Each week, four of Basketball Insiders’ top writers will break down the latest news and notes surrounding the 2016 NBA Draft. Included is an updated mock draft that reflects how each writer sees the draft landscape based on the latest news, workouts and information from the pre-draft process.
Alex’s Notebook: Former Utah center Jakob Poeltl has cracked the top 10 in three of our mock drafts this week, which isn’t very surprising considering he’s one of the best big men in this draft.
Last season, Poeltl averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting 64.6 percent from the field (eighth-best in the nation). Poeltl’s 31.1 Player Efficiency Rating was the ninth-best in the nation and first among prospects who are projected to go in the 2016 first round. He was also ranked eighth in the country in Effective Field Goal Percentage (.646) and 15th in Win Shares (6.8).
He made huge strides as a sophomore, not only emerging as the Utes’ go-to player, but becoming one of the most productive players in college basketball – as his advanced analytics suggest. He led Utah in scoring (nearly doubling his freshman average), rebounding and shot-blocking and was a major reason Utah won 27 games (including a victory in the NCAA Tournament).
At the moment, Poeltl seems like a lock to be selected in the lottery. Steve Kyler has Poeltl projected the highest of all our writers, slotting him in as the No. 6 overall pick to the New Orleans Pelicans.
At the NBA Draft Combine, Poeltl measured in at 7’1 in shoes with a 7’2.75 wingspan. While he weighs just 239 lbs. and will need to put on weight in the NBA, his 5.8 percent body fat was very impressive. All of these measurements show that Poeltl has a build that’s very similar to that of Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein (as our friends at DraftExpress noted).
Poeltl had plenty of dominant games throughout his sophomore campaign. Here were some of his most impressive performances:
- Against Temple, he had 32 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals while hitting 10-12 shots from the field and 12-14 free throws.
- Against BYU, he had 26 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks while hitting 11-16 shots from the field.
- Against #7 Duke, he had 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in just 28 minutes while hitting 8-11 shots from the field.
- Against USC, he had 29 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals while hitting 11-13 shots from the field.
- Against Fresno State, he had 16 points, 18 rebounds and four assists to help Utah advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Poeltl is a very intriguing prospect, so don’t be surprised to hear his name called sooner than later on draft night.
Joel’s Notebook: With four different teams owning three first-round picks (Boston, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Denver), I find myself struggling to figure out what, exactly, they’re going to do with all of those selections. As I’ve done these mocks, I’ve found myself using the third of those picks on a project or international player because it’s hard to imagine three rookies all making big influences on their new teams, but that led to me doing some really odd things this time around.
Denver, for whatever reason, got the oddest treatment this week. There’s no way they’re drafting Kris Dunn for themselves at No. 7 now that we know Emmanuel Mudiay is for real, but when Jamal Murray, Buddy Hield and Jaylen Brown all went right ahead of Denver’s pick at No. 7, I couldn’t justify passing on the most talented guy left on the board just because he didn’t fit a need. Dunn would absolutely not be happy playing behind Mudiay, and in fact he’d be wasted there, but I don’t see how else Denver could make the most of their pick at that point than to just pick Dunn. Ellenson, Davis, Labissiere and Poeltl represent a big drop-off for me.
Cheick Diallo at No. 19 is probably my biggest stretch this week, but it’s the third of Nuggets’ three picks and they can take a risk at that point. I’m of the belief that Diallo is actually really good and just couldn’t crack Bill Self’s vet-heavy rotation at Kansas after returning from his early-season suspension. Had he actually played this year, we’d probably be talking about him as a lottery pick, so him at #19 isn’t as crazy as it looks. He has a higher ceiling than Prince, Ulis and Johnson.
Ulis-Johnson-Beasley at 24, 25 and 26 would be amazing for the Sixers and Clippers, by the way. Any of those three could be the steal of the round if they drop that low.
Moke’s Notebook: Similar to last year, there still seems to be a bit of a split among the observers as to who will go first overall to the Sixers. Either way, at this point, we know who the top two selections will be in the draft – with most beginning to tab Dragan Bender as the consensus third pick. Where things get interesting, to me, is what transpires after that.
I have been a fan of Buddy Hield for quite some time and he is one of the players I have been mentioning as having the ability to crash the top five. The biggest wildcard in all of this, though, is what the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves do at four and five, respectively.
The Timberwolves seem to have a promising young core already, and I personally think Skal Labissiere would fit nicely next to Karl-Anthony Towns. Labissiere hasn’t been tabbed as a “top five” talent for quite some time, though, and drafting him over a player whose perceived value is higher (such as Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray) may be too risky of a proposition for Tom Thibodeau to co-sign with the exercise of his first pick as the head cheese in Minneapolis. Still, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of the Timberwolves reaching for Labissiere and completely destroying everyone’s first-round projections. The Pelicans are in a fairly decent position at number six and will likely take a wing player who can contribute in the areas where Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon have mostly failed.
Steve’s Notebook: Pro days are about to begin. This is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the NBA Draft process, just as it has become huge in the NFL. A pro day is agent-controlled access to draft eligible players and that starts with organized workout days where teams are invited to see those players work out in very controlled conditions. Those will get under way this week across the country.
To pull back the curtain on that a little, agents leverage team interest in upper-tier prospects to not only limit who gets access to those players, but also to showcase some of their other clients who may not be draft worthy or, in some cases, are current free agents.
The controlled nature of the workout is interesting because what agents are looking for is a stronger sense of who is genuinely interested, rather than sending their client on 15 or 20 individual workouts.
These controlled workouts are also a means for some agents to filter out undesirable situations. While agents play a big role in the process, there is still some selling even the agent has to do. Let’s say a team has a logjam at a position, but has expressed interest in the agent’s player. They can get face time with the player and explain to him how he’d fit in their situation. This becomes helpful for teams as they decide whether they would trade a player they already have to free up minutes for the prospect they want – if that player agrees to a workout and, more importantly, agrees to shut down his workouts with other teams in favor of a draft promise.
Which then bring us to the next part: the promise.
What most agents are seeking is a firm understanding of a player’s floor – the team that player will not get past on draft night. Knowing the lowest point a player could get drafted helps an agent shape a workout schedule so they can try to help that player’s stock.
Just because one team commits to drafting a player does not mean that player is guaranteed to go there, but it gives all involved a sense of things. More and more NBA teams are asking players and their agents to shut down workouts and access in exchange for the firm commitment.
Last year, the Thunder asked Cameron Payne to shut down workouts and, for the most part, he did. He only worked out for teams in the top 10 and did not meet with teams past the Thunder’s pick at 14.
Neither side is bound to a commitment; a team could change their mind if a particular player falls to them and there is always a chance a different team takes the player earlier than the promise. Players and their agents have to weigh if the fit is good enough to warrant shutting down workouts and meetings and if the situation is ideal enough to not try and move up.
The name of the game is to get drafted in the best situation possible, not only in terms of the rookie-scale deal, but in the long-term so the player can get a big pay day when it’s time for the first big contract.
While players want to be drafted as high as they can for a lot of reasons, finding the right fit has become more and more a part of the process even if that means they’re picked six or seven spots lower.
The gamesmanship of the draft is a big part of the process and, for many players, that will get underway seriously over the next few weeks.
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.
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