The drafting positions are not even close to becoming set, but it seems pretty apparent that the 76ers will have the highest chance in getting that #1 spot. These positions are based off the standings from 3/10/2016.
Check out my Mock Draft 1.0 to see what has changed!
Underclassmen are represented with an asterisk next to the player’s name.
Brandon Ingram, F, Duke Blue Devils*
Simmons has the most potential; it is clear to me and everyone who has watched him play. However watching Brandon Ingram, I see a kid who is already more polished and who fits better into the existing 76ers’ roster. Now if Okafor or Noel are moved, then the 76ers will clearly take Simmons. Whether or not Okafor or Noel are moved, I still think the 76ers would go with Simmons in the actual draft, but I think Ingram is a better fit in the current state of the 76ers.
Ben Simmons, F, LSU Tigers*
Like I said above and like everyone else has said about Ben Simmons, he is a stud and will be a star in the NBA. I see him as more of the project due to his horrific jumper and lack of confidence in it, but I’m not denying that he will be the best player to come out of this draft. A combo of Simmons, Russell, Clarkson, and Randle is scary.
Henry Ellenson, F, Marquette Golden Eagles*
Tyson Chandler is getting old, on a young team, with a large contract. I see the Suns trying to move TC in a couple of seasons, then putting Alex Len at the 5. Then drafting Ellenson, so he can develop defensively under Chandler. Ellenson went off in the Big East Conference Tournament against St. John’s, scoring 27 points and grabbing 14 rebounds (the first player to get 25 and 10 in the Big East Tournament since Melo did it).
Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah Utes*
Poeltl is becoming one of my favorite prospects in this draft. Already a good defender, great in a pick and roll setting, and great positioning to rebound. Him and Isaiah Thomas would be a great duo for the Celts, and would give them a dominate big that they have been lacking this season. This is also a pick that might be moved since the rumors surrounding the Celtics wanting a developed star.
Dragan Bender, F, Croatia
I’m not a fan of international players, but Porzingis has me reconsidering my fear of them. Bender would be a great fit with the young and quick team the T-Wolves already have in place. Bender would stretch the floor for Wiggins to drive and for Towns to do his work down low. Bender, if he develops, could make the T-Wolves the team to beat soon in the NBA.
Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma Sooners
Hield is comparable to a wooden gate on defense, but his offense is elite. Plus, do you need to play defense with Anthony Davis in the middle? Hield would take some pressure off Davis offensively and they could be a great tandem.
Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky Wildcats*
Jamal Murray might have the highest ceiling to grow from a guard standpoint. Murray has been on fire from deep lately and a combo of the three Kentucky boys (Cousins, Rondo, and Murray) might contend for a 5-8 seed in the West next year.
Jaylen Brown, F, Cal Golden Bears*
Brown and Mudiay have similar play styles, but watching these two would be fun. The Nuggets need a star with a current team full of decent to okay role players. Brown could be that star, especially if him and Mudiay can develop and grow together.
Ivan Rabb, F, Cal Golden Bears*
Rabb is better than Luis Scola already. The Raptors are improving an already good team with this pick, and this pick makes them a great defensive team. Rabb is raw on offense, but with Lowry and Derozan taking some pressure off that can help his development.
Kris Dunn, G, Providence Friars
I don’t like MCW or Jason Kidd. The Bucks have talent, but these two cogs are holding them back. I do not think Kidd will be gone, but Dunn can replace MCW. Dunn with Parker, Giannis, Monroe, and Middleton could be a fierce lineup. Another plus side with Dunn is that he has done most of his developing, so that can improve the Buck’s playoff chances.
Furkan Korkmaz, G, Turkey
I see some potential in what the Magic have, but I think they are too cluttered. Hezonja is basically wasted on the bench, I’m not sold on Elfrid Payton, and there is a lot of potential, but little development. An ideal lineup is Hezonja at the 3, Gordon at the 4, with Korkmaz being an elite shooter off the bench in a couple of years as he can stay overseas and wait for the Magic to figure out all their talent/potential.
Denzel Valentine, G, Michigan State Spartans
Valentine reminds me of Steph Curry. Not in skills or potential, but how both put up legit numbers in college, but are overlooked because of their age and size. Valentine will be great in the NBA, and I think Valentine will fit in well with Utah’s young nucleus.
Timothe Luwawu, F, France
The Suns already have one of the best shooters in the NBA in Devin Booker, so why not add another knock-down shooter. Adding Luwawu will let Phoenix move P.J. Tucker to the bench, and get Phoenix moving back on the right track after their front office has made some terrible moves in the past two years.
Diamond Stone, C, Maryland Terrapins*
Stone won’t jump out of the building or dive for every loose ball, but does everything else well. With Dwight Howard’s pending free agency looming, the Rockets will look to fill that spot at center, and be able to have Capela play the 4.
Wade Baldwin, G, Vanderbilt Commodores*
If the Celtics trade the Brooklyn pick, then I see them going in a different direction than Baldwin here and going with a big. But since I’m not predicting trades, they take the best player available. I’ m not high on Baldwin and I think there are better guards out there, but it seems many teams are high on him. He would be a nice 2nd option after Isiah Thomas.
Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State Spartans*
I love what the Pistons have done with their team. Adding Davis will give them a player who can develop into an elite rim protector alongside Drummond. This pick makes the Pistons deeper and more versatile.
Demetrius Jackson, G, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Yes, I’m a Notre Dame fan. Yes, I see no faults in Demetrius Jackson. Yes, I’m from Chicago. Yes, I did give a similar description in my last mock draft when I had the Bulls drafting Jackson. The Bulls need a change at point guard and DJ’s ability to see the court both offensively and defensively would be a perfect addition to the Bulls.
Skal Labissiere, F, Kentucky Wildcats*
I don’t know if Skal can fall any farther. He has shown flashes of a great player this year, but he cannot bring that on a consistent basis. I think the Nuggets gamble here and take Skal to make their team more versatile, because I think Faried’s lack of ability to stretch the floor hurts them.
Thomas Bryant, F, Indiana Hoosiers*
Playing against the arguably the toughest conference in the NCAA, Bryant has impressed me. I think Bryant adds a toughness and a size that has escaped the Pacers this season.
Malcolm Brogdon, G, Virginia Cavaliers
Brogdon projects as a second rounder, but I think he fits the needs of the Hornets perfectly. He has mightily improved his three-point percentage over the past three years, and that is just what the Hornets need. I think him and Batum pair perfectly, and Brogdon can step in a produce from day one due to his experience in college.
Domantas Sabonis, F, Gonzaga Bulldogs*
I love Sabonis. He is a smart player who can put up near double-double stats. I think learning from Horford and Milsap would be huge for him, and I can see him truly excelling in Atlanta.
Jonathan Jeanne, F, France
7’4″ with three point range? It sounds like a video game, but with a log jam of bigs the 76ers have, I see them taking Jeanne and storing him away overseas. This way, he can develop and grow. Could be a player we have never seen before.
Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
I do not know how the Grizzlies have still stayed afloat after losing Gasol and all of their shooting. Chriss can be a project that can pay off huge for the Grizzlies, or can completely flop. Chriss is athletic as any of the bigs not named Ingram or Simmons in this draft.
Nigel Hayes, F, Wisconsin Badgers
Nigel Hayes can be something special. I know he has had a down year, but he is a smart player and has shined before in a role player situation. I think Brad Stevens can mold Hayes into something phenomenal for the Celtics.
Grayson Allen, G, Duke Blue Devils*
Whether you love him or hate him, Allen is having a phenomenal season at Duke. I think Doc gambles on him, but I still see budget JJ Reddick written all over Allen.
Caris LeVert, F, Michigan Wolverines
With LeVert’s injury, his stock will fall. He is fantastic when healthy and since the Raptors will fill out their need with Rabb at PF, I see them taking a chance here. LeVert can develop into an athletic scorer off their bench that can improve their positioning in the Eastern Conference.
Malik Beasley, G, Florida State
Athletic and potential are written all over Beasley. He can be the driving force next to Ingram if he develops into the player he showed when he put up 23 points and had 5 steals against Louisville.
Brice Johnson, F, North Carolina
This is a reach, but I think Brice can be effective in the NBA. I love what he has done in his senior season and he seems tenacious enough to succeed. He has had similar production in every season at UNC, which shows his consistency.
Dejounte Murray, G, Washington
There are two Murray’s in this round with crazy high ceilings. I think Dejounte can be an elite player in the NBA and what a better coach to pull that out of you than Pop.
Jarrod Uthoff, F, Iowa Hawkeyes
Uthoff is great shooting and great on defense, not like the Warriors need it, but he fits perfectly with the current roster. I think he is an upgrade over Brandon Rush.