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NBA Mock Draft 2016 – Charlie Wilson

 

1)    Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons – F

 

The best and most ‘NBA ready’ player in the draft, Ben Simmons will almost certainly be selected with the first pick by the Sixers. The Aussie is an extremely versatile offensive player, who defines the role of point-forward. He can score in the paint at will whilst being a tenacious rebounder. But Simmons’ biggest strength is that he is most effective when running the show. He has terrific handles and is an elite passer.  Simmons must improve his mid-range and 3pt shooting at the NBA level, however this should not and will not concern teams. Plenty of players have entered the league without a reliable jump shot and learnt themselves one in their first few years. Adding him along with Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor (providing they don’t trade him to Boston for the #3 pick) and Philly gets their franchise player in Ben Simmons.

 

NBA ComparisonLeBron James

 

2)    Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram – F

 

Long and wirey, Brandon Ingram has a smooth stroke from the perimeter, but adding muscle to his thin frame is a must when he enters the league. Ingram has impressive ball-handling skills to go with his slender frame, the comparisons to Kevin Durant are there for everyone to see. The Lakers have a hole at small forward, and Ingram would be a solid building block along with D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.

 

NBA ComparisonKevin Durant

 

3)    Boston Celtics: Buddy Hield – G

 

I believe Celtics will continue to actively shop this pick in hopes of landing a proven player who can help them right now. Watch out for a trade with the Sixers for Jahlil Okafor. If that happens, the Sixers will select Kris Dunn with the 3rd overall pick. However, if the Celtics unable to swing a deal, they has a decision to make and plenty of names are in play; Jamal Murray, Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield, Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown and Marquese Chriss. As a Boston Celtics fan myself, if we cannot swing the pick for Jahlil Okafor or another proven NBA star, I’m hoping that the Celtics draft Buddy Hield. The Boston Celtics NEED a shooter. Danny Ainge confirmed that Hield hit 85/100 3pt attempts at a Celtics pre-draft workout… Enough said.

NBA ComparisonJames Harden

4)    Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender – F

The Suns should be ecstatic if Bender drops to them at No. 4 since they have a glaring need at power forward, plus he is someone who can add versatility to the frontcourt since he is a multi-dimensional forward with great skill for his size. Marquese Chriss would be another option here. Bender’s lack of production last year in Europe is a little concerning. He has an extremely high ceiling but it may take time before he can begin to realise and maximise his talent and potential.

 

NBA Comparison – Nikola Mirotic/Kristaps Porzingis

 

5)    Minnesota Timberwolves: Kris Dunn – G

 

The Timberwolves need to move on from Ricky Rubio. Although Rubio has improved his outside shooting, he is still far from a reliable shooter, is turnover prone and is a below average defender. Dunn is a true point guard and would be an upgrade to Rubio with his superior athleticism and already elite defence.  He has great ball-handling abilities and is an accomplished passer to go with impressive rebounding numbers for a guard. Dunn came up clean in physicals, as some thought his shoulders could trigger red flags.

NBA Comparison John Wall

 

6)    New Orleans Pelicans: Jamal Murray – G

 

The Pelicans should be thrilled if either Murray or Hield fell to them since they need depth at shooting guard with Eric Gordon entering free agency. Murray is a terrific scorer whether shooting it from the outside or driving to the bucket. Most impressively, Murray is a great shooter on the move, he shot 56% coming off screens. But his lack of speed and athleticism will likely limit him to being a shooting guard.

 

NBA ComparisonBradley Beal/OJ Mayo

 

7)    Denver Nuggets: Marquese Chriss – F

 

The Nuggets are a tough team to figure out since they need an upgrade in talent all across the board. Therefore, they likely take the best player on their board. Though still developing his all-around game. Chriss is one of the biggest boom-or-bust picks of this year’s draft. He is likely two years away from contributing anything meaningful. But his combination of length, athleticism and shooting touch has scouts drooling.

 

NBA ComparisonAaron Gordon

 

8)    Sacramento Kings: Jaylen Brown – F

 

The Kings could go in a number of directions, so taking the best available player is likely their best option. Jaylen Brown has the ideal combination of size, strength and athleticism for the next level, and would add some physicality and aggressiveness on the wing. He is one of the most players on the fast-break in this draft along with being a good finisher when driving to the basket. Brown must develop an outside shot if he is to achieve his full potential at the NBA level.

 

NBA ComparisonAndre Iguodala

 

9)    Toronto Raptors: Jakob Poeltl – C

 

Bismack Biyombo is about to get paid after his performances in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Raptors can’t afford to keep him. With good defensive players at a premium, I think the Raptors will take Poeltl with this pick. The Austrian is liked by many scouts for his ability to play both ends of the floor and would add depth to the Raptors’ frontcourt. An athletic standout such as Marquese Chriss is another option here if he were to fall, but Poeltl gives them solid value at #9 and depth behind Valanciunas.

 

NBA ComparisonAl Horford

 

10) Milwaukee Bucks: Deyonta Davis – F

 

Davis has huge potential to be an elite interior defender, he averaged 1.8 blocks in just 18 minutes per game last season. Davis possesses the physical attributes of a prototypical four-man in the NBA, but he needs to become more efficient on the offensive end. Although still raw, Davis stock has hugely risen over the past few weeks, he has not worked out for any teams who have a pick outside the top ten.

 

NBA ComparisonEd Davis

 

11)Orlando Magic: Skal Labissiere – F/C

 

Orlando and Skal appear to be an excellent fit. The Magic need to add talent and Skal could really surprise given the right set of circumstances. The Magic could use a boost in talent inside next to Nikola Vucevic. Labissiere is a still-developing big man who has the tools to be a major factor on both ends of the floor. He is a project and won’t be a major contributor right away, but could pay huge dividends down the road. While the Magic already have Aaron Godon, Skal would offer a much-needed shooter to the team and a good compliment to AG.

 

NBA Comparison Channing Frye

 

12)  Atlanta Hawks: Wade Baldwin IV – G

 

Baldwin’s size (6-foot-4), his defensive versatility (6-11 wingspan) and improvement as a catch-and-shoot player (40% from 3pt) gives him the positional versatility that could make him an interesting fit in Utah’s uncertain backcourt rotation. Baldwin can attack the basket and has good athleticism, helping him finish. Baldwin must work on his decision making as a point guard, as well as his shot selection. After trading away Jeff Teague to the Pacers, the Hawks have a need at PG.

 

NBA Comparison Eric Bledsoe

 

13)  Phoenix Suns: Henry Ellenson – F

 

Concerns over Ellenson’s defensive contributions could cause him to slide on Thursday night, but he has huge potential on offense, averaging 17ppg as a freshman at Marquette. After losing the Morris twins and especially if they do not take one with the 4th pick. Ellenson could be a sleeper in this draft. He reminds me of Kevin Love, can rebound and has a great outlet pass. Ellenson needs to improve his 3pt shot if he is to be successful at the stretch 4 in the NBA.

 

NBA Comparison – Kevin Love

 

14)Chicago Bulls: Malik Beasley – G

 

There are rumours here that the Bulls will look for Derrick Rose’s replacement and opt for someone like Wade Baldwin. But word is the Bulls really like Beasley and will be willing to look past the tibia issue and select him on upside. The Bulls could use some outside-shooting, Malik Beasley shot 39% from 3pt range as a freshman. He also is tenacious on defence. Could play the 2 guard if Jimmy Butler is going to play small forward.

 

NBA Comparison – Devin Booker

 

15)Denver Nuggets: Furkan Korkmaz – G

 

Yes… The Denver Nuggets select another European we have all never heard of. At 18 years of age, Furkan Korkmaz struggled to find a consistent role in the Turkish League last year. However, his size and athleticism give him huge potential. Also, he is a good shooter (40% 3pt). Korkmaz needs to add some strength to his game in all aspects, but he has all the tools to develop into a starting SG in the future.

 

NBA Comparison – Evan Fournier

 

16)Boston Celtics: Domantas Sabonis – F

 

While Sabonis doesn’t have the interior shot blocking Boston desperately needs, his ability to rebound and score inside would be a great addition for this young Celtics team that is a few players away from competing in the East. Sabonis is also has good passing abilities and runs the floor well, getting him baskets in transition.

 

NBA Comparison – Nikola Jokic

 

17)Memphis Grizzlies: Malachi Richardson – G

 

The Grizzlies could be losing Mike Conley and a couple other guards in free agency, so there is a pressing need in the backcourt. Malachi Richardson has a smooth looking jump shot and good size for the next level. His play during Syracuse’s run to the Final Four really helped his stock, and Memphis could use some perimeter shooting help on the wing.

 

NBA Comparison – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

 

18)Detroit Pistons: Denzel Valentine – G

 

Detroit’s owner and Coach Tom Izzo are extremely tight, so aside from proximity there’s a connection here. Also Van Gundy wants tough-nosed players and preferably ones that can come in and produce. Valentine was a beast last season for the Michigan State Spartans, averaging 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. He could add to an already impressive young backcourt at Detroit. Denzel’s knees are a concern. But scouts feel a team in the late teens like Detroit could look past that and draft him anyway.

 

NBA Comparison –  Gordon Hayward

 

19) Denver Nuggets: Dejounte Murray – G

 

Murray is a versatile combo guard who makes his mark in numerous different ways on the court. He has risen on a lot of draft boards because of his excellent combination of size and athleticism. He’s still figuring out how to play the game, but he could be a decent long-team gamble.
 

 

NBA Comparison –  Victor Oladipo
 

 

20) Indiana Pacers: Diamond Stone – C

 

 

Scouts believe Diamond Stone could have the highest ceiling for a big-man in this draft. He has shown that he can shoot, even step outside and make shots. Along with Myles Turner… Think of the floor-spacing! He has good lateral quickness and runs the floor well for a big. He has also shown he has post moves.

 

 

NBA Comparison – Nikola Vucevic

 

 

21) Atlanta Hawks: Cheick Diallo – PF

 

 

Cheick is one of the players that Atlanta is said to be very high on. He may take a while to see the floor, but as he showed at the NBA combine, his length and motor gives him a lot of intrigue. Diallo struggled to break into the Kansas rotation, averaging just 7.5 minutes per game as a freshman. However, scouts believe he has the physical tools to develop into a high-level defender. If Atlanta is convinced that Al Horford will leave in free agency, they could target a more ready player such as Damian Jones or Diamond Stone.

 

 

NBA Comparison – Kenneth Faried

 

 

 

22)  Charlotte Hornets: Damian Jones – C

 

 

Jones was one of the few players who got a clean bill of health on his medical reports, but he ended up tearing his pectoral muscle in a workout and is now out for the summer league and won’t be back until training camp. Jones likely won’t slide far despite the injury as he’s an athletic big that can shoot it. Although never quite developing as much as scouts had hoped, Jones still has a lot of potential as a shot blocker and pick-and-roll threat.

 

 

NBA Comparison – Steven Adams

 

 

 

23) Boston Celtics: Brice Johnson – PF
 
Two things that Boston needs: Shot blocking and Leadership. Brice Johnson brings both of these. Johnson is also an effective as a scorer around the basket and at the rim. He also possesses a certain tenacity on the glass that will help him to get into the Boston rotation right away. One word pops up when you look at scout’s analysis of Brice Johnson – Winner.

 

 

NBA Comparison – Ed Davis


24)Philadelphia 76ers: Demetrius Jackson – G

 

The explosive, playmaking point guard the Sixers need. Jackson has a good combination of speed and strength will help in giving him success against opposing guards in the NBA. Jackson must improve on defense and his perimeter jumper is lacking.

 

NBA Comparison – Eric Bledsoe

 

25) Los Angeles Clippers: DeAndre Bembery – F

 

Well liked for his toughness. Bembry’s passing, defensive versatility and potential as a slasher would give the Clippers an infusion of talent on the wing, which they have lacked over the past 3-4 seasons. If he improves his outside-shooting, he could be a great pick-up for the Clippers.

 

NBA Comparison – Archie Goodwin

 

26) Philadelphia 76ers: Timothe Luwawu – F

 

A steadily improving wing with ideal NBA size, many think Luwawu projects as a three-and-D type of prospect for the next level. He is a good shooter, can handle the ball and his athleticism is through the roof. A risky pick, but a risk the Sixers can afford to make after taking Simmons.

 

NBA Comparison – Thabo Sefolosha

 

27) Toronto Raptors: Ante Zizic – C

 

Zizic’s stock is rising, fast. He could potentially end up going higher (#20 to Pacers, maybe). If he falls to #27, the Raptors won’t pass on him. His combination of size, mobility, shot blocking ability and soft touch around the basket would be tough to pass up. Big potential for trade if Raptors take Zizic after selecting Poeltl.

 

NBA Comparison – Nikola Pekovic

 

28) Phoenix Suns: Taurean Prince – F

 

The Suns already have two lottery picks and can look to add another prospect here. Taurean Prince is able to step up as a scorer, as a slasher and a shooter, he can crash the boards and is a willing passer. Prince is also more than capable defender. Remember the dude who defined the rebound in that interview? Yup, that was him. Could be a good 3 & D guy.

 

NBA Comparison – Jae Crowder

 

29)San Antonio Spurs: Ben Bentil – F

 

The Spurs have an aging frontcourt and could use some young options. Bentil was one of the most improved players in the country this past season as he can muscle down low in the paint, yet also step out and knock down jumpers. He’s tough in the paint and a good free-throw shooter when he gets to the line.

 

NBA Comparison – Nikola Jokic

 

30)Golden State Warriors: Thon Maker – C

 

The Golden State Warriors can afford to take a chance here. News emerging today is that several teams who removed Thon Maker from first round draft boards due to his age. It is believed that he is 21-23, rather than 19, his listed age. I’m going to go out on a limb, and predict the Warriors will take him. Maker is a legit 7-footer who can stretch the floor, can rebound and can block and alter shots. He can also handle the ball, after playing from the wing earlier in his career. Maker could be a great fit for the Warriors. Boom or bust potential.

NBA Comparison – Chris McCullough

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