Tha Sports Junkies 101

TSJ101 Official 2016 NBA Mock Draft

NBA Draft Dennis Adair via Flickr


Two deals were completed today that shook up the 2016 NBA draft quite a bit. Now armed with the 12th pick in the draft, the Atlanta Hawks remain a wildcard. Whatever they decide to do could be the first domino in what could be a lot of draft day trades. It seems like a lot of teams are on the fence right now about what to do with their picks and Atlanta could make their decision a whole lot easier by moving up. Ignoring that, here is a look at how the NBA draft could end up looking tonight. Coverage kicks off  at 7:30pm ET on ESPN.

2016 Mock Draft:


1 Philadelphia 76ers F Ben Simmons, LSU The Philadelphia 76ers have done everything but outright issue a press release saying that they have already signed Ben Simmons. Small winks from both parties have been passed around leaving the rest of the NBA to operate under the impression that Ben Simmons will be taken first overall. This is the safest pick of the draft. It’s not only safe because he has the best tools and skill set in the draft, but it’s also safe because no one will fault them if this doesn’t work out. If you are Colangelo, you are drafting best available for this team.
2 Los   Angeles Lakers SF Brandon Ingram, Duke Reports have come out that even if they had the 1st pick in the draft, the Los Angeles Lakers would still draft Brandon Ingram. This may be a tactic to instill confidence in their rookie but he really is the best choice for the Lakers in this position. They are in great need of a wing which is what makes this pick so easy for them. Brandon can shoot well and has the potential to be something special on defense. In addition, he is a great fit all around with the pieces the Lakers already in place.
3 Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn) SF Jaylen Brown, California This is the pick where the draft starts to actually take place. At 3, the Boston Celtics have a lot of things to consider. They could draft best player available, highest ceiling, highest trade value, or best fit. Trading this third pick is proving harder than expected so they need to have a solid plan when draft night rolls around. At number three, Jaylen Brown is a great addition to this Celtics roster. He screams “Ainge” with his defense and athleticism. He’s also really good around the rim and has a decent shooting touch. Jaylen isn’t a shooter which most people would presume the Celtics really need but, at this point, they need more than just a guy who can make 3’s.
4 Phoenix Suns F Dragan Bender, Croatia Dragan Bender is a little hard to gauge– as are most foreign prospects. However, with this pick, the Phoenix Suns would be drafting for the could be. Bender is a 7’1” forward. You read that correctly. He moves well and can shoot from the perimeter. His offensive skills aren’t a question because they are clearly defined. He stays in his role and has the potential to play that role very well if he acclimates to the speed and size of the NBA.
5 Minnesota Timber-wolves SG Buddy Hield, Oklahoma Minnesota needs shooting. Yes, all signs would point to Coach Thibs wanting a certain defensive minded point guard that is still on the board. Yes, he would like to trade this pick for an established wing like Jimmy Butler. However, Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins need to be surrounded by shooters. Their point guard isn’t as big of a problem if the ball can be whipped around the perimeter. This makes sharpshooter Buddy Hield a great fit. Although he is lacking on the defensive end, no one is questioning his ability to knock down shots from the arc. He shoots unconsciously when he is open, and with hands in his face. On top of that, he can put the ball on the floor to keep a defense honest when guarding him. He would pair very well with Wiggins and Towns.
6 New Orleans Pelicans PG Kris Dunn, Providence The New Orleans Pelicans need a guard. This isn’t a shocker. Aside from staying healthy, this is their top priority. Having Kris Dunn slip to this slot of the draft would be almost an immediate pick for the Pelicans front office. He would pair well with Jrue in the back court with his defensive presence.
7 Denver Nuggets  (via New York) SG Jamal Murray, Kentucky Jamal Murray to the Denver Nuggets would fix one of the biggest issues of their offense. Emmanual Mudiay needs space to operate. Jamal Murray can do just that. He has excellent shooting ability and should be a viable scoring option. He has the raw tools needed to be able to score attack the basket but it remains to be seen if he can improve against NBA size.
8 Sacramento Kings F Marquese Chriss, Washington The Sacramento Kings taking Marquese Chriss at number 8 wouldn’t be a power play. He may not start any time soon or get many minutes, but Marquese’s shooting ability, with his size, makes him a really intriguing prospect. He isn’t the answer to the Kings’ point guard problem, but after some time, Chriss could fill a lot of other holes in their roster. The potential to be a stretch four is there. The more bodies you can get away from DeMarcus Cousins, the better.
9 Toronto Raptors  (via Denver) PF Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga Masai Ujiri has a lot of things to do this summer. One of them is to make sure Domantas Sabonis is drafted at number 8. The Raptors need a big. Sabonis is one of the best left on the board in terms of fit. He can shoot well and is ready to contribute now. That is all the convincing Ujiri needs as his team desperately needs a big.
10 Milwaukee Bucks C Jakob Poeltl, Utah Poetl is one of the few real centers in this draft. He is a capable scorer down in the paint and offers very little floor spacing. He is also can be really good on defense which should not be undervalued. With Milwaukee ready to move on from Monroe, Jakob Poetl could be a nice piece to plug into that roster.
11 Orlando Magic PF/C Deyonta Davis, Michigan State The Magic need a rim protector. At 19 years old, the 6’10” Deyonta Davis provides shot blocking ability to top off his well rounded defensive talent. His size and length help him along in this regard. He isn’t much of a perimeter threat but it his face-up game is respectable.
12 Atlanta Hawks (via Utah Jazz) C Skal Labissiere, Kentucky The Atlanta Hawks are an interesting bunch right now. They traded Jeff Teague for the 12th in this draft and are reportedly trying to move even further up. Reports also say this is an effort to create cap space. Either way, if they draft Skal here, they can potentially move Tiago and create all the money their pick trading hearts desire.
13 Phoenix Suns (via Wash-ington) SG Timothe Luwawu, France France product Timothe Luwawu is a big 2 guard who has the ability and athleticism to be more than that. His jumpshot has improved dramatically and is a good piece to have on the wing.
14 Chicago Bulls PG Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt With Derrick Rose gone, the Chicago Bulls need a point guard. Not only do they need a point guard but they need a point guard that can play along side Jimmy Butler. Enter Wade Baldwin. He is a defensive presence with crazy length and can spot up for 3’s. If he is available at this point, the Chicago Bulls are sure to take him.
15 Denver Nuggets  (via Houston) SG Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey A young athletic guard with good size and shooting ability seems to be a trend in this draft. It is the direction the NBA is headed. Another direction it is going is stashing players. The Nuggets should double down on the best player available and try to use Furkan as a trade piece
16 Boston Celtics (via Dallas) PF Henry Ellenson, Marquette The Celtics are going to lose some pieces. One of those pieces is going to be a big. They need someone to help control the glass. Henry Ellenson could be that answer at 16. He also brings plenty of other things to the table such as being a good scorer down low and flashing potential for being an outside threat. At 6’10”, that speaks volumes.
17 Memphis Grizzlies SG Malachi Richardson, Syracuse If another team doesn’t pick up Malachi Richardson, Memphis would almost be forced to. He is a scorer. He can create for himself and spot up. He doesn’t have overbearing athleticism or ball hawking defense, but there isn’t much to ask for outside of shooting if you are Memphis.
18 Detroit Pistons G Dejounte Murray , Washington Stan Van Gundy has come out and mocked mock drafts such as this one. He said that he is going to take best player available on draft night and that no one can know who that will be. He believes that his team needs help at every position. Fortunately for Stan, a combo guard will be on the board which will do wonders for his team.
19 Denver Nuggets  (via Portland) F Juan Hernan-gomez, Spain Stacking up on foreign prospects is really all Denver can do at this point. They have 3 first round picks so grabbing a swiss army knife on the offensive end is always a plus.
20 Indiana Pacers SG Denzel Valentine, Michigan State If the rumors about Denzel Valentine are any true, Larry Bird’s hand might be forced with the 20th pick. At this spot, injury or not, Valentine is too good of a shooter to pass up on.
21 Atlanta Hawks G Malik Beasley, Florida State Beasley is a high energy slasher who can really get out and run. He isn’t a top tier athlete but can hold his own as an NBA player in the athleticism department.
22 Charlotte Hornets C Thon Maker, Orangeville Prep Having Thon Maker fall in your lap at pick 22 makes for an easy decision. He is a potential top all star talent at the mid round position. He may see a lot of D-League time but this kind of potential has serious value.
23 Boston Celtics C Ivica Zubac, Serbia Rumored to be well liked by the Pistons, the Boston Celtics would be overjoyed to get Ivica as the 23rd pick. He isn’t anything special on defense but he does have really nice touch around the rim.
24 Phila-delphia 76ers (via Miami) Taurean Prince Taurean is one of the more NBA ready prospects in terms of size and frame. He is strong and mobile on the floor and had an impressive college career.
25 Los Angeles Clippers F, Brice Johnson, North Carolina One of the better rebounders in the draft, and with room to extend his offensive game, Brice Johnson is a safe pick for the Clippers at 25.
26 Phila-delphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City) PG Dem-etrius Jackson, Notre Dame Demetrius is an “experienced” basketball player so to speak. He has played off the bench behind NBA talent and has led his own team. He has a nice career three point percentage and has high athleticism which makes up for his height.
27 Toronto Raptors SF DeAndre Bembry, St. Joeseph’s With the size to switch off on to multiple positions, Bembry may very well be the best choice at this point. He can do a lot of things well on the floor and play multiple positions when asked to.
28 Phoenix Suns (via Cleveland) C, Zhou Qi, China Start stashing Phoenix. Start stashing.
29 San Antonio Spurs C, Ante Zizic The Spurs have positioned themselves to move up in the draft. However, not much is known about how much any of their assets are worth. Is Danny Green worth moving? Do teams want a Patty/Boris package? There are so many unknowns and so many variables that only draft night will be able to clear up.
30 Golden State Warriors C Diamond Stone, Maryland Not much else to do with the 30th pick in the draft. Its less valuable than the 29th and the 31st. Grabbing best available for the team that just broke an NBA record in wins seems like a viable choice.