Ben Simmons is heading to the 76ers in the latest NBA Mock Draft. What about Brandon Ingram, Dragan Bender and Kris Dunn?
Did you see Ben Simmons playing soccer-basketball last weekend? What about Jakob Poeltl stepping out and draining threes from all over the floor? How about Marquese Chriss nearly hitting his head on the rim? It's officially June, and magic is happening in empty gyms all across the country. Breathe it in.
Yes, we're currently in the middle of the NBA Finals, but the draft is coming sooner than anyone realizes. We're less than three weeks out from June 23. If the Finals go six or seven games, we'll have less than a week before the dust settles and Ben Simmons is on stage with Adam Silver. That's why we're here today. The Finals are cool, but the mocks don't stop.
Some notes before we jump in:
• The projections in these mock drafts are based on buzz and value and team needs, not sources. More than anything, this is an excuse to spend way too much time discussing the draft.
• For a straight-forward ranking of this year's prospects, check out Jeremy Woo's big board over here.
• We'll go in depth for the lottery, and then run through the rest of the picks a little quicker, because all of this is very much in flux over the next three weeks.
• Five players who were very difficult to leave out of the first round, and will probably end up somewhere in the mix three weeks from now: Malachi Richardson, Malcolm Brogdon, Juan Hernangomez, Ivica Zubac, Ben Bentil.
• If someone in Serbia knows where I can buy a Mega Leks uniform (including warmups), please get in touch.
Let's do this.