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NBA Saturday: A New NBA Mock Draft

An expanded look at the latest NBA Mock Draft including the logic behind each pick and the latest rumors on which ones could be traded… The role medical plays in the NBA Draft.

Steve Kyler

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Explaining The Latest Mock Draft:  Every week all the way up to the 2014 NBA Draft, we will drop what we have always called our “Consensus Mock Draft,” and while some poke fun at the idea that the four personalities powering the multi-opinion mock rarely agree and have a “consensus,” the idea is what is the “consensus of the draft” and what we often find is there really isn’t one.

Recently, more and more of you have asked for a deeper dive into mock drafts with explanations behind each pick. We have built some pretty elaborate draft tools to organize the process, and those tools were not built with detailed explanation in mind. We’ll work on that going forward, but for now I’ll break this out manually for you and give you at least my thoughts on the latest mock draft version.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Every week I introduce a new variable in my process. Until we really start to get a sense of which players a team is narrowing in on, I play the wrinkle game. I ask myself: What does the draft look like if this event happens? That changes from week to week.

If you wonder why I do it this way, it’s because this is how NBA teams do it. This is how teams prepare for every eventuality. Believing that one guy has to go number one and the next guy absolutely has to go number two is how you end up unprepared on draft night. Teams play through every draft scenario possible, so I try and do the same with my mock drafts.

With that in mind, here is this week’s mock:

#1 – Cleveland Cavaliers

Joel Embiid – C – 7’0″ – 240 – 20

This draft was filed before the news surfaced that Embiid may have had issues in his medical review with the Cavaliers. If the report of “numerous” issues is true, you can safely say Andrew Wiggins slides into the number one spot and Embiid takes a tumble. The problem with this lone report of issues is that none of the other media outlets in Cleveland or the top news breakers in the business are following suit on this story. So for the time being, until more is known on Embiid, the assumption is that he is healthy and his workout and medical review went as initially as reported. He is the top guy until medical reports to the contrary rule him off the board.

#2 – Milwaukee Bucks

Jabari Parker – SF/PF – 6’8″ – 241 – 19

There is a real chance that Dante Exum lands here. However, for the purposes of this week’s mock draft wrinkle, Exum slides and the Bucks take the safest bet on the board. A lot of this pick is going to come down to new ownership. There is a sense that they are willing to “dare to be great,” but at the same time they want to see progression in their new asset and adding Parker gives them a better “win-now” chance than taking Exum. Wiggins is very much in play here as well, but Parker seems to be a more natural fit with what the Bucks already have on the roster.

#3 – Philadelphia 76ers

Andrew Wiggins – SG/SF – 6’8″ – 197 – 19

If Embiid goes one and Parker goes two, then Wiggins lands at three. For months there have been reports that the 76ers really were high on Wiggins and that they would have taken him number one overall had they landed the pick. If Wiggins is there at three, he is Philly’s guy. The dark horse here is Exum, although this week’s mock assumes he tumbles, so down the board he goes.

#4 – Orlando Magic

Marcus Smart – PG – 6’3″ – 227 – 20

Smart has been in to the see the Magic twice already, and while some have read that to be they have him first on their board and some say they might, there is another school of thought and that is his first workout was not what both expected hence the second visit. The Magic are keeping things very close to the vest, so it’s unclear if Smart had a poor workout, or was unable to compete for some reason, which has been suggested. The Magic were linked to Smart last year and while Exum theoretically would still be on the board here, this week’s mock assumes he falls, and that means Smart is Orlando’s guy.

#5 – Utah Jazz

Noah Vonleh – PF/C – 6’9″ – 247 – 18

There are a few things floating around about Vonleh. The biggest being that Noah has opted to change his shooting mechanics; the net result is he is not shooting the ball as fluidly in workouts as he did at Indiana. It was a puzzling move for sure and it’s one he is clearly pushing back on in workouts. The Jazz seem poised to draft a four man if they stay in the fifth pick. There have been several indications from teams lower on the board that Utah might be trying to trade down on draft night. If the Jazz stay at five, Vonleh looks like their man. There have been some comments about Vonleh’s conditioning, but it does not seem to bother teams enough to warrant his stock taking a hit. Julius Randle is a real option here too, however with reports that he may have a foot issue that could require surgery at some point, Vonleh may be the safer, more opportune pick.

#6 – Boston Celtics

Aaron Gordon – PF – 6’9″ – 220 – 18

Last year there was a sense that the Celtics were going to come away from the draft with Kelly Olynyk, and while the C’s did not draft him, they did trade around and ultimately landed him. There is that same buzz going around about Aaron Gordon. The Celtics could take Randle here, but there is a real sense that the Celtics have locked in on Gordon, so for the purposes of this mock he lands in Boston at six.

#7 – LA Lakers

Dante Exum – PG/SG – 6’6″ – 196 – 18

The wrinkle in this week’s mock was that Exum falls out of the top tier. The truth is if Exum is still on the board at No. 5, there may be some trading taking place. However, if Exum is there for the Lakers at seven, he is their guy. Julius Randle could get some play here as well.

#8 – Sacramento Kings

Nik Stauskas – SG – 6’6″ – 207 – 20

The Kings are said to have three players very high on their board: Marcus Smart, Nik Stauskas and Elfrid Payton. Smart should be long gone by the time the Kings pick at eight, leaving Stauskas and Payton. This one really is a coin flip. There is a case for Stauskas as a perimeter threat and backup combo guard, but there is also a case that Payton could be the point guard of the future. The Kings are very much in the market to trade around, especially if they can nab additional assets. Eight might not have a lot of appeal before the draft, but if a key player starts to tumble, they could be in business. A dark horse here for the Kings is Randle, so that’s one worth noting.

#9 – Charlotte Hornets

Doug McDermott – SF – 6’8″ – 218 – 22

There is a belief that the Charlotte Hornets won’t let McDermott get past them. However, if Randle is still on the board that might be too much to pass on. The Hornets are open for business on the ninth pick and would be willing to move it for the right veteran player. However, this mock assumes the Hornets draft and McDermott seems to be their guy. If Stauskas is still around at nine he could be a Hornet as well.

#10 – Philadelphia 76ers

Julius Randle – PF – 6’9″ – 250 – 19

At some point risk gets outweighed by reward, and Randle becomes too attractive at 10 to pass up, especially for a Philly team that was patient with Nerlens Noel last year. If Randle is off the board, then Dario Saric, Jusuf Nurkic and possibly James Young become possibilities depending on what is on the board at 10.

#11 – Denver Nuggets

James Young – SG/SF – 6’7″ – 213 – 18

The Nuggets have a few options available to them. They are said to be very high on Stauskas and Gary Harris, but Young might present the most dynamic option for them at No. 11. There has been some talk about a package deal with the Bulls that could see Chicago picking at 11, so that’s one to watch.

#12 – Orlando Magic

Dario Saric – SF/PF – 6’10” – 223 – 20

Assuming the Magic draft a point guard at number four, there is a chance they go with big guy like an Adreian Payne or Nurkic, but there have also being some rumblings that the Magic might go with a “draft-and-stash” at 12, meaning Saric becomes an option here. Assuming the Magic do not trade out of the 12, which is a real possibility, Saric might be the best draft-and-stash option. There has also been some talk about Zach LaVine at 12, which might make sense if Arron Afflalo is moved this summer.

#13 – Minnesota Timberwolves

Adreian Payne – PF – 6’10” – 239 – 23

There have been three names strongly linked to the Timberwolves: Stauskas, Young and Payne. In this mock, two of the three are gone, so Payne is the guy. With the inevitability of the Wolves having to trade Kevin Love, Payne is ready to play at the four spot. He’s not Love, but he could hold his own from day one, hence his appeal.

#14 – Phoenix Suns

Rodney Hood – SF – 6’8″ – 208 – 21

The Suns need perimeter scoring and that’s what Hood will provide in the NBA. There are a couple of other options here but Hood looks to fit the team’s culture and the biggest need. The Suns hold multiple picks so there is a chance they grab Nurkic as a best talent “draft-and-stash” here and hope for Hood later.

#15 – Atlanta Hawks

T.J. Warren – SF/PF – 6’8″ – 220 – 20

The Hawks proved last year that are willing to be patient with draft picks so Nurkic, Kristaps Porzingis or even Zach LaVine become real options here. With that said, the best fit for the Hawks today might be T.J Warren. Warren is an elite level scorer and could contribute right away for a Hawks team that showed this season they are not that far away when healthy.

#16 – Chicago Bulls

Zach LaVine – SG – 6’6″ – 181 – 19

The Bulls could go a number of ways here including Payton or Tyler Ennis. However, if LaVine is here, and the Bulls have not traded up as some suggest they might, he might have too much upside and athleticism to pass.

#17 – Boston Celtics

Elfrid Payton – PG – 6’4″ – 185 – 20

There are likely four teams above the Celtics that could pluck Payton or trade up to grab him. It’s unlikely he is here, but if he is word is the Celtics would draft him at 17. The question becomes will he be there at 17? Porzingis is said to be a strong option as is Saric if he is there. If Nurkic is still on the board, this could be his landing spot too.

#18 – Phoenix Suns

Clint Capela – PF – 6’11” – 222 – 20

With their earlier pick, the Suns solved their top need with Hood; at this pick they start looking at draft-and-stash. That puts them on Nurkic, Porzingis and Capela. Capela seems like the choice, although it really is a coin toss.

#19 – Chicago Bulls

Tyler Ennis – PG – 6’2″ – 182 – 19

The Bulls are said to be very high on Ennis and view him as their answer at backup point guard and in some situations as part of a Ennis-Derrick Rose backcourt. If Ennis is here and the Bulls still hold the pick, this is likely where they go. With their earlier pick we had them with LaVine, so it could be interchangeable.

#20 – Toronto Raptors

K.J. McDaniels – SF – 6’6″ – 196 – 21

The Raptors are said to be very high on Payne, but this mock has him gone to the Wolves, which leaves them looking for a defensive-minded wing and the best of the bunch may be K.J. McDaniels. This could also be where Nurkic, Porzingis or Capela land if they are still on the board.

#21 – Oklahoma City Thunder

Kristaps Porzingis – PF – 7’0″ – 220 – 18

The Thunder are said to covet Porzingis and may trade up to ensure they get him. He has a $1.6 million dollar buyout on his deal, so going higher would help him land in the NBA next season. Expect the Thunder to look at picks a little higher in a package of their two lower-tier selections. If the Thunder miss on Porzingis, look for them to consider Nurkic and Jarnell Stokes at some point before it’s done.

#22 – Memphis Grizzlies

Gary Harris – SG – 6’4″ – 205 – 19

The Grizzlies want a perimeter scorer, and while this is really low for Harris there are some scouts that are low on him. They feel on draft night he could be primed to slip, especially if other guys start to slide down the board. There is a real chance Harris is gone to Chicago in the teens, but if he is here at 22, he is what Memphis is looking for. Cleanthony Early is an option here as is McDaniels.

#23 – Utah Jazz

Kyle Anderson – SF – 6’8″ – 230 – 20

The Jazz are not likely to make this pick when it’s said and done. However, assuming they are drafting here, Kyle Anderson offers an interesting package of size and ball handling. He is not viewed as the most athletic guy in the bunch but his high basketball IQ and the mismatches he could create at point forward make him an interesting wrinkle for the Jazz.

#24 – Charlotte Hornets

P.J. Hairston – SG – 6’5″ – 229 – 21

Assuming the Hornets are in this pick, this is likely where Hairston lands for a number of reasons. As a franchise, the Hornets have taken some players with character flags, and when it comes down to it Hairston might the most ready option left on the board. He can flat out score and if they are still in this pick, and Hairston is still there, that’s the perfect fit for both.

#25 – Houston Rockets

Jerami Grant – SF – 6’8″ – 214 – 20

The Rockets covet a long, smart perimeter player and Grant may be the best option left on the board. The Rockets are always tough to read because they work out more than 60 players every year, but Grant seems to fill the biggest need and may be the best talent left on the board. Early and Nurkic are also options with this pick.

#26 – Miami HEAT

Jarnell Stokes – PF – 6’8″ – 263 – 20

Stokes continues to float around the bottom of the first in several team’s draft scenarios. A lot about Stokes will be who is there when teams with the last five start picking. Stokes had a great work out with the Miami HEAT and it’s believed that he is fairly high on their board, however if guys like Nurkic, Early and Napier are still there, things may change.

#27 – Phoenix Suns

Jusuf Nurkic – C – 6’11” – 280 – 19

Nurkic may be one of the top-15 most talented options in the draft. Factor in that his contract buyout isn’t silly and that he could be in the NBA right away, he may be gone well before the Suns pick at 27. That said, there have been some questions about Nurkic off the court and that has some teams pausing on his potential. It’s highly likely that Nurkic is gone significantly higher, but if he is here at 27, he’ll be gone to Phoenix.

#28 – LA Clippers

Cleanthony Early – SF – 6’7″ – 209 – 23

There is a real chance the Clippers go point guard here, especially with guys like Shabazz Napier and Jordan Clarkson on the board. That said small forward was a problem for the Clippers all year and Early, if still on the board, might be the best talent and solution for the Clips, who can look for a backup point guard in trade or in free agency.

#29 – Oklahoma City Thunder

Shabazz Napier – PG – 6’1″ – 175 – 22

There are a lot of places the Thunder could go with the 29th selection, and the most likely is they bundle it with No. 21 to move up and the 29 belongs to someone else. However, with Reggie Jackson poised to join the starting line up at point guard next season, the Thunder will need some spark from the bench and Napier could be that guy. There are a few other options to watch, namely Walter Tavares, Stokes and Spencer Dinwiddie.

#30 – San Antonio Spurs

Walter Tavares – C – 7’3″ – 265 – 22

The Spurs are likely playing the best future upside card here and that’s where Tavares, Artem Klimenko and even Vasilije Micic get some consideration. Of the bunch Tavares at a legit 7’3 might present the most potential to be a solid NBA player. The Spurs continue to look a year or two ahead when drafting toward the bottom and with last year’s first round pick Livio Jean-Charles likely joining the team this year, there is no urgency on this pick playing right away.

There will be two more Consensus Mock Drafts before the actual NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26. They will drop on Wednesday the 18th and a final one on Wednesday the 25th. Basketball Insiders will publish a final Mock Draft on Draft Day in this format, featuring all 60 picks and the logic behind each selection.

Until then, if you want to know everything you can know about the 2014 NBA Draft – make sure to get your copy of the 2014 Basketball Insiders Draft Magazine – it’s available for both Android and Apple mobile devices and from a web-platform for virtual any device you have.

Medical And Its Role In The Draft:  Over the last week there have been two high profile stories about medical issues and draft picks. The easy response is to say ‘there is too much talent, you can’t pass’, but the truth is botching a draft pick or having a pick fail out for medical reasons is an avoidable mistake, one teams take seriously.

There was a report out of Cleveland this week suggesting that Kansas big man Joel Embiid did not do well in his medical exam with the Cavaliers and that he had a “number of physical ailments.”

This report has been in conflict with other reports suggesting Embiid’s workout and medical went fine and there were no issues.

So which report is true? Honestly we won’t likely know until after the draft, as the Cavs likely signed confidentiality agreements in exchange for getting Embiid into their doctors.

Kentucky big man Julius Randle is undergoing something similar. Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Randle would likely need foot surgery to remove a screw inserted in his foot after a bone break in high school. Randle has since denied this story and has gone on the offensive to say his foot is fine.

So what are we to believe? Here is how it plays out:

Most players, Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker excluded, go through intense medical review at the annual NBA Draft Combine. This includes MRI’s, full blood panels and heart and health testing. These results are then made available to all 30 NBA teams, who have their medical staffs review and “flag” anything notable or of concern.

These “flagged” players then get discussed among the training staff and the decision makers. The idea behind it is to understand what’s going on with the player. How it could manifest itself if drafted, and whether or not the medical and training staff believe it could impact a player’s career, both in the short-term and in the long-term.

In 2005, many outsiders marveled that current Clipper Danny Granger was still on the draft board into the teens, ultimately getting drafted at 17 by the Indiana Pacers. What was not really talked about was that Gragner was flagged with a knee issue and many teams knew that he would have problems with that knee eventually. Fast forward to 2014, and Granger has been plagued by knee problems for most of his career.

The Pacers medical and training staff believed they could manage Granger’s knee and that at 17 there was too much upside to pass on and they drafted him.

Having an injury, or being red flagged does not kill a player’s chance to be drafted, although there have been some players whose draft staff took a massive blow after medical issues surfaced in the draft process.

The question always comes down to risk versus reward. Can a team accurately predict the injury probability, can the team’s doctors and training staff manage the problem effectively and is there a better option on the board without issues? Those are the questions the Cavaliers are likely asking themselves with regards to Embiid, and many teams are likely asking about Randle.

Randle’s issue is more procedural in nature, so it’s not as alarming as some long-term or structural issues. However, there is risk anytime a player needs surgery. Grant Hill thought he was having a routine procedure in 2000, and he was never the same after playing the next 12 seasons in and out due to issues.

In Embiid’s case it’s a little trickier. During the NCAA Tournament, Embiid was diagnosed with what’s believed to be Spondylolysis, or a stress fracture in the back. These are very common in athletes and usually clear up with rest and rehab. That’s the good news. The bad news is there is another form of this issue called Spondylolisthesis, which is a defect in the back in which lumbar vertebra “shift” and press against nerves. This one is scary for teams, because it usually requires spinal fusions, which could be career threatening.

Because of the confidential nature of medical information, it’s unlikely anyone is ever going to say specifically what they have seen in Embiid’s back, but that issue alone is very scary despite his immense talent and upside, especially for the Cavaliers drafting number one overall. The best modern example would be the Portland Trail Blazers knowing that Greg Oden was going to have the knee issues that have derailed his career, and drafted him anyway, passing on Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant.

The Cavs find themselves in the same situation. There are potentially three all-NBA type talents available to them with the top pick, and if Embiid genuinely has long-term flags around his health, the Cavs have to look at players that may not have as much risk.

The other thing to know about medical issues in the draft process is that most teams do not see things the same way. One team’s medical staff may see an issue and say ‘this is a big problem’ another teams staff may say ‘it is not that big of a deal’. The Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers have a long history of drafting players other teams may have flagged, simply because their medical and training staffs believe they can rehab an injury and those franchises take more risks.

Equally teams that are looking down the road may be more open to players with risks than teams that need their draft pick to produce right away. The Philadelphia 76ers traded for injured big man Nerlens Noel, despite being less than six months post-op on an ACL surgery. Wisely, Noel had his surgery done by Dr. James Andrews, one of the leading knee and ligament surgeons in the country, and made him openly available to teams with issues or questions about Noel’s knee.

The big red flag with Embiid is that his camp has not done that with his back, adding more intrigue and questions to the process. It is believed Embiid saw noted spinal surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins while at Kansas, however it’s unclear if Embiid’s camp is allowing concerned teams to talk with him about Embiid’s prognosis going forward.

While Embiid and Randle are the two names in this draft class being talked about the most, historically there are usually a dozen or more players flagged in some capacity. Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday was flagged with an elbow issue in 2009, which saw his draft stock tumble into to 17, despite some teams in the top six expressing interest in drafting him.

The medical process plays a big role in who gets drafted and where, not because teams believe a player will fail; it’s usually because there is a similar option talent wise on the board that does not have issues. There are no certainties or guarantees in this process either and it is far from an exact measure. But as teams try and decide where to spend their picks, the medical information weighs into it in a significant way, not just in the short-term of can he compete in camp, but what are his potential long-term issues?

No two teams see the draft the same way. It is an eye of the beholder process. Some teams are willing to take more risks than others and some teams may view a problem more seriously than another. There is always a point in which the risk associated gets outweighed by the reward.

Both Embiid and Randle will be drafted, that’s an almost certainty. The question becomes how much will injuries weigh down their draft stock, and that’s really a team by team consideration.

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

2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 4.0

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 2018 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 2018 NBA Draft. Included is 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.

Version: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0

Moke’s Notebook: One thing I can say for sure is that this is the most unpredictable draft I’ve seen in many years. The Kings and Hawks are each rumored to be open to moving the second and third pick in the draft, and I have a feeling that’s due to the intrigue surrounding Luka Dončić. At this point, the expectation is that the Suns will select DeAndre Ayton first, and I get the sense that there are many that believe that the risk of selecting Dončić is too great. Aside from that, Michael Porter, Jr. (whom I’ve been told is the “dream” scenario for the Knicks) and Mo Bamba each saw their stock rise pretty dramatically during the Combine in Chicago. I’ve seen some mocks having Porter as highly as third.

Aside from those two, there are a lot of questions about Trae Young. It was once thought that Stephen Curry and even Kevin Durant weren’t strong enough to make it in the NBA, and similar questions have been asked of Young. Between Dončić, Bamba, Porter and Young, we might be looking at four of the biggest risks that are consensus top seven picks in quite some time. Of the batch, I’d feel most comfortable selecting Bamba, whose maturity and outside shooting are both better than advertised, but again, with teams at the top willing to discuss dealing their picks and the appetite for risk playing a major role in how the draft shakes out, I only have confidence in my top seven, not necessarily where they’ll land.

As we get closer to the draft, I’d keep an eye on a few names: Aaron Holiday, Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo. Each of those guys have a shot to move up into the late teens, with Holiday, in particular, having lottery potential. Keita Bates-Diop and Jevon Carter are two second rounders who I wouldn’t be surprised to see sneak into the top 30, either.

Over the coming weeks, some guys will be called in for more individual workouts and as the weeks progress, our intel will get stronger.

Jesse’s Notebook: Though the NBA Lottery and Combine are behind us, there are still a lot of questions about how things will shake out on draft night. While Luka Dončić has been considered a consensus top-two pick for some time, some are now questioning whether he will drop a spot or two. I still believe that by draft night, Dončić will likely be picked either first or second, but that doesn’t seem to be a foregone conclusion anymore.

The mystery man of this year’s class continues to be Michael Porter Jr. Porter Jr. checks off all of the boxes for a top-tier draft prospect, but his injury history and long-term health are still major issues that teams need to consider. No one in the draft has a larger range of outcomes. Porter Jr. recently said at the Combine that he is the best player in the draft and it will only take one team with a top pick to agree with his assessment to roll the dice and take a shot on him. But if it looks like his athleticism or burst is limited because of his previous injuries, he could drop toward the end of the top-10.

As of now, there is a good sense of who will be picked with the top 15 picks or so. Once we get outside of that range, things become somewhat less clear. There is very little consensus on how teams will draft from 16-30, so I expect the upcoming workouts and other pre-draft processes to help add clarity on that front.

Benny’s Notebook: Since Basketball Insiders’ last set of Notebooks, much of the draft landscape has changed. From lottery leaps to combine crushers, we’re finally at the point in the process where things start to happen. I still believe Luka Dončić is this draft class’ best player — he literally won both the EuroLeague MVP and Final Four MVP this weekend — but we must deal with the reality that Phoenix (and perhaps others) may look elsewhere. Outside of swapping No. 1 and 2, most of my adjustments come in the lower half of the first round.

I’d banked high on Mitchell Robinson showing out at the Draft Combine and, instead, he pulled out of everything completely. Allegedly, this is because Robinson has earned a promise from the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 25, according to Aran Smith of NBADraft.net. So, with little else to go off of on Robinson, he slides for me. Additionally, after the strange week of Dennis Schröder news, it’s possible that the Atlanta Hawks could search for a future guard — and the stock-rising Aaron Holiday certainly fits the bill.

Lastly, I’ve begun to come around on Zhaire Smith, the 6-foot-5 prospect from Texas Tech that averaged 11.3 points and five rebounds per game. In the modern, positionless NBA, Smith can already guard multiple spots and his athletic abilities have been rated at the top of his class. He may need some G-League time next season, but he turns just 19 years old in early June. While he probably won’t rise much higher than I’ve had him in mocks thus far, he makes sense for plenty of rebuilding rosters.

Steve’s Notebook: With the official NBA Draft Combine in the books there has been a lot of draft chatter. While it’s important to state clearly that its still very very early in the process and lots of things can change, there is a sense at least in a few places where some teams seem to be heading and where some players might end up landing.

The Phoenix Suns did land the top overall pick, and there was almost no executive in Chicago who thought Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton wouldn’t be Phoenix’s pick. While there is real validity to the idea that new Suns head coach Igor Kokoškov has experience and a relationship with euro sensation Luka Dončić, the belief is the Suns will make their decision based on talent, not relationship.

There was also a buzz that both Sacramento and Atlanta seemed more interested in the domestic big men available at the top of the draft rather than Dončić. That could always change, but the thought process there was the risk that Dončić could opt to stay out of the draft if he didn’t like where he would land, and both teams seem to be higher on other players.

There were a few players who clearly had fans among NBA talent evaluators.

Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr, could go significantly higher than expected with Dallas being his likely ceiling. The Mavericks are far from locked in on anyone, but the belief is the Mavericks are looking at versatile bigs.

Kentucky’s Kevin Knox was something of a mystery in Chicago opting to do very little publicly and left town early. According to several teams, Knox could go as high as six to Orlando and has strong interest from the Bulls, Cavaliers, and Knicks.

UCLA’s Aaron Holiday is said to have a “soft” commitment in the late teens and has, at this point, turned away workouts with teams in the 20’s. There is a sense he could be gone before by the 19th pick.

Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison pulled out of the Combine with NBA Draft.net’s Aran Smith tweeting that he is believed to have gotten a commitment from the Chicago Bulls at 22. Smith also tweeted that Mitchell Robinson also got a promise from the Lakers at 25. One veteran executive labeled this draft class as being the most aggressive draft he can recall where agents were calling and pressing for commitments.

Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo wowed athletically during combine testing and several executives before the testing sessions not only nailed where he’d measure and perform, they also suggested he’d be gone in the 20’s.

Executives were especially critical of the two notable international prospects Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs, suggesting that both could slide into the second round.

IMG Academy’s Anfernee Simons has several fans, but the word on him is that he’s a long-term project that would need time. There was a considerable amount of fact-finding by scouts on Simons. A team to watch could be Orlando if Simons is there is there when the Magic select at 35 or 41.

Tulane’s Melvin Frazier came away with mixed reviews, some love his length and athleticism and see him as a defensive presence, other teams saw him as lacking defined NBA skill sets.

Maryland’s Kevin Huerter has some fans. One executive offered a friendly wager that Huerter would be gone by 40.

West Virginia’s Jevon Carter looks like he has a real shot to be drafted in the first round, with several teams at the bottom of draft expressing real interest.

There are a couple of sleeper types that seemed to have turned some heads through the process in Chicago, namely Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike, Louisville’s Ray Spalding, Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate. All of them could go significantly higher than currently projected.

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 eight years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last four years. Benny Nadeau is an NBA Writer and finished his first season covering the NBA for Basketball Insiders.

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, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 2018 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 5/22/18

The final 2018 NBA Draft order is set and Basketball Insiders’ publisher Steve Kyler offers up his latest 60-pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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Lots of Draft Movement

With the draft order now set for the 2018 NBA Draft, there is some sense of how the draft might play out.

The buzz coming out of the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago is that a number of picks could be had in trade include all three of the top selections. Word is the initial asking price is very high and more of an indication to the San Antonio Spurs that if they do want to part with disgruntled star Kawhi Leonard, they are open for business.

It’s also worth noting that there is a growing sense that both the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawk may be far higher on some of the domestic bigs in the draft more so than euro sensation Luka Dončić. Both teams are expected to take a long look at Dončić, so their views on him could change as we get closer to the draft, but for now, Dončić may go lower.

Here is the latest 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft, reflecting the final draft order and the latest buzz, rumors, and intel from in and around the NBA:

Dates To Know:

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.

The 2018 NBA Draft is June 21.

The Pick Swaps:

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. This pick will convey.

The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade.

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 final NBA standings.

The Phoenix Suns were owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick would only convey if the Bucks pick landed between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the final NBA standings did not convey. The Suns will now receive the Bucks 2019 first-round pick assuming it falls between the fourth and 16th pick.

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

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 was lottery protected and would convey based on the final NBA standings.

The Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick was top-five protected and based on the final NBA 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 was top-three protected and based on the final NBA 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 was lottery protected and based on the final NBA 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 was top-three protected and based on the final NBA 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, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

2018 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 2018 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

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2018 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 3.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2018 NBA Draft. Included is 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.

With the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery final, here is how they see the field:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0

The weekly NBA Draft notebooks will resume next week following the NBA Draft Combine.

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 eight years. Jesse Blancarte is a Senior NBA Writer and Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last four years. Benny Nadeau is an NBA Writer and his first season covering the NBA for Basketball Insiders.

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, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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