Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes around the 2014 NBA Draft. Included is a revised Mock Draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts and information from in and around the process.
Yannis’ Notebook: From a positional ranking standpoint, things are extremely tight at the top for power forwards. Three freshmen, Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon, are the premiere players at the position, unless you consider Jabari Parker a four (which many don’t).
The each bring completely different skill sets to the table, so the order that they are drafted in is really going to come down to team’s needs and preferences.
Randle is rugged and physical. He has a blue collar mentality with elite physical gifts. He’s going to come in and be able to help his team immediately with his ability to rebound the basketball on both ends and score in the interior. Eventually he may develop into a legitimate face up threat who can take you off the dribble or hit the mid-range jump shot.
Vonleh is longer with a little bit more finesse to his game. He loves facing up, but is comfortable going right to his back-to-the-basket game if he can’t get by his defender. He is a very capable jump shooter and has shown a nice handle for someone of his size. He needs to get stronger and improve his footwork, but the Chris Bosh comparisons are valid.
Gordon is probably the best athlete of the three, which is saying something because Vonleh and Randle are no slouches in that department. However, he is also the most unpolished offensively. He’s primarily going to make an impact with his rebounding and defense early on in his career. He really needs to land in a situation where his offense is an added plus, not a necessity. He’s a strong finisher and will be able to convert when set up, but he’s at least a year or two away from being able to create for himself at the NBA level. He doesn’t turn 19 until September (Randle will be 20 in November; Vonleh will be 19 in August).
These three hold so much potential that there is very little chance they slip out of the top 10, despite the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team with a glaring need at the power forward position. There are other teams drafting in that range, like the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings who could justify going with a power forward, but they have other needs that are more pressing. The Lakers may be the only team that presents them the opportunity to start right away, though.
Once Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum are off the board, expect the trade offers to start roll in, because there are teams slated to pick later in the draft that need a power forward far more than the majority of the teams drafting in the top 10. Those who are unable to move up will have to keep their fingers crossed for Adreian Payne, but he may even be gone before the lottery is over.
Joel’s Notebook: Teams with two first-round picks are always fascinating because they have a real ability to get their mitts on a couple of players who could potentially be major rotation guys on affordable contracts for a solid handful of years. After completing my mock this week, I looked at the combinations of guys I paired up for those teams with multiple first-rounders and found some really interesting tandems (or, in Phoenix’s case, an interesting trio).
Philadelphia is going to end up with one of the top three players in this draft, and in this case that guy ended up being Jabari Parker, an offensive stud they can play at either forward position next year. I put Jusuf Nurkic with him despite the fact that Philadelphia already has a “center” in Nerlens Noel because I like the combination these two guys could create. Nurkic is a huge Euro prospect with impressive traditional big man scoring skills. Noel does not have those things, and could just as easily play power forward alongside him. Nurkic’s name isn’t as sexy as someone like Gary Harris or Doug McDermott, but Nurkic is a unique player in the lottery this year. There’s not a lot of bigs like him in this draft.
For Orlando, Dante Exum is the perfect fit and very likely the guy they’re hoping/expecting to get at No. 4. He gets paired up in this scenario with Doug McDermott, which was the first time I had him landing in Orlando in any of my mocks. He’d be a three-point specialist out of the frontcourt a la Kyle Korver, and that’s a nice complement to someone like Nikola Vujecic, who does most of his work inside.
Charlotte would be thrilled if Julius Randle fell all the way to them at #9, and uber-athlete Zach LaVine gives them some promise and potential at a position of need. Chicago gets their backup point guard in Tyler Ennis and some post-Luol-Deng Era depth at small forward with UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. OKC ends up with Nik Stauskas and Jordan Adams, a couple of steals at those draft slots, and Phoenix grabs Adreian Payne, K.J. McDaniels and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Not the biggest names in the draft, but all guys who could come in and make the rotation right away.
Alex’s Notebook: In recent months, Noah Vonleh has been considered a notch or two below the top prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft. He has rarely been included in the same sentence as Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Julius Randle. He tends to fall in that next grouping that includes Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Dario Saric among others. Vonleh has been viewed as a top-10 pick, but he’s not usually mentioned as someone who could be one of the first players off of the board on draft night.
However, that may change in the weeks leading up the draft. Vonleh has a lot of fans around the NBA and some teams are very high on the former Indiana big man. While his team didn’t experience much success during his lone collegiate season, he has all of the tools to be a spectacular NBA player.
Vonleh’s measurements and athletic testing wowed a lot of executives at the combine, where he measured in at 6’9.5 with a 7’4.25 wingspan and 9’0 standing reach. His max vertical was 37 inches and he had the largest hands of anyone in the draft class, and the second-largest hands of any player in NBA combine history.
He’s raw, but that’s expected for an 18-year-old who still has a lot of growing to do, on and off the court. His age is one of the reasons why he’s so attractive to teams, since he has a ton of upside and doesn’t seem anywhere close to reaching his ceiling.
Stretch fours are very popular in the NBA right now, and Vonleh has range out to the NBA three-point line. He has always been a great shooter, dating back to his high school days, and he has continued to work on this aspect of his game. He has also improved as a low-post scorer, but it’s still an area where he could use some work as he continues to develop his game.
At Indiana, he averaged 11.3 points and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 48.5 percent from three. Some executives believe his numbers could’ve been even better if he had been featured more in Indiana’s offense.
Don’t be surprised if Vonleh continues to climb in the coming weeks.
Steve’s Notebook: Things got interesting this week after NBA teams got an up-close look at top tier prospects Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. Al three skipped the Chicago NBA Draft Combine, so this was the first look teams had of them since their college season wrapped and in many cases it was the first time some teams saw them in person, although everyone drafting in the top 15 has been all over these guys for more than a year.
Embiid put all of his promise and amazing length on display. He attacked the basket aggressively. He did contact and jumping drills clearly designed to put questions about his back to rest. Teams they were there commented privately that Embiid looked as good as he could look, but that every expected that, what is still looming is what is his MRI looks like and how will team doctors view his back.
Embiid’s camp is still managing the process aggressively telling some teams if they want to see him they have to come to him. There is even more control being placed on who can see his medical materials.
It’s clear Embiid’s agent Arn Tellum wants to control where he lands in the draft which makes projecting him a clear cut number one pick a little tough. Cleveland is said to be “negotiating” a trip into Cleveland. While the Bucks are saying they may have to be “creative” if they want one on one time with the top level guys.
Parker put on a show in the same gym, showing his skill set for all to see. He was a better shape than many had expected as the word from Chicago during the Combine was that he was way out of game shape and had added anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds. Those estimates seem to be a little high. Its clear Parker has been going hard and his game stood out to those in attendance as the more polished and competitive of the three.
The sense that Parker could be the most ready to contribute of the three remains very real and he still has a large number of fans who suggest he could be the top pick once the Cavs get him in their gym.
Wiggins lived up to the hype which most wondered if that was possible. Wiggins is still viewed by most teams as the player that could be the brightest star of the bunch, but there are also concerns that his future stardom may be directly tied to where he is drafted. So there is some sense that he may not be a ‘one-size fits-all’ star, pairing him with the right coach and roster might be more important than some of the other top tier prospects.
While Wiggins is usually viewed an impact scorer, one aspect of his game that gets commented about the most among teams looking at him as a top level pick is the idea that Wiggins could become a very solid defender given his length and athleticism. Teams expect a learning curve on the offensive side, but there is a sense that Wiggins could be a very solid defender, even as a rookie.
While the “Big Three” did steal the attention of the league, some teams have started individual workouts.
Point guard Marcus Smart met with the Orlando Magic on Monday, and while the Magic are being very tight lipped about who they are meeting with, there is a sense around the Magic that players like Dante Exum may be gone before they pick at number four and Smart is viewed as very much on the board at number four depending on how things shake out.
The Magic hold the fourth and 12th pick as things stand today and are planning to work out as many as 30 players between those two selections.
2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock
What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.
What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.
Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:
2020 NBA Mock Draft – First Round – 08/21/2020
The 2020 NBA Draft order is now locked in, however, there are tons of additional questions to be answered in the coming weeks. Here is a look at the first round, in this Basketball Insiders Mock Draft.
To say the 2020 NBA Draft has been chaotic is an understatement, however with last night’s NBA Draft Lottery out of the way, things are starting to at least trend in a positive direction.
That doesn’t mean there are not challenges ahead, namely when the actual NBA Draft will take place.
There is a growing sense that the NBA and the players are going to push back the start of the next cap year, which will likely impact when and how the NBA Draft plays out.
Typically, the Draft is a major transaction window for NBA teams, and with so much unknown surrounding how the salary cap will be set, and when trades and transactions typically consummated around the draft would become official, there is a lot of uncertainty, making the 2020 NBA draft wide open on many fronts.
The hope among teams is that some clarity on all of this will surface in the coming weeks, but for now most teams are operating in uncharted waters.
With all of that in mind, here is a look at the 2020 NBA Draft First round, which will be the first of many weekly Mock Drafts we’ll be dropping all the way up to the draft, whenever that finally gets set.
The Basketball Insiders Annual Consensus Mock Drafts will begin in September, as will full 60-pick mocks starting next week, so stay tuned.
2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Final
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft, here is their final look at all 60 picks.
For the last seven weeks, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers have been breaking down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week they provided an updated mock draft that reflected how each writer saw the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts and information from the pre-draft process as well as a notebook, outlining each writers’ thoughts, observations and reporting on the draft.
Keep in mind we are trying to find commonalities, which is why it is called the Consensus. The writers involved do not see each other’s selections until these are posted. It is done deliberately to make sure each writer is not influencing the others.
Here is the Final Consensus Mock for the 2019 NBA Draft:
*** The 30th pick in the first round was traded to the Detroit Pistons, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 32nd pick in the second round was traded to the Indiana Pacers, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
***The 41st pick in the second round was traded to the Golden State Warriors, and the picks made reflect that trade, which will not happen until after the player is selected
Jesse’s Notebook Some recent trades, including the trades for Anthony Davis and Mike Conley, as well as a few other transactions have shifted the draft board yet again. First-round picks are being moved around after a period in which prying away a first-rounder from another team was basically a non-starter. With the way the last few days have unfolded, and with the Western Conference seemingly wide open, I am predicting there will be several major trades on draft night. Add in the uncertainty surrounding several star free agents, and it’s simply impossible to predict with much precision what will happen on Thursday. However, this is the sort of environment that excites fans almost as much as the actual playoffs and NBA Finals, and I am not one to complain.
What is interesting about this is the fact that this draft seemingly drops off a cliff (arguably) once we get to the ninth pick. It would be more understandable to anticipate major moves on draft night with a loaded class, but that simply isn’t the case this year. My draft board has moved around wildly throughout this process, and I am bracing myself to be off the mark on draft night. All it takes is one trade for things to get thrown off in a major way, and I am anticipating at least a few major moves.
Throughout this process, I was looking for a handful of players to grab my attention and never let it go. Last season, that player was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and I was very interested in seeing where Michael Porter Jr. would ultimately land given his talent and injury issues. That player never really emerged this year, however. I think Cameron Reddish is one of the more intriguing players in the class considering his talent and upside, but shaky college record.
I look forward to revisiting this draft a few years down the road. At least one general manager is going to get a steal somewhere in the middle or backend of the draft. Considering how comparable the talent is throughout the board once we get past the lottery, it’s hard to say who the steal of the draft may be. Again, I am fully prepared for draft night to go off script in a major way. I recommend all NBA fans do the same.
Drew’s Notebook After months of planning, the 2019 NBA Draft is finally upon us. And per the usual, the closer we get, the harder it is to differentiate between fact and fiction given the number of smokescreens generated by agents and teams.
The Grizzlies appear dead set on Ja Morant. And rightfully so considering they traded away Mike Conley. The Knicks have continued to do their due diligence having worked out Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland just yesterday – and those close to Garland say the interest is real. On the flip side of the Knicks’ decision, RJ Barrett claims to have made considerable improvements since we last saw him at Duke – take that with a grain of salt. But the Knicks still appear to be the first team with a real decision to make.
We also hear that Nassir Little could go as high as nine to Washington and that Sekou Doumbouya might have a guarantee from Orlando at 16. So watch out for those curveballs, too.
As far as teams looking to consolidate their picks are concerned, the Hawks have resisted the idea of packaging the eighth pick along with 10 and/or 17, which may prohibit them from moving up as high as they would prefer. Atlanta owned six picks coming into the draft process – 8, 10, 17, 35, 41 and 44. They’ve already dealt 41 to Golden State and 44 to Miami. We’ll see if they continue moving/consolidating picks in hopes of mitigating the number of rookies they bring into training camp.
We’ve also heard that the Celtics would like to package their picks to move up, but it seems as though they’ve struggled to gain any traction – probably because teams can’t accurately predict who will be available with their selections (the Celtics’ first selection is 14). Boston may have to wait for some names to come off the board before others decide if trading back for multiple selections is the right move.
Draft night will inevitably deliver a number of surprises to the Brooklyn crowd. I expect heavy trade activity tomorrow night in advance of another wild free agency period, beginning June 30.
Spencer’s Notebook The day is here, folks! Tonight marks the official date of the 2019 NBA Draft, which will begin potentially one of the most hectic summers the association has ever seen.
In past notebooks from different versions of our Consensus Mock, I surmised that much of the shakeout would depend on what happened with Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Well, that situation resolved itself this past week when the Los Angeles Lakers made a franchise-altering trade with the Pelicans to land “The Brow” in Hollywood.
New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin now holds significant draft capital, as the team has both the first and fourth pick in this upcoming class. He also swindled three more first-rounders along with The Big Easy’s new upstart talents in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Due to the abundance of young guard/wing talent, and multiple teams vying to trade up using different packages, there’s a reason for the Pelicans to deal away No. 4.
And because of the uncertainty of what will happen at that slot, it’s difficult to predict how the draft will ultimately shake out. For example, if New Orleans decides to hang onto it, they could take Darius Garland, or RJ Barrett (if he falls) or whomever they deem fits their organization. However, if a team like the Atlanta Hawks jumps the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, it could cause a domino effect that may completely alter everybody else’s plans.
Just in the past 48 hours, we learned about developments in New York. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Knicks brass is seriously considering Garland at No. 3 and worked him out Wednesday. Whether this is actual interest or a way to drive up an asking price for their draft pick in order to make a deal of their own, we don’t actually know. The same thing could be said for Cleveland, who despite having Collin Sexton, is intrigued by the dynamic point guard.
At this point in the process, the real information could differ completely from what’s being leaked. Smoke is already filling up the room. It’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in this year’s draft, especially when most people around NBA circles believe that, at the tail end of the lottery, there could be draft picks moved every which way.
This is like throwing a dart blindfolded. As I tweeted last night, we might be burning our mock drafts at the rate we rip up brackets in the month of March.
The Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks already moved their first-round picks in separate deals. That could only be the beginning. Who knows what the Hawks and Boston Celtics will do with three first-round selections in such a difficult class to differentiate player talent?
We won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Enjoy draft night, everyone!
Steve’s Notebook The 2019 NBA Draft is tonight in Brooklyn, New York, and while the suspense at the top of the draft board looks unchanged, there is a lot of potential for movement everywhere else.
As things stand today, Zion Williamson will be the top overall pick with almost no surprise there.
At number two, there continued to be talk last night that New Orleans was trying to pry the number two pick out of Memphis to grab Duke’s RJ Barrett, which would push Memphis back to the fourth spot and catching either Murray State’s Ja Morant or Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, after the Knicks select at three. While these talks remain fluid, it does not appear at this point there will be a deal, but as is true with all trades, the right combination of assets changing hands can often turn a “No” into a “Yes.”
The New York Knicks have done their fair share of waffling on what to do at number three. While RJ Barrett remains the odds on favorite, the Knicks did take a long look at Garland on Wednesday in New York, as well as having surveyed executives from other teams for their views on Barrett, which is common due diligence, but also shows there may be some doubt on the long-term fit of Barrett.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have also been busy working on trade scenarios that could include in the fifth overall pick, the partially guaranteed cap clearing contract of JR Smith and their second pick at 26. The narrative around Cleveland is that they want to build around last year’s pick Collin Sexton, but the potential availability of Garland could test that commitment. Since the NBA Draft Combine, the Cavs have been linked to Duke’s Cam Reddish in trade down scenarios. There has been a belief that if Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver is there at five, the Cavs may grab him and flip him to the Atlanta Hawks for either of the eighth or tenth picks and the Hawks pick at 17 which they obtained from the Brooklyn Nets.
As for some of the notable teams:
The prevailing thought is the Chicago Bulls are grabbing either Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter or UNC’s Coby White at 7.
The Washington Wizards seemed to have three guys in their sights: White, UNC’s Nassir Little and Limoges CSP’s Sekou Doumbouya.
The Hawks seem to be where Mega Bemax’s Goga Bitadze is going to land, likely at the ten spot.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are said to be extremely high on Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, although things could get interesting if Texas big man Jaxson Hayes is still on the board.
The Miami HEAT seem very open to trading their pick at 13, and there was talk in New York that Darius Bazley may be the HEAT’s guy, even as high as 13 if they keep the pick. The Pistons are also believed to be very high on Bazley.
The 2019 NBA draft is shaping up to be one of the turbulent drafts in recent years. A typical draft will have 15 to 18 transactions, most involving moving picks around. This year’s draft may double that when all the trade volume is done, so don’t get too attached to anyone your team may draft – they may not be there long.
More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .