Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 5.0
Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 5.0
BOSTON – The workout circuit for draft prospects is in overdrive now with players criss-crossing the country trying to get some face time with various teams.
There’s no change at the top of the draft with Duke’s Brandon Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons still the top two picks.
Beyond that, there’s a handful of players in play as a the Boston Celtics’ pick at No. 3, although the camp of Providence College’s Kris Dunn are doing their part to try and make sure the Celtics won’t pick him and if they do, will immediate move him on to another team in need of a playmaker.
While the draft order remains very much a work in progress, the one thing that’s looking more and more like a sure thing is that next month’s draft will undergo a series of changes between now and draft night.
Here’s a look at CSNNE.com’s most recent Mock Draft 5.0.
1. Philadelphia -- Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
The Sixers don’t want to appear to be caving in to Simmons’ reported desire to play for the Lakers, but based on how their roster is constructed Ingram would be the better fit for where they are currently.
2. Los Angeles Lakers -- Ben Simmons, F, LSU
With holes at seemingly every frontcourt spot, Simmons will have no problem getting minutes early and often for the Lakers. Simmons is at his best with the ball in his hands. It remains to be seen how that will play out with D’Angelo Russell whose growth as a playmaker may be affected by the selection of Simmons.
3. BOSTON -- Dragan Bender, F/C, International
It’s no secret that the Celtics are open to the idea of moving this pick. But if they stand pat, Bender remains their guy … for now. The Celtics understand that whoever they take at No. 3 will be a gamble. If they are going to gamble, they might as well take the player with the greatest upside which after the top two picks are off the board, is Bender.
Blakely Mock Draft: What will C’s get with their 3 picks?
4. Phoenix -- Jaylen Brown, G/F, California
Brown comes into the league with NBA-body which bodes well for him as a defender. And his ability to finish around the rim ranks among the players in this year’s draft. But he has to get better – a lot better – shooting from the perimeter. It is easily the weakest part of what is an otherwise pretty well-rounded game.
5. Minnesota – Kris Dunn, PG/SG, Providence College
Dunn would have loved to have slipped one more spot to No. 6 and New Orleans, but let’s be real. Tom Thibodeau has a chance to draft the best defensive guard who can also do some nifty things offensively too? Dunn’s defensive DNA and overall potential will be too much for Tibs to pass on.
6. New Orleans – Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
Murray may be the big winner in this year’s draft, walking into a situation where he will get a shot at playing significant minutes and not be counted on as a savior or anything like that. Jrue Holiday and backup Toney Douglas are the only point guards New Orleans has currently signed through this upcoming season.
7. Denver – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
Hield’s 6-8.5 wing span allows him to physically match up against most NBA shooting guards, but he has to become a better passer and cut down on his turnovers to really make a splash in the NBA. But Denver is a great situation for Hield who would join a Nuggets squad that struggled to score last season.
8. Sacramento – Skal Labissiere, F/C Kentucky
There are few players working their way up the draft board like Labissiere who prior to the start of this past season, was a name tossed around as a possible top overall pick. He has great athleticism, runs the floor extremely well and gets off the ground as quickly as you’ll see anyone in this draft.
9. Toronto -- Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
With no guarantees they’ll be able to re-sign Bismack Biyombo, drafting Poeltl will give them some much-needed depth off the bench at the center position. But in time, Poeltl has to develop one or two go-to moves offensively to at least keep teams somewhat honest at that end of the floor.
10. Milwaukee – Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga
Doesn’t have the kind of off-the-charts length that most of Milwaukee’s bigs have, but his touch around the basket and excellent footwork makes for a nice addition to the Bucks roster.
11. Orlando -- Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, International
It’ll be a tough call between Luwawu and Denzel Valentine. The Magic go with the better athlete who should come in and immediately compete for playing time off the Magic bench.
12. Utah -- Furkan Korkmaz, G, International
The Jazz continue to stockpile talented international players with the addition of Korkmaz, a speedy combo guard who loves to make things happen in transition which is something the Jazz did not do much of last season which is evident by their pace (number of possessions per 48 minutes) being dead-last in the NBA at 93.26.
13. Phoenix -- Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
Can stretch the floor from 3-point range, puts it on the floor and attacks the rim and defensively, he won’t kill you when he’s on the floor. The only reason he’s still on the board at this point is because unlike most of this year’s lottery picks, Chriss hasn’t been on the NBA radar for years. He’s one of the few one-and-done players that wasn’t expected to be this good, this quickly.
14. Chicago — Denzel Valentine, SF, Michigan State
Valentine brings toughness, versatility and an edge about him that should fit in well with how Jimmy Butler the Bulls want to play.
15. Denver (from Houston) -- Henry Ellenson, PF/C, Marquette
Very skilled big man who utilizes an array of offensive moves to create space which is important for him because unlike some of the top big man prospects, Ellenson isn’t the most athletic big man in the draft.
16. Boston (from Dallas) – Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
A versatile defender who can shoot 3s, Prince provides some depth at the small forward position that the Celtics will have to address in some capacity this offseason. And with Prince being 22 years old, the learning curve probably won’t be nearly as long as it will be for some of his teenage brethren in next month’s draft.
17. Memphis – Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State
The Grizzlies’ frontcourt needs an infusion of youth sooner rather than later. Davis won’t come in and make an immediate impact, but his upside is tremendous. And don’t forget, he comes from a Michigan State program that’s known for producing its share of tough guys.
18. Detroit -- Cheick Diallo, F, Kansas
Diallo projects as another one-and-done player who’s expected to be a much better pro than he was in college. He looked much more comfortable at the NBA combine where his athleticism and defensive skills were on full display.
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 – Stephen Zimmerman, C, UNLV
New Pacers head coach Nate McMillan adds another talented big man to the mix, one with a nice, well-rounded game who is far from flashy.
21. Atlanta – DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph’s
A versatile, do-it-all kind of player, Bembry gives the Hawks some added depth on the perimeter.
22. Charlotte -- Wade Baldwin IV, G, Vanderbilt
Shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in his two seasons in college, and with a wingspan of nearly 7-feet, Baldwin gives the Hornets some backcourt versatility in terms of defending both guard positions.
23. Boston – Zhou Qi, C, International
While his lithe frame might scare some teams off from drafting him, Qi has some physical measurements that at this point the draft, are just too good to pass over. The 7-2 center has a 7-7 ¾ wing span and a 9-4 ½ standing reach. He has tremendous potential as a rim-protecting, help-side defender
24. Philadelphia (from Miami) -- Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
Despite his lithe frame (5-10, 149 pounds), the Sixers add one of the better scoring guards in the draft who will inevitably draw comparisons to Philly legend Allen Iverson.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
Jones has the size, athleticism and instincts to be a solid center in the NBA. His offensive game needs work, but he’s not being drafted to score points. Doc Rivers will look for him to provide defense and rebounding for the most part.
26. Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City) -- Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
Strong NCAA Tournament run really bolstered his draft stock. Streaky player scoring the ball, but he’s 6-4 with a 7-foot wingspan which makes him a player who in the eyes of NBA teams has tremendous upside as a defensive player.
27. Toronto – Patrick McCaw, G, UNLV
A 6-7 wing player with a 6-10 wingspan, McCaw is an extremely raw player whose best days in the NBA are far down the road. But this late in the first round, he’s worth taking a flier on because of his potential.
28. Phoenix (from Cleveland) – Ante Zizic, PF/C, International
Zizic is a high-energy player with a 7-3 wingspan who does a nice job at finishing around the rim. He is hoping to have similar success like fellow Adriatic League players Nikola Pekovic (Minnesota), Nikola Jokic (Denver) and Jusuf Nurkic (Denver).
29. San Antonio – Petr Cornelie, F, International
The 7-foot Frenchman is a “stretch 4” who isn’t ready to contribute at the NBA level now. But considering the Spurs aren’t getting any younger, Cornelie would be a nice addition in another year or two.
30. Golden State -- Juan Hernangomez, F, International
A high motor player who will struggle to crack the Warriors rotation as a rookie, but has the kind of infectious energy that should fit in well with Golden State's style of play.