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Click through the gallery above to view Rod Beard's NBA mock draft, version 3.0. (Go here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.)
It’s go time. The days leading up to the NBA draft have been as dramatic and exciting as any point of the NBA season, including the trade deadline, the regular season and the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Of course, the biggest bombshell was the Sixers getting the No. 1 overall pick from the Celtics for a package that included the No. 3 pick and a first-round selection next season. Celtics team president Danny Ainge might not be done, either.
The last few hours before the draft — and the picks in the draft — could add more intrigue, as teams could be picking for themselves or others. Even when a player puts on the hat for a team, it could be just a trial fitting, with a different one coming just a short time later.
The Lakers aren’t a sure bet with the No. 2 pick and the Celtics could go a different direction than Josh Jackson at No. 3. It will all make for an interesting couple of hours, not counting other potential big-time deals, including talks of Paul George and Jimmy Butler moving and shifting the balance of power to teams who could challenge the Golden State Warriors.
There’s plenty of uncertainty in the first round, just in the picks themselves, but there appear to be clear delineations between the tiers of talent from the top 10 to the next five and beyond.
Here’s a final look at how The News’ Rod Beard projects the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft.
NBA Draft preview
Thursday: Rod Beard’s Mock Draft 3.0
When: 7, Thursday
Where: Barclays Center, New York
Pistons: They have the No. 12 pick in the first round, but they do not have a second-round pick.