It's draft day, baby!
After 364 days of scouting, physicals, interviews, workouts and thousands of hours of watching tape and endless debates on the pros and cons of certain players in the draft ... we are finally here.
Now, I only wish the NBA team front offices were. Believe it or not, teams are still firming up their draft boards, still arguing and, of course, still fielding trade calls. Some teams won't make up their minds until the night of the draft.
I've spent dozens of hours on the phone the past few days trying to sift through the flak to get an accurate read on what's happening broken up by first and second rounds.
The second round of every draft is a bit of a crapshoot. Unlike the NFL draft, very few prospects taken in the second round go on to have a major impact. However, there are always exceptions. Jordan Clarkson was taken with the 46th pick last year and made the All-Rookie First Team. Draymond Green is about ready to get a max contract after falling into the second round.
This year's draft is particularly thin in the second round thanks to a dearth of international players.
Here's our best stab, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out tonight.
I will continue to update this mock draft throughout the day as we receive new intel.
Remember, our mock draft is not a ranking of who we think the top players are (see our Top 100 for the latest rankings of players). Instead it's a reporting tool to convey our latest intel from NBA scouts and GMs on what might happen in the draft.
Why they take him: He's the most complete player in the draft. He has the potential to be dominant on both ends of the ball. He's a modern big who can play and defend multiple positions and should be a great fit in Minnesota. With so few weaknesses, it's hard to see him fail.
Why they pass: I don't think they will, but if they do, Flip Saunders felt that Jahlil Okafor's old-school game was more suited to his coaching style, or he decided to give up on Ricky Rubio and wanted a point guard like D'Angelo Russell to replace him.
UPDATE Why they take him: The Lakers are growing in confidence that they'll land either LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love this summer. If they do, their biggest need switches from big man to point guard. Russell provides both of those things and a superstar potential that Okafor can't really deliver on. Analytics say he might be the best player in the draft. Could it really be that easy?
Why they pass: The trade offer they've been looking for comes -- especially if the Kings change course and decide to send DeMarcus Cousins their way. Mitch Kupchak has been a big Okafor fan this whole process. While Aldridge and Love are big men, they aren't centers.
UPDATE Why they take him:The Sixers don't need a big man. But they are taking him because they feel he has the best value in the draft. Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel are there, too. But the Sixers will work out a fit later.
Why they pass:Reliable intel is very hard to get in Philly. Mudiay could be the pick here. He fits a need if Russell is gone. The other option? Hold the Magic ransom like they did last year with Elfrid Payton, take Kristaps Porzingis, and hope the Magic give you something great to move up two spots.