AND WE BACK!
AND WE BACK!
EVEN BETTER THAN I WAS THE LAST TIME, BABY!
The lottery was Tuesday night. Chip and I have been talking draft since the last mock draft we made. We have tried to get together a few times, but we are important, busy people (LOL NAH). We're officially back for draft time! We'll try to do a few more of these before the actual NBA Draft.
Here we go!
1. Philadelphia 76ers - Brandon Ingram, 6-foot-9, 196 pounds, Small Forward, Duke
Chip: The 76ers will take the best player on their board regardless of need, but it just so happens that Brandon Ingram is the best player on my board and the best fit in Philadelphia. The Sixers are bringing over Dario Saric next season, and he plays similarly to Ben Simmons. So Ingram will be a much better fit. Adding Ingram, Saric and, hopefully, Joel Embiid will be a nice jolt for the Sixers heading into next season.
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Ben Simmons, 6-foot-10, 239 pounds, Power Forward, LSU
Jonah: Ben Simmons and his agent get their wish and end up in Los Angeles. I'm way lower on Simmons than a bunch of people are. I love his passing ability, and his athleticism. The fact that he cannot shoot to save his life can't bother me. A big secret (it's not a secret) in the NCAA is that not very many guys can actually shoot. He'll start working on his shot right when he gets to a new team. I think he padded some of his rebounding stats. I'm hoping his attitude stuff was just because he was stuck in a bad situation at LSU. He could be a legitimate star in Los Angeles if things work out under Luke Walton.
3. Boston Celtics - Dragan Bender, 7-foot-1, 225 pounds, Power Forward, Israel
Chip: Bender has great potential as a stretch-big in the NBA. He's the ideal big who can space the floor on offense, pass as well as any big in the draft, switch onto guards defensively, and has great size. Bender adds another big building block to the Celtics expedited rebuilding process.
4. Phoenix Suns - Buddy Hield, 6-foot-5, 212 pounds, Small Forward, Oklahoma
Jonah: The Suns are upset that Bender was taken by Boston the pick before. Hield is a great shot maker that can step in and contribute from day one. He's a great compliment to Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Devin Booker. They have some serious potential as a run-and-gun team that just bombs threes. If the front office stops trading everyone, and they stop hating each other, I like what they're building in Phoenix.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jamal Murray, 6-foot-5, 201 pounds, Shooting Guard, Kentucky
Chip: There's an argument to be made that Jamal Murray is the best scorer in the 2016 NBA Draft class. He's undersized to play the two, but he's shown the ability to be the primary ball-handler at times. He'll space the floor for Wiggins and Towns, and he could eventually take over as the starting point guard. Worst case, he's a nice scoring punch coming off the bench for the T'Wolves.
6. New Orleans Pelicans - Kris Dunn, 6-foot-5, 214 pounds, Point Guard, Providence
Jonah: ANTHONY DAVIS HAS A POINT GUARD. I THOUGHT CHIP WAS GOING TO TAKE HIM AT FIVE. HE DIDN'T AND ANTHONY DAVIS IS SO HAPPY. Dunn is the best point guard in the draft, and it's not really close. He could absolutely go to Boston at the third pick. I was scared another year of college was going to hurt his stock, but he's going higher than he would last year. I like the idea of him developing more under Alvin Gentry. Things are looking up in New Orleans!
7. Denver Nuggets - Jaylen Brown, 6-foot-7, 223 pounds, Small Forward, California
Chip: This is great value for the Nuggets getting Brown at seven. The Georgia native has an NBA ready body, standing at 6-foot-7, 223 pounds, with tons of potential to develop into the best wing in this draft. Brown is already a great defender and great slasher on the offensive end. His outside shooting will need work, but he's got the mechanics to develop into a very capable shooter. I'm not big on making comparisons to current NBA players, but every time I watch Brown I can't help but think that he reminds me of Jimmy Butler.
8. Sacramento Kings - Jakob Poeltl, 7-foot-1, 239 pounds, Center, Utah
Jonah: I really don't know about this. I like Poeltl. He's a good defensive center, but the Kings have four centers now. I don't know if he can play power forward so this probably was a mistake on my part. He was the best player left on the board. They could go with Skal Labissiere or Marquese Chriss here. I think they probably wish they were high enough to get Kris Dunn.
9. Toronto Raptors - Skal Labissiere, 7-foot-0, 216 pounds, Center, Kentucky
Chip: It's no secret that Skal (yes, we're on a first name basis) had a bad season at Kentucky, but I don't entirely put that on him. John Calipari didn't exactly do Skal any favors by the way he used him. Skal is big and long and moves as well as any big in the draft. He's got potential to be an elite shot blocker on the defensive end, and he already come prepackaged with an electric offensive skill set. He could develop into a great stretch-five at the next level, but he's got a ways to go before he maximizes that potential.
10. Milwaukee Bucks - Marquese Chriss, 6-foot-10, 233 pounds, Power Forward, Washington
Jonah: Chriss was one of the most athletic guys at the NBA Combine. He's going to fit in well with the other athletes in Milwaukee. He's a great rebounder with a developing offensive skill set. Seeing him run the floor next to The Greek Freak would be so much fun. They could just wreck things with speed and athleticism. Chriss is a 35 percent three-point shooter with a nice jump shot. He could end up being a great stretch four for a Milwaukee team that needs someone just like him. Chip completely sold me on him a while ago. Looks like the rest of the NBA has caught on.
11. Orlando Magic - Henry Ellenson, 6-foot-11, 242 pounds, Power Forward, Marquette
Chip: Ryan Hannigan has done a great job of collecting talent in Orlando, but they don't always fit together. Ellenson is just the latest example of a nice talent, but it remains to be seen exactly how he'll fit with the rest of the roster. Ellenson has a similar physical profile to Skal Labissiere, and he was very productive in his lone season at Marquette. He's already a good rebounder and has a versatile offensive skill set.
12. Utah Jazz - Timothe Luwawu, 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, Small Forward, France
Jonah: Luwawu's stock is dropping, despite him being one of the more versatile wings in the draft. He's big, long and athletic which will fit nicely next to Gordon Hayward. The 6-foot-7 forward is a great 3-and-D prospect who should go higher in the lottery. Chip thought the Jazz should take a point guard, but that's only because, like so many others, he forgot about Dante Exum. I want Luwawu to play some small ball four next to Gobert. There will be arms everywhere.
13. Phoenix Suns - Deyonta Davis, 6-foot-11, 237 pounds, Power Forward, Michigan State
Chip: Davis is a bit of a project, but he's going to a team in Phoenix that can afford the time it will take to develop him. The Suns already nabbed Buddy Hield at four and by getting Davis at 13, they could end up with two of the 10 best talents in the entire draft.
14. Chicago Bulls - Taurean Prince, 6-foot-8, 220 pounds, Small Forward, Baylor
Jonah: This may be a reach. I love Prince because he can contribute right away. A Jimmy Butler/Prince wing combination could be feisty. The Bulls kind of need a big wing that can go between the three and four who can hit threes. He's a good rebounder, which is something that usually translates to the next level. If Luwawu is here they should absolutely take him. Taking Denzel Valentine would probably be a disaster.
Part two of Mock Draft 1.0 (picks 15-30) will be released Friday morning.