Of course there’s a possibility Cleveland trades the Nets pick. Cousins could be out there. Paul George. Russell Westbrook. Maybe someone we haven’t even considered. I reported weeks ago that the calls have already poured in to GM Koby Altman, gauging his interest in moving the pick. The Cavs could also keep the pick, or trade it on draft day.
“Quite frankly, there has never been a draft prospect like Doncic,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. “[As] if what he has done at EuroBasket was not enough, with (Real Madrid guard) Sergio Llull out for the season, Luka has a chance to become the most productive teenager in ACB and Euroleague history.”
Per the anonymous NBA scout: “[Doncic] is a legitimate candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, which has never been done by any European guard…. GMs tend to go with elite athleticism over skill and/or production, especially at the top of the draft. But I believe that an outlier skill level can yield upside, even with a poor physical profile. I have never seen so skilled and versatile a European prospect since I have been doing this.”
Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the Grizzlies signed 2017 second round draft pick Ivan Rabb. Per team policy, terms of the deals are not disclosed. Rabb (6-10, 220), selected 35th overall by the Orlando Magic and traded to the Grizzlies for a future second round draft pick, appeared in 31 games (30 starts) and averaged 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.00 blocks in 32.6 minutes last season as a sophomore at the University of California. The 20-year-old was named All-Pac 12 First Team after leading the Pac-12 in rebounding both overall and in conference play (11.4 rebounds) and also was one of 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Award, given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s top collegiate power forward.
The NBA’s pursuit of draft lottery reform is significantly rooted in research that “many fans continue to say that tanking is making them less interested in the league,” president of league operations Byron Spruell told ESPN. Lottery reform is moving toward a Sept. 28 vote at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting in New York. The league’s competition committee has recommended passage of commissioner Adam Silver’s proposal intended to curb chasing the bottom of the standings for higher draft positions.
ESPN has obtained further detail on proposed draft reform, which includes data on the “expected pick,” based upon the new odds. The top three teams in the draft lottery’s expected pick would drop from 2.6 percent to 3.7 percent, three percent to 3.9 percent and 3.4 percent to 4.1 percent, sources said. The continuation of low odds on the back end of the lottery (Nos. 11 to 14) gives the NBA confidence that teams will not see a benefit to tanking out of the playoffs into the lottery. Under the proposed draft lottery changes, the last lottery team at No. 14 would keep the same two percent odds of rising into the top five of the draft.
Nothing else could come close to slowing Doncic. He averaged 14.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists for Slovenia, showing off the kind of all-around skill level and athleticism that’s made him a surefire top-five pick in what is looking like a loaded 2018 NBA draft class. “He’s mature beyond his years, and has great court vision and basketball IQ,” the executive said. “He’s a natural leader, and capable of impacting the game without scoring, but can take over. He won’t dominate, but his teams will win games with his fingerprints all over the game.”