For the next two weeks, NBA prospects will be immersed in the most important phase of the draft process: Individual workouts. For players that participated in the draft combine, it will be a chance to enhance (or make up for) a pre-draft performance. For players that didn’t—and that group includes most of the top prospects—it’s a teams first, and possibly only, up close look before making a selection.
How impactful are individual workouts? Ask Elfrid Payton, the little known Louisiana-Lafayette star who rode a series of stellar workouts all the way to a lottery selection last June. This year's workouts could be particularly influential, with several of the top five spots still very much up for grabs.
Onto SI.com’s Mock Draft 3.0:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
RECORD: Kentucky, Freshman | 6-11, 250
• SI ROUNDTABLE: Okafor or Towns at No. 1?
2. Los Angeles Lakers
RECORD: Duke, freshman | 6-11, 270
• MORE NBA: Kobe reacts to lottery results
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Predictably, the Sixers have been quiet on this. The expectation remains that they will take a point guard, with Russell and Mudiay as the targets. Mudiay has, predictably, performed well in early workouts and will work out in Philly on June 16. Russell is viewed as the better shooter and more gifted playmaker, so slot him in here—for now.
4. New York Knicks
The Knicks have been circling four players, according to league sources: Porzingis, former high school star Emmanuel Mudiay, Duke’s Justise Winslow and Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein. Mudiay and Winslow are more NBA-ready—a factor for a team built around 31-year-old Carmelo Anthony—while Porzingis, an offensively skilled stretch four who needs to fill out—has earned fans in the Knicks' front office. Clarence Gaines, an advisor with the ear of Phil Jackson, has scouted Porzingis. Long term, Porzingis could be the best of the bunch. Short term, he’s a project.
5. Orlando Magic
If Porzingis is here, several rival executives expect Orlando to jump on him. If not, Orlando could have a choice: Reach and take Willie Cauley-Stein, a defensive-minded big who fills a need, or take the best player on the board. Drafting Winslow creates a logjam at the wing, but the rebuilding Magic can’t afford to let top talent get past them.
6. Sacramento Kings
• MORE NBA: Common Sense Mock Draft 2.0
7. Denver Nuggets
On Monday, Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic tweeted a Hezonja highlight. Nurkic likely isn’t in GM Tim Connelly’s draft meetings, but Hezonja makes a lot of sense here. He’s an explosive athlete who fearlessly attacks, traits not often seen in young European prospects. He’s a strong shooter, too, making him a particularly appealing prospect.
8. Detroit Pistons
Booker’s rise continues. At 18, Booker is the youngest player in the draft, but several execs say he has looked like a seasoned pro in workouts. Teams are enamored with his shooting, both for what he is now—a 41.1% shooter at UK—and what his clean shooting stroke will help him become. The Pistons don’t have a hole at two-guard, but Stan Van Gundy loves shooters; Booker could be hard to pass up.
9. Charlotte Hornets
• MORE NBA: Kaminsky prefers Okafor over Towns
10. Miami Heat
11. Indiana Pacers
There are rumblings that Payne, the draft's fastest riser, could have a promise from Oklahoma City at No. 14. He may not get past Indiana though; the Pacers are starved for a dynamic point guard like Payne, a polished pick-and-roll guard who can create offense for himself and teammates.
12. Utah Jazz
Opinions on Cauley-Stein are all over the map. As limited as he is offensively—and no tweak to his shot is going to make him much more than a finisher and maybe a decent baseline/elbow jump shooter—his defensive upside is enormous. The Jazz could use another big (when was the last time we said that?) and Cauley-Stein can slide between both frontcourt positions.
13. Phoenix Suns
The Suns need offense up front, and while it might take two years for Turner to develop, his scoring potential is enticing. Turner is a perimeter-oriented center who proved at Texas that he can stretch the floor on one end and block shots and rebound on the other. He needs to get stronger, but there are not many rookies that don’t.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Lyles is just the type of skilled, somewhat underachieving player GM Sam Presti likes to pounce on. He did it two years ago with Steven Adams; he could do it again here with Lyles, a long, talented forward who was overshadowed by Towns, Cauley-Stein and Booker at Kentucky. Presti has long been complimentary of the players that have come out of John Calipari’s program and head coach Billy Donovan got a birds eye look at Lyles in the SEC. He needs work, but Oklahoma City can afford to wait.
RECORD: Arkansas, Sophomore | 6-11, 240
16. Boston Celtics
Looney is a Danny Ainge-type pick. Raw but gifted physically, a player who will likely be useless next season but could develop into a steal down the road. Executives are all over the map on Looney, whose game never seemed to add up to the sum of his parts with the Bruins last season. Looney has great hands and has shown flashes of a post game.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
RECORD: Georgia State, Junior | 6-6, 190
Hunter, according to several coaches, has shot the ball well in workouts. He’s impressed with his attitude and work ethic, too. The Bucks need a pivot, though drafting a five here would be a stretch. Expect Milwaukee to grab a swingman like Hunter, one of the draft’s best shooters, a nice fit to develop behind Khris Middleton.
18. Houston Rockets
Houston’s backcourt reserves include Pablo Prigioni, 38, and Jason Terry, 37, who will be a free agent. Grant, 22, is an older prospect but he is fearless, is big enough to play either guard spot and could be able to contribute something next season.
19. Washington Wizards
The Wizards have been eyeing frontcourt help. The success of Draymond Green in Golden State is evidence that not every successful power forward needs to be 6’10". Harrell possesses some of Green’s skills: He’s long with good defensive instincts and is a relentless worker. Players with those tools and Harrell’s motor are hard to find, making his lack of size easier to live with.
20. Toronto Raptors
Oubre is another player whose stock is all over the place. He could go as high as the late teens or as low as the end of the first round. Oubre’s talent is undeniable: He’s got superior defensive skills—which Raptors coach Dwane Casey would love—and a nice perimeter touch. He was wildly inconsistent last season, but some scouts think with a year or two of development he will be a starting small forward.
21. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are point guard shopping (again) and Jones is one of the best prospects. Jones isn’t especially big or athletic but he’s an intelligent playmaker—a quality Rick Carlisle would love to cultivate.
22. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls could use an injection of youth up front, but with Kirk Hinrich getting up there in years, a newcomer to the backcourt wouldn't hurt either. Wright is an unselfish playmaker who emerged as a strong defender with the Utes lasts season.
23. Portland Trail Blazers
The story on Dekker remains the same: If he can shoot, he’s a steal. But scouts evaluating Dekker remain unsure if he will develop into a reliable outside threat. Weak perimeter shooters need to be elite defenders (see Andre Iguodala, Tony Allen) and though Dekker has good size and athleticism, he’s not viewed as a defensive stopper.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Vaughn is a multi-dimensional scorer, something the Grizzlies sorely lacked from the wing positions last season. With Tony Allen getting up in age, Vaughn could be a nice piece for Memphis to groom to replace Allen in a year or two.
26. San Antonio Spurs
RECORD: Kansas, Freshman | 6-8, 240
There are strong rumblings that someone is going to take a flyer on Alexander late in the first round. Alexander underachieved last season, a year that ended abruptly due to NCAA violations. But he is a big, physical shot blocker who plays well off the ball and has enormous potential. Low risk, high reward here.
27. L.A. Lakers (via Rockets)
Hollis-Jefferson is a terrific defender. He’s strong and athletic with tremendous instincts. Offensively though, there is not much there. Hollis-Jefferson doesn’t play well off the dribble and doesn’t have much of a jump shot; most of his offense came in transition or around the rim. Is he Tony Allen? Maybe, but Allen-types are rare.
28. Boston Celtics
The Celtics could go a variety of different ways here. McCullough—whose season ended early due to a knee injury—has been pegged by several executives as a high value pick with mid-first round talent. When McCullough adds weight, he has nice defensive potential.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Hawks)
RECORD: Louisville, Sophomore | 6-1, 190
Rozier’s stock has risen considerably in recent weeks. More scorer than playmaker, Rozier will have to learn to be more of a distributor at the next level. But he has good physical tools and could develop into a productive Jamal Crawford-type off the bench.
30. Golden State Warriors
RECORD: LSU, Sophomore | 6-8, 235
Mickey was a standout during five-on-five games at the combine last month. Undersized, Mickey makes up for it with a long wingspan (7’3”) and good shot-blocking skills. Not much of a perimeter shooter, Mickey has low post scoring potential—something the Warriors sorely need.
Beating the NBA Draft Lottery Odds
1993 Orlando Magic
No team beat the odds quite like the 1993 Magic, who, after barely missing the playoffs at 41-41, made good on their 1.5% chance (1 Ping-Pong ball out of 66) to claim the top spot for the second consecutive season (they had snagged Shaquille O'Neal in '92). Orlando wound up selecting Chris Webber and trading him to Golden State for third overall pick Penny Hardaway and three first-round picks. Two years later, Shaq and Penny led the Magic to the NBA Finals.
1995 Golden State Warriors
After the Warriors delivered on their 9.4% chance, then-general manager Dave Twardzik said, ''Whoever you take, some people are going to say, 'How could pass on this [other] guy?' '' Twardzik experienced the second-guessing first-hand: The Warriors chose forward Joe Smith while the rest of the top five was Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett. Smith went on to play for 12 different NBA teams over 15 years, never once named an All-Star.
2000 New Jersey Nets
Pegged to draft seventh after a 31-51 season, the Nets instead cashed in on their 4.4% chance of winning the lottery. New Jersey picked forward Kenyon Martin, who proved to be a key part of back-to-back Finals teams in 2002-03 before being shipped to Denver as part of a sign-and-trade deal in 2004.
2002 Houston Rockets
An 8.9% chance was enough for the Rockets to leapfrog four teams and win the Yao Ming sweepstakes. Yao was productive when healthy, but the healthy part didn't happen nearly as much as Houston would have hoped. The 7-6 center retired in July 2011 after nine seasons in which he averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.
2005 Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks, with a 6.3% chance, jumped from sixth to first and selected center Andrew Bogut ahead of point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Bogut spent seven years with the Bucks, where he led the league with 2.6 blocks in 2010-11, before being traded to Golden State in 2012.
2006 Toronto Raptors
General manager Bryan Colangelo entered his first draft in Toronto with the biggest prize after the Raptors vaulted to the top despite only an 8.8% likelihood. The Raptors used the choice to make Italy's Andrea Bargnani the NBA's first European No. 1 pick. Bargnani averaged a career-high 21.4 points in 2010-11 and followed that with 19.5 points in an injury-shortened 2011-12, but he's been criticized for his defense and rebounding. In 2013 Bargnani was traded to the Knicks, where injuries have kept him off the court more often than not. The Nets signed Bargnani to a multi-year contract in 2015, only to waive him in Feb. 2016.
2007 Portland Trail Blazers
While the teams with the three worst records — Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee — got the fourth, fifth and six picks, Portland won the lottery with its 5.3% chance. The windfall didn't pay off, however, as the Trail Blazers passed on Kevin Durant in favor of Greg Oden, who played only 82 regular-season games over his first five seasons because of persistent knee injuries. The Blazers waived Oden in March 2012 and after a brief stint with Miami two years later, Oden hasn't played since.
2008 Chicago Bulls
The Bulls turned their 1.7% chance into the first pick. Chicago selected native Derrick Rose, who was the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year, the league MVP in 2010-11 and a three-time All-Star. Since May 2012, however, Rose has undergone three knee surgeries which have caused him to miss a significant amount of time.
2011 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers used the pick obtained in a trade with the Clippers to win the No. 1 pick despite just 2.8% odds. That put them in position to draft Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, who turned into the Rookie of the Year and the centerpiece of their post-LeBron rebuilding effort. The 2013, '14 and '15 All-Star was given some help entering the 2014-15 season with the signing of free agent LeBron James.
2014 Cleveland Cavaliers
Eight teams had better odds than the Cavaliers, who lucked out yet again with just a 1.7% chance this time. Their selection of Andrew Wiggins parlayed into a trade with Minnesota to acquire Kevin Love two months later. Wiggins went on to win Rookie of the Year with the Timberwolves while Love's numbers dipped with the Cavs and he suffered a dislocated shoulder in the team's 2015 first-round sweep of the Celtics.