Connect with us

Mock Drafts

NBA PM: Another Look At The NBA Draft Lottery

Another run at the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery… Kansas big man Joel Embiid has a stress fracture in his back… Breaking down where things stand with Phil Jackson and the Knicks.

Steve Kyler

Published

on

Let’s Look At The Lottery:  With most NBA teams having less than 20 games remaining on their schedule, the playoffs are coming into focus for some franchises, while for the others the 2014 NBA Draft and the upcoming NCAA Tournament will take center stage. Here is a mock draft for the projected lottery portion of the draft, based on standings as of games played through 3/10/14:


The Traded Lottery Picks:  Here are the current traded pick scenarios effecting the lottery portion of the draft. Keep in mind that all non-playoff teams make up the NBA Draft lottery pool with the actual random selection for the draft lottery order scheduled for May 20.

#9 = Charlotte Bobcats: Receives Detroit Pistons 2014 first-round pick (1-8 protected in 2014, top 1 protected in 2015, unprotected in 2016) via Ben Gordon trade on 6/26/12.

#10 = Denver Nuggets: Receives New York Knicks 2014 first-round pick via Carmelo Anthony trade on 02/22/11.

#11 = Philadelphia 76ers: Receives New Orleans Pelicans 2014 first-round pick (1-5 protected in 2014-2020. 2020 second-round pick afterwards) via Jrue Holiday trade on 7/10/13.

#12 = Orlando Magic: Receives less favorable of Denver Nuggets/New York Knicks 2014 first-round pick via Dwight Howard trade on 8/10/12.

»In Related: The Complete List of Draft Picks Owed .

The Good News, Bad News On Joel Embiid:  Yesterday in this space we covered the reports that Kansas big man Joel Embiid, who has missed the last two Jayhawk games, was seeking a second opinion on his bothersome back. The second opinion revealed what Kansas already knew: Embiid has a stress fracture in his back.

The typical recovery time on this kind of injury is anywhere from 4-6 weeks, which Kansas coach Bill Self said Embiid is about halfway through.

In a statement released by the team, Self ruled Embiid out of this week’s Big 12 Tournament and that Embiid was an extreme long-shot for the opening week of the March Madness Tournament.

“This weekend is out,” Self said. “Next weekend, we feel like is a long shot, but the doctors are hopeful that if Joel works hard in rehab and progresses that it is possible that he could play in the later rounds of the NCAA Tournament if our team is fortunate enough to advance.”

Embiid sought a second opinion at the urging of his family as there was clearly concern about the full scope and recovery of this kind of injury.

Embiid is considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft, and while there has been speculation that he might forego the draft this year, sources close to the situation surrounding Embiid indicated that staying in school for another year would be a last resort move if he cannot get healthy.

»In Related:The Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects powered by DraftExpress.

The most common form of back stress fractures in athletes is called lumbar spondylolysis and is caused by overuse and repetitive bending. Rest and muscular rehab is the usual course of treatment and most stress reactions clear up over time.

In severe cases treatment can last up to 12 weeks, so Embiid’s status is still very much up in the air.

A quick text message survey of a handful of NBA executives yesterday revealed that Embiid’s draft stock likely wouldn’t take a huge hit, mainly because most NBA teams viewed him as a long-term project player to begin with. A couple of executives commented that Embiid likely would have to undergo a lot more medical testing in the draft process as a result of not only his back issues, but his problematic knee. Those executives said that was happening regardless given concerns over his overall durability.

If it were deemed Embiid would require surgery at any point, he might see the floor come out from under him much like Boston’s Jared Sullinger saw in 2012, but that does not seem to be the case with this injury.

If the injury is genuinely lumbar spondylolysis, the likely impact on the draft is low. However, if Embiid is unable to play in the tournament, he could get overshadowed by his peers at the top of the draft board such as teammate Andrew Wiggins, Duke’s Jabari Parker or Kentucky’s Julius Randle.

Most of the teams projected to draft in the top five have seen Kansas live more than a handful of times, though, so that might not as big an impact, but it’s clear that doubt about Embiid as the top overall pick grows if he can not play.

Fun With Frank:  The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola offered up an interesting update on the Phil Jackson to the New York Knicks situation. Here are some of the bullet points:

“It is entirely conceivable that Jackson is leveraging the Knicks to score a gig with the Los Angeles Lakers, where his long-time girlfriend Jeanie Buss holds a management position. It is also entirely conceivable that the Hall of Fame coach is doing his due diligence to determine whether he can work with Dolan and risk tarnishing his pristine legacy with a failed marriage in New York.”

More than one league source cautioned that while the Knicks are way out in front on Phil Jackson publicly, they are not the only team with Jackson’s ear on a possible front office job. The Detroit Pistons are said to be very much in the mix and the Cleveland Cavaliers have at least reached out, although their interest is somewhat muddied at this point. Jackson did some unpaid consulting for Pistons owner Tom Gores last summer, and the two have become somewhat close according to sources. Current Pistons president Joe Dumars is in the final year of his contract and sources close to the situation say it is unlikely that Dumars remains with the Pistons beyond this season.

As much as everyone tries to link Jackson back to the Lakers, sources near that situation say Jackson returning to oversee the rebuild is highly unlikely.

“In his second tour with the Knicks, [GM Steve] Mills again played by Dolan’s rules and in the end he could be out of job faster than you can say “Larry Brown.”

Mills, who is restricted from speaking to the media, was dispatched to offer Jackson the chance to hold the same title Jackson’s mentor, Red Holzman, once held. Jackson declined and that’s when things took a turn for the worse — for Mills, that is.

“The meeting was a disaster,” said a person close to Mills. “Phil doesn’t want to work with Mills. It is a mess.”

There has been some speculation about what role Jackson would play with Mills still on the job. If Isola is right, and he usually is, Mills being asked to hire his replacement would be such a James Dolan kind of move.

Jackson has made it clear he does not want to coach again and as much as the Knicks might want that from him, Jackson’s goal is to lead a team and assemble his own front office and coaching staff. If that is indeed the case, that means Mills, along with Knicks executives Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien could be on notice.

”For months, [Knick coach Mike] Woodson’s camp has indicated that the head coach doesn’t really trust Mills and to some extent Allan Houston. Apparently, Woodson’s instincts were right, since the Knicks made a play to replace him.”

This is not the first report of unrest between Woodson and the Knicks front office. Mills has traveled with the team for large chunks of the season and has sat in on coaches meetings and practices in a very public way. Knicks sources said this was simply a new GM taking stock of the situation and getting up to speed on what’s working and what’s not. However, Woodson’s camp viewed it as meddling in the process and casting doubt on his job from the jump. It hard to imagine anyone would blame the Knicks’ coaching struggles on Mills, but it is clear that some of the doubt and uncertainty surrounding Woodson hasn’t been quelled by the front office.

“If Jackson joins the Knicks, the next to go could be Carmelo Anthony, the team’s best player and free agent in waiting. George Karl, Anthony’s former coach in Denver, said on ESPN radio Monday that Melo is not Jackson’s “type of player.” Jackson, it should be noted, is not represented by CAA.

The fact that Melo hasn’t been kept abreast of a potential major front office shakeup speaks volumes. Dolan and Carmelo were once joined at the hip. Now it seems as if Dolan is treating Melo like he is a member of the media. Okay, maybe not that bad, but close.”

This one is interesting, mainly because it’s a commonly asked question when mentioning Jackson running the Knicks. Would he and Carmelo Anthony fit? The short answer is Jackson might be exactly what Anthony needs to reach his full potential. Equally having a star player is always easier than obtaining a star player, especially if that star player walks away for nothing in return.

If Anthony opts out of his existing agreement as he is expected to do, losing him without anything in return simply hampers the situation in New York next season, especially given how much they gave up to obtain him from Denver in 2011.

However, not having Anthony and what would be roughly a $24.86 million salary cap hit in July of 2015 might be more meaningful for a total rebuild in New York. As things stand today, assuming the Knicks cannot offload any ugly contracts, the team has $17 million in likely salary on the books for the summer of 2015. Said another way, without Anthony taking up some $24 million in space, the Knick could get to a useable salary cap figure of $45 to $50 million to go after a free agent class that could feature Miami’s LeBron James if he doesn’t opt out this offseason, Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Minnesota’s Kevin Love to name a few.

»In Related: The New York Knicks Team Salary

“Jackson is destined to bring in his own people, starting with a general manager to handle the day-to-day operations while he splits his time between the beach, his Montana ranch and New York. In that order.

The next Knicks head coach could be Byron Scott or maybe Kurt Rambis. A person close to Jackson raised an interesting candidate: Steve Kerr, the former Suns GM turned TNT broadcaster. Kerr played for Jackson but has no head coaching experience.”

This one has a whole lot of legs. Kerr, who was the General Manager in Phoenix for a couple of years, not only has a desire to get back into the operations side of things, he does have a genuine interest in coaching.

Adding Kerr to a Jackson-led staff not only would give him a coach that he knows and trusts. It would also give him an on-the-ground resource to help bridge the day-to-day of managing a team. It is doubtful Kerr would be coach and general manager, but if Jackson is going to run the team remotely having a coach that understands the front office side too, might be smart and helpful.

Sources close to the situation with Kerr have said for a while that Kerr wants to explore coaching and with Jackson he could get an interesting runway especially if the name of the game for the Knicks is tear it down first to rebuild in a better way. Kerr could get a nice honeymoon year next season and have his feet completely on the ground for 2015 when a rebuild could take place.

Its highly likely Jackson taps a true front office guy to run the day to day for him, much like Larry Bird has Kevin Pritchard running things in Indiana. If Jackson nabs Kerr as his coach, watch for Cleveland interim GM David Griffin to surface as a candidate for GM. He and Kerr have some history from their days in Phoenix and Griffin has a reputation for being a smart and savvy solider that’s willing to do the leg work that Jackson is unlikely to have a lot of interest in. A Jackson-Griffin-Kerr tandem would be extremely credible on a lot of fronts.

»In Related: This Week’s NBA Power Rankings.

The Knicks were expecting an answer from Jackson yesterday and he continues to hold the line. There are lots of conflicting reports. The Knicks side of things continues to say that Jackson is leaning towards the Knicks. Outside of New York, the story is somewhat different, with more and more people talking about Jackson leveraging the Knicks interest to land a better gig elsewhere, with most assuming the Lakers are the Jackson’s front runner.

Stay tuned to Basketball Insiders, we’ll keep you updated as this continues to play out.

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.

Advertisement




11 Comments

Mock Drafts

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.

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

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

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0

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.

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 .

Continue Reading

Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick Mock Draft – 6/18/2019

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

Steve Kyler

Published

on

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

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

Here are some of the situation to watch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATED: 6/18 - 4:00pm

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

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

Continue Reading

Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 6.0

With one week left, four of Basketball Insiders’ experts take a look at the draft class and weigh in on what they are seeing and hearing in the march up to the 2019 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. With every new version, you’ll see an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts, and information from the pre-draft process as well as a notebook, outlining each writers’ thoughts, observations and reporting on the draft.

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

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

Here is this week’s Consensus Mock:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

Continue Reading
Advertisement

NBA Team Salaries

Advertisement

CloseUp360

Insiders On Twitter

NBA On Twitter

Trending Now