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.
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Alex’s Notebook: This week, one of my big switches was having Skal Labissiere going No. 9 to the Toronto Raptors. Previously, I had Henry Ellenson in that spot, with Labissiere going No. 11 to the Orlando Magic. That could still happen – as the Magic do like Labissiere – but it just really seems like Skal is gaining momentum and could very seriously go top 10.
This weekend, Labissiere held his Relativity Sports Pro Day at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. While the workout was limited to one-on-zero, he displayed his skill set and raised eyebrows. Twenty-three teams sent representatives to the Pro Day, and nearly 60 NBA personnel people were in the building.
Labissiere made an effort to show off his NBA range, doing plenty of drills that had him shooting from the three-point line and even a bit behind it. He shot the ball well, and also showed off some nice moves like a step-back and turn-around.
His athleticism and length are off the charts. Quite frankly, this is the kind of setting where Labissiere thrives because there isn’t competition. There’s nobody to take advantage of his thin frame and he isn’t in game situations.
While it seems crazy to draft a guy top 10 based on just seeing him thrive in that environment, it happens all the time in the NBA and it’s because teams are in love with potential. Skal has a very, very high ceiling, which can erase a lot of concerns in draft rooms.
Here is video of Labissiere’s workout, so you can see for yourself how he looked (and listen to him explain his development, Kentucky experience, weight issues and more):
Joel’s Notebook: Fun fact: Steve Kyler loves to call me on the drive home from draft workouts to tell me how things are going. After covering back-to-back pro days in Florida this past week, he told me something interesting he kept hearing from people he’d speak to at these events: “After the top two players in the draft, the rest of the first round is a dart board.” There’s nothing crazy, for example, about Marquese Chriss going in the top five. There’s nothing crazy about Skal Labissiere landing in the top 10. There’s nothing crazy about anybody going anywhere, and I’ve already got a feeling that there will be five or more players selected in the first round that completely blow us out of the water, so I tried to include a few of those guys in this mock.
All that said, knowing that literally anything could happen in this draft, it shouldn’t surprise any of us when certain players rise and others drop for seemingly no reason. In this mock, I pushed Chriss up to No. 6 since so many other mocks seem to have him on the rise and there’s almost always that one guy every year who does exactly that. Labissiere got a jump this week, too, mostly because there will come a point when teams are judging ceiling over floor, and Labissiere still does boast one of the highest ceilings in this draft class.
On the other hand, there’s Jaylen Brown, who fell all the way to Milwaukee at No. 10, which could very well be a godsend for both parties involved. Jakob Poeltl has tumbled a bit for the second week in a row for me, which I can’t really explain, and Zhou Qi almost fell out of the first round completely this week.
It’s hard to say how this will play out, but we know enough at this point to know that the draft will be exciting and unpredictable – as it should be.
Moke’s Notebook: It’s funny how sometimes it seems that we are running around in circles. Based on some intel I’ve gotten over the past week, my top 10 looks radically different from last week.
I remember entering this season, Ben Simmons was the name that popped up most frequently when people mentioned prospects with “game-changing” abilities, and as the season progressed, Brandon Ingram seemed to close that gap to the point where some people expected him to supplant Simmons as the top pick (and some did have that for a while, actually). However, as the weeks have progressed, all indications are that the Sixers are leaning toward Simmons and will eventually select him – and it’s difficult to second-guess that decision.
Where this draft is really getting interesting, though, is at number three. Ingram and Simmons will go first and second, in some order, but what the Celtics do at number three will have a domino effect across the remainder of the first round. Over the past week, I’ve been getting conflicting information about Dragan Bender. If a team, such as the Celtics, takes Bender at number three, they are selecting him more because of what they believe he can be. Buddy Hield and Kris Dunn, on the other hand, are perceived as known quantities. And while neither may seem to be a fit in Boston due to their roster, remember: we once had the same thoughts of Stephen Curry, whom the Warriors selected despite having Monta Ellis and a few other guards on that roster. All that being said, most mocks have the Celtics taking a big man, but with Evan Turner expected to command a hefty payday this summer, I would not at all be surprised to see them opt for a wing. In that regard, Jaylen Brown makes a lot of sense, especially considering the dearth of small forwards in the draft. So I have Brown going to the Celtics at number three with that selection causing a ripple effect in my top 10. With a few of these placements, I put players where I thought they made the most sense.
For the Suns specifically, Bender might make some sense considering the young talents the roster already has. It may make sense to swing for a homerun, especially with Devin Booker and Alex Len having shown some signs last season. The remainder of my top 10 just seems to fit for a number of reasons.
In the lottery, there seems to be a consensus as to who the top 15 players selected will be, but there is nothing close to a consensus with the latter half of the draft. That is especially true as it relates to some of the international prospects. I believe that DeAndre Bembry, Demetrius Jackson, Juan Hernangomez and Diamond Stone will each provide incredible value taken in the latter half of the draft. Where this entire thing will blow up is an instance when a team that has one pick decides to take a flier on an international prospect. Imagine the outcome if the Pistons opted to select either Petr Cornelie or Thon Maker? Imagine.
The good news, though, is that we are nearing consensus in some key areas of the draft. And all I keep hearing from those in the know is that there is incredible depth here in the class of 2016.
Steve’s Notebook: Over the past weekend, two Pro Days were held in South Florida – one in Miami with Elite Skills Training and the other at IMG Academy with Relativity Sports. There were 20 NBA teams present for the first workout in Miami and 23 at the IMG workout.
While the lottery-level guys showed what you would expect, there were a few surprises and a lot of rumor mongering going on among the executives.
The biggest surprise was Juan Hernangomez. While he did not play against anyone, he did put his skills on display and he was impressive. His range all the way around the NBA three-point line was stellar. His aggressiveness around the basket in pad-contact drills was excellent. In talking with his agents, Hernangomez does not have a buyout in his contract so he’s free to come to a NBA team right away if that’s the best plan. Hernangomez also said he’d be fine staying in Europe another year or two if that’s the best plan. His skill and flexible attitude may make him hard to pass up in a fairly flat draft class. He has also been listed in various places as a small forward, which is not at all accurate. He’ll be a power forward in the NBA.
As for draft scuttle, there is a sense that Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin may already have a draft commitment. More than one team questioned the validity of the “concussion” that kept Baldwin out of his Pro Day in Chicago. At this point in the process, everything is over analyzed so take that for what it’s worth.
The L.A. Clippers have told a few agents that they are trying to move up in the first round and have been trying to get higher rated players in for workouts. It’s unclear exactly how the Clippers would move up or what they even have to offer, but as things sit today the Clippers are drafting at 25. The Nuggets have the No. 15 pick, while Boston has the No. 16 pick – both are second selections for those respective teams, so those are worth watching. The Clippers are believed to be looking for a small forward, but that’s the thinnest position in this draft class.
One name that took a beating this weekend was Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Dragan Bender. Long considered the third-best prospect in the draft, more and more teams said they would not consider him with their pick, pointing to all kinds of issues either with his style of play, his overall skill set or simply a lack of belief that Bender would be a special NBA talent. If there is one guy in the mix at the top of the board who could have a long draft night, it might be Bender. This could be a case of trying to lower the expectation bar or the typical driving down of draft value, but the sense from executives in both gyms was that Bender may not be the guy in the top five.
Here are six guys on the way up:
- Oklahoma’s Isaiah Cousins. Cousins had some strong workouts and could be firmly in the mix in the 35-45 range.
- Oregon’s Elgin Cook. He just had pins removed from a broken finger and is ready to start NBA workouts. He was impressive in his Pro Day and a few scouts said they thought he was viable in the 45-55 range and were eager to get him in their gym.
- Maryland’s Diamond Stone. Not only has he changed his body pretty aggressively, he has been doing well in workouts. Stone could be a sneaky play at the bottom of the first, but more than a few executives said he’s more likely to be among the next wave drafted in the second round in the 30s.
- Washington’s Marquese Chriss. There are some who say Chriss may be the highest upside guy on the board. The Celtics are said to be very high on Chriss and that’s creating some interest and buzz from others. Chriss could legitimately go as high as 3 to the Celtics.
- Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere. His Pro Day wasn’t much more than a glorified shooting drill, but NBA executives in the stands still admitted there was too much talent there for him not to get drafted really high. The question for Skal is where? The Orlando Magic met with Skal minutes after his workout ended and most pundits believe 11 to the Magic is his floor. The problem with that is Skal is scheduled to meet with virtually everyone from the second pick down to eight and is not likely to workout for anyone outside that range. There are two spots his camp sees as promising: Four to the Phoenix Suns (who are literally playing with house money because of what’s on their roster now) and seven to the Denver Nuggets (who were on hand for the Pro Day as well). In the end, 11 might be the most realistic spot for Skal, but for now his camp believes there is enough interest in the top eight that he makes this list.
- Syracuse’s Malachi Richardson. While he did not make my top 30, his name continues to generate a lot of positive buzz, so much so it’s going to be hard to keep him out of the first round going forward. The problem is no one seems to have a feel for where he lands. Some mock drafts have him going 15 to the Nuggets or to the Hawks at 24, while some have him sliding into the early second round. Richardson is clearly worth watching and his stock seems to be on the rise.
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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