As the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat prepare to cement the Association's hierarchy, the hierarchy of the NBA draft is beginning to coalesce.
We're still three weeks removed from the annual collection of bad suits, instant superstar significant others and the raucous cheers surely awaiting commissioner Adam Silver. Or maybe boos. Tradition being tradition and all.
This should go without saying, but the NBA's draft does not mirror its NFL counterpart. There are not wildly variant stocks for players depending on who needs what when. When someone pulls a Johnny Manziel and "slips," it is one or two spots down their tier—the awkward green-room tears are decidedly few.
In many ways, that's a good thing. Our human nature conditions us to leer at draft-night descents like they're car crashes. It's how I imagine being in a room with Vince McMahon was as WWE stock went plummeting to earth last month—only without the body-slamming of chairs and (I'd imagine) fewer curse words.
Players who attend the NBA draft have a much more comfortable idea of where they are going. This allows for fewer overwrought storylines and decidedly less awkwardness. It also leads to a rather mundane period between the lottery and draft night.
Fans do not have access to individual predraft workouts, making the war stories seem more from a distant fictional universe than reality. We're almost three weeks removed from the draft lottery—the "breaking news" is now nothing but a pillowy cloud of smokescreens. With that in mind, let's try to cough our way through the dust clouds and make sense of the first round with a few weeks to go.