2019 NBA Draft

And-Ones: 2019 Draft, Age Minimum, Team USA

After attending a handful of summer events involving top prospects, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) have updated their 2019 NBA mock draft. While Duke freshman R.J. Barrett continues to be viewed as 2019’s top pick, he’s joined in the top three this time around by a fast-rising teammate — Givony and Schmitz have Duke forward Zion Williamson at No. 3 in their latest mock.

Other new names in ESPN’s top 10 include Kentucky freshman wing Keldon Johnson and Oregon freshman center Bol Bol. Johnson excelled in the Wildcats’ exhibition games in the Bahamas, though the ESPN duo was also impressed by Johnson’s teammate PJ Washington, who “looks to be in much better shape” than he was last season. As for Bol, he had a strong showing at the Nike Basketball Academy, as Givony detailed earlier in the month.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Although the NBA’s draft eligibility rule related to a player’s minimum age won’t change within the next couple years, it seems highly likely to be altered or eliminated at some point. Tom Ziller of SBNation.com explores a few possible alternatives to the current rule.
  • In a step toward the elimination of the one-and-done rule, the NBA, NCAA, and NBPA reached an agreement with USA Basketball, announcing today that Team USA will expand its Men’s Junior National Team program to include additional training camps and year-round player development programming. The program will include approximately 80 top high school prospects, or about 20 per high school class. Here’s the official announcement from USA Basketball, along with more details from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
  • Players on two-way contracts who spend the maximum allowable number of days with their NBA clubs in 2018/19 will be able to earn up to $385,612 this season, tweets cap expert Albert Nahmad. That’s still well short of the NBA rookie minimum ($838,464), but greatly exceeds the standard $35K G League salary.
  • Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders examines some potential surprise teams for the 2018/19 season, suggesting that the Bulls, Mavericks, Pistons, Clippers, and Suns are candidates to exceed expectations.

Traded Second Round Picks For 2019 NBA Draft

The 2019 NBA draft is still 10 months away, but many teams have already traded their second round picks for that night, and more clubs may do so before this season’s trade deadline.

We’ll use the space below to keep tabs on each team’s second round pick for 2019, continually updating it as necessary throughout the year. Our list of traded first round picks for 2019 can be found right here.

We’ve listed all 30 teams here, so even if a team hasn’t traded its second round pick, that will be noted. We’ll also provide details on protections for each traded pick, including what happens to the pick in 2020 if it doesn’t change hands in 2019.

Here’s the full breakdown on the status of each 2019 second round pick:

Atlantic

  • Boston Celtics: Traded to Grizzlies (top-55 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, Celtics’ obligation to Grizzlies is extinguished.
  • Brooklyn Nets: Traded to Magic (unprotected).
  • New York Knicks: Traded to Nets (unprotected).
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Own pick.
  • Toronto Raptors: Own pick.

Central

  • Chicago Bulls: Traded to Sixers (unprotected).
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Traded to Magic, Kings, Knicks, or Clippers.
    • Magic will receive most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, Rockets’, and Trail Blazers’ second round picks; Kings will receive second-most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’ and Rockets’ second round picks; Knicks will receive least favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks; Clippers will receive less favorable of (a) Trail Blazers’ second rounder or (b) most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks.
  • Detroit Pistons: Own pick.
  • Indiana Pacers: Traded to Nets (45-60 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, 45-60 protected in 2020.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: Traded to Sixers or Kings.
    • Sixers will receive more favorable of Bucks’ and Kings’ second round picks; Kings will receive less favorable of the two.

Southeast

  • Atlanta Hawks: Traded to Wizards (top-55 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, Hawks’ obligation to Wizards is extinguished.
  • Charlotte Hornets: Traded to Hawks (unprotected).
  • Miami Heat: Traded to Timberwolves (unprotected).
  • Orlando Magic: Possibly traded to Kings, Knicks, or Clippers.
    • Magic will receive most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, Rockets’, and Trail Blazers’ second round picks; Kings will receive second-most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’ and Rockets’ second round picks; Knicks will receive least favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks; Clippers will receive less favorable of (a) Trail Blazers’ second rounder or (b) most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks.
  • Washington Wizards: Traded to Nuggets or Hornets.
    • Nuggets will receive more favorable of their own second round pick (56-60 protected) and Wizards’ second round pick; Hornets will receive less favorable of the two. If Nuggets’ pick falls between 56-60, Hornets will instead receive Wizards’ pick.

Northwest

  • Denver Nuggets: Traded to Bucks (top-55 protected) or possibly traded to Hornets (56-60 protected).
    • If top-55 protected in 2019, Nuggets’ obligation to Bucks is extinguished.
    • Nuggets will receive more favorable of their own second round pick (56-60 protected) and Wizards’ second round pick; Hornets will receive less favorable of the two. If Nuggets’ pick falls between 56-60, Hornets will instead receive Wizards’ pick.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: Traded to Kings or Hawks.
    • Kings will receive more favorable of Lakers’ and Timberwolves’ second round picks; Hawks will receive less favorable of the two.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Traded to Hornets (unprotected).
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Traded to Magic or Clippers.
    • Magic will receive most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, Rockets’, and Trail Blazers’ second round picks; Kings will receive second-most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’ and Rockets’ second round picks; Knicks will receive least favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks; Clippers will receive less favorable of (a) Trail Blazers’ second rounder or (b) most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks.
  • Utah Jazz: Own pick.

Pacific

  • Golden State Warriors: Own pick.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Own pick.
  • Los Angeles Lakers: Traded to Kings or Hawks.
    • Kings will receive more favorable of Lakers’ and Timberwolves’ second round picks; Hawks will receive less favorable of the two.
  • Phoenix Suns: Own pick.
  • Sacramento Kings: Possibly traded to Sixers.
    • Sixers will receive more favorable of Bucks’ and Kings’ second round picks; Kings will receive less favorable of the two.

Southwest

  • Dallas Mavericks: Traded to Warriors (top-55 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, Mavericks’ obligation to Warriors is extinguished.
  • Houston Rockets: Traded to Magic, Kings, Knicks, or Clippers.
    • Magic will receive most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, Rockets’, and Trail Blazers’ second round picks; Kings will receive second-most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’ and Rockets’ second round picks; Knicks will receive least favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks; Clippers will receive less favorable of (a) Trail Blazers’ second rounder or (b) most favorable of Magic’s, Cavaliers’, and Rockets’ second-round picks.
  • Memphis Grizzlies: Own pick.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: Own pick.
  • San Antonio Spurs: Own pick.

The four-way mess involving the Cavaliers’, Rockets’, Trail Blazers’, and Magic’s second round picks is somewhat confusing, so here’s a quick breakdown of how it would work based on this year’s projected standings:

Let’s assume the Rockets finish first among those four teams, followed by the Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, and Magic. In that scenario…

  • The Magic would keep their own pick (the most favorable of the four).
  • The Kings would get the Cavaliers’ pick (the second-most favorable out of the Orlando, Cleveland, and Houston picks).
  • The Knicks would get the Rockets’ pick (the least favorable of the Orlando, Cleveland, and Houston picks).
  • The Clippers would get the Blazers’ pick (the less favorable of the Portland and Orlando picks).

Information from RealGM was used in the creation of this post.

Traded First Round Picks For 2019 NBA Draft

The 2019 NBA draft is over 10 months away, but several teams have already traded their first round picks for that night, and more clubs are likely to do so before this season’s trade deadline.

We’ll use the space below to keep tabs on each team’s first round pick for 2019, continually updating it as necessary throughout the year.

We’ve listed all 30 teams here, so even if a team hasn’t traded its first round pick, that will be noted. We’ll also provide details on protections for each traded pick, including what happens to the pick in 2020 if it doesn’t change hands in 2019.

Here’s the full breakdown on the status of each 2019 first round pick:

Atlantic

  • Boston Celtics: Own pick.
  • Brooklyn Nets: Own pick.
  • New York Knicks: Own pick.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Will send more favorable of Kings‘ and Sixers‘ first round picks to Celtics (top-1 protected).
    • If Kings’ or Sixers’ first-rounder is No. 1 overall, Sixers would instead receive more favorable pick and Celtics would receive less favorable pick.
  • Toronto Raptors: Traded to Spurs (top-20 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, Spurs will instead receive Raptors’ 2020 and 2023 second-round picks.

Central

  • Chicago Bulls: Own pick.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Traded to Hawks (top-10 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, top-10 protected in 2020.
  • Detroit Pistons: Own pick.
  • Indiana Pacers: Own pick.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: Traded to Suns (top-3 protected; 17-30 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, top-7 protected in 2020.

Southeast

  • Atlanta Hawks: Own pick.
  • Charlotte Hornets: Own pick.
  • Miami Heat: Own pick.
  • Orlando Magic: Own pick.
  • Washington Wizards: Own pick.

Northwest

  • Denver Nuggets: Traded to Nets (top-12 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, top-12 protected in 2020.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: Own pick.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Own pick.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Own pick.
  • Utah Jazz: Own pick.

Pacific

  • Golden State Warriors: Own pick.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Traded to Celtics (top-14 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, top-14 protected in 2020.
  • Los Angeles Lakers: Own pick.
  • Phoenix Suns: Own pick.
  • Sacramento Kings: Traded to Sixers or Celtics (unprotected).
    • Celtics will receive more favorable of Kings’ and Sixers’ first round picks (top-1 protected).
    • Sixers will receive less favorable of Kings’ and Sixers’ first round picks, unless one is No. 1 overall pick.

Southwest

  • Dallas Mavericks: Traded to Hawks (top-5 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, top-5 protected in 2020.
  • Houston Rockets: Own pick.
  • Memphis Grizzlies: Traded to Celtics (top-8 protected).
    • If not conveyed in 2019, top-6 protected in 2020.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: Own pick.
  • San Antonio Spurs: Own pick.

Information from RealGM was used in the creation of this post.

Brian Bowen To Play In Australia

Former McDonald’s All-American and Louisville recruit Brian Bowen has signed a professional contract with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Bowen, a five-star recruit in the class of 2017, is the first player signed to the NBL’s Next Stars program, launched in March to provide alternative pathways for NBA prospects who are uninterested in or unable to play college basketball.

“I am honored to be the first player under the NBL’s Next Stars program and feel it will be the perfect next step as I continue the path toward fulfilling my dream of playing in the NBA,” Bowen said. “In joining the Sydney Kings, I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to start my professional career and look forward to learning from all the team’s veteran pros, like Andrew BogutJerome Randle and Brad Newley. I can’t wait to get out to Sydney and join the team.”

Widely known as one of the central figures identified in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball, Bowen, 19, hopes to put all of that behind him and focus on making it to the NBA like Thunder swingman Terrance Ferguson did before him.

Ferguson, a top-100 recruit in the class of 2016, played with the Adelaide 36ers during the 2016/17 NBL season before becoming a first-round draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bowen, who will make his debut in the NBL this season, will now become automatically eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft after signing a professional contract with the Kings.

Projected 2019 Lottery Pick Darius Bazley To Sign In G League

Projected 2019 lottery pick Darius Bazley has decommitted from Syracuse and will instead sign a G League contract when he’s eligible to do so next September, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports writes. The decision is unprecedented for a player of Bazley’s stature coming out of high school.

Since individuals are eligible to sign G League contracts one year sooner than they’re eligible to declare for the NBA Draft, the soon-to-be 18-year-old will be free to do so in September, months after finishing high school in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Those familiar with the 2019 NBA Draft landscape may already know that Bazley has established himself as an intriguing 6’9″ playmaker. The wing’s ball handling and ability to contribute defensively will make him a tantalizing prospect as he navigates the uncharted territory.

While highly regarded high school prospects have skipped the NCAA to play overseas prior to entering the NBA Draft previously, this is the first time a player as celebrated as Bazley, a 2018 McDonald’s All-American, will forego college for a year in the G League where player salaries are capped around $30K. In contrast, Emmanuel Mudiay signed a one-year deal in China worth $1.2MM following his final year of high school in 2014.

I’m aware that this might start a trend and that’s one of the reasons why I am doing this,” Bazley told Yahoo Sports. “I’m outspoken and I like to speak on things. This is me speaking through my actions, speaking through my character. This is going to happen down the road and become more common. But someone has to start the fire — and I believe I’m going to do that, and it’s very important to me.

And-Ones: George, Lakers, Team USA, 2019 Draft

It was overshadowed last week by the excitement of the NBA trade deadline, but Thunder forward Paul George once again addressed his 2018 free agency, this time during a conversation with Sam Amick of USA Today. The last time George weighed in on his upcoming decision, he was telling ESPN that Russell Westbrook‘s advocacy for George’s spot on the All-Star team was making his free agency choice easier.

This time around, George continued to praise the Thunder – an organization he called “smart” and “savvy” – and laid out a strong case for why he might end up re-signing with Oklahoma City. However, he didn’t close the door on heading west to Los Angeles either.

“I’ve been really happy,” George told Amick. “(The Thunder are] a great organization to be a part of, but again, you know, I don’t want people looking at this and (saying) like, ‘Hey, because he said it’s his happiness at the end of the day (that he’s definitely re-signing).’ I don’t know whether I’m going to LA, or what I’m going to do this offseason. But I can say I am happy about being here. I’m happy with playing with Russ, happy with playing with Melo, and this organization. This front office has shown what they can do to go get pieces and how active they are about winning.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • RealGM has the unusual protection details on the first-round pick acquired by the Lakers in their deadline deal with the Cavaliers. The 2018 first-rounder is top-three protected, so it’s a virtual lock to change hands this year. But if the Cavs somehow fall out of the playoffs and jump into the top three in the lottery, the Lakers wouldn’t have another shot at the pick until 2023, when it’s top-10 protected.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer identifies several players who would be top candidates for a Most Improved Situation of the Year award, if such an award existed.
  • USA Basketball recently announced the 14 players who will participate in training camp for the next World Cup qualifying event. Former NBAers like Terrence Jones, Semaj Christon, and Alonzo Gee are among the players looking to represent Team USA.
  • Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) takes an early look at the 2019 draft class, which currently projected to be headed by a trio of Duke commits, R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, and Zion Williamson.

And-Ones: 2019 Draft, Maynor, Team USA

In the wake of last week’s report suggesting that the NBA and players’ union are exploring the possibility of altering the league’s one-and-done rule for college prospects, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer spoke to five NBA team executives about the issue. According to O’Connor, all five of those execs expect the NBA to allow high-schoolers to enter the draft pool by 2019.

“Sooner than later,” one executive said. “Everyone’s on the same page.”

If that turns out to be the case, the 2019 NBA draft may be the most fascinating one in years. Not only could top high-school prospects potentially enter the mix, but it will also be the first year that the NBA’s new lottery rules take effect.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA point guard Eric Maynor, a 2009 first-round pick, has signed a new contract with Orlandina Basket in Italy, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays. Maynor, who has played for Italian and Russian teams since 2015, appeared in 267 total NBA regular season games, primarily with the Thunder.
  • In an Insider piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton breaks down the latest transactions and injuries from around the NBA, examining the effect of Mike Conley‘s Achilles issue, D’Angelo Russell‘s knee surgery, the Robert Covington extension, and much more.
  • G League forward Jonathan Holmes, who was in camp with the Celtics this fall, has left the Maine Red Claws to join Team USA for this month’s World Cup qualifiers, tweets Chris Reichert of Two Ways & 10 Days. According to the official announcement from USA Basketball, Holmes is replacing Jarell Eddie, who is battling back spasms.

NBA Approves Lottery Reform, Change Effective 2019

The NBA’s Board of Governors passed a motion to reform the draft lottery today, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes. The new rules will be in place for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Modifications to the lottery process were originally proposed earlier this month and include a number of strategies aimed at flattening the odds that basement dwelling teams have of landing the top pick. The idea behind the motion is to curb tanking.

Under the new rules, teams will be able to drop four places in the lottery. Previously teams could drop no more than three places, meaning that the worst team in the league would be guaranteed to pick in the top four. Now, in that same scenario, the team could fall as far as No. 5.

Beyond that, however, the odds of each team’s ping pong balls being selected have flattened dramatically, as portrayed in a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski. Not only do the three worst teams have a lesser chance of winning the lottery, but there’s no longer any difference between finishing last, second-last or third-last when it comes to odds for the No. 1 pick.

In contrast, the team with the fourth-greatest shot at winning the lottery (ie; the fourth-worst team in the NBA) now has a better chance of landing the top pick, as does every team that finished ahead of it in the regular season with the exception of the best team in the lottery (which has the same odds as it had previously).

To demonstrate the point, consider the change in fortune that will await whatever team finishes ninth-last in the 2018/19 season. Whereas last season’s Mavs finished ninth-last and received a 2.8% chance of winning the lottery and a 10% chance of landing a top-three pick, under the new rules that team would have a 6% chance of winning the lottery and a 15% chance of landing a top-three pick.

All told, much of the incentive that middle-of-the-pack lottery clubs had of embracing a full-out tank and dropping to the bottom of the league has been reduced. Now the worst team in the league will have a 40% chance of landing a top-three pick as opposed to the 64% chance it previously had. That same team will now have a 14% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick (vs. the 25% chance it had previously).

For a pick-by-pick breakdown of the probability changes, refer to the chart in the Wojnarowski tweet.

Another proposal formally approved by the league is one that extends commissioner Adam Silver’s authority to potentially fine teams for resting players in nationally televised games or in other select scenarios.

And-Ones: Lottery, 2018 Draft, Doncic, Hood

The NBA’s Board of Governors will vote next week on whether or not to institute draft lottery reform starting in 2019, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has followed up on the proposal with a few more details. As Wojnarowski explains in his piece, the league’s efforts to rework the draft lottery system are a response to fan feedback on tanking — many fans have indicated that frequent tanking makes them less interested in the NBA.

Previous reports indicated that the top three lottery seeds will only have a 14% chance each at the No. 1 pick. According to Wojnarowski, the odds for the bottom lottery seeds (the teams that just miss the playoffs) will still be very long, so the NBA isn’t worried about teams tanking out of a playoff spot in the hopes of landing a top lottery pick.

Notably, teams in the seven to nine range in the lottery standings would benefit from the NBA’s reform proposal, with their chances of landing a top-three pick increasing by 8-9% apiece.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • With the 2018 NBA draft still nine months away, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) has published a new mock draft, featuring Luka Doncic shooting up the No. 1 spot after a terrific EuroBasket performance. Michael Porter, Marvin Bagley, DeAndre Ayton, and Mohamed Bamba round out the top five behind Doncic, who was recently profiled by ESPN’s Mike Schmitz.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe identifies six players who he’ll be keeping an eye on this season, while Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer singles out three players who may be in line for breakout years. One player who shows up on both lists? Jazz swingman Rodney Hood.
  • In an interesting piece for ESPN, Darren Rovell and Bobby Marks break down how much the league’s top earners will actually take home in 2017/18 after taxes, agent fees, and other deductions.
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders examines how many teams currently at or above the luxury tax line will be genuine contenders in 2017/18.

NBA’s Board Of Governors To Vote On Lottery Reform

9:33am: The NBA has been “aggressively” lobbying team owners on the merits of the lottery reform proposal in recent days, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter links). Mannix adds that there’s “cautious optimism” on the proposal being approved, but it’s not a lock.

Meanwhile, following up on his previous tweet (noted below) about the other issue on the table, Wojnarowski says the Competition Committee’s proposal on DNP-Rest would give commissioner Adam Silver the latitude to fine teams for resting healthy players in nationally televised games, or for resting multiple healthy players in a single game.

8:50am: The NBA’s Competition Committee has formally recommended the league’s proposal on draft lottery reform, and a vote on the issue will take place at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting later this month, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As we’ve detailed in previous stories, the highlights of the NBA’s proposal are as follows:

  • The new system would take effect for the 2019 NBA draft.
  • Rather than having odds of 25%, 19.9%, and 15.6%, respectively, for the No. 1 overall pick, the top three lottery picks would each have a 14% chance.
  • The odds for the remaining lottery teams would increase by 1-2% apiece, and would decline smoothly.
  • The top four spots in the draft would be determined by the lottery, meaning a team could fall up to four spots instead of three. For instance, the No. 1 lottery seed could end up with the No. 5 pick.

According to Wojnarowski, the vote on the NBA’s lottery reform proposal is scheduled to take place on September 28, when the league’s team owners meet. A three-quarters majority is required, so at least 23 out of 30 team owners will need to approve the proposal for it to officially take effect.

The Board of Governors is also set to vote on the Competition Committee’s recommendation for rules that will curb DNP-Rest games during the regular season, per Wojnarowski. The NBA has altered its schedule to reduce back-to-backs and eliminate stretches of four games in five days, but as we heard last month, new rules regarding resting players are expected to be implemented as well.