Every year, we ask some of our friends in the media world to chime in on their own Mock Draft. We call this the Outsiders Mock to help differentiate it from the Basketball Insiders Mocks we file each week. These guys, however, are the furthest from Outsiders in the NBA world.
This year’s team includes Vince Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) of the Detroit Free Press. Vince has covered the NBA for more years than he likes to admit and no one knows the Pistons and the Central Division better than him.
Sherrod Blakely is also a part of this year’s team. He covers the NBA and the Boston Celtics for Comcast Sports New England. In addition to be an absolute follow on Twitter (@SherrodbCSN), Sherrod also co-hosts one of the best NBA podcasts (CelticsTalk) in the business.
Brett Pollakoff of Fox Sports returns to the Mock Draft team this season. Brett is a must follow on Twitter (@BrettEP) and a frequent guest on Basketball Insiders’ Podcasts. No one is more dialed into the shoe game than Brett, who has a pretty solid Snapchat and Instagram game.
Joining us this season is Rick Kamla (@NBATVRick) of NBATV, NBA on TuneIn and host of the top rated Middays With Rick & John sports radio show on 92.5FM The Game in Atlanta. Rick is a legend in the NBA world and one of the most genuine guys in the game.
2017 Outsiders Mock Draft
|Pick #||Team||Brett Pollakoff||Rick Kamla||Sherrod Blakey||Vince Ellis|
|1||Markelle Fultz||Markelle Fultz||Markelle Fultz||Markelle Fultz|
|2||Lonzo Ball||Lonzo Ball||Lonzo Ball||Lonzo Ball|
|3||Josh Jackson||Josh Jackson||Josh Jackson||Josh Jackson|
|4||Jayson Tatum||Jayson Tatum||De'Aaron Fox||De'Aaron Fox|
|5||De'Aaron Fox||De'Aaron Fox||Jayson Tatum||Dennis Smith|
|6||Jonathan Isaac||Jonathan Isaac||Jonathan Isaac||Jonathan Isaac|
|7||Malik Monk||Lauri Markkanen||Lauri Markkanen||Jayson Tatum|
|8||Frank Ntilikina||Dennis Smith||Dennis Smith||Frank Ntilikina|
|9||Lauri Markkanen||Frank Ntilikina||Frank Ntilikina||Lauri Markkanen|
|10||Dennis Smith||Malik Monk||T.J. Leaf||Zach Collins|
|11||Donovan Mitchell||Zach Collins||Malik Monk||Malik Monk|
|12||Zach Collins||Donovan Mitchell||Luke Kennard||Donovan Mitchell|
|13||OG Anunoby||Justin Jackson||Jarrett Allen||Justin Jackson|
|14||Justin Jackson||T.J. Leaf||Donovan Mitchell||Luke Kennard|
|15||Harry Giles||John Collins||OG Anunoby||Justin Patton|
|16||Luke Kennard||Luke Kennard||Zach Collins||OG Anunoby|
|17||Jarrett Allen||Jarrett Allen||Harry Giles||John Collins|
|18||John Collins||Ivan Rabb||Bam Adebayo||T.J. Leaf|
|19||Justin Patton||Justin Patton||John Collins||Jarrett Allen|
|20||Tyler Lydon||Bam Adebayo||Justin Patton||Ike Anigbogu|
|21||T.J. Leaf||Terrance Ferguson||Justin Jackson||Terrance Ferguson|
|22||Ike Anigbogu||Kyle Kuzma||D.J. Wilson||Isaiah Hartenstein|
|23||Jawun Evans||Harry Giles||Ivan Rabb||Semi Ojeleye|
|24||Semi Ojeleye||Jordan Bell||Semi Ojeleye||Frank Jackson|
|25||D.J. Wilson||Semi Ojeleye||Jaron Blossomgame||D.J. Wilson|
|26||Ivan Rabb||Frank Mason||Ike Anigbogu||Harry Giles|
|27||Terrance Ferguson||Tyler Lydon||Anzejs Pasecniks||Tyler Lydon|
|28||Jordan Bell||Ike Anigbogu||Wesley Iwundu||Bam Adebayo|
|29||Anzejs Pasecniks||Josh Hart||Isaiah Hartenstein||Tony Bradley|
|30||Derrick White||Dillon Brooks||Johnathan Motley||Caleb Swanigan|
*** This Mock does reflect the current Philadelphia 76ers trade with the Boston Celtics for the first overall pick.
The next Mock Draft will drop on Tuesday with Steve Kyler’s latest 60-Pick Mock Draft, then on Wednesday we’ll drop the final Insider’s Consensus Mock of the 2017 NBA Draft cycle, which will be the first 60-pick Mock in the Consensus format featuring all four contributors. The annual Basketball Insiders Draft Day Diary will also ramp up on Tuesday and run you all the way through the draft with the very latest news, rumors and deals as they get done, updated throughout the day.
2017 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Final
The Basketball Insiders Mock Draft team gives their final look at the 2017 NBA draft with an all-60 pick mock draft.
For the last eight weeks, we have been dropping weekly Mock Drafts leading up to this point – the final Consensus. The goal of these Mocks is to look at the draft from four different perspectives as we try to get to a Consensus on each pick. Some times we get there, sometimes we get close, and in the case of this draft sometimes we just don’t see things the same way.
This week’s Consensus (our final of the season) we are rolling out a first for us in this format – the entire 60-picks of the 2017 NBA Draft, enjoy.[DISCLAIMER – at this point in the cycle lots of picks trade hands and in order for us to deliver this kind of look, we may not be able to account for every trade that happens between the time our writers file their picks and when this item is posted. So, this mock is reflective of the picks as of 6:00am on 6/21]
2017 NBA Consensus Mock Draft - Final
|Pick #||Team||Joel Brigham||Michael Scotto||Moke Hamilton||Steve Kyler|
|1||Markelle Fultz||Markelle Fultz||Markelle Fultz||Markelle Fultz|
|2||Lonzo Ball||Lonzo Ball||Lonzo Ball||Lonzo Ball|
|3||Jayson Tatum||Jayson Tatum||Jayson Tatum||Jayson Tatum|
|4||Josh Jackson||Josh Jackson||Josh Jackson||Jonathan Isaac|
|5||De'Aaron Fox||De'Aaron Fox||De'Aaron Fox||De'Aaron Fox|
|6||Dennis Smith||Jonathan Isaac||Jonathan Isaac||Josh Jackson|
|7||Jonathan Isaac||Lauri Markkanen||Lauri Markkanen||Dennis Smith|
|8||Malik Monk||Malik Monk||Malik Monk||Malik Monk|
|9||Frank Ntilikina||Dennis Smith||Dennis Smith||Lauri Markkanen|
|10||Lauri Markkanen||Justin Jackson||John Collins||Donovan Mitchell|
|11||Donovan Mitchell||Frank Ntilikina||Donovan Mitchell||Luke Kennard|
|12||Luke Kennard||Luke Kennard||Frank Ntilikina||Zach Collins|
|13||OG Anunoby||OG Anunoby||OG Anunoby||OG Anunoby|
|14||Zach Collins||Zach Collins||Justin Jackson||John Collins|
|15||Justin Patton||John Collins||Ike Anigbogu||Harry Giles|
|16||John Collins||Jarrett Allen||Luke Kennard||Jarrett Allen|
|17||Justin Jackson||Ike Anigbogu||Jarrett Allen||Ike Anigbogu|
|18||Semi Ojeleye||Terrance Ferguson||Zach Collins||T.J. Leaf|
|19||Derrick White||Justin Patton||Justin Patton||Justin Jackson|
|20||D.J. Wilson||Jawun Evans||Harry Giles||Frank Ntilikina|
|21||Ike Anigbogu||Semi Ojeleye||T.J. Leaf||Bam Adebayo|
|22||Jarrett Allen||Harry Giles||Terrance Ferguson||Semi Ojeleye|
|23||Harry Giles||T.J. Leaf||Semi Ojeleye||Kennedy Meeks|
|24||Tyler Lydon||Donovan Mitchell||Isaiah Hartenstein||D.J. Wilson|
|25||Bam Adebayo||Isaiah Hartenstein||Anzejs Pasecniks||Jawun Evans|
|26||Isaiah Hartenstein||Tyler Lydon||Tyler Lydon||Ivan Rabb|
|27||Terrance Ferguson||Bam Adebayo||Jawun Evans||Terrance Ferguson|
|28||Tony Bradley||Ivan Rabb||D.J. Wilson||Caleb Swanigan|
|29||Anzejs Pasecniks||Anzejs Pasecniks||Mathias Lessort||Vlatko Cancar|
|30||Ivan Rabb||D.J. Wilson||Derrick White||Anzejs Pasecniks|
|31||Caleb Swanigan||Derrick White||Ivan Rabb||Kyle Kuzma|
|32||T.J. Leaf||Tony Bradley||Bam Adebayo||Tyler Lydon|
|33||Josh Hart||Jordan Bell||Caleb Swanigan||Isaiah Hartenstein|
|34||Kyle Kuzma||Caleb Swanigan||Alec Peters||Frank Jackson|
|35||Jonah Bolden||Wesley Iwundu||Frank Jackson||Dillon Brooks|
|36||Alec Peters||Mathias Lessort||Jordan Bell||Alec Peters|
|37||Thomas Bryant||Thomas Bryant||L.J. Peak||Derrick White|
|38||Jordan Bell||Frank Mason||Thomas Bryant||Jordan Bell|
|39||L.J. Peak||Jonah Bolden||Jonah Bolden||Mathias Lessort|
|40||Jawun Evans||Johnathan Motley||Dillon Brooks||P.J. Dozier|
|41||P.J. Dozier||Kyle Kuzma||Frank Mason||Justin Patton|
|42||Frank Jackson||Jaron Blossomgame||Tony Bradley||Jonah Bolden|
|43||Frank Mason||Alec Peters||Johnathan Motley||Devin Robinson|
|44||Sindarius Thornwell||Dwayne Bacon||Jonathan Jeanne||Thomas Bryant|
|45||Dillon Brooks||Josh Hart||Jaron Blossomgame||Tony Bradley|
|46||Devin Robinson||Frank Jackson||Sindarius Thornwell||Jaron Blossomgame|
|47||Jaron Blossomgame||Edmond Sumner||Tyler Dorsey||Josh Hart|
|48||Mathias Lessort||Sindarius Thornwell||Devin Robinson||Wesley Iwundu|
|49||Cameron Oliver||Dillon Brooks||Josh Hart||Alberto Abalde|
|50||Tyler Dorsey||Tyler Dorsey||P.J. Dozier||Luke Kornet|
|51||Wesley Iwundu||Vlatko Cancar||Vlatko Cancar||Aleksandar Vezenkov|
|52||Johnathan Motley||Monte Morris||Isaiah Hicks||Edmond Sumner|
|53||Alpha Kaba||Devin Robinson||Wesley Iwundu||L.J. Peak|
|54||Kobi Simmons||P.J. Dozier||Edmond Sumner||Alpha Kaba|
|55||Nigel Williams-Goss||Cameron Oliver||Aleksandar Vezenkov||George De Paula|
|56||Aleksandar Vezenkov||Alpha Kaba||Isaiah Briscoe||Ognjen Jaramaz|
|57||Damyean Dotson||Peter Jok||Cameron Oliver||Johnathan Motley|
|58||Isaiah Briscoe||Damyean Dotson||Nigel Williams-Goss||Nigel Williams-Goss|
|59||Dwayne Bacon||Kennedy Meeks||Antonio Blakeney||Frank Mason|
|60||Peter Jok||Kobi Simmons||Malcolm Hill||Sindarius Thornwell|
Finally, Steve Kyler took the leash off of us this week and let us do a full 60-pick mock. This is what freedom tastes like.
It’s time to make some final decisions this week, though, and I can tell you that having done so many mocks in so many contexts, it’s all starting to bleed together. I know who I like where at this point, and the nuggets of draft information that leak out amid all the free agency and trade rumors are enough to help solidify some things. Lonzo Ball at pick number two is the inevitability it always has been, apparently. Jayson Tatum looks like the Celtics’ guy at number three (if they keep the pick). That would mean Josh Jackson falls into the hands of Phoenix, and Sacramento gets their man in Fox at pick number five.
Of course, knowing the draft as well as I do, it’s 100 percent likely that some team in the top five messes with that order. That top five is incredibly reasonable, which is why it can never be. One trade, and the whole thing goes kablooey.
As far as the second round goes, this year’s crop feels like its rife with players who actually could contribute, which is rare. Caleb Swanigan, T.J. Leaf, Juwan Evans, Jordan Bell, Sindarius Thornwell and Frank Jackson all in the second round is nuts. Any one of those guys could be a good player for a number of teams, and they’ll get snatched up at a value in round number two.
The back end of the second round was tough, though. There are probably going to be about 20 percent more international guys drafted there than what I have at the moment, but I wanted to sneak in guys I liked, such as Dwayne Bacon and Isaiah Briscoe. We’ll see how it shakes out, but this is what I’m going with for now. It’s been a heck of a mock drafting season, folks, and it’s only going to get crazier over the next two days.
Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball will form a great rivalry for years to come, with both expected to be off the board after the first two picks.
As The Vertical reported, the Lakers will trade D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, which paves the way for Ball to bring “Showtime” back to Los Angeles and make his dad LaVar’s vision a reality. Boston’s Danny Ainge made a bold move trading down from the top overall pick and passing on Fultz. You can safely assume Fultz will circle every Celtics game on his calendar for the rest of his career.
At third overall, Ainge will choose between Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson and the Suns will get the leftover player or De’Aaron Fox.
If Phoenix takes Fox, watch out for Eric Bledsoe to be traded on draft night. If Jackson is the pick, keep an eye on T.J. Warren to be dangled as trade bait.
Jonathan Isaac fits the prototype of Orlando Magic executives John Hammond and Jeff Weltman, who like long, athletic forwards and previously took big swings on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bruno Caboclo.
The Timberwolves can dangle the seventh pick as part of a trade package for Jimmy Butler, a favorite of Tom Thibodeau.
The Knicks will likely choose from three guards: Dennis Smith, Malik Monk and Frank Ntilikina. The Mavericks will land one of those leftovers.
Afterward, more trade possibilities arise. Sacramento is open to moving the 10th pick. Detroit is looking for a veteran to help the team return to the playoffs and is open to moving the 12th pick. Portland has three first-round picks and will look to offload a bad contract with one of those picks. Utah is open to moving up using the 24th and 30th picks as trade bait. Orlando is in a similar position with the 25th, 33rd and 35th picks. Los Angeles is hoping to move the 27th and 28th pick as part of a trade package for Paul George according to reports.
In the second round, the Magic (2), Hawks (2), Knicks (2), Rockets (2), Nuggets (2), Suns (2), Jazz (2), Celtics (3) and 76ers (4) all have multiple picks. With that in mind, keep an eye on each of those teams to be involved in trade discussions or even sell some of those picks.
Remember, it only takes one blockbuster trade, an unexpected selection or medical red flag to change the entire draft landscape upside down.
This draft and upcoming free agency will be more exciting than the playoffs. The question is whether all the excitement will live up to the hype and produce another Finals contender besides the Cleveland Cavaliers to compete against the Golden State Warriors.
I have been covering the draft closely for the past four years and, without question, the 2017 draft is unique. The only thing that we know for sure at this point is that the Philadelphia 76ers are selecting Markelle Fultz and that the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have cleared the way to select Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick. As recently as Tuesday, there were some that were of the opinion that De’Aaron Fox was in play for them at number two, but considering the attention that they’ve given Ball and the lack of attention he’s given to other teams, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine a scenario where he’s not a Laker.
From there, the draft will only get more and more interesting.
Of all lottery-projected players, there seems to be the most mystery surrounding Frank Ntilikina. Some have projected him to go as early as eighth (to the New York Knicks), while some have opined that he could slip outside of the lottery, mainly because he’s a somewhat unknown quantity. And at the end of the day, “unknown” is a remarkably appropriate term. Alec Peters, Bam Adebayo and Devin Robinson are among the prospects who have had medical red flags attached to their names, so if any of those three slip, you’ll know why.
For me, that’s about all I have to say. My sources have been fairly consistent in what they’ve told me, and I believe my mock drafts have been fairly similar. At this point, I believe there will be one or two draft night trades, but the order in which players are picked, I believe, will not vary tremendously as a result. Scouts generally believe that there are five to eight potential future All-Stars in this crop, meaning that this draft should ultimately end up being one of the deepest in recent memory.
Keep your fingers crossed that your team gets one of those guys.
Oh boy, has this thing gotten interesting. The Lakers dumped the Timofey Mozgov contract and gave final closure to how the Magic Johnson Lakers viewed D’Angelo Russell in their deal to obtain Brook Lopez (and cap flexibility) and the 27th pick.
The Cavaliers have been active trying to add one more star to their roster. The Pacers have gotten serious in their quest to move Paul George, who is expected to be dealt by the end of the draft tomorrow.
The Atlanta Hawks moved on from Dwight Howard, and the Clippers have started kicking the tires on ways to improve in advance of free agency — and all that’s just what got done in the last 24 hours.
There is a lot of talk taking place, so keep in mind that NBA teams at this point in the cycle are talking daily and everyone is trying to decide what to do, not only in the draft but in the trade market surrounding it. Let’s dig into what’s floating around:
– The Knicks have opened the door on virtually everything. With pressure mounting in New York to turn the franchise around, Phil Jackson and his staff have entertained talks on the entire roster, including promising star Kristaps Porzingis. Before you get too far on this, league sources say the asking price on Porzingis is FOUR unprotected first round picks or a handful of unprotected picks and a proven star level player. It does not seem that the Knicks will get their price for Porzingis, but the Knicks have started down a dangerous path with their best building block. Word is this Porzingis camp was already sour on Phil Jackson and for him to actively shop him, it may destroy what little trust remained in the relationship.
– The Minnesota Timberwolves (seventh pick) and Detroit Pistons (12th pick) continue to be the teams mentioned most as likely to move their first-round picks. Both teams are believed to be looking for proven starting-caliber veterans rather than adding another young guy to the mix. The real value of those picks likely surfaces during the draft as players start to fall into place. Sources near both teams said they are absolutely prepared to select players with those picks, but they absolutely can be had in trade.
– Don’t expect the Jimmy Butler noise to die down anytime soon. The Bulls apparently decided over the weekend to actively listen on Butler trades, but sources near the situation say it will take a really good offer to get them to move Butler. The Cavaliers and Celtics have been mentioned most prominently in their pursuit of a Butler trade, but sources near the process say the Rockets and Wizards have logged interest in Butler and in Indiana’s Paul George. Depending on who you talk to in NBA circles, some believe Butler will be moved, while others doubt the Bulls get offered enough to do a deal by the end of the draft. The stance everyone takes is that Butler will be expensive to obtain in trade and the Bulls may not get enough to make a deal. The Bulls were also reportedly notified that Dwayne Wade will opt into his final contract year, which may influence what the Bulls ultimately do with Butler. Once Wade officially opts in, he too could be traded, but there is a sense the Bulls may take another run with this group and deal Butler next season, either at the deadline or after the 2017-18 season plays out.
Some players to watch as the draft plays out:
There are mixed reviews on Gonzaga bigman Zach Collins. While he is viewed as having a tremendous ceiling, several teams who saw him think he is too raw to be a rotation player as a rookie, meaning if he does not go early to a team that’s building and has minutes to groom him, he could slip in the draft.
There is increased talk that if Josh Jackson does not go number three to Boston, he could slide pretty hard. His camp has played the draft process very deliberately. He did not attend the NBA Draft Combine so teams have not seen medical on him. He has also declined workouts with a number of situations, which could make this a tough process if he does not go where his camp expects him to go.
Utah’s Kyle Kuzma continues to be a name some talk about a likely selection in the 20’s. Kuzma did very well in the draft workout process. The question is, where will he really land?
Looking for the reach of the draft? Could be Vlatko Cancar. There are lots of fun stories floating around about his abrupt departure from KK Mega Leks after just eight games. Some wonder if he got a promise early in the process and shut it down.
Basketball Insiders will be on the ground in New York through the entire 2017 NBA Draft process, so stay tuned for video from the media availabilities. Instant reaction to all the picks and our minute-by-minute Draft Day Diary – featuring all of the news, rumors and trades updated throughout the day. All of the draft news worth knowing in one easy to find place,
NBA AM: Final Mock Of The 2017 NBA Draft
Steve Kyler delivers his final 60-pick Mock Draft, as well as the latest news on the draft front.
The Final Mock Of The 2017 NBA Draft
So, it comes down to this. While there will surely be some changes between today and the actual draft on Thursday, here is my final Mock Draft of the 2017 NBA Draft season. It reflects all 60-picks and how I see it playing out based on the latest from around the NBA.
We are hearing from NBA teams that this draft class may have the most medical red-flags of any in recent history. Most of them are subjective, meaning teams have to come to grips with the risks involved, which may drive the perceived stock of a player down pretty dramatically.
A medical red-flag is something that surfaced during the physical that is of material concern. These often prompt teams to consider the situation more thoroughly and make a decision on the medium and long-term impact of the ailment. It does not immediately mean a player won’t be drafted, but does change the valuation of a player.
This draft could see a considerable amount of volatility, especially outside the top 1o selections. There is a sense that Detroit at seven, Minnesota at 12 and the Blazers at 15, 20 and 26 are all open to moving one or, in Portland’s case, more of their picks. The Pistons and Wolves are said to covet proven veterans more so that youth, although both are said to have plans to draft a player if they cannot find a deal.
The LA Lakers and New York Knicks are both said to be buyers on additional first round picks. The Cavaliers and the Rockets are also believed to be open to buying into the later part of this draft, which should make things interesting.
With so many picks in the second round belonging to the same group of teams – Denver, Philadelphia and Utah – there is a sense all of them would be open to packing together picks to move up or move out of some of them in the 2nd round.
Philadelphia has a bit of problem with their picks, as they have received in trade nearly the maximum amount of cash a team can receive in a single season. In other words, they won’t have the option of just selling picks for cash; they must make physical trades. This will get tough for them especially as they get in the mid-40s.
The Pre-Draft Basketball Insiders Podcast
Basketball Insiders publisher Steve Kyler and Senior NBA Writer Michael Scotto get into the 76ers and Celtics trade, the Lonzo Ball and Lakers situation, Paul George and the mess the Pacers find themselves in, the future of Gordon Hayward, some NBA draft sleepers, the guys whose draft stock could be falling, where certain players’ floor may be and who is and is not likely to be traded around the 2017 NBA Draft.
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, @CodyTaylorNBA, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers and @Ben__Nadeau.
2017 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 7.0
With about a week until the 2017 NBA Draft, here is the latest Mock Draft from four perspectives.
Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2017 NBA Draft.
Here is this week’s Mock and the Draft notebooks from each writer. Next week’s Consensus will feature the entire 60-picks of the 2017 NBA Draft.
This is the last one before the last one, which means I’m done experimenting and really am trying to get a sense of what could happen on draft night. I like the feel of this mock, but I’m glad I still have another week to really think about it.
Here’s what I feel good about: The top two picks being Fultz and Ball, something unexpected happening from picks 3-8. Ike Anigbogu in the lottery. Brooklyn making sneaky-good picks in the 20s. Portland trading away at least one of those three picks (hence my reticence to make one of those three picks a Euro stash). Ivan Rabb and Harry Giles as first-round picks, and Kyle Kuzma in San Antonio. Something about that just feels right.
Here’s what makes me nervous: Orlando taking Dennis Smith over Jayson Tatum. New York being the team that does the crazy thing from picks 3-8. Zach Collins falling to #14. Semi Ojeleye going that high. Juwan Evans in the first round, and the potential that Giles could drop quite a bit due to injury concerns and make all my mocks look silly.
Some other thoughts: Luke Kennard in Denver actually would be really fun, wouldn’t it? OG Anunoby is so good, but he’s hurt. I find myself wondering he slips down a little further than where I’ve had him for most of these mock drafts. Is Donovan Mitchell the surprise star in this class? I keep looking for who that guy will be and am struggling to do better. T.J. Leaf and Lonzo Ball, together again in Los Angeles would be an odd turn of Fortuna’s wheel, but that’s how the ball bounced in this mock.
Next week is a full 60-pick consensus mock draft, the first ever here at Basketball Insiders (in the Consensus format), and that’s where I’ll solidify my thoughts on some of these things. In the meantime, this mock will do. It’s getting closer.
Kevin Durant’s free agent decision to sign with Golden State transformed the Warriors into an unbeatable dynasty, but don’t forget the organization built its core through the draft.
Stephen Curry was selected seventh overall in 2009, Klay Thompson was selected 11th overall in 2011, and Draymond Green was selected 35th overall in 2012.
Quite a contrast in comparison to players such as Andris Biedrins selected 11th overall in 2004, Ike Diogu selected ninth overall in 2005, Patrick O’Bryant selected ninth overall in 2006 and Anthony Randolph selected 14th overall in 2008.
The draft is crucial to building sustainable success. It’s the foundation of many great teams over the years.
San Antonio added a franchise superstar by selecting Tim Duncan first overall in 1997. The Spurs supplemented him by selecting Manu Ginobili 57th overall in 1999 and Tony Parker 28th overall in 2001. The Spurs won five titles during Duncan’s tenure.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Kyrie Irving first overall in 2011 and traded Andrew Wiggins, the top overall pick in 2014, to acquire Kevin Love and win the 2016 championship. The Boston Celtics traded draft picks and several young assets to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to win the 2008 championship. The Los Angeles Lakers traded veteran Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant, a teenager at the time, who became the face of the franchise for 20 seasons and won five championships.
Notice a pattern here? The draft is the foundation of several championship teams.
With that in mind, two teenagers projected as first-round picks are no longer featured in this week’s mock draft. Jonathan Jeanne has Marfan syndrome, a potentially career-ending disorder, which was first reported by The Vertical and Rodions Kurucs removed his name from the draft altogether.
While Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox headline the draft, don’t overlook the rest of the class in one of the deepest drafts in recent years.
The biggest news impacting the draft over the past week was Jonathan Jeanne, who we learned to have Marfan Syndrome. The condition impacts the body’s connective tissue and is the same ailment that Baylor’s Isaiah Austin was learned to have prior to the 2014 NBA Draft. Austin wasn’t drafted, so we should expect the same fate for Jeanne, unfortunately. Jeanne was expected to be selected somewhere in the 20s, so his situation will certainly have a domino effect on team selecting outside of the lottery. The same should be said of Rodions Kurucs, the Latvian forward whose stock had been rising over the past few weeks. Kurucs had been connected to the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs over the course of this draft season, and at this point, it isn’t entirely clear to me why he withdrew.
At the top of the draft, it seems that we are knowing less about team’s intentions as the draw draws nearer, which is good for the teams exercising their picks and bad for us. The Sixers, to me, remain the most interesting team in the top three, as they have brought Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox in for multiple workouts and are apparently torn between those two at the guard spot and Josh Jackson if they opt to select another front court player. I still believe the Sixers walk away with Monk, mainly because he’s the best fit. I’ve been told that the Suns would have a hard time passing on Fox if he is available to them at four, so the Kings-Sixers trade that we mentioned a few weeks ago is still a possibility. I still have Fultz and Ball going with the first two picks.
Luke Kennard, John Collins and Donovan Mitchell are players whose stock has risen over the past few weeks, with Mitchell having an opportunity to crack the top 10. Most of the movement in my mock this week comes as a result of some teams zeroing in on certain players and types, as well as the situations involving Jeanne and Kurucs.
This is the penultimate mock, but I don’t expect my projections in the top 10 to change drastically, at this point, we have a fair idea of where players are going to land, with Terrance Ferguson being the prospect that has the best chance of crashing the draft order.
I made some pretty significant changes from my Mock Draft filed yesterday. As we get closer and closer to the actual draft on June 22, I continue to struggle with the idea of the Lakers leaving Lonzo Ball on the board at number two. While the Lakers have been fairly adamant, they have made no decisions and no promises to anyone, Ball still remains the second-best talent in the draft. However in talking to executives the gap between Ball and say, De’Aaron Fox, Josh Jackson or even Dennis Smith Jr, isn’t so great to make it a no-brainer decision like Markelle Fultz.
The Lakers are going to have Ball in for a second visit after wrapping up visits with Fox, Jackson, and Smith over the last week.
The 76ers are ramping up their workouts this week with visits from Fultz, Fox and Duke’s Jason Tatum. It is unlike Fultz is working out for anyone, rather he’ll simply meet with the team.
There are a few names to watch as the hype of the draft kicks into its next gear…
Malik Monk is getting a lot of love from teams in the 5 to 10 range. There is a sense he may be the Knicks guy at number eight if he is there. The Kings seems to be locked in on Fox, however, if he goes early the second option for the Kings might also be Monk. Teams like his all-around game, and while he’s not the traditional point guard player, there is a sense that he could be an attack guard in the NBA much like James Harden, Russell Westbrook and CJ McCollum have become. While no believes Monk is the next coming of any of those players, there is a sense that in the current NBA, Monk could thrive as a lead guard with the ball in his hands, while also having the ability to swing off the ball based on matchups.
Dennis Smith, Jr. has wowed virtually everywhere he’s been. He’ll host a Pro Day to help with what’s become a demanding workout schedule tomorrow in Raleigh. There are a number of trade down scenarios that have been kicked around, that focus on Smith, Jr. A number of teams are weighing deals at five, six and seven if the draft board plays out where Smith Jr. is there. It is unlikely Orlando moves the six, but if their target is genuinely FSU’s Jonathan Isaac (as many continue to suggest), moving down a few slots in exchange for value might make sense if they would pass on Smith Jr. and could still get Isaac.
Duke big man Harry Giles continues to be something of an enigma. There is a sense that his upside could be tremendous, but questions about his ceiling, his knees and his overall game at the next level have his stock all over the place. Like Thon Maker a year ago there are as many detractors from his draft value as supporters, but like Maker, he could go higher because of his potential especially for a team with lots of depth and options. Giles is very much a “house money” prospect; his range could be anywhere from 13 to 26.
A name to watch late in the first round is UNC’s Kennedy Meeks. While he’s not showing up on very many Mock Drafts, there is a sense the Toronto Raptors might be dialed in on him at 23. On the surface that doesn’t seem likely, but there is a narrative of the Raptors wanting to move on from Jonas Valanciunas to shed some contract money and with so little on the roster now in terms of rebounding stretch bigs, Meeks checks off a lot of boxes. The question becomes do the Raptors really need to draft him to obtain him?
If the Raptors are genuinely going to open the vault for free agents Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, how does the team flesh out the roster with play-now players?
The Raptors have a history for reaching for exactly what they want in the draft, regardless of public opinion. Every year there is a guy that makes the draft world go nuts, could Meeks be that guy this year?
There are two names in the sleeper department to watch – Utah’s Kyle Kuzma and South Carolina’s PJ Dozier. Both have the resume of a second-round selection and both very well could end up there, but there is a growing sense that Kuzma could be gone early in the second, meaning if a team really wants him they may have to reach up in the late first round to grab him.
Dozier has his fans at the NBA level. Some have pegged him in the 40’s, but there is sense a few teams late in the first may scoop him up on potential, especially the teams with multiple picks late in the first.
Kuzma has crushed in workouts and really has done well in head to head, so of the two he may be the safest bet to go much earlier than expected.