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TSJ101’s Official 2016 NBA Mock Draft

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NBA

Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery did not produce any surprises. There was no upward movement by any team in the draft. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first pick in the draft, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at pick two and the Boston Celtics at pick three.
With the draft order now official, here is Tha Sports Junkies newest, most accurate mock draft:
1. Philadelphia 76ers – F Ben Simmons, LSU
A strong case can be made for either Simmons or Duke forward Brandon Ingram at number 1. While Ingram may be a more polished scorer at this point in their careers, Simmons appears to be a once in a decade type talent who combines elite size and athleticism with incredible court-vision and rebounding ability. Simmons’s shooting woes in college will be corrected with repetition and coaching during his first couple of years in the league.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – F Ben Ingram, Duke
While some scouts worry about Ingram’s slight build, he is undoubtedly the most versatile scorer in this year’s draft. At 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan, Ingram can easily shoot over smaller defenders and has enough speed and ball-handling ability to blow by larger players. Ingram can also shoot from distance and finish in transition. Ingram will have to bulk-up in order to become formidable on defense, but expect instant offense for the Lakers with Ingram.
3. Boston Celtics – Dragan Bender, Maccabi Tel Aviv
At 7’1, Bender is a unique prospect who is deceivingly agile and can stretch the floor. Much of Bender’s allure comes from his potential and versatility. Bender can potentially play either forward position or center all while running the floor, finishing around the rim and shooting threes. Like Ingram, Bender will also have to put on weight to compete on the boards and on defense. With the Celtics acquiring this pick from the Nets and finishing as a play-off team this year, they may shop this pick or select Bender and develop him slowly throughout the season.
4. Phoenix Suns – F Jaylen Brown, California
Pick number four is where the draft really opens up. The Suns have a bevy of options at this pick, with strong guards like Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, it makes since for Phoenix to go with Brown, a small forward who has the ability to start right away. While Brown had an up and down season at Cal, Brown possesses elite athleticism that can allow him to make an instant impact in transition and on the defensive end. Brown’s shooting and shot-selection will improve as the season progresses.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves – G Jamal Murray, Kentucky
The Timberwolves look to add to their young core at the fifth pick, expect Kentucky sharp-shooter Jamal Murray to go off the board at this pick. Murray is a bit of a combo guard who will probably play shooting guard but can play the 1 for small stretches of time. With elite shooting, deep range, and the ability to get to the basket Murray can make an impact on offense with the young Wolves instantly.
6. New Orleans Pelicans- G Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Hield will compliment Anthony Davis more than anyone available at this pick. With proven, prolific shooting from range Hield will space the floor for Davis and take some of the offensive burden off him. While Hield is the best spot-up shooter in this year’s draft, he also worked hard to improve his shooting off the dribble and overall handle. Hield’s intense work ethic can also lead to him becoming a great on-ball defender.
7. Denver Nuggets – PF/C Henry Ellenson, Marquette
While Kris Dunn is probably the best overall player at this pick, the Nuggets went point guard early in last year’s draft with Emmanuel Mudiay. Ellenson is a big, physical, mobile big-man who can add toughness, rebounding and shooting to the Nuggets front-line immediately.
8. Sacramento Kings – G Kris Dunn, Providence
Kris Dunn may be the steal of the draft at pick eight. At 6’3 with a 6’9 wingspan, Dunn possess the size and freakish athleticism that able him to compete with the point guards in the Western Conference. Dunn’s physical tools allow him to finish in transition and around the basket. Dunn’s wingspan and quickness also offer defensive versatility, he can defend either guard position. If Dunn can continue to improve his jumper, then he will be a weapon in the pick and roll, with the ability to blow by defenders with quickness if they go above the screen, or the ability to knock down shots if defenders go under the screen.
9. Toronto Raptors – F Marquese Chriss, Washington
Chriss may have the most upside of any power-forward in this year’s draft. At only 18-years-old, Chriss, Chriss needs to beef-up his 6’9, 230-pound frame in order to compete on the boards and on the defensive end. Chriss’s potential comes on the offensive end. With three-point shooting range, quick feet and great leaping ability, Chriss can potentially exploit bigger defenders and thrive in transition.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – C Jacob Potel, Utah
With a solid starting line-up, the Bucks will add to their core of young talent with the best player available at this pick, in this case, 7’1, 240-pound bruising center Jacob Poetl. If this draft were five years ago, Poetl may have been a top three pick, but with the NBA’s recent trend of small-ball, Poetl may slide in the draft. With Poetl the Bucks will be getting a proven big-man who can rebound, and protect the paint. Poetl is also developing an offensive game. Defending smaller players and defending the pick and roll will be Poetl’s biggest challenges.
11. Orlando Magic – F Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
With one of the youngest teams in the NBA, Orlando has the chance to add a proven, mature, utility player in Denzel Valentine. Valentine is the prototypical point-forward and can provide stability on the offensive end with great passing and decision making. The 6’5 Valentine is versatile and can play positions 2-4. If Valentine can improve his shooting range and quickness he may able to make as much as an impact for his team as fellow Spartan, Draymond Green.
12. Utah Jazz – G/F Timothe Luwawu, Serbia
Luwawu combines athleticism and scoring ability that can potentially add depth to the perimeter for the Jazz. At 6’5 with a 7’2 wingspan, Luwawu can develop into the ideal 3 and D type player, think Nicolas Batum.
13. Phoenix Suns – F Deyonta Davis, Michigan State
With the Suns second pick in the first round they will likely look to add frontcourt depth with Deyonta Davis. The 19-year-old Davis has major upside with superior speed and leaping ability as well as a 7’2 wingspan. At 6’10 240, Davis can be a great rebounder and rim protector. Davis will need to develop more of an offensive game and challenge himself to get better at defending pick and rolls.
14. Chicago Bulls – G Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
At this pick, expect the Bulls to choose a point guard to back up and eventually replace Derrick Rose. Jackson has great athleticism that allows him to play up-tempo and thrive in transition. At only 6’2, Jackson’s leaping ability allows him to make up for his size and finish at the rim.