- There is little clarity about how the NBA Draft will shake out on Thursday.
- With only the first pick looking certain, many NBA insiders expect there to be chaos in the first round.
- The draft is considered deep and talented, and many teams will be looking to move up or down, creating the potential for some big trades and player movement.
The NBA Draft is Thursday, and more than past years, it seems like the NBA world could be in for a wild ride.
Arizona center Deandre Ayton has been pegged as the top pick for the Phoenix Suns for weeks, but below him, much is still uncertain.
Several members of the NBA world have suggested that even league insiders don’t have a grasp for how the draft will play out.ESPN’s Zach Lowe tweeted, “Opinions on this draft seem unusually all over the place from team to team.”
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor tweeted that there could be “absolute chaos.”
The sense I get from chatting with executives and agents is there's far more uncertainty entering the NBA Draft than usual. So many teams are open to moving up, down or out. No consensus outside the lottery. It's gonna be absolute chaos. I'm pumped and jacked for it.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 20, 2018
The Sacramento Kings in some ways are the X-factor to the entire draft. With the second pick, the Kings are reportedly leaning toward Duke big man Marvin Bagley III. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony noted on “The Lowe Post” podcast that Bagley is one of the few top prospects who worked out for the Kings, which means something for the moribund franchise.
However, to most NBA draft experts, Bagley may not be the second-best prospect. Many think Slovenian point-forward Luka Doncic may still be the best player in the draft, and though the Kings are reportedly not that high on him, some believe it could be a smokescreen. The Kings are also interested in Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., one of the most talented prospects in the draft, but a player whose medical issues may scare some teams away.
Depending on what the Kings do at No. 2, it will affect the rest of the draft. For instance, if Doncic is still available, teams may call the Atlanta Hawks about the third pick, as O’Connor reported. The Hawks reportedly like Oklahoma point guard Trae Young, but he may be available later in the draft, so they may be amenable to trading down to acquire another asset.
Likewise, the Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly shopping the fourth pick on the condition any team takes Chandler Parson’s contract. Depending on who is still available, it could be a race to nab the pick from Memphis.
The next group of teams – the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, and Chicago Bulls – seem to be all over the map on their preferred prospects.
It seems as though there is the potential for a ton of movement.ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that several lottery teams are still trying to get higher in the order. The Philadelphia 76ers’ 10th pick is reportedly up for grabs. Several reports have indicated that the Los Angeles Clippers, with the 12th and 13th picks, would like to move up.
Of course, the draft is a time when teams send out smokescreens to fool other teams. There is no certainty over which team will pick which player and which teams are interested in moving up or down.
The NBA world has already speculated that this offseason could feature a lot of player movement and team transactions. It could start with a bang on Thursday with a draft that’s considered deep but uncertain.
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