Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 4.0
Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 4.0
By A. Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics held serve in the draft lottery, going in with the third-best shot at the top pick and winding up with the No. 3 overall selection.
The draft went according to form, with each team being slotted in the actual lottery slot they were pegged prior to the ping-pong balls being selected.
Now that the draft order is officially set, here’s the latest mock draft next month's NBA draft.
1. Philadelphia -- Brandon Ingram, F, Duke
The Sixers will give some thought to selecting Ben Simmons, but based on how their roster is constructed, Ingram makes the most sense.
2. Los Angeles Lakers -- Ben Simmons, F, LSU
Looks like Simmons will get his wish and wind up in La La land and oh yeah, get that fat shoe deal he was seeking.
3. BOSTON -- Dragan Bender, F/C, International
The tools are all there to be a difference-making, high impact big man. But are you getting the next Kristaps Porzingis, or Darko Milicic?
Scalabrine: Move for Celtics might be to draft Bender and stash him
4. Phoenix -- Jaylen Brown, G/F, California
Has NBA-body and a knack for scoring the ball, but his shooting mechanics and ball-handling could use some work.
5. Minnesota -- Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
Arguably the most complete guard in this draft, Murray provides a nice change of pace for the Timberwolves behind Ricky Rubio.
6. New Orleans -- Kris Dunn, G, Providence College
His defense at this point is his strength which will allow his transition to the NBA smoother.
7. Denver -- Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma
Arguably the best shooter in the draft, Hield should provide a nice boost to a Nuggets team that ranked 20th in the league in scoring last season.
8. Sacramento -- Henry Ellenson, PF/C, Marquette
Can score the ball with the best of them in this draft among bigs, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired.
9. Toronto -- Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Provides some added muscle inside for a team that’s looking to move up from being ranked 16th in the league in rebounding this past season.
10. Milwaukee -- Skal Labissiere, F/C, Kentucky
Once projected as a potential top overall pick, a humbling rookie season for the Wildcats showed both the promise and potential problems Labissiere might have at the next level.
11. Orlando -- Denzel Valentine, F, Michigan State
Showed tremendous versatility this past season, concerns exist about his athleticism but there’s a growing number of execs who believe his high basketball IQ will allow him to overcome his physical deficiencies at this level.
12.Utah Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, International
Has good size (6-7) and strength for his position, looks and plays the part of a talented two-way player. Needs to improve his ball-handling.
13. Phoenix -- Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga
Exceptional footwork, nice touch around the basket. Would be a good, quality pick-up for the Jazz at this spot.
14. Chicago -- Wade Baldwin IV, G, Vanderbilt
Combo guard who should be an above-average defender with a 6-10 wingspan despite being just 6-3.
15. Denver (from Houston) -- Furkan Korkmaz, G, International
Exciting, high energy scorer who is at his best in transition.
16. Boston (from Dallas) -- Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State
Toughness is the one character trait it seems all kids from Michigan State come into the NBA possessing, and Davis is no exception. He’s young and very raw, but his instincts defensively will keep him on the floor which will give his game offensively time to catch up.
17. Memphis -- Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
Interviews at the combine helped alleviate some of the concerns teams had with his maturity. Remains one of the most talented players in the draft.
18. Detroit -- Cheick Diallo, F, Kansas
Played well in both games at the combine, got great feedback which made his decision to stay in the draft an easy one.
19. Denver (from Portland) -- Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
High-energy player who can knock down 3s, Beasley gives the Nuggets what should be a much-needed burst of energy off the bench.
20. Indiana – Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
Despite his lithe frame (5-10, 149 pounds), the Pacers roll the dice that the littlest man in the draft can come up big for them going forward.
21. Atlanta -- Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
There are few teams and players in this draft that seem to be a better fit than the Hawks and Prince who was one of the more under-rated small forwards in college basketball last season.
22. Charlotte -- Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
Hornets pleasantly surprised that Jackson is still on the board after being passed over by Indiana who will be seeking a playmaker in the first round.
23. Boston – Ante Zizic, PF/C, International
The Celtics go with another international big man in the first round (Dragan Bender at No. 3). Zizic is an intriguing prospect due to him being a high-energy player with great length (7-3 wingspan) and the kind of bulk (254 pounds) that will allow him to hold his own if on the floor with most NBA centers.
24. Philadelphia (from Miami) -- DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph’s
Was one of the better all-around players at the combine, Bembry is gradually cementing a spot for himself in the first round.
25. Los Angeles Clippers -- Stephen Zimmerman, C, UNLV
Doc Rivers and the Clippers need to add depth in the frontcourt. At this point in the draft, Zimmerman is probably the best player to help them sooner rather than later.
26. Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City) -- Ivica Zubac, C, International
Good hands, moves well for his size, provides more big man depth for a team that can’t seem to get enough of it.
27. Toronto -- Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
With DeMar DeRozan’s uncertain future (he plans to test the free agent waters this summer), Raptors add a young, promising wing who is most likely a couple years away from being able to contribute in a meaningful way.
28. Phoenix (from Cleveland) -- Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
There will be times when the Suns might actually have to play some half court basketball. A player with Stone’s scoring ability in the post would help out a lot.
29. San Antonio -- Thon Maker, F, International
A pick based largely on potential, Maker will use upcoming workouts to show that’s a more fundamentally sound player than those mixtapes that made him a YouTube sensation a couple years ago.
30. Golden State -- Juan Hernangomez, F, International
Quality pick to end the first round, Hernangomez plays with the kind of high motor that should create a seamless fit with the Warriors.