Early March 2016 NBA Mock Draft

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76ers

1.) Philadelphia 76ers: SF Ben Simmons

School: LSU, Height:6-10, Weight: 240

The Philadelphia 76ers are in need of a franchise player. Ben Simmons is the closest thing to that in the 2016 NBA Draft. He has great passing skills and has the strength to finish with contact. His shot is inconsistent, but still finds ways to score. Simmons would bring an attitude to a team looking to find its identity. 

Lakers

2.) Los Angeles Lakers: SF Brandon Ingram

School: Duke, Height: 6-9, Weight: 195

Jordan Clarkson-D’Angelo Russell-Brandon Ingram-Julius Randle would rank among the league’s best young cores. Ingram possesses a 7’3″ wingspan and uses it to shoot over defenders. His body type is similar to Kevin Durant with an unreal amount of potential. If he adds size, the Lakers could be drafting a superstar. 

Suns

3.) Phoenix Suns: PF Dragan Bender

School: International (Croatia), Height: 7-2, Weight: 220

There are not many 7’2″ basketball players with high levels of coordination and ball handling skills. Bender possesses all three. He has a low post, mid-range, and three-point offensive game. He stands 9’3″ giving him elite rebounding and blocking potential. His all-around game makes him worth the risk. Boston won’t hesitate if Phoenix passes. 

Celtics

4.) Boston Celtics via Brooklyn Nets: C Jakob Poeltl

School: Utah, Height: 7-1, Weight: 240

The Boston Celtics are desperate for a center. Poeltl is the best true center prospect in the 2016 draft. He runs the floor well, and Brad Stevens’ offense involves Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder sprinting up the court on transitions. The Celtics are an effort-based team and Poeltl is a workhorse. His offensive efficiency will work well in Boston. 

Timberwolves.jpg

5.) Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Kris Dunn

School: Providence, Height: 6-4, Weight: 220

Once the Timberwolves find an athletic point guard their big-3 is set. Kris Dunn is the best point guard prospect. He is  great at attacking the lane and would create openings for Andrew Wiggins who needs to improve his three-point game. Dunn would also feed Karl-Anthony Towns for easy lay ups. If Dunn is available when the Timberwolves are on the clock, they will draft him. 

Pelicans

6.) New Orleans Pelicans: SG Jamal Murray

School: Kentucky, Height: 6-4, Weight: 220

Jamal Murray would immediately replace Eric Gordon, hopefully lasting an entire season. Murray is a proven scorer with 21 or more points in Kentucky’s last 10 games. He can also attack the rim. The Pelicans will do anything to find a compliment to Anthony Davis. The Kentucky connection could bode well for the Pelicans. 

Nuggets

7.) Denver Nuggets: SF Jaylen Brown

School: California, Height: 6-7, Weight: 220

Jaylen Brown is a physical beast who is always attacking the rim. He uses his size to help him score and has the toughness to hold his own. His body size isn’t one on a 19 year old. Brown is NBA ready. If he finds some consistency, he has the potential to thrive as an all around NBA All-Star. 

Raptors UPD

8.) Toronto Raptors via New York Knicks: PF Ivan Rabb

School: California, Height: 6-10, Weight: 220

The Toronto Raptors miss Chris Bosh, and Ivan Rabb is the closest prospect to him. Rabb can shoot and protect the rim. He has the physical tools to grab rebounds and would take pressure off Jonas Valanciunas down low. If they keep DeMar DeRozan (if not, they’ll draft Hield), Rabb is the best big man projected outside the top 5.

Kings

9.) Sacramento Kings: SG Buddy Hield 

School: Oklahoma, Height: 6-4, Weight: 215

Buddy Hield is a steal at #9 and is one of the most NBA ready players in the 2016 draft. He is the NCAA’s best player and has shown he can knock down NBA range 3s and make shots when it matters most. NBA GM’s like to see improvement, and Hield’s improvement over four years is incredible. Sacramento needs to make major improvements to keep DeMarcus Cousins. 

bucks

10.) Milwaukee Bucks: SF Taurean Prince

School: Baylor, Height: 6-7, Weight: 220

Taurean Prince is the perfect Buck. He has the shooting ability to play the two, quickness to play the three and size to play the stretch four. The Bucks are a versatile team, and with multiple pending free agents, Prince can play multiple positions off the bench. Prince needs time to grow but has a lot of potential to grow in Milwaukee. 

Magic

11.) Orlando Magic: PF Brice Johnson

School: North Carolina, Height: 6-9, Weight: 225

The Magic have gone from too many power forwards to not enough. Brice Johnson’s game is efficient where the Magic are not. Johnson rebounds on both ends of the floor and plays efficient around the glass. He is so athletic, he can run the floor and own in the transition game. His dependability is his biggest asset to the Magic. 

Jazz

12.) Utah Jazz: SG Furkan Korkmaz

School: International (Turkey), Height: 6-7, Weight: 175

The Utah Jazz lack a bench three-point shooter behind Gordon Hayward. Korkmaz is a gifted three point shooter with Euro League experience at 18 years old. His only flaw is his defense which is the Jazz’s identity. Once he adds weight, he will be a regular in the three-point competition. He needs a year or two. 

Suns

13.) Phoenix Suns via Washington Wizards: PF Domantas Sabonis

School: Gonzaga, Height: 6-10, Weight: 240

Domantas Sabonis is a rebounding machine. He is a hard worker and most of his boards come from his effort. Sabonis moves well in transition. His quickness and awareness puts him one step ahead of the defense on the fast break. Sabonis would help the Suns pick up the pace. 

Pistons

14.) Detroit Pistons: PF Henry Elleson

School: Marquette, Height: 6-10, Weight: 245

Henry Ellison is a very smart player. He excelled immediately in college basketball averaging roughly 17 and 10 in his freshman season. His mid-range game is solid with potential to knock down threes with consistency. His smooth playing style would give Detroit nice depth behind Tobias Harris. 

Nuggets

15.) Denver Nuggets via Houston Rockets: PG/SG Denzel Valentine

School: Michigan State, Height: 6-6, Weight: 220

Denzel Valentine is an experienced guard who can play both the one and the two. Nuggets backups Jameer Nelson and Mike Miller may not return next season, so Valentine gives them depth at both guard positions. If Valentine owns the NCAA tournament, he will be drafted earlier. 

Bulls

16.) Chicago Bulls: C Skal Labissiere

School: Kentucky Height: 6-11, Weight: 220

Skal Labissiere went from franchise player potential to out of the lottery. He hasn’t responded well to John Calipari and needs to play for a player’s coach. Fred Hoiberg is the perfect type of coach to get Labissiere’s confidence back. He is a versatile big man who can stretch the floor. He would be a nice compliment to Nikola Mirotic. 

Nuggets

17.) Denver Nuggets via Portland Trail Blazers: SG Malik Beasley

School: Florida State, Height: 6-5, Weight: 195

Malik Beasley is an athletic freak. His playing style reminds me of Nuggets forward Will Barton. Beasley flies in the open court which bodes well for an uptempo team. Malik Beasley doesn’t have a lot of potential, but he fits the Nuggets system. Again, no one expected Will Barton to have this good of a season. 

Pacers

 18.) Indiana Pacers: C Diamond Stone

School: Maryland, Height: 6-10, Weight: 255

With Ian Mahinmi and Jordan Hill pending free agency, Pacers need a center. Diamond Stone has the size and strength to take over the paint. He doesn’t give ground, but struggles to protect the rim. Luckily, the Pacers have rookie standout Myles Turner to do that. Stone and Turner’s skills would mesh well together. 

Celtics

19.) Boston Celtics via Dallas Mavericks: SG Grayson Allen

School: Duke, Height: 6-5, Weight: 205

Grayson Allen has an NBA ready jump shot but not NBA ready size. The Celtics need a bench shooter and RJ Hunter’s potential is still up in the air. He is a willing defender and Brad Stevens is a defense first head coach. His IQ puts him in position to succeed. Brad Stevens is the perfect coach to transition Allen into the NBA. 

Charlotte-Hornets_new_logo

20.) Charlotte Hornets: C Stephen Zimmerman

School: UNLV, Height: 7-0, Weight: 240

With Al Jefferson pending free agency, Hornets need to draft big. Zimmerman is big with stretch-5 potential. Having five three-point shooters makes offenses deadly. The only problem is UNLV hasn’t played the best talent. He needs to add size to body up NBA centers. He reminds me of a better Spencer Hawes, who is also pending free agency.

hawks-logo

21.) Atlanta Hawks: C Damian Jones

School: Vanderbilt, Height: 7-0, Weight: 250

The Hawks need a center with Al Horford not returning next season. Damian Jones is a nice low post scorer, but struggles with his jump shot. Luckilly, Paul Millsap’s mid-range game is automatic. He was a member of the 1st team All-SEC defense last season which fits the Hawks defensive-minded system. His defense will get him playing time his rookie season.  

76ers

22.) Philadelphia 76ers via Miami Heat: PG Demetrius Jackson

School: Notre Dame, Height: 6-1, Weight: 200

No one needs backcourt depth more than the Philadelphia 76ers. Demetrius Jackson is an explosive athlete who plays smart with the basketball. He doesn’t turn the ball over often, and the Philadelphia 76ers commit the most turnovers per game in the NBA. Jackson would be a nice spark off the bench. 

Celtics

23.) Boston Celtics: SG Chris LeVert

School: Michigan, Height: 6-7, Weight: 205

The only reason Chris LeVert has fallen back in the draft is his season ending foot injury. If he was healthy, he would be a late lottery pick. He is expected to be healthy by next season. LeVert is a versatile defender who has a nice three point shot. He is everything Brad Stevens wants on his active bench. 

Nuggets

24.) Denver Nuggets via Memphis Grizzlies: SG Timothe Luwawu

School: International (France), Height: 6-7, Weight: 195

With four first-round picks, the Denver Nuggets can take a risk on an international prospect. Luwawu and Emmanuel Mudiay would be the NBA’s biggest backcourt. He as owned as a scorer in the Adriatic League. He needs to build his upper body, but his lower body is NBA ready. 

clippers_logo_3

25.) Los Angeles Clippers: SG Dwayne Bacon

School: Florida State, Height: 6-7, Weight: 220

Dwayne Bac0n is a three-point shooting wing. The Clippers have a lot of pending wing free agents and with no depth behind J.J Redick. Bacon adds depth at both positions. He is an explosive player who can jump out the gym. Has a lot of potential, but his game is raw. If the Clippers find a starting wing, they can ease Bacon into a rotational role early to reach his potential. 

Raptors UPD

26.) Toronto Raptors: PF Deyonta Davis

School: Michigan State, Height: 6-10, Weight: 245

Deyonta Davis is a pure potential pick. He plays active around the rim with potential as an elite shot blocker and rebounder. Toronto ranks 19th in the NBA in rebounds and 13th in blocks. Davis is very young. Even if he plays in the D-League next season, Toronto has nothing to lose. 

76ers

27.) Philadelphia 76ers via Oklahoma City Thunder: PG/SG Wade Baldwin

School: Vanderbilt, Height: 6-3, Weight: 195

Here is more backcourt depth.

Suns

28.) Phoenix Suns via Cleveland Cavaliers: PF Pascal Siakam

School: New Mexico State, Height: 6-9, Weight: 230

Pascal Siakam is quietly averaging 20.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. He is raw, but his athleticism and explosiveness keeps him in the first round. His 7’3″ wingspan screams defensive potential. With three first round picks and a need for talent, Phoenix can draft potential. 

Spurs

29.) San Antonio Spurs: PF Juan Hernanogomez

School: International (Spain), Height: 6-9, Weight: 225

This pick is a very Spurs move. An international prospect with versatility and a three point shot. He is known as a team player in Europe, and the Spurs play as a team. Hernanogomez needs to improve his defense and shot creation abilities. Gregg Popovich won’t pass on Hernanogomez. 

Warriors

30.) Golden State Warriors: PG Melo Trimble

School: Maryland, Height: 6-3, Weight: 190

The Golden State Warriors entire bench not named Kevon Looney and Andre Iguodala is pending free agency. Melo Trimble has combo guard abilities adding depth to an elite backcourt. Tremble is tall for a point guard. He is shooting 37% from the three-point line and loves the big moment. With the Warriors always in the spotlight, Trimble can take the pressure. 

@AlecWalt

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