NBA Mock Draft: Second and Last Edition

 

usa-buddy-hield-brandon-ingram-ben-simmons
Photo via csnphilly.com
Today, I will give you my second and final NBA mock draft of the season. This year’s draft is interesting as after the top two players are gone, there is a drop off between prospects, but you do not know who will land at each spot. It is clear Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons will either go one or two in any order. So that means, the draft starts at pick number three, which is just like the NFL Draft for the most part. This is the final draft order as the draft lottery has been set. Lastly, the teams with the highest amount of first round picks this year include the 76ers, Nuggets, Celtics, and the Suns with three apiece.

 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons – SF/PF – LSU

19.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 4.8 apg

With Okafor and Noel manning the four and five spots, expect Simmons to play at the three spot, which that will be deadly as they can own the paint together. Also, Simmons is a stat stuffer, but he needs to develop a better jump shot and play at a high rate. Simmons is said to be the biggest thing to come to the draft since Lebron was drafted back in 2003. He can impact the game with or without the ball in his hand, plus he has the “it” factor that we all look for into a player. Reports have it that the 76ers really like Simmons.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers – Brandon Ingram – SF – Duke

17.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.0 asp

Ingram is the next Kevin Durant, according to many experts and I can see why. He can put the ball into the net with ease with a beautiful shot. Tall and long player that can run up and down the court without being stopped. The Lakers get their number one scorer here and this will be the rebirth of the Lakers.

  1. Boston Celtics – Buddy Hield – SG – Oklahoma

25.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg

The Celtics have a nice roster, but they lack a true scorer. Well they land the best shooter in college basketball in Buddy Hield. The senior was a threat on every possession. Can hit any shot, but is deadly from the three point line, which is perfect due to the fact that the NBA is turning into a three point league.

  1. Phoenix Suns – Dragan Bender – PF – Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.6 apg

First off, Bender is just like Porzingis, but actually scouts say he is better in a way. He is supposed to be a better shooter, but is less strong and needs to build up some more muscle to be successful inside the pain at the NBA level. He should fit the need at power forward for the Suns as he will rotate with Alex Len.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jamal Murray – PG – Kentucky

20.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 apg

He is a natural point guard that played at the two guard because they had Tyler Ulis starting at the point. Murray developed off the ball skills and did well. He will have to be versatile in Minnesota as he will play both. He is a great clutch shooter. I like Murray a lot and I think he will have a great career. Lives for the big moments.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Jaylen Brown – SG – California

14.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.0 apg

The Golden Bear product is a terror on the open floor, utilizing his superior speed, athleticism and raw power to get to the rim. His jump shot is underrated despite average percentages. His floor game continues to progress, and he’s begun to put together moves to get by opponents, which makes for a deadly mix with a chance to become a high character superstar. He will easily replace Eric Gordon and play some small forward as well.

  1. Denver Nuggets – Domantas Sabonis – PF – Gonzaga

17.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.8 apg

Don’t you love it when a big man can do everything on the court? Well the Gonzaga product can. He is going to be a problem for the opposition. Hits mid-range shots with ease, but is good down low in the post. He will be a nice piece as they can play him and Faried together or rotate the two.

  1. Sacramento Kings – Kris Dunn – PG – Providence

16.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.2 apg

Dunn is the best point guard in this draft for me and as for that, the Kings need a point guard with Rondo hitting the open market this off-season. Even if they keep Rondo, the Kings can still either trade Darren Collison to make more minutes for Dunn or rotate all three point guards. He can shoot the ball, but needs to continue to work on his shot if he wants to be a big player, but he is great defensively.

  1. Toronto Raptors – Malik Beasley – SG – FSU

15.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.5 apg

Beasley is a guard with decent size who is a tremendous athlete and good-enough shooter that made 37.8% of his 3-point attempts at FSU. No one talks about his explosiveness, but never count it out. He is an artist due to the fact that he can create his own shot. You are looking a DeRozan’s replacement as it seems that he will opt out of his deal and search for a new home that will pay him lots of money.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks – Jakob Poeltl – C – Utah

17.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg

The Bucks have had a big need at the center position since Larry Sanders retired. They tried to bring in Greg Monroe as the center, but that has not worked as it looks like they will try to ship him off this off-season. Monroe is a natural power forward and now they replace him with a true power center that can man the paint. Poeltl is going to be a solid two-way player in the NBA.

  1. Orlando Magic – Marquese Chriss – PF – Washington

13.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg

He’s a long and athletic forward with as much upside as almost anybody in this draft. His jumper is quite sound for an 18-year-old and his explosiveness could bode well for star potential down the road. Chriss will have to work on his defense, but coming off the bench first will provide an instance spark for the Magic. They can address their defensive needs via free agency.

  1. Atlanta Hawks – Henry Ellenson – PF – Marquette

17.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.8 apg

Ellenson is one of the better stretch four type in this draft class. He reminds me of Luis Scola. He can play the mid-post and low-post game. Will develop and learn more during his rookie year than contribute right away on a high level. He is weak defensively. With Horford becoming a free agent, they need to get a big body back in the mix.

  1. Phoenix Suns – Denzel Valentine – SF – Michigan State

19.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7.8 apg

The Suns have a nice guard rotation with Bledsoe, Knight, and Booker. Well, now they get a dominant wing player that can help them on both sides of the court. Valentine can also shoot the ball, like he did in college. Tucker will most likely opt out of his player deal to get more money and instantly the Suns replace him with a much more talented player. As Warren heals from a knee injury, Valentine can take lots of minutes from others, which it also seems that P.J. Tucker might opt out of his current deal.

  1. Chicago Bulls – Dejounte Murray – PG – Washington

16.1 ppg, 4.4 apg, 6.0 rpg

Now they draft a versatile shooting and point guard. Murray has to work on turning the ball over less, plus develop into a better shooter than shown, but he can be a superstar if he fixes his problems. Rose can get hurt at any time, plus his contract is almost up. Murray could be the future starter at the point guard position for the Bulls, but a good backup never hurts.

  1. Denver Nuggets – Tyler Ulis – PG – Kentucky

17.3 ppg, 7.0 apg, 1.5 spg

One of the grittiest players in this year’s draft. Can run any offense given, plus knows how to catch fire quickly and is a clutch player as we have seen from his Wildcat days. Mudiay and Ulis would be a great one-two punch duo no matter who starts or comes off the bench.

  1. Boston Celtics – Deyonta Davis – PF – Michigan State

7.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg

Davis is the first freshman since Zach Randolph to leave the Michigan State basketball program under Head Coach Tom Izzo. Davis has the potential to be very good at the NBA level due to his highlight reel plays, height, length, size, and strength to make a presence in the paint. The Celtics take a future superstar, who is a steal at pick number 16.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies – Malachi Richardson – SG – Syracuse

13.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg

Richardson had a great March Madness that got his name out to the public. He can play in big games and without him, Syracuse would have not gotten that far. Needs to be a more consistent shooter though. Prefer if he stays one more year in college to work on his flaws, but overall, he is good enough to still land in the first round. Malachi “Big Game” Richardson will provide solid play to a defensive team that needs scoring help.

  1. Detroit Pistons – Wade Baldwin IV – SG – Vanderbilt

14.1 ppg, 5.2 apg, 1.2 spg

Baldwin in college this past season shot 41.4% behind the arc. The Pistons could use a great three point shooter off the bench. KCP and Baldwin IV will be an interesting duo at the shooting guard spot. With this addition you could see the Pistons move Jodie Meeks to a new team as he will be a free agent after the 2016-2017 season.

  1. Denver Nuggets – Furkan Korkmaz – SG – Turkey

2.7 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.5 apg

This wing guard is the Mario Hezonja of this year’s draft. Big spark plug time of player with vicious and filthy dunks as he has won multiple dunk contests. Very explosive in driving in the paint. Defense is a huge question as he does not have incredibly quick reactions, so great scorers that create their own shots seem to be a challenge.

  1. Brooklyn Nets – Skal Labissiere – PF – Kentucky

6.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg

This defensive big man reminds me of Nerlens Noel. Good low post game, but can shut down the paint on the defensive side by rebounding the ball viciously and swatting basketballs to orbit. Brook Lopez and Skal Labissiere will be a nice big man duo in Brooklyn.

  1. Atlanta Hawks – Timothe Luwawu – SG – France

14.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 spg

Luwawu is a wing with good size who is an above-average athlete and defender. Those things alone would get him selected, probably. But the fact that he also shoots about 40 percent from 3-point range. The ability to hit threes, will help him last for a long time in the NBA as that is how the game is won nowadays. Hawks have not replace the lost of Demarre Carroll, who did the same exact thing as Luwawu.

22. Sacramento Kings– Brice Johnson – PF – North Carolina

17.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

Brice Johnson had a great senior season. He does it all. Knocks down mid-range shots, makes big dunks to get a crowd going, rebounds to perfection, and lastly, he is an underrated defender when it comes to protecting the rim (blocks). He is going to be coming off the bench and will provide a spark to the Kings offense and defense.

  1. Boston Celtics – Damian Jones – C – Vanderbilt

13.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg

He is not just a center. He’s an athletic center that is versatile enough to play the four spot. Athletic 7-footers tend to find and keep jobs in the NBA. Brad Stevens would love to have a talented big man like him.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Patrick McCaw – SG – UNLV

14.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.5 spg

The 76ers get a player that can score the ball, but not in a flashy way. He is the best perimeter defender in this year’s draft. I had to put four statistics above for him because he knows how to stuff the stat sheet.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers – Isaiah Whitehead – SG – Seton Hall

18.2 ppg, 5.1 apg, 1.4 bpg

Jamal Crawford is a free agent and the Clippers will need to replace his production and they do so by starting to match the Warriors with scoring. Whitehead is a finisher from any spot on the court. He is actually my favorite player in this draft and the Clippers could really use a guy like him. The All-Big East first-team selection will also be a steal here. Interestingly, this shooting guard can block opponents well as he finished the 2015-2016 with 49 blocks, which resulted as him finishing fourth in his conference.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Anthony Barber – PG – North Carolina State

23.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.6 rpg

One of the ACC’s better players, Barber’s potential starts with his speed and ability to use it with the ball in his hands, as he is easily one of the quickest players in this draft class. Moves to perfection. When he goes downhill, he is tough to stop as he usually finishes anything near the rim. 76ers need a young point guard to be the future at that position for them. Can hit jumpers and can hit threes when he needs to.

  1. Toronto Raptors – Diamond Stone – C – Maryland

12.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg

Stone to receive a good amount of minutes as the backup center. Stone is raw, but is worth the gamble here. He could also play power forward and a chance to start next to Jonas Valanciunas in a couple of years. Stone could be sent to the D-League and develop, only if Bismack Biyombo opts out of his deal,  which he could as he has had a good regular season, but mostly a great postseason.

  1. Phoenix Suns – Demetrius Jackson – PG – Notre Dame

15.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.7 apg

Shows the ability to flourish in the pick-and-roll while being a respectable shooter. He shot at a nicer 41 percent form 3-point range in his freshman and sophomore years that should allow him to be an NBA starter in the future at some point. Knows how to take over a game when he wants to and he also lives to play on the big stages. Bledsoe injured, Knight playing as the backup or two guard, allows Jackson to see some action.

  1. San Antonio Spurs – Taurean Prince – SF – Baylor

15.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.3 spg

Prince is a versatile wing player that can score or play defense. He is a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard. Prince has the ability to make 3-pointers. He is an 82% free-throw shooter. Prince is an above-average rebounder for his position, too. So he can do a lot of different things to contribute while on the court.

  1. Golden State Warriors – Kay Felder – PG – Oakland

24.4 ppg, 9.3 apg, 4.3 rpg

Felder is smaller, which he stands at 5’9”, but he plays like a bullet coming out a gun, which shows he is tough and fast. He is a good finisher, but can shoot the ball anywhere. Knows how to run an offense and can dish the ball off as he recorded 9.3 assists per game last year. Livingston is a free agent and he should demand some money as he has played well in Golden State, plus Felder has a short trip to get to Oracle Arena. Felder as Curry’s backup will be scary and monstrous. The southpaw shooter shot 36 percent from the three point line, which is good, but watch Curry put his magic on him and make him a 40 percent or better shooter from behind the arc.

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