First Mock Draft Post-Trade Deadline: Yannis Koutroupis has filed several Mock Drafts so far this season, but for the most part I have stayed out of the Mock game. This will be my first round Mock Draft of the season.
I will post some thoughts and comments on each pick after the chart, so without further ado, here is my 2015 NBA Mock Draft – Post Deadline edition.*** Draft order is based on games played through 2/22/14 - for a complete listing of traded draft picks check out the NBA Draft Pick Debt page.
1 – New York Knicks – Jahlil Okafor C 19 years old; 6’11”; 272 lbs.
Regardless of which team ends up with the top overall pick, Jahlil Okafor is arguably the selection. The only variable here is the 76ers, who are loaded with young bigs. Okafor is arguably the best pure low-post players the NBA has seen coming out of college in a generation and while he may not become much on the defensive end, his upside and potential trumps almost everyone in the field. The Knicks landing Okafor puts them in a great position to jump start the rebuild.
2 – Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell PG/SG 18 years old; 6’5″; 175 lbs.
This one could have gone one of two ways – Russell or Mudiay, but opting for Russell was more about a proven body of work and more versatility. The 76ers just traded out of guard Michael Carter-Williams and this is likely why. Russell should be a ready-to-play, impact player for the 76ers and his ceiling may be slightly higher than Mudiay’s.
3 – Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl Towns PF/C 19 years old; 7’0″; 248 lbs.
This one is about potential and chemistry. Towns and Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins have a relationship that spans back to the Hoops Summit in 2013. Towns is arguably one of the better upside players in the class. The Wolves have bigs that can allow Towns to grow into his NBA game slowly and with Kevin Garnett being brought in at the trade deadline and likely extended beyond this season, there is veteran leadership to help Towns grow. Kristaps Porzingis and Justise Winslow could be options here, but the dare-to-be-great pick might be Towns.
4 – Los Angeles Lakers – Emmanuel Mudiay PG 18 years old; 6’5″; 200 lbs.
If Towns and Russell are off the board, then the Lakers have two real options – Mudiay or Justise Winslow. Mudiay offers more immediate bang for the buck and could be a franchise-level point guard. Given that the Lakers have Julius Randle returning next season, having a one-two punch of Mudiay and Randle is a nice starting spot on the rebuild. The only wrinkle here is the Lakers have been linked to both Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo and newly acquired HEAT guard Goran Dragic as free agent targets, so if the Lakers get the sense they can land one of them, they may spend this pick elsewhere.
5 – Orlando Magic – Myles Turner C 18 years old; 6’11”; 242 lbs.
The Magic’s most pressing need is a power forward type that can do the dirty work Nik Vucevic just doesn’t do, and the best option on the board might be Turner. He is long, athletic and very cerebral as a player. He is aggressive on both ends and could be that guy, especially with last year’s pick Aaron Gordon maybe being more of a three in the NBA. The wrinkle here is the future of Tobias Harris. If the Magic are going to match contract offers on Harris, they become extremely bloated in swing players at the three and four. Turner might be the best long-term fit, but players like Kansas’ Cliff Alexander, international big man Kristaps Porzingis and Arizona swingman Stanley Johnson should be looks at this spot. The Magic have a history of drafting the best upside player so this pick could go a lot of ways.
6 – Sacramento Kings – Kristaps Porzingis PF 19 years old; 7’0″; 220 lbs.
Porzingis could be the next big thing from the international field and with the Kings and George Karl, the appeal of Porzingis’ skill set might be too much to pass on. When you get to this part in the draft, a lot of things will be about what’s on the board and Porzingis might be the best option available. There are a few wrinkles here. If either Mudiay or Russell is within striking distance by trade, the Kings could move up and solidify their point guard spot. They may also look seriously at Alexander and Turner as the complement piece to Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins.
7 – Denver Nuggets – Stanley Johnson SF 18 years old; 6’8″; 243 lbs.
Johnson might be the best all-around player in the draft and his skill set looks to be suited for the NBA game. The Nuggets need players and when you think about what the Nuggets already have on the roster in Jusuf Nurkic, Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson, Johnson could plug in nicely into that situation. International shooter Mario Hezonja is also a fit, as would be Justise Winslow. Kentucky shooter Devin Booker could be the long shot here too. The Nuggets have a lot to work with so they can be a little choosey here.
8 – Utah Jazz – Mario Hezonja SG 19 years old; 6’8″; 200 lbs.
This one is tough. I went Hezonja here as best talent on the board, but the Jazz could easily go Willie Cauley-Stein, Justise Winslow or Devin Booker. The fit here is about being a little further along developmentally, being someone that can absolutely score from the perimeter and likely doesn’t push back on being in Utah and that’s always a factor to consider. The Jazz are in a tough spot with this pick, because this is where the talent level sort of starts to taper off and it’s an eye of the beholder pick. With Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors really coming around, do you bring in players that need minutes at their spot? I opted for filling a need versus duplication.
9 – Boston Celtics – Justise Winslow SF 18 years old; 6’7″; 229 lbs.
Winslow could easily go four spots higher, but when we get to Boston at nine, this is a great fit for both Winslow and the Celtics. He can play right away, he should fit in nicely with the guards and bigs already on the roster and he’ll plug right into the Jeff Green role. This is a solid fit for both involved. The wrinkle is that Winslow could easily go higher, which means guys like Johnson or Hezonja could be here and that changes things dramatically. A dark horse here is Porzingis if he falls, even though he is awfully similar as a player to C’s big man Kelly Olynyk.
10 – Charlotte Hornets – Devin Booker SG 18 years old; 6’5″; 186 lbs.
Charlotte gets their shooter. No. 10 might be a bit high for Booker, but given the Hornets’ need for shooting and how many gaps they have filled already, this is a best talent, best fit scenario. Willie Cauley-Stein might be tempting for the Hornets especially with Al Jefferson having the option to walk away this summer. This could also be Porzingis’ floor.
11 – Detroit Pistons – Cliff Alexander PF/C 19 years old; 6’9″; 254 lbs.
The assumption with this pick is that Greg Monroe is leaving via free agency, which means Alexander plugs in next to Andre Drummond and the Pistons have a monster front line. Alexander is a Van Gundy kind of player, very tenacious and aggressive. He could be off the board higher, but if he’s there, this one might be hard to pass on. A couple names also fit here: Winslow or Johnson if either falls; this could also be where Kelly Oubre jumps up. Oubre is a draft enigma because of how he’s played at Kansas, but he could be someone a team gambles on, especially if a team believes in its development process. Sam Dekker could be an interesting pick here too.
12 – Indiana Pacers – Willie Cauley-Stein C 21 years old; 7’0″; 244 lbs.
The Pacers could lose Roy Hibbert to free agency, but regardless Cauley-Stein at 12 might be too much to wish for. It’s very possible he is long gone before 12, but if he’s there he fits in right away, is a better long-term building block for the Pacers and can do many things Hibbert can’t do. Some other options here are Jerian Grant, Kevon Looney and Winslow if he takes a tumble.
13 – New Orleans Pelicans – Frank Kaminsky PF 21 years old; 7’0″; 242 lbs.
This pick is the assumption that Omer Asik walks as a free agent. Kaminsky is not nearly the rebounder Asik is, but he is a big body that can score, play in a system and complement Anthony Davis. Fundamentally disciplined is a great way to think of Kaminsky. A couple of wrinkles here, who is making the pick? There is a real chance if the Pelicans do not make the postseason that there is change either at head coach or possibly even the front office. This pick assumes status quo. Cauley-Stein would be excellent here as would Alexander. A dark horse here could be Trey Lyles.
14 – Phoenix Suns – Caris LeVert PG/SG 20 years old; 6’7″; 200 lbs.
This one absolutely is best talent on the board. The problem here is he is coming off a major foot injury so he will have to go through a lengthy medical evaluation and teams will have to decide if the risk is worth it. Given where the Suns are talent wise now, their medical staff and the fact they can be patient makes LeVert an interesting option. This could also be where Oubre, Dekker, Looney and even Brazilian point guard George Lucas lands.
15 – Atlanta Hawks – Kelly Oubre SF 19 years old; 6’6″; 204 lbs.
This one absolutely is again best talent on the board. Oubre could be a nice talent infusion for the Hawks. The challenge here is they may go safe at 15. This pick is the result of the Joe Johnson trade in which Atlanta got the right to swap picks with Brooklyn, so this is house money so to speak. The safe pick here might be Dekker, Alexander if he falls, Looney or even Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Hawks have a lot of options here, but given where they are they can also afford a little risk hence the Oubre pick.
16 – Philadelphia 76ers – Sam Dekker SF 20 years old; 6’9″; 229 lbs.
This one could go a lot of ways. We have seen the 76ers make some bold moves when they have a second pick on the board, but this pick was about getting a solid contributor that can score. But how often have the 76ers shown traditional wisdom? So with that in mind, here are the swing-for-the-fence moves – Oubre, Lucas and Lyles. A dark horse here could be UNLV’s Christian Wood; he may be too similar in style to Nerlens Noel, but he might be that special talent the Sixers have been looking for.
17 – Oklahoma City Thunder – Jerian Grant PG 22 years old; 6’5″; 204 lbs.
This one is about replacing Reggie Jackson and could have gone a couple of ways. Grant is further along and a little older and more established, but another option here could be Lucas or Kris Dunn. Keep in mind, the Thunder have Josh Huestis stashed in the D-League and he’ll get a roster spot, so they may look to defer this pick a little with an international prospect or another stash in the D-League type guy. The Thunder lose this pick if it falls outside the top 18, so in this scenario they have it, but if they keep winning it goes to Cleveland.
18 – Milwaukee Bucks – Jakob Poeltl C 19 years old; 7’0″; 235 lbs.
There wasn’t much here that helps the Bucks, so this one was best big man on the board to fill in the gaps created by the Larry Sanders buy out. With Carter-Williams, Khris Middleton, a returning Jabari Parker, an evolving Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson, the only real need is a starting big man. The Bucks may pursue that in free agency or they may swing for a big in the draft. This could also be where you start to see UNLV’s Christian Wood get real consideration.
19 – Washington Wizards – Montrezl Harrell PF 21 years old; 6’8″; 230 lbs.
This one was tough because the Wizards do not have many needs, so this was a talent grab more than anything. Harrell is so tough to project because of his height. He is a monster physically, but undersized for the NBA front court. The Wizards could go a lot of places here: Looney, Bobby Portis, Lyles or even Dakari Johnson. A dark horse here could be Duke guard Tyus Jones, Cal’s Ty Wallace or even Louisville’s Terry Rozier.
20 – Chicago Bulls – Justin Anderson SF 21 years old; 6’6″; 222 lbs.
This one is tough because there isn’t a pure need to be filled outside of maybe a two guard, but with Jimmy Butler being so interchangeable, isn’t the biggest need perimeter scoring? Anderson is currently knocking in 48.4 percent of his threes and can score. This one is about fit, but also about best fitting talent on the board. The Bulls could try to back fill a few more spots here, but Anderson seems like the best long-term solution.
21 – San Antonio Spurs – Kevon Looney PF 19 years old; 6’9″; 220 lbs.
Looney could go significantly higher than 21, but if he is here, boy is he intriguing for the Spurs. He has crazy length and size. Looney is a monster rebounder and a fairly decent shot challenger and blocker. You have seen Looney listed all the way up to 12, so this would be something of a tumble considering what he brings to the table, but the fit would be stellar. This is also where Hollis-Jefferson, Portis, Woods and Lyles get long looks.
22 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 20 years old; 6’6″; 212 lbs.
This one is a best on the board scenario. Hollis-Jefferson isn’t much of a perimeter scorer, but he is an energy guy that gets after it. In Cleveland, he likely plays limited minutes so his skill set could fit in nicely. It’s hard to gauge what the Cavs would truly want at this point in the season, so Hollis-Jefferson is best on the board. One thing to consider is that the Cavs may have to make a choice on Tristian Thompson and even though it seems a forgone conclusion the Cavs match free agent offers for Thompson to keep LeBron and his agents happy, Christian Wood would be a tremendous fit here.
23 – Dallas Mavericks – George Lucas PG 18 years old; 6’5″; 196 lbs.
No, it’s not the Star Wars guy, but he is an interesting draft prospect. Lucas’ full name is George Lucas Alves De Paula, so you may hear him referred to as George De Paula. Lucas has a monster 7’1 wingspan and enormous hands for a point guard. He has a stout frame and a very NBA-ready body. Word is he will begin draft preparation in the US as early as late April and could be a real sleeper in the draft process. The Mavericks could have a need at guard depending on what Rajon Rondo does in free agency and Lucas could be the kind of player the Mavericks roll the dice on, assuming the Thunder don’t poach him considerably higher. Considering how well Dennis Schroder is coming along, Lucas could get more attention in the process.
24 – Portland Trail Blazers – Bobby Portis PF 20 years old; 6’10”; 235 lbs.
Portis has some interesting attributes – he’s big and long but isn’t a blow you away athlete or leaper. This one was a tough pick; this might be best talent on the board, which shows the lack of impact at the bottom of the projected class. The Blazers could go a lot of other places here including Lyles, Woods, Tyus Jones or Ty Wallace. Dakari Johnson could be a reach at 24, but might be a solid fit too considering the uncertainty of Robin Lopez in free agency.
25 – Boston Celtics – R.J. Hunter SG 21 years old; 6’5″; 180 lbs.
This might be a reach for Hunter. He is a junior so this would be buying on what you know, not what you think he could be down the road. The Celtics have a history of drafting guys they understand, and Hunter has been around for a while. The problem with drafting a guard is the Celtics are loaded with guards, including James Young who they drafted last year and haven’t found much time for. A smarter play here might be a swing man or another small forward or a deferred pick. Something else to consider is this is where Boston starts to sell off a pick for a second-rounder or future assets. With all the picks the Celtics have amassed, at some point they are going to have too many young guys, which is why drafting a somewhat established player like Hunter might make sense. There’s a lower ceiling, but a smaller learning curve too.
26 – Toronto Raptors – Christian Wood PF 19 years old; 6’11”; 220 lbs.
This might be really low for Wood. He has crazy length and size and has posted solid numbers at UNLV. He’s 19, 6’11, has 7’2 wingspan and is posting 2.9 blocks per game (one of the top shot blockers in the nation). Wood has a solid handle for a big man and is pretty solid off the bounce. If there is a real dark-horse in this process, it might be Woods. However, as this mock played out, Woods is there for the Raptors, which would be a steal for them. He’d be the perfect complement to Jonas Valanciunas and could play right away for the Raptors. This one might be a stretch because the odds that he’s here at 26 are slim.
27 – Los Angeles Lakers – Trey Lyles PF 19 years old; 6’10”; 250 lbs.
The Lakers might be able to do better than Lyles, but this would be a best-upside pick. Lyles clocks in at 6’10 with a 7’3 wingspan, so as they say, you can’t teach length. Lyles could be a very nice complementary player to fellow UK alum Julius Randle. Not sure I am in love with this pick, but that’s how it played out. Other options that make sense here are Utah’s Delon Wright, Ty Wallace or even Vandy sophomore Damian Jones if he opts to declare.
28 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Kris Dunn PG 20 years old; 6’4″; 205 lbs.
This one is best upside and fit on the board. The Cavs have to make a decision on potential restricted free agent Iman Shumpert and Dunn would give them a solid, ready-to-play backup point guard that can be a real playmaker from the bench. He is big and strong and a little more physically mature than some of the other options. This one could really go a lot of ways, but given the Cavs’ situation, adding a ready-to-play, versatile guard with length makes the most sense. The Cavs could also start collecting size here with Johnson, Upshaw or even Gonzaga big man Domantas Sabonis.
29 – Brooklyn Nets – Dakari Johnson C 19 years old; 6’11”; 263 lbs.
This one is best talent on the board. Johnson could go substantially higher, but if he’s here, he is a solid pick up for the Nets who may lose Brook Lopez to free agency. This is where things get massively unpredictable in the draft because the talent available from 25 to 45 is about equal.
30 – Golden State Warriors – Robert Upshaw C 21 years old; 7’0″; 264 lbs.
The only spot the Warriors really need anything at is center, so Upshaw represents the best talent at the center spot on the board. Clearly the Warriors could trade out of the guaranteed salary associated with this pick or trade the pick entirely for a second rounder (who wouldn’t be guaranteed). Not sure there is a lot on the board that other teams would trade for, but this is also where draft and stash comes into play in a major way.
So there you have it… 30 picks and my logic behind all of them. If you want to toss in your thoughts in the comment section below, fire away.
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2020 NBA Mock Draft – First Round – 08/21/2020
The 2020 NBA Draft order is now locked in, however, there are tons of additional questions to be answered in the coming weeks. Here is a look at the first round, in this Basketball Insiders Mock Draft.
To say the 2020 NBA Draft has been chaotic is an understatement, however with last night’s NBA Draft Lottery out of the way, things are starting to at least trend in a positive direction.
That doesn’t mean there are not challenges ahead, namely when the actual NBA Draft will take place.
There is a growing sense that the NBA and the players are going to push back the start of the next cap year, which will likely impact when and how the NBA Draft plays out.
Typically, the Draft is a major transaction window for NBA teams, and with so much unknown surrounding how the salary cap will be set, and when trades and transactions typically consummated around the draft would become official, there is a lot of uncertainty, making the 2020 NBA draft wide open on many fronts.
The hope among teams is that some clarity on all of this will surface in the coming weeks, but for now most teams are operating in uncharted waters.
With all of that in mind, here is a look at the 2020 NBA Draft First round, which will be the first of many weekly Mock Drafts we’ll be dropping all the way up to the draft, whenever that finally gets set.
The Basketball Insiders Annual Consensus Mock Drafts will begin in September, as will full 60-pick mocks starting next week, so stay tuned.
2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Final
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft, here is their final look at all 60 picks.
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week they provided an updated mock draft that reflected how each writer saw 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.
Here is the Final Consensus Mock for the 2019 NBA Draft:
*** The 30th pick in the first round was traded to the Detroit Pistons, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 32nd pick in the second round was traded to the Indiana Pacers, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 41st pick in the second round was traded to the Golden State Warriors, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
Jesse’s Notebook Some recent trades, including the trades for Anthony Davis and Mike Conley, as well as a few other transactions have shifted the draft board yet again. First-round picks are being moved around after a period in which prying away a first-rounder from another team was basically a non-starter. With the way the last few days have unfolded, and with the Western Conference seemingly wide open, I am predicting there will be several major trades on draft night. Add in the uncertainty surrounding several star free agents, and it’s simply impossible to predict with much precision what will happen on Thursday. However, this is the sort of environment that excites fans almost as much as the actual playoffs and NBA Finals, and I am not one to complain.
What is interesting about this is the fact that this draft seemingly drops off a cliff (arguably) once we get to the ninth pick. It would be more understandable to anticipate major moves on draft night with a loaded class, but that simply isn’t the case this year. My draft board has moved around wildly throughout this process, and I am bracing myself to be off the mark on draft night. All it takes is one trade for things to get thrown off in a major way, and I am anticipating at least a few major moves.
Throughout this process, I was looking for a handful of players to grab my attention and never let it go. Last season, that player was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and I was very interested in seeing where Michael Porter Jr. would ultimately land given his talent and injury issues. That player never really emerged this year, however. I think Cameron Reddish is one of the more intriguing players in the class considering his talent and upside, but shaky college record.
I look forward to revisiting this draft a few years down the road. At least one general manager is going to get a steal somewhere in the middle or backend of the draft. Considering how comparable the talent is throughout the board once we get past the lottery, it’s hard to say who the steal of the draft may be. Again, I am fully prepared for draft night to go off script in a major way. I recommend all NBA fans do the same.
Drew’s Notebook After months of planning, the 2019 NBA Draft is finally upon us. And per the usual, the closer we get, the harder it is to differentiate between fact and fiction given the number of smokescreens generated by agents and teams.
The Grizzlies appear dead set on Ja Morant. And rightfully so considering they traded away Mike Conley. The Knicks have continued to do their due diligence having worked out Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland just yesterday – and those close to Garland say the interest is real. On the flip side of the Knicks’ decision, RJ Barrett claims to have made considerable improvements since we last saw him at Duke – take that with a grain of salt. But the Knicks still appear to be the first team with a real decision to make.
We also hear that Nassir Little could go as high as nine to Washington and that Sekou Doumbouya might have a guarantee from Orlando at 16. So watch out for those curveballs, too.
As far as teams looking to consolidate their picks are concerned, the Hawks have resisted the idea of packaging the eighth pick along with 10 and/or 17, which may prohibit them from moving up as high as they would prefer. Atlanta owned six picks coming into the draft process – 8, 10, 17, 35, 41 and 44. They’ve already dealt 41 to Golden State and 44 to Miami. We’ll see if they continue moving/consolidating picks in hopes of mitigating the number of rookies they bring into training camp.
We’ve also heard that the Celtics would like to package their picks to move up, but it seems as though they’ve struggled to gain any traction – probably because teams can’t accurately predict who will be available with their selections (the Celtics’ first selection is 14). Boston may have to wait for some names to come off the board before others decide if trading back for multiple selections is the right move.
Draft night will inevitably deliver a number of surprises to the Brooklyn crowd. I expect heavy trade activity tomorrow night in advance of another wild free agency period, beginning June 30.
Spencer’s Notebook The day is here, folks! Tonight marks the official date of the 2019 NBA Draft, which will begin potentially one of the most hectic summers the association has ever seen.
In past notebooks from different versions of our Consensus Mock, I surmised that much of the shakeout would depend on what happened with Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Well, that situation resolved itself this past week when the Los Angeles Lakers made a franchise-altering trade with the Pelicans to land “The Brow” in Hollywood.
New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin now holds significant draft capital, as the team has both the first and fourth pick in this upcoming class. He also swindled three more first-rounders along with The Big Easy’s new upstart talents in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Due to the abundance of young guard/wing talent, and multiple teams vying to trade up using different packages, there’s a reason for the Pelicans to deal away No. 4.
And because of the uncertainty of what will happen at that slot, it’s difficult to predict how the draft will ultimately shake out. For example, if New Orleans decides to hang onto it, they could take Darius Garland, or RJ Barrett (if he falls) or whomever they deem fits their organization. However, if a team like the Atlanta Hawks jumps the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, it could cause a domino effect that may completely alter everybody else’s plans.
Just in the past 48 hours, we learned about developments in New York. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Knicks brass is seriously considering Garland at No. 3 and worked him out Wednesday. Whether this is actual interest or a way to drive up an asking price for their draft pick in order to make a deal of their own, we don’t actually know. The same thing could be said for Cleveland, who despite having Collin Sexton, is intrigued by the dynamic point guard.
At this point in the process, the real information could differ completely from what’s being leaked. Smoke is already filling up the room. It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in this year’s draft, especially when most people around NBA circles believe that, at the tail end of the lottery, there could be draft picks moved every which way.
This is like throwing a dart blindfolded. As I tweeted last night, we might be burning our mock drafts at the rate we rip up brackets in the month of March.
The Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks already moved their first-round picks in separate deals. That could only be the beginning. Who knows what the Hawks and Boston Celtics will do with three first-round selections in such a difficult class to differentiate player talent?
We won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Enjoy draft night, everyone!
Steve’s Notebook The 2019 NBA Draft is tonight in Brooklyn, New York, and while the suspense at the top of the draft board looks unchanged, there is a lot of potential for movement everywhere else.
As things stand today, Zion Williamson will be the top overall pick with almost no surprise there.
At number two, there continued to be talk last night that New Orleans was trying to pry the number two pick out of Memphis to grab Duke’s RJ Barrett, which would push Memphis back to the fourth spot and catching either Murray State’s Ja Morant or Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, after the Knicks select at three. While these talks remain fluid, it does not appear at this point there will be a deal, but as is true with all trades, the right combination of assets changing hands can often turn a “No” into a “Yes.”
The New York Knicks have done their fair share of waffling on what to do at number three. While RJ Barrett remains the odds on favorite, the Knicks did take a long look at Garland on Wednesday in New York, as well as having surveyed executives from other teams for their views on Barrett, which is common due diligence, but also shows there may be some doubt on the long-term fit of Barrett.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have also been busy working on trade scenarios that could include in the fifth overall pick, the partially guaranteed cap clearing contract of JR Smith and their second pick at 26. The narrative around Cleveland is that they want to build around last year’s pick Collin Sexton, but the potential availability of Garland could test that commitment. Since the NBA Draft Combine, the Cavs have been linked to Duke’s Cam Reddish in trade down scenarios. There has been a belief that if Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver is there at five, the Cavs may grab him and flip him to the Atlanta Hawks for either of the eighth or tenth picks and the Hawks pick at 17 which they obtained from the Brooklyn Nets.
As for some of the notable teams:
The prevailing thought is the Chicago Bulls are grabbing either Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter or UNC’s Coby White at 7.
The Washington Wizards seemed to have three guys in their sights: White, UNC’s Nassir Little and Limoges CSP’s Sekou Doumbouya.
The Hawks seem to be where Mega Bemax’s Goga Bitadze is going to land, likely at the ten spot.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are said to be extremely high on Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, although things could get interesting if Texas big man Jaxson Hayes is still on the board.
The Miami HEAT seem very open to trading their pick at 13, and there was talk in New York that Darius Bazley may be the HEAT’s guy, even as high as 13 if they keep the pick. The Pistons are also believed to be very high on Bazley.
The 2019 NBA draft is shaping up to be one of the turbulent drafts in recent years. A typical draft will have 15 to 18 transactions, most involving moving picks around. This year’s draft may double that when all the trade volume is done, so don’t get too attached to anyone your team may draft – they may not be there long.
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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.
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
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