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Following A Legend: The David Stockton Story

Son of NBA legend John Stockton, David Stockton is now trying to make the leap to the NBA and exceed expectations once again.

Yannis Koutroupis

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No different than a lot of kids, former Gonzaga point guard David Stockton grew up wanting to be like his father. What made David different was that his dad is Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, who played 19 years with the Utah Jazz during which he set NBA records in career steals (3,265) and assists (15,806).

As a child, David loved watching his father and felt like because he was the son of a great point guard he would automatically become one too.

For someone who wasn’t a standout athlete or imposing physical specimen, John did make the game look quite easy, a little bit too easy from his son’s point of view.

“If anything as a kid it kind of hurt me as I got to the high school level,” David said to Basketball Insiders. “As a kid when that’s your dad it’s as simple as, ‘Yeah I’m going to do exactly as he’s doing, I’m going to grow up, play for the Jazz and be one of the best point guards ever.’ In my mind that’s how easy it was. That’s what kind of hurt me, when I realized there’s a lot more to it, hard work. He just made it look so easy and that was the hardest part for me.”

Following that reality check was doubt. He went on to become a solid player for Gonzaga Prep during his final year in high school, leading them to a fourth place finish in their division, but there wasn’t one D-I scholarship offer waiting for him afterwards. In fact, there weren’t any D-I schools even giving him serious looks. At 5’11, he was written off by most because, like his dad, he doesn’t pass the eye test with blazing colors.

Stockton did manage to catch on with the hometown Gonzaga Bulldogs as a walk-on. He was red-shirted his freshman year, with no guarantee that he was going to have a spot the following season, or ever be more than a member of the scout team in practice, whose sole purpose is to help prepare the guys who are actually going to see the floor. During that red shirt year, though, Stockton found his niche.

“I could really guard and frustrate some of the best players on our team,” Stockton said. “Defensively, if you can make an impact there, things will come. Once I got there and practiced, got used to the speed of the college game, I was confident I could play.”

As was his head coach, Mark Few.

Stockton’s defense earned him a spot in the regular rotation the following season. His role gradually increased from then on. As a senior this past season, he played 27.8 minutes a game for the Bulldogs, setting career marks across the board with 7.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.8 minutes of action a night.

Retiring from the game in 2003, his dad was able to have a really hands on role with his development and served as the greatest tutor a young point guard could ask for.

“Just seeing how he carried himself on the court, the decisions he made on a daily basis, realizing who needs the ball, where they need it, taking care of it and not turning it over,” Stockton said when asked what he took from his father. “As a point guard, I feel like IQ is the most important thing you can have.

“[He also taught me] the attitude you have to play with as a smaller guy. Nothing is easy. You’re not buddy buddy with everybody. There’s a serious factor to the game.”

In addition to studying his father’s game, David also watched a lot of Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, players who also lack the ideal size for their position but have still managed to more than make their mark at the next level.

“Like my transition from the high school level to college level, I think there’s a lot of learning and figuring things out as I get used to the speed,” Stockton said. “But I think there’s no doubt that I can play that speed if given the chance.

“I think there’s a lot of room [for me to improve]. I feel like there is growing left in me. I’m going to the next level with the expectation of being willing to learn, willing to be coached. I’m not a guy who thinks he has all the answers. I’m just trying to get better.”

Written off by many out of high school, David exceeded expectations over the last four years, and he has no plans to stop now. Following in his dad’s footsteps has not been anywhere near as glamorous or as smooth as he originally believed it to be, yet he hasn’t been deterred at all in the pursuit of his dream.

“I want NBA teams to know they’re going to get a guy who is going to work extremely hard for them,” Stockton said. “[I’ll] do everything for the betterment of the team, not myself. I just want to play the game.”

The odds may be stacked against David to get drafted in this deep, highly heralded class, but with the relentless desire to improve, a coveted attribute in his defensive toughness and a tremendous basketball pedigree, he could prove everyone wrong once again.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 3/19/19

With the field of teams set for the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament, things should get noisy over the next few weeks on the NBA Draft front. Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick Mock Draft before all the zaniness begins.

Steve Kyler

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Let the Madness begin.

The basketball world will shift its attention to college basketball’s biggest stage over the next few weeks, especially this weekend’s opening round of 64.

While the tournament doesn’t necessarily make or break a player’s draft stock, this will be the first time some notable draft prospects will face elite talent and, more importantly, the pressure of the big stage. You can check out march madness predictions 2019 here.

Expect things in the draft world to start to percolate, not just because of the magnitude of the games, but also because a lot of NBA scouts will be in the same places, which is where the draft chatter originates.

Equally, a lot of NBA teams will watch games together in the conference rooms this week, so more group discussion on players will happen inside NBA teams’ front offices, and that could lead to new preference information flowing into the NBA Draft information bubble.

Here is this week’s 60-Pick Mock Draft, based on NBA games played through 3/18/19:

Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

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, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 3/12/19

The annual March Madness tournament gets underway next week, and draft hype will really start to rev up. Steve Kyler offers up another 2019 60-pick mock draft.

Steve Kyler

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Things are starting to heat up on the NBA Draft front specifically for those teams already eliminated or facing playoff elimination this week.

The 2019 March Madness Tournament kicks off next Tuesday with the “First Four,” and the major teams and players take the floor on March 21st and 22nd, which will ramp up draft talk and ranking speculation.

It’s important to state that while the NCAA Tournament brings a ton of visibility to players, it isn’t nearly the deciding factor some like to make it out to be. Most NBA teams have a good grasp on their top 100 players and have thoroughly scouted and investigated those players. The tournament stage often helps answer questions and assumptions, but usually, teams already have an idea of what players are going to be at the next level.

That’s not to say a bubble guy can’t push himself one way or the other with a strong or weak performance, but usually, the idea that the tournament can catapult a guy way up or way down typically is not the case. Most insiders will say a good tournament can help win over scouts and executives, but that a bad showing doesn’t necessarily hurt as much as you’d think, unless its an utter collapse. So be careful about tournament exuberance – the hype is never as real as you think, any more than the idea of draft stock declines.

There is some truth to this idea, a lot of NBA general managers – especially ones running winning teams – don’t spend as much time scouting as say teams looking at the lottery, so there is a chance for a player to catch a GM’s eye, especially players on non-major teams. The draft is littered with mid-major guys jumping into the discussion, but usually, it means more draft workouts.

Donte DiVincenzo helped himself tremendously last year, but it was his draft workouts that really sealed the deal for him. No one is drafting a guy on his tournament play. It’s way too big a decision for one weekend to make or break a player at the next level.

Here is this week’s Mock Draft:

Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

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, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft 3/5/19

With the college basketball season starting to wind down, the NBA Draft will play a bigger part of the NBA conversation, Steve Kyler offers up another 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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As the college basketball regular season starts to wind down, and the March Madness Tournament starts to rev up, the 2019 NBA Draft will play a bigger and bigger role in the NBA conversation, especially with NBA teams already eliminated from the postseason (sorry Phoenix).

The Basketball Insiders Top 100 has had its biggest update of the season (http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/), which means this week’s Mock Draft reflects some of the biggest moves so far.

It’s important to note that the Mock Draft process is not meant to be a direct reflection of the Top 100 prospects. While the top of every draft reflects the top guys, as the draft plays out, many teams – especially those with multiple picks will start to use those picks for the future – meaning draft and stash scenarios come into play.

Also, keep in mind some picks are safer bets than others, even safer than betting on the Final Four.

With that in mind, here is how this week’s Mock Draft played out:

There are a number of first-round picks that are owed. Here is how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

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, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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