Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2017 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.
Check a mock draft anywhere and have a look at the top. It’s Markelle Fultz. It’s always Markelle Fultz, very often followed by Lonzo Ball at #2. Here’s the thing, though: Josh Jackson is a better fit for several of the teams likely to be in play for the top overall selection. For the Suns, Lakers, and Sixers, Jackson fits their needs so much more than another point guard, and even in Philly’s case, Ben Simmons is going to be the primary ball handler. If one of those three teams lands the top overall pick, it absolutely is within the realm of possibility that Jackson would be just as much in play as Ball or Fultz. Be ready for him to enter this conversation. It’s not just a two-pony race.
Beyond those guys, the other surprises I’ve got in my initial draft probably are Ivan Rabb in the lottery (yes, ahead of Zach Collins), and Hamidou Diallo and Dillon Brooks in the first round.
It feels like Rabb has been mentioned in mock drafts for half a decade, but this is the year he actually comes off the board. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged a double-double as a sophomore at Cal this past season and might have been a lottery pick a year ago. He still could be this year.
Brooks’ talent spoke for itself in the NCAA tournament. It’s an insult to how well he played all year that he’s not in the conversation for a first-round pick more often. As for Diallo, it’s no sure thing that he actually stays in the draft. The redshirt Kentucky freshman could still decide to play some actual college basketball before making it to the NBA, but if he stays in, there’s a great opportunity for a late first-round team to land some incredible value. He seems like the kind of potential stud a team would want on that first-round guaranteed contract.
The Draft Combine is coming in a week, and the Draft Lottery isn’t too far behind. We’ll get a better sense of things after those events wrap up.
Creating a mock draft is the equivalent of building a large puzzle. You identify and spread out all the pieces, find the four corners as your foundation and then build within that frame.
Now imagine finishing that puzzle and someone knocking it off the table abruptly. That’s what the lottery could do in two weeks.
It only takes one lottery combination with the faintest of chances to throw off an entire mock draft order. Think back to the 2008 lottery when the Bulls were slotted ninth, but miraculously landed the top overall pick to select Derrick Rose.
Similar to a puzzle, the pieces will move around constantly before settling into place on draft night. The Portland Trail Blazers have three first-round draft picks and are likely to move at least one. Boston’s pick could be dangled as trade bait to land a star on the trade market such as Jimmy Butler or Paul George. Or, Boston can keep the pick and swing for the fences with Gordon Hayward in free agency this summer.
Keep an eye on the Sacramento Kings who currently have two picks in the top 10 to dangle as trade bait. The Brooklyn Nets also have the No. 22 and 27 overall picks, which can be dangled to move up. Those two picks, along with Brook Lopez, could make for an enticing trade package. Lopez was mentioned in trade talks at the deadline with the New Orleans Pelicans before the team acquired DeMarcus Cousins as Basketball Insiders previously reported.
Lastly, keep an eye on the Philadelphia 76ers to put shooters around Ben Simmons to give him the best chance to succeed as the primary playmaker for Philadelphia.
Once the lottery takes place, we’ll have the foundation. From there we’ll begin to align the pieces and make the perfect mock draft puzzle.
What makes the 2017 NBA Draft quite interesting is the fact that it’s a point guard heavy draft and that appears to be the position of strength. Based on what we have seen from Isaiah Thomas during the course of the postseason, if the Boston Celtics do end up winning the top pick, would they be better served exercising the pick on Markelle Fultz or packaging the pick and shipping it to either the Indiana Pacers or Chicago Bulls in exchange for either Paul George or Jimmy Butler, respectively?
If the Los Angeles Lakers end up staying in the third spot, would they draft another point guard? It’s quite possible that Lonzo Ball could still be on the board, but would D’Angelo Russell make a good shooting guard? Would one of them become trade bait for the aforementioned George? And what if the Lakers slip out of the top three? Their pick would then belong to the Philadelphia 76ers.
While there are a few teams toward the top of the lottery that need point guards, many don’t seem to. For that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some pre-draft trades that may involve a team or two moving back. The Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets each have two picks and desperately need a franchise player, while the Portland Trail Blazers own three first round picks and are in need of another wing scorer.
It’s still very early in this process, but if there is one thing I have learned over the past few years, is that most teams approach the draft with their eyes on filling a current need on their roster. We will obviously know more after the draft lottery is held, but for now, my mock takes into account a player’s perceived value, as well as the team’s current needs. It’ll only get more interesting from here.
While the 2017 NBA Draft class looks as promising as any in recent history, NBA scouts and executives continue to warn that while there are some elite prospects at the top of the draft board, none them look to be instant hits like a LeBron James. According to many, the likely outcome may end up being more like some of the more recent drafts in terms of immediate impact players.
With the NBA Draft Combine on tap for next week in Chicago, it’s expected the top overall candidates in Markell Fultz, Lonzo Ball and possibly Josh Jackson and Jason Tatum may skip the event entirely, even thought they would only be asked to take part in team interviews, medical testing and possibly media availability.
As much as the NBA has tried to make the Combine suitable for all players, more and more of the top level guys see no value in taking part in an uncontrolled environment like the Combine, opting to hold private workouts and having medical done by hand-picked doctors.
Ultimately teams are going to draft these players whether they participate or not, so there is no motivation for guys at the very top.
While this draft class looks to have some potential future All-Stars at the top, there is also a sense that there could be very good roster players in the teens and early twenties of this draft pool. While the Combine likely won’t feature the cream of the crop, there is still a lot of potential depth to this class which will make next week interesting as NBA teams start to develop a more rounded short list of who to bring in after the NBA Draft Lottery.
2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock
What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.
What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.
Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:
2020 NBA Mock Draft – First Round – 08/21/2020
The 2020 NBA Draft order is now locked in, however, there are tons of additional questions to be answered in the coming weeks. Here is a look at the first round, in this Basketball Insiders Mock Draft.
To say the 2020 NBA Draft has been chaotic is an understatement, however with last night’s NBA Draft Lottery out of the way, things are starting to at least trend in a positive direction.
That doesn’t mean there are not challenges ahead, namely when the actual NBA Draft will take place.
There is a growing sense that the NBA and the players are going to push back the start of the next cap year, which will likely impact when and how the NBA Draft plays out.
Typically, the Draft is a major transaction window for NBA teams, and with so much unknown surrounding how the salary cap will be set, and when trades and transactions typically consummated around the draft would become official, there is a lot of uncertainty, making the 2020 NBA draft wide open on many fronts.
The hope among teams is that some clarity on all of this will surface in the coming weeks, but for now most teams are operating in uncharted waters.
With all of that in mind, here is a look at the 2020 NBA Draft First round, which will be the first of many weekly Mock Drafts we’ll be dropping all the way up to the draft, whenever that finally gets set.
The Basketball Insiders Annual Consensus Mock Drafts will begin in September, as will full 60-pick mocks starting next week, so stay tuned.
2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Final
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft, here is their final look at all 60 picks.
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week they provided an updated mock draft that reflected how each writer saw 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.
Here is the Final Consensus Mock for the 2019 NBA Draft:
*** The 30th pick in the first round was traded to the Detroit Pistons, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 32nd pick in the second round was traded to the Indiana Pacers, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 41st pick in the second round was traded to the Golden State Warriors, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
Jesse’s Notebook Some recent trades, including the trades for Anthony Davis and Mike Conley, as well as a few other transactions have shifted the draft board yet again. First-round picks are being moved around after a period in which prying away a first-rounder from another team was basically a non-starter. With the way the last few days have unfolded, and with the Western Conference seemingly wide open, I am predicting there will be several major trades on draft night. Add in the uncertainty surrounding several star free agents, and it’s simply impossible to predict with much precision what will happen on Thursday. However, this is the sort of environment that excites fans almost as much as the actual playoffs and NBA Finals, and I am not one to complain.
What is interesting about this is the fact that this draft seemingly drops off a cliff (arguably) once we get to the ninth pick. It would be more understandable to anticipate major moves on draft night with a loaded class, but that simply isn’t the case this year. My draft board has moved around wildly throughout this process, and I am bracing myself to be off the mark on draft night. All it takes is one trade for things to get thrown off in a major way, and I am anticipating at least a few major moves.
Throughout this process, I was looking for a handful of players to grab my attention and never let it go. Last season, that player was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and I was very interested in seeing where Michael Porter Jr. would ultimately land given his talent and injury issues. That player never really emerged this year, however. I think Cameron Reddish is one of the more intriguing players in the class considering his talent and upside, but shaky college record.
I look forward to revisiting this draft a few years down the road. At least one general manager is going to get a steal somewhere in the middle or backend of the draft. Considering how comparable the talent is throughout the board once we get past the lottery, it’s hard to say who the steal of the draft may be. Again, I am fully prepared for draft night to go off script in a major way. I recommend all NBA fans do the same.
Drew’s Notebook After months of planning, the 2019 NBA Draft is finally upon us. And per the usual, the closer we get, the harder it is to differentiate between fact and fiction given the number of smokescreens generated by agents and teams.
The Grizzlies appear dead set on Ja Morant. And rightfully so considering they traded away Mike Conley. The Knicks have continued to do their due diligence having worked out Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland just yesterday – and those close to Garland say the interest is real. On the flip side of the Knicks’ decision, RJ Barrett claims to have made considerable improvements since we last saw him at Duke – take that with a grain of salt. But the Knicks still appear to be the first team with a real decision to make.
We also hear that Nassir Little could go as high as nine to Washington and that Sekou Doumbouya might have a guarantee from Orlando at 16. So watch out for those curveballs, too.
As far as teams looking to consolidate their picks are concerned, the Hawks have resisted the idea of packaging the eighth pick along with 10 and/or 17, which may prohibit them from moving up as high as they would prefer. Atlanta owned six picks coming into the draft process – 8, 10, 17, 35, 41 and 44. They’ve already dealt 41 to Golden State and 44 to Miami. We’ll see if they continue moving/consolidating picks in hopes of mitigating the number of rookies they bring into training camp.
We’ve also heard that the Celtics would like to package their picks to move up, but it seems as though they’ve struggled to gain any traction – probably because teams can’t accurately predict who will be available with their selections (the Celtics’ first selection is 14). Boston may have to wait for some names to come off the board before others decide if trading back for multiple selections is the right move.
Draft night will inevitably deliver a number of surprises to the Brooklyn crowd. I expect heavy trade activity tomorrow night in advance of another wild free agency period, beginning June 30.
Spencer’s Notebook The day is here, folks! Tonight marks the official date of the 2019 NBA Draft, which will begin potentially one of the most hectic summers the association has ever seen.
In past notebooks from different versions of our Consensus Mock, I surmised that much of the shakeout would depend on what happened with Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Well, that situation resolved itself this past week when the Los Angeles Lakers made a franchise-altering trade with the Pelicans to land “The Brow” in Hollywood.
New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin now holds significant draft capital, as the team has both the first and fourth pick in this upcoming class. He also swindled three more first-rounders along with The Big Easy’s new upstart talents in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Due to the abundance of young guard/wing talent, and multiple teams vying to trade up using different packages, there’s a reason for the Pelicans to deal away No. 4.
And because of the uncertainty of what will happen at that slot, it’s difficult to predict how the draft will ultimately shake out. For example, if New Orleans decides to hang onto it, they could take Darius Garland, or RJ Barrett (if he falls) or whomever they deem fits their organization. However, if a team like the Atlanta Hawks jumps the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, it could cause a domino effect that may completely alter everybody else’s plans.
Just in the past 48 hours, we learned about developments in New York. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Knicks brass is seriously considering Garland at No. 3 and worked him out Wednesday. Whether this is actual interest or a way to drive up an asking price for their draft pick in order to make a deal of their own, we don’t actually know. The same thing could be said for Cleveland, who despite having Collin Sexton, is intrigued by the dynamic point guard.
At this point in the process, the real information could differ completely from what’s being leaked. Smoke is already filling up the room. It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in this year’s draft, especially when most people around NBA circles believe that, at the tail end of the lottery, there could be draft picks moved every which way.
This is like throwing a dart blindfolded. As I tweeted last night, we might be burning our mock drafts at the rate we rip up brackets in the month of March.
The Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks already moved their first-round picks in separate deals. That could only be the beginning. Who knows what the Hawks and Boston Celtics will do with three first-round selections in such a difficult class to differentiate player talent?
We won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Enjoy draft night, everyone!
Steve’s Notebook The 2019 NBA Draft is tonight in Brooklyn, New York, and while the suspense at the top of the draft board looks unchanged, there is a lot of potential for movement everywhere else.
As things stand today, Zion Williamson will be the top overall pick with almost no surprise there.
At number two, there continued to be talk last night that New Orleans was trying to pry the number two pick out of Memphis to grab Duke’s RJ Barrett, which would push Memphis back to the fourth spot and catching either Murray State’s Ja Morant or Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, after the Knicks select at three. While these talks remain fluid, it does not appear at this point there will be a deal, but as is true with all trades, the right combination of assets changing hands can often turn a “No” into a “Yes.”
The New York Knicks have done their fair share of waffling on what to do at number three. While RJ Barrett remains the odds on favorite, the Knicks did take a long look at Garland on Wednesday in New York, as well as having surveyed executives from other teams for their views on Barrett, which is common due diligence, but also shows there may be some doubt on the long-term fit of Barrett.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have also been busy working on trade scenarios that could include in the fifth overall pick, the partially guaranteed cap clearing contract of JR Smith and their second pick at 26. The narrative around Cleveland is that they want to build around last year’s pick Collin Sexton, but the potential availability of Garland could test that commitment. Since the NBA Draft Combine, the Cavs have been linked to Duke’s Cam Reddish in trade down scenarios. There has been a belief that if Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver is there at five, the Cavs may grab him and flip him to the Atlanta Hawks for either of the eighth or tenth picks and the Hawks pick at 17 which they obtained from the Brooklyn Nets.
As for some of the notable teams:
The prevailing thought is the Chicago Bulls are grabbing either Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter or UNC’s Coby White at 7.
The Washington Wizards seemed to have three guys in their sights: White, UNC’s Nassir Little and Limoges CSP’s Sekou Doumbouya.
The Hawks seem to be where Mega Bemax’s Goga Bitadze is going to land, likely at the ten spot.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are said to be extremely high on Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, although things could get interesting if Texas big man Jaxson Hayes is still on the board.
The Miami HEAT seem very open to trading their pick at 13, and there was talk in New York that Darius Bazley may be the HEAT’s guy, even as high as 13 if they keep the pick. The Pistons are also believed to be very high on Bazley.
The 2019 NBA draft is shaping up to be one of the turbulent drafts in recent years. A typical draft will have 15 to 18 transactions, most involving moving picks around. This year’s draft may double that when all the trade volume is done, so don’t get too attached to anyone your team may draft – they may not be there long.
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