UA-59049186-1 2016 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 - Good if it Goes

2016 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

2016NBADraft

1. 76ers: SF. Brandon Ingram 6’9 196 – Duke

I believe Ingram is the best prospect in this class and when you combine that with the fact that Simmons doesn’t even wanna play for Philly, I think Ingram is the obvious selection here. It’s rare that you see a 1st overall potential prospect like Simmons with so many questions about his motor and intangibles. Those questions are non existent about Ingram. He’s the best perimeter scoring prospect in this draft, he’s nearly 6’10 with a wing span well over 7 feet. He’s drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant, and though I wouldn’t go quite that far, I think he definitely has a chance to be an elite scorer in the league. On top of that he can really defend. He’s an all-around prospect that has real star potential.

2. Lakers: SF. Ben Simmons 6’10 240 – LSU

If the Lakers didn’t pick Russell last year, I’d tell you Dunn should draw real consideration for this pick. But at the end of the day, this pick should be Simmons. Even with all the questions I have about his game, his potential and physical abilities are undeniable. The Lakers desperately need a potential star player to help reboot the franchise and get them back to the winning team we know them to be.

3. Celtics (from Brooklyn): SG. Jamal Murray 6’5 201 – Kentucky

In my opinion, this pick probably gets traded and if it does, Dunn will probably be the pick. However, I just can’t see Boston pulling the trigger on Dunn if they can’t find a trade partner. They’ve got enough PGs and combo guards. The Celtics biggest needs are finding a wing that can shoot 3s and getting more size and athleticism on the front line. The depth for bigs in this draft is greater than that of the guards and it’s because of that I think they will pick Murray over Marquese Chriss who will draw heavy consideration with this pick.

4. Suns: PF. Marquese Chriss 6’10 233 – Washington

Outside of Simmons or Ingram somehow being available at this point, there won’t be a better scenario for the Suns than Chriss not being taken by the Celtics. Since they have Bledsoe and Knight, they don’t need Dunn and after the rookie year Devin Booker had, the last thing they need is another 3-point sniper shooting guard that can’t play small forward like both Murray and Hield. The front line is where the biggest needs for Phoenix are. They don’t have a starting caliber PF on the roster and also need new blood at center with Tyson Chandler getting old and coming off 1 of the worst seasons of his career. When you pick 4th and the 4th best prospect in the draft is there and plays the position you need most there really shouldn’t be much to think about here for the Suns.

5. Timberwolves: PG. Kris Dunn 6’4 210 – Providence

If the board plays out the way I have the T-Wolves will have 2 options here. Take the best player in Dunn or take the best fit in Hield. Hield no doubt offers the best immediate solution. He could start at the 2 and allow Lavine to be a 6th man combo guard that could play minutes at both the 1 and the 2, which is a role I think he’s best suited for. Rubio’s best attribute is his passing and a guy like Hield on the wing next to him would be a mutually beneficial relationship to maximize the strengths of both of those players. However, if you’re the T-wolves I think you can’t have such a short sighted approach. Rubio has already been talking about he might want to leave and his name seems to be the subject of trade rumors every year anyway. Most likely Dunn is gonna be a far better pro player than Heild. The best long term pick would be to take Dunn, and then look to trade Rubio and that’s what I think Minnesota is going to do.

6. Pelicans: SG. Buddy Hield 6’5 212 – Oklahoma

This would be a great pick for the Pelicans, who desperately need a shot maker on the perimeter to help Anthony Davis and better space the floor. Eric Gordon in all likelyhood won’t be back so it opens up a huge need in the lineup for a SG and with this pick the Pelicans would definitely fill it.

7. Nuggets: PF. Dragan Bender 7’1 225 – International

There probably isn’t a better team suited to take Bender than the Nuggets. They desperately need a star prospect but just can’t get high enough in the lottery to get that sure fire guy. Bender isn’t a can’t miss star prospect but he does have a rare blend of skills and size that gives him the potential to become a star 1 day if he can maximize his gifts. If nothing else he projects to be a very effective 2 way player that can be a big time contributor. Worst case scenario think Nikola Mirotic with better passing ability and defense.

8. Kings: SF. Jaylen Brown 6’7 223 – California

I personally don’t get all the Jaylen Brown hype. To me he’s barely a top 20 prospect but by all accounts he’s going somewhere in the top 10. Who better to roll the dice on him than a team with a such a poor draft record like the Kings? The physical size and athleticism of Brown are impressive, but he can’t shoot, his handle is average, finishing ability is average, and he wasn’t the defensive force his tools would suggest he could be in college. He has a lot of potential and the Kings desperately need help on the wing primarily at shooting guard.

9. Raptors (from New York): PF. Henry Ellenson 6’11 242 – Marquette

The views on Ellenson are completely mixed and varying depending on who you ask. Personally I’m a huge fan and think he’s the most skilled offensive player in the draft regardless of position. The Raptors biggest weakness is by far the power forward position as Patrick Patterson is a glorified spot up shooting small forward trapped in an undersized 4s body and Luis Scola is just getting to old to get the job done. Ellenson would be a great addition to this team and who better than a defensive wizard like Dwayne Casey to best figure out how to hide him on defense.

10. Bucks: PF. Deyonta Davis 6’11 237 – Michigan State

The Bucks could go in quite a few directions with this pick. Part of it all depends on exactly what role/position they want the Greek Freak to play for him. If they want him to be a true SF then PG is a need as Michael Carter-Williams isn’t a long term solution and is a poor fit on the floor with Giannis. If they want Giannis to be the point, then they need another wing player, preferably one with 3 point range that can space the floor. But I think this team’s biggest need is a defensive Center. Henson was over paid and is too small to be a starting 5 and Greg Monroe defensively is horrid. A player like Deyonta Davis would be an excellent addition to a team searching for a front core player that can bring toughness and anchor a defense.

11. Orlando Magic: C. Skal Labissiere 7’0 216 – Kentucky

Personally I feel that Skal should go higher than this but the concerns about his lack of experience and just how raw he is at this point are real and most likely will push him out of the top 10. However, the Magic are in perfect position to take on a project player. With Vucevic, Illysova, and Gordon already on the roster there is no pressure for Skal to come in and be an instant contributer. The Magic really have no glaring needs that can be filled at this point in the draft. The only improvements they can really make is to bring in a star player to help expidite the rebuilding process and for the young players they’ve already drafted to take the next step.

12. Utah Jazz: PG. Demetrius Jackson 6’2 194 – Notre Dame

The Jazz biggest need is at the PG position. Dante Exum hasn’t quite panned out and Shlevin Mack isn’t the answer either. They are literally set at every other position in my opinion.

13. Phoenix Suns: C. Jakob Poeltl 7’1 240 – Utah

Some think Poeltl is the best center prospect in the draft. I wouldn’t go that far but he does project to be a solid pro that could develop into a pretty decent starting Center 1 day. This would be a great situation for him to land in as he could back up Tyson Chandler and learn from veteran player that has played the game the right way his whole career.

14. Bulls: C. Domontas Sabonis 6’10 231 – Gonzaga

Is he a center or power forward at the NBA level? I don’t know but the Bulls could use both. Noah and Gasol are both set to be free agents this offseason and in all likelyhood Gasol is out. Who better to replace him with than a guy being billed as perhaps the best offensive low post scorer in the draft? Its entirely possible this guy could be pick way before this but the change of playing style of the modern NBA makes it possible that a player of Sabonis caliber could fall to this spot and if he does the Bulls shouldn’t hesitate.

15. Nuggets (from Houston): SG. Furkan Korkmaz 6’7 185 – International

The best course of action for the Nuggest would be to find a way to package some of these picks and turn them into a an established veteran player than can have an immidate impact. The Nuggets already have enough young players so and have a ton of picks. They simply don’t need a bunch of rookies on the roster at this point so I expect them to take a draft and stash approach in this draft and Korkmaz is 1 of the best international prospects in the class. He projects to be a big time shooter and in today’s NBA you can never have to many of those.

16. Celtics (from Dallas): C. Ivica Zubac 7’1 265 – International

The Celtics addressed their need for perimeter shooting with the 3rd pick. Now they need to address their lack of size inside and the 7’1 265 pound Zubac definitely does that. He’s got some potential to develop as post scorer and big time finisher around the basket. He also rebounds very well and will offer some resistance at the rim.

17. Grizzlies: SG. Malachi Richardson 6’6 200 – Syracuse

The Grizzlies have been without a scoring wing for years now but if Richardson last this long I can’t see the Grizzlies passing him up. His 6’6 frame and 7’0 wingspan allows him to slide between either wing spot with ease and he has the tools to be a factor on both ends.

18. Pistons: SF. Denzel Valentine 6’6 210 – Michigan State

The Pistons finally got back to the postseason this year and now need to build on that momentum. How better to do that than to draft a player in Valentine who not only has home roots playing at Michigan State but also may be the most pro ready prospect in the class. Valentine can pass, rebound, handle the ball and is a lights out shooter. What playoff team can’t use that?

19. Nuggets (from Portland): PF. Thon Maker 7’1 215 – International

With all the picks the Nuggets have, they are in a better position than most of the teams in this draft to take a chance on Maker. He’s a very intriguing prospect with a lot of great physical tools but he just isn’t ready to step on an NBA court anytime soon. Not a problem for the Nuggets because they won’t need him to. His skill set would be perfect for the uptempo style the Nuggets try to utilize to take advantage of their home court altitude advantage.

20. Pacers: PG. Wade Baldwin 6’4 202 – Vanderbilt

Baldwin could probably go as high as 12 to the Jazz but if not I can’t see him falling out of the top 20. I personally have concerns about taking him in the top 20. He has no jumper and doesn’t finish well but he has the potential to be an elite defender and he is an excellent passer so he can find a place on a team as a PG and the Pacers desperately need a true PG as their backcourt is filled with combo guards.

21. Hawks: SF. Taurean Prince 6’8 220 – Baylor

I think Prince should go a lot higher than this but he probably won’t. He’s the best 3 and D wing prospect in the draft and he has some untapped offensive potential that could lead to him developing into more than people thing the way wings like Leonard, Butler, and George did. He’d be an absolute steal for the Hawks and could definitely help in their fight to maybe win a game against Cleveland in the playoffs at some point.

22. Hornets: SG. Dejounte Murray 6’5 170 – Washington

The Hornets could use 2 guard help and Murray is potentially ready to come off the bench and provide instant scoring. With Jeremy Lin set to be a free agent Murray could come in and take over that combo scoring guard role off the bench. He has the best handles in the class with scouts drawing comparisons to Jamal Crawford. He’s a confident player that has a scorer’s mentality and would be a good addition to a Hornets team that was prone to finding it self in scoring droughts.

23. Celtics: C. Damian Jones 6’11 245 – Vanderbilt

I said the Celtics had 3 primary things they needed to accomplish in this draft. They needed to get a wing shooter, Get bigger on the front line, and I said they needed to get more athletic on the front line. Enter Damian Jones. Jones is 6’11 with a 7’4 wing span and had a 37 inch vertical. He can really run and jump for a guy his size and would give a much needed boost in athleticism to the Celtics roster.

24. Sixers (from Miami): PG. Tyler Ulis 5’10 150 – KentuckyPG/

The Sixers backcourt situation has been by far the worst in the NBA for years now but the addition of Ulis could help change that. You could make a case he has the best pure offensive PG skill set in this draft. Yes we know he’s undersized but at this point in the draft I think it’s more than safe to go ahead and pull the trigger. They’ve already got their post and perimeter scorers of the future now they need a guy that can run the team and get everybody the ball and Ulis is that guy.

25. Clippers: C. Diamond Stone 6-10 255 – Maryland

The clippers could really use a 3 and D small forward here but there just isn’t 1 good enough to take at this spot given the other talent on the board. There next biggest needs are back up center and backup pg. Really they just need overall bench help period. Their lack of depth was a huge problem for them all year, especially on the front line. Stone could potentially change all of that. If Stone didn’t have the character concerns he’d be in the top 10-15 conversation no doubt. But when you get suspended for slamming opponents heads against the floor that’s the case. Outside of Sabonis nobody in this draft has a low post offensive skill set on par with him. He’s also a good shooter and can knock em down out to mid range.

26. 76ers (from Oklahoma City): SG. Malik Beasely 6’5 190 – Florida State

The Clippers have made their share of high lottery picks now they need to compliment those players with some solid glue guys. Beasely is 1 of the best potential glue guys in the class. He should thrive in a role player role with his spot up shooting and shlashing ability. He has some ability to defend as well.

27. Raptors: C. Cheick Diallo 6’9 220 – Kansas

Bismack Biyombo had an impressive regular season and followed it up by having some big games in the post season which means he could be looking for a bigger role in free agency and to cash in. Cheick Diallo would be the perfect replacement for him as he enters the draft with a similar profile as Biyombo did. 1 dimensional defensive player that can’t score or impact the game on offense. He’ll never average double digit figures in the NBA but Diallo has all the tools to be an elite defender in the NBA.

28. Suns (from Cleveland): SF. DeAndre Bembry 6’6 207 – Saint Joseph’s

Bembry’s name has really heated up over the last week or so. He’s definitely an intriuging wing prospect who projects as an impact defensive player and force on the glass. He’d definitely be a good compliment to Devin Booker who’s game is the complete opposite of Bembry’s.

29. Spurs: PF. Guerschon Yabusele 6’8 260 – International

I think the Spurs are going to be looking to be major free agent players again either this year or definitely next year. Which is why I expect them to do what  they normally do and draft a foreign player they can stash over seas for a few years and keep off the books. Yabusele has a lot of talent and his ability to shoot would make him a welcome addition to the Spurs.

30. Warriors: PF. Brice Johnson 6-10 210 – North Carolina

The Warriors face a lot of uncertainty this offseason they could potentially see a lot of their core role players walk in free agency. With that being said they need to draft a player with this pick ready to come in and contribute as a role player immediately and Brice Johnson is that guy. He’s ultra athletic and would definitely fit the Warriors uptempo style. He’s an experienced veteran college player that should be ready to come in and help a championship caliber team.

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