BOSTON — With only a couple weeks before the NBA draft, you're starting to see the players projected as lottery picks (top-14) show up for workouts for the worst teams from a year ago.
The Boston Celtics, holders of the No. 6 and No. 17 pick, will bring in players under consideration for the No. 6 pick in the coming days.
While it may seem a bit late in the game for some, it's really par for the course when it comes to the NBA draft's top prospects.
"If you're a top-5 or top-6 pick, you want to stay there as long as you can," an NBA executive told CSNNE.com. "You want to make sure whatever team you're working out for, is a team that's in the range of where you might be drafted."
That's why you'll find players like Arizona's Aaron Gordon or Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart willing to work out for the Celtics, but not necessarily a team that's picking outside of the lottery or in the 20s.
"The lottery-type players usually work out for just a handful of teams," an agent told CSNNE.com. "If all the information you have as a player's agent tells you that your guy is a top-10 pick, why would you have him work out for teams picking below that? It doesn't make sense. It becomes a waste of that player's time and the time of the team, too."
And with that, here is CSNNE.com's Mock Draft 8.0.
on the rise ---> (+)
no change ---> (=)
on the decline ---> (-)
1. Cleveland: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas (=) The Hakeem Olajuwon comparisons seem a bit of a stretch now. But potential-wise, they are legit.
2. Milwaukee: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke (=) Parker can come in right now and be the Bucks' best scorer. Andrew Wiggins? Probably not.
3. Philadelphia: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas (=) Not only do the Sixers land an explosive talent, but they have a guy who can defend at a high level from Day One.
4. Orlando: Dante Exum, PG, Australia (=) The Magic will get offers for this pick, but ending up with Exum when all is said and done? The Magic could do a lot worst.
5. Utah: Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State (+) Trey Burke is their point guard of the future, but Smart adds quality depth with his versatility and defensive skills.
6. Boston: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona (+) Doesn't seem like an ideal fit, but is a player everyone outside of the top-3 is starting to warm up to a lot.
MORE: Tim Welsh's best targets for the Celtics at No. 6.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, F, Kentucky (-) With all the holes in the Lakers roster, Randle would be on the short list for the NBA rookie of the Year award.
8. Sacramento: Noah Vonleh, F/C, Indiana (-) Has the kind of inside-outside game and high-impact potential that makes him a safe pick for the Kings.
9. Charlotte: Doug McDermott, F, Creighton (+) There are concerns about McDermott's athleticism, but this will not be Adam Morrison 2.0 for the Hornets.
10. Philadelphia (via New Orleans): Rodney Hood, SF, Duke (+) Has size, excellent range and should fit in well with the Sixers' youthful core.
11. Denver (via New York): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State (+) Workouts continue to show that his height (6-foot-4) won't be an issue in the NBA.
12. Orlando: Zach LaVine, G, UCLA (+) Lots of athleticism, potential. Sounds a lot like what folks said about Gerald Green circa 2005.
13. Minnesota: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan (+) Playing with Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves need as many shot-makers as they can find.
14. Phoenix: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia (=) Can play some point-forward, may be open to coming to NBA immediately despite not being a top-7 pick.
15. Atlanta: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia (=) Should take some of the physical pounding off the shoulders of Al Horford and Paul Millsap.
16. Chicago (via Charlotte): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse (-) Derrick Rose is the only point guard under contract, so drafting one becomes a priority for the Bulls.
17. Boston (via Brooklyn): T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State (=) Kyle Anderson awfully tempting right here, but the Celtics need a scorer in the worst way.
18. Phoenix (via Washington): James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky (=) Has an underrated mid-range game that should mesh well the Suns' offensive attack.
19. Chicago: Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA (+) Will only see his stock continue to rise with what has been a nice run of impressive showings during workouts.
20. Toronto: Adreian Payne, F/C, Michigan State (=) Has a 7-foot-4 wing span despite being just 6-9, the kind of length that should translate into a solid defender.
21. Oklahoma City (from Dallas): Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State (=) Thunder add toughness, scoring to a bench that needs more of both going forward.
22. Memphis: Clint Capela, F, France (=) An infusion of youth in the frontcourt is an absolute must-have for the Grizzlies either through the draft or free agency.
23. Utah (from Golden State): Kristaps Porzingis, C, Latvia (+) A mystery to many just months ago, Porzingis is a solid, first-round prospect now ... on the rise.
24. Charlotte (via Portland): K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson (=) Hornets haven't had an athletic, defensive-minded wing like this since current Celtic Gerald Wallace.
25. Houston: P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends (-) James Harden's underwhelming play in the postseason underscores the need to add another scorer off the bench.
26. Miami: Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn (=) There's no telling if Mario Chalmers, a free agent this summer, will return. Filling that void with Napier? #lebronapproved.
27. Phoenix (via Indiana): Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA (-) Athleticism not great, but he's strong, doesn't shy away from contact and is an efficient scorer.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse (=) There is no better team to play for than with the Clippers if you're an athlete with no true position.
29. Oklahoma City: Walter Taveres, C, Gran Canaria (+) With a pair of first-round picks, look for this to be one they stash away for a year or two.
30. San Antonio: Mitch McGary, F-C, Michigan (+) Great organization, little pressure to perform immediately. McGary could not walk into a better situation than this.