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Everything You Need To Know About The 2016 NBA Draft

It all unfolds tonight at 8 p.m. EST over on ESPN.

Draft day is upon us in the NBA, and it all goes down tonight (June 23) starting at 8 p.m.  EST over on ESPN. The Barclays Center is set to host the event for the fourth year in a row. We've got you covered on who the top prospects are, and where they may end up.

Top 8 Mock Draft

1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons – LSU

It’s being reported by ESPN that the 76ers have notified Ben and his reps that he will indeed be the number 1 pick come Thursday night. I believe it’s the right pick as he showed enough at LSU to make him worthy of the selection, but his game and attitude will need to improve to reach his superstar potential.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram – Duke

The North Carolina native progressed nicely over the year at Duke, showing toughness rebounding the ball, as well as a nice shooting touch (41 percent from downtown). He has all the makings of an all-star player and should fit in with the rest of the young core in the city of angels.

3. Boston Celtics: Jamal Murray – Kentucky

This is where the draft really starts. Nobody has a clue what the Celtics are going to do. Ideally, they’d be trading the pick to acquire a proven veteran star. I don’t think they will be able to get it done, so they settle for the flamethrower out of Kentucky.

4. Phoenix Suns: Jaylen Brown – California

Loved what I saw from the Freshman out of Cal. His frame and intelligence makes him a prototypical fit in the NBA. He can attack the rim at will and his scoring abilities will be tough to deny. If he can get any sort of jumper, he will be a two-way stud at the next level.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kris Dunn – Providence

Dunn bursted on to the scene last year, and was named back to back Big East player of the year in 2015 and 2016. The former Friar has the size and play making ability you look for in your floor general. I thought he would come out after a superb red-shirt sophomore season, but came back for his junior year. The 6’4? guard is a lock to go in the top 7.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield – Oklahoma

The national player of the year had quite the season, I don’t know if anyone helped themselves more than Buddy did, as far as NBA draft stock is concerned. The Bahama native can shoot from anywhere on the floor, which will help him carve out a nice role for himself in the NBA.

7. Denver Nuggets: Dragan Bender – Croatia

The real mystery of the draft, Bender has all the makings of a productive NBA player. He is going to take time to develop into his 7 foot 1 frame as he is only 18. The Croatian prospect has the potential to be something special, but a lot of risk comes with the pick. He may even go higher than I have him here at 7.

8. Sacramento Kings: Marquese Chriss – Washington

The freshman has shot up draft boards in recent weeks. Personally, I was not a huge fan of his game as an avid late night Pac-12 watcher. Shout out to Bill Walton. He was the third scoring option on an average team, and I don’t know what position he really fits at the next level. He has a high ceiling, but comes with some vaunted bust potential. Gamble of the draft right here.

Draft Sleepers

Dejounte Murray – Point Guard, Washington

Talented guard with an array of moves to get to the basket. Thought he needed one more year of college to polish his game and improve on his jump shot to be a lottery pick. Still should go in the later first round.

Malachi Richardson – Shooting Guard, Syracuse

The New Jersey native showed flashes of greatness at 'Cuse, especially shining in the tournament as the Orange made a run to the Final 4. Prototypical size for a shooting guard makes him a first round pick.

Tyler Ulis – Point Guard, Kentucky

The 5 foot 9 guard was seventh in the nation in assists with seven a game, earning consensus All-American honors in his sophomore season. Not many players under 6 foot make it in the NBA. The undersized Ulis could end up being the best pure point guard prospect in the entire draft.

Possible Draft Bust

Skal Labissiere – Forward, Kentucky

A huge disappointment at Kentucky, many thought he would stay another year to hone his game. He is still being looked at as a lottery pick, based on his measurables and potential. Count me out on Skal becoming a productive NBA player, as he looked lost at times on the court in college.

Thon Maker - Forward, Canada

Maker shook the internet world with a sensational Hoop Mixtape that went viral last year. That really put him on the map as far as the NBA was concerned. Now there are questions surrounding the reality of the age of the prep school star. He is listed as 19 but the Sudanese-Australian is said to really be between 21-23. This makes sense as he skipped out on the opportunity to play in the NCAA and go straight to the NBA.

Congrats to everyone that has their name called tonight. To the fans, may your team pick who you want to hear with their selections. Enjoy the draft!

From the Web

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Drake Riles Up Fans After Toronto Raptors’ Game 5 Win

Drake is going viral for his latest display of hometown affection. The Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador unleashed his excitement behind the NBA team’s Game 5 win (May 23), and gave an impassioned post-game speech ahead of Saturday's match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We have the best player, we have the best fans in the whole NBA, in the whole world,” Drake said. “Look around you, look at this. We created this. This didn’t exist before we were here. Look around at the square. I promise you right now, we did this. Doesn’t matter what anybody says. They can say it’s disrespectful, they can say it’s this and that; everybody’s within the rules, everybody’s doing their thing. All we are is proud and passionate. We are like a college sports team. The Toronto Raptors are a college sports team, I promise you. I love Toronto, I love this team and we’re going to the NBA Finals.”

The Views rapper's passionate display arrives days after sports commentators and viewers discussed his court-side actions. Even ESPN's Stephen A. Smith dissected Drizzy's fandom and highlighted other celebrities' gestures on the court.

On Thursday evening, the Raptors defeated the Bucks 105-99 to advance to a 3-2 Eastern Conference Finals standing. The win arrives after a double overtime matchup during Game 4. The Raptors will have home court advantage on Saturday (May 25). The team to reach four wins first will face-off against the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Houston Rockets within a six-game series.

After “weathering the storm,” Raptors’ small forward Kawhi Leonard said he’s looking forward to the series’ continuation. “We’re taking it one game at a time and I’m just excited we got the win tonight,” he said.

"I love Toronto, I love this team and we're going to the NBA Finals."

—Drake after Game 5

(via @WISN12News)pic.twitter.com/2YjKIeKjQk

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 24, 2019

"We play in an American league and I promise you a Canadian team is going to the NBA Finals."

Drake spoke to the fans in Toronto after the Game 5 win. (via @turcottespencer) pic.twitter.com/w1hayO65pl

— ESPN (@espn) May 24, 2019

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Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Criticizes Drake For Courtside Behavior

It's no secret that Drake is a super fan of his hometown team the Toronto Raptors, and his fandom is with good reason. The team is No. 2 in the Eastern Conference and recently added another W to their resume after a hard-fought game against the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks in the Playoffs. However, his court-side behavior at Game 4 of the Conference sparked criticism from several people.

The Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer called out the Scorpion musician for his antics during the game, which included taunts against Giannis Antetokounmpo, yelling during free throws, and giving back rubs to the Raptors' head coach, Nick Nurse. It's fun to poke fun at the opposing team, but there's a limit.

"I see it in some timeouts, but I don't know of any person that's attending the game that isn't a participant in the game a coach -- I'm sorry, a player or a coach that has access to the court," Budenholzer said of the 6 God. "There's certainly no place for fans and, you know, whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors. You know, to be on the court, there's boundaries and lines for a reason, and like I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that."

Georgios Dimitropoulos, the former European rep for Antetokounmpo, commented about Drizzy's behavior in a now-deleted tweet, writing that he has "Never seen anything as disrespectful as this before."

We'll see if he cleans up his act the next time he attends a game. Game 5 takes place tomorrow (May 23), and the teams are tied up, 2-2.

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Lachlan Cunnigham

Former Boxer Sues Jay-Z's Roc Nation Over Severe Brain Damage

Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports are reportedly being sued by former boxer, Daniel Franco, for the severe brain damage he suffered as a result of being pressured into competing in three fights within 79 days, TMZ reports.

Franco reportedly inked a deal with the sports division of the multifaceted company in 2015. It wasn't until 2017 that Franco ran into some medical issues. The athlete claims he came down with the flu before a big match and was unable to train for three weeks as a result. Franco said he told Roc Nation that he needed to postpone or cancel the match, but the label allegedly pressured him into keeping his schedule.

Unfortunately, Franco lost in the third round. As opposed to taking time off to recover from his loss, Roc Nation reportedly booked him to fight another match only 50 days later. The company then booked a third fight a month later.

Franco says he suffered two skull fractures and a brain bleed before he even stepped into the ring for his third fight. Despite his unsatisfactory bill of health, he fought in the third match, lost, and suffered more brain damage in the process.

Franco said he was later diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage and briefly fell into a coma. Doctors were forced to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure from the wound.

Franco awoke from his coma two weeks later, but he claims he still has severe neurological and cognitive issues and is required to wear a helmet at all times. Franco claims Roc Nation is liable because the company never took the proper steps to make sure he was medically fit to fight.

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