Draft

NBA Mock Draft 2016

POINT GUARDS / SHOOTING GUARDS / SMALL FORWARDS / POWER FORWARDS / CENTERS

 

Power Forward / 6-10 / Louisiana State / Freshman
20.1 ppg, 12.9 rpg

The Boy Wonder from Down Under has not only become the clear cut No. 1 pick favorite, but among the best prospects to emerge from the college ranks in over a decade. He’s also become the best player in the country, which is very rare for even the most talented freshman. He is clearly the one prospect in this year’s draft worth tanking for. It’s winning the top pick or bust for the likes of the Sixers, Celtics (Nets), Lakers and Suns. Simmons has a tremendous family background and combines high-level athleticism and size with legitimate point guard vision and creativity. He held his own during the summer in one-on-one battles with both Anthony Davis and James Harden at Nike. Is it blasphemous to compare anyone to the most dynamic athlete in any sport over the past decade? Yes. But Simmons is probably the closest thing we’ve seen to LeBron, and there really isn’t a better choice. Simmons isn’t as explosive, but his superior size makes up for some of the athleticism differential. Lamar Odom didn’t have the point guard ability or focus that Simmons possesses. Nor the ability to absorb and play through contact. Is he going to be LeBron? Of course not. Can he be a Top 3-5 player in the league at his peak? Yes.

Twitter: @BenSimmons25
Comparison: LeBron James
Salary: $4,919,300*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Duke / Freshman
16.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg

With length and shooting ability reminiscent of Kevin Durant, Ingram has played even better than expected. He had a solid high school career but never dominated like some of his peers and came into the season with a great deal of both promise and question marks. He has cashed in on the promise and answered the concerns, showing a level of focus and determination that has made him a highly effective player, on top of being such a high-level prospect. A kid who grew up as a skateboarder, Ingram has become one of Duke’s most consistent performers and leaders very quickly. While there’s little doubt about Simmons grabbing the No. 1 spot, Ingram has made a strong statement to be the second overall pick.

Twitter: @B_Ingram13
Comparison: Kevin Durant
Salary: $4,401,400*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / California / Freshman
14.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Brown appears to be the one guy that could challenge the “Baby Durantula” to go second overall. Brown’s explosiveness trumps both Simmons and Ingram, and while he lacks their size and length, his play has really shown great improvement as the season has gone on. He’s a terror in the open floor, using his superior speed, athleticism and raw power to get to the rim. His jump shot is also severely underrated. His floor game continues to progress, and he’s begun to put together moves to get by opponents, which makes for a deadly mix. Brown is a thoughtful, introspective kid with high character and possesses superstar upside.

Twitter: @FCHWPO
Comparison: Jason Richardson
Salary: $3,952,500*
Point Guard / 6-4 / Providence / Junior
17.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Dunn has quickly proven that his decision to return to school despite being a projected first rounder last year was a great one. He’s a dynamic true point guard with elite size and speed and has improved upon his weaknesses, namely decision making and shooting. Those are areas that continue to need honing, however he’s got “something special” as one scout put it. His defensive intensity and potential have drawn comparisons to players such as John Wall and Gary Payton from scouts. He still must become a much more consistent shooter to reach that type of level, however. Dunn has a charisma and confidence about him that can carry him to becoming a great player in the league one day.

Comparison: John Wall
Salary: $3,563,600*
Power Forward / 6-10 / California / Freshman
12.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg

There are athletes and there are basketball players, as one scout put it when describing him, with Rabb being the latter. Not that he’s not a high-level athlete as well, but his feel for the game and basketball acumen is truly what gets scouts excited when projecting him to the next level. Rabb has a calm presence and steadiness to his game that you rarely find in a 19-year-old. His maturity and intelligence are that of a college senior. In fact, senior teammate Tyrone Wallace observed that the conversations between Rabb and roommate Jaylen Brown are “not normal freshman conversations”. He’s worked hard on his body since arriving in Berkeley, and while he still can be pushed around by the strongest of college opponents, he fights hard for rebounds and position inside.

Twitter: @YoungIvee
Comparison: Chris Bosh
Salary: $3,227,100*
Power Forward / 7-0 / Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) / 1997
2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg

Bender built a big reputation in junior events in his age group. His competitiveness and scoring ability give him a lot of potential, however his body needs to get a lot stronger. Through 13 games with Maccabi, he’s averaging 13 minutes, 5.1 ppg, and has hit a very impressive 14 of 27 from beyond the arc. He’s also helped by the recent success of fellow European face-up big and high draft pick Kristaps Porzingis.

Comparison: Toni Kukoc
Salary: $2,931,000*
Center / 7-1 / Utah / Sophomore
17.0 ppg, 9.4 rpg

Poeltl has been the most impressive center prospect this season. He struggled to some degree over the summer at the Nike Academy event, but has shown excellent improvement in his post skills. He’s added an effective up-and-under move and really commands the ball in the half court, when isolating against his man. He’s good at finishing plays in the open floor as he’s very fluid and has great feet. He still has a ways to go in polishing his offensive game, but his potential as a two-way player and ability to be a rim protector makes him very intriguing.

Twitter:
Comparison: Andrew Bogut
Salary: $2,675,700*
Shooting Guard / 6-4 / Oklahoma / Senior
26.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg

No one has helped his draft stock more this season than Buddy Hield. Along with Simmons, Hield is the frontrunner for NPOY honors. He has also moved himself into the lottery with his standout play. He is a kid with a terrific attitude and a polished skillset. Buddy is a dangerous offensive player showing the ability to score in a variety of ways as well as facilitate. He’s on the small side at 6-foot-4, but has long arms and a strong build.

Twitter: @buddyhield
Comparison: James Harden
Salary: $2,451,200*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Gonzaga / Sophomore
18.3 ppg, 10.6 rpg

Sabonis may not look like a Top 10 pick at first glance, but it’s all of the little things that he brings to the table that make him such a valuable player. Sabonis lacks the elite run-jump athleticism generally associated with standout players, yet his ability to impact games with his strength, toughness and basketball IQ make him a sure bet to have a successful NBA career. He lacks a great “ape index”, with his wingspan divided by height being close to even. He proved himself as a clutch, tough nosed competitor in the NCAA tournament, getting the upper hand on Jahlil Okafor in the freshmen matchup last season.

Twitter: @Dsabonis11
Comparison: Luis Scola
Salary: $2,253,300*
Power Forward / 6-9 / North Carolina / Senior
16.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg

Johnson has had arguably the most impressive individual performance of the season, putting up 37 points and 23 rebounds against Florida State on January 5. With the injury to teammate Kennedy Meeks, Johnson got a chance to show what he could do as the featured offensive weapon. He’s a long, lean jumping jack with excellent scoring when facing the basket. In his senior season, he’s finally broken out into the college star that his talent suggests he should be.

Twitter: @bjohnson_23
Comparison: Taj Gibson
Salary: $2,140,500*
Point Guard / 6-5 / Kentucky / Freshman
17.1ppg, 4.4 rpg

There’s no questioning Murray’s leadership and maturity. He’s proven over both his high school and Canadian National Team performances that he’s extremely composed and a clutch performer. While he’s fallen some from his initial Top 5-10 projections, he has had a solid season thus far at Kentucky. The question marks regarding his ability to be a full-time point guard, plus his lack of size and explosiveness at the 2 guard position make him likely more of a 10-20 prospect than a Top 10.

Twitter: @BeMore27
Comparison: Austin Rivers
Salary: $2,033,500*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Michigan State / Freshman
8.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Similar to Zach Randolph 15 years ago, Davis’ minutes appear to be limited in his freshman season due to Izzo‘s preference for experience on the floor. Davis has been very productive in the minutes he’s received, showing excellent rebounding, a willingness to play physical and solid touch around the basket. He still needs to add range to his shot and become more polished with his post moves. But he projects as one of the more explosive and athletically gifted post prospects available.

Comparison: Antonio Davis
Salary: $1,931,900*
Center / 7-0 / Vanderbilt / Junior
13.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg

Jones has elite level run-jump athleticism and intriguing potential as a shooter. His biggest obstacle has been his lack of consistency and focus. He seems to disappear for stretches of games, apparently forgetting that he’s the most talented kid on the court and it’s his duty to kick everyone’s butt. He’s got a great attitude off the floor and is certainly coachable, he just may be a kid that requires constant motivational support to maximize his abilities. On talent, he’s a Top 10 prospect, but there’s a good chance his happy-go-lucky nature and lack of intensity may scare some teams.

Twitter: @dameology
Comparison: Steven Adams
Salary: $1,835,200*
Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Duke / Sophomore
20.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg

Allen has picked up right where he left off in last year’s national championship game, in which he came in and rescued the Blue Devils when their backs were against the wall. Allen has been extremely efficient in his sophomore season both shooting and scoring on drives to the basket. He’s a confident athlete and plays with a sense of urgency and competitiveness and aside from his Kentucky performance has been extremely consistent.

Comparison: Bob Sura
Salary: $1,743,500*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Anadolu Efes (Turkey) / 1997
3.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg

Korkmaz is a wiry guard with an advanced offensive game for his age. He’s a good leaper, having won dunk contests and shows solid explosiveness. He’s not incredibly quick, so defense and creating shots against high-level athletes could be a challenge. He has struggled some with playing time and productivity this season.

Comparison: Marco Belinelli
Salary: $1,656,200*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Florida State / Freshman
17.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg

Bacon is an explosive, dynamic athlete with a growing all-around skill set. He has been one of the ACC’s top performers in his freshman season and appears set to parlay that into becoming a one-and-done first-round pick. He still needs to improve upon his outside shooting, but proved he could hit shots in the clutch with his game winning bucket against Florida on December 29.

Comparison: Gerald Wilkins
Salary: $1,573,500*
Center / 7-0 / Nevada-Las Vegas / Freshman
9.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg

Zimmerman has had an up-and-down, inconsistent freshman season at UNLV, but remains high on scouts’ lists due to his size, soft touch and ability to rebound. In limited minutes, his rebounding and shot blocking have been very productive. He has a good understanding of the game and should be able to put weight on and become stronger and more effective in the post.

Twitter: @BIGG_ZIMM
Comparison: Kosta Koufos
Salary: $1,494,800*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Marquette / Freshman
16.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg

Ellenson has turned into a star in his freshman season at Marquette. He is extremely versatile with his ability to handle the ball in the open floor and his face-the-basket and post skills. While he’s a below-average run-jump athlete, his 7-foot-2 wingspan gives him great length to be a factor defensively and on the boards. His shooting efficiency still needs work, but he’s developed a reputation for being a quality shooter and should find a role in the league as a stretch four.

Twitter: @HENBA13
Comparison: Brian Scalabrine
Salary: $1,420,100*
Point Guard / 6-3 / Maryland / Sophomore
14.4 ppg, 5.7 apg

After Kris Dunn, Trimble has been arguably the best point guard in the nation. His steadiness and leadership were already strengths as a freshman, and he has improved in his sophomore season. Despite losing to North Carolina in one of their biggest matchups of the year, Trimble was very impressive in directing the offense and shows an advanced ability to create and convert outside shots. He may not have great athleticism, but he possesses good size and a good feel for the position.

Twitter: @_STAYMELO
Comparison: Jarrett Jack
Salary: $1,356,100*
Center / 6-10 / Maryland / Freshman
13.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Stone isn’t the most explosive athlete but combines great length with a sturdy frame and solid body control. He has been one of the nation’s most productive freshmen and playing on a tTp 5 team has given him a good deal of exposure. His 39-point, 12-rebound outburst to help Maryland pull out their win against Penn State showed the type of explosive scoring ability he possesses.

Twitter:
Comparison: Kendrick Perkins
Salary: $1,301,900*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Georgetown / Sophomore
11.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Copeland is well liked by scouts for his shooting ability, versatility and size at the small forward ability. While not the most dynamic athlete, his 6-foot-9 size gives him an edge playing at the SF position. He lacks great length with a wingspan the same as his height, but has a mature game for an underclassman.

Comparison: Matt Harpring
Salary: $1,249,800*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Michigan / Senior
17.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg

LeVert has done a solid job of bouncing back after the knee injury which sidelined him last season. He’s an unselfish, versatile 2-guard with a smooth mid-range game and excellent vision. While he lacks ideal athleticism, his feel for the game and cerebral decision-making help him to be an effective player. How well he checks out in physicals and tests athletically will likely factor into his draft stock.

Twitter: @CarisLeVert
Comparison: Doug Christie
Salary: $1,199,900*
Shooting Guard / 6-4 / Arizona / Freshman
14.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Trier is an undersized 2-guard with explosive scoring ability. He’s been an effective scorer as a freshman putting his name on scouts’ lists as a possible one-and-done first rounder if he can continue to produce and develop. His ability to show that he’s an all-around contributor and team player and not solely a top notch individual scorer would help his cause.

Twitter: @ISOzo_LOE
Comparison: PJ Hairston
Salary: $1,151,900*
Small Forward / 6-6 / Michigan State / Senior
18.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg

Valentine was the frontrunner for National Player of the Year honors with numerous triple doubles having lead Michigan State to an undefeated record, a month and a half into the season. But his knee required arthroscopic surgery forcing him to miss a few weeks of action. While his upside is limited due to his lack of size and athleticism, he’s a highly skilled player with a good chance to find a spot in the first round and league despite his athletic shortcomings.

Twitter: @denzelval45
Comparison: Jae Crowder
Salary: $1,105,800*
Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Florida State / Freshman
17.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg

Beasley is a sweet shooting freshman who has been every bit as productive as teammate Dwayne Bacon, only with more efficiency. He’s a superior shooter and even displays some combo skills, with great ballhandling and solid passing. While not as big or athletic as Bacon, there are some scouts who prefer Beasley for his great versatility and aforementioned jump shot.

Twitter:
Comparison: Devin Booker
Salary: $1,061,600*
Small Forward / 6-8 / North Carolina / Sophomore
12.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Jackson lacks a standout attribute but brings a high-level of intensity and solid all-around skills. He’s on the thin side and doesn’t have a fluid offensive game. But he finds ways to score and is an above average defender. His outside shooting and overall consistency has been disappointing this season, and he seems to be trending downward. If he can’t turn things around and become more consistent, he’ll likely be forced to return to school for his junior year.

Twitter:
Comparison: Rod Higgins
Salary: $1,026,300*
Power Forward / 6-8 / SPO Rouen (France) / 1995
8.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Yabusele is having a solid season in France for Rouen with 8.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, and knocking down 53 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line. He is a late bloomer who impressed scouts at the 2015 adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy. He’s an undersized 4 but shows some combo ability with his ball skills and outside shooting ability. For a player with such tremendous body strength, he’s actually quite nimble. He shows good anticipation playing passing lanes and surprising body control to stop and start and not bowl over opponents when attacking. While lacking ideal power forward height, his 7-foot plus wingspan allows him to play bigger.

Twitter:
Comparison: Gary Trent
Salary: $996,700*
Shooting Guard / 6-4 / Mississippi State / Freshman
13.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Newman is a polished scorer and fearless player. He has struggled some with the adjustment to the college level and playing the point guard position. But as the season has progressed, its apparent he’s becoming more comfortable and playing more efficiently. He proved himself on the International level as one of the premiere players in his age group, winning MVP of the USA U17 Team that won gold in Dubai. With speed to get by opponents and a polished pull up J, Newman is able to overcome a size disadvantage to be an effective scorer.

Comparison: Monta Ellis
Salary: $990,700*
Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Kansas / Junior
15.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg

Selden came into Kansas as a high-level recruit and after two underwhelming seasons, has finally begun to live up to expectations. This year he’s showing go-to scoring ability and excellent outside shooting efficiency. An above average athlete with strength and explosiveness. he’s Kansas’ top player and the Jayhawks are a true contender, elevating his status. While on the short side for a 2-guard, his ability to play physical and attack the rim gives him possibility as a late first rounder.

Comparison: Norman Powell
Salary: $983,400*
Small Forward / 6-7 / Mega Leks (Serbia) / 1995
15.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg

Luwawu has had a breakout season scoring 15 ppg in Serbia for Mega Leks and proving that he can knock down the three ball consistently at 36 percent on a high volume. He still needs to improve his mid-range game and consistency, but he’s a wing with promise as a defender due to his athleticism and length. Luwawu remains a bit of project but a player teams can target to draft and stash in Europe for a couple seasons.

Twitter:
Comparison: Thabo Sefolosha
Salary: $976,300*

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

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