2016 NBA Mock Draft 5.0

Now that the regular season has come to an end in college basketball, we have been given a good sense of who players are. This will be the first mock of the March Madness season, as we all know a player will make a name for himself during the tourney, and likely fly up draft boards. 

The draft order was based off the NBA standings from 3/14/2016.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers- Ben Simmons PF LSU When looking at this selection, and the absence of Ben Simmons in March Madness, Simmons might fall in this draft due to his position. Philadelphia has a tremendous amount of young talent in their frontcourt, but their wing, and backcourt are in desperate need of talented youth. In the coming months expect Brandon Ingram to slip into this selection if Philadelphia maintains their status of the number one pick.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers- Brandon Ingram SF Duke The Lakers are finally starting to see the dividends of selecting D’Angelo Russell in last year’s draft. The backcourt of Clarkson and Russell seems set for the future, so now it is about selecting the best player available in Brandon Ingram. Ingram draws comparisons to Kevin Durant, who the Lakers want to pursue in free agency, so why not draft the younger, cheaper option to develop with the rest of your roster to form an exciting core for the fan base to rally around. Ingram can step in day one and be a go to scorer for this franchise, who will be without Kobe Bryant for the first time in nearly twenty years.
  3. Phoenix Suns- Jaylen Brown SF California I am not sold with Phoenix staying put in this draft, if they do not get the number one selection. With their roster being a complete mess, Phoenix will likely make some trades this offseason, so it is hard to predict what they might do in this draft. Jaylen Brown is an exciting athlete, but his inconsistency from deep jumpers, and three is concerning. Brown is still capable of attacking the rim with force, and a good defender, so with the proper NBA coaching this negative of his jumper might disappear.
  4. Boston Celtics- Jakob Poeltl C Utah Boston finally gets the big man they need to become a consistent contender in the league. Poeltl is great on both ends of the court, which Boston lacks a good two-way center. With quite a few free agents on the roster, Boston does not have to worry about spending its cap on a frontcourt player, and can focus on retaining Evan Turner.
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves- Kris Dunn PG Providence I know many Timberwolves fans will not be happy with this selection, as their organization is set on Ricky Rubio, but in the Western Conference, you cannot win without a point guard who cannot shoot. Dunn brings an equal set of playmaking and defensive ability, but with a much better shot. Adding Dunn to the backcourt with Wiggins, should take some pressure off of Wiggins, who is known for having a bad shot selection so far in his career.
  6. New Orleans Pelicans- Dragan Bender PF International New Orleans was not able to make up their minds about trading Ryan Anderson at the deadline, so now they risk losing him for nothing in free agency. With it highly likely he will be overpaid, New Orleans should look in the draft for his replacement. Bender has not gotten a lot of playing time in Europe, but still shows great signs of potential for the NBA. Bender has a lot of similar traits to Kristaps Porzingis, a player who would fit perfectly next to Anthony Davis, and solidify the frontcourt for the next decade.
  7. Sacramento Kings- Jamal Murray PG/SG Kentucky As usual, Sacramento is a mess. Rajon Rondo has worked well for the Kings, but his limited talent, and expensive talent will only get him so far. Murray has the ability to hit any shot in the books, and Sacramento has not had that type of player in a long time. With growing tension between Cousins and the franchise, the needs for Sacramento might change, if he decides to force a trade.
  8. Denver Nuggets- Buddy Hield SG Oklahoma Denver is in an interesting position in this draft. With so many young players on the roster, Denver can continue to add to their stockpile with Hield. Hield can come in and instantly be the sixth man, or step into the starting line-up at the shooting guard position. His ability to attack the rim, and attack from deep makes him a devastating scorer for the next level. Denver continues to fly under the radar for young, developing teams, but with three first round picks this season, Denver be the one to bet your money on.
  9. Toronto Raptors- Deyonta Davis PF/C Michigan State Toronto gets to capitalize on owning the Knicks pick. Davis has not been fancy all season, but he gets the job done, and Toronto needs that type of guy. Davis can bully around in the paint, but has the ability to step back and hit a jumper. Davis also shows great signs of defensive potential as a rim protector. Davis would be a great complement in the frontcourt for Jonas Valanciunas.
  10. Orlando Magic- Ivan Rabb PF California Ivan Rabb is already about the same player Ersan Ilyasova is, so getting Rabb would be a win-win situation for the Magic. Rabb still has a lot of work to on the defensive end, but he has the physical intangibles to make it happen. With the only hole being a dominant player at the power forward position, Rabb would be able to compete with Gordon for the starting position.
  11. Milwaukee Bucks- Dejounte Murray PG Washington Milwaukee has seen a dramatic rise in their big three since the injury to Michael Carter-Williams. This experiment should be declared over. Greivis Vasquez and Jerryd Bayless are also free agents, so the point guard position is the biggest hole for this young team. Murray provides a capable scorer, who can actually hit a jumper. A cheap, young point guard will go a long way as Milwaukee is looking at maxing Giannis Antetokounmpo this offseason, and need all the cap space they can get.
  12. Phoenix Suns- Skal Labissiere PF/C Kentucky Although I have left Labissiere out in the recent additions of my mock draft, someone will take a gamble on his potential. With Alex Len and Tyson Chandler on the roster, Labissiere will have no pressure to contribute right away, and can build his body up to the NBA level. With so little franchise buildable players, Phoenix has the luxury of gambling on Labissiere.
  13. Utah Jazz- Furkan Korkmaz SG/SF Utah is desperate to add some scorers to their backcourt. Alec Burks has not been able to stay healthy the past few seasons, and Trey Burke is just terrible. Dante Exum returns next season, and should be looked at as the next in line to man the point. Korkmaz would be an excellent complement with his ability to stretch the floor, attack the rim, and play good defense. An addition of Korkmaz would make the Jazz a reliable contender in the playoffs.
  14. Chicago Bulls- Timothe Luwawu SG/SF International Chicago need a lot of help on their perimeter. Luwawu has greatly improved his play since pulling his name from last year’s draft. He has the ability to be destructive on the interior, capable floor stretcher, and good defender. Chicago has struck out in recent drafts on the perimeter type player, but with McDermott not capable of playing defense, and Dunleavy not getting any younger, Chicago needs to take another gamble.
  15. Boston Celtics- Domantas Sabonis PF Gonzaga Boston continues to add young players to their frontcourt in this hypothetical situation. Sabonis is a capable floor stretcher, who could form a good tandem for the future. Boston could look at adding another swingman with the potential of losing Evan Turner in free agency.
  16. Denver Nuggets- Henry Ellenson PF Marquette Denver continues to add the best player available to their roster. Unfortunately for Ellenson, Marquette was not good enough to make the tournament, so we will not get to see more of him. Ellenson has the size, and skill set to be an elite stretch four at the next level. Ellenson does need to work on his consistency from range, but shows tremendous confidence for his young age. Ellenson is also a good rebounder, something Denver could use on the interior.
  17. Detroit Pistons- Denzel Valentine SG/SF Michigan State Detroit does not have many holes on their roster, so they need to add a good depth player. Valentine has the ability to play at least three different positions, and the ability to exploit weaknesses at each of the positions. On offense, Valentine is a good playmaker and shooter, while on defense he was one of the best defenders in the Big Ten. Adding this to the bench will help make the Pistons a legitimate threat for the Eastern Conference crown next season.
  18. Denver Nuggets- Brice Johnson PF North Carolina Adding two power forwards in one draft may not make a lot of sense, but Brice Johnson does not look to be a starter at the next level, but a good energy bench piece. Johnson has similar potential as Taj Gibson, a player Denver could use to mask the defensive deficiencies of Ellenson. Kenneth Faried is also way overpaid for how much he does, so adding replacements to make him tradable makes too much sense.
  19. Indiana Pacers- Malik Beasley SG Florida State Indiana needs to continue adding playmakers to their roster if they want to maximize the potential of Paul George and become the contenders they use to be. Beasley provides an electric bench scorer to help with the stagnant second unit. Monta Ellis still has quite a bit in the tank, so until his play begins to dissipate, Beasley will be able to develop his skills into a dominate guard at the next level.
  20. Atlanta Hawks- Stephen Zimmerman C UNLV Atlanta might be looking at the idea of losing Al Horford this summer in free agency. Zimmerman has not dominated at UNLV like many people expected, but has shown excellent rim protection skills. It is not easy to find a legitimate seven footer in the league, so for Atlanta to find a capable replacement in the mid-twenties can be looked at as a steal.
  21. Charlotte Hornets- Damian Jones C Vanderbilt Damian Jones saw a dramatic rise in his play the final five weeks of the season. Jones can be a terror in the paint, while also possessing the ability to step out for a jumper. He is also a good rebounder, and shows potential of being a rim protector. With Al Jefferson likely to be on his way out this summer, Charlotte could look to add a solid two-way center for his replacement. A rotation of Jones and Kaminsky would give Charlotte tremendous flexibility going forward.
  22. Philadelphia 76ers- Grayson Allen SG Duke I am not a huge fan of Grayson Allen, but he can flat out shoot. Allen is shooting 41.7% from three, not many people can lay claim to this absurd number. With such a depleted backcourt, Allen would be able to step in and be given free reign to shoot. Allen is also a stingy defender, something that Philadelphia currently lacks.
  23. Memphis Grizzlies- Caris LeVert SG Michigan Memphis might be looking for a point guard with this selection if Mike Conley decides to leave for greener pastures. I think Conley does return, so Memphis needs to give him a young running mate. LeVert is capable of handling the ball, stretching the floor, and being a decent playmaker. Memphis has a roster void of shooters, so they need to address this if they ever want to get over the hump.
  24. Boston Celtics- Taurean Prince SF Baylor As I mentioned above, Boston needs to look at finding another addition to their wing. Prince reminds me a lot of DeMarre Carroll. A player who needs a few years to develop in the league, but a good defender, and capable floor stretcher. With no huge need at the small forward position, Boston has the luxury of developing Prince behind Crowder, and making their second unit even more balanced.
  25. Los Angeles Clippers- Diamond Stone C Maryland Stone is not ready to come in and be a starter at the NBA level, and I think this will cause him to slip in the draft. With very little defensive awareness, sitting behind a defensive stalwart in DeAndre Jordan could help make Stone a dominant, well-rounded player in a couple seasons. Stone would also help give the Clippers a capable scorer off the bench to make a push to be a contender in the Western Conference.
  26. Philadelphia 76ers- Gary Payton II PG Oregon State Many people have not paid much attention to Payton, due to his age, but Payton has the maturity level to step in, and led the 76ers for the foreseeable future. A new backcourt of Payton and Allen would provide ball handlers and shooters to relieve the pressure off their frontcourt, and make them that much more dominant.
  27. Toronto Raptors- Dwayne Bacon SG Florida State Toronto is rounding out their bench with this selection. Bacon is not been as consistent as Basely for Florida State this season, but still has electrifying potential on the offensive end of the court. Sitting behind DeMar DeRozan for a couple seasons should teach Bacon how to control himself. Toronto is right there with Cleveland but additions of Davis and Bacon could help make them the favorites for the conference next season.
  28. Phoenix Suns- Juan Hernangomez SF/PF International As the tradition goes, international players tend to dominate the end of the first round. Hernangomez is dominating the Spanish league, and is a very capable scorer from a variety of different ways. He still has a little bit of developing to do on his body, but Phoenix would have the luxury of letting the twenty year old sit another couple of seasons in Europe to round out his development.
  29. San Antonio Spurs- Ante Zizic C International With the likelihood this could be Tim Duncan’s last season, San Antonio could look at adding a frightening young center to groom in Europe. Zizac has a monstrous frame to work with. His offensive game is rather limited to very near the basket, but has shown small glimpses of being able to step out for a jumper. Zizic is a very capable defender, and looks happy to take on any challenger, something that is lacked upon in the NBA.
  30. Golden State Warriors- Ivica Zubac C International Depending on Golden State’s decision to chase after Kevin Durant, they may not have a lot of cap flexibility and need to go the route of a draft-and-stash. Zubac has a very high offensive basketball IQ, but needs to be coached up on defense. He has good speed and length to match up, but his poor timing skills could cost him a lot of fouls in the NBA. At only eighteen, Zubac has plenty of time to develop before the Warriors would ever need him.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17

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