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NBA AM: A Detailed 2015 NBA Mock Draft

A detailed look at the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, with explanations for each pick.

Steve Kyler

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 1

 Karl-Anthony Towns – 7’0 248lbs PF/C

Towns is likely the best fit for the Wolves for a number of reasons. He fits with the existing personnel, they have a low-pressure situation because of their young players and he can play right away on both ends of the floor. While Jahlil Okafor might be the best overall talent, there’s almost no question Towns is the best fit.

 2

 Jahlil Okafor – 6’11 272lbs C

If Towns is off the board at one, that leaves Okafor at two for the Lakers and it’s an amazing fit. Not only is he a super skilled and talented player, he could be the future face of the franchise the Lakers have been searching for. Okafor could handle the pressure of the large media market and he is a hard worker who would embrace playing with Kobe Bryant. This could not be a more ideal fit for Okafor. If Minnesota takes Okafor at one, then Towns slides into number two and he’s equally a good fit.

 3

 D’Angelo Russell – 6’5 193lbs PG

D’Angelo Russell is the likely the pick here. The Philadelphia 76ers have a glaring need at point guard and Russell may be the safest pick on the board. The problem with Philadelphia is the wildcard factor, as they could go Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis or even Mario Hezonja. The smart money says it’s Russell; however, when dealing with the Sixers, anything is possible.

 4

 

 Justise Winslow – 6’7 222lbs SF

The New York Knicks are a house divided; there does not seem to be a consensus within the Knicks at number four. They could go Willie Cauley-Stein, Justise Winslow or even Porzingis is an option.  Mudiay is the name linked to the Knicks most aggressively, but it does not seem he’s nearly as high on their board as some of the Mock Drafts have him. There is also a growing sense that the Knicks may trade this pick and move down and gain other assets or offload Jose Calderon. However, if they hang onto it, it sounds like Winslow is the leader in the clubhouse.

 5

 Kristaps Porzingis – 7’0 220lbs PF

At number five, the Magic are playing with house money. They have a roster filled with young talent and not a lot of glaring needs that can be immediately solved in the draft. The Magic have shown a history of swinging for the fences, which means Porzingis could be the front runner. The fit for Porzingis is good and he could, in time, be one of the better players in this draft class.

 6

 Emmanuel Mudiay – 6’5 200lbs PG

The Kings at number six may get the point guard they’ve coveted for some time in Emmanuel Mudiay. While this pick would represent a perceived dropping of his stock considering his hype, the long-term fit would be amazing. If Mudiay is off the board, the Kings could find themselves catching Winslow, Cauley-Stein or Porzingis.

 7

 Mario Hezonja – 6’8 200lbs SG

The Denver Nuggets at seven seem to be leaning toward Mario Hezonja, but if Winslow is still on the board or by some chance Mudiay, things could change for Denver fairly quickly. Denver has been exploring the trade market and could make a draft-day trade involving one or more of their veteran players, with Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried being the names most talked about in NBA circles.

 8

 

 Stanley Johnson – 6’7 242lbs SF

The Detroit Pistons could go a number of ways with the number eight pick, but Stanley Johnson seems to be the best fit for head coach Stan Van Gundy. However if Winslow, Cauley-Stein or Porzingis are still on the board, there’s a chance they could be the pick. A dark horse here could be Hezonja, as he has ties to new Pistons executive Arn Tellem.

 9

 

 Cameron Payne – 6’2 183lbs PG

With the trade of Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Charlotte Hornets now find themselves with a need for an off guard and have a long-running need for scoring. This could be the home for Cameron Payne. While Payne has a commitment from the Thunder at 14, jumping up to nine wouldn’t be out of the question especially for an offensive player like Payne.

 10

 Frank Kaminsky – 7’1 231lbs PF

The Miami Heat need talent and talent that can play right away, which has them looking at players like Frank Kaminsky or one of the Euros should they fall. The HEAT have always valued proven collegiate players and none is more proven in this class then Kaminsky. Jerian Grant, Bobby Portis, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker could all find a home in Miami if they look past Kaminsky.

 11

 Willie Cauley-Stein – 7’1 242lbs C

The Pacers have been looking at point guard and Jerian Grant could very well be their pick. However, if Cauley-Stein is still on the board at 11, it may be hard for Larry Bird and the Pacers to pass on a player that clearly fits their culture and style of play.

 12

 

 Devin Booker – 6’6 206lbs SG

Like the Magic, the Jazz are playing with house money. They don’t have any material needs that the draft can solve so they really could go best available player and let it all get worked out in training camp. The best option on the board might be Booker, the sharpshooter from Kentucky who not only could have tremendous upside but could help solve the Jazz’s immediate need for perimeter scoring.

 13

 

 Jerian Grant – 6’5 198lbs PG

The Suns have been all over the board looking at talent. Their biggest need is at backup point guard and this could be the home for Jerian Grant. There is also a sense that the Suns may look to move away from the Morris twins, who were involved in some nasty off-the-court issues. That could open the door for players like Myles Turner, Portis and Kevon Looney.

 14

 

 Myles Turner – 7’0 239lbs C

The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to work out players hoping to find the right talent that will fall to them at 14. Word is they have a draft promise to Cameron Payne but he may be off the board when the Thunder pick at 14. It’s also not out of the question that the Thunder trade up to ensure they get their guy. The Thunder have a history of doing it. If Payne is off the board, Turner may be the best upside player available.

 15

 

 Bobby Portis – 6’11 246lbs PF

The Atlanta Hawks need athleticism and defense and Bobby Portis may fit the bill on all accounts. There is a chance that the Hawks go Looney or Turner should he be available, but the smart money says this is where Portis lands.

 16

 Kelly Oubre – 6’7 203lbs SF

The Boston Celtics are loaded with draft picks and can afford to swing for the fences at 16. Kelly Oubre may be the best upside talent on the board and also solves a need at small forward. At this point in the draft, dozens of combinations become reasonable but if best talent on the board is the goal, Oubre is likely the guy.

 17

 

 Trey Lyles – 6’10 241lbs PF

Milwaukee is looking for size and versatility or outside shooting at 17. Trey Lyles may be too good to pass up. A number of teams higher up the board see Lyles as a potential starter with a lot of upside and that’s exactly what Milwaukee is looking for.

 18

 Sam Dekker – 6’9 219lbs SF

The Houston Rockets have been sniffing around the point guard crop, but if Sam Dekker is on the board at 18, that might be too much proven talent to pass on even though he may not have a huge role right away. The Rockets have a long history of drafting best talent, and Dekker would be exactly that.

 19

 Kevon Looney – 6’9 222lbs PF

The Wizards don’t have a lot of needs in the frontcourt, but in Kevon Looney the Wizards would get a promising young guy who needs a little time and that may fit better for the Wizards than trying to force a pick that would need minutes right out of the gate. Much like the Wizards did with Otto Porter, being patient with Looney could yield a really promising talent.

 20

 Jarell Martin – 6’9 239lbs PF

The word is that Jarell Martin has a mid-first round promise, and while it’s not clear if it’s the Raptors who made the commitment, he does fit in nicely with what Toronto is looking for in the draft. He is a little older, but also more equipped to contribute right away. After going with the unproven Bruno Caboclo last year, a Martin pick would be about improving the team next year.

 21

 Justin Anderson – 6’6 231lbs SF

The Mavericks are looking for an athletic talent, and Justin Anderson might be the best one on the board. Anderson has worked out very well in the draft process and has a number of potential suitors. Anderson has a bigger body of work and may be a safer pick for a Mavericks team that needs a talent infusion.

 22

 Terry Rozier – 6’2 190lbs PG

The Bulls could go a number of directions with this pick, but given the Bulls’ need for a solid reserve type point guard and that they have been all over Rozier throughout the draft process, he could be the pick. Rozier to the Bulls may seem high, but according to sources they have met with him three times (John Paxson was at his Pro Day) and may have him back in for a fourth before the draft.

 23

 Jonathan Holmes – 6’9 242lbs SF/PF

At 23, the draft is a crap shoot. There could be any number of combinations of player left in the pool, but in this case Jonathan Holmes represents the best talent on the board. The challenge with this pick is Holmes is 22, and analytics tends to punish older players. The Blazers have needs all over the place, but Holmes could contribute right away, especially if free agents start walking away.

 24

 R.J. Hunter – 6’6 185lbs SG

It is conceivable that R.J. Hunter goes as high at 17 to the Milwaukee Bucks, but in this case he’s the best talent on the board for a Cavaliers team that needs scoring and shooting. With how much cap space the Cavaliers look to have committed, there is a chance the Cavs trade this pick for a veteran player rather than pick up a young guy who may not see minutes on a contending team.

 25

 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 6’7 211lbs SF

The Memphis Grizzlies need shooting and scoring, so it would seem counter intuitive to go Rondae Hollis-Jefferson here, but he fits the culture and character of the team and could be part of their future. The draft is just one place to address a need, and while a scorer is on the needs list, could anyone that the Grizzlies grab at 25 really be enough offensively to matter as a rookie? The odds are the Grizz grab a quality player at 25 and address scoring needs with a proven veteran in free agency.

 26

 Nikola Milutinov – 7’0 220lbs C

The Spurs want to preserve as much cap space as possible, so do not be surprised if the Spurs grab the best draft-and-stash option on the board and bring the pick over at some time in the future. Nikola Milutinov could be that guy. There are a lot of options here for the Spurs, but knowing they are making a run at a serious free agent in a few weeks, likely means they trade out of the pick or draft a future asset instead.

 27

 Tyus Jones – 6’2 185lbs PG

There are many interesting players available here but Tyus Jones might be the best talent on the board and given that this Mock has the Lakers with Okafor, why not reunite the duo that committed to Duke as a package deal and then won a national championship together? League sources say the Lakers are interested in trading this pick if only to avoid the guaranteed salary associated with it. There has also been talk of bundling this pick with other assets and moving up, so this selection is clearly in flux.

 28

 

 Montrezl Harrell – 6’8 253lbs PF

The Celtics do not have a lot of needs so with this pick, it’s simply the best talent on the board. There is a chance the Celtics look to move this pick for future consideration or bundle it with a player to open up a roster spot. Like the 27, the 28 could end up being used by someone else.

 29

 Christian Wood – 6’11 216lbs PF

Rumor has it the Nets were the floor for Terry Rozier, so if he still is around, this is likely where he lands. However, considering he’s long gone in this mock, Christian Wood is the pick based strictly on upside talent. Wood will need time to develop physically, but he has a knack for the game that may be too hard to pass on.

 30

 Michael Frazier – 6’5 199lbs SG

Believe it or not, the Warriors are looking for more outside shooting and Michael Frazier is the best pure shooter in the draft class. The Warriors could go a number of directions here, but with Frazier it’s all about upside and shooting and that makes him the selection.

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, @AlexKennedyNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @SusanBible @TommyBeer, @JabariDavisNBA , @MokeHamilton , @JCameratoNBA, @iamdpick, @jblancartenba and @CodyTaylorNBA .

Steve Kyler is the Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA and basketball for the last 17 seasons.

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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 3.0

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 2019 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

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The 2019 NBA Draft lottery produced some unexpected results. Here are the results:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0

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 2.0

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 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. Each week 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

Jesse’s Notebook: The NBA Combine is set to take place next week with 66 players expected to attend. Many of these players are going to scrimmage, take measurements, go through a variety of drills, and interview with teams. The Combine should provide a good amount of intel on these prospects that either isn’t available yet or has thus far been overlooked. This is also the time when teams will start giving more clues about their thoughts on certain prospects, what their respective teams are looking for and who is catching the attention of several teams. Oftentimes prospects start setting themselves apart and climbing team draft boards based on their performance at the Combine. On the flip side, some prospects are likely to start falling down team boards as new information is discovered. However, this is also a time where some players may get too much hype based on their measurements and other data points (let’s not forget the hype surrounding Luke Babbit after the 2010 Combine).

Mock draft boards are already all over the place and are sure to start shuffling even more as we move towards the Combine. However, the overall picture should start to become a bit clearer as prospects interview with teams, receive feedback, and as front office executives start making soft commitments to players and leaking out information about the players they have an eye on.

Spencer’s Notebook: In version two of our consensus mock draft, my top nine draft picks stayed the same as they were last week, but there was some slight tweaking otherwise.

As Steve said in the inaugural mock, predicting selections outside of the top slots is difficult. A good amount of teams could be picking for their need first and foremost rather than having a simple “best player available” approach. The picture will be a little clearer next week when we learn the results of the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14.

My most notable observation—there is an abundance of talented wings, raw and polished, in this 2019 NBA Draft class. Younger players such as RJ Barrett, Jarrett Culver, Cameron Reddish and De’Andre Hunter have the tools to succeed. However, finding the right organization to put those respective skill sets to use in the correct manner will be imperative to every one of them to reach their full potential.

Playoff teams are going to be able to add the more pro-ready prospects at that position, with multiple upperclassmen forwards who may be able to help right away – regardless of what team they end up with. Rui Hachimura, Cameron Johnson, Brandon Clarke, Matisse Thybulle and Grant Williams all fit the bill in that sense. While collegiate experience hardly compares to that of the NBA, the maturation of playing the game longer puts these guys ahead of the curve if you were to ask me.

Drew’s Notebook:Not much has changed since last week. The most noise we’ve heard in the last seven days is around accepted invitations to the NBA Draft Combine, as well as workouts. But fear not NBA fans, the Draft Lottery takes place this Tuesday with the Combine beginning the very next day. Things will definitely heat up soon!

With that being said, I spent a lot of time looking at the top teams in terms of draft order and thought a lot about their needs: the Bulls, Suns and Wizards could all be interested in adding a lead guard. This is, of course, an exercise in futility because we have not yet landed on a final draft order. Never the less, this led me bump Darius Garland up a few spots. I think he is extremely NBA-ready. And while a little undersized, he has an IT factor that most prospects at his level do not possess (excluding Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett). Garland could develop into Kyrie Irving-type of player, or he could end up closer to D.J. Augustin. But I really like his confidence and how he moves with the ball. And until the Draft Lottery dictates the final order on 5/14, I’ve got to arrange prospects by my feelings on overall talent.

Another guy I plan to plan to study more closely is Sekou Doumbouya. I was compelled to drop him a few spots after watching more film of him over the weekend, but his youth (18 years old) and perceived versatility indicate that he’ll grow into an effective NBA player, assuming he’s given the proper time and resources to develop. And potential is just as important (if not more) as refined skill. I’m excited to see what, if anything, we can learn about Doumbouya at the Combine.

Tuesday, May 14 can’t get here soon enough.

Steve’s Notebook: The invite list of the 2019 NBA Draft Combine is out, and 66 players accepted the NBA’s invite to take part in the NBA’s annual draft showcase event. It’s important to note that there are three types of invitations; the first is extended to those players expected to go in the top 20, which does not require participation in the on-court portion of the Combine. Those players will undergo medical testing and face to face interviews with teams. The next group will do the same medical and interviews but are also expected to participate in the on-court portion as well. The third tier are those players willing to be last minute alternates in the event players pull out.

This year the NBA is holding a G-League event for draft-eligible players, just prior to next week’s Combine, the NBA has pledged the possibility of a full Combine invite to players that stand out among those additional 40 plus players that were invited to participate.

Why is a Combine invite important? In a typical year, more than 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted, making the Combine list a pretty solid barometer on who is legitimately in the draft discussion.

There are two notable players that declined the NBA’s invitations, the first being Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Washington’s Matisse Thybulle.

While it is not uncommon for players to bypass the Combine, especially if the players is all but assured to be drafted, it also usually signifies a player may have a draft commitment they are comfortable with making the dog and pony show of the Combine less desirable.

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th, with the Combine itself getting underway on Wednesday with face to face team interviews.

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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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 1.0

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 2019 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week 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:



Jesse’s Notebook: The Draft Lottery is still two weeks away, so it’s somewhat difficult to put together a mock draft that feels completely well-grounded. This is especially the case with this year’s draft class, which features a consensus No. 1 pick in Zion Williamson but little else in terms of clarity. There are notable individual talents in this class, but a large range of opinions on what order these prospects should be drafted.

Considering this, I predict that team-fit will have a bigger influence on this draft class than previous classes, which have often featured more than a handful of top-tier prospects. For example, many scouts, talent evaluators and members of the media rank R.J. Barrett as the second best player in the draft and list him as likely to be drafted second overall. However, the Suns have a glaring hole at point guard, which means Phoenix might favor Ja Morant over Barrett in a scenario in which they have the second pick in the draft. The point here is that teams will likely be giving considerable weight to how players fit on their respective rosters starting as early as the second pick in the draft.

It’s always fun to dissect every bit of new information and adjust mock drafts in the weeks leading up to the draft. And for many NBA fans, it’s fun to engage in that process and pick apart the mock drafts of writers and journalists who cover the league. This summer should be an especially good year for fans to do so considering how different each writer’s mock draft boards will look compared to others. So be sure to stop by Basketball Insiders frequently to keep up with our mock drafts and give us your feedback on Twitter.

Spencer’s Notebook: The best time of the league year is here! While the remaining teams in the postseason continue to battle it out for a chance at a championship opportunity, those who aren’t in the dance are gearing up for a chance to add new talent to their respective franchises via the NBA Draft.

We might not be sure who lands where in the lottery as of yet—we’ll know on May 14 officially—but whatever ball club draws the first overall selection is a shoo-in to take Duke superstar Zion Williamson.

Williamson is not just a highlight reel, he’s the real deal. Though the freakish combination of power and athleticism captures everyone’s attention, it’s the intelligence and natural playmaking ability that will guide him at the next level. With the association trending towards higher possessions and more scoring in transition opportunities, the 6-foot-9 phenom will thrive with whatever team brings him in.

On to the remaining notables in this lottery—I went with Coby White to the Chicago Bulls at four because of their inconsistency at point guard. He’s a facilitator that can open up the floor due to his threat to score inside and make shots on the outside.

My favorite part of putting this together was adding two top-five worthy picks to the growing core of the Atlanta Hawks. After a sizable leap in his sophomore season at Texas A&M, Jarrett Culver proved to be one of the most sought-after wings in this entire draft class. His length is a matchup nightmare for any team, as is his ability to put it on the floor and get to the line.

Along with Culver, I have Travis Schlenk taking a flier on Oregon’s Bol Bol. The luxury of having two lottery picks is being able to take risks. The 7-foot-2 big man displayed flashes of greatness with his versatility on both ends. He’s able to move and handle the ball exceptionally well for a player his size, can knock down jump shots and, obviously, protect the rim. He’ll need to bulk up more and, unfortunately, he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and only played nine games. But if the success of Joel Embiid—who had the same exact injury in the other foot in 2014—has taught us anything, it’s to be patient and trust the process.

Drew’s Notebook: With the NBA Draft Lottery only two weeks away, front offices around the league are in serious exploration mode, familiarizing themselves with all of the prospects eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft.

And speaking of prospects, lots will change regarding how they are viewed thanks to the NBA Draft Combine, which is set to run from May 15-19 in Chicago. It’s worth noting that while the combine commences on May 15, teams can begin private workouts before the combine. For example, the Atlanta Hawks began workouts on April 30, kicking things off with a six-player workout headlined by Nevada forward Jordan Caroline.

The next big date to keep an eye on following the combine is May 29, which is the withdrawal deadline for all prospects who would like to maintain NCAA eligibility. By May 30, we will all have a much clearer picture of who will go where. Until then, the only (almost) certain thing about the 2019 NBA Draft is Zion Williamson will be selected first overall by whichever team wins the lottery.

Steve’s Notebook: The 2019 NBA Draft looks to be a little unpredictable; outside the top 3 or 4 players, the next 20 players could go in a wildly unexpected way, mainly because NBA teams do not few this draft class the same way, and a lot of the notable players are viewed as a little interchangeable. For example, how much of a difference is there at the next for UNC’s Coby White and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver? It will come down to the team selecting and not some perceived gap in skill, potential or ability.

The same seems to be true of Texas’ Jaxson Hayes, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford. Hayes looks like the best of the group and more likely to come off the board first. However, what’s coming from teams – is they view a lot of these guys in the same group and are looking for them to go head-to-head to settle some of the debate on who could be the better long-term pro and ultimately a draft pick.

There are also some guys to watch in terms of stock dropping.

There are real medical concerns on Oregon’s Bol Bol; teams will want a long look at his medical. The belief from scouts and executives is that if he were healthy, he’d be a top 10 prospect, but with the navicular injury and his tremendous size, there is a desire to fully understand where he really in his recovery is before some teams would commit to him.

UNC’s Nassir Little is a mixed bag among NBA scouts, some point to his tremendous high school career as a reason to believe, but his underwhelming season at Carolina has impacted how teams view him. He will need to answer a lot of questions for teams in the workout process. The current read is that Little could go anywhere from 15 to 35. Workouts and personal interviews could go a long way towards cementing what side of that range he really lands.

Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey is another name to watch. The word around NBA teams is that he may pull out of the 2019 NBA Draft if he does not get feedback at the NBA Combine suggesting he’d go in the first round. Word has it that his camp is looking for the ideal situation, and a soft promise might keep him in the draft. If teams are non-committal, he may pull out.

There are also some names projected lower in this draft that could surprise.

Virginia’s Kyle Guy has some fans. He could be one of the guys that could go 8 to 10 picks higher than his currently projected range. International guard Henri Drell could go late in the first round or early in the second round. It seems he has fans among teams holding multiple picks.

Washington State’s Robert Franks has had some teams in to see him recently, and the buzz on his is really positive. Franks is currently projected in the middle of the second round. However, there are some teams late in the first that seems to be very high on him; a solid workout schedule could garner a draft promise.

It is important to note that there are two different types of commitments teams give players – the first is the hard fast guarantee of selection. This usually accompanies a player shutting down workouts with other teams. In a typical draft, there are usually three or four of them made per draft.

The other is the soft commitment, which usually means a team pledged to draft the player, assuming the draft plays out as expected. This is a little riskier for the player in terms of shutting down workouts, because if the right player falls, they could be left without a chair.

Why do teams do these things – control and certainty. The draft is very unpredictable, and if a team is sold on a specific player, locking them in allows them to focus on other things in the transaction window. Because a team commits to a player, does not preclude a team higher up from drafting that player, they may not get the chance to work that player out.

Most smart agents will explain to their player that finding the ideal fit matters way more to a long NBA career than going one or two spots higher and getting that guaranteed floor, allows for the player to focus on being ready for Summer League and ultimately training camp.

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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