Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 9.0
BOSTON – Weeks of NBA front office officials putting forth their best poker faces when it comes to their plans for draft night, are slowly but surely starting to show more of their hands.
The Philadelphia 76ers showed signs of maybe being open to doing something with the top overall pick, but that’s not happening – for now at least.
There have been a series of mixed messages out there as to what the Boston Celtics will do with the No. 3 pick.
What about teams like the Washington Wizards, the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks who do not have a pick in this year’s draft? How many of them will come knocking on the Celtics’ door to unload some of Boston’s eight draft picks – more than any team has had going into the draft since it went to a two-round system in 1989.
It all adds up to a draft full of intrigue, misdirection and when it’s all over, a GM who will get murdered via social media for making a selection that quickly becomes unpopular with their fan base.
Sounds like fun, right?
Here’s the next-to-last installment of CSNNE.com’s Mock Draft 9.0.
1. Philadelphia – Ben Simmons, F, LSU
He has been the consensus top pick at the start. A legitimate case can be made for Brandon Ingram, but Simmons’ varied skillset is too much for the Sixers to pass up.
2. Los Angeles Lakers --Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
You haven’t heard much from the Lakers camp when it comes to this pick, one they feel will be a déjà vu of 2007 when Greg Oden was taken with the top pick and the No. 2 selection was Kevin Durant who has proven to be far and away the superior player.
3. BOSTON – Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, California
This will not be a popular pick on draft night for sure. But Celtics fans have to remember. This is the best wing athlete in this draft, projects to be an above-average defender, has a high basketball IQ, fills a specific need (big wing player) and could contribute sooner than later. Bottom line is, he checks off a lot of the boxes that Boston looks for in a player.
Blakely’s Mock Draft 9.0: Celtics draft Jaylen Brown
4. Phoenix: Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
The Suns have a need for a power forward with an inside-outside game which plays into the strengths of Chriss’ game. The Suns add one of the biggest risers in the draft as well as a specific roster need.
5. Minnesota – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
The Timberwolves have one of the better young core groups in the NBA, but they lack a knock-down, 3-point shooting threat. In comes Hield who will be in the rotation from Day One and depending on how well he holds himself defensively, could be in line as a potential starter as a rookie.
6. New Orleans – Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
You can’t overstate how important it is for the Pelicans to come out of this draft with one of the top guards in this draft. Just as important to them is taking a player in the backcourt who can also make shots which is why Murray gets the ever-so-slight nod right here over Kris Dunn.
7. Denver – Dragan Bender, PF/C, International
While this is lower than most would expect from the top international prospect, Bender will have an opportunity to grow his game with a team that has a young core that’s still developing.
8. Sacramento – Kris Dunn, PG, Providence College
Dunn would love to have gone higher than this, but winding up in Sacramento isn’t bad. He’ll compete for a starting job as a rookie, he’ll play with one of the most talented bigs in the game in DeMarcus Cousins and the pressure he’ll feel early on will be to get better and not necessarily win X-amount of games.
9. Toronto – Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
This is a quality pick-up for the Raptors who will be hard-pressed to re-sign Bismack Biyombo this summer. In Poeltl, they have a legit center who is not a shot-blocker but does a nice job defensively at protecting the rim courtesy of good footwork.
10. Milwaukee – Henry Ellenson, PF/C, Marquette
The Bucks would have preferred to draft Poeltl here, but Ellenson is seriously the next best thing. He has a well-rounded game offensively, played at nearby Marquette and adds a skilled big man to the mix which should fit in with a roster comprised primarily of players whose athleticism seems to trump their skillset.
11. Orlando – Skal Labissiere, PF/C Kentucky
He could benefit from having a coach like Frank Vogel who is known in NBA circles as being really good in terms of player development. The skills are there to be a really good NBA player. It’s just a matter of Labissiere being coached up to the point where his talents shine and he begins to just play the game rather than think about how to play which was an issue at Kentucky last season.
12. Utah – Domantis Sabonis, F, Gonzaga
Workouts have really helped solidify him as a late lottery (top-14) pick. But this selection may not be for the Jazz who are reportedly open to trading this pick with the San Antonio Spurs a potential trading partner.
13. Phoenix – Deyonta Davis, PF/C, Michigan State
Davis did not log a ton of time as a freshman at Michigan State, but he showed potential to be a tremendous offensive rebounder and shot-blocker when he averaged better than four rebounds and four blocked shots per 40 minutes played.
14. Chicago -- Cheick Diallo, PF, Kansas
Adding Spencer Dinwiddie via trade from Detroit takes away the need to add a point guard, so the Bulls reach for the next best big man in the draft which should help soften the blow of what’s expected to be voids left by Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol.
15. Denver (from Houston) – Wade Baldwin IV, PG, Vanderbilt
At 6-4 Baldwin has point-guard size, but also the skills and length that would allow him to play with Emmanuel Mudiay.
16. Boston (from Dallas) – Denzel Valentine, SF, Michigan State
The reports about Valentine’s right knee may scare off some teams, but don’t count the Boston Celtics among them. Here’s what you have to remember about Valentine: He only missed four games in four years in college, with those four missed games coming this past season with a cartilage injury to his left knee. He returned to action and didn’t miss a beat as he went on to earn national player of the year honors.
Denzel Valentine 2016 NBA Draft scouting report
17. Memphis – Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
Multiple sources indicate Richardson will not fall any further than the Grizzlies. Memphis loves the instant offense dynamic he brings in addition to an impressive 7-foot wingspan despite being just 6-4.
18. Detroit -- Furkan Korkmaz, SG, International
This should be the beginning of a run on international players. Only 18 years old, Korkmaz is great at getting to the rim and would add a nice change-of-pace dynamic to the Pistons.
19. Denver (from Portland) – Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, International
Luwawu has all the physical tools you want in a perimeter defender who can also make 3s. While draft-and-stash is an option, Luwawu seems both physically and maturity-wise ready to enter the NBA now.
20. Indiana – Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
Head coach Nate McMillan is all about adding tough-minded guys to the roster which makes Prince an ideal addition to the Pacers roster for next season. While he’s known primarily for his defense, Prince has gradually improved his 3-point shooting which has made him one of the better two-way wings in this draft.
21. Atlanta – Dejounte Murray, SG, Washington
One of the best flat-out scorers in this draft, Murray has quietly made his way up the draft boards and is considered a solid first-round pick at this point.
22. Charlotte – Demetrious Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
Considered an old man by NBA draft standards, this 21-year-old playmaker has the tools to be a decent scoring point guard in the NBA. He needs to work on his court vision and defensively he doesn’t have great size, but his length and overall feel for the game are positives.
23. Boston – Juan Hernangomez, F, International
Short of landing a superstar talent, the Celtics will continue to stockpile as many talented, high-energy players as possible. And in this draft, there are few players who play with a higher motor than Hernangomez.
24. Philadelphia (from Miami) – Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
If not for Ulis being (generously listed at) 5-10 and weighing just 149 pounds, he would be long gone before the Sixers are on the clock with this pick.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph’s
Doc Rivers’ crew has one of the best starting units in the NBA, but their bench looks as though it’ll be radically different next season with so many players hitting free agency. Bembry has a very diverse set of skills which will give Rivers some options to play with in terms of where to play the 6-foot-6 utility player.
26. Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City) – Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
One of the few players in this draft with a great shooting touch and the ability to be an effective scorer in transition,
27. Toronto – Thon Maker, F, International
While he declared his camp is hearing that he’ll be a lottery pick, he has fared well in workouts but not enough to see his stock jump that much; at least not yet. Opinions on where he’ll be drafted are all over the map, but the consensus at this point among most agents and league executives CSNNE.com has spoken with is that Maker will be a late first-round selection.
28. Phoenix (from Cleveland) – Ante Zizic, C, International
The Suns are learning that they need to add as much diverse talent as possible to their roster. Despite them being such a perimeter-oriented team, they could use some more physical play around the rim in the future. With Zizic, Phoenix gets a center who can not only defend the paint but also finish in transition as well as provide some much-needed toughness around the rim who for now, they can stash away overseas.
29. San Antonio – Ivica Zubac, C, International
Great size and strength, Zubac is your typical draft-and-stash Spur who in a few years will probably have other teams kicking themselves for not selecting him.
30. Golden State – Ben Bentil, F, Providence College
He showed teams through workouts and the NBA combine last month that he can in fact impact the games around the rim and from the perimeter, the kind of versatility that should fit in well with the Warriors.
THE NEXT FIVE
The Celtics have five, second-round picks. They are not expected to use all of them but just in case, here’s a look at the players Boston should target in the second round. No. 31: Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt No. 35: Zhou Qi, C, International No. 45: Jarrod Uthoff, SF, Iowa No. 51: Jordan Sakho, F, International No. 58: Kyle Wiljter, PF, Gonzaga