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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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LaVar Ball Is Requesting $3,500 From Anyone Planning On Recording Son During Tournament

As we know, LaVar Ball goes above and beyond in terms of making sure his sons become the superstar basketball players he wants them to be. His youngest son LaMelo is currently playing for SPIRE Institute in Ohio, and they have an upcoming tournament taking place in Kentucky. Mr. Ball is reportedly asking outlets to pay $3,500 at the door to videotape his son playing.

"All games are free to film except for the Spire Institute games,” an email reportedly sent by LaVar read. “To film either of the 2 Spire Institute games, you will have to present $3,500 at the gate, as per rules of the Big Baller Brand media credential… If you accept these conditions, you may present this email at the gate as proof of our approval where you will be given a media pass.”

While a few Internet folks are scoffing at the idea of having to pay that sort of money, others are pointing out the fanbase of LaMelo, stating that there are outlets who certainly would (and have) paid the fee for the chance to record LaMelo and SPIRE moments from the game. According to Forbes, this is one of many revenue streams for the Ball family.

"The Ball Sports Group in November entered into a partnership with FloSports Inc. to live stream five SPIRE games featuring LaMelo, beginning with one on Tuesday (Jan. 14) at Brush High School in Ohio," the site reports. "FloSports Inc. agreed to pay $5,000 per game, according to the contract which was signed by Foster."

Here's the email telling video outlets they must pay $3,500 to film LaMelo and @SpireBasketball this weekend in Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/XoiiorNxVr

— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) January 17, 2019

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MediaPunch

Louisville International Airport To Be Renamed After Muhammad Ali

Louisville, Kentucky's hometown hero will have an airport named after him.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday (Jan. 16) that the Louisville International Airport will be renamed after Muhammad Ali.

"Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville," Fischer said.

"Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people."

The city is hoping to finalize the renaming of the Louisville International Airport to the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport by June. The news was shared a day before the two year anniversary of Ali's 2016 death. Ali would've been 77.

Officials with the Louisville airport are currently working on receiving approval from Ali's family, however, they say an agreement is near. The decision for the rename to hopefully increase tourism.

"It is important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ's legacy," the mayor added. "And the airport renaming is a wonderful next step."

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Gladys Knight To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl LIII

As reported by the National Football Leauge (NFL) and CBS, Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem at the 53rd Super Bowl event. The Motown legend will usher in the final game of the season in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said. "The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year."

In more recent years, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, and many more have performed the anthem on this stage.

Alongside Knight, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), will have a performer and deaf activist by the name of Aaron Loggins sign the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful."

Super Bowl LIII will take place Feb. 3 at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The playoffs are currently underway.

Atlanta, I’m coming home! #NFL #SBLIII pic.twitter.com/8rH0O5OAAo

— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) January 17, 2019

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