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Mock Drafts

NBA PM: Another 2014 NBA Mock Draft

With roughly 10 games left to play for many NBA teams, here is another run at the 2014 NBA Draft… Analytics isn’t Moneyball… Thomas Robinson finally feeling comfortable.

Steve Kyler

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Mock Draft Time:  With the finish line of the 2013-2014 NBA season in full sight, it seemed appropriate to drop my first full first-round mock draft of the season. Keep in mind that the draft landscape regarding specific picks is very fluid this year due to the larger than normal amount of traded picks with very specific trade protections. For a full list of who owes what, check out the NBA Draft Pick Debt section here.

So without further ado, here is the March 26th full first round:


»In Related: The Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects

Analytics Isn’t Moneyball:  In 2011, Brad Pitt starred in a blockbuster movie based on Michael Lewis’s 2003 book Moneyball, about Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane and how he used advanced analytics and stats to identify value in players in an effort to build a better team at a lower cost.

Unfortunately, this seems to be what people believe advanced analytics in sports is about, using stats to spend less money. However what the advanced statistics revolution is really about is far bigger than that and it’s born from the idea that what you can see isn’t the whole story.

More and more sports teams are trying to understand the game. Some of that is because owners of teams are learning how to maximize their other business through the use of Big Data, but also because Big Data isn’t nearly as hard to cultivate, manipulate and examine as it was five to 10 years ago. Data is easier to collect and it’s becoming easier and more cost effective to process.

By now, many of you have heard about SportsVu, the new spatial cameras installed in every NBA arena, which allows for the exact position of a player to be measured and cataloged along with all of the actions and reactions that follow.

»In Related:How to Fix The Sacramento Kings

We now can not only see that a player rebounded the ball, we can now see where specifically he was, where opposing players were and what happened before or after the rebound was made. What has emerged from all of this is an entirely new world of information and intelligence that was often unnoticed and unconsidered.

The NBA is using some of this data on their Stats website, and while some of the trivial stuff that can be gleaned from the spatial tracking of players gets talked about – namely how far a player has run in a season – the truth is, and the SportsVu data people will tell you, there is so much data being collected, we haven’t even figured out how to use it all yet. What is out there and published is the tip of the proverbial iceberg of what is possible to see and understand.

There are entirely new companies and experts being hired to sort through the data, create toolbars and dashboards to help teams manipulate the data, source the data points that means the most and craft the data collected into tools that help evaluate not only how the game is played, but also how the game is coached and managed.

Add in new wearable technologies and sensors that allow for hyper accurate measurements of how players perform, to the spatial data and we are arriving at point of being able to “see” and even project optimal in-game performance.

Teams are starting to use spatial technologies to teach players the value and importance of spacing, what defensive and offensive sets yield the best results and to help teams to understand which combinations of players can yield the best possible outcome.

Advanced analytics isn’t at all about finding diamond-in-the-rough players, but rather how to identify players that fit into a specific system, how to craft systems that work better and how to predict what could work better in the future.

»In Related:The Five College Coaches On The NBA Radar

For most of its history, sports has been managed and operated by gut feeling and eye-tests. With the ability to see and understand the game in a more methodical and objective way, new trends in coaching, training and developing talent have emerged.

So when you hear someone talk about advanced analytics, it’s not about finding cheaper players, because the players that excel in the advanced analytics world are going to be the players that are typically the most sought after and most valuable.

Advanced analytics is about being smarter about your decisions, using data to reinforce process and to use more than what you see on the floor in shaping principals and decisions.

Like all good tools, when used in combination with smart and talented people they can make the job at hand easier and with fewer mistakes, which is why some of the teams that get saddled with the analytic labels tend to have more successes than failures.

Robinson Finding His Groove: Blazers forward Thomas Robinson had a rough go of it after being drafted fifth overall in 2012. After a couple of stops in Sacramento and Houston, Robinson has finally found a home in Portland and is starting to show why he was so highly thought of coming out of Kansas. Robinson talked with Basketball Insiders about his role, finding some balance and how much he’s learned playing with guys like LaMarcus Aldridge.



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, @TheRocketGuy, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @SusanBible @TommyBeer, @JabariDavisNBA , @NateDuncanNBA , @MokeHamilton , @JCameratoNBA and @YannisNBA.

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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