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Basketball Insiders Group Mock Draft

The entire Basketball Insiders team acts like GMs and mocks out the entire first round of the NBA draft, one writer at a time…

Joel Brigham

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Scroll down for picks.

Mock drafts are a great way to whet the basketball community’s collective whistle, at least as it pertains to thirst for draft tidbits, but there’s one way in which mock drafts fail: they’re compiled by a single person.

The real draft is essentially a competition between executives who are trying to outsmart each other and perform that delicate balancing act between drafting for need and taking the best talent available. One GM’s idea about how players should be ranked is completely different from another GM’s idea about how a player should be ranked. What makes the draft surprising is when we think we have an idea of what should happen, but an executive completely blows that expectation out of the water.

We here at Basketball Insiders thought we’d have that kind of fun in the days leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, so we did a different kind of mock where every writer on the B.I. roster pretended to be running a team (or, in some cases, teams) and made the pick they would choose for that team were they the ones in charge. That’s an important thing to mention here: these aren’t the picks we think these teams will make; rather, these are the picks we would make if we were running these teams.

You can see how this would be an enjoyable exercise for us.

Between now and Wednesday evening, we’ll be making the picks, running through all 30 selections of the first round. Keep this tab open and refresh it every hour or two. The selections will trickle in throughout the coming days.

The minute you see a pick you hate (or love), click on the writer’s names to express your distaste via Twitter. That’s how you can get involved, too. Keep the dialogue churning.

Now, sit back, relax and join us for the first annual Basketball Insiders Group Mock Draft.

#1 – Cleveland Cavaliers select Andrew Wiggins

The 19-year-old has been on the NBA’s radar for years, and now the potential and skills that have always intrigued GMs should make him the first player off of the board on June 26. If Wiggins is able to realize his full potential, he can be a superstar who is capable of dominating on both ends of the floor. The Cavaliers may have once been tempted to select Joel Embiid with the top pick, but Wiggins is the safer selection since Embiid’s health issues are a major concern and his sample size is so small compared to Wiggins. Cleveland wants to make the playoffs and add another franchise cornerstone. Wiggins, who has been discussed as a potential No. 1 overall pick for the last five years, should be their guy.
-Alex Kennedy

#2 – Milwaukee Bucks select Jabari Parker

Joel Embiid is the lauded center prospect that people keep humming about, but if I’m the Milwaukee Bucks I’d rather draft a more proven commodity like Parker, arguably the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft. Milwaukee has time to take a player like Embiid and deal with his growing pains, but why select a player that requires so much nurturing and development when a sure-thing NBA scoring machine is ripe for the picking? Yes, he plays the same position as Giannis Antetokounmpo, but I’ll worry about positional overlap later. Right now, I’m just worrying about taking the player least likely to bust, and Parker is about as can’t-miss as it comes in this draft.
Joel Brigham

#3 – Philadelphia 76ers select Joel Embiid

Even with Nerlens Noel and the potential concerns about his recent surgery, with Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker off the board, Embiid’s potential is too great to pass on. Though a modern-day NBA Twin Towers is improbable, Embiid’s mixture of exquisite defensive instincts, a good offensive touch and relatively limited experience playing basketball make him a very smart pick, even if it is a risky one. The Sixers just have to hope he is more Serge Ibaka than Hasheem Thabeet. Long-term health, obviously, is the other major concern.
-Moke Hamilton

#4 – Orlando Magic select Dante Exum

The Victor Oladipo experiment at point guard this season was met with mixed results and drafting Exum gives the Magic an all-around point guard to run their offense. Standing at 6’6”, Exum is projected to become a top-tier defender given his length and athleticism.
Cody Taylor

#5 – Utah Jazz select Marcus Smart

Even though Utah drafted Trey Burke last year, they still need more playmakers in that starting unit. Smart is a player that provides some much-needed energy and athleticism into the lineup, and can even be  replacement for Gordon Hayward were they to lose him via free agency this summer. His size (right around 220 lbs.), strength and motor should translate into a defensive identity early on, and he has the type of presence and confidence within that should play well within an NBA locker room. He must continue to refine his skills, but he has playmaking abilities.
-Jabari Davis

#6 – Boston Celtics select Aaron Gordon

Gordon brings versatility, defense and athleticism (he recorded a 39-inch vertical leap at the Draft Combine), all checkmarks for playing with Rajon Rando and within Brad Stevens’ system. Only 18 years old, he still has a lot of room for growth, which means the Celtics can develop him in seasons to come.
-Jessica Camerato

#7 – L.A. Lakers select Julius Randle

If they keep the pick, the Lakers absolutely must select the best talent available, which in this case is Randle. Despite reports of the 6’9” power forward potentially needing surgery to repair a fracture in his right foot, Randle, who vehemently refutes the claim, continues to participate in pre-draft workouts. If the team doctors determine his foot is sound, he is far and away the best low-post scorer and rebounder available. If cleared, Randle could be a cornerstone piece for a team in severe need of an influx of youth and skill.
-Jabari Davis

#8 – Sacramento Kings select Zach LaVine

With the Kings still in rebuilding mode, it’s important for the front office to gather as much talent as they can and see how it all fits and develops together going forward. Guard Zach LaVine out of UCLA is one of the most talented prospects on the board with loads of potential thanks to his supreme athletic ability, ball-handling skills, play-making ability and nice shooting stroke. While having a thin frame and needing to fine tune his skills, the Kings can’t afford to let someone as talented as LaVine with as much potential to become a star as anyone slip through their fingers.
-Kyle Cape-Lindelin

#9 – Charlotte Hornets select Noah Vonleh

Vonleh possesses all the physical tools necessary to be a successful big at the next level, most notably his massive wingspan. He is a strong rebounder, capable defender and has shown the ability to knock down perimeter shots. At just 18 years old, he still has a world of potential and gives assistant coach Patrick Ewing a talented protégé to bring along.
-John Zitzler

#10 – Philadelphia 76ers select Doug McDermott

The only question that remains with McDermott is whether or not he is the second coming of Adam Morrison. Most of the league’s scouts do not believe so. With Joel Embiid and McDermott added to a core that includes Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, the Sixers will have a core that is both solid defensively and offensively proficient. At worst, they will have a few young studs with perceived trade value.
-Moke Hamilton

#11 – Denver Nuggets select James Young

The Denver Nuggets’ roster has boasted a plethora of high scoring small forwards over the past decade, and the draft will feature plenty to choose from at the eleventh pick. With Wilson Chandler’s contract non-guaranteed for the 2016 season and Danilo Gallinari’s future in flux after a torn ACL, Young could be the perfect fit in Denver.
-Lang Greene

#12 – Orlando Magic select Adreian Payne

After solving the Magic’s need at the point guard position with Dante Exum at the fourth pick, the Magic now take on some depth in the front court with Adreian Payne. With Payne now in the mix, the Magic will have great talent in the front court with Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson.
-Cody Taylor

#13 – Minnesota Timberwolves select Nik Stauskas

The Wolves need perimeter scoring and the best all-around option for them is Stauskas. He is a poised and polished player that could even take some minutes at the point guard spot. For a team that needs a scoring punch from the bench, Stauskas is the best option.
-Steve Kyler

#14 – Phoenix Suns select Dario Saric

The Suns are a rising team in the West, featuring young players that excel in the open court. At 6’10, with solid ball-handling and passing skills, Saric could be a player that grabs a rebound and runs the fast break for the Suns as a point-forward. Even though Saric is not ready to make his NBA-debut just yet, the Suns can stash him for now and bring him over later, similar to the Chicago Bulls with Nikola Mirotić. With so many picks, the Suns can afford to swing for the fences here, in spite of the questions surrounding Saric’s game and how it will translate to the NBA.
-Jesse Blancarte

#15 – Atlanta Hawks select T.J. Warren

While the Atlanta Hawks signed one of the best bargains in free agency last summer in DeMarre Carroll the fact remains the team needs to add more depth at the small forward spot. Warren was an elite scorer at the collegiate level but wouldn’t be asked to do nearly as much with the Hawks. If his game can translate to the pros, Warren has the skill set to contribute right out of the cereal box for Atlanta.
-Lang Greene

#16 – Chicago Bulls select Gary Harris

Honestly, Chicago would’ve traded picks #16 and #19 to move up and grab Harris, so to have him fall out of the lottery is quite a blessing for the Bulls. They were horrible offensively last year and one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA. Harris helps them with both problems and is also the sort of hard-working, high-character guy that John Paxson and Gar Forman typically value. He’ll be a great fit in Chicago.
-Joel Brigham

#17 – Boston Celtics select Elfrid Payton

If you didn’t know his name in college, you will in the NBA. The Louisiana-Lafayette point guard is considered a sleeper in this draft and we haven’t seen everything he has to offer yet. He’s a great get at this mid-first round pick.
-Jessica Camerato

#18 – Phoenix Suns select Rodney Hood

Hood is a 6’8 forward with a smooth shot that will help the Suns space the floor. P.J. Tucker provided great value to the Suns last season, including 38.7 percent shooting from beyond-the-arc. However, Tucker is a free agent and may be looking for more money than the Suns are willing to give him. Hood can step in and replace Tucker, spacing the floor and making it easier for Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe (if retained) to attack the basket.
-Jesse Blancarte

#19 – Chicago Bulls select Shabazz Napier

I get the controversy of taking Napier over Tyler Ennis, but there are reasons for this decision, not the least of which is the fact that Napier is a more mature, more developed player whose pedigree and attitude make him a perfect fit in the Chicago locker room. He’s also a better three-point shooter than Ennis, and the fact that he’s undersized shouldn’t be too big a concern since Chicago’s last two successful backup point guards—Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin—were both insanely productive in the Bulls’ offense despite being under 6’0”. Napier is taller than both those guys, and coming off a national championship, he’s primed to bring maturity and leadership to a team that’s ready to win right now.
-Joel Brigham

#20 – Toronto Raptors select Tyler Ennis

Who could possibly say no to this? With Kyle Lowry expected to command a salary in the neighborhood of $10 million per year, adding the hometown Ontario native would be a no-brainer for the Raptors and would give them either an insurance policy in the event of Lowry’s departure or an understudy for him. His drafting may lack the splash of fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins, but if Ennis is on the board at #20, there is no way the Raptors can pass.
-Moke Hamilton

#21 – Oklahoma City Thunder select Kyle Anderson

The intrigue of a versatile 6-foot-9 point forward was the driving factor in picking the two-year UCLA product. Comparisons to Magic Johnson certainly don’t hurt. Anderson is an intelligent player who fits the Thunder DNA and addresses our focus on acquiring two-way players.
-Susan Bible

#22 – Memphis Grizzlies select Jordan Adams

The Grizzlies already have their established core and go-to players locked up and their biggest needs are securing depth, youth and scoring off the bench. Guard Jordan Adams makes sense and would add some electric energy to a veteran Grizzlies team. Adams has a sweet shooting stroke and can get his shot off on his own which the Grizzlies are sorely missing off the bench. Adams also has some of the highest potential at this point in the draft with good natural talent and athleticism who could possibly grown into a starter down the road.
-Kyle Cape-Lindelin

#23 – Utah Jazz select K.J. McDaniels

McDaniels is long, athletic and versatile, which is absolutely necessary for swingmen in today’s league. His shot has improved, and his quick release offsets the fact that he shoots it flat-footed from the perimeter. Has a quick first-step, but must continue to improve his ballhandling in order to take advantage of it at this level. McDaniels has a knack for finding seams, and can elevate over the top of the defense if challenged at the rim. He can be a very good on-ball defender along the perimeter, but can also “ball hawk” in support from the weakside.
-Jabari Davis

#24 – Charlotte Hornets select P.J. Hairston

The Hornet’s were one of the worst three point shooting teams in league last season and they could certainly use some help in that department. Hairston showed, in his one season in the wide open D-League, that he had a penchant for shooting the three ball. He figures to be an instant offense type guy and more importantly will give the team an additional threat from outside.
-John Zitzler

#25 – Houston Rockets select Jusuf Nurkic

The Houston Rockets almost never draft based on need, but rather based on talent. In this case, they have a chance to do both. If Nurkic is actually on the board at 25 there is no question Houston should snap him up to help fill the void that is expected to be left when they deal Omer Asik to make room to sign a marquee free agent. He’s young at 19, but at 6’11” and 280 pounds he has the size you can’t coach and the raw ability to develop into a productive big man.
-Bill Ingram

#26 – Miami HEAT select Clint Capela

Clint Capela is a little raw, but he has the potential to be the next Serge Ibaka in the NBA. That’s not going to happen in year one, but the Miami Heat could certainly use a defensive-minded, athletic rim protector. Obviously if LeBron James decides to opt out and leave town, Miami will head down a different course — but Capela would be an interesting get to help complement the “Big 3.”
-Eric Pincus

#27 – Phoenix Suns select Jarnell Stokes

Last season the Phoenix Suns relied on P.J. Tucker, Marcus Morris, Channing Frye, Markieff Morris, and Miles Plumlee to man the front court. Centers Alex Len and Emeka Okafor struggled with injuries all season and were unable to contribute significantly. Adding Stokes will give the Suns another post defender and all-around physical player to bang down low against opposing bigs. Last season, P.J. Tucker was often asked to guard bigger players, including power forwards like Blake Griffin. At 6’9, with a 7’1 wingspan, Stokes has good size at power forward, and should have a better chance at slowing down post players, such as Griffin. Stokes is a hard worker, has a nose for the ball, a developing offensive game and should be a great fit with up and coming Suns.
-Jesse Blancarte

#28 – L.A. Clippers select Mitch McGary

The Clippers need size behind DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.  Mitch McGary’s stock has dropped after a back injury, but the team can afford to be somewhat patient.  McGary at 28 could be a steal for the Clippers.

-Eric Pincus

#29 – Oklahoma City Thunder select Cleanthony Early

To be blunt, the Oklahoma City needs reliable scorers instead of relying strictly on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to put points on the scoreboard. Early got it done at Wichita State, and he could develop into a nice go-to scorer off the bench that the Thunder so desperately need. He’s an energy guy and a humble guy; both qualities are particularly valued here.
-Susan Bible

#30 – San Antonio Spurs select Glenn Robinson III

The search for a quality backup for Kawhi Leonard has yet to yield a long-term solution. The Spurs often draft and stash, but with a chance to repeat next year they need to focus on players who can help them right away like Robinson. His athleticism, versatility and unselfishness fit their system perfectly.
-Yannis Koutroupis

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: A New 2018 NBA Mock Draft – 2/13/18

With the NBA Trade Deadline passed, Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler turns focus toward the 2018 NBA Draft.

Steve Kyler

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Time To Focus On The Draft

With the NBA Trade Deadline out of the way, the next transactional window to watch becomes the 2018 NBA Draft; we’ll start dropping more Mock Drafts as we get closer, including our annual weekly Consensus Mock Draft.

There is something of a consensus starting to take shape in NBA circles on who the top 100 players truly are, although the range on players remains somewhat wide depending on who you talk to.

With all of that in mind, here is the latest Mock Draft:

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

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 and based on the standings today would convey to Philadelphia.

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 based on the current standings would 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 Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick is top-five protected and based on the current standings would 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 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 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 LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr trade. The pick is top-three 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, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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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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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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