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2016 NBA Mock Draft by conlin.zach - 6.12
By: conlin.zach
Published at 6/12/2016 2:18:09 AM

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Round 1

1. 76ers: Ben Simmons, Forward, LSU

If you read my previous mock, you'll know that I believe Simmons to be a giant a-hole, but one hell of a talent worthy of the first overall selection. It's laughable to think that some out there believe Ingram will be the selection because he fits better with the current roster. Simmons will be the selection and the '6ers will build around him.

2. Lakers: Brandon Ingram, Small Forward, Duke

I've mocked Dragan Bender to the Lakers for my two previous installments, but the report out there is that Ingram is locked in with this pick. Could it be a smoke screen? Possibly. But this tips the scales for me in favor of Ingram. Ingram is an advanced offensive prospect especially considering his young age, has tremendous length and upside to be a poor man's KD.

3. Celtics: Jamal Murray, Shooting Guard, Kentucky

Reportedly, Murray hit 79 of 100 threes in front of the Celtics brass. Wow - talk about a mic drop. If the Celtics don't trade this pick, I see them taking Murray here. He seems to have risen to the #3 spot on most boards, and would provide the Celtics, or a team that trades for this pick, a potential go-to scorer. I liken Murray to be a Damian Lilliard-type of guard - maybe not as good, but a lethal scorer/shooter in his own right. This would further complicate a young and crowded backcourt for the Celtics, but that's not a terrible problem to have.

4. Suns: Dragan Bender, Power Forward, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Although I love me some Jon Leuer, Jon freakin' Leuer started for the Suns at the 4-spot last year. That's pathetic. The Suns need to find a starter at the 4, and Bender provides good value here. While he may not be on the same level as Porzingis was coming into the NBA, he's still a versatile forward with nice two-way potential. Chriss may be giving Bender a run for his money as the top big selected in this draft, however.

5. Timberwolves: Kris Dunn, Point Guard, Providence

If Murray is available here, he will be the pick. I think Murray would really benefit from Thibs' defensive tutelage and this team would have a legit big three. However Dunn isn't a bad plan B. Kris Dunn offers a similar skillset to that of Rubio offensively, only he does it better. He's also a very good defender, and I believe he will be a John Wall-type player in the NBA - a point guard who can fill the stat sheet on both ends. His lack of go-to scoring ability may have teams prefer Murray and Hield over him, but I think he has great value here. He will be a very good starting PG and will make Rubio expendable for the T-Wolves.

6. Pelicans: Buddy Hield, Guard, Oklahoma

The Pelicans are in a spot to take BPA, as their roster is terrible outside of Anthony Davis, and maybe Jrue Holiday/Tyreke Evans. While he won't be a star at the next level, Hield's shooting ability and underrated athleticism will make him at the very least a very strong bench player at the next level. Hield will space the floor, which can only help The Brow.

7. Nuggets: Jaylen Brown, Forward, California

The Nuggets, with three first round picks, are in a position to go BPA. With Gallinari and Chandler on the roster, the Nuggets have solid depth/talent at the 3. However, it's pretty clear that neither Danilo nor Wilson is the long-term answer at the small forward spot. Jaylen has elite athleticism and measurables - perhaps the best in the class - but the lack of basketball IQ that he displays puts him firmly in the lottery. Due to his athleticism and size, Brown has a high ceiling, especially on defense. If he can learn to play more efficiently and under control offensively, he will be a star in the league. The Nuggets really need help at the 2 and the 3, which Brown can play.

8. Kings: Marquese Chriss, Small Forward, Washington

Chriss' stock really seems to be on the rise in the last few weeks - he's got a lot of potential on both sides of the ball and is very athletic. However, he could've definitely used another year of seasoning in college and is probably the most raw prospect in the draft (neck-and-neck with his former teammate). His measurables and high block rate suggest high potential on the defensive end, however he is a poor defender as of right now. He is the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect in this year's draft. He would provide more depth to the front court at the 3/4, and compliments Boogie well. He, Cauley-Stein and Boogie, if he's not traded, looks like a strong front court foundation to build on.

9. Raptors: Deyonta Davis, Power Forward, Michigan State

It's no question to me that the Raptors will select a big man here -- the only question is who. Both Ellenson and Sabonis are slow and will struggle defensively in the league, while Skal and Maker are way too raw to select this high, which only leaves Deyonta Davis. True, Davis is raw, but unlike Skal, he was impressive in his one and only season in East Lansing., and isn't a total unknown like Maker. He had really nice per-minute stats on both ends at Michigan State, is very athletic, and is versatile up front. He does need to work on his offensive game, but should be able to start right away for the Raptors as a solid defensive big.

10. Bucks: Jakob Poeltl, Center, Utah

I believe that the Bucks should trade back, accumulate more assets, and draft Wade Baldwin later in the first - he just fits what the Bucks look for and need too well. However, if they stay here, I think that Poetl should be the target. They should take a long and hard look at Skal, but Poetl's production and higher floor makes him the selection here. Poetl doesn't have star potential, but is well-rounded and should be a solid starter in the NBA. To maximize his potential, Jakob needs to learn to play tougher when he gets to the NBA, especially because he's strictly a 5.

11. Magic: Dejounte Murray, Guard, Washington

Much like his teammate Chriss, Murray's stock also seems to be on the rise. He's got a lot of upside and length, and will challenge Payton for point guard of the future in Orlando. He is very raw, and has a low floor which may scare some teams away.

12. Jazz: Denzel Valentine, Shooting Guard, Michigan State

With the Jazz's frontcourt set, Utah should continue to build their backcourt. Valentine provides the perfect backup for Gordon Hayward, and will be a nice asset off of the bench. His well rounded game will make up for his below-average athleticism, and make him a solid role player in the association.

13. Suns: Skal Labissiere, Power Forward, Kentucky

With the number of selections that the Suns have, it makes sense that they swing for the fences with one of their picks. Skal's lack of production, strength and assertiveness scares me, but he is very skilled and athletic for a big. Did you think I wouldn't mock a Kentucky player to Phoenix?

14. Bulls: Domantas Sabonis, Power Forward, Gonzaga

With Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol likely gone (and with Taj always in the trade rumors), the Bulls have a need down low. Sabonis is the best big available, and provides the Bulls with a nice low-post scorer with range out to 15, and who also is a solid rebounder. He falls in my mock a little bit because of his lack of defensive ability. Ellenson is a little too similar to what Mirotic brings on the offensive end for me to mock him here.

15. Nuggets: Furkan Korkmaz, Shooting Guard, Anadolu Efes

With the three first round picks that the Nuggets have, I'd be shocked if they didn't take a foreigner with one. Korkmaz is a smooth lefty with offensive talent and upside.

16. Celtics: Henry Ellenson, Power Forward, Marquette

In case the Celtics decide not to trade for Love, here's a guy who provides a lot of the similar things to the table (post-T'Wolves Love). Ellenson's lack of strength and foot speed scares me on the defensive end, but his offensive versatility and shooting ability should guarantee him a spot before the 20s.

17. Grizzlies: Malachi Richardson, Shooting Guard, Syracuse

I'm not as high on Richardson as some others, but I'd be naïve to think he'd drop out of the first round, especially with his stock seemingly rising.. He has length, solid athleticism, and a stroke that can catch fire. He's the type of player that can win you a game (as seen in the game vs. Virginia) and also shoot you out of one. He clearly doesn't lack for confidence. IMO, he's an inefficient chucker who will have an occasional scoring outburst at the next level. His realistic ceiling is JR Smith. The Grizzlies should take a risk on Richardson, as he could provide some offensive firepower to a team lacking in that department.

18. Pistons: Wade Baldwin IV, Point Guard, Vanderbilt

Stan Van Gundy's system calls for a lot of shooting, and Baldwin can do that. He can play the backup PG role, while also playing some SG as a 3-and-D guard.

19. Nuggets: Demetrius Jackson, Point Guard, Notre Dame

The Nuggets go BPA and take Jackson who will provide a nice backup to Mudiay. He can score and defend - when he's locked in - but will need to work on his distributing in the NBA.

20. Pacers: Cheick Diallo, Center, Kansas

The Pacers should be looking to add more down low, especially with Mahimi as a free agent. Diallo didn't play much at Kansas, but his defensive versatility, length and athleticism makes him the pick here. His showing at the combine raised his stock from a fringe first-rounder to a guy who could sniff the teens. He and Turner would give Bird a young frontcourt capable of playing fast.

21. Hawks: Timothe Luwawu, Shooting Guard, Mega Leks

The Spurs roots live on as a foreign player is taken! All kidding aside, this pick makes a lot of sense for the Hawks. Even if they keep Bazemore, Luwawu would really help this team out with depth at the 2 and 3 as a 3-and-D wing, especially with Korver aging. Some mocks have Luwawu in the lottery, so his value here is strong.

22. Hornets: Brice Johnson, Power Forward, North Carolina

His Airness loves taking proven, 4-year college players -- and Johnon's Tarheel pedigree is just an added plus here. Johnson is long, athletic and active who should at the very least be a nice rotational big who can rebound, defend and catch lobs.

23. Celtics: Ante Zizic, Center, Cibona

According to some reports, the Celtics really like Zizic. He's a blue-collar type center who makes sense for the Celtics, as he fills a position of need and is a foreign prospect.

24. 76ers: Malik Beasley, Shooting Guard, Florida State

The 76ers need help at both guard spots. Beasley's work-ethic, defensive ability and shooting stroke will be welcomed in Philly. He could start out of the gate.

25. Clippers: Taurean Prince, Small Forward, Baylor

The Celtics have a huge hole at the 3, and Prince provides them with a wing who can defend both the 3 and 4, who can also stretch the floor.

26. 76ers: Tyler Ulis, Point Guard, Kentucky

The 76ers' front office would be smart to pick players from winning programs who can contribute. This team needs to rid itself of the losing/tanking mentality. Ulis will at least be a serviceable backup PG in the NBA.

27. Raptors: Patrick McCaw, Point Guard, UNLV

Even if Derozan sticks around, McCaw would be a smart pick here for the Raptors. He's a potential 3-and-D guy who can also handle the rock well. The biggest knock against McCaw is his lack of strength.

28. Suns: DeAndre Bembry, Small Forward, St. Joseph's

The Suns could use help on the wing. Bembry, with grooming, could become an Iggy-type player. He is a good scorer, albeit not a good shooter yet, a solid rebounder, distributer and defender. He also provides another ball-handler/playmaker for the Suns.

29. Spurs: Guerschon Yabusele, Power Forward, Roanne

The Spurs love taking foreign players, and Yabusele would add some youth to an old frontcourt.

30. Warriors: Thon Maker, Center, Australia

In my opinion, Maker is a tad overrated. Yeah, bruh, his Hoops Mix is sweet!... But he just didn't impress me overall as much as his highlight reel would suggest. The Warriors are a truly special team who can take on Maker with absolutely no risk on their end.

1-16 17-32

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