2016 NBA Mock Draft: Final Mock 2 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-15
Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June 23, 2016
Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, SF, LSU
- The 76ers have a dire need at small forward and will get their pick of the litter between freshmen Ben Simmons, SF, LSU and Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke. Simmons averaged 19.2 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game, and 4.8 assists per game. His .560 field goal percentage and .333 3 point percentage also helps him out at the next level. Simmons is posting unreal numbers and is showing NBA scouts why I was smart to compare him to LeBron James coming out of High School. LSU may have missed the 2016 NCAA Tournament, but he's a special player and easily the top prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft.
- There is more for 76ers fans to be optimistic about. Philadelphia has 4 first round picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, with first round picks from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Miami Heat. Outside of a Lakers top 3 pick or a Heat top 10 pick, there is no other way for the 76ers to lose a pick since the Lakers and Heat's picks would be protected in those scenarios if the Lakers got a top 3 pick or if the Heat got a top 10 pick, and they are guaranteed Oklahoma City's pick at this point.
- Jahlil Okafor was the best player in the 2015 NBA Draft and the 76ers took him third overall. Philadelphia has their blue chip center plus three complimentary players in the emerging Tony Wroten, solid Robert Covington, disappointing Nerlens Noel.
- Wroten dominated at point guard at Washington before being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies to be Mike Conley Jr.'s backup. Philadelphia can do things with the supporting cast in place. A new starter at small forward is the one thing the 76ers need more than anything.
- Covington averaged 13.5 points per game in 2014-2015 at shooting guard plus he has the versatility to play the 3 at small forward or the 4 at power forward as he's been listed as a starting power forward over Nerlens Noel because he's averaged 14 points per game at the position.
- Philadelphia probably will suck in 2015-2016. If the 76ers land Ben Simmons, they instantly become a playoff team that will challenge for the top spot in the Atlantic Division because Okafor and Simmons can both be top 10 players at C and SF once the 2016-2017 NBA season rolls around.
- Having Okafor and Simmons play with each other will make it so difficult to game plan against this team. Guys like Robert Covington and Nerlens Noel will get better as complimentary players that end up being the third or fourth scorer behind Okafor and Simmons plus having all that balance on the 76ers' will make their squad so lethal in the event that they ended up with Simmons.
Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
- Every mock draft I've seen has the Lakers going Brandon Ingram at 2. I had Jakob Poeltl going here for a while, but he got picked apart against Domatas Sabonis of Gonzaga in one-on-one battles making both prospects top 10 picks.
- The 6-9 190 lb Brandon Ingram who has the versatility to play point guard, shooting guard, small forward, or power forward has the best chance to supplant Ben Simmons as the top pick, but both Simmons and Ingram are top 2 picks in this years NBA Draft. Ingram averaged 17.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, 2 assists per game, 1.4 blocks per game, 1.1 steals per game a .441 field goal percentage, and a .413 3 point percentage.
- Ingram like Simmons is a top 2 lock, and I may have moved him ahead of Simmons if Duke made the Elite 8, because Ingram posted 20 points or more in each of Duke's 3 games during the 2016 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. Some mocks have Ingram ahead of Simmons now as well.
Boston Celtics: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
- If Boston were smart they would draft for need and go Dragan Bender or Jamal Murray at 3. At the same time Kris Dunn is the best player available and many consider him to be the top overall guard since the 6-4 220 lb point guard is a natural defender with the size of a shooting guard. Dunn is considered a 2 guard with his size so he may be able to transition to shooting guard, but drafting him as a sixth man when you have Isaiah Thomas who averages over 22 points per game is foolish.
- Dunn averaged 16 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 6.2 assists per game. His field goal percentage and 3 point percentage has dropped in 2015-2016. Dunn had an awesome 2016 NCAA Tournament with a fourth quarter comeback against USC in the round of 64 dropping 16 points. He led Providence and North Carolina for most points by a player in the Providence VS North Carolina game in the round of 32 dropping 29 points on a North Carolina team with an excellent starting five. That's what makes Dunn a special prospect.
- Isaiah Thomas is only 5-9 185 lbs while Dunn is 6-4 220 lbs. Dunn's size clearly makes him a long-term upgrade, but he's not the scorer Thomas is. Boston may take a careful, patient approach with Dunn, where he begins the year as a sixth man, moves to shooting guard by December or January, and then moves back to point guard when the team chooses to move on from Thomas down the road. That makes the most sense for the Boston Celtics if they plan on taking Dunn third overall.
- The Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, and Utah Jazz are all trying to move up for Dunn. I'm guessing Dunn would start out at shooting guard with his size if the Celtics took him since teams don't draft players in the top 5 if they don't plan on starting them right away. Dunn will do better as a point guard, but you don't draft someone in the top 5 unless you plan on starting them right away. If Dunn goes to Boston it means he should move to shooting guard unless the Celtics can get someone at 16.
Previous Pick: Jamal Murray, PG, Kentucky
Phoenix Suns: Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
- The Phoenix Suns are set at guard. The irony is that the only top 5 value picks are guards. The Suns may go with Marquese Chriss at 4.
- The 6-9 225 lb Marquese Chriss will give Phoenix a starter at power forward even though his size leads you to believe he may be a better fit at small forward. Chriss averaged 13.7 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 0.8 assists per game. Chriss had a .530 field goal percentage and a .350 three point percentage last season in 2015-2016.
Previous Pick: Dragan Bender, PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jamal Murray, PG, Kentucky
- Jamal Murray was Kentucky's shooting guard. He has the versatility and skill-set to move to the point in the NBA and Minnesota needs to replace Ricky Rubio so they will probably draft Murray as a point guard at 5.
- The 6-4 207 lb Murray averaged 20 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 2.2 assists per game. Murray has a .456 field goal percentage, .421 3 point percentage, and .787 free throw percentage at Kentucky.
- Minnesota needs a point guard. It wouldn't surprise me if the Timberwolves traded this pick or moved down for more picks only to trade for a veteran point guard. With Marques Teague, George Hill, and Derrick Rose gone, the Timberwolves need a point guard.
- With Kris Dunn going third, the only realistic option is to take Murray and move him to point guard after he played shooting guard at Kentucky or to trade down for more picks.
Previous Pick: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
- The New Orleans Pelicans are capable a playoff series in 2017 once they get a center to complete their starting five assuming point guard Jrue Holliday, shooting guard Eric Gordon, small forward Tyreke Evans, and power forward Anthony Davis. All four of those starters dealt with injuries in 2015-2016 and the Pelicans had no depth behind those four.
- The problem is Eric Gordon is a Free Agent at shooting guard and so is his backup Jordan Hamilton. Both shooting guards averaged over 10 points per game. I think drafting a center would be the smart thing to do. New Orleans may draft Jamal Murray for upside with this pick.
- Hield once weighed 6-4 220 lbs, but he has lost 6 lbs and is a lot faster and more explosive. Hield averaged 25 points per game in 2015-2016. Hield has been consistent as a 4-year starter at Oklahoma, and you have to think Hield has a good chance of being the first senior taken in the top 10 in quite some time.
- Buddy Hield has a career high .496 field goal percentage, .464 3 point percentage, and a .895 free throw percentage. New Orleans has to take Hield if he slips to their pick assuming Jamal Murray is off the board.
- The Pelicans have to find a center in the second round if they take Jamal Murray at six. Right now I think the Pelicans are leaning towards Murray here.
Denver Nuggets: Dragan Bender, PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
- Denver's starting five really clicked at the end of the year. Emmanuel Mudiay the Nuggets 2015 first round pick showed why he's the leader of this team. Shooting guard Gary Harris and veteran power forward Kenneth Faried became great complimentary players. Even small forward Will Barton and center Nikola Jokic managed to average double digit points.
- Despite this, the Nuggets have no defense outside of Mudiay and Faried. Denver needs depth and drafting Dragan Bender at 7 makes sense.
- There are trade rumors about Kenneth Faired being traded. You also have to look at the fact that Bender is 7-0 215 lbs despite being a power forward. He may be versatile enough to move to center.
Previous Pick: Jaylen Brown, SG, California
Sacramento Kings: Jaylen Brown, SG, California
- Sacramento benched shooting guard Ben McLemore. McLemore hasn't made the progress you liked plus the Kings didn't trade Rudi Gay. The 6-6 225 lb Jaylen Brown was a small forward at California, but he has the size of a shooting guard on the wing and actually projects to perform better as a shooting guard in the NBA.
- Jaylen Brown averaged 14.4 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 2 assists per game, and a .435 field goal percentage. Brown is the top player available at a position of need outside of guard and makes complete sense for the Sacramento Kings at 8.
Previous Pick: Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State
Toronto Raptors: Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky
- Toronto goes with the best player available at 8. With Patrick Patterson and Bismack Biyombo really starting to blossom Toronto can ignore need and take the best player on the board at number 8.
- Toronto can look at Jakob Poeltl, Skal Labissiere, or Deyonta Davis. Davis is the youngest of the three, Labissiere has the most potential with the highest ceiling, and Poeltl is considered the best overall player that would help you win now and I do see a starting center with All Star potential in Poeltl.
- I would take Poeltl here. Labissiere has the upside and potential as I stated earlier plus Labissiere showcased remarkable intangibles at the 2016 NBA Combine and those intangibles will propel him into the top 10 plus Labissiere is a year younger than Poeltl.
Milwaukee Bucks: Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
- Milwaukee may move Giannis Antetokounmpo to point guard next season. Greg Monroe did much better at power forward on the Pistons and Jabari Parker was a small forward at Duke and a small forward with the Bucks as a rookie before they moved him to power forward.
- Jakob Poeltl is still available at 10. The Bucks have to take Poeltl at this spot.
- Jakob Poeltl struggled against Domatas Sabonis in the 2016 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. He did well in the regular season and some still consider him a top 5 prospect despite that loss, so getting Poeltl at 6 is terrific value.
- Jakob Poeltl is the top player available. The 7-1 240 lb center is a tremendous shot blocker and rebounder who can be a low post presence that gets you 10 points per game. After averaging 10 points per game as a freshman, Poeltl averaged 17.6 points per game, 9 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, .656 field goal percentage, and a .689 free throw percentage.
- Poeltl had a .681 field goal percentage as a freshman. The big concern was would his free throw percentage improve as that has skyrocketed from .444 to .702. Poeltl had big games against California and Jaylen Brown.
- Poeltl has been consistent heading into the 2016 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. He should be the pick here and would give the Bucks their first blue chip center since former Utah Ute Andrew Bogut.
Orlando Magic: Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
- With Elfrid Peyton has finally stepped up this year along with Victor Oladipo. Evan Fournier has been effective at small forward despite the injury of Tobias Harris which led to Harris being traded to the Pistons for Brandon Jennings as a backup point guard. Aaron Gordon may not have the best statistics, but Gordon has four double-doubles in the last six games. Gordon is beginning to show signs of being an effective power forward with Nikola Vucevic at center.
- Deyonta Davis is not a double digit scorer, but he shows a lot of good tools on tape. Orlando can draft him as a bench player to Aaron Gordon at 11 since Davis is a great defender. Orlando has a starting five that can score, but they need a depth player for defense at power forward and center. Davis can play both power forward and center as a depth player.
- I strongly considered Thon Baker as a depth player here. He'd be a great fit for the Magic. Davis is still the best fit for the Magic at 11.
Atlanta Hawks: Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
- Atlanta now picks at 12 thanks to a three way trade which sent Marques Teague to the Pacers and George Hill to the Jazz. Tyler Ulis keeps building momentum as a prospect despite being 5-10 149 lbs.
- Personally, I think taking anyone that small with a lottery pick is insane. That being said, Kentucky is raving about his ability to play defense and how he nearly beat DeMarcus Cousins in a one-on-one game coming out of high school. He's also averaged 17.3 points per game at Kentucky which is more than the remaining point guards in this years NBA Draft.
Previous Pick: Wade Baldwin IV, PG, Vanderbilt
Phoenix Suns: Timothe Luwawu, SF, Mega Leks
- Phoenix owns this pick with Washington failing to pick in the top 9. If they go with Marquese Chriss at 4 they will probably take a small forward at 13.
- Timothe Luwawu, the native of France plays for Mega Leks in Serbia. He averaged 14.1 points per game for Mega Leks as well as 4.7 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game. Having the versatility to play both shooting guard for depth while displaying the ability to start at small forward right away makes Luwawu an ideal fit for the Suns at 13 who would start him across from Dragan Bender.
Chicago Bulls: Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
- Chicago goes with a point guard after trading Derrick Rose to the Knicks. One guy they think could be the best point guard after Jamal Murray and Kris Dunn is Demetrius Jackson out of Notre Dame. It's kind of fitting for Jackson to go to the Bulls after his former Notre Dame teammate Jerian Grant just got dealt to the Bulls yesterday.
- The 6-1 198 lb Demetrius Jackson makes total sense for the Bulls. Jackson averaged 12.4 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, and 3.1 assists per game as a sophomore when he was teammates with Grant. Jackson also posted a .508 field goal percentage, a .429 three point percentage, and a .745 free throw percentage in 2014-2015.
- After Jerian Grant left, Jackson took over and became the leader of Notre Dame. Jackson posted 15.8 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game in 2015. Jackson's free throw percentage increased to .813. His field goal percentage dropped to .451 and his three point percentage dropped to .331 after being .429 with Grant as his teammate.
- Jimmy Butler should remain the starting shooting guard. Bringing in Jerian Grant gives you depth, but Grant can also compete with Jackson for the point guard job. If they move on from Butler then Jackson and Grant who are familiar with each other at Notre Dame could anchor the starting guard spots for the Chicago Bulls.
Previous Pick: Furkan Kormaz, SG, Anadolu Efes
Denver Nuggets: Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
- Denver has the luxury of going best available player. Getting a shooting guard here after taking Dragan Bender makes the most sense.
- The Nuggets will have their pick of Malik Beasley and Denzel Valentine at 15. I think the former, Beasley has a slight advantage at the moment.
- Denver gets Malik Beasley at this spot as a guard for depth. The 6-5 190 lb shooting guard could be a point guard or shooting guard for depth that acts as a sixth man.
- Beasley averaged 15.6 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game. He also has a .467 field goal percentage, .378 3 point percentage, and a .805 free throw percentage. Beasley is a first round talent if he goes pro after his freshman season at Florida State.
Previous Pick: Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
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