Ben Simmons Brandon Ingram Buddy Hield
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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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Former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick watches a Women's Singles second round match between Naomi Osaka of Japan and Magda Linette of Poland on day four of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City.
Al Bello/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick To Suit Up For Workout Invite From NFL

Since 2016, Colin Kaepernick has remained on his toes despite opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. The decision followed a season where he kneeled during the national anthem as a means of protesting police brutality and social and economic injustice.

While keeping in shape for the day an NFL team adds him to a roster, the 32-year-old pro-athlete has shared videos of him training so that he's good to go once that day arrives. Now, it looks like he'll be able to, per his recent tweet. On Saturday (Nov. 16), Kaepernick will attend a private workout with NFL teams in Atlanta. According to ESPN, the details of the workout will include on-field drills, an interview, and other methods to determine Kaepernick's preparedness to return to the league.

"I'm just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday," Kaepernick shared with his 2.2 million Twitter followers. "I've been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can't wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday."

I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2019

On Oct. 10, Kaepernick's legal team released a fact sheet to clear the air on his situation. Questions like offers from NFL teams, why he declined re-signing with the 49ers, and if him filing a grievance hindered his standing with the multi-billion dollar league. Per ESPN, the league later outlined in a memo its reason for hosting a workout after conversations with the quarterback's team.

"Earlier this year, we discussed some possible steps with his representatives and they recently emphasized his level of preparation and that he is ready to work out for clubs and be interviewed by them. We have therefore arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career."

Colin Kaepernick’s representatives released statements today to clear up some facts surrounding their client: pic.twitter.com/Wo86KTkKDM

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 10, 2019

5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready. pic.twitter.com/AGczejA1rM

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 7, 2019

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VINTA

Cam Newton Launches Limited Edition Travel Bag With VINTA Supply Co.

Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has a reputation as one of the most fashion-forward athletes in the world. And now, he's placing his stamp on a new travel accessory.

In early 2019, Newton joined forces with the startup premium accessories company Vinta as a creative partner, and the two have launched Newton's first premium backpack, the TYPE-II C1N, available for pre-order at vinta.co. The bag, according to a press release, is "specifically created for style-conscious travelers and busy city living."

“I’m excited to be working with Vinta and putting my first bag out into the world. It’s called the TYPE-II C1N, and it’s designed for a person like me, with a constant schedule, who doesn’t stop and wants a fashionable, high-quality bag that’s functional for everyday life,” Newton said in a statement. “It’s customizable, stylish, and every feature has been so well thought out and designed. That’s what Vinta embodies: travel made easy. I know they’ve done it for me, and I know they’re going to do it for everyone who buys one.”

The TYPE-II C1N comes in two colors – sand and berry – and is made of a weatherproof coated twill exterior, with features such as a modular leather field pack and dopp kit, space for a 15” laptop, an elevated satin interior, internal mesh pockets, and flat lay panels.

This isn't Newton's first foray into fashion and accessories. Along with turning heads with his outrageous outfits at game days and press conferences, earlier in his career, he launched a menswear line with the Southern department store Belk.

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Skip Bolen

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith Becomes Highest Paid Sportscaster

Stephen A. Smith has been one one of the most recognized sports anchor for longer than a decade now. All of his hard, and honest work coming to fruition in a new payday.

The New York Post reported that ESPN offered Stephen A. Smith a nearly $8 million a year contract over the next five years.

This deal makes Smith the highest paid sportscaster at ESPN.  The sports channel reportedly gave Smith some of that new salary upfront in an effort to bring him to the negotiating table, despite having one year remaining on his current deal.

The 51-year-old has been with the network since 2005, making waves with his involvement on First Take, The Stephen A. Smith Show, ESPN’s NBA coverage and more. According to the Post, Smith will remain on First Take each morning and expand his role on SportsCenter — including hosting a special Wednesday night edition ahead of their NBA slate that night throughout the season. His radio show, however, is reportedly set to end next year.

ESPN is also exploring ways to involve Smith with its subscription service “ESPN+, according to the report.

According to the New York Post, Smith will continue hosting First Take while adding more appointment viewing opportunities on SportsCenter. ESPN already announced that Smith will host his own edition of the program at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays before NBA games. The network is also reportedly interested in finding a way to utilize Smith on its subscription platform, ESPN+.

Smith joined ESPN in 2005, working as a weekday radio host while writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

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