2016 NBA Draft: Lottery Mock With Analysis
The 2016 NBA Draft Lottery was finally held on Tuesday night, with some classic 80’s teams coming up as the big winners.
The top three picks went to none other than the 76ers, Lakers and Celtics, which could put some of the more storied franchises in a good spot to improve going into the 2016-17 NBA season.
Philadelphia and Los Angeles need all the help they can get, while Boston is probably more worried about finding the right free agent or trade that can take them to the next level.
That being said, the battle over #1 officially begins, and we’re likely looking at Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram going first overall. Who goes first and what happens after that? We take a look as we hammer out our first lottery mock draft with the real thing still a month away:
1. Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons, F, LSU
Little needs to be discussed here, as the 76ers need to take the best player available, and that is Simmons. They’re already considering shopping the guy they got last year – Jahlil Okafor – so they need to make sure they get this right. A player built in the mold of LeBron James should suffice.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Brandon Ingram, F, Duke
Kobe Bryant is gone and all the Lakers really have to get excited about is some young talent. They’ll need to add some veterans, but they also need a go-to scorer that can pick up their offense late in games. Ingram has the scoring versatility and upside to be a star small forward and also fills a major need.
3. Boston Celtics – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
Shooting guard is not a pressing need for Boston, but a go-to stud scorer absolutely is. The Celtics would do well to land a stable veteran in free agency after bringing in Hield, who could be a poor man’s James Harden.
Eventually he could keep both Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley as role players off the bench, further enhancing Boston’s already impressive depth.
4. Phoenix Suns – Dragan Bender, F, Croatia
Tyson Chandler is long in the tooth and probably wants out, so trading him in the next year or so makes good sense. In comes Bender, who has Kristaps Porzingis upside as a big man that can shoot from outside, rebound and block shots. He could eventually man the power forward slot, with Alex Len sliding in at center.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kris Dunn, G, Providence
The Timberwolves at times don’t seem completely sold on Ricky Rubio as their point guard of the future, while Zach Lavine is arguably best suited at shooting guard.
That could prompt them to pull the trigger on Dunn, who has great size for the one spot and is without a doubt already a better shooter than Rubio. He also has the size and versatility to play the two spot, as well, giving Minnesota a lot of extra flexibility with their guard depth.
6. New Orleans Pelicans – Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
New Orleans was ravaged by injuries last year and that could quickly convince them to blow their team up, outside of Anthony Davis and maybe Jrue Holiday. The Brow is the only safe piece, so Holiday, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Omer Asik and Tyreke Evans could all be in danger.
That means getting the best player available is pretty key here, while Murray makes even more sense due to his upside at both guard positions.
7. Denver Nuggets – Jaylen Brown, G/F, California
Denver can already score the ball, but they look pretty set with their big men and could always use extra wing offense with how often Danilo Gallinari is banged up.
There is the question of trading Kenneth Faried and that could open the door to someone like Domantas Sabonis, but Brown is going to be tough to pass up.
8. Sacramento Kings – Dejounte Murray, SG, Washington
Sacramento finally has a stable presence at head coach with Dave Joerger running the show, so let’s hope they now start making good decisions. Letting Rajon Rondo go and possibly trading Rudy Gay are two moves likely to come, which will leave holes are the one, three and/or four spot, depending how Joerger planned on using Gay in the first place.
The Kings won’t draft completely off of that, especially since they still have yet to figure the shooting guard position out. Murray is an offensive juggernaut and could slide in and get the job done at the two, or the Kings could get tricky and try him at the one. He has tons of talent and even more upside, so he’s a fun pick as they try to get better.
9. Toronto Raptors – Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga
Toronto could have to make up for DeMar DeRozan bolting in free agency, but otherwise they’re set everywhere but power forward. The rotating of Luis Scola, Jason Thompson and Patrick Patterson just will not do.
Sabonis isn’t a freak or a sexy pick, but he’s very balanced and brings strong fundamentals to the table. He also brings a little offense, which is something Toronto is lacking at the four spot.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Milwaukee is in a tough spot, as they’re shifting Giannis Antetokounmpo to point guard full-time supposedly, which could free up a spot at small forward. Of course, Jabari Parker could hypothetically slide there and Greg Monroe could slide to the four spot, which could make Poeltl a perfect pick as their center of the future.
Milwaukee did not do a great job defensively on the year, and a big reason why was because Moose just couldn’t handle his own down low at the five spot. Poeltl already has the size, strength, athleticism and motor to potentially help out defensively and eventually his offense will come around.
11. Orlando Magic – Deyonta Davis, F/C, Michigan State
Orlando doesn’t have a ton of weak spots if you consider how young and talented they are. Several of their players already look like potential franchise pieces or deserve time to show they can be the answer at their positions.
With the talent pool thinning out, they could opt for a versatile energy guy, and that’s exactly what Davis is. He gives them size, athleticism and shot-blocking ability – all of which they could use off the bench.
12. Utah Jazz – Malik Beasley, SG, Florida
Utah needs more offense. They should be getting Dante Exum (knee) back, so point guard gets a boost, but they lack consistent scoring and outside shooting – both of which he offers in his offensive game.
The nice thing about Beasley is the Jazz don’t have to sacrifice their coined defense, as he’s an excellent defender who gives maximum effort every time out on the floor.
13. Phoenix Suns – Furkan Korkmaz, G/F, Turkey
Phoenix has the luxury of having two picks inside the lottery and after targeting a position of need with the first pick, they can go for a talented, versatile swing man like Korkmaz. Korkmaz could use some size and strength, but he has length and is a very versatile offensive weapon. He can be a major asset for a pretty thin bench or even develop into a stable starter – especially since P.J. Tucker is an erratic offensive performer.
14. Chicago Bulls – Skal Labissiere, F/C, Kentucky
Last, but not least, are the Bulls, who could be shedding all of their key veteran big men this off-season. Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah are likely to leave via free agency, while the Bulls have been talking about trading Taj Gibson for a while now. It’s possible one of them sticks around, but even two departures puts major emphasis on getting more size down low.
Labissiere could be a huge steal this late in the lottery, but it’s tough to know what he is or what he can be based on his lack of polish or experience. This is an upside pick as the Bulls try to add some strength and potential to their front line.
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