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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

NBA Daily: 2018 NBA 60-Pick Mock Draft – 4/10/18

With the floodgates open and college players entering the draft class left and right, Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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With the NBA regular season coming to a close, there are some draft ramifications to watch.

Should the Milwaukee Bucks stay where they are today, they would not convey their pick to the Phoenix Suns as that pick is protected in such a way that it only conveys if it lands between the 11 and 16th pick.

Equally, the dead heat that exists in the Western Conference playoff race, could shift several teams around the draft board based on how the season actually finishes.

There are also some key dates to keep in mind this draft season:

College players can request information from the NBA Draft Advisory panel on where they might fall in the draft; they must request this information by April 13. The Advisory panel is comprised of well-respected draft talent evaluators that offer would-be draft prospects a draft range valuation based on a survey of NBA executives. Historically their range projections have been pretty accurate, and it’s a way for a college player to understand how the NBA views them as a draft prospect. It’s not a guarantee by any means, simply an informed survey of how NBA teams value them in terms of where they might get drafted, if at all.

The NBA’s Early Entry deadline is April 22. All underclassmen that wish to be included for draft consideration must declare in writing to the NBA, by that date.

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held in Chicago on May 15. The annual NBA Draft Combine will get underway on May 16, also in Chicago. In any given draft year, roughly 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted into the NBA, so a Combine invite is a significant milestone.

The NCAA requires all players wishing to maintain their college eligibility, without penalty, to withdraw from the NBA Draft by 11:59 pm on May 30. That is an NCAA mandated date, not related to anything involving the NBA, and that notice must be delivered in writing.

The NBA’s draft withdrawal date is June 11 by 5:00 pm ET. The NBA’s date allows a prospect to remain NBA draft eligible for future NBA drafts and is not related to any NCAA rule or date. There are ways for college players that did not accept benefits to return to college, however, they may be subject to NCAA penalties.

Here is this week’s 2018 NBA Mock Draft, based on the standings of games played through 4/09/18:

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer. The Brooklyn Nets traded several unprotected picks to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trades in 2015.

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers’ 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015. The 76ers traded that pick to the Boston Celtics as part of the draft pick trade that became Markelle Fultz before the draft; it has 2 through 5 protections and based on the standings today would convey to Philadelphia.

The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade. The pick is top four protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would convey.

The Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick is top-five protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Jazz/Wolves Ricky Rubio trade this past summer. The Jazz acquired the pick as part of the Thunder’s deal to obtain Enes Kanter in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors’ first-round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets’ first-round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects – http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

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, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 2018 NBA 60-Pick Mock Draft – 3/27/18

With the Final Four set in college basketball, and a handful of prospects declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft, here is a Mock Draft looking at all 60 picks.

Steve Kyler

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With the Final Four in NCAA Basketball set to get underway in San Antonio on Saturday, things are starting to get real for the 2018 NBA Draft Class. Most of the top tier draft prospects have been eliminated from tournament play, and many have already declared their intentions to enter the draft.

There are a couple of bubble watch players, with the most notable being Kentucky big man Kevin Knox. His father has told reporters that Knox may opt to remain at Kentucky for one more year, although Kentucky Coach John Calipari said recently that he plans to meet with his players and help them make their draft decision, so that’s far from decided.

Early entry players have until April 22, to declare for inclusion in the 2018 NBA Draft, so there is a little under a month for them to ultimately decide.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the entire 60-pick field, and where things stand based on the draft lottery holding true to the current NBA standings.

Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer. The Brooklyn Nets traded several unprotected picks to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trades in 2015.

The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers’ 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015. The 76ers traded that pick to the Boston Celtics as part of the draft pick trade that became Markelle Fultz before the draft; it has 2 through 5 protections and based on the standings today would convey to Philadelphia.

The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade. The pick is top four protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the current standings.

The Phoenix Suns are owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick only conveys if the Bucks pick lands between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the standings today would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick is top-five protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Jazz/Wolves Ricky Rubio trade this past summer. The Jazz acquired the pick as part of the Thunder’s deal to obtain Enes Kanter in 2015. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors’ first-round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick is lottery protected and based on the current standings would convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets’ first-round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick is top-three protected and based on the current standings would convey.

Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects – http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/

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, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_@mike_yaffe@MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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