The NBA draft lottery is done, which means the Great Mock Draft Season can officially commence.
Following last night's surprisingly not surprising lottery proceedings, experts, amateurs and everyone in between is now ready to offer their opinion on how the first round of the draft could shake out. After all, having overly strong, only slightly informed opinions about 19- and 20-year-old basketball players is one of our great rights as Americans, right?
Besides, while there's no illusion of precision at this stage of the proceedings, mock drafts do provide our best guess as to how the hive mind of basketball is viewing (slash group-thinking) the prospect universe. With that in mind, I thought it'd be interesting to look at the "consensus" as it stands today. Below is a table of nine mock drafts from leading sites ordered by a consensus average shown on the right, with players not included in a given mock in red:
All told, 44 different players were mocked as first rounders by at least one of those sites, with Ben Simmons edging out Brandon Ingram (*barely*) by a mark of 5-4 to capture the consensus top spot. Note that because only DraftExpress currently has a full 60-player mock, players left out of a 30-pick mock were simply assigned a draft spot of 45 for averaging purposes (that's also why the median value for each of the final 10 guys is 45).
Here are links to each of the mocks used above, along with their comments on the Bucks' #10 pick:
- Jonathan Givony | The Vertical/DX
Greg Monroe has been somewhat of a disappointment since signing as a free agent last summer, which could prompt the Bucks to explore alternative options at the position. Poeltl is considered the best center in this draft and has plenty of upside physically and skill-wise.
- Kevin O'Connor | SB Nation
There aren’t many better fits for Valentine than the Bucks. His weaknesses on defense can be mitigated by Milwaukee’s strengths, and he’d be a tremendous playmaker and floor spacer playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- Andrew Sharp | Sports Illustrated
It's shocking that Poeltl could actually be drafted behind Jaylen Brown and Skal Labissiere, but most of the teams in the top 10 don't need centers. Milwaukee is one team that definitely needs a pivot and spent large parts of last season getting torched with Greg Monroe filling in for the departed Zaza Pachulia. The Bucks could get more ambitious with this pick and let Poeltl slide to Orlando, but for now, let's assume they keep it simple and grab someone who can slide in next year and help right away.
- Sean Deveney | Sporting News
When the Bucks’ pick comes around, we’re probably going to be looking at a run of big men. But the Bucks badly need a versatile wing to go with shooting guard Khris Middleton and power forward Jabari Parker, and Valentine is a mature perimeter guy who developed into a reliable passer and rebounder, in addition to providing scoring when needed. Does he have the athleticism to play in the NBA? That’s the big question. But if his collegiate production transfers to the NBA at all, he would be ideal in Milwaukee.
- Derek Bodner | USA Today
Poeltl's fall here, like Dunn's above him, is also very situational, with a number of teams (Kings, Raptors, Nuggets) having just invested in centers, or others (Wolves, Pelicans) prioritizing floor spacing for any additions to the front court they might make. While Milwaukee has a lot invested in Greg Monroe, the Bucks' defensive struggles might lead them to believe he's not a long-term fit, and Poeltl defensive rotations should be a strong suit of his.
- Sam Vecenie | CBS Sports
The Bucks could use some size inside, and that's something Poeltl is capable of providing to go with terrific feel for the game and the potential to be a solid defender. I'd expect Poeltl to turn into a solid starter at some point in the NBA, and placing him in a situation where assistant coach Sean Sweeney's defense is heavy on switches would work well for Poellt, who has good foot speed for a true 7-footer. Point guard could also be in play here, as the Bucks could use someone behind presumed starter Giannis Antetokounmpo next season.
- Gary Parrish | CBS Sports
One of the many reasons Poeltl returned to Utah for his sophomore season was to improve as a player and prospect, and he undeniably benefitted from it. He's better in every way after taking Utah to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. Last year, he would've likely gone in the 20s. Now he'll go in the lottery.
- Chad Ford | ESPN
The Bucks suffered defensively with Greg Monroe in the middle and will probably look to see what they can get on the trade market this summer. Even if they keep him, Poeltl, the No. 1 rated center on our Board, seems like a good fit. He's a fluid athlete with great hands who rebounds and protects the rim. He needs to get stronger, but he's a good value at No. 10.
- Scott Howard-Cooper | NBA.com
His college coach, Tom Izzo, raved about Davis' high ceiling, with the supporting evidence of a freshman continuing to improve while being held back by persistent foul trouble early in the season. Though not much of an offensive threat now, especially beyond the paint, Davis showed the potential to develop a perimeter game. Rebounding and blocking shots has driven the rise from late-first round in January into solid lottery territory.