2016 NBA Mock Draft

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The NBA holds its annual draft tonight. Ahead of the selections and trades, I have comprised a list of picks that I believe will happen with a little blurb for each potential selection.

The Mock:

1st — Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons, F, LSU

Simmons was given the ol’ promise by Philly that he will be the 1st overall pick. He is the latest top 5 pick by the team that was an anemic 10–72 this past season. With recent bigs selected in Okafor, Embiid and Noel, Simmons has to make the best out of a poor situation. Hopefully the Sixers can trade at least one of those other bigs in order to get another lottery pick or veteran on draft night.

2nd — Los Angeles Lakers

Brandon Ingram, F, Duke

Ingram is the plan in Lakerland. As of noon on Wednesday, ESPN’s Chad Ford and Ramona Shelburne reported that the Lakers intend to select the big man from Duke. At 6'9, Ingram is what you want in a SF. He is a shooter with length (his wingspan is 7'3). BUT he is 195 lbs. Some compare him to Kevin Durant because of the length and shooting ability, and I partially agree. He needs to fill out though to become a star in the league.

3rd — Boston Celtics

Kris Dunn, G, Providence

The Celtics are the real starting point to the draft. If I’m Boston, I am doing everything in my power to trade the pick to get a valuable veteran. Jimmy Butler is now off the table with Chicago trading Derrick Rose to the Knicks. With that said, if Boston keeps the pick, they need to go best available and Dunn is that. Although, he is too ball dominant for an Isiah Thomas led team. Dunn then can become the asset the Celtics move for a vet or become a focal point of the team.

4th — Phoenix Suns

Marquese Chriss, F, Washington

Criss was one of my other contenders at the 3rd pick. Chriss is a boom or bust player that is an insane athlete. Phoenix has enough guards in Knight, Bledsoe and Booker. Hence, they need more size. Alex Len has not progressed along as much as the Suns have hoped. Tyson Chandler can’t play forever and Jon Leuer is a free-agent. A big is needed in the land of the sun.

5th — Minnesota Timberwolves

Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky

Minnesota has the luxury of taking whoever they want after lucking into with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns but they would love to move the pick for Jimmy Butler. This deal would make more sense than a Butler to Boston deal, but this was all before the trade of Derrick Rose. Therefore, Murray gives Tom Thibodeau a valuable guard off the bench that can shoot.

6th — New Orleans Pelicans

Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma

Most people have Buddy Hield in this spot and New Orleans needs a guard or two or three that can shoot! At 6, it is easy to take a flyer on a guy who shoot the ball out of the gym and make buckets. Eric Gordon may leave in free agency, and Jrue Holiday couldn’t stay healthy so Hield adds instant offense to a backcourt that was really bad this past season.

7th — Denver Nuggets

Dragan Bender, F, Croatia

I don’t want to put another foreign big in Denver but he is the BPA. We fall in love with upside of foreign bigs (Darko Millicic and Kristaps Porzingis) and they don’t always work out. Bender has no back to the basket game and will get bumped around inside, more so than Porzingis. All I’ve seen from Bender is a face-up ability and wants to avoid the spotlight. I like the comp to Nikola Mirotic of the Bulls.

8th — Sacramento Kings

Jaylen Brown, G/F, California

The Kings need to start from the ground up. Brown will be a project but can become a good SG. Drafting Brown gives Sacramento the ability to move Ben McLemore who hasn’t lived up to expectations. He needs to work on his shooting, especially from behind the arc. Think Kawai Leonard developmental process. Good defender, lacks shooting but its easier to learn to shoot than become a better defender.

9th — Toronto Raptors (via Knicks)

Skal Labissiere, F, Kentucky

Labissiere is a luxury pick for the team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals. As a 7-footer that can shoot, it figures that he would play the stretch 4 or at times the center spot, but he is too small for that right now. He and Brandon Ingram (taken by the Lakers) are both slender players. Labissiere could be a one heck of a player in a few years, and Toronto has the ability to let him sit and learn.

10th — Milwaukee Bucks

Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah

Poeltl fits as the more traditional PF/C in Milwaukee. The decision here was Davis vs Poeltl. The Bucks need size behind Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe. With Monroe being underwhelming last season, and holding an opt-out after the 2016–2017 season, Poeltl fits well.

11th — Orlando Magic

Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State

Orlando here gets the guy Milwaukee doesn’t select. They need a bench guy with size. At 6'11, Davis provides another big body behind their starters Gordon and Vucevic. Andrew Nicholson could be on the way out so I’m taking the MSU product over a stash guy.

12th — Atlanta (via Jazz)

Henry Ellenson, F, Marquette

By trading Jeff Teague Wednesday afternoon, Atlanta gets a scoring 4 with Ellenson. Fabulous take as long as he is behind Millsap. Bench scoring is key for Atlanta who looks to maybe move this pick and the 21st pick for a veteran scorer. But staying here at 12, Ellenson gives height and scoring.

13th — Phoenix Suns (via Wizards)

Ivica Zubac, C, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Traditional international stash pick. After taking Chriss at 4th overall, Phoenix takes a 7-footer who can rebound but needs to work on his offense. At 19, Zubac should play one more season in Serbia.

14th — Chicago Bulls

Malik Beasley, G, Florida State

Chicago needs a PG after trading Derrick Rose but Beasley has sky-rocketed up draft boards. Here, he sneaks into the lottery with a very good athlete with one heck of a jump shot. Shooters always work well with superstars.

15th — Denver Nuggets (via Rockets)

Wade Baldwin, G, Vanderbilt

Denver needs a combo guard that can defend. Baldwin needs to develop his ball handling if he wants to play some point but he has a decent shot. Needs to take 3 or more years to develop.

16th — Boston Celtics (via Mavericks)

Domantas Sabonis, F, Gonzaga

Boston gets a rebounder and a skilled post player here that will plug into the system of head coach, Brad Stevens. Not as athletic as other players in the draft but has a quality jump shot and post skills that make him an easy pick at 16, if Boston hasn’t already traded the pick.

17th — Memphis Grizzlies

Timothe Luwawu, G/F, France

This kid is Thabo Sefolosha 2.0. His 7 foot wingspan coupled with his athleticism makes him an interesting pick. He can knock down an open shot but scouts say he has very good scoring instincts.

18th — Detroit Pistons

Denzel Valentine, F, Michigan State

The Spartan Senior draws a ton of comparisons to former Spartan Draymond Green. He may be the most NBA ready player in this years draft. He has an improved offensive game increasing his three-point percentage from 24% his freshman year to 44% his senior year. I would take Valentine earlier but teams would probably pass on him and look for guys with higher ceilings. But with Valentine, you know what you are getting.

19th — Denver Nuggets (via Blazers)

Juan Hernangomez, F, Spain

The 21 year old Hernangomez is a stash player for Denver. Decent upside (as with most European players). Needs to put in work on the defensive side of the ball and needs to improve his post game.

20th — Indiana Pacers

Brice Johnson, F, North Carolina

Could be a very good 6th or 7th man off the bench like a Taj Gibson in Chicago. He needs to get stronger but is very athletic and used his size and rebounding ability to his advantage at UNC.

21st — Atlanta Hawks

Taurean Prince, F, Baylor

Compares well to a former Hawk in DeMarre Carroll. Solid defensively but needs to work on his shooting which is something Atlanta needed last season.

22nd — Charlotte Hornets

Dejounte Murray, G, Washington

Murray comes right in as a great ball handler and has good quickness. He can develop into something and play alongside Kemba Walker, replace Walker, or become a trade worthy asset.

23rd — Boston Celtics

Furkan Korkmaz, G, Turkey

Leave this kid in Europe for another season and he could make an impact in 2017–2018. Good scoring ability and is athletic enough to play and keep up defensively.

24th — Philadelphia 76ers (via Heat/Cavaliers)

Tyler Ulis, G, Kentucky

The 76ers are in desperate need of a point guard. The guy is quick and has a very good shot. He and Jamal Murray just popped off the screen during Wildcat games this past season. After taking Ben Simmons, they can take a risk here because Ulis has the potential to be something in this league despite his size.

25th — Los Angeles Clippers

Malachi Richardson, G, Syracuse

The Clippers need a young guy to come off the bench. Richardson has the prototypical size for a two-guard and is a versatile offensive player who is long and athletic.

26th — Philadelphia 76ers (via Thunder/Nuggets/Cavaliers)

DeAndre Bembry, G/F, St. Joseph’s

Another huge pop potential pick for the Sixers here down near the bottom of the 1st round. Bembry has been discussed in NBA circles as a late riser in the process. He has very good athleticism and quickness that are beneficial to all young players trying to make it in the league.

27th — Toronto Raptors

Ante Zizic, C, Croatia

Stash 6'11 guy with good rebounding skills. Can sit overseas a few more years with the Raptors having Jonas Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo.

28th — Phoenix Suns (via Cavaliers/Celtics)

Cheick Diallo, F, Kansas

Good size and excellent rebounder for Kansas this past year. If the Suns can take the time and have him develop, it could pay off in the long run.

29th — San Antonio Spurs

Thon Maker, C, Australia

A legit 7-footer who can use his size to his advantage. Needs to develop but what place is better than with the Spurs. He could be a decent back-up big in the role of a Aron Baynes or Jeff Ayers when they were Spurs.

30th — Golden State Warriors

Diamond Stone, C, Maryland

Stone is worth it here at the bottom of the round. He provides size, strength and inside presence. Can knock down a jump shot in pick and pop. If he develops into the player everyone thought Maryland was getting, then watch out.

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