandon Ingram second overall to the Los Angeles Lakers.

My thinking for quite some time was that Philadelphia already had a logjam of bigs, so Simmons may not have fit in there. Yes, I know, Simmons is a point forward who does most of his damage on the perimeter. But most people around the NBA still believe he’ll play the four and make plays from there.

I also believe that Simmons is at his best when he’s surrounded by offensive weapons so he can facilitate. Simmons is not a go-to scorer at this point, and I felt that’s what Philadelphia needed with this pick, which is why I had Ingram going to them. Ingram could give them an inside-outside scoring threat, while Simmons cannot (without drastically improving his jump shot).

I also thought this scenario worked out nicely for Simmons, who would then fall to the Lakers, where he’d be a star in an enormous media market surrounded by scorers like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams, Julius Randle, etc. Falling to two and being the potential face of the Lakers – which comes with a ton of exposure, endorsements, etc. – isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So, that explains my previous thinking. However, now we’re hearing more and more that the Sixers are leaning toward Simmons over Ingram – and may even trade one of their other big men (Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid or Dario Saric) to make room for him. For now, I’m slotting Simmons to Philly, but a lot can still change between now and draft night.

Joel’s Notebook: Of the four mock drafts that we’ve done so far, this is the one that has vibed the best to me. Something about the way this lays out just seems to work, and while we all know how horrible I am at predicting things (see “50 NBA Predictions Revisited”), I can’t help but feel that there are a lot of picks here that make sense.

Buddy Hield to Boston would be a slam dunk, not only because he’d be an awesome fit in Boston but because if they do trade the pick he seems like exactly the player teams would trade up to grab. Seniors don’t usually go this high, but Hield is such a known commodity in a league that values three-pointers so much. It just fits here. Bender slips to five in this mock, and really he makes a lot of sense for Minnesota, who don’t have any gaping holes anywhere in their lineup. This is a place where that gamble makes sense for the player and the team.

Skal Labissiere to Milwaukee fits what they’re doing these days, too, with that long body and all that athleticism. They need help in the frontcourt, and at No. 10 there aren’t a lot of guys that boast the star potential Skal has, even if he is a massive risk. Jakob Poeltl, meanwhile, absolutely could slip all the way to Chicago at No. 14, and considering they could lose both of their centers this offseason, that would be a bit of a godsend.

I’d love Luwawu in Phoenix, Jackson in Memphis, Prince in Detroit, Baldwin in Indiana, Diallo in Boston, and the Beasley/Johnson combo to pair with Ben Simmons in Philly.

These guys can’t all be stars, but there’s a lot of players who can help make teams better in this draft. This particular mock helps out so many teams in a lot of obvious ways.

Moke’s Notebook: The more homework I do on the prospects entering the league this year, the more I realize that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding a number of players. Thon Maker, DeAndre Bembry and Tyler Ulis are each prime examples. If you go around and take a look at some mock drafts, you’ll see quite the disparity from one to the next. What it tells us, to be quite frank, is that correctly nailing a draft pick is incredibly difficult.
The biggest thing for me, as I’ve said, is to determine how the rising cap is going to impact some of these picks. Case in point: Skal Labissierre. Most people would think that the Toronto Raptors are set at the big man slot with the rise of Bismack Biyombo, but if the Raptors feel that they don’t want to break the bank for Biyombo (expect him to command $15 million per year), they may opt to draft the young Haitian from Kentucky.

One of the hottest players out there is Marquese Chriss, and though I see him cracking the top five elsewhere, I don’t see him supplanting any of my top six players. I think that Brandon Ingram, Ben Simmons, Dragan Bender, Kris Dunn, Jaylen Brown and Buddy Hield simply have too much perceived value to fall outside of the top seven, though I wouldn’t surprised to see them swap order.

The thing that may blow up everyone’s mock draft, however, is the fact that the Pelicans, from what I have heard, are intent on taking the best player available. That may or may not be a guard, depending on how the rest of the draft shakes out. For a while, I was sure they would seek a replacement for Eric Gordon, but that may not be the case.

The Knicks have been busy working out some prospects while some guys I expect to go undrafted are working out with a few clubs that have late first-round picks. Things are getting interesting, especially with just a few weeks to go before the draft.

Are you not entertained?

Steve’s Notebook: There are a few names in the 2016 NBA draft that are carrying a bit of negative luggage with them as they undergo the draft workout process. While NBA teams are very mindful about character and history, especially for first-round picks, teams do understand there are circumstances to understand and a number of guys are hoping to show teams they are more than they may have appeared to be in college and are trying to shake labels that may or may not fit.

Tim Quarterman’s season at LSU was as up and down as they come. Some of it was on him, he fell into the same trap some of the other LSU players fell into when their season came unglued. He watched as likely top overall pick Ben Simmons devolved into a me-first guy and Quarterman followed suit. Since leaving LSU, Quarterman has been training in Cleveland and Miami and has started to work out for teams.

League sources rave about Quarterman as a player, but struggle to understand Quarterman as a person. There are some that are approaching his draft status with an open mind, understanding that things went pretty bad at LSU internally and that everyone gets tainted with a season like they had.

Quarterman enters the process as a likely second-round pick, but teams at the bottom of the draft – specifically the Philadelphia 76ers – have expressed more than a passing interest. The Sixers recently had Quarterman in for workouts, where he did better than some expected, especially in a three-on-three setting.

Quarterman will take part in a Pro Day in South Florida this weekend, with the hope of gaining some traction on his draft stock, but more importantly try and shake the character issue label some teams have put on him.

Like Quarterman, Skal Labissiere’s season at Kentucky was not very good. Labissiere was heralded as one of the top overall talents coming into the college basketball season, but underwhelming games at Kentucky have many pundits doubting his viability as a high-level draft pick.

Sources close to the situation point to an almost toxic environment at UK this year, where things went from bad to worse for many guys as the team never came together and did not bond as well as previous Kentucky All-Star squads.

Labissiere in many ways became the poster child for Kentucky’s shortcomings and is routinely crushed in the court of public opinion.

Labissiere is also taking part in a Pro Day this weekend at the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton and is expected to draw a big crowd as NBA teams try to get a grasp on not only Labissiere the player, but understand what went so terribly wrong at Kentucky.

Labissiere put on a show in Chicago in a private workout, showcasing his amazing array of skills. His camp believes a strong showing this weekend combined with some positive and open meetings with teams can not only lock Labissiere into the top 10 of the class, but boost him into the top six to eight range.

Like both Quarterman and Labissiere, Diamond Stone’s season at Maryland left him with more questions surrounding him than answers.

Sources close to the process say Stone has been a sponge while training at IMG, taking to not only the skill and conditioning work, but getting himself on a balanced nutrition plan for the first time in his life.

Stone could end up being one of those sneaky picks toward the bottom of the first round and teams holding multiple picks have expressed more than a passing interest. Stone does not have a bad label, but a number of teams are struggling with where he fits in the draft class. Some say he is a 20 to 40 guy, others say he’s a second-rounder at best.

Stone has worked hard on his body and even more so on his game. Those around him say once his guard comes down, he’s an extremely smart guy with a real passion for basketball and getting better. The problem is Stone was underwhelming at Maryland and will have to overcome those labels in workouts and meetings.

No single player in the 2016 NBA Draft class is more of a mystery than Thon Maker. It’s not because NBA teams have not seen him, because he has been part of a number of high school showcase teams and his name has been floated around for a while. The mystery comes from most teams not knowing he was going to declare for this year’s draft. The plan for Maker was that he was going to do a college season and teams could really drill in on his game and make some decisions on what Maker really is.

There are two big issues with Maker. He’s been on the radar for a while and has not really improved as many would have liked. One scout said he’s basically the same player he was two years ago, leading many to doubt there is another level to his game. The other part is he is still rail thin physically.

Maker’s proponents point to the lack of real challenge over the last year leading to stagnation. The other comment some make is that he was in desperate need of serious pro training to break through, all of which could be true.

Maker has an intriguing mix of skills that’s one part Kevin Durant with a long and rangy three-point game, and another part Kevin Garnett with his long arms and length around the basket. While Maker has never exhibited either player’s fire and tenacity, there is an intriguing tool set that has teams curious.

Maker is one of those guys that could go in the teens or he could slide into the 40s; there’s just not a real consensus on him yet although he has been in to see a number of teams already and the feedback is still very mixed.

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: 2018 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 4/24/18

The deadline for early entry into the 2018 NBA Draft has passed, so Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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The Deadline for early entry into the 2018 NBA Draft was April 22, however, the NBA hasn’t yet released the full list of eligible players. There appear to be more than 153 underclassmen that have declared to “test the waters” according to reports. By way of comparison, last year there were 137 players from college and an additional 45 from international basketball that declared early, with 73 of those players pulling out after going through the process.

The 2018 Draft class could be shaping up to be one of the biggest, especially when you consider the volume of highly draftable seniors.

There are still some dates to keep in mind:

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held in Chicago on May 15. The annual NBA Draft Combine will get underway on May 16, also in Chicago. In any given draft year, roughly 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted into the NBA, so a Combine invite is a significant draft milestone.

The NCAA requires all players wishing to maintain their college eligibility, without penalty, to withdraw from the NBA Draft by 11:59 pm on May 30. That is an NCAA mandated date, not related to anything involving the NBA, and that notice must be delivered in writing.

The NBA’s draft withdrawal date is June 11 by 5:00 pm ET. The NBA’s date allows a prospect to remain NBA draft eligible for future NBA drafts and is not related to any NCAA rule or date. There are ways for college players that did not accept benefits to return to college, however, they may be subject to NCAA penalties.

Here is this week’s 2018 NBA Mock Draft, based on the final pre-draft lottery draft order:

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

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 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. Based on the final regular-season standings should convey to Philadelphia if the draft lottery holds true to the standings.

The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade. The pick is top four protected and would convey if the draft lottery holds true to the standings.

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 final NBA standings.

The Phoenix Suns were owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick would only convey if the Bucks pick landed between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the final NBA standings did not convey. The Suns will now receive the Bucks 2019 first-round pick assuming it falls between the fourth and 16th pick.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick was lottery protected and would convey to Atlanta based on the final NBA standings.

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 was lottery protected and would convey based on the final NBA standings.

The Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick was top-five protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey

The LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade. The pick was top-three protected and based on the final NBA 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 was lottery protected and based on the final NBA 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 was top-three protected and based on the final NBA 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 Daily: 2018 NBA 60-Pick Mock Draft – 4/10/18

With the floodgates open and college players entering the draft class left and right, Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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With the NBA regular season coming to a close, there are some draft ramifications to watch.

Should the Milwaukee Bucks stay where they are today, they would not convey their pick to the Phoenix Suns as that pick is protected in such a way that it only conveys if it lands between the 11 and 16th pick.

Equally, the dead heat that exists in the Western Conference playoff race, could shift several teams around the draft board based on how the season actually finishes.

There are also some key dates to keep in mind this draft season:

College players can request information from the NBA Draft Advisory panel on where they might fall in the draft; they must request this information by April 13. The Advisory panel is comprised of well-respected draft talent evaluators that offer would-be draft prospects a draft range valuation based on a survey of NBA executives. Historically their range projections have been pretty accurate, and it’s a way for a college player to understand how the NBA views them as a draft prospect. It’s not a guarantee by any means, simply an informed survey of how NBA teams value them in terms of where they might get drafted, if at all.

The NBA’s Early Entry deadline is April 22. All underclassmen that wish to be included for draft consideration must declare in writing to the NBA, by that date.

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held in Chicago on May 15. The annual NBA Draft Combine will get underway on May 16, also in Chicago. In any given draft year, roughly 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted into the NBA, so a Combine invite is a significant milestone.

The NCAA requires all players wishing to maintain their college eligibility, without penalty, to withdraw from the NBA Draft by 11:59 pm on May 30. That is an NCAA mandated date, not related to anything involving the NBA, and that notice must be delivered in writing.

The NBA’s draft withdrawal date is June 11 by 5:00 pm ET. The NBA’s date allows a prospect to remain NBA draft eligible for future NBA drafts and is not related to any NCAA rule or date. There are ways for college players that did not accept benefits to return to college, however, they may be subject to NCAA penalties.

Here is this week’s 2018 NBA Mock Draft, based on the standings of games played through 4/09/18:

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

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 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 Philadelphia.

The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade. The pick is top four protected and based on the current standings would 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 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 Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick is top-five 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 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 LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade. The pick is top-three 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, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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