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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

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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Mock Drafts

NBA AM: The First 2018 NBA Mock Draft

With College Basketball getting underway and things starting to get interesting in the standings of the NBA, what better time to drop a 2018 Mock Draft than on Thanksgiving.

Steve Kyler

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The Thanksgiving 2018 NBA Mock Draft

With College Basketball getting underway and things starting to get interesting in the standings of the NBA, what better time to drop a 2018 Mock Draft than on Thanksgiving.

So with that in mind here is my first Mock Draft of the 2018 Season, look for more of these are we march on (and hopefully you like the new Mock Draft table design.

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

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 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 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 our 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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