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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

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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.

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Mock Drafts

2017 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Final

The Basketball Insiders Mock Draft team gives their final look at the 2017 NBA draft with an all-60 pick mock draft.

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For the last eight weeks, we have been dropping weekly Mock Drafts leading up to this point – the final Consensus. The goal of these Mocks is to look at the draft from four different perspectives as we try to get to a Consensus on each pick. Some times we get there, sometimes we get close, and in the case of this draft sometimes we just don’t see things the same way.

This week’s Consensus (our final of the season) we are rolling out a first for us in this format – the entire 60-picks of the 2017 NBA Draft, enjoy.

[DISCLAIMER – at this point in the cycle lots of picks trade hands and in order for us to deliver this kind of look, we may not be able to account for every trade that happens between the time our writers file their picks and when this item is posted. So, this mock is reflective of the picks as of 6:00am on 6/21]

2017 NBA Consensus Mock Draft - Final

Pick # Team Joel Brigham Michael Scotto Moke Hamilton Steve Kyler
1 Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz
2 Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball
3 Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum
4 Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Jonathan Isaac
5 De'Aaron Fox De'Aaron Fox De'Aaron Fox De'Aaron Fox
6 Dennis Smith Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Josh Jackson
7 Jonathan Isaac Lauri Markkanen Lauri Markkanen Dennis Smith
8 Malik Monk Malik Monk Malik Monk Malik Monk
9 Frank Ntilikina Dennis Smith Dennis Smith Lauri Markkanen
10 Lauri Markkanen Justin Jackson John Collins Donovan Mitchell
11 Donovan Mitchell Frank Ntilikina Donovan Mitchell Luke Kennard
12 Luke Kennard Luke Kennard Frank Ntilikina Zach Collins
13 OG Anunoby OG Anunoby OG Anunoby OG Anunoby
14 Zach Collins Zach Collins Justin Jackson John Collins
15 Justin Patton John Collins Ike Anigbogu Harry Giles
16 John Collins Jarrett Allen Luke Kennard Jarrett Allen
17 Justin Jackson Ike Anigbogu Jarrett Allen Ike Anigbogu
18 Semi Ojeleye Terrance Ferguson Zach Collins T.J. Leaf
19 Derrick White Justin Patton Justin Patton Justin Jackson
20 D.J. Wilson Jawun Evans Harry Giles Frank Ntilikina
21 Ike Anigbogu Semi Ojeleye T.J. Leaf Bam Adebayo
22 Jarrett Allen Harry Giles Terrance Ferguson Semi Ojeleye
23 Harry Giles T.J. Leaf Semi Ojeleye Kennedy Meeks
24 Tyler Lydon Donovan Mitchell Isaiah Hartenstein D.J. Wilson
25 Bam Adebayo Isaiah Hartenstein Anzejs Pasecniks Jawun Evans
26 Isaiah Hartenstein Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon Ivan Rabb
27 Terrance Ferguson Bam Adebayo Jawun Evans Terrance Ferguson
28 Tony Bradley Ivan Rabb D.J. Wilson Caleb Swanigan
29 Anzejs Pasecniks Anzejs Pasecniks Mathias Lessort Vlatko Cancar
30 Ivan Rabb D.J. Wilson Derrick White Anzejs Pasecniks
31 Caleb Swanigan Derrick White Ivan Rabb Kyle Kuzma
32 T.J. Leaf Tony Bradley Bam Adebayo Tyler Lydon
33 Josh Hart Jordan Bell Caleb Swanigan Isaiah Hartenstein
34 Kyle Kuzma Caleb Swanigan Alec Peters Frank Jackson
35 Jonah Bolden Wesley Iwundu Frank Jackson Dillon Brooks
36 Alec Peters Mathias Lessort Jordan Bell Alec Peters
37 Thomas Bryant Thomas Bryant L.J. Peak Derrick White
38 Jordan Bell Frank Mason Thomas Bryant Jordan Bell
39 L.J. Peak Jonah Bolden Jonah Bolden Mathias Lessort
40 Jawun Evans Johnathan Motley Dillon Brooks P.J. Dozier
41 P.J. Dozier Kyle Kuzma Frank Mason Justin Patton
42 Frank Jackson Jaron Blossomgame Tony Bradley Jonah Bolden
43 Frank Mason Alec Peters Johnathan Motley Devin Robinson
44 Sindarius Thornwell Dwayne Bacon Jonathan Jeanne Thomas Bryant
45 Dillon Brooks Josh Hart Jaron Blossomgame Tony Bradley
46 Devin Robinson Frank Jackson Sindarius Thornwell Jaron Blossomgame
47 Jaron Blossomgame Edmond Sumner Tyler Dorsey Josh Hart
48 Mathias Lessort Sindarius Thornwell Devin Robinson Wesley Iwundu
49 Cameron Oliver Dillon Brooks Josh Hart Alberto Abalde
50 Tyler Dorsey Tyler Dorsey P.J. Dozier Luke Kornet
51 Wesley Iwundu Vlatko Cancar Vlatko Cancar Aleksandar Vezenkov
52 Johnathan Motley Monte Morris Isaiah Hicks Edmond Sumner
53 Alpha Kaba Devin Robinson Wesley Iwundu L.J. Peak
54 Kobi Simmons P.J. Dozier Edmond Sumner Alpha Kaba
55 Nigel Williams-Goss Cameron Oliver Aleksandar Vezenkov George De Paula
56 Aleksandar Vezenkov Alpha Kaba Isaiah Briscoe Ognjen Jaramaz
57 Damyean Dotson Peter Jok Cameron Oliver Johnathan Motley
58 Isaiah Briscoe Damyean Dotson Nigel Williams-Goss Nigel Williams-Goss
59 Dwayne Bacon Kennedy Meeks Antonio Blakeney Frank Mason
60 Peter Jok Kobi Simmons Malcolm Hill Sindarius Thornwell

Version 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0 | 7.0

Joel’s Notebook:

Finally, Steve Kyler took the leash off of us this week and let us do a full 60-pick mock. This is what freedom tastes like.

It’s time to make some final decisions this week, though, and I can tell you that having done so many mocks in so many contexts, it’s all starting to bleed together. I know who I like where at this point, and the nuggets of draft information that leak out amid all the free agency and trade rumors are enough to help solidify some things. Lonzo Ball at pick number two is the inevitability it always has been, apparently. Jayson Tatum looks like the Celtics’ guy at number three (if they keep the pick). That would mean Josh Jackson falls into the hands of Phoenix, and Sacramento gets their man in Fox at pick number five.

Of course, knowing the draft as well as I do, it’s 100 percent likely that some team in the top five messes with that order. That top five is incredibly reasonable, which is why it can never be. One trade, and the whole thing goes kablooey.

As far as the second round goes, this year’s crop feels like its rife with players who actually could contribute, which is rare. Caleb Swanigan, T.J. Leaf, Juwan Evans, Jordan Bell, Sindarius Thornwell and Frank Jackson all in the second round is nuts. Any one of those guys could be a good player for a number of teams, and they’ll get snatched up at a value in round number two.

The back end of the second round was tough, though. There are probably going to be about 20 percent more international guys drafted there than what I have at the moment, but I wanted to sneak in guys I liked, such as Dwayne Bacon and Isaiah Briscoe. We’ll see how it shakes out, but this is what I’m going with for now. It’s been a heck of a mock drafting season, folks, and it’s only going to get crazier over the next two days.

Michael’s Notebook:

Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball will form a great rivalry for years to come, with both expected to be off the board after the first two picks.

As The Vertical reported, the Lakers will trade D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, which paves the way for Ball to bring “Showtime” back to Los Angeles and make his dad LaVar’s vision a reality. Boston’s Danny Ainge made a bold move trading down from the top overall pick and passing on Fultz. You can safely assume Fultz will circle every Celtics game on his calendar for the rest of his career.

At third overall, Ainge will choose between Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson and the Suns will get the leftover player or De’Aaron Fox.

If Phoenix takes Fox, watch out for Eric Bledsoe to be traded on draft night. If Jackson is the pick, keep an eye on T.J. Warren to be dangled as trade bait.

Jonathan Isaac fits the prototype of Orlando Magic executives John Hammond and Jeff Weltman, who like long, athletic forwards and previously took big swings on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bruno Caboclo.

The Timberwolves can dangle the seventh pick as part of a trade package for Jimmy Butler, a favorite of Tom Thibodeau.

The Knicks will likely choose from three guards: Dennis Smith, Malik Monk and Frank Ntilikina. The Mavericks will land one of those leftovers.

Afterward, more trade possibilities arise. Sacramento is open to moving the 10th pick. Detroit is looking for a veteran to help the team return to the playoffs and is open to moving the 12th pick. Portland has three first-round picks and will look to offload a bad contract with one of those picks. Utah is open to moving up using the 24th and 30th picks as trade bait. Orlando is in a similar position with the 25th, 33rd and 35th picks. Los Angeles is hoping to move the 27th and 28th pick as part of a trade package for Paul George according to reports.

In the second round, the Magic (2), Hawks (2), Knicks (2), Rockets (2), Nuggets (2), Suns (2), Jazz (2), Celtics (3) and 76ers (4) all have multiple picks. With that in mind, keep an eye on each of those teams to be involved in trade discussions or even sell some of those picks.

Remember, it only takes one blockbuster trade, an unexpected selection or medical red flag to change the entire draft landscape upside down.

This draft and upcoming free agency will be more exciting than the playoffs. The question is whether all the excitement will live up to the hype and produce another Finals contender besides the Cleveland Cavaliers to compete against the Golden State Warriors.

Moke’s Notebook:

I have been covering the draft closely for the past four years and, without question, the 2017 draft is unique. The only thing that we know for sure at this point is that the Philadelphia 76ers are selecting Markelle Fultz and that the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have cleared the way to select Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick. As recently as Tuesday, there were some that were of the opinion that De’Aaron Fox was in play for them at number two, but considering the attention that they’ve given Ball and the lack of attention he’s given to other teams, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine a scenario where he’s not a Laker.

From there, the draft will only get more and more interesting.

Of all lottery-projected players, there seems to be the most mystery surrounding Frank Ntilikina. Some have projected him to go as early as eighth (to the New York Knicks), while some have opined that he could slip outside of the lottery, mainly because he’s a somewhat unknown quantity. And at the end of the day, “unknown” is a remarkably appropriate term. Alec Peters, Bam Adebayo and Devin Robinson are among the prospects who have had medical red flags attached to their names, so if any of those three slip, you’ll know why.

For me, that’s about all I have to say. My sources have been fairly consistent in what they’ve told me, and I believe my mock drafts have been fairly similar. At this point, I believe there will be one or two draft night trades, but the order in which players are picked, I believe, will not vary tremendously as a result. Scouts generally believe that there are five to eight potential future All-Stars in this crop, meaning that this draft should ultimately end up being one of the deepest in recent memory.

Keep your fingers crossed that your team gets one of those guys.

Steve’s Notebook:

Oh boy, has this thing gotten interesting. The Lakers dumped the Timofey Mozgov contract and gave final closure to how the Magic Johnson Lakers viewed D’Angelo Russell in their deal to obtain Brook Lopez (and cap flexibility) and the 27th pick.

The Cavaliers have been active trying to add one more star to their roster. The Pacers have gotten serious in their quest to move Paul George, who is expected to be dealt by the end of the draft tomorrow.

The Atlanta Hawks moved on from Dwight Howard, and the Clippers have started kicking the tires on ways to improve in advance of free agency — and all that’s just what got done in the last 24 hours.

There is a lot of talk taking place, so keep in mind that NBA teams at this point in the cycle are talking daily and everyone is trying to decide what to do, not only in the draft but in the trade market surrounding it. Let’s dig into what’s floating around:

– The Knicks have opened the door on virtually everything. With pressure mounting in New York to turn the franchise around, Phil Jackson and his staff have entertained talks on the entire roster, including promising star Kristaps Porzingis. Before you get too far on this, league sources say the asking price on Porzingis is FOUR unprotected first round picks or a handful of unprotected picks and a proven star level player. It does not seem that the Knicks will get their price for Porzingis, but the Knicks have started down a dangerous path with their best building block. Word is this Porzingis camp was already sour on Phil Jackson and for him to actively shop him, it may destroy what little trust remained in the relationship.

– The Minnesota Timberwolves (seventh pick) and Detroit Pistons (12th pick) continue to be the teams mentioned most as likely to move their first-round picks. Both teams are believed to be looking for proven starting-caliber veterans rather than adding another young guy to the mix. The real value of those picks likely surfaces during the draft as players start to fall into place. Sources near both teams said they are absolutely prepared to select players with those picks, but they absolutely can be had in trade.

– Don’t expect the Jimmy Butler noise to die down anytime soon. The Bulls apparently decided over the weekend to actively listen on Butler trades, but sources near the situation say it will take a really good offer to get them to move Butler. The Cavaliers and Celtics have been mentioned most prominently in their pursuit of a Butler trade, but sources near the process say the Rockets and Wizards have logged interest in Butler and in Indiana’s Paul George. Depending on who you talk to in NBA circles, some believe Butler will be moved, while others doubt the Bulls get offered enough to do a deal by the end of the draft. The stance everyone takes is that Butler will be expensive to obtain in trade and the Bulls may not get enough to make a deal. The Bulls were also reportedly notified that Dwayne Wade will opt into his final contract year, which may influence what the Bulls ultimately do with Butler. Once Wade officially opts in, he too could be traded, but there is a sense the Bulls may take another run with this group and deal Butler next season, either at the deadline or after the 2017-18 season plays out.

Some players to watch as the draft plays out:

There are mixed reviews on Gonzaga bigman Zach Collins. While he is viewed as having a tremendous ceiling, several teams who saw him think he is too raw to be a rotation player as a rookie, meaning if he does not go early to a team that’s building and has minutes to groom him, he could slip in the draft.

There is increased talk that if Josh Jackson does not go number three to Boston, he could slide pretty hard. His camp has played the draft process very deliberately. He did not attend the NBA Draft Combine so teams have not seen medical on him. He has also declined workouts with a number of situations, which could make this a tough process if he does not go where his camp expects him to go.

Utah’s Kyle Kuzma continues to be a name some talk about a likely selection in the 20’s. Kuzma did very well in the draft workout process. The question is, where will he really land?

Looking for the reach of the draft? Could be Vlatko Cancar. There are lots of fun stories floating around about his abrupt departure from KK Mega Leks after just eight games. Some wonder if he got a promise early in the process and shut it down.

Basketball Insiders will be on the ground in New York through the entire 2017 NBA Draft process, so stay tuned for video from the media availabilities. Instant reaction to all the picks and our minute-by-minute Draft Day Diary – featuring all of the news, rumors and trades updated throughout the day. All of the draft news worth knowing in one easy to find place,

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 19 years. Moke Hamilton is a Deputy Editor and Columnist for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last seven years. Joel Brigham is a Senior NBA Writer and has covered the NBA for the last 12 years. Michael Scotto is a Senior NBA Writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last seven years.

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Mock Drafts

NBA AM: Final Mock Of The 2017 NBA Draft

Steve Kyler delivers his final 60-pick Mock Draft, as well as the latest news on the draft front.

Steve Kyler

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The Final Mock Of The 2017 NBA Draft

So, it comes down to this. While there will surely be some changes between today and the actual draft on Thursday, here is my final Mock Draft of the 2017 NBA Draft season. It reflects all 60-picks and how I see it playing out based on the latest from around the NBA.

NOTES:

We are hearing from NBA teams that this draft class may have the most medical red-flags of any in recent history. Most of them are subjective, meaning teams have to come to grips with the risks involved, which may drive the perceived stock of a player down pretty dramatically.

A medical red-flag is something that surfaced during the physical that is of material concern. These often prompt teams to consider the situation more thoroughly and make a decision on the medium and long-term impact of the ailment. It does not immediately mean a player won’t be drafted, but does change the valuation of a player.

This draft could see a considerable amount of volatility, especially outside the top 1o selections. There is a sense that Detroit at seven, Minnesota at 12 and the Blazers at 15, 20 and 26 are all open to moving one or, in Portland’s case, more of their picks. The Pistons and Wolves are said to covet proven veterans more so that youth, although both are said to have plans to draft a player if they cannot find a deal.

The LA Lakers and New York Knicks are both said to be buyers on additional first round picks. The Cavaliers and the Rockets are also believed to be open to buying into the later part of this draft, which should make things interesting.

With so many picks in the second round belonging to the same group of teams – Denver, Philadelphia and Utah – there is a sense all of them would be open to packing together picks to move up or move out of some of them in the 2nd round.

Philadelphia has a bit of problem with their picks, as they have received in trade nearly the maximum amount of cash a team can receive in a single season. In other words, they won’t have the option of just selling picks for cash; they must make physical trades. This will get tough for them especially as they get in the mid-40s.

The Pre-Draft Basketball Insiders Podcast

Basketball Insiders publisher Steve Kyler and Senior NBA Writer Michael Scotto get into the 76ers and Celtics trade, the Lonzo Ball and Lakers situation, Paul George and the mess the Pacers find themselves in, the future of Gordon Hayward, some NBA draft sleepers, the guys whose draft stock could be falling, where certain players’ floor may be and who is and is not likely to be traded around the 2017 NBA Draft.

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, @MikeAScotto, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton@jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @CodyTaylorNBA, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers and @Ben__Nadeau.

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Mock Drafts

2017 “Outsiders” NBA Mock Draft

Each year, we ask “outside” experts for their mock drafts. Here’s how they see it.

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Every year, we ask some of our friends in the media world to chime in on their own Mock Draft. We call this the Outsiders Mock to help differentiate it from the Basketball Insiders Mocks we file each week. These guys, however, are the furthest from Outsiders in the NBA world.

This year’s team includes Vince Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) of the Detroit Free Press. Vince has covered the NBA for more years than he likes to admit and no one knows the Pistons and the Central Division better than him.

Sherrod Blakely is also a part of this year’s team. He covers the NBA and the Boston Celtics for Comcast Sports New England. In addition to be an absolute follow on Twitter (@SherrodbCSN), Sherrod also co-hosts one of the best NBA podcasts (CelticsTalk) in the business.

Brett Pollakoff of Fox Sports returns to the Mock Draft team this season. Brett is a must follow on Twitter (@BrettEP) and a frequent guest on Basketball Insiders’ Podcasts. No one is more dialed into the shoe game than Brett, who has a pretty solid Snapchat and Instagram game.

Joining us this season is Rick Kamla (@NBATVRick) of NBATV, NBA on TuneIn and host of the top rated Middays With Rick & John sports radio show on 92.5FM The Game in Atlanta. Rick is a legend in the NBA world and one of the most genuine guys in the game.

2017 Outsiders Mock Draft

Pick # Team Brett Pollakoff Rick Kamla Sherrod Blakey Vince Ellis
1 Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz
2 Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball
3 Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson
4 Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum De'Aaron Fox De'Aaron Fox
5 De'Aaron Fox De'Aaron Fox Jayson Tatum Dennis Smith
6 Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac
7 Malik Monk Lauri Markkanen Lauri Markkanen Jayson Tatum
8 Frank Ntilikina Dennis Smith Dennis Smith Frank Ntilikina
9 Lauri Markkanen Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Lauri Markkanen
10 Dennis Smith Malik Monk T.J. Leaf Zach Collins
11 Donovan Mitchell Zach Collins Malik Monk Malik Monk
12 Zach Collins Donovan Mitchell Luke Kennard Donovan Mitchell
13 OG Anunoby Justin Jackson Jarrett Allen Justin Jackson
14 Justin Jackson T.J. Leaf Donovan Mitchell Luke Kennard
15 Harry Giles John Collins OG Anunoby Justin Patton
16 Luke Kennard Luke Kennard Zach Collins OG Anunoby
17 Jarrett Allen Jarrett Allen Harry Giles John Collins
18 John Collins Ivan Rabb Bam Adebayo T.J. Leaf
19 Justin Patton Justin Patton John Collins Jarrett Allen
20 Tyler Lydon Bam Adebayo Justin Patton Ike Anigbogu
21 T.J. Leaf Terrance Ferguson Justin Jackson Terrance Ferguson
22 Ike Anigbogu Kyle Kuzma D.J. Wilson Isaiah Hartenstein
23 Jawun Evans Harry Giles Ivan Rabb Semi Ojeleye
24 Semi Ojeleye Jordan Bell Semi Ojeleye Frank Jackson
25 D.J. Wilson Semi Ojeleye Jaron Blossomgame D.J. Wilson
26 Ivan Rabb Frank Mason Ike Anigbogu Harry Giles
27 Terrance Ferguson Tyler Lydon Anzejs Pasecniks Tyler Lydon
28 Jordan Bell Ike Anigbogu Wesley Iwundu Bam Adebayo
29 Anzejs Pasecniks Josh Hart Isaiah Hartenstein Tony Bradley
30 Derrick White Dillon Brooks Johnathan Motley Caleb Swanigan

*** This Mock does reflect the current Philadelphia 76ers trade with the Boston Celtics for the first overall pick.

The next Mock Draft will drop on Tuesday with Steve Kyler’s latest 60-Pick Mock Draft, then on Wednesday we’ll drop the final Insider’s Consensus Mock of the 2017 NBA Draft cycle, which will be the first 60-pick Mock in the Consensus format featuring all four contributors. The annual Basketball Insiders Draft Day Diary will also ramp up on Tuesday and run you all the way through the draft with the very latest news, rumors and deals as they get done, updated throughout the day.

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