NBA Mock Draft 2016: Power Forwards



Power Forward / 6-10 / Louisiana State / Freshman

Simmons comes into the season as the odds on favorite to be the No. 1 pick. He has been rated at or near the top of this class for several years now. He has a star quality and seems to embrace the limelight, as he allowed LSU to use his likeness to market the team’s ticket sales and upcoming season. Comparing him to LeBron is obviously optimistic and aggressive, but there hasn’t been a player in the past 12 years with a package of size, strength and playmaking ability so similar to King James’. He has the size and strength to play the four, and the playmaking ability to facilitate the offense with the ball in his hands like a point guard. Skal Labissiere or Jaylen Brown could potentially make a run at the top pick, but at this point the 2016 draft is Simmons’ world.

Twitter: @BenSimmons25
Comparison: LeBron James
Salary: $4,919,300*
Power Forward / 6-11 / Kentucky / Freshman

Labissiere has made an astonishing improvement in his body and game over the past 12 months. At this time a year ago, he was a rail thin rising senior with decent touch who was generally rated somewhere in the Top 5-10 in his class, but the improvement in his body and game really raised his profile. He improved so much that some scouts, citing his size, favor him to be the top pick over Simmons. At Kentucky, he will benefit by playing under Coach Cal, who has shown an ability to showcase his player’s best qualities, while masking their deficiencies. Skal’s ability to shoot and play in the post make him a no brainer as a Top 5 pick, and the fact that he appears to have the ability to easily add 30 pounds without losing any mobility means he’ll be able to play both post positions.

Twitter: @skallywally
Comparison: LaMarcus Aldridge
Salary: $4,401,400*
Power Forward / 7-0 / Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) / 1997

Bender got caught up in shoe wars over the summer and was unable to perform in the U19 and U18 National team events. It was a shame because he appeared primed to be the standout performer in those events and solidify his status as one of the top prospects for the 2016 draft. Instead he’s more of an unknown, but has built up a big reputation in past events in his age group. At the June, 2015 adidas Eurocamp he struggled some to utilize his great speed and scoring ability, but his age was surely a factor facing players 3-4 years older than himself.

Comparison: Toni Kukoc
Salary: $2,675,700*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Gonzaga / Sophomore

Look for Sabonis to have a breakout season at Gonzaga, and possibly even be in the running for a first team All-American spot. He is not an above-the-rim athlete, but he has solid athleticism and a terrific skill set and feel for the game. He only knows one way to play and leaves it all out on the floor every time out. He had an eye-opening performance, getting the upper hand on Jahlil Okafor in their matchup in the NCAA tournament. While his dad is one of the league’s greatest international players, it’s obvious he has a natural love for the game that wasn’t forced upon him.

Twitter: @Dsabonis11
Comparison: Luis Scola
Salary: $2,451,200*
Power Forward / 6-10 / California / Freshman

Long considered one of the top prospects in his class, Rabb even was a near-consensus top player of the class at point during his high school career. Rabb had some injury problems (foot) going into his senior year but finished strong. He’s been working hard in the weight room and added a good deal of strength this offseason. Rabb has nice touch and the ability to create baskets in the post as well as knock down mid-range shots. He could have a big freshman season at Cal.

Twitter: @YoungIvee
Comparison: Chris Bosh
Salary: $2,253,300*
Power Forward / 6-9 / Kansas / Freshman

Diallo is a high-motor kid with tremendous length (7-foot-3 wingspan). He should be an instant contributor on the boards and on defense for Kansas. His offensive game remains remedial, but he’s worked hard at adding a nice hook shot and better finishing ability in the paint. He’s a player that should improve as the season goes along. Whether he’s ready to be a one-and-done lottery pick remains to be seen, but the talent is there.

Comparison: Kenneth Faried
Salary: $2,140,500*
Power Forward / 6-8 / SPO Rouen (France) / 1995

Yabusele is a late bloomer who impressed scouts at the 2015 adidas Eurocamp. He’s an undersized 4 but shows some combo ability with his ballhandling skills and outside shooting ability. For a player with such tremendous body strength, he’s actually quite nimble. While lacking ideal power forward height, his 7-foot wingspan allows him to play bigger.

Comparison: Gary Trent
Salary: $1,573,500*
Power Forward / 6-9 / San Diego State / Sophomore

Pope is an extremely tantalizing prospect due to his size, strength and skill level. He has had injury woes in the past but showed big-time flashes as a freshman. One of his best attributes is his versatility to face the basket and attack the glass with his surprising ballhandling ability. If he can add consistency to his game and become an impact player on a regular basis, he could shoot up draft boards.

Comparison: Bruno Caboclo
Salary: $1,105,800*
Power Forward / 6-8 / Florida / Sophomore

Robinson is a top shelf run/jump athlete and has really developed his mid-range shot. If he has a consistent year shooting the ball, he could find a spot in the first round. Scouts have criticized his ability to defend the wing position and consider him a likely undersized power forward, which neutralizes his intrigue to a degree.

Twitter: @drobbb3
Comparison: Jonas Jerebko
Salary: $996,700*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Marquette / Freshman

Ellenson is a big with good offensive skills and range on his shot. He’s got a sturdy frame and solid run/jump athleticism. He was a bit of a late bloomer as he burst onto the scene late in his high school career, and some recruiting analysts are extremely high on him. He may in fact need more time before entering the draft but could certainly climb up the draft board if he proves to be ready to be an impact player from the start.

Twitter: @HENBA13
Comparison: Cole Aldrich
Salary: $983,400*

Key: (*) Standard salary for players selected with that pick in 2016-17.

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