"We're going to Disney World!" NBA to resume season July 31 at WDW

I just looked up a bunch of 2018 mock drafts, here's where he went:

4th (SI)
3rd (NBA Draft Room)
3rd (Business Insider)
3rd (BR)
2nd (NBA.com)
2nd (Forbes)
3rd (CBS Sports)
2nd (ESPN)
3rd (WaPo)
3rd (NBC Sports)
3rd (USA Today)
2nd (The Athletic)

Ayton was the consensus #1, nearly no one had Luka going first (no one with a column, anyway). Everyone mentions his playmaking, size and incredibly high floor, but plenty worried that his athleticism would keep him from being a superstar, which is what everyone is looking for with the #1 pick. That's not to say that the GMs who passed him over shouldn't pay the price, but it is 100% revisionist history to pretend that he was the surefire #1 and teams were reaching taking Ayton and Bagley (and Young, sort of) over him.
Wasn't Ayton the consensus #1 in most of these mocks because everyone knew Phoenix needed a big and was likely to pick him, rather than because the evaluators necessarily thought he was the best player? (That's usually how mock drafts work.)
 

Kliq

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Luka blew past his “ceiling” of Toni Kukoc before he hit legal drinking age. :)
HRB starts off the thread really high on Luka and then slowly loses faith in him over the course of the year until proclaiming him like, the 10th best player on his board. It was like watching a straight A student start to dabble with pot and by the end he is strung out on the street corner.
 

Euclis20

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Wasn't Ayton the consensus #1 in most of these mocks because everyone knew Phoenix needed a big and was likely to pick him, rather than because the evaluators necessarily thought he was the best player? (That's usually how mock drafts work.)
Generally teams don't draft for need when they have the 1st pick (not since the Jordan, anyway). If they don't need the player who is the consensus #1 they trade out. That said, here are some of the top prospect rankings from 2018 (from what I could find from those who differentiate between rankings and mock draft).

SI: Ayton
Business Insider: Ayton
ESPN: Ayton
Sporting News: Luka
CBS Sports: Ayton
WaPo: Ayton
BR: Luka
The Ringer: Luka

Luka isn't shut out (I didn't look much further than the first page of google results), but Ayton is still the choice for most people. In retrospect it looks foolish (drafting a center 1st overall who can't hit the 3 and is bad on D? What decade is this?) but for plenty of reasons, it was what most people thought at the time.
 

nighthob

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Wasn't Ayton the consensus #1 in most of these mocks because everyone knew Phoenix needed a big and was likely to pick him, rather than because the evaluators necessarily thought he was the best player? (That's usually how mock drafts work.)
He was the consensus #1 before anyone knew Phoenix was going to be drafting first. Put simply you don’t often find guys with his combination of size/length/athleticism/power with the skill set to be a force in the modern NBA. He had Embiid type upside, and it’s understandable that Phoenix gambled on him.

Bagley is a more complicated evaluation, he reminded people a lot of Garnett, though, which is why he was so highly regarded. But foot injuries in bigs are always worrisome. I was surprised that the Kings passed on Doncic, though. He seemed made for that squad.
 

lovegtm

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Lonzo Ball? Are you serious with that comp? Doncic was never going to be Lonzo Ball. He was always going to be a much better scorer.
I’m pretty serious. I agree Luka was going to be able to score better, and Ball was always likely to be the better defender. The point, however, is that a lot of people were higher on Ball than Luka before their respective drafts, and that the things that now make Luka wayyyy better were far from slam dunks at draft time.
 

JCizzle

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Pelicans are a bummer. I thought they might use the bubble to come out firing, but it's just not clicking for them. The Spurs enter halftime on pace to score ~120 and up by 18.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Pelicans are a bummer. I thought they might use the bubble to come out firing, but it's just not clicking for them. The Spurs enter halftime on pace to score ~120 and up by 18.
Their defense is abysmal and Zion doesn’t look like the same guy.

Derrick White just went down with a non- contact knee injury, which would be a tough blow for the Spurs chances of taking the 8th spot.
 

Jimbodandy

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around the way
I just looked up a bunch of 2018 mock drafts, here's where he went:

4th (SI)
3rd (NBA Draft Room)
3rd (Business Insider)
3rd (BR)
2nd (NBA.com)
2nd (Forbes)
3rd (CBS Sports)
2nd (ESPN)
3rd (WaPo)
3rd (NBC Sports)
3rd (USA Today)
2nd (The Athletic)

Ayton was the consensus #1, nearly no one had Luka going first (no one with a column, anyway). Everyone mentions his playmaking, size and incredibly high floor, but plenty worried that his athleticism would keep him from being a superstar, which is what everyone is looking for with the #1 pick. That's not to say that the GMs who passed him over shouldn't pay the price, but it is 100% revisionist history to pretend that he was the surefire #1 and teams were reaching taking Ayton and Bagley (and Young, sort of) over him.
This.

I remember well that there were people here that were 100% convinced that Doncic was the guy, but it was very far from consensus here or elsewhere. Those who were sure deserve their time spiking the football.
 

amfox1

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MEM loses to TOR. SAS beats NO. POR beats PHI.

***

EC 4-6 seeds*

MIA 43-27 (IND, OKC, IND)
IND 43-27 (MIA, HOU, MIA)
PHI 42-28 (PHX, TOR, HOU) - 1.0 GB

*In the event that MIA and IND finish with the same record, MIA wins the tiebreaker. PHI loses tiebreakers with MIA and IND.

WC play-in game

MEM 33-38 (BOS, MIL)
POR 33-39 (DAL, BRK) - 0.5 GB
SAS 31-38 (HOU, UTA) - 1.0 GB
PHX 31-39 (OKC, PHI, DAL) - 1.5 GB
 
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Royal Reader

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I just looked up a bunch of 2018 mock drafts, here's where he went:

4th (SI)
3rd (NBA Draft Room)
3rd (Business Insider)
3rd (BR)
2nd (NBA.com)
2nd (Forbes)
3rd (CBS Sports)
2nd (ESPN)
3rd (WaPo)
3rd (NBC Sports)
3rd (USA Today)
2nd (The Athletic)

Ayton was the consensus #1, nearly no one had Luka going first (no one with a column, anyway). Everyone mentions his playmaking, size and incredibly high floor, but plenty worried that his athleticism would keep him from being a superstar, which is what everyone is looking for with the #1 pick. That's not to say that the GMs who passed him over shouldn't pay the price, but it is 100% revisionist history to pretend that he was the surefire #1 and teams were reaching taking Ayton and Bagley (and Young, sort of) over him.
Mocks are to a large degree attempts to predict the draft, rather than straight rankings of best prospects, right? I just looked at the Ringer draft prep stuff - Ayton was mocked first, but all three of their Big Boards (KOC, Tjarks, Chau) had Doncic #1 in the individual ranker's opinion. My personal recollection is similar - a lot of media types felt that Doncic should go number one, but Ayton would. This article suggests that ESPN had Doncic #1 going into the draft, though they'd had Ayton and Porter Jr top at different points in the lead up. Also points out that there was lots of disagreement around the league as to who the best prospects were. Ayton was mocked number one all the time because it was clear the Suns were taking him.
 

JCizzle

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Their defense is abysmal and Zion doesn’t look like the same guy.

Derrick White just went down with a non- contact knee injury, which would be a tough blow for the Spurs chances of taking the 8th spot.
Pels are making a run, but I agree on Zion. Dude looks huge too. KOC was making a point on one of his recent pods that Zion doesn't look like the same defender he was at Duke.
 

Euclis20

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Mocks are to a large degree attempts to predict the draft, rather than straight rankings of best prospects, right? I just looked at the Ringer draft prep stuff - Ayton was mocked first, but all three of their Big Boards (KOC, Tjarks, Chau) had Doncic #1 in the individual ranker's opinion. My personal recollection is similar - a lot of media types felt that Doncic should go number one, but Ayton would. This article suggests that ESPN had Doncic #1 going into the draft, though they'd had Ayton and Porter Jr top at different points in the lead up. Also points out that there was lots of disagreement around the league as to who the best prospects were. Ayton was mocked number one all the time because it was clear the Suns were taking him.
I'm sure some do that, but mocks are part best prospect ranking, part predicting who will be picked, and part saying who SHOULD be picked. No need to overthink this one: Most outlets had Ayton as the best prospect, Ayton as the player the Suns should pick, and Ayton as the player the Suns WOULD pick. Most people just missed on Luka having legit MVP upside, let alone getting to that level before age 21. Some people definitely got it right (the Ringer types being foremost among them) but it's pretty fair to say that Ayton was at the top of most boards, regardless of their purpose.
 

Royal Reader

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4th (SI) SECOND
3rd (NBA Draft Room) (Couldn't find a big board)
3rd (Business Insider) SECOND
2nd (NBA.com) SECOND
3rd (BR) FIRST
2nd (Forbes) (No board)
3rd (CBS Sports) FOURTH
2nd (ESPN) FIRST
3rd (WaPo) SECOND
3rd (NBC Sports) SECOND
3rd (USA Today) (no board)
2nd (The Athletic) SECOND

In caps are where the outlet produced a big board or explicit prospect ranking, which tells a different story. Nearly all the outlets had a "top tier" which contained only Ayton and Luka. Only CBS I could find that had Bagley over Luka (and they also had Bamba ahead of Bagley). Taking Ayton was defensible, Bagley only so in so far as there were strong rumors that Doncic wasn't willing to go there.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Taking Ayton was defensible, Bagley only so in so far as there were strong rumors that Doncic wasn't willing to go there.
Even if there were rumors Doncic wouldn’t have played in Sactown, the smart move was still to make a deal like Atlanta did, trading down a spot or two and picking up a future pick for your trouble to take the same guy you wanted anyways.
 

BigSoxFan

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Whether or not it was semi-accidental, Ainge nailed this non-move. What an albatross that contract would have been.
Yes, I didn’t want that contract but...I don’t really want Kemba’s either. Might ultimately be close to a wash from a pure value standpoint.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Yes, I didn’t want that contract but...I don’t really want Kemba’s either. Might ultimately be close to a wash from a pure value standpoint.
I wonder if Brogdon was ever a possibility. Would have been a really great fit and much cheaper.

In other news, Jabari Parker getting some run against the Rockets. On his 5th team, woof. I’m old enough to remember when I thought he could be the next Paul Pierce.
 

BigSoxFan

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I wonder if Brogdon was ever a possibility. Would have been a really great fit and much cheaper.

In other news, Jabari Parker getting some run against the Rockets. On his 5th team, woof. I’m old enough to remember when I thought he could be the next Paul Pierce.
Yeah. Most of my Kemba concerns are health related and his size/age. Don’t fault Ainge for getting him but he’s going to be a very expensive 3rd or 4th option for the duration. Just have to hope the knee issue doesn’t linger.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I wonder if Brogdon was ever a possibility. Would have been a really great fit and much cheaper.

In other news, Jabari Parker getting some run against the Rockets. On his 5th team, woof. I’m old enough to remember when I thought he could be the next Paul Pierce.
What even happened to jabari. He shoots a high percentage and seems capable of being an efficient 20 ppg scorer. Is his defense horrible? Or is it something else. I haven’t paid enough attention to his career to know
 

Jed Zeppelin

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What even happened to jabari. He shoots a high percentage and seems capable of being an efficient 20 ppg scorer. Is his defense horrible? Or is it something else. I haven’t paid enough attention to his career to know
Two ACL tears in the same knee. The injury is bad enough but losing that crucial development time in the first 3-4 years is just brutal.

I feel like questions about his motor have followed him sense Duke. People also thought he was a tweener but his size and theoretical skill set would be perfectly good for a modern 4 of his range developed.

Not a great sign that he has bounced around 4 awful teams since leaving Milwaukee. Still just 25, maybe there is some hope yet.
 

nighthob

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What even happened to jabari. He shoots a high percentage and seems capable of being an efficient 20 ppg scorer. Is his defense horrible? Or is it something else. I haven’t paid enough attention to his career to know
He was never willing to put in the rehab work. He got his first knee injury in high school and put on about 30lbs, and not in a good way. The injuries just continued to pile up from there.
 

Kliq

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Jabari vs Wiggins has been a fascinating competition and has swung back and forth multiple times; it is very similar to the Winston vs Mariota debate.

I've always liked Jabari's skill set, but the injuries combined with a lot of effort/conditioning questions have submarined his career. When John Collins was out at the start of this year Parker was pretty decent as fill-in starter, averaging 26 mpg and averaging 15-6 and shooting 50% from the floor. Collins came back, his minutes went down and he got shipped to Sacramento.
 

Imbricus

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What an albatross that contract would have been.
The signs were there on Horford. His last year with the Celtics, he was noticeably getting worn down. I remember how spry he would look after 3 days rest. That probably told Ainge that he was no longer built for a starting role and a full NBA season.
 

amfox1

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OKC-PHX at 2:30pm ET today, MIA-IND at 8pm

EC 4-6 seeds*

MIA 43-27 (IND, OKC, IND)
IND 43-27 (MIA, HOU, MIA)
PHI 42-28 (PHX, TOR, HOU) - 1.0 GB

*In the event that MIA and IND finish with the same record, MIA wins the tiebreaker. PHI loses tiebreakers with MIA and IND.

WC play-in game

MEM 33-38 (BOS, MIL)
POR 33-39 (DAL, BRK) - 0.5 GB
SAS 31-38 (HOU, UTA) - 1.0 GB
PHX 31-39 (OKC, PHI, DAL) - 1.5 GB
 

bigq

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The signs were there on Horford. His last year with the Celtics, he was noticeably getting worn down. I remember how spry he would look after 3 days rest. That probably told Ainge that he was no longer built for a starting role and a full NBA season.
Worn down to a nub because CBS continuously played him at the 5. @benhogan pointed it out many times. ;)
 

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Their defense is abysmal and Zion doesn’t look like the same guy.

Derrick White just went down with a non- contact knee injury, which would be a tough blow for the Spurs chances of taking the 8th spot.
Last 3 games Zion is scoring 24 ppg in just over 24 minutes, with 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Before the bubble he was 23 ppg in 29 minutes, 6.5 boards and 2.1 assists. But his +/- has fallen off a cliff from pre-bubble.
 

Euclis20

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Last 3 games Zion is scoring 24 ppg in just over 24 minutes, with 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Before the bubble he was 23 ppg in 29 minutes, 6.5 boards and 2.1 assists. But his +/- has fallen off a cliff from pre-bubble.
Yeah, understatement. In 5 games in which his team was outscored by 39 (1 win in 5 games) his +/- was -97 in about 103 minutes. In the one game he didn't play, they won by 11 (against the Wizards, granted). A guy with his athleticism, strength and basketball IQ shouldn't be this bad on defense, ever.
 

amfox1

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PHX beats OKC. MIA-IND tonight. No Embiid for tomorrow's PHX-PHI game.

EC 4-6 seeds*

MIA 43-27 (IND, OKC, IND)
IND 43-27 (MIA, HOU, MIA)
PHI 42-28 (PHX, TOR, HOU) - 1.0 GB

*In the event that MIA and IND finish with the same record, MIA wins the tiebreaker. PHI loses tiebreakers with MIA and IND.

WC play-in game

MEM 33-38 (BOS, MIL)
POR 33-39 (DAL, BRK) - 0.5 GB** (note: POR will play 74 games, MEM/PHX/SAS will all play an odd number of games; therefore, POR will not be subject to tiebreakers)
PHX 32-39 (PHI, DAL) - 1.0 GB***
SAS 31-38 (HOU, UTA) - 1.0 GB

**If POR wins both games, they will be in the play-in game as the 9th seed if MEM wins both games and as the 8th seed if MEM loses at least 1 game, regardless of PHX/SAS.
***PHX needs to win both and have POR and SAS lose at least 1 game to make the play-in game. If this happens and MEM wins at least 1 game, PHX would be the 9th seed; if MEM loses both games, PHX would be the 8th seed.
 
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amfox1

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MIA beats IND. If MIA wins one of its last two games, they are guaranteed not to be the #6 seed.

EC 4-6 seeds*

MIA 44-27 (OKC, IND)
IND 43-28 (HOU, MIA) - 1.0 GB
PHI 42-28 (PHX, TOR, HOU) - 1.5 GB
 

jmcc5400

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The Lakers celebrating a buzzer beating win over Denver's bench rotation of second rounders like they just won a Game 7. Gross.
 

Kliq

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Denver is an interesting matchup for LA, they are really big and can match the the Lakers size up front and keep them from dominating the glass.

If they get good Jamal Murray in the playoffs, and Porter Jr. can score 20+ a game by creating his own shot, and they can get a few big games from their bench mob, they can beat anyone in a series.

The way they use Bol is fascinating. He is just a super sized wing they run of screens and play with a traditional big man.
 

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Bol's passing has been a revelation.

The level of play has been really high of late. As Shaq notes, not being on the road in Miami or NY etc really keeps a lot of these guys fresh and focused on hooping.