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2015 NBA Mock Draft: Consensus Ver 1.0

Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the 2015 NBA Draft, including a revised Mock Draft based on the latest information.

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Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2015 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.

Here is Consensus Version 1.0:

 

Yannis’ Notebook:

The Minnesota Timberwolves were in one of the least desirable positions in the NBA, in the midst of a horrific playoff drought with their lone superstar headed toward free agency and almost certain to leave for greener pastures. Then, to their great fortune, the Cleveland Cavaliers – equipped with the last two No. 1 picks – went into win-now mode with the arrival of LeBron James. That helped them turn their biggest problem, Kevin Love, into a bright future featuring the now reigning Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. And, because of all the injury issues they dealt with this year, they’re positioned with the best odds to win the draft lottery once again.

Should they win, there will be a ton of debate over who they should choose between Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor. Towns’ stock has gained a lot of steam after his strong finish to his freshman campaign; in fact, a lot of mock drafters have moved him into the top spot. Towns is certainly more versatile than Okafor and may even have more upside, however, for the Timberwolves the decision is pretty simple. Okafor, despite having a very similar skill set to Nikola Pekovic, is the one they need to invest in. Okafor is much more prepared to contribute from day one, an important factor for the struggling Timberwolves, and he has a long standing close relationship with Wiggins – perhaps the most important factor.

In today’s day and age, teams start positioning themselves to pluck away star players in free agency years in advance. With that in mind, the Timberwolves need to be diligent in their efforts to make sure that Wiggins, who clearly has the star power to lead them out of this dark era, especially with Okafor on his side, doesn’t start to feel like he’ll be better off elsewhere as Love did. Okafor is a perennial winner, fresh off of a NCAA national championship. He’ll help change the culture and make Wiggins’ work load much lighter immediately. As intriguing as Towns’ upside is, Okafor is ideal for the Timberwolves in every single aspect.

Joel’s Notebook:

This first one of these consensus mock drafts is always a little bit like driving in the dark, because with no workouts, no combine, no anything, really, to go off of, we’re all just kind of throwing darts in terms of which players we think will land in the lottery and in the first round in general. That said, here are a few opening thoughts on this year’s draft class:

1. Karl Towns, at this point, looks like the easy pick over Jahlil Okafor for the top overall selection. One looks dominant on both sides of the ball, and one doesn’t. In today’s NBA, that extra “rim protector” gear is important.

2. I’d take Emmanuel Mudiay over D’Angelo Russell or Justise Winslow if I were Philly GM Sam Hinkie. Mudiay is the mystery man, having played in China last season, but he’s a huge, 6’5 point guard with a much more well-rounded skill set than Michael Carter-Williams has. They traded him away because they hoped they’d get a kid like this. In fact, I’ve heard a few times that Mudiay might have been who they wanted all along. It’s not like they need any more bigs with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid in place.

3. Pick No. 5 might be too low for Justise Winslow. He could go third or fourth before this is all said and done. Already, he looks like this year’s meteoric riser, though Tyus Jones could do the same thing for himself during the workout/interview process this year. He’s an impressive kid who will be a steal if he falls out of the top 15.

4. Doesn’t Sam Dekker in Utah just feels like the perfect thing? He’s a sure-thing lottery pick at this point, and the Jazz could be a good fit for him. He’d fit well in Oklahoma City, too.

5. Providence’s Kris Dunn was one of my favorite draft eligible players this year, but he’s heading back to school. I would have had him right alongside Jerian Grant in that second tier of point guards this year. As it stands, the field at that position thins out quite a bit after Grant.

6. I’ve got Cliff Alexander pretty high, but considering he was predicted to be a top-three pick coming out of high school, a mostly disappointing year at Kansas can be overlooked. I think he falls somewhere in the 20s when everything is all said and done, and maybe closer to the teens than the 30s.

Alex’s Notebook:

It’ll be interesting to see what the Orlando Magic do with their selection. They are slotted to be the fifth pick at the moment, but they could always move up on lottery night.

The reason Orlando is an interesting team to watch is because they already have their center of the future (Nikola Vucevic) and backcourt of the future (Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo). Since the top four players in the draft are centers (Jahlil Okafor and Karl Towns) or guards (Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell), I’m curious to see who Orlando targets.

At the moment, I have them picking Justise Winslow. Since Rob Hennigan took over as the Magic’s general manager, he has targeted defensive-minded athletes and Winslow fits that description. He’s a two-way threat and his game reminds me of Jimmy Butler’s. I think putting Winslow alongside Payton and Oladipo (as well as Aaron Gordon as he continues to develop) could make Orlando a very scary defensive team and that seems to be their goal.

Tobias Harris is a restricted free agent this offseason and Orlando may let him walk if he receives a lucrative offer, and it’s very possible that the Magic will move Maurice Harkless this summer. Drafting Winslow makes a lot of sense since the he could either replace Harris or complement him since they are very different players. Winslow is the exact kind of player that Hennigan has fallen in love with during the pre-draft process in recent years.

One more option for Orlando could be to draft a rim protector. Down the stretch, the Magic realized that they need to put a shot-blocker next to Vucevic, who really struggles on the defensive end. This is why Orlando moved Dewayne Dedmon into the starting lineup late in the season. But it’s clear that Dedmon isn’t a starting-caliber big man, so it’s possible that Orlando will try to address this need with their first pick. Prospects like Towns (if they move up) or Willie Cauley-Stein could be targeted if they do decide to look at rim protectors. It’s worth noting that, at the moment, Vucevic is the only center set to be under contract for Orlando next season.

Finally, trading the pick is also a possibility since the Magic are already a really young team (eight of their players are 24 years old or younger) and they will enter the 2015-16 season with playoff aspirations. Perhaps moving the pick for a veteran could be their best move, but only if the right player becomes available.

Steve’s Notebook:

May the best man win. That’s how the second tier of point guards in the 2015 NBA Draft will play out.

The first two guards off the board will be D’Angelo Russell and Emmanual Mudiay – they are the 1A and 1B floor generals of this class.

The next bunch is basically the same quality of NBA player, with slightly different tool sets.

Jerian Grant looks to be more of a Kyle-Lowry-type guard at the next level. He’s bigger, stronger and slightly older than the rest of the bunch; not the typical point guard; more of a hybrid one-two type guard that’s proven.

Tyus Jones is the baby of the bunch. He’s young and a little more unproven than the rest, but has a lot of upside and could be a solid NBA point guard in time.

Cameron Payne is more of a scorer first. While he can certainly lead a team, he is a lot more like a Lou-Williams-type scoring guard with long arms and a tenacious, in-your-face kind of game.

Terry Rozier might be the most balanced of the bunch. He too is a hard-nosed player who’s good at either guard spot. His natural position is as a lead guard. He is great off the bounce and can score in bunches.

The problem NBA teams are going to face in figuring out an order for these guys is they are all sort of the same tier of player and none have a major flaw that should move them toward the back of the list.

This one really may come down to workouts. The best-case scenario is some head to heads, where each guy goes at each guy. However, that may not happen. The workout process has become so much about politics and working the system that a straight head-to-head match-up might not be allowed to happen by the players’ various agents.

This draft looks to have some interesting options for teams seeking a point guard and while the next tier may not have bona fide All-Stars, all four of these guys could be starters in the NBA or at least play a significant role on a team trying to win.

Who are these guys anyway? Steve Kyler is the Managing Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last 17 seasons. Alex Kennedy is a Senior NBA Writer and Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last seven years. Yannis Koutroupis is a Senior Writer and NCAA Editor for Basketball Insiders and has covered basketball for the last nine years. Joel Brigham is a Senior NBA Writer and has covered the NBA for the last 10years.

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Mock Drafts

2019 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 2019 NBA Draft.

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The 2019 NBA Draft lottery produced some unexpected results. Here are the results:

Version: 1.0 | 2.0

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 .

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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 2.0

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 2019 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 2019 NBA Draft. Each week you’ll see an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts, and information from the pre-draft process as well as a notebook, outlining each writers’ thoughts, observations and reporting on the draft.

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

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

Here is this week’s Consensus Mock:



Version: 1.0

Jesse’s Notebook: The NBA Combine is set to take place next week with 66 players expected to attend. Many of these players are going to scrimmage, take measurements, go through a variety of drills, and interview with teams. The Combine should provide a good amount of intel on these prospects that either isn’t available yet or has thus far been overlooked. This is also the time when teams will start giving more clues about their thoughts on certain prospects, what their respective teams are looking for and who is catching the attention of several teams. Oftentimes prospects start setting themselves apart and climbing team draft boards based on their performance at the Combine. On the flip side, some prospects are likely to start falling down team boards as new information is discovered. However, this is also a time where some players may get too much hype based on their measurements and other data points (let’s not forget the hype surrounding Luke Babbit after the 2010 Combine).

Mock draft boards are already all over the place and are sure to start shuffling even more as we move towards the Combine. However, the overall picture should start to become a bit clearer as prospects interview with teams, receive feedback, and as front office executives start making soft commitments to players and leaking out information about the players they have an eye on.

Spencer’s Notebook: In version two of our consensus mock draft, my top nine draft picks stayed the same as they were last week, but there was some slight tweaking otherwise.

As Steve said in the inaugural mock, predicting selections outside of the top slots is difficult. A good amount of teams could be picking for their need first and foremost rather than having a simple “best player available” approach. The picture will be a little clearer next week when we learn the results of the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14.

My most notable observation—there is an abundance of talented wings, raw and polished, in this 2019 NBA Draft class. Younger players such as RJ Barrett, Jarrett Culver, Cameron Reddish and De’Andre Hunter have the tools to succeed. However, finding the right organization to put those respective skill sets to use in the correct manner will be imperative to every one of them to reach their full potential.

Playoff teams are going to be able to add the more pro-ready prospects at that position, with multiple upperclassmen forwards who may be able to help right away – regardless of what team they end up with. Rui Hachimura, Cameron Johnson, Brandon Clarke, Matisse Thybulle and Grant Williams all fit the bill in that sense. While collegiate experience hardly compares to that of the NBA, the maturation of playing the game longer puts these guys ahead of the curve if you were to ask me.

Drew’s Notebook:Not much has changed since last week. The most noise we’ve heard in the last seven days is around accepted invitations to the NBA Draft Combine, as well as workouts. But fear not NBA fans, the Draft Lottery takes place this Tuesday with the Combine beginning the very next day. Things will definitely heat up soon!

With that being said, I spent a lot of time looking at the top teams in terms of draft order and thought a lot about their needs: the Bulls, Suns and Wizards could all be interested in adding a lead guard. This is, of course, an exercise in futility because we have not yet landed on a final draft order. Never the less, this led me bump Darius Garland up a few spots. I think he is extremely NBA-ready. And while a little undersized, he has an IT factor that most prospects at his level do not possess (excluding Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett). Garland could develop into Kyrie Irving-type of player, or he could end up closer to D.J. Augustin. But I really like his confidence and how he moves with the ball. And until the Draft Lottery dictates the final order on 5/14, I’ve got to arrange prospects by my feelings on overall talent.

Another guy I plan to plan to study more closely is Sekou Doumbouya. I was compelled to drop him a few spots after watching more film of him over the weekend, but his youth (18 years old) and perceived versatility indicate that he’ll grow into an effective NBA player, assuming he’s given the proper time and resources to develop. And potential is just as important (if not more) as refined skill. I’m excited to see what, if anything, we can learn about Doumbouya at the Combine.

Tuesday, May 14 can’t get here soon enough.

Steve’s Notebook: The invite list of the 2019 NBA Draft Combine is out, and 66 players accepted the NBA’s invite to take part in the NBA’s annual draft showcase event. It’s important to note that there are three types of invitations; the first is extended to those players expected to go in the top 20, which does not require participation in the on-court portion of the Combine. Those players will undergo medical testing and face to face interviews with teams. The next group will do the same medical and interviews but are also expected to participate in the on-court portion as well. The third tier are those players willing to be last minute alternates in the event players pull out.

This year the NBA is holding a G-League event for draft-eligible players, just prior to next week’s Combine, the NBA has pledged the possibility of a full Combine invite to players that stand out among those additional 40 plus players that were invited to participate.

Why is a Combine invite important? In a typical year, more than 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted, making the Combine list a pretty solid barometer on who is legitimately in the draft discussion.

There are two notable players that declined the NBA’s invitations, the first being Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Washington’s Matisse Thybulle.

While it is not uncommon for players to bypass the Combine, especially if the players is all but assured to be drafted, it also usually signifies a player may have a draft commitment they are comfortable with making the dog and pony show of the Combine less desirable.

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th, with the Combine itself getting underway on Wednesday with face to face team interviews.

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

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

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Mock Drafts

2019 NBA Consensus Mock Draft – Ver 1.0

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 2019 NBA Draft.

Basketball Insiders

Published

on

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

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

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

Here is this week’s Consensus Mock:



Jesse’s Notebook: The Draft Lottery is still two weeks away, so it’s somewhat difficult to put together a mock draft that feels completely well-grounded. This is especially the case with this year’s draft class, which features a consensus No. 1 pick in Zion Williamson but little else in terms of clarity. There are notable individual talents in this class, but a large range of opinions on what order these prospects should be drafted.

Considering this, I predict that team-fit will have a bigger influence on this draft class than previous classes, which have often featured more than a handful of top-tier prospects. For example, many scouts, talent evaluators and members of the media rank R.J. Barrett as the second best player in the draft and list him as likely to be drafted second overall. However, the Suns have a glaring hole at point guard, which means Phoenix might favor Ja Morant over Barrett in a scenario in which they have the second pick in the draft. The point here is that teams will likely be giving considerable weight to how players fit on their respective rosters starting as early as the second pick in the draft.

It’s always fun to dissect every bit of new information and adjust mock drafts in the weeks leading up to the draft. And for many NBA fans, it’s fun to engage in that process and pick apart the mock drafts of writers and journalists who cover the league. This summer should be an especially good year for fans to do so considering how different each writer’s mock draft boards will look compared to others. So be sure to stop by Basketball Insiders frequently to keep up with our mock drafts and give us your feedback on Twitter.

Spencer’s Notebook: The best time of the league year is here! While the remaining teams in the postseason continue to battle it out for a chance at a championship opportunity, those who aren’t in the dance are gearing up for a chance to add new talent to their respective franchises via the NBA Draft.

We might not be sure who lands where in the lottery as of yet—we’ll know on May 14 officially—but whatever ball club draws the first overall selection is a shoo-in to take Duke superstar Zion Williamson.

Williamson is not just a highlight reel, he’s the real deal. Though the freakish combination of power and athleticism captures everyone’s attention, it’s the intelligence and natural playmaking ability that will guide him at the next level. With the association trending towards higher possessions and more scoring in transition opportunities, the 6-foot-9 phenom will thrive with whatever team brings him in.

On to the remaining notables in this lottery—I went with Coby White to the Chicago Bulls at four because of their inconsistency at point guard. He’s a facilitator that can open up the floor due to his threat to score inside and make shots on the outside.

My favorite part of putting this together was adding two top-five worthy picks to the growing core of the Atlanta Hawks. After a sizable leap in his sophomore season at Texas A&M, Jarrett Culver proved to be one of the most sought-after wings in this entire draft class. His length is a matchup nightmare for any team, as is his ability to put it on the floor and get to the line.

Along with Culver, I have Travis Schlenk taking a flier on Oregon’s Bol Bol. The luxury of having two lottery picks is being able to take risks. The 7-foot-2 big man displayed flashes of greatness with his versatility on both ends. He’s able to move and handle the ball exceptionally well for a player his size, can knock down jump shots and, obviously, protect the rim. He’ll need to bulk up more and, unfortunately, he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and only played nine games. But if the success of Joel Embiid—who had the same exact injury in the other foot in 2014—has taught us anything, it’s to be patient and trust the process.

Drew’s Notebook: With the NBA Draft Lottery only two weeks away, front offices around the league are in serious exploration mode, familiarizing themselves with all of the prospects eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft.

And speaking of prospects, lots will change regarding how they are viewed thanks to the NBA Draft Combine, which is set to run from May 15-19 in Chicago. It’s worth noting that while the combine commences on May 15, teams can begin private workouts before the combine. For example, the Atlanta Hawks began workouts on April 30, kicking things off with a six-player workout headlined by Nevada forward Jordan Caroline.

The next big date to keep an eye on following the combine is May 29, which is the withdrawal deadline for all prospects who would like to maintain NCAA eligibility. By May 30, we will all have a much clearer picture of who will go where. Until then, the only (almost) certain thing about the 2019 NBA Draft is Zion Williamson will be selected first overall by whichever team wins the lottery.

Steve’s Notebook: The 2019 NBA Draft looks to be a little unpredictable; outside the top 3 or 4 players, the next 20 players could go in a wildly unexpected way, mainly because NBA teams do not few this draft class the same way, and a lot of the notable players are viewed as a little interchangeable. For example, how much of a difference is there at the next for UNC’s Coby White and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver? It will come down to the team selecting and not some perceived gap in skill, potential or ability.

The same seems to be true of Texas’ Jaxson Hayes, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford. Hayes looks like the best of the group and more likely to come off the board first. However, what’s coming from teams – is they view a lot of these guys in the same group and are looking for them to go head-to-head to settle some of the debate on who could be the better long-term pro and ultimately a draft pick.

There are also some guys to watch in terms of stock dropping.

There are real medical concerns on Oregon’s Bol Bol; teams will want a long look at his medical. The belief from scouts and executives is that if he were healthy, he’d be a top 10 prospect, but with the navicular injury and his tremendous size, there is a desire to fully understand where he really in his recovery is before some teams would commit to him.

UNC’s Nassir Little is a mixed bag among NBA scouts, some point to his tremendous high school career as a reason to believe, but his underwhelming season at Carolina has impacted how teams view him. He will need to answer a lot of questions for teams in the workout process. The current read is that Little could go anywhere from 15 to 35. Workouts and personal interviews could go a long way towards cementing what side of that range he really lands.

Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey is another name to watch. The word around NBA teams is that he may pull out of the 2019 NBA Draft if he does not get feedback at the NBA Combine suggesting he’d go in the first round. Word has it that his camp is looking for the ideal situation, and a soft promise might keep him in the draft. If teams are non-committal, he may pull out.

There are also some names projected lower in this draft that could surprise.

Virginia’s Kyle Guy has some fans. He could be one of the guys that could go 8 to 10 picks higher than his currently projected range. International guard Henri Drell could go late in the first round or early in the second round. It seems he has fans among teams holding multiple picks.

Washington State’s Robert Franks has had some teams in to see him recently, and the buzz on his is really positive. Franks is currently projected in the middle of the second round. However, there are some teams late in the first that seems to be very high on him; a solid workout schedule could garner a draft promise.

It is important to note that there are two different types of commitments teams give players – the first is the hard fast guarantee of selection. This usually accompanies a player shutting down workouts with other teams. In a typical draft, there are usually three or four of them made per draft.

The other is the soft commitment, which usually means a team pledged to draft the player, assuming the draft plays out as expected. This is a little riskier for the player in terms of shutting down workouts, because if the right player falls, they could be left without a chair.

Why do teams do these things – control and certainty. The draft is very unpredictable, and if a team is sold on a specific player, locking them in allows them to focus on other things in the transaction window. Because a team commits to a player, does not preclude a team higher up from drafting that player, they may not get the chance to work that player out.

Most smart agents will explain to their player that finding the ideal fit matters way more to a long NBA career than going one or two spots higher and getting that guaranteed floor, allows for the player to focus on being ready for Summer League and ultimately training camp.

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

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

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