Ah, it is finally here, the 2016 version of the NBA draft. In this year’s draft, we could potentially see quite a few trades, if you believe all the rumours out there currently. Philadelphia is looking for another pick in the top eight, Toronto willing to deal nine and Phoenix looking to possibly trade Bledsoe.
Tomorrow should be a crazy three or four hours of basketball tv!
1. Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons, SF/PF, LSU
2015-2016 stats-19.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 2.0 SPG, FT 67%, TO 3.4
According to reports, Philadelphia has told Simmons that he will be taken first overall in the draft. Despite his attitude issues and a bunch of other stuff that has come out about Simmons, he is still the best and most complete player in this year’s draft. Philadelphia will need to surround him with better players than they had last year and add some much needed veteran presence in that locker room. There are also rumours that Philly is interested in picking up another top-8 pick in this year’s draft, something to keep an eye on in the next day or so.
2. Los Angeles Lakes, Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
2015-2016 stats-17.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.4 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 3P 41%
Ingram has outstanding footwork for a 6’9 player, as I learned this past season watching him play during March Madness. While some think D’Angelo Russell was a miss for the Lakers last year, Ingram will not be. He has shown glimpses of a good stroke from behind the arc and can contribute on both ends of the floor.
3. Boston Celtics, Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
2015-2016 stats-13.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 BPG, FG 53%
There has been plenty of talk lately about the Celtics dealing this pick for a player who can help them now. If they do indeed keep this pick, I think Chriss would be the team’s best option. Great size and athleticism to go along with a pretty good shot, but Chriss will have to work on the defensive side of the ball the most. At the end of the day, I do not think Boston deals this pick.
4. Phoenix Suns, Dragan Bender, PF, Croatia
2015-2016 stats-2.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG
Versatile big man, who can step out and hit threes. Bender does not play much for Maccabi Tel-Aviv, but scouts are pretty high on him. Lacks athleticism and strength, so bulking up will be a must for the young Croat.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves, Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Kentucky
2015-2016 stats-20 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 3P 40.8%, FT 78.3%
So you are telling me that the T-Wolves have a chance to put two Canadian kids into the line-up? Of course they draft Murray. For me Murray is a tweener-not really a PG, not really a SG. But the kid can make big time shots. At 6’4, he has good size for a PG, but his ball handling skills and passing will need some work for him to be effective at the next level. I doubt Murray starts for Minnesota in the upcoming season, but he could be a great piece off the bench with his ability to stretch the floor, play defense and bring energy.
6. New Orleans Pelicans, Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
2015-2016 stats-16.5 PPG, 6.2 APG, 5.3 RPG, 2.5 SPG, 3.5 TPG
FINALLY the Pelicans will draft a PG who can help out Davis. The Pelicans have had their share of injury problems, but hopefully Dunn is the answer for them. He is fast, great defender, strong athletically and a great passer of the ball. These are all skills that scouts look for in a PG that is coming into the league. Kris Dunn played four years at Providence, so he comes in with a ton of experience at the college level. He has a lot of John Wall in his game, from what I have seen.
7. Denver Nuggets, Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
2015-2016 stats-25 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 3P 45.7%
If Hield is available here, you would have to think that the Nuggets would snatch him up. Last year the Nuggets took Emmanuel Mudiay and he had an up and down season. Taking Hield this draft and pairing him with Mudiay could do wonders for Mudiay’s confidence and growth as a PG in the league. Hield is an incredible shooter (made 85 of 100 threes in a work out with the Celtics) and is one of the most competitive players in this year’s draft, something that the Nuggets will surely like.
8. Sacramento Kings, Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, Washington
2015-2016 stats-14.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 3.1 TPG
Ben McLemore has had a tough go of it so far in the NBA, and I look for Sacramento to take Jaylen Brown, a player with some really good upside, with this pick. Brown is athletic and very quick, plus he has great size at 6’6 for a SG in this league. His versatility could allow him to play some SF as well. Rajon Rondo is a free agent this offseason, so do not be surprised if Kings maybe move down to take a PG.
9. Toronto Raptors, Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga
2015-2016 stats-PPG 17.6, RPG 11.8, FG 61.1%, FT 76.9%
Biyombo will probably not be back, Scola is a free agent and all we have left at PF is Patterson. Toronto should be an attractive destination for any big man in this draft because they are pretty much guaranteed minutes, once the NBA season rolls around. Sabonis is one of the best rebounders in this draft, which will help the Raptors who ranked 16th in that category. Sabonis has also showed that he can score the ball, which will help out the second unit. He should feel at home with fellow Lithuania, Jonas Valanciunas on the team as well.
NOTE: There has been talk that the Raptors could potentially deal this pick if they like what they are getting in return.
10. Milwaukee Bucks, Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
2015-2016 stats-PPG 17.2, RPG 9.1, 1.6 BPG, FG 64.6%
They need a big body that can rebound, especially when you think that Milwaukee ranked 27th in that category last season. The Bucks went with a very small line-up where they had Monroe at C, while Parker occupied PF. If Bucks still want to deal Monroe, they can, and move Poeltl to the starting C position for next season. Poeltl can do a lot of things well, that this Bucks side will benefit from. Poeltl’s NBA comparison is a former Buck who also used to attend Utah-Andrew Bogut.
11. Orlando Magic, Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Washington
2015-2016 stats-16.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.8 SPG
One of the fastest and best ball handlers in this draft-he will not start for the Magic, but could push Payton for that starting spot. Murray is versatile, similar to what Oladipo brings to the table and can play either PG or SG.
12. Atlanta Hawks, Wade Baldwin IV, PG/SG, Vanderbilt
2015-2016 stats-14.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 3P 40.6%
With the departure of Jeff Teague via trade, Hawks will look to fill the back-up role by selecting Baldwin. He has great size for a PG at 6’4, but could run into problems if he gets the task of guarding bigger players. Baldwin has a good three point stroke, which should help Atlanta, a team that ranked 15th in that category.
13. Phoenix Suns, Denzel Valentine, SG/SF, Michigan State
2015-2016 stats-19.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.8 APG, 3P 44.4%
Played all four years at Michigan State and comes in with a winning mentality. Valentine put up great numbers last year, and I think he could be a great piece for any NBA franchise with his all-around game. At only 6’5, Valentine will most likely see minutes at SG and not SF, due to his lack of size to play the three. This Phoenix Suns team has plenty of backcourt talent, so Valentine could be in a dog fight in order to receive playing time.
14. Chicago Bulls, Henry Ellenson, PF/C, Marquette
2015-2016 stats-17.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 1.5 BPG
With Noah and Gasol both on their way out, Bulls have to target a PF and/or C. Ellenson is not athletic like some of the other big men, but he has great size and a good stroke for a big man. His post skills need some work too, but that is surely something the Bulls coaching staff will work to improve on.
15. Denver Nuggets, Deyonta Davis, PF/C, Michigan State
16. Boston Celtics, Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
17. Memphis Grizzlies, Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
18. Detroit Pistons, Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, France
19. Denver Nuggets, Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
20. Indiana Pacers, Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
21. Atlanta Hawks, Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
22. Charlotte Hornets, DeAndre Bembry, SG/SF, St. Joseph’s
23. Boston Celtics, Ivica Zubac, C, Croatia
24. Philadelphia 76ers, Malcolm Brogdon, SG, Virginia
25. Los Angeles Clippers, Stephen Zimmerman, PF/C, UNLV
26. Philadelphia 76ers, Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
27. Toronto Raptors, Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina
28. Phoenix Suns, Thon Maker, C, Australia
29. San Antonio Spurs, Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV
30. Golden State Warriors, Caris LeVert, SG, Michigan
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.