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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 Mock Draft – 6/18/2019

The 2019 NBA Draft is Thursday and things seem to be taking shape at the top of the draft board. However, the middle of the draft could be wildly unpredictable. Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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The NBA Draft is upon us, and while there still seems to be a lot of things in play in the middle of the draft, the top of the board seems to be settling in on a defined order.

Assuming the top 10 picks stay where they are, the draft could go pretty much as scripted. After the top 10, it seems this could be a wildly unpredictable draft, with what’s shaping up to be a lot of pick movement, especially as certain guys rise or fall.

Here are some of the situation to watch:

The New Orleans Pelicans, fresh off their agreed Anthony Davis trade with the LA Lakers, are still exploring moves that could involve the fourth overall pick. The prevailing thought is if New Orleans can flip the pick for a solid veteran they would, but there has also been recent talk that they would like to try and trade up to grab Duke forward RJ Barrett in front of the Knicks. It doesn’t seem likely that Memphis would do such a deal unless they were assured they would get Murray State’s Ja Morant at four. The Knicks have been pretty locked in on keeping the third pick and have made it clear to local media that they would be happy with either Barrett or Morant, likely killing any traction on a Memphis-Pelicans swap.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had been linked to the Atlanta Hawks in a deal for the fifth overall pick, but traction on that seems to have died off once the Pelicans got control of the fourth pick and seem to have zeroed in on Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver if they keep the pick. The Hawks have been exploring options on moving one of their middle first round picks, either the 10 or the 17, which they will receive from Brooklyn as part of the pending Allen Crabbe salary dump. League sources doubt the Hawks keep all of their picks, but it’s unclear where those moved picks would land as of today.

Speaking of moved picks, the Boston Celtics have been exploring options on their three first-round picks; it is believed the Celtics will ultimately deal the player they select with the 20th overall pick, although league sources say Boston is open to moving all of them if the return is right.

There could be some teams to watch in terms of trading into the draft; The Houston Rockets have explored deals that would get them into the late lottery, it does not seem like there is traction on anything as of today, but it’s a situation to watch.

The Denver Nuggets have also explored deals to get into the first round, mainly to obtain inexpensive bench players. The Nuggets could be one of the teams to watch for with one of the Celtics or Hawks picks.

With all of that in mind, here is the latest NBA Mock Draft. You can look for the Final Consensus Mock Draft tomorrow.

UPDATED: 6/18 - 4:00pm

Stay tuned to Basketball Insiders for the latest news and rumors surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft and instant reaction pieces on all the picks in the first round.

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

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 6.0

With one week left, 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 2019 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. With every new version, you’ll see 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 as well as a notebook, outlining each writers’ thoughts, observations and reporting on the draft.

Keep in mind; we are trying to find commonalities, which is why it is called the Consensus. The writers involved do not see each other’s selections until these are posted. It is done deliberately to make sure each writer is not influencing the others.

As this process plays out, the mocks will evolve, so look for a new Consensus each Wednesday, all the way up to draft day on June 20th.

Here is this week’s Consensus Mock:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0

Jesse’s Notebook: My board remains relatively intact from Ver 5.0, but I now have Darius Garland going to the Lakers with the fourth overall pick. Steve Kyler has reported that Garland may have a promise from the Lakers, which makes sense considering the team’s roster construction and Garland’s skill set.

I still predict the Knicks selecting RJ Barret with the third overall pick, but Jarret Culver seems intent on pushing for that slot by hyping up his defensive impact. Where I think things will get interesting is the fifth pick. Of course, what the Cavaliers ultimately do with the fifth overall pick depends on what happens with picks 1-4, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Cleveland takes a chance on someone who isn’t necessarily on our radar at this point.

Atlanta is emerging as one of the teams I am particularly interested in. Their front office is smart and aggressive collectively, so I am eager to see what they do on draft night. Atlanta is building an intriguing core of young talent, so a strong draft could catapult them another step forward in their rebuild.

While we are quickly coming up on draft night, I still don’t have a clear picture of what will happen after the 10th pick. My board continues to shift on a day-to-day basis and I would not be shocked if the draft ends up in chaos, with at least a few players making big leaps up the board and others suffering big drops.

Spencer’s Notebook: In the most up to date version of this mock draft, things have changed a bit. We learned about the first big trade prior to June 20, with the Brooklyn Nets sending Allen Crabbe, their current 17th pick to the Atlanta and a protected 2020 first-rounder for Taurean Prince and a future second round pick. Brooklyn offloaded a heavy contract to free up cap space for the upcoming summer of free agency, while the Hawks gained a meaningful extra selection.

It doesn’t quite shake things up in the lottery much yet, but that could certainly change. With three picks in the top 17 range of this draft, it wouldn’t be surprising for the Hawks to package together some picks to move up the board. It also offers flexibility for Atlanta with the amount of assets they possess.

Who knows what the Los Angeles Lakers do with that fourth pick, but if it’s kept, it could come down between Darius Garland and Jarrett Culver. The latter worked out for the team recently and the returns were impressive.

On another player I haven’t discussed much yet to this point – Nassir Little is a prospect that, before the NBA Draft process began, was expected to go at No. 15 at the highest after one year at North Carolina. His defensive ability comes into question, as does his outside shooting. It was all-in-all an underwhelming showing for a five-star high school prospect who—despite playing his role well—ended up as the Tar Heels’ sixth man.

However, there is no denying the athleticism and pro-ready frame, which will be Little’s ace in the hole heading into the draft. At the NBA Combine, he took an opportunity to show those elements off and ran with it. Put the former McDonald’s All-American in the right situation and the team who takes him might be getting a player with top-ten potential.

Drew’s Notebook: This past week looked like it would be a quiet one, and then the Nets traded the 17th overall pick and Allen Crabbe to the Hawks for Taurean Prince and a protected 2020 pick. So gone is the idea that Brooklyn will be drafting a backup big man. Instead, the Nets appear poised to make a play for at least one max-level free agent (if not two) in the very near future.

But the Nets aren’t the only team well-positioned following their trade. The Hawks now have three first-round picks. They can consolidate them via trade or they can opt to use all three. Either way, the Hawks are primed to add at least one top-flight rookie. Be on the lookout for the Hawks to discuss packaging all three picks in a deal with the Cavs and Bulls.

I am also interested in monitoring the New York Knicks’ interest in Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver. Rumors have been circulating for the last week or so about their fascination with the 6’6″ shooting guard, which could indicate interest in trading down; Culver was projected between the fifth and ninth pick in last week’s Basketball Insiders’ 2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft — Version 5.0.

The Knicks represent an inflection point in this year’s draft. What they choose to do with the third pick sets the tone for at least picks four through eight. They can either select RJ Barrett, pick Culver or whomever else they feel best fits their team and philosophy, trade down for additional assets or package the pick with other assets in exchange for a superstar-caliber player. Their interest in a deal with the Hawks could be significant now considering the Hawks have a third 2019 first-round pick to trade.

Regardless of what the Knicks choose to do, all of the teams that pick after them must have a number of strategies fleshed out to ensure complete preparedness. And with the draft less than two weeks away, all of the teams picking in the lottery should be prepared for chaos.

Steve’s Notebook: If you have followed me in previous drafts (this is the 15th draft I have covered professionally), there is usually a point in which I lose faith in everything I think I know. Maybe it’s information overload after the Combine, the Pro Days and the workouts, but it seems every year I get to a point where I don’t trust what I am hearing.

Does Garland really have a promise to the Lakers? Jarrett Culver’s camp doesn’t think so.

Are the Cavaliers trading the 5th pick? Atlanta seems to think they have the inside track on a deal that would allow them to keep the 8th pick while picking up the 5th pick, but is that deal hinged on Cleveland landing Cam Reddish; who they have coveted since before the Draft Lottery?

Are the Bulls getting Lonzo Ball from the Lakers in exchange for the 7th pick? It seems they might if that additional pick nets the Lakers Anthony Davis from New Orleans, or will Chicago swoop and scoop all of the Davis suitors and land him in Chicago for themselves and keep the 7th pick?

The Celtics seem to be open to moving most of their first-round picks, but who is buying? Denver seems like they want into the first-round, so does Houston.

If the chatter around this draft is illustrating anything to me, it’s that the bulk of the picks currently being held in the 6 to 26 range could change hands, it seems that crazy at this point, but that may simply be a by-product of so many teams exploring what their draft options are.

If you are grading the draft process at home, please be kind, I am not sure how much I really know at this point, and sadly, that’s not uncommon.

Things usually take much firmer shape on the Tuesday before the draft, which thankfully is just a few days away.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 21 years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last five years. Spencer Davies is also a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last three years. Drew Maresca is an NBA Writer for Basketball Insiders and is finishing his first season covering the NBA.

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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NBA Daily: Projected Late-Round Gems Are Worth Targeting

As draft night fast approaches, there are three upperclassmen that franchises should target with a late-round selection, writes Ben Nadeau.

Ben Nadeau

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The second round of the NBA Draft is always an exercise in annual insanity as players are stashed, traded and dumped, giving onlookers surprise selections around every corner. Understandably, the build-up to the draft tends to focus sharply on the lottery and those expected to make a major difference from their very first professional games. Still, the importance of finding late draft gems grows each year without question — look no further than the Toronto Raptors. Famously, the current conference champions don’t roster a single player selected in the lottery — Kawhi Leonard is their highest at No. 15 back in 2011 — but their collection of deep talent is astounding.

Marc Gasol and Danny Green were late-round gems, of course, but if you don’t want to count the recently-acquired assets, then there’s Kyle Lowry (first round, No. 24), O.G. Anunoby (first, No. 23), Serge Ibaka (first, No. 24), Jeremy Lin (undrafted), Fred VanVleet (undrafted), Norman Powell (second, No. 16) and Pascal Siakam (first, No. 27). Needless to say, becoming a Finals-worthy contender does not have to happen within the first ten picks or so any longer. But as draft night draws closer, it’s natural to start looking for value options with the potential for early success — in fact, plenty of franchises even pulled it off last year.

Between Rodions Kurucs and Mitchell Robinson, the state of New York certainly hit the jackpot in the previous draft. Beyond those two, Phoenix’s De’Anthony Melton, Oklahoma City’s Hamidou Diallo and Dallas’ Jalen Brunson also had strong moments throughout their first-ever campaigns. From 2017, plenty of second-rounders have already broken into the rotation, from Dillon Brooks and Semi Ojeleye to Jordan Bell and Monte Morris as well. The final three names there have all featured for teams with championship-bound aspirations too, proving — as writer Drew Maresca put it earlier this week — there’s talent to be found everywhere on draft night, not just the top.

Based solely on Basketball Insiders’ most recent Consensus Mock Draft, here are some projected second-rounders that every franchise should target on Jun. 20.

Eric Paschall, Villanova

Despite the Wildcats’ perceived down year in 2018-19, the senior absolutely bloomed as the main star. Over 36 contests, Paschall averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 three-pointers per game, leading his suddenly less-stacked squad to 26 wins. Once chalked up as a late second-round selection, Paschall’s uber-athletism at May’s NBA Draft Combine got the attention of many front office scouts. At first, Paschall’s height as a forward, 6-foot-7, meant that he’d likely struggle to defend against the ideal pro-level opponent, but his immense wingspan and leaping abilities should help to level the playing field.

He’ll be 23 by the time his rookie season rolls around, but franchises should be falling all over themselves to get another prototypical Villanova prospect — unselfish, athletic and fundamentally sound. Physically, Paschall could hang with anybody under the hoop collegiately, but his potential as a long-range stretch option is where he’ll really shine. At just 34.8 percent from three, he wasn’t the most consistent threat but once he got cooking, good luck. On Nov. 23, Paschall erupted for 22 points on 6-for-10 from deep; three months later, he hit on 5-for-6 against Providence.

Many project Paschall as a perfect glue-and-energy asset — particularly as his defensive prowesses continue to develop — but in the right hands, it feels like he could burst through that ceiling as well.

Isaiah Roby, Nebraska

Standing at 6-foot-8 and boasting an impressive 7-foot-1 wingspan, there is much like about Isaiah Roby, the Cornhuskers’ standout star. Over three seasons, Roby used his size and high basketball IQ to become a flexible two-way asset and a defender of multiple positions — traits that should follow him to the NBA later this month. As a junior, Roby averaged 11.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. He, like Paschall, forecasts as a potential stretch four too, a commodity that now seems hard-woven into the current league-wide fabric. Although Roby hit on just 33 percent of his three-point attempts in 2018-19 — 40 percent the year prior, of note — the reward outweighs the risk here.

During a regular season win over Northwestern, Roby stuffed the box score for 19 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a whopping five blocks. Months later, in the NIT opening round, Roby poured in 28 points and eight rebounds on an efficient 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Over 35 games with Nebraska, Roby finished with zero blocks on just six occasions, even notching two or more in 20 of those efforts. Undoubtedly, Roby is a raw prospect, but he exhibits the do-it-all ability that every franchise would love to drop into their rotation sooner rather than later. He’s a lengthy, two-way stopper that can force turnovers, protect the rim and swing the momentum of a game — if he finds any dependable mark from three-point land, Roby will be an NBA mainstay before long.

Admiral Schofield, Tennessee

The upperclassman run continues on with the Volunteers’ big-time playmaker, Admiral Schofield. At 22, he’s in a similar position as both Paschall and Roby — strong, if not massively spectacular, collegiate careers, but without the extra three years of mysterious, untapped potential that comes with drafting a teenager. Still, if a franchise is looking for a hardworking, defensive-minded contributor, it’d be hard to pass up on Schofield. The natural-born leader carried — with Grant Williams, another soon-to-be draftee — the school to their most successful season since 2007-08 by notching 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Given Schofield’s 6-foot-6 fame, his position at the NBA-level is still up for debate — but his shooting ability most certainly isn’t. Over his four years at Tennesse, Schofield improved from deep at every corner. As a senior, he nailed two three-pointers per game on 41.8 percent, an ever-so-sweet stroke that should translate with opportunity. While he likely doesn’t possess star potential, franchises will know exactly what they’re getting with Schofield from day one.

Aggressive and bruising, he treats every game like a playoff elimination moment and always ready to passionately fight for his teammates. But if his collegiate statistics and seasonal improvement weren’t quite enough, a quote from a recent workout with Utah just might do the trick, per Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune:

“My mindset is, if I come in, I want to affect winning. It’s not about positions, it’s not about playing time, it’s just about coming in and affecting winning.”

Yeah, Schofield is about to make some franchise really happy this summer, that’s for sure.

As always, the second round can be a minefield of missed potential but it has unearthed some incredible players as of late — including one Serbian-sized MVP candidate to boot. With contributors coming in all shapes, sizes, abilities and ages, there’s no excuse not to find a draftee worth investing in, whether that’s here at home or overseas.

And although these three are unlikely to go in the first round on June 20, that doesn’t mean they can’t make an impact, either now or sometime down the line. Just look at the Raptors, currently up 3-to-1 against the back-to-back champions, and how their once-overlooked rotations are now stealing the show at the absolute highest level.

It may not be immediate, but Paschall, Roby and Schofield embody the profiles of future NBA success stories — all that’s left now is to find them a new home.

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