Sixteen NBA teams begin the postseason this weekend, but for the rest of the Association the offseason is well underway. The tanking is complete, the lottery odds are set, and the road to rebuilding has officially begun--again.
Though we're still about a month away from the May 16 lottery, which is the next major date on the off-season calendar, the outlook of the draft is always evolving. The most recent example of that is Miles Bridges' decision to turn down the draft for another year at Michigan State. A long, smooth athlete who improved his stock immensely with a terrific performance against Josh Jackson and Kansas in the NCAA tournament, Bridges was slotted No. 11 overall in most recent mock draft. His decision to stay in East Lansing is bad news for teams at the back end of the lottery, but it means more dollar signs for guys like Lauri Markkanen, Justin Jackson, Zach Collins and Jarrett Allen.
Other important draft news, albeit in an indirect way, comes out of Philadelphia, where head coach Brett Brown continues to talk up Ben Simmons as a point guard. "He wants the ball, and he has a complete passion to pass," Brown said on Adrian Wojnarowski's podcast. "So if you just take those two qualities, and forget how big he is, then you say well the starting point is interesting. When I say 'point guard,' I mean 'point guard.' You know, who takes the ball out of bounds, who receives the ball when the ball goes in the basket, who brings it up the floor after a free throw. I’m not talking about Draymond, I’m not talking about LeBron, you know, I’m talking about a point guard. And so I intend on trying this."
With the Sixers holding a Top-5 pick (and potentially two if the Lakers fall out of the Top 3) and insisting they have a point guard of the future (Brown also alluded to the team seeking a high-level free agent at the position), that could result in bad news for someone like De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith or Frank Ntilikina, as this year's PG class is deep enough for one of those potential stars to fall.
Ultimately, each minor ripple can have a major effect on the draft, so it's worth re-evaluating every so often. And with that in mind, you can click through the gallery for my newest mock draft and first-round projections. (Getty)