Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 8.0
Blakely's 2016 NBA Mock Draft 8.0
BOSTON – Even though the Boston Celtics aren’t on the clock until the No. 3 pick, that’s when the first real drama in the draft starts.
Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Lakers have the top two picks and will take Ben Simmons of LSU and Brandon Ingram of Duke off the draft board.
Then comes the Celtics’ turn to draft at No. 3, a potential landing spot for several prospects.
A number of those prospects have been in town for workouts recently, with at least one major potential Celtic (Dragan Bender) expected to arrive in the coming days.
It all adds up to more movement atop the draft with the latest installment of CSNNE.com’s Mock Draft 8.0
1. Philadelphia – Ben Simmons, F, LSU
The Sixers could use the scoring punch of Ingram more, but Simmons’ all-around game coupled with head coach Brett Brown’s familiarity with him, makes this an easy selection.
2. Los Angeles Lakers -- Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
The development of D’Angelo Russell will make Ingram’s transition to the NBA smoother. But let’s be clear: this will be Ingram’s team sooner or later.
3. BOSTON – Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, California
Marquese Chriss and Jamal Murray will be awfully tempting for Boston to take this high, but Boston’s lack of wing depth (Jae Crowder is the team’s only true small forward with a guaranteed contract for this season) makes adding a player with Brown’s skills a necessity either through the draft or free agency.
Jaylen Brown 2016 NBA Draft scouting report
4. Phoenix: Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
In adding Murray, the Suns bring yet another big-time shooter from Kentucky into the fold. Coaches tell you all the time in this league that you can’t have enough shot-makers and with this pick, the Suns add one of the draft’s best.
5. Minnesota – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
The Timberwolves go with the most experienced, elite shooter in this draft, a player who should fit in nicely with Minnesota’s growing young core of talent. While there are concerns about his defense and passing, Hield has been able to show marked improvement in every part of his game that was once deemed a weakness. Few expect that to change now that he’s in the NBA.
6. New Orleans – Kris Dunn, PG, Providence College
The Pelicans desperately need an upgrade at the point guard position, especially a playmaker who comes into the NBA with above-average defensive skills like Dunn. The 6-foot-4 guard wanted to go somewhere and play immediately. Of the teams at the top of the lottery, New Orleans should provide the best opportunity for that to happen.
7. Denver -- Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
With his shooting skills, a quick first step to the basket and above-the-rim athleticism, players with his talent draped on a 6-foot-10 frame are rare. But unlike most players in the lottery, Chriss is relatively new to being regarded among the best of the best. Dealing with his newfound stardom will be a key to his success going forward.
8. Sacramento – Dragan Bender, PF/C, International
This may be the most ideal fit for Bender’s immersion into the NBA. He joins a team where minutes will be there to play immediately and the pressure to win won’t be nearly as great as it is with some of the teams picking earlier in the draft.
9. Toronto – Skal Labissiere, PF/C Kentucky
Labissiere’s lack of experience certainly played a role in his lack of production as a freshman at Kentucky. But in workouts, he has shown a far more complete game and would greatly benefit from being on a team like the Raptors where the pressure to perform won’t be as great from Day One as it was last season for the Wildcats.
10. Milwaukee – Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
He gets a lot of attention for what he brings to the game defensively. But he did average more than 17 points per game last season, showing the ability to score with either hand around the basket.
11. Orlando -- Deyonta Davis, PF/C, Michigan State
Frank Vogel did a great job in bringing Myles Turner along last season in Indiana. We’ll see if he can get Davis on the fast track to being an impact player quickly as well.
12. Utah – Henry Ellison, PF/C, Marquette
Ellison’s biggest strength is his ability to score. That’s a great quality to have for a Jazz team that ranked 28th in the NBA in scoring last season.
13. Phoenix – Cheick Diallo, PF, Kansas
With a trio of first-round picks, the Suns take a swing at Diallo who at this point in the draft may have the most upside of any prospect.
14. Chicago – Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, International
In case the Bulls get a too-good-to-pass-up offer for Jimmy Butler, Luwawu would come in and have a shot at cracking the regular rotation from Day One. But if Butler stays, Chicago adds a versatile wing player whose defense and shot-making will bolster the Bulls’ bench.
15. Denver (from Houston) – Denzel Valentine, SF, Michigan State
A team with lots of needs, Valentine would be an ideal addition considering his game is one in which he can do a multitude of things on the floor.
16. Boston (from Dallas) – Furkan Korkmaz, SG, International
One of the more exciting young International players, Korkmaz is one of this draft’s best players at getting to the rim off the dribble, a quality the Boston Celtics desperately need to add to the mix for this upcoming season. And with him being just 18 years old, the Celtics will also consider going the draft-and-stash route and keep him overseas for a year or two.
17. Memphis – Wade Baldwin IV, G, Vanderbilt
While much will be made of this pick because of Mike Conley’s impending free agency, Baldwin gives the Grizzlies some much-needed depth and versatility in the backcourt. And if Conley re-signs, Baldwin would be a nice change-of-pace guard off the bench due to his defense which is fueled by a wingspan of nearly 7-feet.
18. Detroit -- Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga
Sabonis is not the most athletic big in this draft, but his high basketball IQ enables him to be a player who finds ways to impact the game positively. Longevity in the NBA for him will have to include an improved mid-range shooting game. Excellent footwork can only take you so far if you lack a mid-range game at power forward, and not enough strength to play center.
19. Denver (from Portland) – Malachi Richardson SG, Syracuse
Richardson looked good during an ASM agency workout in Las Vegas week, inching him closer to being a lottery (top-14) pick. Richardson is out to show that his big performances in the NCAA tournament last spring weren’t just a fluke. Knocking down 13-of-15 3s the way he did in Vegas last week helps.
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 –Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
Ulis doesn’t have ideal size at this level, but adding him to the roster regardless of whether they trade Jeff Teague or not, gives Atlanta another potential weapon offensively in the backcourt.
22. Charlotte – Demetrius 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. And the fact that he’s a bit older than most prospects means he’s more coachable than some which is a great trait in a point guard.
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) – 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 agents and league executives CSNNE.com has spoken with in recent days is that Maker will be a first-round selection.
25. Los Angeles Clippers – DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph’s
Doc Rivers’ crew has one of the best starting fives 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) – 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.
27. Toronto – Dejounte Murray, SG, Washington
At this point in the draft, Murray is arguably the best flat-out scorer available. Unlike a number of teams in the draft, the Raptors don’t need to fill a specific position. Instead, they need players with well-defined skills like Murray’s scoring punch.
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. 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.
29. San Antonio – Petr Cornelie, F, International
He was a bit inconsistent at the Adidas Eurocamp this weekend, but his size, length, shooting ability and upside make him a more than worthy player to be drafted in the latter stages of the first round.
30. Golden State – Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
One Commodore replacing another? Former Vandy center Festus Ezeli hits the free agent market this summer and will likely get a big money offer to play elsewhere (LA Lakers?). Jones would be a nice addition to add to the mix especially this late in the draft.
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: Isaia Cornier, SG, International
No. 35: Pascal Siakam, F, New Mexico State
No. 45: Joel Bolomboy, PF, Weber State
No. 51: Jordan Sakho, F, International
No. 58: Prince Ibeh, C, Texas