Draft Day is finally here y’all, and we are hours away from selecting a potential franchise player in Ben Simmons to pair with our other potential franchise player, Joel Hans Embiid. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah Amen.
The first 2 picks are the most important in determining the future of the league, but they will also be the least dramatic. After these two picks, expect a total shit show, with dopey ass Jay Bilas filling in as the “expert” (Gimme Fran Fraschilla ALL DAY), Nets fans who are there just to be there (they have no picks) and a bunch of trades.
Literally every pick from #3 to #8 has been shopped, and it’s not hard to see why. This class is viewed as relatively weak after the top 2 players. AKA, every player after the big 2 would need to exceed expectations to be an All-Star. I’m very happy we landed at 1.
There is a clusterfuck of players who could go as high as 10 and as low as 30, meaning many teams at the top will be looking to move down and get a guy they want and an extra pick or player. Also, the Celtics have 4 first round picks, and the Sixers, Suns, and Nuggets each have 3. These teams will be wheelin and dealin’. It’s going to be exciting.
So that’s basically one long way of saying, my mock will be wrong. Most mocks will be wrong. Mock drafts are 90% wrong anyway, but with so much action and movement, us mockers will look extra dumb as hell this year. Still, I had to do one. And as dumb as it is, I tried to throw in some possible trades to at least make it fun and give a sense of what teams might be looking to do.
P.S. I know that dude had his problems, but he was great. Way better than Keenan. Keenan’s been the 5th funniest dude at SNL for 15 years now.
Simmons had a private workout in Philly and will be the top pick. He quelled character concerns in his interview, and Brett Brown said that his shot is fixable. Ben’s the kind of prospect Hinkie’s process was geared towards. A guy who can help you compete for titles. Fuckin’ Right.
There are some who think the Lakers could move D’Angelo Russell for a top 5 pick to get Buddy Hield. But as far as the #2 pick goes, it’s Ingram. He has the makings of a great two way player and can be the face of the Lakers’ franchise for years.
Who knows what happens here. The Sixers have been going hard after this pick, especially as interest in Dunn has heated up in Boston. But I don’t think they select Dunn if they stay, so why wouldn’t the Sixers trade for 4 or 6 instead? Both teams have shown some interest in Okafor. If the Celtics stay, which is unlikely, I think it could be Bender/Chriss/Brown or Dunn in that order. They’d be fine with moving down, especially if they can get a big man.
So I’ll go for it and say they trade this pick to Denver, who would love to have Bender and have assets to move up. Some NBA guys believe Bender might actually be the second best player, behind Simmons. And he fits in well with stud rookie Nikola Jokic.
The Sixers trade Okafor, Holmes, and 24 for Brandon Knight and the 4th overall pick.
Kris Dunn – PG, Providence
The Suns have been trying to move this pick. They offered 4 and 13 to the Jazz for Gordon Hayward. While the Suns still have faith in Alex Len and want to rid themselves of Tyson Chandler’s contract, I think they’d be excited in a Bledsoe, Booker, and Okafor core.
Brandon Knight is likely their preferred odd man out, and I think we’d be glad to take him (although I’d much rather have Bledsoe). Knight fits in well with either Dunn or Simmons as he can play PG and SG. He’ll shoot well and be a good secondary ball handler and scorer.
Dunn is that dude on defense. Perfect measurements to hound point guards, and has the steal numbers to back it up. He isn’t the perfect fit with Simmons on offense since he’s an inconsistent shooter, but he is athletic and smart enough to provide value off-ball as a cutter, a la Dwayne Wade.
Bryan Colangelo has expressed a ton of interest in Dunn. There is some risk in letting Dunn slip past 4, as the TWolves may not be in love with Rubio. Holmes is expendable at this point, and Colangelo will likely try to trade 24 and 26 to move up. So I think this is most likely where the Sixers end up.
Marquese Chriss – PF, Washington
Chriss has been the biggest riser this year, showcasing his freak athleticism and shooting ability in workouts. He’s a bad rebounder, but as one of the youngest dudes in the draft, maybe he can improve there. He’s the BPA and a solid fit next to Towns.
Buddy Hield – SG, Oklahoma
The Pelicans are a boring team. How that’s possible when Anthony Davis wears your uniform, who knows. Buddy would add some flare to this team, instantly be their best shooter, and provide some secondary scoring. He probably won’t be even an average passer, and is likely average on defense. But he’ll work his ass off and put the ball in the bucket, and that’s what the Pelicans need.
7. Celtics (via Denver)
Jaylen Brown – F, California
Brown didn’t really do anything great in college, but he’s got NBA size and is a freak athlete. If anyone can transform his talent into actual production, it’s Brad Stevens. The Celtics have been shopping 3, and they’d love to get a player like Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayward, Khris Middleton, or Jabari Parker, but that’s tough to project. I say they wait until the trade deadline and land DeMarcus Cousins with all their picks and young guys.
Plus, they’ve have shown interest in Brown at 3. So yeah, why not.
Jamal Murray – SG, Kentucky
I wrote about Murray here. In short, I’m not a fan. So naturally, the Kings will love him. Decent chance they remember the last non-defending shooter they took at 8 (STAUSKAS), and think twice about this pick, but he’s probably too high on their board to consider anyone else.
Henry Ellenson – PF, Marquette
The Raptors started Luis Scola in the playoffs. Unless they think they can get a PF in free agency (Pau Gasol?) or in a trade, they’d be wise to pick Ellenson. He’s a stretch 5 with a nice shooting stroke. He’s not a great rebounder or defender, so he’s probably better off playing the 4. Other options here are Deyonta Davis, Domantas Sabonis and Skal Labissiere.
Jakob Poetl – C, Utah
The Bucks have been trying to move their own post big guy in Greg Monroe so maybe they choose to add youth to their frontcourt and get Utah big man Jakob Poetl. He’s displayed a promising inside game at Utah similar to Greg Monroe. He’d be the first Austrian player selected in the first round. To be honest, I didn’t even know Austria was still a country.
Deyonta Davis – PF, Michigan State
The Magic have a bunch of good-not-great young dudes at every position. Payton, Oladipo, Harris, Gordon, Vucevic. So they probably go BPA here, which god knows who that is. I’m thinking it’s Davis, a strong rebounder and shot blocker with solid offensive potential.
Timothe Luwawu – G/F, Mega Leks
Luwawu is in my mind a top 5 prospect, but NBA GM’s are a bunch of pansies and shy away from guys outside the states. The Hawks, however, have had success taking a chance on Dennis Schroeder, a foreign player to whom they just gave the keys to the offense by trading away Jeff Teague for this pick. So I say they take him. He can do a bit of everything- shoot, handle, pass, and has the NBA size and athleticism to be great on defense if he gets his shit straight. Think Andre Igoudala.
13. Nuggets (via Phoenix)
Nuggets trade 15, 53 and a future 2nd for the 13th pick.
Wade Baldwin – PG/SG, Vanderbilt
The Nuggets jump the Bulls and get analytical darling Wade Baldwin. Despite being meh at college, Baldwin has a high ceiling in part due to his ridiculous wingspan at 6’11, which is unheard of for a 6’4 guy. He could theoretically defend guards and wings, and his shooting and passing ability makes him versatile on offense next to Emmanuel Mudiay. I’d love it if the Sixers trade up for this guy, but it makes more sense the Nuggets do. They are one of the more analytically friendly franchises, and have assets out the ass. Other guys they’d target are Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz, but they already traded for a white European, so maybe that would be a little overboard.
Demetrius Jackson – PG, Notre Dame
This is a bit of a reach, but the Bulls just traded Rose and Jackson’s probably the best pure point left on the board. They’ll likely go free agency for another guy to play point, but just in case, Jackson could give them solid minutes right away.
15. Suns (via Denver)
Furkan Korkmaz – SG, Anadolu Efes
As a 6’7 SG, Korkmaz is a Zach Lavine type- athletic, long, and probably poor at defense. But Korkmaz is also a great shooter. He could develop into a starting SG in this league, and the Suns love their guards.
Skal Labissiere – PF, Kentucky
Skal gives the Celtics a project, but his upside is high enough to justify him going here. If he develops, he’d give Boston a much-needed shot blocker and capable shooter.
Dejounte Murray – G, Washington
Murray is a green room invite and has been getting some love recently due to impressive workouts. In college, he wasn’t a great passer or shooter, but he could score and dominate in transition. The Grizzlies will need some PG help after Conley opted out.
Denzel Valentine – G/F, Michigan State
Valentine has been slipping on mocks due to lingering knee injuries, but if healthy I think he’s a top 10 player in this class. At 6’6, he can run the point, rebound, and shoot as great as anyone ranked higher than him. He’s not the most athletic dude, but he’d be great as a 6th man for Detroit.
I just realized I gave the Suns 4 first round picks, including 3 of the next 10 selections. That isn’t realistic… but… Summer 2016 No Regrets!!!
Juan Hernangomez – PF, Spain
“Juancho” is another riser, as scouts love his work ethic and versatility. I don’t know much about him, but judging by the hype I think he goes in the first round.
Domantas Sabonis – PF, Gonzaga
Sabonis is one of the more underrated guys this year, and he’ll probably slip because he’s a tweener. He’s not long enough to be a center, and thought not quick enough to guard wings. He’s an old-school 4: strong rebounder with a solid mid-range game. I think he could be a good bench forward for any team.
Malachi Richardson – SG, Syracuse
Don’t see what teams see in him, but he was invited to the green room.
Taurean Prince – SF, Baylor
He’d be a low-key steal here. Great 3-and-D potential.
Ante Zizic – C, Croatia
Celtics always stash dudes, and he’s got upside.
DeAndre Bembry – G/F, Saint Joseph’s
Versatile wing who could be a solid role player if he shores up his shooting.
Malik Beasley – SG, Florida State
Very athletic 2 guard who can shoot it, but has to improve at the fundamentals.
Patrick McCaw – SG, UNLV
I don’t see him falling this far, but someone’s got to. He’s arguably a lottery talent. This draft is DEEP. Also, I’m a homer. IF I TYPE IT HE WILL COME.
Ivica Zubac – C, Croatia
Ujiri always has an international flair, so I say he uses this pick on a stash. Also, I’m pretty sure Zubac and Zizic are the same person.
Brice Johnson – PF, North Carolina
One of my favorite players in the draft.
Paul Zipser – SF, Germany
Spurs love stashing, and this dude has been a fast riser up the boards.
Chinanu Onuaku – C, Louisville
Golden State is probably not going to re-sign Ezeli, Varejao sucks ass, and who knows what Bogut will be next year. Onuaku is a defensive stud, and he shoots granny style at the free throw line. I could aslo see Cheick Diallo here.
There are still a ton of players that could be solid. LeVert, Diallo, Felder, Zimmerman, Payton II, Carter, Brogdon, Ulis, Siakam, Bentil, and tons of foreign guys: Cornelie, Yabusele, Cordinier, Qi, Zagorac. And of course, there’s Thon Maker. God bless the team that picks that muh fuckah.
Enjoy the draft everyone, and remember to always drink responsibly.
Written by Tyler Cloran
Image Source: CSNPhilly.com