2016 NBA Mock Draft Version 5.0
2016 NBA Mock Draft Version 5.0
2016 NBA Draft week is upon us and trades are flying. Time for another mock draft update from Ben Standig. What do the Celtics do with the No. 3 pick? Who takes a shot on Buddy Hield? Do trades involving Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague changes draft night plans? Will Maryland's Diamond Stone or Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon make the first round cut?
1. Philadelphia: Ben Simmons, SF, LSU
Reports surfaced pre-draft that the 76ers will select Simmons No. 1 overall. Congrats, Sam Hinkie. Oh, wait. ... Sometimes when a prospect is considered the clear No. 1 choice months out, analysts will look for holes to poke. In this case, the Aussie's lackluster play at times fueled this search. It's clear that the love for Simmons took a dip after a rock star start with the Tigers in part because of some uneven performances, shooting concerns and fears he lacks that eye-of-the-tiger attitude. There's no mistaking the 6-foot-10 forward's high-level court vision, athleticism and hoops IQ. Factoring in his rebounding knack and it's easy to see why all fell in love -- even if Simmons didn't lead LSU to the NCAA Tournament.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
If LSU's Ben Simmons isn't the first pick, good bet this freshman forward receives the nod. No adjustment period from distance for the 6-foot-9 Ingram, who sank 41 percent from beyond the arc on 195 3-point attempts. Blessed with a decent handle and 7-foot-3 wingspan, Ingram can get to the basket. Flashed legit star potential during the season. Makes for a good fit with the Lakers other young talent. Whether D'Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in 2015, is part of that talent pool by draft day or shipped for a 2016 lottery selection is a question.
3. Boston (via Brooklyn): Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
Danny Ainge hasn't landed a franchise player yet. Perhaps he drafts one in the physically impressive Dunn. In terms of physical traits, style and triple double potential, the John Wall comparisons are fair. Dunn drops jaw with highlight passes and daring drives. Like Wall coming out of college, his shot needs some work. If paired with Marcus Smart in the backcourt, good luck scoring, NBA guards. Under 70% free throw shooter. Boston hopes to move this pick or any of its three first round pick for a veteran.
4. Phoenix: Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
Of all the potential lottery picks, few if any had a more significant value spike than the 6-foot-10 power forward. It's more of an athleticism angle rather than college production, though he impressed with 13.8 points on 53% shooting from the field during his freshman season.
5. Minnesota: Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
Felt like Hield played last season on one big heat check while leading the Sooners to the Final Four. Averaged 25.0 points while shooting 47percent on 3-pointers. The one prospect we know is ready to help right away. Perfect shooting compliment to Minnesota's bevy of young options, including big man Karl-Anthony Towns and small forward Andrew Wiggins.
6. New Orleans: Dragan Bender, PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
The 7-foot-1, 18-year-old is playing for European power Maccabi Tel Aviv and more than holding his own against physical and much older men. More small forward than low post center, Bender blends agility with hoops arrogance. New Orleans needs guards and wings, but could also lose forward Ryan Anderson in free agency.
7. Denver (via New York): Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Kentucky
While it's unclear if the 6-foot-5 Murray is truly a point guard on the NBA level, there's no doubt he brings deep range and moxie. Sank 40 percent of his 3-point attempts. The Canadian paced Kentucky in scoring with 20.0 points.
8. Sacramento: Jaylen Brown, SF, California
Who knows what the Kings are thinking, but aiming for upside works. Brown is another wing oozing athleticism and blessed with coveted long wingspan. Averages 15.0 points, but scored big in big games, including 27 at Utah and 23 in a win over Washington. Brown should be a two-way threat on the next level which is why he could be a top-3 by draft day.
9. Toronto (via Denver): Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga
Point to the production generated by the son of the former NBA standout center, but it's the skill set that sets this Sabonis apart from most bigs in the 2016 class. Sabonis can shoot from all angles inside the arc and uses deft footwork to offset ordinary athleticism. Those hoops instincts inherited by pops also help plenty. He averaged 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds as a sophomore. The Raptors need a power forward most of all.
10. Milwaukee: Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Who says there are no more young centers? The 7-foot Austrian dominated during his award-winning sophomore season, winning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, though he came up short during a brief stint in the NCAA Tournament. Adding another big man would give the Bucks an interesting rotation along with Greg Monroe and Jabari Parker.
11. Orlando: Skal Labissiere, PF, Kentucky
The long big man figured to be the next one and-done standout for John Calipari, yet he struggled throughout his freshman season. Confidence wavered and the 7-footer didn't always appear ready for the physical battles. Yet the 20-year-old pops with potential because of his size and skill. Somebody will take a chance sooner than later.
12. Atlanta (via Utah): Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
This pick reportedly went to Atlanta as part of the 3-way deal that sent Jeff Teague to Indiana and George Hill to the Jazz. There are also reports that the Hawks plan on moving 12 and 21 so they'll have the needed financial flexibility to retain free agent Al Horford. For now let's suggest Atlanta nabs the 6-foot-11 freshman Touted for his athleticism and rebounding prowess, Davis grabbed an impressive 5.5 boards in under 19 minutes per game last season for the Spartans.
13. Phoenix (via Washington): Timothe Luwawu, SG, France
Wizards nation will track this pick with great interest following the Markieff Morris trade. Luwawu is a two-way threat who possesses the passing gene and impressive size for a wing option.
14. Chicago: Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
The Derrick Rose era in Chicago is no more. With 2015 first round pick Jerian Grant heading to the Bulls along with Joakim Noah replacement Robin Lopez, Chicago can target a scoring big man with Pau Gasol likely bolting in free agency. Polished and powerful freshman led the Big East in rebounding and finished third in scoring with 17.0 points. Low post and mid-range moves are pro-worthy now. Needs work on perimeter shot, but will eventually hit from beyond the arc.
15. Denver (via Houston): Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey
Some teams will target talented international draft-and-stash types. Why not a team with three first round picks? Korkmaz brings good two-guard size at 6-foot-7 and gets splashy from beyond the arc.
16. Boston (via Dallas): DeAndre Bembry, SG, Saint Joseph's
There's an old school charm to the 6-foot-6 Bembry's wing game. Might be a tad short to play the 3 in the NBA, but he's got a solid frame and plus-athleticism. Can handle different roles all over the perimeter. Michigan State rebounder Deyonta Davis in play if the Celtics desire a big man here.
17. Memphis: Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
Put the Grizzlies high on the list of those who could be heading down quite a different path this offseason depending on who stays and who goes. The big key, free agent point guard Mike Conley. The other key is whether report of a first round promise to Richardson is legit. The 6-foot-6 swingman impressed during his freshman season and then saved the best for last with a 21 and 23-point performance during Syracuse's NCAA Tournament run.
18. Detroit: Wade Baldwin, PG, Vanderbilt
That backup slot behind Reggie Jackson isn't exactly a home run. The main things you'll hear about the 6-foot-4 Baldwin? How about a 6-foot-11 wingspan and 41% shooting on 3-pointers last season.
19. Denver (via Portland): Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
Prince increased his scoring during each of his four seasons with the Bears, culminating in a 15.9 clip last season. Brings great length and skill set for a 3-and-D type, yet offers more potential thanks to his impressive athleticism.
20. Brooklyn (via Indiana): Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain
One day after trading for point guard Jeff Teague, the Pacers acquired power forward Thad Young from the Nets. That's a fine move and it allows Brooklyn back in the first round. The 6-foot-9 Hernangomez plans on joining the NBA next season after developing his game in the Spanish League. Offers good length and quality perimeter shot.
21. Atlanta: Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Washington
Jeff Teague is gone and Dennis Schroder takes over as the Hawks' starting point guard. Now the backup spot is open. One of the fastest rising prospects this year, the 6-foot-5 Murray averaged 16-6-4.5 as a freshman.
22. Charlotte: Denzel Valentine, SF, Michigan State
Some proclaimed Buddy Hield as the best player in the country this past season, but any such conversation must include the Spartans' 6-foot-6 wing. Valentine, a constant triple-double threat, enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists while shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc.
23. Boston: Ivica Zubac, C, Bosnia
We'll see if the Celtics are the ones making this pick. If they are, selecting an international player they can put on hold for a year two makes way too much sense. From a roster standpoint, a future center works.
24. Philadelphia (via Miami): Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
Beasley turned pro after averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while sinking 39% of his 3-pointers as a freshman. Ideally, the 76ers add veteran guards during free agency to help get the dismal franchise turned around.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina
The Clippers need quick help in their pursuit of catching th Warriors, Spurs and Thunder. The 6-foot-9 senior used his interior skills to finish second among ACC players in rebounding (10.6) and field goal percentage while averaging 16.7 points.
26. Philadelphia (via Oklahoma City): Cheick Diallo, PF, Kansas
No big men for the 76ers with their initial two first-round picks. Time to break that trend and appropriately so especially if they trade either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor.
27. Toronto: Ante Zizic, C, Croatia
Toronto could its second round pick on a two-guard if the fear is DeMar DeRozan leaves in free agency. Same applies for a center with Bismack Biyombo likely departing for big dollars. Another option, a draft and stash. The 6-foot-11 Zizic, considered one of the top European prospects, addresses the latter two options.
28. Phoenix (via Cleveland): Thon Maker, C, Sudan
Maker has played all over the world and had the highlight mix tape faction drooling over the 7-foot-1 big man's potential. Would have been better off going to college for at least a season. Perhaps D-League season lies in his future, a future that's very interesting and totally uncertain.
29. San Antonio: Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
The Spurs could go in several ways based on needs. Big man if Tim Duncan moves on. Backup for point guard Tony Parker or another perimeter shooter. Then there's the stash approach to build up their pipeline while saving cap space for immediate help. Teams seeking a pass-first point guard will show interest in the 6-foot-1 junior. Jackson makes up for lack of size with explosive athleticism, smarts and a quick first step. 3- point shot waned during his junior season, but went over 40 percent during his first two seasons.
30. Golden State: Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
Anyone watching the finals recognized that the Warriors need some interior help. The 7-foot Jones didn't dominate as hoped during his junior season, but still impressed with 13.9 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Just missed: Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
There's no doubting Stone's offense capabilities. Based on the Wisconsin native's struggles defensively during his one season on the college level, it's unclear how he'll get minutes as a rookie. That didn't stop him from bolting Maryland for the NBA. That doesn't mean he'll go in round one. Other names to keep an eye in round 1 include Tyler Ulis, Zhou Qi, Malcolm Brogdon and Stephen Zimmerman.
With the Wizards in mind: Fred VanVleet, PG, Wichita State
Washington enters the two-round draft without any picks, but will likely end up some undrafted prospects on their summer league roster and very possibly beyond. VanVleet fueled the Shockers impressive four-year run and could fill the void behind John Wall. Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer, Iona guard A.J. English, Oakland point guard Kay Felder and Iowa state power forward Georges Niang are others worth tracking.