Even though there are less than two weeks until the NBA draft, there seems to be disagreement on the direction of the teams outside the top three. While there seems to be a consensus in mock drafts on the next three prospects beyond RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Ja Morant, every mock has their own order on which team the next three will will fall too. Though, according to two NBA executives, these mock drafts are way off in those predictions.
Sam Amico of AmicoHoops spoke with a Western Conference and Eastern Conference executive earlier this week about the upcoming NBA Draft. While they both agree on the order of the top 3 picks, they believe it’s completely uncertain what happens beyond that.
“Most mock drafts that I’ve seen after the top three are way off,” the West GM said. “Wildly wrong, in fact. Most look nothing like our draft board, and I bet nothing like the draft boards of most teams.”
There’s no denying the fact that there is a serious talent drop off at the forth spot in this draft. Even before the season, Barrett and Williamson were considered to be generational talents. Morant showcased his skills to become one of the top NBA prospects over the course of the season, carrying Murray State to an NCAA tournament bid and an upset victory in the first round. That’s not to say there cannot be a superstar selected after those three, just that there’s way more uncertainty on how the other players in the draft will pan out.
This uncertainty leaves the teams sitting at spots four through six with some very tough decisions on what to do with their pick. The Lakers, Cavs, and Suns are all looking for talent to elevate their team into playoff contention. From what we’ve heard so far, it doesn’t really sound like these teams feel like they’re finding that player where they’re currently drafting.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty once you get beyond that top three,” the West GM said. “I think any of those teams — the Lakers, the Cavs, the Suns — would be willing to trade for a veteran or trade down.”
The Cavs specifically are in a very precarious position. They are without much ammo to trade up beyond their current pick, but are in dire need of a superstar talent to continue their rebuild process. If what these executives said is true, it would appear there’s a serious lack of faith in how these teams feel about the talent sitting right below the top three.
This years draft is extremely important for the immediate future of the Cavs franchise. They showed last season they have a strong young core in development. Another talented wing or guard alongside Collin Sexton could turn the roster into fringe playoff team when completely healthy. Missing on this draft could send them spiraling back into the top of the lottery once again next season.