2016 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

Now that a fourth of the NBA season has been completed, a new mock draft will be presented to showcase the needs of the teams that have emerged during the season.

*Teams in parentheses have previously traded away their pick.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons SF/PF LSU- Simmons has been unreal so far this season for the Tigers. Here is clearly a cut above the rest of the draft field, and although he is not showing much of a jumper in the early part of the season, he is still been unstoppable in the paint. Simmons will give the 76ers the star they have been tanking so hard to get.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Skal Labissiere PF/C Kentucky- I would prefer the Lakers win the lottery, and are able to select Simmons, as the league is not the same with the Lakers playing so poorly. Labissiere still has the talent to be a franchise cornerstone, and a combination of Randle and Labissiere will give the Lakers a dominant front court for the next decade.
  3. New Orleans Pelicans: Kris Dunn PG Providence- The Jrue Holiday experiment has not panned out as well as New Orleans had hoped for. Dunn has been exceptional on both ends of the court for Providence this year. His ability to lead, score, and distribute, will help Dunn be the first guard selected in the 2016 NBA Draft.
  4. Boston Celtics(Brooklyn Nets): Jaylen Brown SF California- ESPN recently said the Boston Celtics were the best team in the Eastern Conference. Although I highly disagree with that statement, Boston does have a lot of talent, they are justing lacking a go-to scorer. Brown has been playing well for Cal this year, and will help bolster the scoring from the perimeter for the Celtics.
  5. Denver Nuggets: Brandon Ingram SF Duke- Ingram is a bit undersized for the NBA, but an NBA strength and conditioning coach can get him caught up. His ability to score is undeniable, and with Denver in a complete rebuild, they could use another young body to help Mudiay with the scoring.
  6. Sacramento Kings: Jamal Murray PG/SG Kentucky- Rajon Rondo has been great for the Sacramento Kings this season. This pick is one of more insurance than need if they decide to resign Rondo. Murray has the talent and potential to become the next John Wall, and if Sacramento is serious about becoming a contender with Cousins on their roster, they need to consider Murray, who has a higher ceiling than Rondo.
  7. Milwaukee Bucks: Henry Ellenson PF Marquette- Milwaukee brought in Greg Monroe to help with their interior scoring. In order to make this happen, Milwaukee traded away Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia, and now their defense and rebounding is extremely lacking. Ellenson can help with both of these problems for Milwaukee, as well as being a homegrown talent from Wisconsin.
  8. Portland Trail Blazers: Jakob Poeltl C Utah- Portland has been a surprise early on with how competitive they have been. Poeltl is a great prospect for both ends of the court, and Portland has a need at the position. Mason Plumlee is a good player, but Poeltl has a higher upside, and will be able to lock down the interior for the next decade.
  9. Toronto Raptors(New York Knicks): Cheick Diallo PF/C Kansas- Toronto does not have many glaring needs, besides the search for a star player. Diallo has performed well in his limited action with Kansas, and would give Toronto an excellent, lengthy rim protector to pair with Jonas Valanciunas. If New York continues to perform above expectations and this pick continues to move closer to the teens, I can see Toronto trading it for an attempt at getting a star player.
  10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Demetrius Jackson PG Notre Dame- Minnesota does not have a huge hole on their young roster. Rubio has showed he will be a key part in the development of the rest of the young roster. LaVine, who many believed would become the point guard, looks to be finding himself as a shooting guard in the league. Kevin Martin is not likely to be on the roster much longer, and Minnesota could use some younger, quality depth at the positions. Jackson would provide leadership, scoring, and distribution from the bench to round out the roster.
  11. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender PF International- With talks surrounding Markieff Morris heating up again, Phoenix could look to rid themselves of Morris and replace him with a cheaper option. WIth Porzingis performing so well this season, teams may jump on Bender earlier rather than later, but his performances so far in Europe show land him in the 9-12 range.
  12. Washington Wizards: Damian Jones PF Vanderbilt- Washington has a ton of problems with their frontcourt this season. Gortat has been dealing with his mother, who is dealing with a serious illness, while Nene has been average. Jones brings in good size, rebounding ability, and rim protection for a squad desperate for answers early on.
  13. Houston Rockets: Ivan Rabb PF California- Houston has had some issues early on in the season. They seem to have figured some things, but are nowhere near the contender we thought they were. Houston has had a need at the power forward position for the past few seasons, and Rabb has the potential to be an elite player at this position. This pick falls to Denver if Houston falls out of the top fourteen, so they need to be careful if they want to maintain their pick.
  14. Utah Jazz: Timothe Luwawu SG International- Utah has a dominant front court pairing in Favors and Gobert, but they could use some more scoring from the perimeter. Luwawu is flying up boards, and Utah would be wise to snatch up the French scorer.
  15. Detroit Pistons: Furkan Korkmaz SG International- Korkmaz has not been as dominant as scouts were hoping for, but he does possess an elite ability to score. Detroit has so many scorers on their roster, but none have shown the ability to take over a game. A young core of Korkmaz, KCP, Jackson, Johnson, and Drummond will help keep Detroit in the playoff picture for years to come.
  16. Orlando Magic: Zhou Qi C International- Orlando is finally seeing all their young talent come into their own. They do have one glaring hole, and that is rim protection. In China, Qi has been dominant, and still has a ton of room to grow as he better understands the game. As the draft approaches, you are will hear a lot more about Qi and he will likely move up draft boards.
  17. Boston Celtics(Dallas Mavericks): Stephen Zimmerman C UNLV- Boston has a need for a rim protector and Zimmerman provides this. In seven games, Zimmerman is averaging 1.9 blocks per game, which has scouts salivating about his potential at the next level. With three picks in the first round, Boston will help transform their roster into one of the best in the Eastern Conference.
  18. Memphis Grizzlies: Caris LeVert PG/SG Michigan- Memphis needs to find another scorer if they want to remain relevant. LeVert possesses a unique ability to score from anywhere on the court, and will give the Grizzlies a young guard o build around.
  19. Los Angeles Clippers: Malik Newman PG/SG Mississippi State- Newman has not stood out as much as people expected from him. Newman still has tremendous upside, especially for a Clippers team who needs a little more life in the backcourt rotation. At nineteen, Newman would provide tremendous value and upside for the Clippers moving forward.
  20. Boston Celtics: Wade Baldwin PG Vanderbilt- Another guard, I know, Boston does not need one. Smart has been rumored to be on the trade block for the past few months, and has not showed much improvement on the offensive side of the ball, while Rozier has had little chance to showcase his talents. Baldwin would just help provide more insurance in case Smart and Rozier do not work out.
  21. Atlanta Hawks: Diamond Stone C Maryland- The center position is not a huge need for the Hawks, but at twenty-one, Stone provides great value, and would be able to learn from one of the game’s best in Al Horford. Horford is up for an extension soon, and is nearing thirty so finding so young insurance would benefit the Hawks.
  22. Philadlephia 76ers(Miami Heat): Isaiah Briscoe PG/SG Kentucky- A guard is finally selected for the Philadelphia 76ers rotation. Briscoe is in between a point guard and shooting guard, but his elite athleticism and scoring ability will help jumpstart the offense in Philly.
  23. Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine SG/SF Michigan State- Chicago needs a role player who can do everything. Valentine has exploded this season, just dominating every aspect of the game. Valentine is not looked at to be a star, but with players such as, Draymond Green becoming so popular in the league, Valentine will find his role, and exploit it for a contender.
  24. Indiana Pacers: Domantas Sabonis PF/C Gonzaga- Indiana has been playing a deadly small-ball lineup for most of the season. Paul George has been playing at an MVP level, but he does need more help. Sabonis can do everything you ask of him. He will help stretch the floor, rebound, and is above the average passer. In the mid-twenties, Sabonis is a huge value selection.
  25. Toronto Raptors: Taurean Prince SF Baylor- With their second selection, toronto helps improve their perimeter depth. Prince can help improve the bench scoring, and push Ross to be a better player, who has struggled much of the season after receiving a contract extension.
  26. Charlotte Hornets: Melo Trimble PG Maryland- Charlotte has been way better than expected this season. They do have a need for depth. Trimble might not ever be a star, but he can help provide leadership for the bench, as well as a tremendous scoring option.
  27. Philadelphia 76ers(Oklahoma City): Tyrone Wallace California- Philadelphia could use another guard to boost their guard play. Wallace has the leadership, scoring, and passing ability to take over the position for the 76ers. While Briscoe has a higher ceiling, Wallace is more pro-ready, he can be the lead man until Briscoe comes into his own.
  28. Phoenix Suns(Cleveland Cavaliers): SF Troy Williams Indiana- In Phoenix they are in need of some more forwards. Williams is still developing his game, but his potential has him looking to be a tremendous role player at the next level. Williams plays hard on both ends of the floor, and would help Phoenix with their depth issues.
  29. San Antonio Spurs: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG Kansas- Mykhailiuk has been disappointing this season at Kansas, but his game could easily translate to the NBA, and who else better to exploit this than Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. With the big three in San Antonio nearing retirement, Mykhailiuk can help led the Spurs into the future.
  30. Golden State Warriors: Kennedy Meeks PF/C North Carolina- Festus Ezeli has been playing at a high level to start this season. Although this is great for the undefeated Warriors, he is playing himself into a bigger contract, one they might not be able to afford. Meeks provides similar attributes, but at a much cheaper price. Expect for Golden State to find some front court depth in this draft.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17

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