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Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell receive, Jayson Tatum one vote shy of, unanimous All-Rookie first-team selections

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The 76ers’ Ben Simmons, Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma were locks for the All-Rookie first team.

The final seemingly up-for-grabs spot? It went to the Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen, and it wasn’t close.

Here’s the full voting for All-Rookie teams (first-team votes, second-team votes, total voting points):

First team

  • Donovan Mitchell, UTA (100-0-200)
  • Ben Simmons, PHI (100-0-200)
  • Jayson Tatum, BOS (99-1-199)
  • Kyle Kuzma, LAL (93-7-193)
  • Lauri Markkanen, CHI (76-21-173)

Second team

Others receiving votes:

The first team matches our choices.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Josh Jackson are the only selections I’d quibble with. Those two were just so destructive with shooting efficiency and defense. To be fair, they were pressed into larger roles than they were ready for on bad teams. But if the goal is picking the rookies who had the best seasons (what I aim to do), Smith and Jackson didn’t cut it.

However, some voters give more credence to long-term potential, and Smith and Jackson both have plenty of that. Other voters are drawn by bigger per-game numbers, which Smith and Jackson produced in their larger roles. So, it’s minimally surprising they made it.

That one first-team vote for Jackson, though? That’s odd – and it was enough to get him on the second team by one voting point over Heat center Bam Adebayo.

PBT Extra: NBA Mock Draft Top 10

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DeAndre Ayton is going to go No. 1 in the upcoming NBA Draft. After that, things get interesting: Will the Kings take European sensation Luka Doncic, or are they tempted by the scoring potential of Marvin Bagley III. Where does Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson fit into all of this?

Recently, myself and College Basketball Talk’s Rob Dauster sat down and did an NBA Mock Draft. This is our Top 10.

We have Ayton going first to Phoenix. Yes, the new Suns’ coach Igor Kokoskov is the Slovenian national team coach and knows Doncic well, but Ayton is more likely to be a franchise-changing player, and no GM can afford to leave that kind of player on the table.

We have the Kings’ taking Doncic second, although that is no guarantee. The Kings need help everywhere but the guard spots, and Doncic as a playmaking three makes sense, but then so would Bagley as a big who can score (the bigs the Kings have drafted have not panned out as hoped). That has us sending Bagley to the Hawks at three, but Jackson and Mohamed Bamba could be in play.

Check out the video above to see our mock draft Top 10.

You can see the entire first round picks here.

And if you really want to nerd out on the draft, Dauster and I did a two-hour, two-part podcast where we made these mock draft picks. Check them out.

Report: Kings, Hawks could pass on Luka Doncic if Suns don’t take him No. 1

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Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton?

That’s the question many NBA fans are asking themselves, but according to one report it’s not the only thing several teams in the Top 3 of the 2018 NBA Draft are thinking about.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony says that while the Phoenix Suns may still be considering taking Doncic with their No. 1 overall pick, the Sacramento Kings (2) and Atlanta Hawks (3) are not.

The Kings and Hawks are reportedly leaning toward taking an American frontcourt player, which would point us toward guys like Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Jaren Jackson, and Mo Bamba.

Via ESPN:

The growing consensus among NBA decision-makers in attendance at Stark Arena in Belgrade is that the teams drafting behind the Phoenix Suns at No. 1, the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks are likely to pass on European prodigy in favor of American frontcourt players. The question remains whether a team will trade up into the top three to snag Doncic, or if he will fall to the No. 4 (Memphis) or even the No. 5 pick (Dallas) after being heavily scouted in the Euroleague playoffs against Panathinaikos and mostly struggling.

The information we’re missing is whether the Kings and Hawks are turned off by Doncic specifically. Is it because they haven’t scouted him as much as the other guys? Is it because of perceived team need? Do they think Doncic has peaked already? Are they worried about less information being available from a Euro prospect? All are possible.

With all the hype around Doncic, it would be shocking to see him fall out of the Top 3. It’s happened before, but both Ayton and Doncic are the guys atop this draft that people are licking their chops to get.

Could we see a team trade up to get Doncic from the Hawks or Kings if Phoenix goes elsewhere? Is this just false information funneled to the media as a means of depressing the market for Doncic or for ferreting out a big trade offer?

The conference finals aren’t even over yet and here we are talking about the incessant drama of the NBA offseason. I love this league.

Watch Luka Doncic’s highlights from EuroLeague semifinal (16 points, 7 rebounds)

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At 19, Luka Doncic knows how to run a team and control the tempo and flow of a game.

That was evident on Friday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia, where Doncic — a likely top two pick in the upcoming NBA Draft — had 16 points, seven rebounds, and two assists in 30 minutes, leading Real Madrid to a 92-83 win over CSKA Moscow.

A lot of Americans have not seen a lot of Doncic (myself included, just EuroBasket last summer and some highlights), above are some highlights from the win. What you don’t see in those is how well he controlled the flow of the game. CSKA tried traps at point, he handled it all with great poise.

It is expected next month at the NBA Draft Phoenix will take Deandre Ayton out of Arizona No. 1, with Sacramento taking Doncic second to pair with point guard D’Aaron Fox (taken last draft). Combine those with second-year shooter Bogdan Bogdanovic and the Kings should be entertaining.

Agent: Luka Doncic has ‘no particular thought on any NBA teams’

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Every year, right before the NCAA Tournament — or, in football, right before a big bowl game — a media member will ask a team’s star player “are you coming back next year or turning pro?” To which said player says something generic along the lines of “I love it here at State, it’s been the best year(s) of my life, but I’ll make that decision after the season.” Even though we all know the decision is made and he’s gone.

Enter Luka Doncic.

He is at the EuroLeague basketball Final Four this weekend with Real Madrid, the team he has played for since he was 16 and stars for now. After that, he and his teammates head off to the ACB — Spanish League — playoffs. At a press event before the EuroLeague games tip-off, Doncic was asked if these were his final games for Real Madrid because his contract is up and he’s expected to go to the NBA. His response was right out the book used by NCAA players above.

“Ι’m not sure if these are my last two games [in EuroLeague]. We have yet to make this decision. Perhaps after the season.”

Right after the draft lottery, with Deandre Ayton expected to go No. 1 to the Suns, that was read by some fans as Doncic trying to put leverage on Sacramento not to draft him at No. 2. Not the case, his agent told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.

“Luka has stated no particular thought on any NBA teams,” his agent, Bill Duffy, told Sporting News on Thursday.

In other words, if Sacramento — or any team — were to draft Doncic, the location of that team would have no bearing whether he continues in Europe or comes to the NBA.

Let’s put this another way.

If Doncic were to re-sign with Real Madrid, it would be for $2 million to 2.5 million euro a year, which means a max of about $3 million a year (and remember European teams pick up the taxes for players). However, if the Kings draft him his starting salary next season would be $7.2 million (with more than $35 million guaranteed over the first four years), which even after California taxes is more money. Plus Doncic would be starting the clock to get to his second NBA contract in four years, the one that likely will be much larger. On top of all that, with a return to Europe, Doncic would risk a potential injury that could hurt his NBA stock and cost him millions and millions.

Which means, if you’re reading Doncic’s comments as him trying to leverage Sacramento, you’re doing it wrong. He loves Real Madrid and is trying to let them down easy, but he’s taking the cash and coming to the NBA. Wherever that lands him.