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2016 NBA Mock Draft: Final Consensus

The 2016 NBA Draft is Thursday. Basketball Insiders’ experts give their final consensus mock draft.

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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.

With the NBA Draft tomorrow, here is the final look at the 2016 NBA Draft.


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Alex’s Notebook: Around this time of year, there’s a lot of misinformation flying around. Not only will teams go to great lengths to hide which players they like, there are also some teams who will leak stuff about a prospect’s injury or off-court issue in hopes that they can get draft him.

This year, a number of injuries have been reported, but it remains to be seen how they will affect the draft’s first round.

Some teams are reportedly concerned about Denzel Valentine’s right knee and how it could impact the longevity of his career. He never missed a game in college due to his right knee – and he only missed four games in four years at Michigan State – but an MRI apparently scared some people around the league. But will this affect Valentine’s draft stock? He was previously being discussed as a potential lottery pick.

Malik Beasley’s stress fracture surgery in his right leg happened right after the season and sources have said the reason he limited his workouts is actually because he has a promise with a mid-first team that has an attractive situation. He received a green-room invite, so don’t be surprised if we hear his name sooner than initially expected.

Tyler Ulis is undersized, but he’s a very skilled point guard and he has a lot of fans around the NBA. So it remains to be seen whether the hip issue that has been discussed is legitimate or something teams are using in hopes that he slips. Kentucky head coach John Calipari has campaigned for Ulis and said that he doesn’t believe the rumors about a hip injury.

Some reports indicated that Stephen Zimmerman was red-flagged medically, but sources close to Zimmerman shot that down and have no idea where it’s coming from. It could be that a team has Zimmerman in their sights.

This may seem like an awful thing to do to a young kid just trying to achieve his dream of playing in the NBA, but some teams (and agents) will go to great lengths to affect draft boards. Be careful what you believe around this time of year.

Joel’s Notebook: The final mock draft is always the most important one, because we’re supposed to have learned our lessons from two months of making predictions. Honestly, though, the best part about the draft is that nobody really has a firm grasp on what is actually going to happen.

But I have watched the draft literally every year since I was 12 years old, and I made some picks in this final mock draft based on things I’ve known teams to do. Brice Johnson at No. 20 to Indiana does not, on the surface, seem to make a whole lot of sense, but Indiana keeps their cards very close to their chest and is not afraid to pick guys ahead of where they’re technically “supposed” to go. See Tyler Hansbrough, for example, or Solomon Hill. Johnson might not be the pick, but I wouldn’t be shocked to be shocked by who Indy ultimately goes with.

I’ve got Milwaukee taking the long, athletic big in Skal Labissiere, even though Henry Ellenson would be a perfectly-scripted selection from them right there because they’ve made a habit of collecting long, athletic bigs the last several years with a reasonable measure of success.

I’m also predicting that Boston will not be able to trade the No. 3 pick and will have to just settle for snagging a player who can help them immediately. They’ve got point guards for days, but there really isn’t anyone like Jaylen Brown on the roster yet. I think he’ll end up being the guy. My gut tells me Phoenix is snagging a guard at No. 4, Minnesota would screech with delight if Jamal Murray was still there at No. 5 and Dragan Bender in Toronto at No. 9 would be fascinating.

Jakob Poeltl dropped in just about every mock draft that I did this year, and I’m not sure why. I’m not low on him, but I guess I just see the league moving away from that more traditional center and I wonder how it will affect his stock. Chicago would be a nice fit for him should he fall that far.

And in Philadelphia, with a regime change in the front office, it wouldn’t be surprising for them to take the most accomplished young players possible. Ulis and Prince fit that mold perfectly.

Enjoy the draft on Thursday and, as we do with all my predictions, let’s look forward to chiding me for how many of them I will have gotten wrong by then. Even still, it’s my favorite night of the NBA year. Right or wrong, it’s showtime.

Moke’s Notebook: In short, after the first two picks, my top 10 looks radically different from last week, which, frankly, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Personally, I think if Danny Ainge is going to exercise the third overall pick for the Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown is the right fit. However, after learning that the Celtics have been trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to move their third overall pick, I’m inclined to think that Ainge would select Kris Dunn with, mainly because Dunn has done the most to boost his perceived value over the course of the pre-draft process. While some teams are high on Dragan Bender, I think he is too much of a risk for Ainge to roll the dice on at number three.

If Bender gets past the Phoenix Suns at number four (which I think he will), then I’d think he would slide a bit. With Ricky Rubio and Eric Gordon each having uncertain futures with their respective franchises, I see the Timberwolves and Hornets selecting Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray in some order, and I think I’m in the minority of having Skal Labissiere being selected inside of the top 10. After having Jalen Brown going to the Celtics at third last week, I have him being picked up by the Kings at number eight, which I think would be a win-win situation for both the player and the franchise.

For the past few weeks, I have been hearing that Malachi Richardson has done a lot to help his draft stock, so he is probably the biggest surprise for me in the final round of mock drafts. I wouldn’t expect him to get past the Clippers at number 25 if he is still on the board, but I think he goes before then.

As always, this entire process has been full of smokescreens and intrigue, but that’s a part of the game. There are a lot of intriguing prospects in this draft class and I think a few years from now, we will look back at it and realize that there are many quality players who entered the league in 2016. I can’t remember a draft having this much intrigue after the top two picks in recent years, as there doesn’t even seem to be a consensus top five heading into draft night.

In the end, there is a lot of talent in this draft, both at the top and the bottom. And either way, your team is likely to walk away from here with a quality piece or two.

Steve’s Notebook: Draft day is upon us and while many things are starting to fall into place at the top of the draft, there are still as many questions as answers in the middle and the bottom.

The annual green-room invite list answers some questions because historically, the largest majority of guys drafted early in the draft are in the room when drafted.

The fact that notable guys like Baylor’s Taurean Prince, high school sensation Thon Maker and Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson were not invited likely signals all three go lower than we have projected for most of this process. But it’s always possible one of them get drafted out of sequence. Last year, the Boston Celtics took Terry Rozier fairly high compared to his pre-draft stock; anything is possible on draft day.

There are a few names to watch in the mid-to-late first round. Oklahoma’s Isaiah Cousins continues to be a hot name among NBA talent evaluators and is in the running for a spot late in the first. Maryland’s Diamond Stone still seems to be hovering around the late 20s on some team’s draft boards.

On the flip side, the general consensus is that Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis may slide into the second round. UNC’s Brice Johnson still does not seem like he has a first-round home yet, although its possible he gets scooped up with a team’s second selection making him a possibility for Boston, Phoenix or Philadelphia – although it seems if the 76ers can’t package their picks in the 20s, they may swing for the international fences with both picks and defer those players into next season and beyond.

And lastly, there’s the Boston Celtics. On the eve of the NBA Draft, the Celtics are still trying to swing a deal for a significant veteran. The C’s are believed to have made recent runs at Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton as well as making calls on Cleveland’s Kevin Love.

If the Celtics cannot find a deal, there is a better than average chance they will draft Kris Dunn from Providence – and trade him later in the draft (possibly to the Minnesota Timberwolves and extract a veteran player out of the Wolves).

The Celtics seem to be the team that holds the keys to how this draft will play out and they are a huge wild card in the process.

Make sure to check the 2016 NBA Draft Diary for all the latest news, rumors and deals. It’s updated throughout the day all the way up to the draft. If something is happening, you’ll find it all in one place. Bookmark it and check in often.

 

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: A New 2018 NBA Mock Draft – 2/13/18

With the NBA Trade Deadline passed, Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler turns focus toward the 2018 NBA Draft.

Steve Kyler

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Time To Focus On The Draft

With the NBA Trade Deadline out of the way, the next transactional window to watch becomes the 2018 NBA Draft; we’ll start dropping more Mock Drafts as we get closer, including our annual weekly Consensus Mock Draft.

There is something of a consensus starting to take shape in NBA circles on who the top 100 players truly are, although the range on players remains somewhat wide depending on who you talk to.

With all of that in mind, here is the latest Mock Draft:

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 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 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 Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would not convey.

The 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 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_, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: The Top of The 2018 Draft Is Getting Crowded

The top of the projected 2018 NBA Draft is starting to get interesting, mainly because so many potential draft prospects are having incredibly dominant seasons.

Steve Kyler

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Things Are Getting Interesting

While the projected 2018 NBA Draft class doesn’t seem to have a future superstar sitting at the top of the board, there are potentially four players that are really looking the part of future NBA All-Stars and it’s making the top of the class very interesting.

Say what you want about stats, but there is little doubt that the numbers some of the top prospects are posting so far this season are pretty compelling.

Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is averaging 21.1 points per game to go with 10.9 rebounds. His 61.7 percent field goal average is impressive, especially when you consider he’s knocking in 34.6% of his three (9-26 on the season). Bagley has a 32.2 PER with a 64.6 True Shooting percentage and a 26.7 usage rate. In short, highly productive almost everywhere without having to own the basketball.

Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton is posting similarly ridiculous numbers, 19.5 points per game with 11.4 rebounds. His 61.7 percent from the field also comes with an impressive 30.4 percent three-point average (7-23 on the season). Ayton’s 32.3 PER is a nose higher than Bagley. He is also posting a whopping 65.6 True Shooting percentage with a 26.7 percentage usage rate. Again, highly productive in every way without being so ball-dominant to skew the numbers. Ayton hit the ground running at Arizona and really hasn’t had a bad game yet.

Oklahoma’s Trae Young has burst into the top-five discussion in a huge way. His 6’2 180-pound frame looks small on the court, but his game has been tremendous. Young is posting 28.7 points per game with a monster 10.4 assists per contest. He is grabbing 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.5 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from two-point range and a scorching 41.1 percent from three (44 of 107 on the season). Young’s 38 PER is tops in all of college basketball. He has a 65.2 True Shooting percentage and a 36.1 usage rate. Unlike Bagley and Ayton, Young does control the ball, but that’s typical for an impact scoring point guard. He offsets the ball dominance with incredible assist numbers. He is also pretty spectacular to watch.

International phenom Luka Dončić is having a solid season in his own right, although his averages are lower because he doesn’t play the same volume of minutes as the NCAA collegiate prospects. In 26 games in both the Euroleague and the ACB, Dončić is posting 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest. He is shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from international three (48 of 135 on the season). Dončić is posting a 28.2 PER in Euroleague play and a 23.7 PER in ACB play. Dončić’s True Shooting numbers in Euroleague play are impressive at 66.2 percent. In ACB play his number drop a bit to 58.1 percent. His usage numbers illustrate the same slip. In Euroleague play, he posts a 30 percent usage rate while posting a 26.6 percent usage rate in ACB. Dončić typically plays more minutes and a larger role in Euroleague play. Hence the stat shift. If you haven’t seen him play, he’s so instinctual and gifted it easy to see why many see him as the top pick.

There are some compelling storylines to watch towards the top of the NBA draft board, which is likely why so many NBA executives seem split on who they would peg as the top talent in the projected 2018 Draft class.

So, with that out the way, lets jump into the latest first-round 2018 NBA Mock Draft:

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

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers’ 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015. The 76ers traded that pick to the Boston Celtics as part of the draft pick trade that became Markelle Fultz before the draft; it has 2 through 5 protections and based on the standings today would convey to Boston.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer. The Brooklyn Nets traded several unprotected picks to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trades in 2015.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would not convey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Jazz/Wolves Ricky Rubio trade this past summer. The Jazz acquired the pick as part of the Thunder’s deal to obtain Enes Kanter in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

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

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors’ first round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets’ first round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @MikeAScotto, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: Another 2018 NBA Mock Draft – 12/13/17

Basketball Insiders’ publisher Steve Kyler drops his latest 2018 first-round NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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A little less than a month ago we dropped the first 2018 NBA Mock Draft, which was met with a lot of disdain. Which is often a good thing because it sparks the discussion in NBA circles.

Since that Mock dropped, we’ve seen a bit more play out of some of the top prospects and many of the assumptions made almost a month ago are starting to settle into place a little more clearly.

The prevailing thought from NBA scouts and executives is that the possible 2018 NBA Draft class has a lot more questions than answers. The common view is that outside of the top 3 or 4 players there could be a very wide range on who the next 10-12 players will be; so expect for the second tier to evolve a lot over the course of the college basketball season.

A couple of things have started to surface among NBA scouts and executives, there seem to be three camps emerging around the top overall player – Duke’s Marvin Bagley III and international phenom Luka Dončić, seem to be the leading names mentioned most, with Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton making a strong push into the discussion. We can safely call this a three-horse race at this point.

The prevailing belief is that none of the three is far and away better than the other as a professional prospect, making it more likely than not that the top player selected will have a lot more to do with which team ultimately lands the pick, more so than the player themselves.

This class also seems to be brimming with promising athletic point guards, which unlike last year’s draft, could provide a lot of options for teams still trying to find that impact point guard.

There also looks to be 27 players in the projected top 100 that are 6’10 or bigger, eight of which project in the top 30. To put that into perspective, there were 11 players 6’10 or bigger drafted in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft, and 17 total in the 60 2017 NBA Draft selections.

As we get into the 2018 calendar year, we’ll start to do deeper dives into the tiers of players and their possible NBA strengths and weakness.

So, with all of that in mind, here is the second 2018 first-round NBA Mock Draft.

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

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Ricky Rubio trade this summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would not convey.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves first round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would not convey.

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors first round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets first round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

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