With the NBA Draft Combine wrapped, and NBA teams well into the Pro-Day cycle, things are starting to take shape in the first round, not only with draft day promises being handed out, but with teams starting to zero in on needs and wants deeper into the draft pool.
Here are a few notes to consider, before we dive into this week’s 60-pick NBA Mock Draft:
While no draft is every as good or bad as it’s hyped to be, the 2019 NBA Draft may be one of the exceptions. In talking with league executives, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of enthusiasm outside of the top six to eight players. This could make things interesting as the draft plays out because historically teams have been able to trade around in the top 30, with some teams looking at a prospect favorably further down the board who also carries a lower guaranteed salary slot, that becomes meaningful for teams with an eye towards major free agents or salary cap flexibility. That may not materialize in this current draft pool, as it has in previous drafts.
There are a couple of names to watch as teams try and figure out the pecking order of the top 10. There is almost no scenario in which Duke’s Zion Williamson does not go number one overall. Murray State’s Ja Morant is also a virtual lock to go number two overall. At number three the prevailing thought is Duke’s RJ Barrett, either by a direct selection by the New York Knicks or as part of a trade down scenario with the Cleveland Cavaliers who have had Barrett earmarked for some time and may offer additional inducements to make a deal.
After those three are off the board Duke’s Cam Reddish, Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, Virginia’s DeAndre Hunter, and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver look to be the next wave of players – the question is in what order?
Teams will start working out lottery level players next week with the 2019 NBA draft scheduled for June 20th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Here is this week’s 60-pick Mock Draft:
Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.
The Boston Celtics were to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will not be conveyed.
The Atlanta Hawks were to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will not be conveyed.
The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will be conveyed.
The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will be conveyed; the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.
The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will be conveyed.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.
The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will be conveyed.
The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the final lottery drawing, that pick will be conveyed.
The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the final standings this pick would not convey. Given that the debt is not settled this year, the Bucks pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.
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