2016 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

What a better way to start the first week of the year than with a mock draft. Every pick will come with analysis to why they were chosen for each team. 

*Standings are from 1/05/2016*

  1. Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons PF LSU: The obvious number one pick for whoever lands this pick. Simmons has the ability to be the face of the franchise, and although he does not shoot well outside of the paint, either does LeBron James and he is still a top two player in the league. Simmons is the guy Philly has been tanking for. Adding Simmons will make for tough decisions in Philly, as they will have a plethora of big men who will all need playing time, so expect Philly to get involved in trade talks later in the season.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers Brandon Ingram SF Duke: Ingram has exploded the past few weeks, helping solidify his spot in the top three. Los Angeles has a huge hole at the small forward position, and the addition of Ingram could help spark a usually stagnant offense, and help rebuild the franchise back into its historic greatness.
  3. Boston Celtics Jakob Poeltl C Utah: Perks of trading away aging veterans to a poorly managed organization, means you get the center you have been looking for the past few seasons. Poeltl may not have the ceiling of Skal Labissiere, but he has dominated his opponents this season, something Labissiere cannot make a claim for. For a franchise, who has tons of talent, Poeltl will anchor their rim protection for at least the next decade.
  4. Phoenix Suns Jaylen Brown SF California: Phoenix is a complete dumpster fire, who if they continue their terrible play might be able to increase their chances of getting the number one pick and getting Simmons, who they desperately need. Brown is a great player, but he is raw, and still needs time to develop an outside shot. Brown can develop into a franchise pillar, but he will need to be given the time to develop.
  5. New Orleans Pelicans Kris Dunn PG Providence: Dunn is a top three talent, but with Phoenix and Boston not needing more guards, Dunn falls into the perfect scenario. New Orleans needs to clean house and build around Anthony Davis the right way. Dunn can do everything from the point guard position, and his skill set would blend perfectly with Davis. Selecting Dunn will make the rebuilding process a much quicker one.
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves Dragan Bender PF International: Minnesota wants to roll with Ricky Rubio as their point guard of the future, so we will address a weaker spot in their rotation. Nemanja Bjelica, who has a similar skill set, has played well for a rookie, but he does not come close to the potential of Bender. Minnesota is still rebuilding, and with Bender likely to need a season or two to adapt to the league, the pairing of these two could bring tons of success to both parties.
  7. Denver Nuggets Skal Labissiere PF/C Kentucky: Labissiere is falling down draft boards and mock drafts. He is had quite of few disappointing performances in his short tenure at Kentucky. Even with this being said, Labissiere is oozing with talent and potential, and Denver cannot pass up on it. Mudiay and Labissiere will be great building blocks, and might entice a free agent to join them and help bring the franchise back to relevance.
  8. Milwaukee Bucks Jamal Murray PG/SG Kentucky: Milwaukee needs to move on from the failure in Carter-Williams. Murray has the ability to hit any shot, rebound, and has a sky high potential. Milwaukee could look to add a rebounder like Ellenson, but without elite point guard play, Milwaukee will not be able to take the next steps into a contender.
  9. Portland Trail Blazers Henry Ellenson PF Marquette: Portland has a talented back court, but their front court is nothing impressive. Ellenson is much like former forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Ellenson can stretch the floor, rebound, and is mediocre on defense. The back court needs some help opening up the lane, and Ellenson would be the perfect solution for this.
  10. Sacramento Kings Demetrius Jackson PG Notre Dame: Sacramento cannot afford to overpay Rajon Rondo this offseason, even with his success in Sacramento. Jackson can do it all and looks to be a good point guard at the next level. Sacramento will not need to worry about Jackson’s maturity for the position, as he is almost 22.
  11. Utah Jazz Timothe Luwawu SG/SF International: Utah needs to add some more scorers to their roster. Luwawu has been dominant over in Europe, going from a fringe first rounder to potential lottery selection. With the Western Conference declining in power, Utah needs to take advantage with a great scorer in Luwawu.
  12. Toronto Raptors Ivan Rabb PF California: Toronto is hoping for a collapse in the Knicks season, so this pick becomes more valuable, but even at the twelfth overall pick they are getting a great a player. Rabb is compared to Chris Bosh, who started his career in Toronto. Rabb has less defensive potential as Bosh, but his rebounding and interior scoring could be used greatly in Canada.
  13. Washington Wizards Cheick Diallo PF Kansas: Washington is all over the place this season, and it starts with their front court. Diallo is a great defensive prospect, one who could become a great rim protector, but his offensive game is extremely raw. Washington needs to take the risk, as their front court play has been putrid, and they are going to want to spend they cap money trying to lure Kevin Durant.
  14. Houston Rockets Damian Jones PF/C Vanderbilt: Houston is heading down a dangerous path. They have all the talent of a championship caliber team, but no chemistry causing them to be horrible. Sitting in mediocrity is no man’s land, and some roster changes will be needed this offseason. Getting rid of Dwight Howard would be a good start, and Damian Jones could be a nice replacement for the diminishing skills of Howard.
  15. Charlotte Hornets Denzel Valentine SG/SF Michigan State: Charlotte just does not have a lot of game changing talent on the roster. Valentine does not look to be a star at the next level, but that is what we said about Draymond Green who was a do everything man at Michigan State as well. Charlotte could use the two-way energizer bunny to help turn them into a legitimate playoff contender.
  16. Memphis Grizzlies Furkan Korkmaz SG International: Memphis will continue to struggle in this modern league without adequate shooters. Korkmaz has been playing at a high level the past two seasons, and Memphis would be wise to pick up the guard. Korkmaz is ready to contribute right away, and could be a good back court partner for Mike Conley if they plan to retain him this offseason.
  17. Orlando Magic Stephen Zimmerman C UNLV: Orlando needs to add a rim protector to pair with Vucevic. Their defense has been atrocious with him on the court, and Zimmerman’s size and skill set could help change that. Zimmerman is still raw on offense, but he uses his length well on defense and shows natural shot blocking ability. Orlando is about to take the next step, and Zimmerman would be a good addition for the future.
  18. Detroit Pistons Wade Baldwin PG Vanderbilt: Brandon Jennings has returned to the Pistons, but as expected he has been inconsistent. Baldwin is moving up draft boards quite rapidly, and with Jennings an impending free agent, it would be wise to draft a younger, cheaper option. Baldwin is also a great three pointer shooter, something Detroit is always looking to add.
  19. Boston Celtics Domantas Sabonis PF/C Gonzaga: All Boston needed was a rim protector, and now this allows them to draft the best player available. Sabonis has a similar skill set to Kelly Olynyk, but with a higher ceiling. Sabonis can step in, be an instant offensive punch, and is willing to do the dirty work. He does need to learn how to control his body more, as he can become foul prone, but his offensive potential outweighs this easy to fix flaw.
  20. Indiana Pacers Caris LeVert PG/SG Michigan: Indiana needs some more offensive flare to compete in the now competitive Eastern Conference. LeVert has been a dynamic play maker for Michigan this season, but his age and injury history will hold him out of the lottery. LeVert has the skills to be an instant starter, or be used as a destructive bench piece. Frank Vogel will be able to get the best out of this young man.
  21. Boston Celtics Nigel Hayes SF Wisconsin: Boston can look to help improve their bench depth and talent. Hayes has not exploded this season, as many people expected with Dekker and Kaminsky leaving, but he has been a solid player, who has role player potential at the next level. A small forward position of Crowder and Hayes could form a destructive duo for the future of this franchise.
  22. Toronto Raptors Zhou Qi C International: With their second pick of the first round, Toronto continues to address their front court with a developmental project. Qi is dominating the Chinese leagues, and is showing excellent traits of a dominant NBA shot blocker. Toronto is in need of a rim protector, and Qi could develop into an elite one for the Raptors.
  23. Atlanta Hawks Diamond Stone C Maryland: Diamond Stone will not likely last this long in the real draft, but I kept running out of places for him, and he fell into a great situation with the Hawks. Al Horford will not play forever, and Stone would be a great apprentice. Stone needs to learn how to be effective on the defensive end, and Horford can do this, as well as polish his dynamic offensive game.
  24. Philadelphia 76ers Buddy Hield SG Oklahoma: Now it is time to address the back court. If Hield keeps performing at a high level he could creep closer to the lottery by the time June rolls around, but for now, Philadelphia gets the scorer they need. Hield can stretch the floor, run the pick and roll, as well as rebound, making him a desirable player in the mid-twenties.
  25. Chicago Bulls Taurean Prince SF Baylor: Chicago needs to add some depth and upgraded skill to the small forward position. Dunleavy is not getting any younger, and Prince could learn from the veteran forward before he moves on with his life. Prince is a decent three pointer shooter, as well as good all
  26. Los Angeles Clippers Isaiah Briscoe PG/SG Kentucky: Chris Paul and J.J. Reddick are not getting any younger, and it would be good to train a future guard. Briscoe is a very raw point guard, but his ability to score cannot be questioned. With two great teachers, Briscoe could become a star.
  27. Philadelphia 76ers Melo Trimble PG Maryland: Trimble may not be a starting caliber point guard in the league, but his poise and scoring could make him a great sixth man, and leader off the bench. Philadelphia does not have much talent in the guard positions, so any additional talent could not hurt this team going forward.
  28. Phoenix Suns Justin Jackson SF North Carolina: Well after a crazy performance against the second ranked Sooners, Jackson’s skills are starting to become apparent to scouts. Jackson uses his energy to dominate the boards, as well as get good, high percentage shots. Phoenix needs to add some depth to the forward position, and a high energy player would help get this team back on track.
  29. San Antonio Spurs Malik Newman SG Mississippi State: Most of the time San Antonio drafts a player many average fans have heard little bit. Newman started the season in the top ten for most mocks, but after disappointing play in the first couple months of the season he is falling down the ranks fast. San Antonio has the ability to help transform Newman into the star many people thought he could become, and add them to their new nucleus of players for the future.
  30. Golden State Warriors Chinanu Onuaku C Louisville: Festus Ezeli has played himself into a nice contract this offseason, and Golden State might not be able to afford him. Onuaku is a raw player, but so was Ezeli. Onuaku is a natural shot blocker, cleans up the boards, and has a rising offensive game. Golden State can continue to find gems in the draft with a selection of Onuaku.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17

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