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Mock Drafts

2017 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 2017 NBA Draft, here is this week’s post-draft lottery 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 | 2.0

Joel’s Notebook:

After watching 90 minutes of Draft Lottery pre-show to deliver about 180 seconds of actual information, we now know the order of this draft and can start making some more educated guesses about where guys may land based on need. Nothing here changes the idea of Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball as the first two players off the board, and in fact it seems more likely than ever that the Balls will get their wish to stay close to home. I sort of wanted to see Ball someplace that would make the Ball pater familias miserable, but so it goes. On the bright side, this particular draft has Ball’s UCLA teammate T.J. Leaf also falling to the Lakers at #28, so we may as well make it a full-on homecoming.

The bright side for Sacramento, meanwhile, despite losing a top-three pick, is that they’re still going to get a franchise cornerstone at #5, and that could very well be De’Aaron Fox. The Kings have needed a franchise point guard for years, and Fox would certainly solve that problem and give the woeful Kings a backcourt they can build around in Fox and Buddy Hield.

Josh Jackson to Philadelphia would be a delightful fit, and while Suns fans were bummed to fall out of the top three, Jayson Tatum is a strong consolation prize. New York will be happy if Malik Monk falls to them, which is possible, while Denver could potentially steal Frank Ntilikina and add some much needed stability at the point guard position. After having talked with him a bit a the Combine, Ivan Rabb feels like a Chicago Bulls kind of guy. My guess is GarPax is going to love him. I can’t get away from Anigbogu in Milwaukee. He’s exactly their kind of pick–young, long, athletic and unproven. Brooklyn’s picks are questionable, but they sort of have to reach for the sky, and Diallo and Jeanne offer some of the higher upside of anybody who still would be available that late in the draft.

Also, you have no idea how badly I wanted to put Sindarius Thornwell in the first round. I’m a believer, and I think his stock will rise as interviews and workouts take place over the next several weeks. He seems destined for the early second round, at worst.

Mike’s Notebook:

The Boston Celtics hit the jackpot while the worst nightmare for the Brooklyn Nets became a reality.

Brooklyn technically won the lottery, but was forced to swap the No. 1 overall pick with Boston’s No. 27 pick as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade. In addition, Boston will also acquire Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick to complete the trade.

Meanwhile, things didn’t go much better for the local team across the river. The New York Knicks dropped one spot to the No. 8 pick, the same position where the team missed out on selecting Stephen Curry in 2009.

On a positive note, Earvin Johnson proved why his nickname is “Magic” as the Lakers earned the No. 2 pick, which allows the organization to keep its pick. The Lakers, however, will send next year’s first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Will Lonzo Ball land in Los Angeles and be able to bring back the “Showtime” Lakers?

Los Angeles’ former Western Conference playoff rival also had a good night at the lottery. The Sacramento Kings landed the No. 5 and No. 10 selections, which allows them the opportunity to grab a long-term starting point guard and a small forward to replace Rudy Gay who is expected to depart in free agency.

Other teams with multiple picks include the Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz and Orlando Magic. The Trail Blazers have three first-round draft picks and are likely to move at least one. Boston’s No. 1 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. The Brooklyn Nets also have the No. 22 and 27 overall picks, which can be dangled to move up. One, or both, of those two picks and Brook Lopez, could make for an enticing trade package.

Ultimately, while the lottery provided its fair share of excitement, the actual draft should live up to just as much buzz.

Moke’s Notebook:

The Lakers win, while the Knicks lose. That’s been the case for as long as we can remember in the NBA, so there’s a certain bit of irony in the fact that, just like in 2015, it happened. In the end, the Lakers move up one spot to almost ensure that they’ll land Lonzo Ball in the draft, whereas moving back one spot would have cost them not only this year’s pick, but their 2019 first rounder, as well. Meanwhile, instead of moving up, the Knicks move back one spot to select at eighth. I can’t help but to think about the 2015 lottery, where the Knicks held the second-best odds of winning the lottery, only to walk away with the fourth pick. The bright side? They managed to walk away with Kristaps Porzingis.

I’ve been saying for several week that the scouts with whom I’ve spoken have been cautioning against listening to the hype that has led up to this process. Fultz and Ball are a lock for the first two picks, however, after that, it’s difficult to know how the lottery plays out, and there are two words to explain why: Ben Simmons.

Without having seen Simmons play an NBA game, do the Sixers truly believe that he has the chops to be their primary playmaker on the ball? If so, does the team have the stones to pass on the traditional point guard that will be available to them at number three? Would the Sixers select Josh Jackson at that slot and further clutter their already cluttered front court? These are valid questions that have to be considered. Call it crazy, but I think that Malik Monk is the best fit for the Sixers, so in this week’s mock, at the top, I plug him in there. It’s a scenario that makes a ton of sense and one that could result in either Dennis Smith or De’Aaron Fox improbably falling to the Knicks at number eight.

If the Sixers pass on Jackson (which I think they will), the Suns will likely scoop him up. In some way, shape or form, the Sixers will determine whether the lottery plays out the way many expected it would, or whether we see a few surprises.

Aside from the Sixers, the other team that holds major cards is the Sacramento Kings. Many in the know opine that the Kings, even though they are having trouble getting top prospects to work out for them, are going to come away from this draft with a point guard and a wing player. At number five, they will have an opportunity to grab either Dennis Smith or Jaysum Tatum, so it will be interesting to see which way they go.

Over the next few weeks, if you want to have an idea how the lottery will play out, pay special attention to who the Sixers and Kings bring in, and what the streets are saying about what their respective front offices see as their major needs.

Steve’s Notebook:

With the NBA Draft lottery out of the way and the draft order finally locked in, there are a few things worth knowing. Washington guard Markel Fultz now becomes the prohibitive favorite to go number one overall. While it was assumed by many that would be the case, it’s a bit more likely with Boston firmly in control of the top pick. Had the LA Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers or others jumped into the top spot, Lonzo Ball would have had a real shot at number one.

For the Celtics, the circus around Lonzo is unappealing from afar, although the Celtics are expected to work out several players, including Ball, before they lock in on a player.

The next popular thought is that the Lakers will take Ball with the second pick, which again seems likely and logical. However, Laker sources said at the Combine that they would look at positional need as well as upside in their process and they too will look at a lot of options. Lakers president Magic Johnson mirrored the idea at the Draft Lottery, making sure to mention Josh Jackson as a likely player they’ll meet with too.

So, while the 2017 NBA Draft may end up going as scripted – Fultz, then Ball – it’s not a certainty today, simply very likely.

The good news for the Philadelphia 76ers is they will have their pick of the litter with regards to remaining upside players, especially guard De’Aaron Fox and Forward Jason Taytum, who the Sixers are said to be very high on.

If the 76ers opt to address shooting, Tatum could be their guy, leaving a few interesting scenarios for the Phoenix Suns at number four – they could end up with Josh Jackson or De’Aaron Fox.

The Sacramento Kings look like they will be able to address their point guard need (Malik Monk or Dennis Smith Jr.) with the fifth overall selection by way of the draft pick swap with Philadelphia and still get another upside player at the ten spot.

The Orlando Magic slid back a projected spot to the sixth pick. The Magic opened their draft workouts with a visit with Dennis Smith Jr, setting the stage for how the first six selections may go.

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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