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2016 NBA Draft Analysis

Ben Simmons draft

The 2016 NBA Draft is here and while there are two clear top picks, it is not a necessarily great draft, but it is a very deep draft with very little separating the No. 12 and No. 30 picks. Teams can get some decent players who can help their teams in there. We’ll provide an analysis of all the picks.

First Round

1. Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons, Forward, LSU

No surprise here. The 76ers announced early they would taker Ben Simmons. He’s been slated as the No. 1 pick since last year as he possesses elite athleticism and great scoring ability from the wing. He has perennial All-Star talent.

2. Los Angeles Lakers – Brandon Ingram, Forward, Duke

Many pundits actually had Brandon Ingram rated higher than Ben Simmons and all accounts say the Lakers liked him more too. The Lakers need guys with elite potential and Ingram has been compared for Kevin Durant. That’s not necessarily fair and way too high of expectations for a guy who does need to add some muscle and refine his game, but Ingram is a very athletic guy, with a huge wingspan and tremendous scoring ability. He can be their next star.

3. Boston Celtics – Jaylen Brown, Forward, California

The Celtics have a lot of picks in this draft and could have gone so many different ways with this pick, but ultimately choose to go with a super athletic forward who can score from outside and stretch the offense. The Celtics needed another quality forward. Kris Dunn certainly would have been a good pick, but they didn’t need another guard. Brown can fill a need and provide an impact right away.

4. Phoenix Suns – Dragan Bender, forward, Croatia

Without a doubt, Dragan Bender is the best international player in this draft. At 7-foot-1, he’s a versatile front court player who can play at center or as a stretch forward. He’s a difference-maker on the offensive end and will provide some explosiveness to their front court.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kris Dunn, Guard, Providence

We all know Tom Thibodeau loves defense and Kris Dunn is an elite defender and the best guard in this draft. He’ll work perfectly as a do-it-all type of backcourt guy for a young and building Timberwolves team that is loaded with young talent.

6. New Orleans Pelicans – Buddy Hield, Guard, Oklahoma

With the way the NBA is changing to a perimeter league, Buddy Hield is going to be able to make an impact for a long time. He can flat-out shoot and that will pay huge dividends for the Pelicans as they look for ways to spread the floor and create some space for All-star forward Anthony Davis in the middle.

7. Denver Nuggets – Jamal Murray, Guard, Kentucky

Denver was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league last season and Jamal Murray will certainly improve their perimeter game. He’s can shoot the ball and has the ability to be an immediate impact scorer in the NBA.

8. Sacramento Kings – Marquese Chriss, Forward, Washington
Traded to the Phoenix Suns

This is very interesting what the Phoenix Suns are doing, adding two very talented scorers with a lot of athleticism in the first eight picks. Marquese Chriss is a very athletic 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward.

9. Toronto Raptors – Jakob Poeltl, Center, Utah

Despite picking in the lottery, the Raptors are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and ready to win now. Jakob Poeltl is not at all a project player. He’s a legitimate center who plays with his back to the basket and rebounds. He’ll fill in perfectly for Bismack Biyombo should he leave in free agency.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Thon Maker, Center, Australia

Nobody is more interesting of a talent in this draft than Thon Maker. After playing a year at a prep school he was able to become the first player drafted right out of high school in a decade and is something you don’t see very much. He’s very long and at 7-foot-1, 215-pounds he is very, very athletic. He is definitely a project and needs to bulk up and needs to prove he can play against better competition than high school seniors, but the Bucks are willing to take the shot, just like how they took a shot on Giannis Antetokounmpo a few years ago.

11. Orlando Magic – Domantas Sabonis, Forward Gonzaga
Traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Orlando Magic made a great pick taking an NBA-ready big-man who was extremely tough and productive as both a stretch forward and rebounder, but they made a very questionable trade, shipping off Domantas Sabonis’ draft rights to Oklahoma City along with Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Victor Oladipo for just Serge Ibaka. At least for Sabonis this is a perfect place for him to go next to the budding star Steve Adams. Sabonis dominated Utah’s Jakob Poeltl when they played in the NCAA Tournament.

12. Utah Jazz – Taurean Prince, Forward, Baylor
Traded to the Atlanta Hawks

Remember when the Atlanta Hawks lost DeMarre Carroll last offseason? This is his replacement. He’s a similar type of player with 3-point ability, athleticism and defensive ability. He might not be a future All-Star, but he’s is a perfect fit for the Hawks.

13. Phoenix Suns – Georgios Papagiannis, Center, Greece
Traded to the Sacramento Kings

Georgios Papagiannis is a very good pure center, but this makes little sense for the Kings, which have DeMarcus Cousins, drafted Willie Cauley-Stein as an interior player least year and have Kosta Koufas in there as well.

14. Chicago Bulls – Denzel Valentine, Guard, Michigan State

After trading Derrick Rose away the Bulls needed to get a point guard and Denzel Valentine is a good as they come. He has a very high basketball IQ, is a proven leader and has established that he has a strong all-around game. He was a triple-double machine in college. He came up huge all the time. The Bulls might be taking a shot on a guy with limited athleticism, but he’s proven himself in so many different areas that, that may not matter.

15. Denver Nuggets – Juan Hernangomez, Forward, Spain

He comes from a super athletic family. Last year his brother Guillermo Hernangomez was drafted in the second round of the draft. But unlike his brother, Juan will play in the NBA right away. He was the Spanish League’s Young Player of the Year and the Nuggets showed off their intentional scouting ability. He’s a stretch four to plays similar to Danilo Gallinari. It’s a perfect match.

16. Boston Celtics – Guerschon Yabusele, Forward, France

Another international player taken very early; it’s an interesting draft pick for the Celtics. They had a chance to do some damage but so far they haven’t. Guerschon Yabusele can face up and shoot, which is always a good thing in a power forward, but he’ll struggle defensively and will need to make up for limited athelticism.

17. Memphis Grizzlies – Wade Baldwin IV, Guard, Vanderbilt

Wade Baldwin is not a pure point guard, but he’s exactly what the Memphis Grizzlies needed.He is an athletic finished her had great ball handling skills and scoring ability. If Mike Conley ends up leaving town, the Grizzlies will be ready. Even if Conley comes back, the Grizzlies have somebody they can plug in right away.

18. Detroit Pistons – Henry Ellenson, Forward, Marquette

The Pistons make a nice pick here and get a versatile big man who can play both center or power forward. He’s able to spread the floor, which is something Stan Van Gundy loves and it is something that will help Andre Drummond be more successful on the offensive end.

19. Denver Nuggets – Malik Beasley, Guard, Florida State

With such a need for outside shooting, the Nuggets clearly made it a priority with another guy who can knock down shots from distance. He and Jamal Murray are pretty much the same player, but teams can’t have enough guys who can score the ball.

20. Indiana Pacers – Caris LeVert, Guard, Michigan

Injuries make Caris LeVert a very risky pick but this is not at all a bad pick for the Pacers. Talent-wise he’s proven he can play at a high level. He can shoot at all levels and spread the floor and has the size to slash to the basket.

21. Atlanta Hawks – DeAndre’ Bembry, Forward, Saint Joseph’s

DeAndre’ Bembry has been rising up the draft board throughout this process and fits well in Atlanta, where they are still looking to find a replacement for DeMarre Carrol. They didn’t stop with Taurean Prince; Bembry is a creative scorer from the wing. He needs to improve his shooting, but he’s competitive and can drive to the hoop.

22. Charlotte Hornets – Malachi Richardson, Guard, Syracuse
Traded to the Sacramento Kings

Straight-up the Kings traded Marco Belinelli for this pick. Malachi Richardson is a much younger shooter with some ability to drive and create his own shot at the rim.

23. Boston Celtics – Ante Zizic, Center, Croatia

So far the Celtics have not made the impact they really would have hope they would have made, but Ante Zizic is another talented international player. He’s NBA ready and was one of the most productive centers in all of Europe last year.

24. Philadelphia 76ers – Timothe Luwawu, Guard, France

Ben Simmons is a great scorer, but his weakness would have to be his outside shooting. Timothe Luwawu definitely fills that need for an outside presence for the re-building 76ers. He’s a skilled wing with a proven NBA-ready outside shot.

25. Los Angeles Clippers – Brice Johnson, Forward, North Carolina

Brice Johnson is an athletic big man who can make an impact right away for the Clippers. It’s a perfect fit for him. He’s a tough rebounder who can make moves around the rim. He can jump high and he’s an athletic defender. If the Clippers are trying to move away from Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson can fill in his spot.

26. Philadelphia 76ers – Furkan Korkmaz, Guard, Turkey

The 76ers take another outside shooter here. He’s nowhere near as refined as Timothe Luwawu, but he can spread the floor. He’ll have to bulk up, though as he’s only 175 pounds on a 6-foot-7 body. He’ll be a liability on the defensive end.

27. Toronto Raptors – Pascal Siakam, Forward, New Mexico State

He’s a fit for the Raptors but it’s not a great pick. Pascal Siakam hustles and can grab some offensive boards, but he’s not a polished player and might have trouble finishing. He’s a few years away from being able to contribute.

28. Phoenix Suns – Skal Labissiere, Forward, Kentucky
Traded to the Sacramento Kings

The guy has upside, but he’s still a bit unproven. Skal Labissiere didn’t really fit in at Kentucky so he had a pretty limited role. He’s long and athletics and can run up and down the floor, but it is not known what he can really do.

29. San Antonio Spurs – Dejounte Murray, Guard, Washington

How do you not give the San Antonio Spurs all the praise in the world for any pick they make at this point? They are great at drafting. Dejounte Murray is a very talented and quick guard who can run up and down the floor in a hurry. He’s not good finished around the rim and he’s not the best outside shooter, but the Spurs like his upside and will coach him up a bit to make sure he’s effective in their system.

30. Golden State Warriors – Damian Jones, Forward, Vanderbilt

The Warriors have done great playing small ball the past two years, but they need to be ahead of the curve and add some size. LeBron James bullied them down low. Damian Jones is a rim protector and finisher at the rim. He’ll replace Festus Ezeli.

Second Round

31. Boston Celtics – Deyonta Davis, Forward, Michigan State
Traded to the Memphis Grizzlies

Deyonta Davis fell far in this draft for reasons that aren’t so clear. He was one of the top prospects in the draft, a legitimate top 10 talent. The Grizzlies get him and he’ll add to their tough defensive scheme. He’ll have to develop as an outside shooter, though.

32. Los Angeles Lakers – Ivica Zubac, Center, Croatia

This was a perfect pick for the Lakers in the second round. They needed a center and Ivica Zubac is a big 7-footer with long arms who might be able to contribute right away. At the very worst he’ll play overseas for another year and come over. He can finish around the rim and provide an inside presence.

33. Los Angeles Clippers – Cheick Diallo, Center, Kansas
Traded to the New Orleans Pelicans

This is an upside pick getting Cheick Diallo to work inside with Anthony Davis. The Pelicans made a smart move to sent two picks to the Clippers to get one guy that they actually wanted, but it is an interesting pick because Diallo really wasn’t able to contribute much as Kentucky. Generally, if you’re good enough to play in the NBA a college coach will make sure he gets you in there in college, but that wasn’t really the case for him at Kansas.

34. Phoenix Suns – Tyler Ulis, Guard, Kentucky

Remember the undersized guard named Isaiah Thomas that the Suns gave up on? They probably really regret that. Tyler Ulis is small, but he’s a very gifted basketball player who is ridiculously quick and knows how to score. He was also the SEC Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Player of the Year. That might not translate as well to the NBA but it shows how tough he is on that side of the court despite his size disadvantage.

35. Boston Celtics – Rade Zagorac, Forward, Serbia
traded to the Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies add another talented player. Rade Zagorac can add playmaker ability to the wing right away. He’s an off-ball creator who can shoot the basketball. He’s not very good defensively, but he’ll have a role in Memphis.

36. Milwaukee Bucks – Malcolm Brogdon, Guard, Virginia

The Young Bucks are building a nice team and get a first-round value here in Malcolm Brodgon. He’s a tremendous perimeter defender, maybe the best in the entire draft, and that alone will keep him around for a long time. He’s developed as a scorer. He’ll fine a way to contribute in the NBA.

37. Houston Rockets – Chinanu Onuaku, Center, Louisville

The Rockets won’t have Dwight Howard inside any more so they’re looking for options. Chinanu Onuaku is a bit undersized for a center but he moves well and defends well, especially against pick-and-rolls. The Rockets like guys who have good analytics numbers and he certainly does.

38. Milwaukee Bucks – Patrick McCaw, Guard, UNLV
Traded to the Golden State Warriors

Patrick McCaw will fit in well with the Golden State Warriors. he’s a perimeter guy who can shoot and he is move a solid ball-handler who is unselfish and defends.

39. New Orleans Pelicans – David Michineau, Guard, France
Traded to the Los Angeles Clippers

David Michineau is a talented player, but this is a stash pick. He’ll stay overseas for a few years and may eventually get over to the NBA after he works out his flaws.

40. New Orleans Pelicans – Diamond Stone, Center, Maryland
Traded to the Los Angeles Clippers

Diamond Stone was one considered to be a sure lottery pick but even though his shortcoming became very clear during his one season at Maryland and through the draft process, he’s still a very talented and gifted offensive player. He has room to grow as a defender and rebounder, but on upside he’s a solid pick for the Clippers.

41. Orlando Magic – Stephen Zimmerman Jr, Center, UNLV

Stephen Zimmerman Jr. has good upside, but didn’t have a particularly great freshman season at UNLV. He has potential to be a good rim protector and tough interior players. At least early on he might have the quickness to defend outside as well.

42. Utah Jazz – Isaiah Whitehead, Guard, Seton Hall
Traded to the Brooklyn Nets

It’s a nice homecoming for Brooklyn born Isaiah Whitehead. He’s a scorer off the dribble with good vision. He’s a tough competitor and can carve out a nice role with the Nets. His wild-shot selection and decision making won’t be as much of an issue in the NBA, where he won’t have all the pressure on him to do everything.

43. Houston Rockets – Zhou Qi, Center, China
Zhou Qi isn’t anything like Yao Ming and he’s a very skinny guy at 7-foot-2. He’s a decent shooter but it’s an upside pick. It might not really work out though.

44. Atlanta Hawks – Isaia Cordinier, Guard, France

Another athletic outside wing player for the Hawks, Isaia Cordinier is likely a stash player. He’ll need to get stronger and develop his drive game, but he cam shoot and he moves very well when the ball is in his hands.

45. Boston Celtics – Demetrius Jackson, Guard, Notre Dame

At the point in the draft, Demetrius Jackson is a great value pick. He could have been picked in the late first round but fell. He’s another point guard on the Celtics team. He’s a pass-first point guard and those guys tend to find a way onto teams.

46. Dallas Mavericks – AJ Hammons, Center, Purdue

This is a tremendous pick. AJ Hammons fills a huge need for the Mavericks and he’s a very skilled big man who dominated other NBA talent at the college level. He’s a finisher at the rim and can bully people inside. He’ll have to get in better shape, though, to defend outside and to run up and down the court better.

47. Orlando Magic – Jake Layman, Forward, Maryland
Traded to the Portland Trail Blazers

Jake Layman is a very athletically skilled wing who can shoot threes. The fact that the Trail Blazers traded into the draft to get him says how much they like him. The question will be if he can defend in the NBA. He’s long and athletic so he has a chance.

48. Chicago Bulls – Paul Zipser, Forward, Germany

This is a good value pick, getting the MVP of the Adidas Eurocamp this summer. He’s a legitimate NBA talent with the size and shooting ability. He’s very athletic and can score. He won’t be sitting overseas. Paul Zipser will be coming over to play right away. Chicago will find some sort of role for him.

49. Detroit Pistons – Michael Gbinije, Guard, Syracuse

This guy showed how good he was in the NCAA Tournament is is a great fit for Detroit under Stan Van Gundy. He’s older, but he’s a good shooter who can contribute right away.

50. Indiana Pacers – Georges Niang, Forward, Iowa State

If you just look at the measurables, Georges Niang isn’t a great NBA talent, but if you watch him you’ll see that he knows how to play basketball. Georges Niang is an effective scorer and did great in an up-tempo offense, which is what the Pacers want to do. He might struggled defensively, but he’ll find a role to fit into.

51. Boston Celtics – Ben Bentil, Forward, Providence

This is another great fit. Ben Bentil is a very good stretch forward who can find a role with the Celtics off the bench. He can shoot and his mobility will make him tough to defend. This is a tremendous pick this late in the draft.

52. Utah Jazz – Joel Bolomboy, Forward, Weber State

Joel Bolomboy is a good athlete with nice size and a great ability to rebound the ball. He’s a project though, especially on the defensive end.

53. Denver Nuggets – Petr Cornelie, Forward, France

The Nuggets love international players and this is another guy who has potential, but he’s not going to play in the NBA right away. He was bad during the draft process and he’s really skinny for a 6-foot-11 player. He can shoot from outside but has to bulk up.

54. Atlanta Hawks – Kay Felder, Guard, Oakland
Traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers

How can you not like Kay Felder? This guy is only 5-foot-9, but can jump over anybody and shoot over them over dunk on them. He’s a really talented basketball player. His size was always going to make him a late pick in the draft but he can run and shoot. He’ll carve out a role in the NBA. He’s too good of basketball player not to.

55. Brooklyn Nets – Marcus Paige, Guard, North Carolina
Traded to the Utah Jazz

It was really nice to see Marcus Paige get drafted. He was a great college player who played with a lot of determination and skill, but doesn’t necessarily have the measurables NBA teams would like. He’s a very smart basketball player, though, who can shoot from distance, defends well and takes care of the ball as a distributing point guard.

56. Denver Nuggets – Daniel Hamilton, Guard, Connecticut
Sold to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Daniel Hamilton was a good college player, but he may not have the type of game that will translate to the NBA. He’s only a limited athlete.

57. Memphis Grizzlies – Wang Zhelin, Forward, China

Wang Zhelin does great things off the court and in combine performances, but never really shined while playing in games over seas. He probably don’t even make it to the NBA.

58. Boston Celtics – Abdel Nader, Forward, Iowa State

The Celtics have taken so many guys, there’s no reason not to just take a shot on a guy at this point. Unfortunately, Abdel Nader isn’t really a guy they should have taken a shot on. He’s not a legitimate NBA talent.

59. Sacramento Kings – Isaiah Cousins, Guard, Oklahoma

This was Buddy Hield’s runningmate in Oklahoma’s backcourt. He’s worth taking a shot on. he can shoot three’s and can press out on the perimeter. He may not make the team but the Kings are taking a good shot on a guy at the end of the draft.

60. Utah Jazz – Tyrone Wallace, Guard, California

This is a great pick for the last selection in the draft. Tyrone Wallace is a good rebounder for a point guard and defends well. He struggles to shoot the ball, though, but can drive to the basket.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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