Michael’s Mock Draft

Hey guys, here is my 2016, one half-hour away mock draft. The first two picks are set in stone in terms of who the 76ers and Lakers are taking, but after that it gets fun. Here is how I think things will play out.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – SF Ben Simmons, LSU: Simmons has already been told he will be the selection.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers – SF Brandon Ingram, Duke: The best prospect in the draft goes number 2 overall.
  3. Boston Celtics – SG Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: The most realistic scenario is that the Celtics won’t be picking at #3. But if they still are, I think they’ll end up taking Buddy Hield out of Oklahoma. Buddy is a great shooter and is a veteran (compared to other prospects) that would fit in well with this team.
  4. Phoenix Suns – PF Marquess Chriss, Washington: The Suns love Chriss and would be all over him if available. Chriss has top-3 potential in this draft and could develop into a stud. He also has a really low floor, but it appears PHX is willing to take the risk.
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves – PG Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn is a nice fit in Minnesota due to his playmaking ability and court vision. The T-Wolves need to focus on surrounding KAT with young playmakers and Dunn would fit the bill. A shooter like Jamal Murray could be in play as well.
  6. New Orleans Pelicans – SG Jamal Murray, Kentucky: The Pelicans want Dunn, but he gets scooped one pick before. I think Murray will be the better pro, so it may actually be a blessing in disguise for the Pelicans. A lights out shooter, Murray will fit in nicely alongside Anthony Davis
  7. Denver Nuggets – PF Dragan Bender, Croatia: Bender has top-3 talent but he’s regarded as a huge mystery. The Nuggets can roll the dice and hope he can become a premier three-point shooter and strong defender that they can build their team around.
  8. Sacramento Kings – PF Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga: Jaylen Brown is the last of the first tier of prospects in this class. The Kings would be wise to pick whichever of the eight falls to them, and in this case it’s Brown. However, I’m hearing that the Vlade Divac loves Domantis Sabonis. Watch the Kings brass throw a wildcard.
  9. Toronto Raptors – SF Jaylen Brown, California: The Raptors don’t have a ton of needs and can afford to take the prospect with the most superstar potential. Enter Jaylen Brown.
  10. Milwaukee Bucks – PG Wade Baldwin, Vanderbilt: I think the Bucks ownership will eventually come to the conclusion that Wade Baldwin is the best prospect available for the team. The Bucks need a dead-eye 3-point shooter who has the potential to become an elite defender. Two boxes the Vanderbilt guard checks off. Other prospects I’d be okay with here include Dejounte Murray, Malachi Richardson, Furkan Korkmaz, and Henry Ellenson.
  11. Orlando Magic – C Skal Labissiere, Kentucky: Everyone says this pick will be Skal so it will probably be anyone but Skal. But, oh well, I’ll bite.
  12. Atlanta Hawks – C Jakob Poeltl, Utah: Al Horford enters free agency and Poeltl is a prospect who won’t be available at 21. The Hawks take the best player available in this scenario.
  13. Phoenix Suns – PF Henry Ellenson, Marquette: There was once talk that Ellenson could go high as No. 3 overall. He falls a bit, but the Suns will scoop him up due to their desperate need for any kind of talent. Ellenson and Chriss could form a solid platoon together.
  14. Chicago Bulls – PG Dejounte Murray, Washington: Murray has legit star upside due to the tornado he creates when he’s on the floor. The Bulls have an obvious need for a guard after the Rose trade, and here they get a faster Rose with a jump shot just as bad as his predecessor’s.
  15. Denver Nuggets – SF Timothe Luwawu, France: It’s not hard to believe that the Nuggets won’t take an American-born player this year. Due to his recent workout in Colorado, I think Luwawu has the edge over fellow European Furkan Korkmaz for the selection here.
  16. Boston Celtics – PF Deyonta Davis, Michigan State: Davis could have went as high as 9 and no one would have batted an eye. He has the potential to become an elite defender and has the athleticism the Celtics need.
  17. Memphis Grizzlies -SG Malachi Richardson, Syracuse: Richardson is another prospect who could have went higher. The Grizzlies reportedly love him, making this pick a perceived lock.
  18. Detroit Pistons – SF Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: I think the Pistons looks at the value on the board and adds a slipping talent like Valentine. Denzel can step in right away and add some toughness to this Pistons team.
  19. Denver Nuggets – SG Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey: The Nuggets considered Furkan at 15, so they might as well pull the trigger here at 19. Korkmaz gets the nod over Ivica Zubac due to his superior talent and potential. The Nuggets would have an intriguing lineup if the first round plays out this way.
  20. Brooklyn Nets – SG Malik Beasley, Florida State: The Nets get in the first round and hop on the best player available. Either Beasley or Demetrius Jackson would be a good selection here based on the potential each prospect possesses. Beasley could become a solid starter in the league.
  21. Atlanta Hawks – PG Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame: Jackson finally finds a home here at 21, as he falls due to many superior guard prospects. The Hawks need a back up for Dennis Schroeder, and Jackson could contribute significant minutes in this league.
  22. Charlotte Hornets – SF Taurean Prince, Baylor: The Hornets add a tough player who could turn into a life replica of DeMarre Carroll. The Hornets could use his talent to be a solid two-way wing to run alongside MKG.
  23. Boston Celtics – SF DeAndre Bembry, St. Joseph’s: The Celts could look to stash this pick (if they keep it at all) overseas, but they also might try to acquire as many young players as possible. Bembry actually has a high amount of upside for where he is being drafted. He could turn into a solid player for the Celts, or a strong asset.
  24. Philadelphia 76ers – SF Juan Hernangomez, Spain: The 76ers are trying to trade into the top 8 as I type, so this pick likely won’t be theres come draft time. If they do keep all three of these firsts, however, I’d have to believe they try to stash one of them overseas.
  25. Los Angeles Clippers – PF Brice Johnson, North Carolina: The Clippers need a winner and Brice Johnson is a high effort guy that brings experience and a strong mindset to a fragile locker room that can’t piece its incredible talent together.
  26. Philadelphia 76ers – SG Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall: Whitehead has a lot of upside for a 26th overall pick, as he could become a solid contributor. He was productive in college and would help the Sixers backcourt, which currently resembles a D-league squad.
  27. Toronto Raptors – C Chieck Diallo, Kansas: The Raptors might lose Bismack Biyombo due to his great playoff performance. Diallo is essentially a younger Bismack who could develop into the same role Bismack occupied this past season.
  28. Phoenix Suns – C Ivica Zubac, Croatia: The Suns have already picked twice today so they look to store this pick overseas. They could look to add to their backcourt, but with no prospects jumping off the charts, they take a chance on the big foreign rebounder.
  29. San Antonio Spurs – PG Tyler Ulis, Kentucky: Ulis has top-ten NBA potential, but Italian soccer player height. Pop will like what he sees from the Kentucky PG however, and scoop him here.
  30. Golden State Warriors – C Thon Maker, Canada: The Warriors just went 0-3 in their final three games to choke away another title. Ownership will want to make a splash to try to win two ships in three years. Maker can be that splash.

And that is the end of Michael’s mock draft. With a half hour to go, it is an exciting time for NBA fans. Like the NFL Draft, Michael and I will be live blogging tonight, so be sure to check in. Thank you.

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