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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

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.

Basketball Insiders

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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.

Basketball Insiders

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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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