Everything You Need To Know About The 2016 NBA Draft
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.
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.
Several teams have entirely ruled Thon Maker out of the first round due to his age. Multiple sources believe Maker to be 21-23, not 19.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 23, 2016
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!