The time has come. My fifth and final mock draft for the 2016 NBA Draft. This will be a full two round mock without trades. Trades will happen, but trying to predict that will be tough. I will keep this as simple as possible by just going by the current draft order.
I’ll go in-depth for the 1st round pick, and then just give the picks for the 2nd round. If you want an explanation for the pick, feel free to comment or talk to me on Twitter.
Thank you everyone for supporting these mocks, it is a dream come true, and I’ve definitely learned along the way. I’ll see you next year for more mocks and more draft talk! You can follow me on Twitter @Schwarbo. See you on the Fast Break.
Here is my Mock Draft 4.0 to see what has changed!
Ben Simmons, F, LSU Tigers
No news is good news right? Simmons declined to workout with the 76ers, but the 76ers said that will not affect their decision. That decision should be to draft Ben Simmons. He is the best prospect due to his size, athleticism, and potential. Does Ingram fit better into the 76ers system? Yes. Is Ingram the better shooter? Yes. Does Ingram’s game fit better into today’s NBA? Yes. But Simmons is by far the best choice at number one. Ben Simmons did not impress scouts with his shot at workouts, but it didn’t dissuade them. Plus scouts say the easy thing to teach is shooting, not athleticism. Also why would there be rumors of the 76ers shopping Okafor or Noel? Simmons will be in the City of Brotherly Love on June 23rd.
Brandon Ingram, F, Duke Blue Devils
Philadelphia 76ers GM, Bryan Colangelo, said the decision between Ingram and Simmons “changes every day”. When it comes to June 23rd, you can expect Adam Silver to announce Ben Simmons’ name at the number one overall pick. Leaving the Lakers with the decision of the 2nd best prospect in Ingram or a big men like Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss. If the Lakers are smart, they will take Ingram. Simmons and Ingram are the clear prospect with all-star potential, and they would be foolish to do anything but taking Ingram.
Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky Wildcats
This is a spot with a lot of trade rumor buzzing around it. Maybe Jimmy Butler? Maybe Kevin Love? Maybe DeMarcus Cousins? Maybe Jahlil Okafor? Maybe Luc Longley? Whoever it is, the safe bet is that if any pick in the top 5 will be traded it will be this one. No matter what team is here, the pick is obvious. Jamal Murray is the best guard in this draft. With his skill set and offensive ability, Murray should go behind Simmons and Ingram. 77-for-100 from NBA three (I know Buddy went 85-for-100) is something spectacular and, with his age, there is no doubt in my mind that the Celtics should take this Kentucky product. I know there is a lot of worries about Murray’s athletic ability and his possible problems defensively, but working with a coach like Brad Stevens will help him grow defensively or at least him help be positioned correctly.
Marquese Chriss, F, Washington Huskies
I’m falling in love with Chriss. I have a love-hate relationship with Dragan Bender who has been in my top 5 in every mock, but Chriss’ potential and athletic ability is something special. With his long range shot coming on in the latter half of the season, Chriss made himself more valuable. Chriss would work well with the multitude of guards the Suns have, Chriss could explode in his first year. At worse with his athletic ability he becomes a Tristan Thompson or Bismack Biyombo like player
Kris Dunn, G, Providence Friars
Kris Dunn does not want to be in Phoenix or Boston, or at least that is what Adrian Wojnarowski reported a month ago. Kris Dunn recently said that he would be honored to be in a Celtics uniform, but the original report saying that his agent would with hold Dunn’s medical records to the Suns and Celtics is too much of a red flag. Kris Dunn will be able to step in immediately for the T-Wolves whether that is from the bench or in a starting role.
Dragan Bender, F, Croatia
My love-hate relationship is so hard to deal with when it comes to Bender. We have seen great international big men before, and we have seen terrible international big men before. Bender looks slow on tape, but his length is dangerous. He needs to add size to his game, but he will be playing next to Anthony Davis, so his size will be hidden. His offensive game seems to be there, but will his defensive game catch up. Is he athletic enough? I just can not figure it out.
Jaylen Brown, F, Cal Golden Bears
Jaylen Brown has a ton of potential. If he develops his shot, then he is a for sure All-Star, but can he develop? The Nuggets can take a chance on him, due to their multitude of picks (if they keep them). With Brown’s athletic ability, he can develop into a two-way stud. However, along with questions about him developing also comes questions about his attitude. Brown was said to have one of the worst interviews with teams. He also believed that he should be taken with the number one overall pick. With Mudiay already in Denver, could this cause a rift on who will be the star?
Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma Sooners
Sacramento needs help. With a terrible front office, a dysfunctional star, and a new head coach coming in, they need a stable player. So who can they bring into help? A motivated, “veteran” (when it comes to prospects) who can fill a gap in your lineup. Buddy Hield can be great in the Sacramento locker room, and his shooting with help open up Boogie’s game. A Boogie and Hield combo could be fantastic.
Skal Labissiere, F, Kentucky Wildcats
Toronto needs a power forward that can stretch the floor. We saw how well Bismack Biyombo did in Game 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but I’m not buying into his hype. Skal provides athleticism, and length to the Raptors’ lineup. Skal has a very high bust potential, but he will not have the pressure to be the focal point of this franchise which might help him develop. Also playing with Lowry, DeRozan, and Valanciunas will help.
Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah Utes
The Bucks need shooting and defense down low. Poeltl will not provide shooting, but he can be phenomenal in the post, both offensively and defensively. Greg Monroe was a disappointment this year for the Bucks, and hopefully Poeltl can step in and develop around these Bucks. Poeltl does not have a high ceiling, but I feel he has a low floor. I see him being a consistent piece in a starting lineup throughout his career.
Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State Spartans
I’ve never been high on Deyonta Davis, but looking at the Frank Vogel hire, you would think that he would want to bring in a defensive player. The Magic have a hole at power forward and out of the prospects available, Davis has the highest defensive ceiling out of any power forward prospect not off the board. Davis and Gordon can be an athletic duo, and with Vucivic’s offensive prowess, they could be deadly.
Henry Ellenson, F, Marquette Golden Eagles
The Hawks traded Jeff Teague and got the Jazz’s 12th pick. I love this trade for all three teams involved, and for the Hawks this put them in perfect position. The Hawks need a big man with Horford possibly leaving and Millsap constantly being in trade talks, the Hawks put themselves in perfect postion. In a power forward heavy draft the Hawks can take, Henry Ellenson. Ellenson is not that athletic and has to work on his defensive game, but his offensive game is spectacular. Ellenson is a terrific shooter, can grab boards, and has a high motor. I love Ellenson as a prospect and could be a great replacement for Horford and Millsap.
Malachi Richardson, G, Syracuse Orange
I love Malachi Richardson and I might be forcing a spot for him. The Suns already drafted Chriss and filled their stretch four need. If Ellenson or Skal are available then maybe they will double up on that position, but they might want back up guard help. Pairing Booker and Richardson would give them a dynamite scoring pair with Booker’s long range shot and Richardson’s inside scoring. Richardson with his wingspan could also see some time at small forward.
Dejounte Murray, G, Washington Huskies
Teams might shy away from Murray due to his shot and his turnovers, but his ceiling is massive. If he falls to the Bulls, then this might be the steal of the draft. Murray’s potential as both a scorer, a passer, and a defender, could make him a top point guard in the league. However, if the Bulls stick with Derrick Rose or if he is rushed in to be a star for the Bulls, then Murray might never see his potential.
Furkan Korkmaz, G, Turkey
Korkmaz’s shooting is impressive and in the NBA today, that makes him so valuable. However, you do not know if he will be able to develop into anything else. If his ceiling is a dead-eye shooter than he can be valuable to any team, but if he can develop a defensive game in the NBA, then he might have all-star potential.
Ante Zizic, C, Croatia
The Celtics need help down low. Reading that they are high on Zizic and with a multitude of bigs, I can definitely see them going for their guy. He is an aggressive big man and with a coach like Brad Stevens molding him in a few years, Zizic can turn into a great low post energy guy.
Domantas Sabonis, F, Gonzaga Bulldogs
Sabonis should be higher. He isn’t due to his age, lack of athleticism, and lack of a shot. However, his motor, his defensive ability, and his rebounding ability are undeniable. He fits the mold of a Grizzlies player and learning from Gasol and Z-Bo, Sabonis can become a great low post player. I could see him going to the Raptors at 9, but whatever team gets him, he will be a great pick.
Wade Baldwin, G, Vanderbilt Commodores
Wade Baldwin can be a great backup to Reggie Jackson. Baldwin can provide a different change of pace from Jackson’s high speed action. Baldwin can be a strong passer and facilitator who can score. Baldwin also adds shooting to this team. Baldwin can be a well rounded point guard for an upcoming team.
Thon Maker, F, Australia
Finally, the Internet darling has made his appearance. Thon Maker could go to a team like Boston or Phoenix with their multitude of picks, but I feel it will be a team with a lot of picks who takes Thon. Thon has a limitless ceiling, but also a terrible floor. Thon can be the mixtape god you have seen, a great rim protector, an energy guy off the bench, a stretch four, or he can never develop and be out of the league in three years. Thon will need time to develop and might see time in the D-League to go up against slower opponents. Thon is a risky pick, but if he hits, it will be huge.
Denzel Valentine, G, Michigan State Spartans
Denzel Valentine has fallen over concerns of his knees. If there were no concerns, he would be a top 15 pick. His versatility and ability to play multiple positions make him a great pick. If Denzel can stay healthy, he will add a phenomenal level of depth to this Nets’ team. Denzel’s composure and leadership can also be crucial to this team.
DeAndre Bembry, F, St. Joseph’s Hawks
DeAndre Bembry is energetic and athletic, but without a shot. Bembry can step into the small forward position for the Hawks right away, and if he develops his shot, he can be a great part of a playoff team. Bembry seems like a guy that is at his floor at the current form and can only get better.
Malik Beasley, G, Florida State Semminoles
Beasley is a phenomenal shooter with a lot of athleticism. A duo of him and Kemba could be great for an up and coming Hornets team. If they add an elite big man along the way, and Beasley can grow with Kemba, this team can be truly dangerous.
Juan Hernangomez, F, Spain
The Celtics filled out spots in the middle with Zizic and a shooter in Jamal Murray. In drafting Hernangomez, they add size and shooting. Seeing this tape impressed me so much with Hernangomez. The Celtics adding a lengthy scorer to their bench could help them overcome the heavyweight that is the defending NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tyler Ulis, G, Kentucky Wildcats
Tyler Ulis has seen a fall in my mocks mainly due to the fact that the NCAA Tournament high has worn off. Ulis is a scrappy scorer and him coming off the bench when Simmons is off the floor could be a great combo. Ulis is a motivated leader and as long as he can overcome the height disadvantages he has, Ulis will be a great piece to any team.
Ivica Zubac, C, Bosnia
Zubac could be higher if a team wants a draft-and-stash. The Clippers ideal pick would be DeAndre Bembry to fill their need at small forward, but Zubac could be a great center who can score off the bench a couple years down the road. He won’t fit into that athletic starting lineup, but his scoring ability can help him thrive off the bench.
Patrick McCaw, G, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
Patrick McCaw sort of reminds me of a less polished Denzel Valentine. Yes, that might be a stretch, but McCaw’s ability to defend multiple positions and ability to shoot from deep, he could develop into that type of player. His athleticism and size will pair well with Ben Simmons’ playmaking ability.
Cheick Diallo, F, Kansas Jayhawks
Cheick Diallo had an impressive combine and made himself a 1st round rock. The Raptors are drafting two untested guys in Diallo and Skal, but with Skal’s offensive potential and Diallo’s defensive potential, they could have twin towers in Toronto. It is more of Diallo developing and he might need to spend time in the D-League to sharpen his skills.
Ben Bentil, F, Providence Friars
I love Ben Bentil. He is a gem in this draft. The Suns will need help off the bench when Chriss is on it, and Bentil’s offensive abilities can be a great pair with Chriss. I think if Earl Watson can bring in a movement centered offense to Phoenix, then Phoenix will be able to thrive with players like Bentil, Richardson, Chriss, and Booker.
Demetrius Jackson, G, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
DJ has taken a fall lately, but his stock is not falling, just other stocks are rising. I also love this fit for DJ. The Spurs need point guard help with an again Tony Parker. The Spurs need speed and DJ can bring that. I feel with DJ’s attitude and skill set, he can flourish with San Antonio.
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. With possible cap problems, Uthoff can be a cheap option off the bench. I also would not be surprised if the Warriors picked up Steven Zimmerman, Damian Jones, or Chinanu Onunaku for the cap problems as well, as the Cavs ate the Warriors up inside with Bogut hurt in the last three games.