And you want to tell everyone about it.
One problem: You’re not quite sure how to say any of these 2018 NBA prospects’ names.
Thankfully, the NBA published a pronunciation guide:
Jaylen Adams: JAY-lin Adams
Deng Adel: Deng uh-DELL
Rawle Alkins: Raleigh ALL-kins
Kostas Antetokounmpo: COAST-us Ah-day-toe-KOON-boe
DeAndre Ayton: dee-AN-dray AY-tin
Marvin Bagley III: Marvin Bag-lee the third
Mohamed Bamba: Mo-HAH-med BAHM-bah
Jaylen Barford: JAY-lin BAR-ferd
Keita Bates-Diop: .KAY-tah Bates DEE-opp
Trevon Bluiett: TRAY-vahn BLEW-it
Isaac Bonga: EE-zack BON-guh
Mikal Bridges: Mick-L Bridges
Jalen Brunson: JAY-lin Brunson
Khadeen Carrington: kuh-DEEN KAIR-ing-tun
Jevon Carter: Je-VOHN Carter
Wendell Carter Jr.: Wen-DELL Carter Jr.
Bonzie Colson: BAHN-zee Cole-son
Angel Delgado: Angel del-GAH-doe
Hamidou Diallo: ha-MUH-dew dee-AH-low
Donte DiVincenzo: Donte dee-vin-CHEN-zo
Luka Doncic: LOO-kuh DON-chitch
Trevon Duval: Trey-VON du-VAL
Matt Farrell: Matt FA-rull
Wenyen Gabriel: WHEN-yin GAY-bree-ull
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Shay GILL juss Alexander
Devonte’ Graham: De-VON-te Graham
Donte Grantham: DON-tay GRAN-thum
Isaac Haas: Isaac HAHSS
Devon Hall: DEH-vin Hall
Kevin Hervey: Kevin Her-Vee
Tryggvi Hlinason: TRIG-vee hLEE-nuh-son
DJ Hogg: DJ HOAG
Kevin Huerter: Kevin Hurter
Chandler Hutchison: Chandler HUTCH-ih-sin
Jaren Jackson Jr.: Jair-in Jackson Jr.
Alize Johnson: AL-uh-zay Johnson
Arnoldas Kulboka: are-NALL-duss COOL-buh-kuh
Rodions Kurucs: ROE-dee-ons COO-roox
Jock Landale: Jock Lan-dale
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr.: Joe LOO-ahl ah-CHU-ill Jr.
Daryl Macon: DARE-ull MAY-cun
J.P. Macura: JP Muh-CYURE-uh
Kelan Martin: KEY-lun Martin
Yante Maten: Yahn-tay May-tin
MiKyle McIntosh: muh-KY-ull MAC-in-tosh
Jordan McLaughlin: Jordan Ma-GLOFF-lin
De'Anthony Melton: dee-AN-thony Melton
Chimezie Metu: chi-MEH-zee Meh-tu
Manan Musa: JOHN-on MOO-suh
Svi Mykhailiuk: Svee muh-KAI-luke
Malik Newman: muh-LEEK NEW-min
Elie Okobo: EL-ee oh-KO-bo
Josh Okogie: Josh oh-KO-ghee
Theo Pinson: THEE-o PIN-sin
Malik Pope: muh-LEEK Pope
Dusan Ristic: Doo-sahn Wrist-itch
Desi Rodriguez: DEH-zee Rodriguez
Issuf Sanon: ee-SOOF sah-NON
Landry Shamet: Landry SHAM-it
Anfernee Simons: AN-fur-knee SIGH-muns
Zhaire Smith: zhi-AIR Smith
Omari Spellman: o-MAR-ee Spellman
Jared Terrell: Jared turr-ELL
Khyri Thomas: KY-ree Thomas
Allonzo Trier: Alonzo Tree-ER
Moritz Wagner: Mo-RITZ VOG-ner
Yuta Watanabe: YOU-tuh wah-tuh-NAH-bay
Kenrich Williams: KEN-rich Williams
Trae Young: Trey Young
Every year we say it — there’s a lot of buzz about trades heading into the draft. Fans want to see it — teams moving up and down, players getting shipped out or brought in to facilitate those draft day moves.
The comes draft night and… meh. There are a few deals but not like was predicted.
But this year we really mean it — this year there is an incredible amount of buzz about trades.
Starting as high as with Atlanta at No. 3 and more likely Memphis at No. 4, there are going to be picks traded (we already saw one, with the Lakers taking on the 39th pick from the Sixers for a future second rounder). There also are going to be players moved — we already saw Dwight Howard get traded to Brooklyn in what was mostly a financial deal for both sides.
Why will there be trades this year, why is it not going to bomb out like all those other years?
First, this year there is less of a consensus and a wider variance in how many top picks are ranked by teams. For example, Luka Doncic is a second and pushing for the top spot on some team’s big draft boards, others have him more like seventh. Michael Porter Jr. falls anywhere from No. 2 to “with that back there is no way we take him.” Trae Young could go third (unlikely but not impossible) or 13th. I could go on with Mohamed Bomba or Aaron Holiday or others, but you get the point.
What that means is if a team really likes Bamba or Doncic and he’s still on the board at No. 4, they will be willing to give up players/future picks to get him, and Memphis will be willing to slide back. (If one team is most likely to trade their pick, it’s the Grizzlies, according to sources around the league, but they want to dump the Chandler Parsons contract in the process.) Or take the case with the Hawks at three — they are rumored to really like Young, but they could slide back four or five (or more) slots and get him, plus get another asset from a team that wants to jump up to No. 3 to draft Bamba or Doncic or Jaren Jackson or whoever.
It continues like that all the way down through the lottery and into the first round. The Cavaliers are testing the waters to see what the No. 8 pick and Kevin Love could net them (someone who would help keep LeBron James in town?). The Clippers are thought of as likely to move one of their two picks at 12 and 13. There are a lot of teams who may see the guy they wanted off the board and decide they would slide down the draft, and other teams who see the guy they like still on the board and want to move up or into the first round. That’s what the player evaluation variance means. There’s going to be a lot more pick swaps than usual.
Second — and this is going to carry over into July and free agency — there are a lot of teams where management is looking at their roster, looking at the landscape of the NBA, and thinking “we are paying too much to just be average (or wherever they are at).” Those teams are going to look to move key players. For example, Washington had the fourth highest payroll in the NBA last season, barely got into the playoffs as the eighth seed and were bounced by a Celtics team about to get a lot better. They are rumored to be looking to make dramatic moves.
Toronto is looking to shake things up. Portland is reportedly testing the trade waters for C.J. McCollum. Charlotte is doing the same with Kemba Walker, who is a free agent in a couple of years (although the Howard trade could be about keeping Walker). Miami, Washington, and a host of other teams want to shake things up. There will be unexpected moves.
And that’s not included the more obvious ones: The Spurs being forced to move Kawhi Leonard (not on draft night, however, that will drag out), the Lakers trading most of their young players to get Leonard if they can, the Cavaliers moving Kevin Love (either with the No. 8 pick on Thursday or Love separately if LeBron leaves).
Bottom line: This year we mean it — there’s going to be a lot of trades on draft night. We’re serious. More than most years, there’s a lot of buzz about trades going on around league circles.
How it shakes out is going to be fascinating.
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $7.2 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.