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: For the first time in these mock drafts, I put Ben Simmons first overall to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brandon Ingram second overall to the Los Angeles Lakers.
My thinking for quite some time was that Philadelphia already had a logjam of bigs, so Simmons may not have fit in there. Yes, I know, Simmons is a point forward who does most of his damage on the perimeter. But most people around the NBA still believe he’ll play the four and make plays from there.
I also believe that Simmons is at his best when he’s surrounded by offensive weapons so he can facilitate. Simmons is not a go-to scorer at this point, and I felt that’s what Philadelphia needed with this pick, which is why I had Ingram going to them. Ingram could give them an inside-outside scoring threat, while Simmons cannot (without drastically improving his jump shot).
I also thought this scenario worked out nicely for Simmons, who would then fall to the Lakers, where he’d be a star in an enormous media market surrounded by scorers like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams, Julius Randle, etc. Falling to two and being the potential face of the Lakers – which comes with a ton of exposure, endorsements, etc. – isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
So, that explains my previous thinking. However, now we’re hearing more and more that the Sixers are leaning toward Simmons over Ingram – and may even trade one of their other big men (Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid or Dario Saric) to make room for him. For now, I’m slotting Simmons to Philly, but a lot can still change between now and draft night.
Joel’s Notebook: Of the four mock drafts that we’ve done so far, this is the one that has vibed the best to me. Something about the way this lays out just seems to work, and while we all know how horrible I am at predicting things (see “50 NBA Predictions Revisited”), I can’t help but feel that there are a lot of picks here that make sense.
Buddy Hield to Boston would be a slam dunk, not only because he’d be an awesome fit in Boston but because if they do trade the pick he seems like exactly the player teams would trade up to grab. Seniors don’t usually go this high, but Hield is such a known commodity in a league that values three-pointers so much. It just fits here. Bender slips to five in this mock, and really he makes a lot of sense for Minnesota, who don’t have any gaping holes anywhere in their lineup. This is a place where that gamble makes sense for the player and the team.
Skal Labissiere to Milwaukee fits what they’re doing these days, too, with that long body and all that athleticism. They need help in the frontcourt, and at No. 10 there aren’t a lot of guys that boast the star potential Skal has, even if he is a massive risk. Jakob Poeltl, meanwhile, absolutely could slip all the way to Chicago at No. 14, and considering they could lose both of their centers this offseason, that would be a bit of a godsend.
I’d love Luwawu in Phoenix, Jackson in Memphis, Prince in Detroit, Baldwin in Indiana, Diallo in Boston, and the Beasley/Johnson combo to pair with Ben Simmons in Philly.
These guys can’t all be stars, but there’s a lot of players who can help make teams better in this draft. This particular mock helps out so many teams in a lot of obvious ways.
Moke’s Notebook: The more homework I do on the prospects entering the league this year, the more I realize that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding a number of players. Thon Maker, DeAndre Bembry and Tyler Ulis are each prime examples. If you go around and take a look at some mock drafts, you’ll see quite the disparity from one to the next. What it tells us, to be quite frank, is that correctly nailing a draft pick is incredibly difficult.
The biggest thing for me, as I’ve said, is to determine how the rising cap is going to impact some of these picks. Case in point: Skal Labissierre. Most people would think that the Toronto Raptors are set at the big man slot with the rise of Bismack Biyombo, but if the Raptors feel that they don’t want to break the bank for Biyombo (expect him to command $15 million per year), they may opt to draft the young Haitian from Kentucky.
One of the hottest players out there is Marquese Chriss, and though I see him cracking the top five elsewhere, I don’t see him supplanting any of my top six players. I think that Brandon Ingram, Ben Simmons, Dragan Bender, Kris Dunn, Jaylen Brown and Buddy Hield simply have too much perceived value to fall outside of the top seven, though I wouldn’t surprised to see them swap order.
The thing that may blow up everyone’s mock draft, however, is the fact that the Pelicans, from what I have heard, are intent on taking the best player available. That may or may not be a guard, depending on how the rest of the draft shakes out. For a while, I was sure they would seek a replacement for Eric Gordon, but that may not be the case.
The Knicks have been busy working out some prospects while some guys I expect to go undrafted are working out with a few clubs that have late first-round picks. Things are getting interesting, especially with just a few weeks to go before the draft.
Are you not entertained?
Steve’s Notebook: There are a few names in the 2016 NBA draft that are carrying a bit of negative luggage with them as they undergo the draft workout process. While NBA teams are very mindful about character and history, especially for first-round picks, teams do understand there are circumstances to understand and a number of guys are hoping to show teams they are more than they may have appeared to be in college and are trying to shake labels that may or may not fit.
Tim Quarterman’s season at LSU was as up and down as they come. Some of it was on him, he fell into the same trap some of the other LSU players fell into when their season came unglued. He watched as likely top overall pick Ben Simmons devolved into a me-first guy and Quarterman followed suit. Since leaving LSU, Quarterman has been training in Cleveland and Miami and has started to work out for teams.
League sources rave about Quarterman as a player, but struggle to understand Quarterman as a person. There are some that are approaching his draft status with an open mind, understanding that things went pretty bad at LSU internally and that everyone gets tainted with a season like they had.
Quarterman enters the process as a likely second-round pick, but teams at the bottom of the draft – specifically the Philadelphia 76ers – have expressed more than a passing interest. The Sixers recently had Quarterman in for workouts, where he did better than some expected, especially in a three-on-three setting.
Quarterman will take part in a Pro Day in South Florida this weekend, with the hope of gaining some traction on his draft stock, but more importantly try and shake the character issue label some teams have put on him.
Like Quarterman, Skal Labissiere’s season at Kentucky was not very good. Labissiere was heralded as one of the top overall talents coming into the college basketball season, but underwhelming games at Kentucky have many pundits doubting his viability as a high-level draft pick.
Sources close to the situation point to an almost toxic environment at UK this year, where things went from bad to worse for many guys as the team never came together and did not bond as well as previous Kentucky All-Star squads.
Labissiere in many ways became the poster child for Kentucky’s shortcomings and is routinely crushed in the court of public opinion.
Labissiere is also taking part in a Pro Day this weekend at the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton and is expected to draw a big crowd as NBA teams try to get a grasp on not only Labissiere the player, but understand what went so terribly wrong at Kentucky.
Labissiere put on a show in Chicago in a private workout, showcasing his amazing array of skills. His camp believes a strong showing this weekend combined with some positive and open meetings with teams can not only lock Labissiere into the top 10 of the class, but boost him into the top six to eight range.
Like both Quarterman and Labissiere, Diamond Stone’s season at Maryland left him with more questions surrounding him than answers.
Sources close to the process say Stone has been a sponge while training at IMG, taking to not only the skill and conditioning work, but getting himself on a balanced nutrition plan for the first time in his life.
Stone could end up being one of those sneaky picks toward the bottom of the first round and teams holding multiple picks have expressed more than a passing interest. Stone does not have a bad label, but a number of teams are struggling with where he fits in the draft class. Some say he is a 20 to 40 guy, others say he’s a second-rounder at best.
Stone has worked hard on his body and even more so on his game. Those around him say once his guard comes down, he’s an extremely smart guy with a real passion for basketball and getting better. The problem is Stone was underwhelming at Maryland and will have to overcome those labels in workouts and meetings.
No single player in the 2016 NBA Draft class is more of a mystery than Thon Maker. It’s not because NBA teams have not seen him, because he has been part of a number of high school showcase teams and his name has been floated around for a while. The mystery comes from most teams not knowing he was going to declare for this year’s draft. The plan for Maker was that he was going to do a college season and teams could really drill in on his game and make some decisions on what Maker really is.
There are two big issues with Maker. He’s been on the radar for a while and has not really improved as many would have liked. One scout said he’s basically the same player he was two years ago, leading many to doubt there is another level to his game. The other part is he is still rail thin physically.
Maker’s proponents point to the lack of real challenge over the last year leading to stagnation. The other comment some make is that he was in desperate need of serious pro training to break through, all of which could be true.
Maker has an intriguing mix of skills that’s one part Kevin Durant with a long and rangy three-point game, and another part Kevin Garnett with his long arms and length around the basket. While Maker has never exhibited either player’s fire and tenacity, there is an intriguing tool set that has teams curious.
Maker is one of those guys that could go in the teens or he could slide into the 40s; there’s just not a real consensus on him yet although he has been in to see a number of teams already and the feedback is still very mixed.
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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