2016 NBA Mock Draft 7.0

Now that the 2016 NBA Draft Combine is over, and the lottery has laid out its course, it is time to update our mock draft. We have seen some people go back to school, while some controversial prospects have stayed in the process. 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers- Brandon Ingram SF Duke I believe Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram will both be stars in the league with equal ability to be the face of a franchise. Philadelphia already has a mess in its frontcourt, and cannot afford to keep adding pieces to it, and ignoring the rest of the positions. Ingram may not be the passer or rebounder Simmons is, but he is a dominant scorer, and has the tools to be a shutdown defender on the perimeter. As we have seen with recent contenders this is a common trait(Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard). The offense would become quite stagnant this past season, but with Ingram at the three, Philadelphia’s offense would take a big leap.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers- Ben Simmons PF LSU The Los Angeles Lakers were fortunate enough to hold onto their pick for this year’s draft, and now have the easy decision to select whoever Philadelphia does not select between Simmons and Ingram. The majority of Laker fans I have seen talking about the draft would prefer Ingram, which is a strong possibility. I compare Simmons to Blake Griffin, so it would be interesting to see these two frontcourt monsters own the city of Los Angeles.
  3. Boston Celtics- Buddy Hield SG Oklahoma Expect Boston to become very active with this pick. They do have a need for outside shooting, and some interior depth, so Dragan Bender does come into play, but he does not look ready to fully contribute for at least a season or two, and Boston is starting to enter their prime now. Hield is a seasoned player, playing our years at Oklahoma. He can step in from day one and provide an electric spark off the bench, or he can start if Evan Turner is allowed to walk this offseason. Who knows if Cleveland will be able to continue their three point shooting dominance into next season, but if they can, Boston will need some shooting if they want to stand any sort of chance against them.
  4. Phoenix Suns- Dragan Bender PF International Many people have high praise for Dragan Bender, even saying he could become the best player from this draft class. Phoenix is devoid of talent, and could roll the dice on Bender’s potential. Bender would provide an excellent distributor from the post, and although does not have the range of Porzingis, who many compare him to, this part of his game is developing. With multiple first round picks, I fully expect Phoenix to gamble on some high risk high reward players.
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves- Henry Ellenson PF Marquette I think this is a little high for Ellenson, but he fits a prominent hole for the Timberwolves, who look to take a big step next season. Ellenson has a lot of holes on his defensive game, but with Karl-Anthony Towns manning the paint, these can be covered up better. With Tom Thibodeau has coach, you can expect for him to maximize any defensive potential for Ellenson. On the offensive side, Ellenson represents a very raw Kevin Love. With Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio being below average jump shooters, allowing Ellenson to stretch the floor, and clear the paint, will make this team a very deadly offense once chemistry is formed.
  6. New Orleans Pelicans- Kris Dunn PG Providence With both guard prospects still on the board, I think Dunn is the better it for the Pelicans. Jrue Holiday only has a one year left on his contract, and he has not stayed healthy or a whole season his entire career, while not showing elite dominance, and will not be a big contract like he will want. New Orleans can use this year to groom Dunn, who fits nicely with Anthony Davis. The Western Conference is dominated by point guards, so finding one is critical for the success of this franchise.
  7. Denver Nuggets- Jaylen Brown SF California Denver has multiple first round picks in this year’s draft. Brown is very raw on the offensive side of the ball, but his supreme athleticism, rebounding skills, as well as defensive cornerstone make him a very intriguing piece for a franchise that needs to start adding marquee names. Denver has the atmosphere needed for Brown to succeed. He needs an environment with little media attention, so he does not get pressured to expose his limited offensive game, which should develop in a few years.
  8. Sacramento Kings- Jamal Murray PG/SG Kentucky If Murray does fall into the laps of Sacramento at the eighth overall selection, it will be the first steal of the draft. There is nothing special about of the backcourt of the Kings. Murray may not have the point guard traits some people would like, but his ability to score is second to none in this year’s class. With Murray on the team, teams would not be allowed to solely focus on DeMarcus Cousins, as Murray can burn you from anywhere on the court.
  9. Toronto Raptors- Marquese Chriss PF Washington As we have seen this year in the postseason, Toronto needs to add some beef to their frontcourt to become an actual contender. Chriss is very raw, but the defensive potential he offers is off the charts. Toronto has the luxury of being a contender in the Eastern Conference, but having a top ten pick. Toronto offers the ability to groom Chriss in the frontcourt, without demanding immediate returns. If they can teach Chriss to control his body, and in turn reduce his fouls per game, he could become one of the best defensive bigs in the league.
  10. Milwaukee Bucks- Jakob Poeltl C Utah Milwaukee does not need a sexy pick. They have a young big three they are grooming, but the lack of interior defense played a big role in the step back many fans were not expecting. Poeltl can step in from day one and anchor the paint for the next decade. His offense will not stretch the floor, but with Jabari Parker anchoring the four, Milwaukee will have the floor spacer they need. Poeltl looks a lot like former Buck, Andrew Bogut, who become one of the best defensive centers in the league.
  11. Orlando Magic- Dejounte Murray PG Washington The biggest knock on the Orlando Magic roster is the lack of scorers. Elfrid Payton is not helping this cause, and I do not think he is the answer going forward. Murray still needs time to develop as the lead guard, but his ability to score is much better than Payton. Orlando still has a couple of seasons to see if Payton develops further, so this could become a luxury pick, and give them an electric sixth man for the future.
  12. Utah Jazz- Timothe Luwawu SG/SF International I think the debate for best international perimeter player will be between Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz, but for Utah, I think they go with the better defender prospect. Luwawu is a great three point shooter, as well as having elite size for the NBA backcourt. The biggest knock for Luwawu is his inexperienced in professional leagues over in France, so is unknown how he will handle the jump to the NBA.
  13. Phoenix Suns- Skal Labissiere PF/C Kentucky As mentioned before, Phoenix has needs in their frontcourt, and Labissiere fills the need of a young, shot blocking big. He faced a lot of criticism for his disappointing play in his first year at Kentucky, but he is still young. Phoenix also has Tyson Chandler on the roster, who could provide the leadership Labissiere needs to hone his skills, and resemble his game after to have a long successful career. With the backcourt already having a nice rotation, adding depth to the frontcourt will be the biggest priority.
  14. Chicago Bulls- Furkan Korkmaz SG International Chicago needs to add some more scorers to their roster. The biggest need is point guard, and Wade Baldwin would be a good prospect to look into, but Korkmaz offers a devastating three point threat, great distributor, and good size for the NBA backcourt. At only 18, Korkmaz needs to add some strength to his body if he wants to get involved in the paint. Korkmaz also shows the ability to contribute right away, something a playoff contending team can always use.
  15. Denver Nuggets- Deyonta Davis PF Michigan State Davis is very raw on offense, but his defensive potential is off the charts. Denver is still figuring out what they have in their current frontcourt, but adding a piece like Davis at this point in the draft is a must have. With the team not looking to compete next season, Denver can use the season to develop the offensive game of Davis, and possibly make him one of the better two-way players in the league.
  16. Boston Celtics- Wade Baldwin IV PG Vanderbilt I feel like we have seen the ceiling of Marcus Smart in his first few seasons. He is a good defensive point guard, but besides a few offensive performances, he is average. Baldwin is a good defensive point guard, but also is a very consistent three point threat. Shooting is so critical in the modern league, and with the ability to shoot and defend, Boston needs to add yet another guard in hopes he becomes the guy to lead them in the future.
  17. Memphis Grizzlies- Domantas Sabonis PF Gonzaga Memphis needs to start adding more athletic players to their team to compete in the modern league. Sabonis has a very limited offensive game, besides close range, but his form on his jumper is there, he just needs more confidence in himself. Sabonis is also a tremendous rebounder, and plays hard, something always useful for your bench unit. With Zach Randolph getting closer to the end of his career finding his replacement to groom behind is a must for the Grizzlies.
  18. Detroit Pistons- Tyler Ulis PG Kentucky Tyler Ulis is a tremendous player, he is just limited by his size. Detroit has been to closest to shutting down the cavalier’s electric offense in the postseason, they just needed more scoring from their bench.Ulis would provide exactly that, as well as a willing distributor, and leader. With an addition of Ulis, Detroit could be in contention for tops in the division next season.
  19. Denver Nuggets- Malik Beasley SG Florida State Beasley is a great scorer, something you can never have enough of. Denver is still trying to figure out their identity, so adding another piece to their backcourt, which can score would help make their bench an asset. Gary Harris has also been underwhelming in his few seasons, and adding someone to push him could get him to the level many of us expected him to reach. 
  20. Indiana Pacers- Demetrius Jackson PG Notre Dame Indiana needs to find a replacement or George Hill if they want to continue to compete in the Eastern Conference. Jackson has the speed and strength the attack the rim, range to hit threes, as well as being a good distributor. Paul George cannot continue to waste his talent with key positions played by mediocre players. Jackson can step in from day one, and send Hill to the sixth man position which will help both parties for success.
  21. Atlanta Hawks- Damian Jones C Vanderbilt Atlanta has had two years of success with their current core, and nothing new has transpired. I just do not see signing Al Horford to an extension changing these results. Jones is a very good defensive center, capable rebounder, and developing offensive weapon. He did not take the leap I was hoping for this season at Vanderbilt, but he has shown a lot of potential, and bare minimum will be a backup center in the league.
  22. Charlotte Hornets- Diamond Stone C Maryland I love Al Jefferson, besides his defense, but at his age and injury issues, it is time for Charlotte to move on, and use that money to sign better players. Diamond Stone has a very similar offensive game, and very limited defensive game. Frank Kaminsky showed a lot of promise for a long career due to his shooting this past season as a rookie, but Charlotte needs a big body to dominate the interior, and Stone has those characteristics. The duo of Kaminsky and Stone will give Charlotte a potent scoring duo on the interior.
  23. Boston Celtics- Brice Johnson PF North Carolina I could see a tremendous fall from Johnson on draft day. He is what he is, and that will be a role player, and that will hinge him on the first round, or sliding to the second round. Boston could use the physical presence of Johnson to bully around the Eastern Conference frontcourt. This late in the first round you are not always looking for a star, so getting a day one useable role player is a big win for Boston in their continued development.
  24. Philadelphia 76ers- Denzel Valentine SG/SF Michigan State Philadelphia needs to add stability and consistency to the roster, and Valentine brings that. His draft range is all over the place due to the uncertainty of of his potential, but Philadelphia gets a great player to add to their bench. He can provide shooting, willing distributor, and good team defender, something Philadelphia currently lacks.
  25. Los Angeles Clippers- DeAndre Bembry SF Saint Joseph’s DeAndre Bembry had an amazing combine last week. Bembry almost surely guaranteed himself a first round selection. The Clippers need to address the small forward position which is the black hole on their roster. Bembry is a good all around player, who can step in and help the Clippers compete for a championship. For a contender, getting an instant contributor late in the draft is a major score for the franchise.
  26. Philadelphia 76ers- Thon Maker PF International Someone will roll the dice on Thon Maker, and the 76ers at this point in the draft has this luxury. Maker will need some time in the D-league to develop his skills, but with Philadelphia trying to figure out their frontcourt situation this season, that will be alright for Maker. I would expect at least two years of development before Maker made any sort of contributions for the team.
  27. Toronto Raptors- Ivica Zubac C International Toronto needs to keep their cap space open, as they have to chase after their soon to be free agent, DeMar DeRozan. Zubac is likely to stay in Europe for at least another year, and has all the attributes to be a good two-way player. At only 19, even with 2-4 years of development, Zubac will still be young enough to build around when he is ready for the states. You can never have enough depth on your team, and Zubac will provide this for Toronto.
  28. Phoenix Suns- Taurean Prince SF Baylor Once T.J. Warren went down for the season, the small forward position provided nearly zero production for the team. Prince is a grinding type player. He can attack the rim, hit open threes, as well as be a pesky defender. He will provide an excellent backup to Warren, as well as a good leader on the bench. Good role players will be the key for future success in Phoenix.
  29. San Antonio Spurs- Cheick Diallo PF/C Kansas San Antonio was exposed by Oklahoma City for having limited athleticism. Diallo’s athleticism, size and potential on defense makes him a very intriguing prospect. He was all over the court, making plays on both ends during scrimmages at the combine, which could even boost him higher in the first round. He had a rough year at Kansas, but give him a year with Duncan and Popovich, and Diallo should be able to find himself in a tremendous basketball environment.
  30. Golden State Warriors- Zhou Qi C International Golden State will have to choose between Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli this offseason, and in this draft class, it might be easier to replace Ezeli. Qi is a major star over in China, and adding him to Golden State will only increase their fan base. Qi needs to add weight, as he is very skinny, and could get bullied by the stronger players of the NBA. However, getting an athletic 7’2 role player is very rare. Golden State can look to keep him overseas for a year or two to continue adding weight and development, while maintaining financial flexibility until he is ready to contribute.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s