Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 6.0
Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 6.0
BOSTON – We are less than a month away from the NBA draft and there still remains a high level of unpredictability as to how it will play out.
Underclassmen that were testing the waters of the NBA draft are headed back to school, and the seasons for international prospects are winding down.
Players whose workouts have elevated their stock, may start to cut back on the teams they work out for in the coming weeks or in some instances, shut it down entirely once they receive a “promise” from a team in a draft range that they and their camp feel comfortable with.
In other words, there’s a lot of fluidity to this year’s draft.
But for now, here’s a look at how things stand with the unveiling of CSNNE.com’s latest Mock Draft 6.0.
1. Philadelphia -- Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
Ingram and Ben Simmons will be flip-flopped at the top spot all the way up until the June 23 draft. But if the Sixers are serious about winning (more) now versus their perpetual rebuilding ways in recent years, Ingram is the more likely choice ahead of Simmons.
2. Los Angeles Lakers -- Ben Simmons, F, LSU
For a team with so many needs at so many positions, Simmons appears to be a better fit here than the Sixers who are such a frontcourt-heavy team as they are currently constructed compared to the Lakers which have a roster full of holes.
Sherrod's Mock Draft 6.0: Who will the Celtics take?
3. BOSTON -- Dragan Bender, PF/C, International
Lots of upside and potential with the 18-year-old Bender who isn’t expected to make much of an immediate impact in the NBA. But the Celtics have proven to be a team of patience, something that’s sure to be tested if they in fact select Bender.
4. Phoenix – Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, California
Teams like Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers will work him out, but it’s unlikely his stock will rise to where he would get consideration for one of the top two spots.
5. Minnesota – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
In Tom Thibodeau’s first significant move in the Timberwolves front office, he surprises some and takes Hield (and not the defensive-ready Kris Dunn) who should help bolster a Minnesota team that ranked 25th (out of 30 teams) in the NBA last season in 3-point shooting.
6. New Orleans – Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
The need to draft a point guard became even greater for the Pelicans with the unexpected shooting death of Bryce Dejean-Jones.
7. Denver – Skal Labissiere, PF/C Kentucky
Limited experience more than anything else, is what execs chalk up to explaining why he struggled for most of his lone season at Kentucky. Do not be surprised if there’s a team outside of the lottery (top-14) that tries to trade up with the goal being to draft him.
8. Sacramento – Kris Dunn, PG, Providence College
While many projected Dunn to go higher than this, Dunn winding up with the Kings is a great fit for him to 1) play major minutes early on and 2) not feel the weight of being a franchise savior.
9. Toronto -- Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Poeltl isn’t a big-time shot-blocker but his size and strength makes him a good and much-needed addition to a Toronto Raptors roster that’s likely to lose Bismack Biyombo to free agency this summer. And while Biyombo’s offensive game is significantly limited, Poeltl has shown the ability to be a decent back-to-the-basket scorer.
10. Milwaukee – Henry Ellison, PF/C, Marquette
He has one of the most complete skillsets of any big man in this draft. There are concerns about his defense and lateral quickness, but Ellison does so many things well offensively which should help compensate for what he lacks while on the floor.
11. Orlando -- Donantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga
Shooting guard Evan Fournier will likely re-sign with the Magic this summer, so the Magic will set their sights to bolstering a frontcourt with one of the more skilled offensive scorers in this year’s draft.
12. Utah – Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
Chriss does a little bit of everything on the floor, adding some much-needed depth and an upgrade athletically at the forward position for a Utah club that should be in playoffs-or-bust mode this season.
13. Phoenix – Denzel Valentine, SF, Michigan State
There’s a lot to like about Valentine’s game which is so all over the map which is a good thing because it’ll fit in with just about any team’s style of play.
14. Chicago -- Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
Pau Gasol’s likely departure means the Bulls will be looking to fill a huge void in the frontcourt. Davis by no means is the answer, but adding a young big with his talent will certainly help.
15. Denver (from Houston) -- Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
Nuggets head coach Mike Malone is known for his defensive acumen. Adding Prince provides Denver with a high-level defender who can also shoot 3s – a great 1-2 punch for players in the NBA these days.
16. Boston (from Dallas) – Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, International
A 6-7 small forward with a 6-11 wingspan, Luwawu has skills that remind at least one NBA scout of Bulls star Jimmy Butler. But that same scout was quick to tell CSNNE.com, “Don’t get it twisted. If you think you’re getting Jimmy Butler of today with this kid right now, you’re going to be disappointed. Still, he’d be a really nice pick-up for the Celtics with that second (No. 16) first round pick of theirs.”
17. Memphis – Furkan Korkmaz, SG, International
Korkmaz is at his best getting out in transition, something the Grizzlies are likely to do more of under new coach Dave Fizdale. And the 18-year-old has proven himself to be a good 3-point shooter at every level of competition.
18. Detroit -- Cheick Diallo, PF, Kansas
The Pistons are all about adding depth through the draft this year. Diallo gives them an athletic, defensive-minded big who could play with Andre Drummond in addition to spelling him at times.
19. Denver (from Portland) – Wade Baldwin IV, G, Vanderbilt
The Nuggets continue to add young, versatile talent with this pick. Pairing him up with Emmanuel Mudiay makes for a nice 1-2 defensive punch in the backcourt.
20. Indiana – Dejounte Murray, SG, Washington
The Pacers need to add some punch offensively to their lineup. There are questions about Murray’s game, for sure. But his ability to score the ball isn’t one of them.
21. Atlanta – DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph’s
Bembry has really benefited from workouts which have taken him from a second-round prospect to a first round pick that’s now expected to be taken in the late-teens to early 20s.
22. Charlotte -- Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
The idea of pairing him with Kemba Walker isn’t ideal because of their lack of size, but Ulis’ playmaking skills and Walker’s shooting touch could make for a nice tandem if the Hornets can mask their combined defensive shortcomings.
23. Boston – Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
Jones announced his decision to be in this year’s draft way back in October, but never quite lived up to being one of the nation’s top bigs. Still, his size, athleticism and shot-blocking talent make him a nice pick-up for the Celtics who could use a player with his specific strengths.
24. Philadelphia (from Miami) -- Zhou Qi, C, International
The Sixers are loaded upfront so this is a definite stash-and-dash pick. Considering all the physical attributes (7-7 ¾ wing span, 9-4 ½ standing reach) that Zhou brings to the game, having him stay overseas for another year or two is a good investment.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – Ante Zizic, PF/C, International
Limited defensively to playing the center position, he’s not shy about physical play which will make him a favorite of Doc Rivers who as we know, loves those basketball “instigators” who aren’t afraid to mix it up.
26. Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City) – Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
At this point in the draft, it’s all about drafting players with upside and some unique characteristic to their game. Richardson is up and down as shooter, but could potentially defend all three perimeter positions due to his 7-foot wingspan despite being just 6-4.
27. Toronto – Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
The Raptors are indeed Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan’s team, but the Raptors need to add more scoring punch off the bench which is a role that Beasley will get a shot at stepping into immediately.
28. Phoenix (from Cleveland) – Ben Bentil, PF, Providence College
Showing he’s more than just Kris Dunn’s sidekick, Bentil has been opening the eyes of many teams through workouts and will be among the handful of players who will be considered as a late first-round pick.
29. San Antonio – Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV
A very raw prospect with exceptional physical tools (he’s a 6-7 guard with a 6-10 wingspan), do not be surprised if McCaw spends a year or two overseas or winds up spending most of next season in the D-League.
30. Golden State – Thon Maker, F, International
Of the players still available, few are a bigger mystery – or present as much potential for greatness – as Maker. There are lots of questions about his game, but the one thing that has not been an issue with him is his work ethic – the kind of thing that gives any team selecting him hope that he will steadily improve as an NBA player.
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: Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina
No. 35: Joel Bolomboy, PF, Weber State
No. 45: Dorian Finney-Smith, SF, Florida
No. 51: Prince Ibeh, C, Texas