2016 NBA MOCK DRAFT (FIRST ROUND)

3RD EDITION

This is our 3rd 2016 NBA Mock Draft (First Round). The entire first round is included as well as out analysis of why the pick was made. Click on each player’s highlighted name to view their individual 2016 NBA Draft profile.

#1. Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons

6’10” 240 Pounds

PF LSU FreshmenPhiladelphia-76ers-Logo-Design

Why The Pick: There has been speculation that Brandon Ingram has overtaken Simmons to be the number 1 pick. We don’t believe that will happen. Simmons is the best talent in this draft. If he can improve his shooting the sky is the limit. He can do everything on the basketball court. 6’10” players with guard and forward skills come around once every 10-15 years. He is a marvelous talent who’s game is perfectly suited for the NBA. For a previous “Featured Article” on Ben Simmons click here.

 

#2. Los Angeles Lakers

Brandon Ingram

6’9″ 190 Pounds

SF DUKE FreshmenLos-Angeles-Lakers-logo-design

Why the Pick: Ingram is clearly the 2nd best player in the draft. He is silky smooth in everything he does. His offensive repertoire is second to none. His game is very similar to Kevin Durant’s when he entered the NBA draft. The Duke star has the ability to come right into the NBA and make an immediate impact. Once he gains more weight and muscle he will be an offensive monster. Some NBA teams might have Ingram rated number 1 on their draft boards which is saying a lot considering Ben Simmons is the presumptive number 1 pick.

 

#3. Boston Celtics

Kris Dunn

6’4″ 220 Pounds

PG PROVIDENCE JuniorBoston-Celtics-logo-design

Why the Pick: Dunn is the best point guard in this year’s draft. Boston has very good guards in Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and Isaiah Thomas . However, Dunn is an explosive talent and a possible future star. His talent and potential is too good of a value to pass up. In our previous mock draft we slotted Dragan Bender to the Celtics. Brad Stevens is a phenomenal coach who will find a way to use Dunn’s ability to fit in with the rest of Boston’s talented stable of guards.

 

#4. Phoenix Suns

Dragan Bender

7’0″ 215 Pounds

PF Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) No ClassPhoenix-Suns-Logo-design

Why The Pick: The comparisons to Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis are inevitable. Bender is a highly skilled big-man who can shoot. It will take time and patience with him, however he has a chance to be very good. The Suns need all the talent they can get and will have a hard time passing him up. The success of Porzingis will help Bender be a top 5 pick.

 

#5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Buddy Hield

6’4″ 210 Pounds

SG OKLAHOMA SeniorMinnesota-Timberwolves-logo-design

Why the pick: Hield was the national college player of the year this past season and it was well deserved. While he needs to work on his ball-handling and defense his shooting ability will be a perfect fit for the up and coming Timberwolves. Hield can step right into the SG position and play alongside SF Andrew Wiggins and PF/C Karl Anthony-Towns. New Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has a very young and talented roster to work with. For a previous “Featured Article” on Buddy Hield please click here.

 

#6. New Orleans Pelicans

Domantas Sabonis

6’10″ 240 Pounds

PF GONZAGA SophomorePELICANS

Why the Pick: Sabonis is perhaps the best true big-man in this draft. The son of former NBA player Arvydas Sabonis has an array of low-post moves and is an excellent passer. He can slide right into the PF position and provide help for All-Star Center Anthony Davis. Sabonis has a mean streak to him and will not back down to anybody.

 

#7. Denver Nuggets

Jaylen Brown

6’7″ 225 Pounds

SF CALIFORNIA FreshmanDenver-Nuggets-Logo-design

Why the Pick: Brown was part of a fantastic freshmen duo with PF Ivan Rabb. While Rabb decided to return to CAL, Brown has stayed in the draft and will be selected high. He is an extraordinary athlete. While Brown needs to improve his shooting ability he has a chance to be an All-NBA defender. He is raw, however if given the time to properly mature the chance is there for him to be an excellent NBA player. He is a possible boom or bust player. Improving his jump-shot will determine just how good he becomes.

 

#8. Sacramento Kings

Jamal Murray

6’4″ 205 Pounds

PG KENTUCKY FreshmenSacramento-Kings-logo-design

Why the Pick: The Canadian born Murray was excellent in his one year at Kentucky. He teamed with PG Tyler Ulis to form perhaps the best back-court in college basketball this past season. He is a lethal 3-point shooter with a wide array of offensive moves. While we question if he can play point guard at the NBA level we don’t doubt the fact that he will be successful. Murray is very talented and might rise up draft boards before the June NBA Draft.

 

#9. Toronto Raptors

Jacob Poeltl

7’1″ 250 Pounds

C  UTAH SophomoreToronto-Raptors-Logo-design

Why the Pick: The Austrian born Poeltl had 2 very productive years at Utah and is one of the very few true Centers in this draft. He reminds us very much of former number 1 pick Andrew Bogut. Poeltl has a very nice low-post game and is a good passer for his height. He fills a need for Toronto and can be slowly acclimated into the NBA game due to the talent already on the Raptors roster.

 

#10. Milwaukee Bucks

Henry Ellenson

6’10″ 240 Pounds

PF MARQUETTE FreshmenMilwaukee-Bucks-logo-design

Why the pick: Ellenson is an excellent athlete for his size. He is a player who can rise up the draft boards before the June NBA Draft. He really impresses us with his overall skill-set. He can do a little bit of everything. The Kevin Love comparisons that he has been generating are not far-fetched. Playing at Marquette he stays in Milwaukee and can help the Bucks right away. The chance for a very good and long NBA career for Ellenson is there.

 

#11. Orlando Magic

Denzell Valentine

6’6″ 220 Pounds

SG  MICHIGAN STATE  SeniorOrlando-Magic-Logo-design

Why the Pick: Valentine was a first team All-American this past season for the Spartans. He is a tough, physical guard that can come right into the NBA and play significant minutes. Staying for his senior year at Michigan State has made him a much better player. Look for him to have a solid, lengthy NBA career. We really like Valentine’s game and we look for him to be in the running for the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year. He is ready to play and contribute right away.

 

#12. Utah Jazz

Malik Beasley

6’5″ 195 Pounds

SG FLORIDA STATE  FreshmenUtah-Jazz-Logo-Design

Why the Pick: Beasley was part of a dynamic freshmen duo along with Dwayne Bacon for the Seminoles. While Bacon has decided to return to Florida State, Beasley has entered the draft and has seen his stock rise. Beasley is an elite athlete with a very smooth shooting stroke. If he can improve his ball-handling he will be a very nice NBA player who has a lot of upside.

 

#13. Phoenix Suns

Furkan Korkmaz

 SG/SF 6’7″ 210 Pounds

NO COLLEGE: Playing in Turkish LeaguePhoenix-Suns-Logo-design

Why the Pick: Currently playing in Turkey the 18-year old has one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the draft. He is a very good athlete with solid ball-handling skills. He will need to put on weight. With the Suns in a rebuilding mode he should have the opportunity to grow and learn at his own pace. By adding Korkmaz and Jaylen Brown in this mock draft the Suns just got 2 young and talented players who can be the core of the rebuild.

 

#14. Chicago Bulls

Dejounte Murray

6’5″ 175 Pounds

PG/SG WASHINGTON  FreshmenChicago-Bulls-logo-design

Why the Pick: Murray and fellow freshmen Marquese Chriss were the 2 best players for Washington this past season. Murray has really turned heads and reminds us of a young Jamal Crawford. He is a combo guard and if he can show the ability to play the PG position at the NBA level he will be a steal. He provides back-court depth with the uncertainty of Derrick Rose’s health. Murray has a lot of ability. 

 

#15. Denver Nuggets

Skal Labissiere

6’11″ 220 Pounds

PF/C KENTUCKY FreshmenDenver-Nuggets-Logo-design

Why the Pick: Labissiere is one of this year’s drafts biggest wildcards. Rated as a top 3 high school prospect coming into the year he disappointed for the majority of his one year at Kentucky. However, he improved his play towards the end of the season. He shows a nice mid-range shooting stroke. It is imperative that the gets into an NBA training regimen. He will need a few years before he will see significant minutes for an NBA team, however he has some attributes you just can’t teach. He will also be another insurance policy if Kenneth Farried leaves the Nuggets this off-season.

 

#16. Boston Celtics

Thon Maker

7’1″  220 Pounds

PF/C  Athlete Institute (High School)Boston-Celtics-logo-design

Why the Pick: Maker is currently in prep school but was just declared eligible for the NBA Draft. Click here for that story. Maker is a unique and mysterious talent since he has attended high school out of the U.S. He plays more like a guard than a big-man and shows a nice shooting stroke. He has a ton of upside. Boston is a team that can afford to roll the dice on the high upside of Maker since they have 3 first round picks at their disposal and a very nice current roster. Danny Ainge rolls the dice hoping for a big pay-off down the road.

 

#17. Memphis Grizzlies

Deyonta Davis

6’9″  240 Pounds

PF  MICHIGAN STATE  FreshmenMemphis-Grizzlies-logo-design

Why the Pick: Deyonta Davis came off the bench for the Spartans as a freshmen, however he is the highest ranked prospect among Michigan State’s front-court players. Memphis has aging veterans Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who has battled injuries this past season on their roster. Davis is a high energy player with very good shot-blocking and rebounding skills. Memphis is in dire need for youth in the front-court and the 19-year old Davis will provide that. While he is raw in time he can be a solid “stretch-4” at the NBA level.

 

#18. Detroit Pistons

Stephen Zimmerman

7’0″ 240 Pounds

C  UNLV FreshmanPISTONS

Why the Pick: Zimmerman had a productive freshmen year for UNLV averaging 10.5pts and 8.7reb per game. Detroit is in desperate need for front-court help with Center Andre Drummond and PF Marcus Morris being the only 2 main contributors. The 7-foot Zimmerman has a very nice shooting stroke for a big-man. While he needs to get stronger he shows plenty of promise of being an eventually good “stretch-4”. Detroit selects Zimmerman and hopes he can provide front-court depth for a Pistons team that just got swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

#19. Denver Nuggets

Brice Johnson

6’9″ 220 Pounds

PF NORTH CAROLINA SeniorDenver-Nuggets-Logo-design

Why the Pick: Johnson falls from #12 in our 2nd mock draft to #19 in this mock draft. Johnson had a breakout season for the Tarheels. While we still like Johnson’s game we recently have had doubts about what his ceiling as a player is. Has he maxed out his potential already? Johnson is a very good athlete who is best in an open court setting. With the uncertainty of Denver’s Kenneth Faried coming back to the Nuggets next season Johnson should have the opportunity for immediate playing time. With the Nuggets selecting Jaylen Brown at #7 and Brice Johnson at #19 Denver has selected 2 premium athletes to go along with promising rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay. 

 

#20. Indiana Pacers

Cheick Diallo

6’9″  220 Pounds

PF/C  KANSAS  FreshmenIndiana-Pacers-logo-design

Why the Pick: Diallo is your prototypical boom or bust type of player. We believe he should have stayed at Kansas for at least 1 more season. Diallo came off the bench for the Jayhawks and averaged 3pts and 2.5reb while only playing 7.5 minutes per game. These stats don’t exactly scream “first round NBA Draft pick”. However, for a lot of potential draft picks it is more about projection and potential than a players’ current ability. Diallo is a very raw but athletic player.

In time he can be a very good defensive player, especially rebounding and shot-blocking. He has virtually no offensive game besides put-back dunks. We aren’t as high on Diallo as others but in a little more than average NBA Draft his “potential” might be too hard for Indiana to pass up. Diallo is a high risk/high reward type of player. It will be interesting to see how he does during the NBA combine and individual workouts.

 

#21. Atlanta Hawks

Diamond Stone

6’11″ 255 Pounds

C  MARYLAND FreshmenHAWKS

Why the Pick: Diamond Stone is a throwback player with advanced low-post moves. He drops from #10 in our previous mock draft to #21 in part because we aren’t convinced he can get and stay in peak physical condition. He reminds us of the Charlotte Hornets Al Jefferson. Stone has perhaps the most refined offensive skill-set among big-men in this years’ draft and will be able to score right away in the NBA. With All-Star Center Al Horford heading to free agency this summer, Diamond Stone would be a nice insurance policy for Atlanta.

 

#22. Charlotte Hornets

Tyler Ulis

5’9″  160 Pounds

PG  KENTUCKY  SophomoreHORNETS

Why the Pick: Tyler Ulis was perhaps the most exciting player in college basketball this past season. He teamed with Jamal Murray to form an excellent back-court for Kentucky. The knock on Ulis is his height. At only 5’9″ he will have trouble guarding opposing players. However, Ulis is an exceptional basketball player who is tough as nails. He is an excellent shooter, passer, and ball-handler who is phenomenal at running an offense. We believe he is talented enough to be drafted in the first round. The 20-year old can come off the bench and spell PG Kemba Walker and has the ability to change the complexion of a basketball game in mere minutes. Despite his height we fully expect Tyler Ulis to have a nice NBA career and would be a perfect fit in Charlotte backing up Walker.

 

#23. Boston Celtics

Damian Jones

6’11”  250 Pounds

PF/C  VANDERBILT  JuniorBoston-Celtics-logo-design

Why the Pick: This is Boston’s 3rd first round pick. PG Kris Dunn and PF/C Thon Maker were their first 2 picks at #3 and #16, respectfully. We slot Vanderbilt PF/C Damian Jones here at pick #23. Jones had a very nice career for the Commodores and will provide Boston Head Coach Brad Stevens with yet another young and talented player for his roster. Jones will provide good defense, rebounding, and occasional scoring. He is a tough and physical player who has the ability to carve out a nice and long NBA career as a serviceable big-man. The Celtics are clearly a team to watch out for in the near future as they also have 4 second round picks in this years NBA Draft.

 

#24. Philadelphia 76ers

Demetrius Jackson

6’1″ 195 Pounds

PG  NOTRE DAME  JuniorPhiladelphia-76ers-Logo-Design

Why the Pick: This is the 2nd of Philadelphia’s 3 first round picks. Point Guard is a major need. It came down to Jackson and Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin. The 76ers select Jackson, who reminds many, including us of the Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. Jackson has the ability to eventually be a solid starter in the NBA. The Notre Dame product has thrived playing in the ACC Conference and shows excellent leadership qualities.

 

#25. LA Clippers

Wade Baldwin

6’3″  195 POUNDS

PG  VANDERBILT  SophomoreLos-Angeles-clippers-logo-design

Why the pick: The recent injury to All-Star PG Chris Paul shows how much the Clippers need to upgrade their guard situation. Wade Baldwin would be a nice start. The Vanderbilt sophomore possesses excellent size and strength for the position and is just scratching the surface of his abilities. A former high school teammate of 2015 number 1 overall pick Karl Anthony Towns, Baldwin is already a very good shooter. He has the opportunity to turn into a very good starting point guard in time. He has rapidly improved his game the last 2 years and the Clippers would gladly welcome him into their organization. Chris Paul needs back-court help.

 

#26. Philadelphia 76ers

Guerschon Yabusele

6’8″ 260 Pounds

PF NO COLLEGE: Currently playing in FrancePhiladelphia-76ers-Logo-Design

Why the Pick: Dario Saric was the 76ers first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft (12th overall pick). Saric should be coming to Philadelphia for the 2016-17 season. Guerschon Yabusele is a 20-year old PF who is currently playing in France. He shows a nice shooting stroke and is very strong for a young player. Look for the 76ers to draft Yabusele and keep him overseas just like they did with Saric. They can bring him back to the U.S. in a year or two when he will be ready to contribute.

 

#27. Toronto Raptors

Taurean Prince

6’7″ 220 Pounds

SF BAYLOR  SeniorToronto-Raptors-Logo-design

Why the Pick: Prince is a player who has grown on us the more we have watched him while he was at Baylor. The heart and soul of the Bears, Prince has a place in the NBA as a 3 and D glue guy. He is an excellent on ball defender and can be a nice piece to Toronto’s second unit. He reminds us very much of current NBA players Tony Snell and DeMarre Carroll. A player who can consistently make the 3-point shot as well as playing good defense will find a spot in the NBA.

 

#28. Phoenix Suns

Anthony Barber

6’2″  185 Pounds

PG  NC STATE  JuniorPhoenix-Suns-Logo-design

Why the Pick: In this mock draft Phoenix selected 2 international players with Dragan Bender at pick #4 and Furkan Korkmaz at #13, respectfully. At #28 Phoenix goes with Anthony (Cat) Barber. Current Suns guards Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight have been injury plagued the past few seasons and Barber will provide depth. The NC State product was perhaps the most electrifying guard in college basketball this past season. His speed and ball-handling ability are top-notch as he averaged 23.5pts, 4.6reb, 4.5 ast per game for the Wolfpack. The 6’2″ PG has the ability to make a contribution right away in the NBA and would be a steal here at pick #28. 

 

#29. San Antonio Spurs

Timothe Luwawu

6’7″  200 Pounds

SG  No College  Playing in FranceSPURS 222

Why the pick: The 20-year old Luwawu is currently playing in France. San Antonio scouts European players very well as Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are 2 great examples.. Luwawu is a solid, athletic player with excellent size for the shooting guard position. With the amount of talent the Spurs have on their roster it wouldn’t be a surprise to draft the youngster and keep him overseas for another year or 2 as he can keep improving his game without the pressure of playing in the NBA. The Spurs have had phenomenal success in the past with international players as their scouting department is among the best in the sport.

 

#30. Golden State Warriors

AJ Hammons

7’0″ 260 Pounds

C  PURDUE  SeniorWARRIORS 2222

Why the Pick: Hammons is the best shot-blocker in this year’s draft. He is a 4-year college player who was an All Big-10 Conference first team selection this past season. With Festus Ezeli potentially leaving the Warriors in free agency, Hammons would have a good chance of getting playing time in the Warriors front-court. He is a good rebounder as well and would bring toughness to the most talented and electrifying team in the NBA. Hammons is a player who due to his size, shot-blocking, and rebounding ability can carve out a nice and lengthy NBA career.

 

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS IN THE SECTION BELOW.

4 thoughts on “2016 NBA MOCK DRAFT (FIRST ROUND)”

  1. Dave says:

    I like the picks except I have Ingram #1

    1. Hi Dave,
      I appreciate your comments. A case can be made for Brandon Ingram to be the number 1 pick. A lot will depend on which team wins the lottery. Ingram is universally recognized as the 2nd best player in the 2016 NBA Draft. Both Ingram and Ben Simmons can be the face of an NBA franchise and in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either player.

      -Rob

  2. Ann says:

    You provide excellent reasoning when discussing your selections. I agree with Simmons at number1. Interesting take on having so many foreign players in round 1. Most of the selections in this mock version were close to team needs. Good job!

    1. Hello,
      Thank you for reading and commenting on our latest NBA Mock Draft. We believe this is a draft where foreign players will have an impact. We also agree with you on Ben Simmons being the number 1 selection. Stay Tuned and visit our site as we will have exclusive NBA Playoff coverage as well as all other important topics regarding all levels of basketball. Thank you for reading our articles.

      -Rob

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