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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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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

2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 7.0

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

Basketball Insiders

Published

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2018 NBA Draft. Included is an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts, and information from the pre-draft process.

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0

Benny’s Notebook: Fine, I’ll relent: Luka Dončić, sadly, finally drops in my mock. There’s too much noise to ignore it any longer. While I’m willing to admit that there’s plenty to like about DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Jaren Jackson Jr., I still believe that Dončić will be the best player in this class. If he does fall to Memphis, how great of a fit would that be? Even if there are doubts about Dončić’s ceiling, putting his NBA-ready game in alongside Mike Conley and Marc Gasol would be an instant victory for the Grizzlies. At just 19 years old, Dončić has already won most of what Europe had to offer — he’d be an excellent catch for Memphis after their nightmare season.

I suppose there is only one mock draft left before the real deal and I really thought I would have moved Michael Porter Jr. up by now. His volatility could shake up the entire lottery — but his workout in Chicago went extremely well, apparently. Out of all the names in the mix for a top seven selection, Porter Jr. remains the one with most intrigue — expect lots more to come here over the next week. Finally, the New York Knicks are doing their due diligence ahead of their pick at No. 9 overall, working out Lonnie Walker, Robert Williams, Aaron Holiday, Kevin Knox, Miles Bridges and others as of late. With Kristaps Porzingis out for the foreseeable future, this is certainly an important selection for New York.

Moke’s Notebook: We’ve had quite a bit of action the past week, with the Suns seemingly going out of their way to give us some drama at the top of the draft. I’ve been told by a few people in the know that they’ve settled on DeAndre Ayton as their guy, but that they’re doing their “due diligence” on other prospects, most notably Jaren Jackson, Jr. and Trae Young. I can’t see the Suns passing on Ayton for either of those guys, so I’ve still got him tabbed as my top overall pick.

Jackson’s stock has risen quite dramatically, and whether the Kings hold on to their pick or trade back (which they’ve been rumored to be considering), I could see him and Bagley III swapping places as the second and third players drafted. Luka Doncic probably won’t slip past the Grizzlies at four, but it’s worth noting that stock of Michael Porter, Jr. has risen incredibly high. There was an ESPN report out of New York this past week that’s consistent with what I’ve been saying since the Combine: Porter is the dream scenario for the Knicks. I could see them engaging the Hawks on a trade involving the 9th pick and Frank Ntilikina for the 3rd pick. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least, though I’m sure the Knicks would prefer to include a player like Trey Burke.

As we get to the mid-to-late lottery, I won’t lie, there’s quite a bit of guessing. The main reason why is because most teams covet the same players, and to a large extent, the teams in the latter half of the lottery will be forced to settle on the second of third ranked prospects on their big board. Two guys who might get drafted much higher than we’re projecting, though, are Lonnie Walker and Jalen Brunson.

After this week, we’ve got one more shot at a solid mock draft, as we are just eight days away from the real thing. Hopefully, we’ll get some additional intel.

Jesse’s Notebook: While workouts continue and players like Luka Dončić commit to staying in the draft, there are still a wide range of scenarios that can play out. The Sacramento Kings have scouted Dončić but they reportedly have strong interest in other players and could look to trade down to extract more value in the draft. There seem to be several viable trade scenarios that could shake up the board and throw all mock drafts off the rails. The Clippers, armed with the 12th and 13th picks, could push to trade up in the draft and acquire a top-10 player. However, it looks like Los Angeles will have some notable talent to choose from when they are on the board.

There is still no consensus on the overall health of Michael Porter Jr. It appears that he continues to round into shape but the long-term concern is something teams have to consider. There seems to be little risk that Porter Jr. drops out of the top-10 at this point, but it’s tough to pin down where he may ultimately land. If Porter Jr. overcomes his health issues, the team that selects him could end up with the best player from this draft class.

Elie Okobo has generated some positive momentum and seems likely to be selected in the first round. Okobo has potential on both ends of the floor and could be a surprisingly effective player if he ends up with a team that puts particular emphasis in building up his overall skill set.

Steve’s Notebook: As things are starting to take some shape at the top of the 2018 NBA Draft, there are some things to watch in the final week of the draft process. It seems the Phoenix Suns are locked in on DeAndre Ayton. The Suns have been leveraging the power of the top overall pick to get looks at the other top names in the class, but the overwhelming belief in NBA circles and what’s coming out of Phoenix is Ayton is the guy.

The Sacramento Kings at number two still seems fairly wide open. The prevailing thought in NBA circles is the Kings have serious eyes for Michael Porter Jr., however that’s far from locked in according to sources close to the process. The shortlist in Sacramento seems to be Porter, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley III, and Luka Dončić. The Kings don’t seem to be locked in on Dončić, but sources close to the team say he is still very much in the conversation.

The Hawks at number three get interesting because they still seem to be open to trading their pick, but only if they can net Trae Young in the process and gain more assets, either additional picks or young guys on rookie scale contracts. There is a sense that the Hawks are trying to move Dennis Schröder around the draft. It’s unclear if there is any real value to have for the Hawks, but they seem more than open to it. It is not out of the question the Hawks take Young at three, so that could be an interesting draft domino.

Some other draft scuttle is that UCLA guard Aaron Holiday may have a promise in the mid-teens; word is he has been invited to the NBA Draft Greenroom.

Kentucky forward Kevin Knox could be the Cavaliers’ guy at number eight. His floor is expected to the be the Clippers at 12.

The Lakers, Clippers, and Celtics have all explored move-up options, but at this point, it does not seem like any of them are willing to pay a hefty premium to move up, but they are situations to watch as the draft unfolds, especially if players start to fall in a very unexpected sequence.

There will be one more Mock Draft on Wednesday of next week, so stay tuned.

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

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 6.0

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

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2018 NBA Draft. Included is an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts, and information from the pre-draft process.

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0

Benny’s Notebook: It’s June! Draft month is finally upon us, which means the player pool is set and boards are starting to solidify. For now, my top half of the draft remains unchanged — but if there’s a late riser left, look no further than Lonnie Walker. He’s been impressive throughout the draft process thus far, so, needless to say, this is not an unpopular opinion. Walker only averaged 11.5 points and 1.9 assists as a freshman at the University of Miami, but the NBA-worthy skillset is apparent. His uber-athletic and explosive first step makes Walker difficult to defend and his 6-foot-4, 200-pound fame only adds to that scoring prowess. At just 19 years old, Walker could become one of the best guards in the draft, which is high praise considering the others around him.

After that, there’s a pair of highly-touted European prospects worth checking in on, Džanan Musa and Élie Okobo — both of whom seem destined for late first-round selections. Although Musa has slipped a little of late, the 6-foot-9 Bosnian sharpshooter could be an absolute force with the right coaching. His defense certainly needs work, but Musa can already score in a whole variety of ways. Imagine getting him under the tutorship of Brad Stevens or Gregg Popovich — then the possibilities are truly endless.

Okobo, on the other hand, has been a recent riser and it’s not hard to see why. In France, he averaged 12.9 points and 4.8 assists on 39.4 percent from three-point range. Last summer, Okobo won a bronze medal at the FIBA Europe U-20 Championship and seems poised to become a regular on the senior team soon enough. Oh, and he also dropped 44 points on 8-for-11 from deep in a postseason game against AS Monaco in May. At 20 years old, Okobo looks like he might be just scratching the surface — so which team will take the plunge?

Moke’s Notebook: Things are starting to get very, very interesting. Although my lottery picks are mostly the same as they were last week, there’s a growing sense among those with whom I’ve spoken that Trae Young has a shot at going as high as third to the Atlanta Hawks. If the Orlando Magic do indeed lose out on Young (I’ve been told he’s in consideration for them) then I wouldn’t be surprised to see them land on either Kevin Knox (whom they had in for a workout this week) or Michael Porter, Jr. There’s still a fair amount of reservation surrounding Porter, though, but the general consensus seems to be that he won’t get past the Knicks at ninth. The Knicks are said to be looking for the either Young or Porter to fall to them, and if not, then Knox and Colin Sexton would be the next two on their depth chart. Either way, it’s still pretty early in the process, as most of the top prospects are just beginning to do their individual workouts.

While I do think this draft is rich with talent, from a depth standpoint, the general thought is that there are five players who have star potential, another five who will be solid role players and quite a few diamonds in the rough. Nobody knows who those diamonds are yet, which is why you’ll see a fair amount of volatility once you get outside of the lottery.

It’s looking like Keita Bates-Diop and Donte DiVicenzo will be available in the 20s, and I think either would present good value at those spots.

If Wendell Carter falls to the Clippers at 12th (definitely possible if the Mavericks take Mo Bamba), they might have cause for celebration.

This is how I see things stacking up based on what I’ve heard. Let’s see where we are next week.

Jesse’s Notebook: There is still no consensus clarity on what the Sacramento Kings will do with the second overall pick but I now think there’s a solid chance they pass on Luka Dončić. If Dončić falls to No. 4, expect the Memphis Grizzlies to take him. The Grizzlies want someone who can step out onto an NBA court and contribute immediately, and that’s Dončić.

We are starting to get some more clarity on how things may shake out after the Lottery picks but things could change a lot from now until draft night. This draft has a lot depth in terms of potential role players, but it doesn’t feature many prospects outside of the Lottery who have star potential. Thus, team need and fit is likely going to be a determining factor more than overall talent once we get outside of the top-14 picks (or around that area). So if a couple of teams decide to reach on a player or two, it could throw off the entire board and throw off projections.

The most interesting group of players to keep an eye on are the wing players. There is plenty of depth at this position and teams could start zoning in on their preferred wing players as they come in for workouts.

Steve’s Notebook: With less than two weeks remaining until NBA teams must lock in on their picks, things are going to get real from here. Most of the marquee players are either scheduled to visit or have started to visit NBA teams, and many are holding their own “controlled” Pro-Days. Teams are often mixed on the value of a Pro-Day, mainly because they are typically run by the player’s personal trainers and are designed to showcase not only the player, but the trainer too.

Marquee level players also rarely workout against anyone. So, what do you really learn from a guy running drills he runs every day against a chair or thin air? Hence the draft myth of how good a player did against the chair or worse yet, when he fails to perform and loses to the proverbial chair.

A good agent will tell you the worst thing you can do is get a silly contact-related injury prior to the draft. NBA Draft history is littered with high-level prospects who get a significant injury while training and can’t workout for teams at the level or frequency they would need to solidify a higher draft position.

The other part of the Pro-Day is using the audience a marquee player draws from NBA scouts and executives to showcase lesser draft prospects that may be represented by the same agent or have the same trainer. This can be an added value for those players that might not have gotten a top tier decision maker to really look at them.

Once the Pro-Day cycle ends things will get serious. For some players, this is when they will start asking for firm commitments to establish a “floor,” or the lowest point in the draft a player might go. If a player doesn’t have a floor going into next week, they may be in for a long draft night.

It is not uncommon for players at the top of the board to agree to a workout a little outside their projected range to ensure they have a floor they are comfortable with. So, look for the odd workout or team meeting to surface next week as players try to lock in a floor.

Specific to this draft, Michael Porter Jr.’s Pro-Day seems to be the key to who he will ultimately share medical with and workout out for. The narrative around his situation is once teams see him and are ready to commit, they will make their decision on who to visit and who they will share medical information with.

On the surface, all of this sounds too calculated, but in reality, there is a business behind the draft. For the players and agents involved, there is a desire to work the process to the best of their ability, because at the end of the draft where you get drafted, usually isn’t nearly as important as the fit of the situations. Searching for the right fit is why so many agents and players work the process to ensure they land in the best situation to have a long and fruitful career.

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

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 2018 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 6/5/18

With the 2018 NBA Draft less than three weeks away, Basketball Insiders publisher Steve Kyler offers up his latest 60-pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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With more than 100 draft eligible prospects pulling out of the 2018 NBA Draft, there is a little more clarity on who is really draftable, and some slots are starting to become a little more transparent, not only with players pulling out of the draft but also with NBA teams starting their individual workouts.

Here is the latest 60-pick NBA Mock Draft, look for the weekly Consensus Mock draft to drop on Wednesday.

Dates To Know:

While more than a 100 early-entry candidates have already announced their intention to withdraw from the 2018 NBA Draft, the NBA’s official draft withdrawal date is June 11 by 5:00 pm ET. The NBA’s date allows a prospect to remain NBA draft eligible for future NBA drafts and is not related to any NCAA rule or date. There are ways for college players that did not accept benefits to return to college. However, they may be subject to NCAA penalties. Typically this date is when most international players make their final draft decisions.

The 2018 NBA Draft is June 21.

The Pick Swaps:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer. The Brooklyn Nets traded several unprotected picks to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trades in 2015.

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers’ 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015. The 76ers traded that pick to the Boston Celtics as part of the draft pick trade that became Markelle Fultz before the draft; it has 2 through 5 protections. This pick will convey.

The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the final NBA standings.

The Phoenix Suns were owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick would only convey if the Bucks pick landed between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the final NBA standings did not convey. The Suns will now receive the Bucks 2019 first-round pick assuming it falls between the fourth and 16th pick.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick was lottery protected and would convey to Atlanta based on the final NBA standings.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Jazz/Wolves Ricky Rubio trade this past summer. The Jazz acquired the pick as part of the Thunder’s deal to obtain Enes Kanter in 2015. The pick was lottery protected and would convey based on the final NBA standings.

The Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick was top-five protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey

The LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade. The pick was top-three protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors’ first-round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick was lottery protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets’ first-round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick was top-three protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects – http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau.

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