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Mock Drafts

2017 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 2.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2017 NBA Draft, here is this week’s version.

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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.

Version 1.0

Joel’s Notebook:

Last week I had Lonzo Ball as the #1 overall pick, mostly to prove a point that I don’t think Fultz is the sure-thing top overall pick like most mock drafts seem to believe. This week I’m completely selling out and putting Fultz first, because I really do think he’s the best player in this draft and the closest thing to a sure-thing that there is. Also, I really hope he doesn’t end up in Boston. What a shame for him to be underutilized in such a stacked guard rotation there. For him or Ball to end up with the Celtics would be an absolutely waste considering how good both of those guys could very well be right out of the gate for a team like Phoenix or Philadelphia.

I’ve also got Zach Collins back in the lottery this week, which is something I really do think will happen despite his relative lack of playing time in college. His size, his defense and his range combine for a prototypical stretch big in today’s NBA. I don’t know if he’ll be any good, but once teams get past that Dennis Smith/Lauri Markkanen threshold, you’ve got to reach for the stars. There’s not a lot separating the first round, frankly, so it’s a matter of taste, fit and risk.

Speaking of inexperience, Ike Anigbogu feels like the prototypical Milwaukee Bucks pick, doesn’t he? Physically imposing but unproven on a team rife with players who made their way on that same resume.

Portland has three first-rounders and ended up with Leaf, Kennard, and Adebayo in this mock. Not a bad haul, but the truth is they’d probably draft a Euro stash with one of those picks if they even kept them all. They’ve got bigger needs than adding three rookies anyway. It’s easy to see them trading at least one of those away or attempting to consolidate and move up.

Either way, this entire thing will get blown up next week since the Combine is immediately forthcoming. That will change my opinion on a lot of things, I’m sure, and the lottery isn’t far behind. Right now, we’re grabbing at straws. The truly educated guessing comes soon.

Mike’s Notebook:

Last week we covered that 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.

We’ve now reached a corner of the puzzle’s foundation. The NBA Draft Combine is upon us and will move the needle for several prospects.

Notable college players are weighing whether to keep their names in the draft or return to school. Hamidou Diallo, Tony Bradley, Frank Jackson, Andrew Jones, Semi Ojeleye, Rawle Alkins and D.J. Wilson will get a better sense of their draft stock at the Combine.

Markelle Fultz has an opportunity to solidify his case to become the No. 1 overall pick with Lonzo Ball skipping the Combine.

In addition to Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, Lauri Markkanen, Jonathan Isaac, Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, Frank Ntilikina, Rodions Kurucs and Isaiah Hartenstein will not participate in the Combine.

As we covered last week, once the lottery takes place, we’ll have almost the entire foundation. The NCAA deadline to return to school on May 24 will be another piece with the NBA early entry withdrawal deadline on June 12 being the final piece of the foundation. From there we’ll finalize the pieces and make the perfect mock draft puzzle.

That’s when the fun begins.

Moke’s Notebook:

So, the good news is that the draft will begin to get some color in the coming weeks. The draft combine began on May 9 and will run through May 14, and traditionally, it’s been a week where we are able to learn a bit about where the minds of many of the league’s teams are. As I said last week, in my experience, most teams use the draft to fill needs on their roster, while some will occasionally select the best player available, even if it will create a logjam.

Two days after the combine concludes, on May 16, the draft lottery will be held in New York. We will finally know for certainty where the Boston Celtics will draft, as well as whether the Los Angeles Lakers will be able to exercise their pick or fork it over to the Philadelphia 76ers. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks (currently in the seventh slot), will learn their fate, as well. Depending on how the chips fall, there will be tremendous fallout.

Now, in terms of what we currently know: I am hearing fewer people suggesting that Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball slip out of the first two spots, with Fultz considering among most as the consensus top player. Depending on whether the Celtics opt to exercise the pick or trade it because they believe that Isaiah Thomas is their point guard of the future is an interesting storyline, so I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on that. There will be a tremendous ripple effect.

At this point, I have had a few conversations with people familiar with the thinking of Phil Jackson and the Knicks, and I’ve been told that despite the draft being loaded with talent at the point guard position, with Carmelo Anthony believed to have played his final game in New York, the Knicks might actually have their eyes set on a replacement, with Duke’s Jayson Tatum being a name to watch.

Another name that’s come up in conversations I’ve had recently is that of John Collins of Wake Forest. Collins is currently projected to be a mid first round pick, but does have the potential to move up based on the growth that he showed over the course of last season. He, as well as Tyler Lydon of Syracuse, I’ve been told, will each have an opportunity to move up the draft boards.

It’s all mostly conjecture, though. The good news is that by the time we drop our next mock draft on May 17, we will have had the results of the combine and the draft lottery. At that point, we can begin filling some pieces in with more certainty.

Steve’s Notebook:

With the NBA Draft Combine getting underway in Chicago today, the focus of NBA executives is going to be on the next tier of players as the top tier in attendance won’t do much more than an interview and take physicals.

However, that won’t stop the debate about who will be the top players taken. Despite the prevailing belief in NBA circles being that Markelle Fultz’s skill set translates the best of all of the prospects, there are some that are pegging Lonzo Ball as possibly having the biggest upside because of his intangibles.

The story from the Ball fans is that he has uncanny court vision and awareness and plays so unselfishly that he’d fit in better with teams that already have players in place, which is the case for most of the teams looking at a top five pick. Ball isn’t without his issues; he is not much of a mid-range shooter, he has virtually no game film in pick and roll situations (a staple of NBA basketball) and he is a somewhat streaky and unorthodox shooter.

As much as people like to focus on the noise around Ball by way of his father LaVar, few teams see him as a negative, other than his visibility in the media. One executive said if his team were drafting Ball, they would set very clear ground rules around LaVar and hold both accountable to them.

NBA teams have been watching the Ball situation for more than a year and say that the coaches at UCLA had nothing but glowing things to say about Lonzo and his work ethic, and that LaVar wasn’t much of a problem for them.

While Fultz might look like the perfect NBA package, there are some that say Ball might be the best bet on a future star – but concede there is an extreme boom-or-bust scenario the team drafting him is going to have to come to grips with.

There is almost no doubt that Ball has that “it” factor teams covet. The question is, will anyone pass on what seems to be a sure thing in Fultz to see if it’s something that translates to the NBA?

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 19 years. Moke Hamilton is a Deputy Editor and Columnist for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last seven years. Joel Brigham is a Senior NBA Writer and has covered the NBA for the last 12 years. Michael Scotto is a Senior NBA Writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last seven years.

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Mock Drafts

2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 3.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2018 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

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2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 3.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2018 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 2018 NBA Draft Lottery final, here is how they see the field:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0

The weekly NBA Draft notebooks will resume next week following the NBA Draft Combine.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 19 years. Moke Hamilton is a Deputy Editor and Columnist for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last eight years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last four years. Benny Nadeau is an NBA Writer and his first season covering the NBA for Basketball Insiders.

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, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 2018 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 5/15/18

The 2018 NBA Draft Lottery is tonight in Chicago and while the Phoenix Suns have the best odds at the top pick, it may not play out that way if history holds true. Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler offers up one more 60-pick Mock Draft prior to the draft order being locked in.

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The Wait Is Almost Over

The 2018 NBA Draft Lottery will be held tonight in Chicago. While there is a lot of talk about changing the Lottery process, the reality is since 1990, the worst team in the NBA has gotten the top pick just six times in 28 lotteries.

While the Phoenix Suns do have the best odds of landing the pick, it’s not a given they will walk away with the first choice. In fact, over the last 28 lotteries, the third-worst record has gotten the top pick six times. The fifth worst record has landed the top five times. The second worst record has yielded the top pick just four times over the past 28 lotteries, with the fourth worst record yielding no top picks in the same span.

With the final draft order getting decided tonight, look for the Basketball Insiders Consensus Mock Draft to drop later tonight reflecting the final first-round draft order.

Here is the latest 60-pick Mock Draft, reflecting the final Mock before the Draft Lottery –

Dates To Know:

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held tonight (May 15) in Chicago. The annual NBA Draft Combine will get underway tomorrow (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.

The 2018 NBA Draft is June 21.

The Pick Swaps:

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/

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, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 2.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2018 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

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2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 2.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2018 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.

Version: 1.0

Benny’s Notebook: Even with the NBA Draft Lottery and Combine now officially on the horizon, there’s not much movement in my updated mock draft. Still, there remain plenty of unused talking points from last week, so let’s jump right in. Surprisingly, I was the only one to select Luka Dončić with the first overall pick and, believe me; I’m ready to die on this hill. Dončić has looked wise beyond his years in a strong overseas league all season, and he’ll be able to contribute from day one.

Additionally, the case for Dončić at No. 1 got a little stronger last week when the Phoenix Suns hired Igor Kokoškov as their new head coach.

Of course, Kokoškov coached Dončić and the Slovenian national team to an upset gold medal in EuroBasket 2017, so this dynamic is certainly worth watching as we move forward. Dončić will arrive after four professional seasons with Real Madrid, and he’s just 19 years-old until February — sign me up.

Once the sure-fire studs in Dončić and DeAndre Ayton are off the board, there’s the matter of Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marvin Bagley III. Make no mistake; the pair should have no trouble transitioning to the NBA — but, for now, it’s hard not to get overly excited about Jackson Jr. The former Michigan State man blocked a ridiculous three shots per game, good for seventh-best in the entirety of Division-I. On top of that, the 6-foot-11 prospect can both shoot and defend at the three-point line; something front offices will salivate over ahead of the draft.

Bagley will have no issues fitting in himself, but Jackson Jr., to me, could be really, really special.

Last but not least, Mikal Bridges. Version one saw our experts project the two-time national champion to fall somewhere between Nos. 7 and 10 — but Philadelphia will do backflips if he’s available at their pick. With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons soaking up the majority of touches, Bridges can bring hard-nosed defense and consistent three-point shooting — a role Robert Covington has found success in — without the heavy usage. Born and raised in Pennsylvania before three accomplished seasons at Villanova, Bridges would be a perfect fit for the 76ers’ budding core.

Moke’s Notebook: I pretty much find myself in the same situation as last week. As is the case every year, I expect that my mock will look much different once the lottery has passed and we actually know who will select where.

At this point, though, I’ve already begun hearing that the Sixers have their eyes on Trae Young while the Knicks are enamored with Mikal Bridges. Again, though, this early in the process, any information that comes out should be taken with a grain of salt. The other prospect I’d keep an early eye on is Rodions Kurucs.

Kurucs was highly-regarded by a few scouts during last year’s pre-draft process, but he withdrew and opted to head back to FC Barcelona for another season. After a mostly up and down season, it’s difficult to know exactly where his stock lies at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up a late lottery pick. There were quite a few that were high on him last year, and an inconsistent year in Spain might not turn everyone completely off.

I’ve still got DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III as my top two, though whether they stick there will be determined by who wins the lottery. It’ll take place on May 15, and since we’ll be on the ground in Chicago, one week from now, we should have some more reliable intel.

Jesse’s Notebook: The NBA Lottery is just a few days away, and I am excited to get a set draft order out as it will give us a better sense of how the draft might ultimately play out. Going through the top 30 picks again is a reminder that this draft class is packed with talent and that there are several intriguing prospects at the point guard position. I expect many analysts to have a wide range of opinions on Trae Young, Collin Sexton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the order in which they should be selected. The NBA is already loaded with average to superstar level point guards, but these three lead guards all have the potential to be selected with a top-10 pick.

I anticipate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rising up teams’ draft boards as they get a closer look at him and envision how versatile he could be in a few years when he adds some more muscle to his frame. Gilgeous-Alexander has a developed skill set and the size to be a plus-defender against NBA point guards, shooting guards and maybe even small forwards. Getting a two-way lead guard with that sort of defensive potential will be hard to pass up for any team that doesn’t already have a standout guard who can play effectively on both ends of the court.

Steve’s Notebook: Looking at the unprecedented volume of underclassmen that have declared for the draft, and how few of them made the 69 player NBA Draft Combine list it is easy to think that there will be a mass exodus before the May 31 NCAA withdrawal date. Or, that some players may be making a tragic mistake.

There is, however, a third option. Just because a player declares for the draft doesn’t mean there is an expectation of being drafted. In many cases, some of the players who were head scratchers aren’t living in a bubble. Most are simply ready to earn money as a professional and with the NBA’s G-League no offering 60 decent paying roster spots by way of the new two-way contracts, some players are simply going through the process with their eyes on a slightly less sexy prize.

The truth of the draft process is that not every player wants to be a college athlete, equally not every player gets the kind of coaching and development resources that can be available to them as professionals.

So, before you judge some of these guys too harshly, understand there isn’t necessarily delusions of grandeur at play. There is simply a reality that moving on to the next level likely gives them a chance to earn money playing and developing and sometimes that is far more appealing then returning to college, even if you don’t get drafted.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 19 years. Moke Hamilton is a Deputy Editor and Columnist for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last eight years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last four years. Benny Nadeau is an NBA Writer and his first season covering the NBA for Basketball Insiders.

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, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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