With just hours to go before the NBA Draft, it’s safe to say that every NBA team has its board set and has discussed potential trades and hypothetical scenarios ad nauseam.
So, with the eleventh hour approaching, what are team executives doing today? Are they actually working, or are they just killing time until the bright lights come on?
“I think you’re making the phone calls,” former Brooklyn Nets assistant GM Bobby Marks said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It all depends where you’re picking. If you’re a team that’s picking in the 20s, you’re almost in a wait-and-see mode unless you have some assets to try to get a player that you like maybe in the teens or possibly sneak in the lottery. I think if you’re a team later in the lottery, can you bypass somebody to get maybe into the top four? It’ll probably cost you handsomely, especially this year, but yes, your board is set. There shouldn’t be much tweaking from what you had been doing the last couple days. But you’re in wait-and-see mode. You’re making a phone call and you’re just getting ready for the draft. You’re probably watching some film. Your coaches are involved a little bit and they’re in the room with you.
“But tonight’s the night,” Marks continued. “I think it’s going to be a lot of unpredictability. From what I’ve seen just from some of the trades so far, some of the rumblings from what I’ve talked to agents about – and that’s the one big thing. Players usually get some type of guarantee on where they’re going, and in talking to some of the agents that have players in the lottery, there have been no guarantees yet. I think that’s a credit to where teams are, trying to move their pick, trying to move around.”
The top four picks will likely be, in some order, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’angelo Russell and Kristaps Porzingis. After that? Nobody knows.
Andrew Bogusch, who was filling in as co-host of Gio and Jones for Gregg Giannotti, feels that once the top four or five guys are off the board, picks 6 through 20 are more or less interchangeable, that there’s really good depth in this draft.
Does Marks see it the same way?
“I do,” he said. “It’s really a matter of preference for what you’re looking for. The first four with Porzingis, he’s kind of snuck in and I guess (Emmanuel) Mudiay has been pushed to the back with that 6-to-10 group. But usually when you’re doing the draft and you’re going through this process, it should be (about) best available. But if you’re at 6 to 10, if those guys are neck and neck and you have three centers and you need a small forward and that player is Justise Winslow, who’s a little bit better than a Frank Kaminsky, then that’s kind of the direction teams are going to go.”