If you like the NBA and you have a working Internet connect, there’s little doubt that you spent some amount of time over the last month devouring various mock drafts. But have you ever gone back to check on the experts? To see who was right and who should be avoiding eye contact? Well now you can.
We checked the latest mock draft from each of these sources (including our own) against what actually happened when the teams started calling in their picks. Here’s what we learned:
• No one knows anything.
• The easiest picks to predict (outside of Anthony Davis, who was a lock at #1) were Bradley Beal to Washington at #3 and Damian Lillard to Portland at #6 (8 of 11).
• Also somewhat predictable (6 of 11) was Austin Rivers to New Orleans at #10.
• The hardest pick to predict was a 17-way tie between #8, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, and #30.
• Seriously. No one knows anything.
On the left is the actual draft order. Correct predictions are marked with a dot. Oh and we only did the first round, because not everyone did a mock second round.
•CBS’s Jeff Goodman - 8 Correct
•The Basketball Jones - 5 Correct
•BuzzFeed Sports - 5 Correct
•CBS’s Matt Moore - 4 Correct
•Bleacher/Report - 4 Correct
•ESPN’s NBA Player Mock - 4 Correct
•Fox Sports - 4 Correct
•Yahoo/DraftExpress - 4 Correct
•Sports Illustrated - 4 Correct
•Sporting News - 3 Correct
•ESPN’s Chad Ford - 3 Correct
Those are some rough-looking numbers. I mean, when Andre Drummond has the worst free-throw percentage that anyone can remember (29%) and he’s still better at shooting foul shots than any of these people are at predicting the draft, that looks bad. But it’s important to remember that correctly predicting picks is a far more difficult task than shooting foul shots. One of those only has two possible outcomes, while the other has a mind-blowing number of possibilities. (If you’ve ever watched Andre Drummond shoot free throws, you might be confused here, but it’s the draft that can go in more different directions.) This is all to say that nobody listed above is stupid, except maybe for the NBA players. They had Bradley Beal slipping to 19! That’s really stupid.