The 2016 NBA Draft is minutes away, live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Stiffs and Nuggets fans are gathering both at Pepsi Center and Jake's Sports and Spirits to watch in hopes of another successful draft by Denver. For those of us who live out of town or who otherwise can't make it, we're hoping this can be a public forum where you can follow along and discuss everything about the draft!
The first pick belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers, who after a few years of "trusting the process" were finally rewarded for their (lack of) efforts. That the Sixers will draft Ben Simmons from LSU is almost a given; he has been the consensus No. 1 for a long time now and is by far the best choice. Following Simmons it is likely to be Brandon Ingram from Duke headed to the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick.
From there the draft is anybody's guess. It certainly seems like picks 3 - 8 could be any order of Jamal Murray, Buddy Hield, Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, Kris Dunn and Marquese Chriss. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed, and it's even likely that the draft order will change quite a bit via trade.
As the draft goes on, we'll be providing updates on every pick, with analysis to boot, as well as the latest news on trades and other draft-happenings as they occur. All signs are pointing to this being a crazy draft full of surprises, so be sure to join the discussion below and have fun!
1. Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons taken first overall! No surprise to anyone here, as the Sixers take the best player in this draft.
2. Los Angeles Lakers, Brandon Ingram
Again, no surprise here. Ingram from Duke is headed to the Lakers, and will bring a lot versatility at both the 3 and the 4 on both offense and defense.
3. Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown
WOW! Didn't take long for the draft to get interesting. I guess no one took any of the Celtics' trade offers, so Jaylen Brown, SG from California it is... honestly this pick doesn't make a whole lot of sense up front, but you never know if Danny Ainge has something else in mind. Honestly who knows what will end up with this... Brown has a lot of work to do if he wants to contribute much as a rookie.
The best part about Brown here is that it opens the door for the Nuggets for one of Dragan Bender, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, Kris Dunn or Marqeuse Chriss. Thanks, Danny!
4. Phoenix Suns, Dragan Bender
WHERE ARE MY DRAGANS— Steve McPherson (@steventurous) June 23, 2016
Ah. The Dragans are in Phoenix. Bender's name has been linked to the Suns for some time now, and he is a great fit for this team. He fills a huge need for them. Not gonna lie, I've been dreaming of a Bender/Jokic lineup which would have been incredible... but again, this leaves the door for Denver to grab one of the shooters they've been looking for.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves, Kris Dunn
THE NUGGETS ARE GETTING HIELD OR MURRAY!!! Dunn is a good pick for Minnesota, he is a good point guard who can provide insurance for Ricky Rubio for now and maybe replace him in the future. With Thibs running the show, this pick is of no surprise to anyone as Dunn is an excellent perimeter defender. Now things get interesting...
6. New Orleans Pelicans, Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield is a Pelican, so Jamal Murray should be a Denver Nugget in a few minutes. Anthony Davis needs someone who can contribute to the Pelicans now, and Hield is that guy. He'll bring nice sharpshooting and spread the floor in the meantime for Davis to do work in the paint. They could be an outstanding duo in the near future.
7. Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray
Tim Connelly, you the real MVP. This is what we've been waiting for. Murray is an impeccable fit for the Nuggets. He can shoot the three, he can drive and score in other ways. His biggest asset might be what he does to Emmanuel Mudiay. With his floor spacing, Mudiay will be able drive and dish and should flourish. That does pose the question as to what happens with Gary Harris, who is still a good fit at SG and a better defender. This pick could not have gone any better for Denver. Go Nuggets!
P.S. Thank you, Carmelo Anthony!
8. Sacramento Kings, Marquese Chriss (traded to Phoenix)
Marquese Chriss will be drafted by Sacramento — and traded to Phoenix, source told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 24, 2016
First mid-draft trade! Sacramento making moves and netting a nice haul from Phoenix, with the No. 13 and No. 28 picks along with Bogdan Bogdanovich in exchange for No. 8. The Suns meanwhile are loading up on PF after already taking Bender with the No. 4 pick, who is explosive and has a ton of upside but is still very raw. Overall, another good pick for Phoenix.
9. Toronto Raptors, Jakob Poetl
Poetl is the best center in this draft, which doesn't mean much in a small ball NBA. He's still a good prospect - he's fluid, can rebound, defend and score and will help the Raptors out quite a bit as they have lacked big men this year.
10. Milwaukee Bucks, Thon Maker
WOW. With the tenth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select... pic.twitter.com/SaprQfCa5f— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) June 24, 2016
SMH. This is a gutsy pick for the Bucks. Maker has a ton of upside, but he was projected as a late first rounder at best by all the experts. I don't think he'll fill up to expectations. He's too raw and lacks legitimate experience to be able to make a difference that the No. 10 pick should make.
11. Orlando Magic, Domantas Sabonis (traded to Oklahoma City)
Orlando will send Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and rights to Sabonis to the Thunder, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
HUGE TRADE ALERT. The Thunder have traded Serge Ibaka to Orlando for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to Sabonis in a huge move undoubtedly to convince Kevin Durant to stay. What a freaking haul for the Thunder! Sabonis is the son of legend Arvydas Sabonis and is a fierce competitor. He's a bit undersized for a PF, but he's ready to play and a good rebounder with his strength. He has some work to do on offense, but overall a solid pick for the Thunder now.
For the Nuggets, this means that the Northwest Division is likely to be dominated by OKC for years to come. Each team is making moves to get better, the Timberwolves likely aren't done making moves and the Jazz with George Hill now are a lot better. If the Nuggets want to compete, the message is clear: they need to make a move, and do it quick.
12. Atlanta Hawks, Taurean Prince (via Utah Jazz)
The Hawks traded Jeff Teague in that deal to move up to the 12 pick, and the end up taking Prince? My initial reaction is that this was not a good move for Atlanta... Prince will probably still be available at 21 with the Hawks original pick, but I guess if that's their guy then that's their guy.
Prince is a tough defender and will carve a role as a three-and-D guy. He could definitely be a serviceable role player for the Hawks, who are looking to stay in contention as one of the top teams in the East.
13. Sacramento Kings, Georgios Papagiannis (via Phoenix Suns)
Papagiannis is a huge center who played a small role in Europe last year. He moves well but isn't explosive for his size and can score in a variety of ways. He wasn't projected in the first round by many so this is an interesting selection.
14. Chicago Bulls, Denzel Valentine
The Bulls have also been in rumors all day long with Jimmy Butler reportedly on the block. Valentine is a nice pickup here, though. He was a fantastic player in college and is versatile on both ends of the floor. He is an NBA ready player who will undoubtedly help right away. The big concern, though, is his injury history as he supposedly has some knee issues.
15. Denver Nuggets, Juan Hernangomez
The Nuggets drafted a European. Drink.— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) June 24, 2016
JUANCHOOOOO!!! The Nuggets have spoken at 15, and in comes a very talented player from Spain. He's not super well known to the public, but he has impressed a lot of scouts. He's a PF who can stretch the floor, which will be a huge asset for the Nuggets. He worked out in Denver a few weeks ago and it obviously went well, as he was selected over other talented bigs like Deyonta Davis or Skal Labissiere.
He's a solid prospect who could certainly bring a lot to the bench. I like this pick, but I'm wondering if the Nuggets couldn't have taken Davis here and still picked up Hernangomez at 19. Nuggets doing well so far this draft.
16. Boston Celtics, Guerschon Yabusele
Another surprising pick here... Yabusele is a French power forward who's quick and has a versatile offensive game. He can finish inside and and has a decent jump shot as well. His big issues are his size and liability on defense. Gotta think this could be a draft and stash for the Celtics on this one.
17. Memphis Grizzlies, Wade Baldwin IV
Baldwin looks like an elite sized point guard. He's big, long, and very athletic and had a great year at Vanderbilt. A good shooter and talented playmaker. For Memphis, this is a great insurance pick in case Mike Conley ends up leaving this summer. He has the potential to be a very good player, and if anything else, will be a legit backup the Grizzlies sorely need.
18. Detroit Pistons, Henry Ellenson
Ellenson dropped quite a bit compared to quite a few mocks, but he is a well-rounded player. He had a very solid season at Marquette and provides a unique offensive skillset for a big man. He's an outstanding ballhandler for his size and has the potential to be stretch four if he improves his shot. Would be interested to see how he fits in next to Andre Drummond.
19. Denver Nuggets, Malik Beasley
With their final first-round pick, the Nuggets have taken another shooter in Beasley. To me, the message is pretty clear that Denver wants to improve from being the 26th ranked team in three point shooting in the league. Beasley is a SG, which again will put into question the rotation at that position with Harris, Murray and Will Barton already in the lineup, but also gives a ton of potential in that department as well.
As a whole though the Nuggets backcourt is beginning to look AMAZING. Mudiay and Harris starting, with Murray and Beasley (or Barton) off the bench. This is a very athletic lineup that could dominate for years to come. Beasley wasn't really on my radar for the Nuggets, but I'm quickly loving this selection.
20. Brooklyn Nets, Caris LeVert (via Indiana Pacers)
The Nets gave up Thaddeus Young earlier today to grab this pick, and with it they take LeVert who is very talented but also very injury prone with a foot injury. He's a good three point shooter, great passer and a solid rebounder as well.
21. Atlanta Hawks, DeAndre Bemby
Bembry is an impressive wing with a high basketball I.Q. and great athleticism. He has the ability to defend multiple positions (and defend them well) which is valuable, but perhaps his best skill is passing. However, his shooting is a concern. In three years at St. Joseph's, his shooting percentages decreased each year. Otherwise, a pretty good pick for the Hawks.
22. Sacramento Kings, Malachi Richardson (via Charlotte Hornets)
Richardson guaranteed a spot in the first round with his incredible run in the NCAA tournament last March. The Kings shipped out Marco Bellinelli earlier today, and in return have picked another good shooter in the draft. Richardson's biggest issue in college was his consistency, but if he can figure that out and find other ways to score he'll be a good player.
23. Boston Celtics, Ante Zizic
I wonder if Boston ever got so far as to figure out ahead of time who'd they'd actually draft...— Larry Coon (@LarryCoon) June 24, 2016
The Celtics finish off their first round selections with a third and final question mark... Jaylen Brown has the potential to be a good player, but really Yabusele and Zizic are works in progress. Zizic is raw and lacks a good feel for the game. He's huge and could turn into a decent rim protector, but doesn't have an overly high ceiling.
24. Philadelphia 76ers, Timothe Luwawu
Man... the Sixers got a steal here. Luwawu was on a lot of Stiffs' draft boards and was thought to be picked up by Denver at 15 or 19. He's a long, athletic wing who can play multiple positions and defend at a high level. Not going to lie, I'm jealous of Philadelphia with this one. They've had a great draft.
25. Los Angeles Clippers, Brice Johnson
Johnson had a terrific senior year and has a great mid-range game. But, he isn't very strong and isn't the type of player that might be able to stretch the floor and really fit into the NBA. Sidenote: isn't it kinda crazy that Davis and Labissiere still haven't been picked?
26. Philadelphia 76ers, Furkan Korkmaz
LUWAWU & KORKMAZ TO PHILA !! Speechless... Colangelo has nailed the latter half of round 1.— JUANCHO (@Rowberry_) June 24, 2016
This tweet sums up my feelings. The Sixers are killing it. #TrusttheProcess is really starting to pull together as Philly takes another potential Nugget. Korkmaz could be a draft and stash, but really this couldn't be a better player to develop overseas for them. Good pick.
27. Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam
Welp. Masai Ujiri has done it again, shooting for the moon with some guy named Pascal Siakam. With Deyonta Davis and Skal Labissiere still on the board. He's a big dude and the Raptors are looking for depth down low, but come on Masai. I'm SMH right now.
28. Sacramento Kings, Skal Labissiere
Sad/Funny part -- Skal was on Kings radar at 8... they liked idea of him and Cousins together.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 24, 2016
Yup. Labissiere dropped pretty far. He probably has some of the biggest upside of anyone in this draft and is an athletic freak. If he comes along, him and Cousins together would be a pretty potent front court, but that won't be for a while.
29. San Antonio Spurs, Dejounte Murray
Murray is a good combo guard who can do a little bit of everything, but still needs some work. San Antonio is a good fit for him, I fully expect him to develop well and be a solid contributor down the road.
30. Golden State Warriors, Damian Jones
Golden State will select Vanderbilt center Damian Jones with the 30th and final pick of the first-round, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
After getting owned at center during the latter half of the NBA Finals when Bogut went out, adding some depth here is a good choice. Jones is a physical specimen and has the potential to dominate inside, but lacks a lot of fundamentals.
There have no shortage of trades and rumors in the past 48 hours, and there will certainly be more moves made as the night goes on. Here's an updated list of the trades made so far:
Derrick Rose to New York Knicks
New York: Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, 2017 second-round pick
Chicago: Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, Jarian Grant
Utah, Indiana, Atlanta three team deal
Utah: George Hill
Indiana: Jeff Teague
Atlanta: No. 12 pick, 2016 draft
Thaddeus Young to Pacers
Indiana: Thaddeus Young
Brooklyn: No. 20 pick, 2016 draft; future protected second-round pick
Bellinelli to Hornets
Charlotte: Marco Bellinelli
Sacramento: No. 22 pick, 2016 draft
No. 8 Pick to Phoenix
Phoenix: No. 8 pick (Marquese Chriss)
Sacramento: No. 13, No. 28, Bogdan Bogdanovich, 2020 second-round pick
Serge Ibaka to the Magic
Orlando: Serge Ibaka
Oklahoma City: Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, rights to No. 11 pick (Domantas Sabonis)