The 2016 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place June 23, and after all has been said and done, a lot of young men will have fulfilled a dream of being selected to play in the NBA.
NBA executives are evaluating players in workouts, traveling to watch them score over chairs and shoot 3-pointers with nary a defender on the floor. Trades are being worked out in case a certain player is available, promises are being extended to agents.
Follow along with Denver Stiffs as they continue their Draft Series - the latest post was on Furkan Korkmaz, a sharp-shooting wing from Turkey.
Team needs have been taken into consideration for this mock draft.
|Pick||Team||Player (Name, Position, Team)||Notes|
|1||Philadelphia 76ers||Ben Simmons, PF, LSU|
|2||LA Lakers||Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke|
|3||Boston Celtics||Dragan Bender, PF, Croatia||from BRK|
|4||Phoenix Suns||Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington|
|5||Minnesota Timberwolves||Kris Dunn, PG, Providence|
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma|
|7||Denver Nuggets||Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky||from NYK|
|8||Sacramento Kings||Wade Baldwin IV, PG, Vanderbilt|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Jaylen Brown, SF, Cal||from DEN|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, France|
|11||Orlando Magic||Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah|
|12||Utah Jazz||Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey|
|13||Phoenix Suns||Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette||from WAS|
|14||Chicago Bulls||Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State|
|15||Denver Nuggets||Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State||from HOU|
|16||Boston Celtics||Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky||from DAL|
|17||Memphis Grizzlies||Taurean Prince, F, Baylor|
|18||Detroit Pistons||Domantis Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga|
|19||Denver Nuggets||Chinanu Onuaku, C, Louisville||from POR|
|20||Indiana Pacers||Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina|
|21||Atlanta Hawks||DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph's|
|22||Charlotte Hornets||Malik Beasley, G, Florida State|
|23||Boston Celtics||Ivica Zubac, C, Croatia|
|24||Philadelphia 76ers||Dejounte Murray, G, Washington||from MIA|
|25||LA Clippers||Malachi Richardson, SF, Syracuse|
|26||Philadelphia 76ers||Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky||from OKC|
|27||Toronto Raptors||Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV|
|28||Phoenix Suns||Thon Maker, PF, Sudan||from CLE|
|29||San Antonio Spurs||Demetrius Jackson, G, Notre Dame|
|30||Golden State Warriors||Caris LeVert, G, Michigan|
Marquese Chriss - Chriss is so hot right now. The upside of the young, athletic forward has people going bonkers over a player that was outside the top 30 of many a draft board at the end of the season. He dunks and can shoot 3-pointers. His poster dunks have been printed out and taped to the ceiling for fans across the country. I don't understand why he has this much hype, but some draft evaluations have him going as high as third. Phoenix seems like the kind of team that would take him with a top-5 pick. Even Noah Vonleh is impressed at this rise.
Wade Baldwin IV - My version of Marquese Chriss is Wade Baldwin. I think he has outstanding tools, and I've had him in the lottery for a while. With Rajon Rondo status with the team uncertain, Darren Collison scheduled to appear in court on July 11 after a domestic abuse arrest, and a new head coach, I think the Sacramento Kings could add a new point guard to their team in the draft. With Baldwin, Dave Joerger can implement his system with a raw athlete that won't have any other NBA experience.
Chinanu Onuaku - Let me introduce you to one of the more underrated bigs in the NBA draft. He's a 19-year-old, measures in at 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, and opposing fans mock him for shooting free throws underhanded. That's right, Rick Barry style free throws.
Laugh all you want, but he improved his free throw percentage by 13 points to 59 percent his sophomore season. While you're chuckling at his free throw stroke, keep in mind that Onuaku was busy anchoring a top-10 defense this last season, averaging 2.0 blocks and 0.8 steals per game. He averaged 1.7 assists per game, which understates how incredible his ability to pass the ball is. He's a beast on the glass, and has the motor to check players on the perimeter after a switch. He has very limited range (hence the underhanded free throws) but his ability to pass helps make him a threat away from the basket. Nanu has a high floor in the NBA and could be a very serviceable backup center.
Jakob Poeltl - Having your lunch money stolen by Domantas Sabonis isn't the greatest thing to have happen at the end of the season. He didn't have the greatest steal or block numbers, and he's not a sexy modern day center (he doesn't shoot 3-pointers). But despite one bad game, Poeltl still is a talented prospect, and one that I thought would be a top ten pick. It wasn't too long ago Poeltl was showing off against players like Jahlil Okafor, and I think he'll have success with the Orlando Magic.
Demetrius Jackson - Poor guy has been overtaken by Baldwin and Dejounte Murray. His diminutive size brings up questions about how he'll be able to defend and score in the NBA. Jerian Grant ran the point alongside Jackson before he was drafted last year, and that lack of experience running an offense is also pushing him down in mock drafts. He's a talented guard, athletic, able to shoot well, and is a leader - figures he'd end up with Gregg Popovich and the Spurs at the end of the draft.
Skal Labissiere - A modern day Marcus Camby-type player, Labissiere was a top-5 pick in the preseason who has tumbled down since he arrived at Kentucky. He's going to need time to become more familiar with basketball, especially at the NBA level. He has great physical tools, but the connection between his mind and muscles isn't where it needs to be yet. He has believers, but there are too many scenarios where he doesn't put everything together. Perhaps basketball shaman Brad Stevens can conjure out the best from Labissiere.