Here's our breakdown of the 2016 NBA Draft.
1. Philadelphia 76ers - Ben Simmons, F, LSU
Lots of people are trying to call him LeBron or Magic. For me, he's Lamar Odom. Tons of talent, questionable shooter, GREAT passer for his size and tremendous rebounder. The Sixers will be one of the more active teams tonight, so stay tuned... they aren't done picking - or trading.
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Brandon Ingram, F, Duke
Enormous wingspan, shot very well from deep as a freshman at Duke. The Lakers were a dumpster fire last year and now Kobe is gone. Ingram will team up with Julius Randle and DeAngelo Russell to try and bring Showtime back to LA.
3. Boston Celtics - Jaylen Brown, F, California
A bit of a surprise here - most people, including me, had them taking Kris Dunn. He's a long, athletic swing player with big-time ups. I think DeMar DeRozan when I watch him play. Boston has a lot of guards on their roster right now, so they picked based on need here... in spite of all the talk that they were shopping this pick until the final moments. Is he trade bait? We'll see....
4. Phoenix Suns - Dragan Bender, F, Croatia
A long forward who's still very raw. He's only 18 and played professionally in Israel last season. The Suns are clearly banking on their young core finishing puberty and hitting stride together... in 2-4 years.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves - Kris Dunn, G, Providence
Yahoo reported the Bulls wanted Zach LaVine and the #5 pick for Jimmy Butler and Minnesota said no, opting instead to draft Dunn. I really like Dunn's game; he'll be a terrific fit in Thibs' system. Strong guard who plays defense. Minnesota is going to be scary with Dunn, Andrew Wiggins, LaVine and reigning Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns.
6. New Orleans Pelicans - Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma
OK, so this kid had a tremendous senior year at Oklahoma... until the got blown out in the Final Four. What's scary, however, is when you put his numbers as a senior up against the numbers of another senior from a few years back: Duke's JJ Redick. Almost identical. Hield is a bigger, more physical player than Redick and he's headed to a really good situation in New Orleans.
7. Denver Nuggets - Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
Murray has a similar profile to Hield - read: fantastic shooter - but he's a few years younger. Had a nice season at Kentucky and can get his own shot, but playing defense at the NBA level could be interesting. Denver will now have a fun backcourt to watch with Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay.
8. Phoenix Suns (from Sacramento) - Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
Our first official trade of the night, Phoenix acquires the rights to Chriss at number eight from Sacramento. There was a lot of talk that Chriss could have gone as high as three to Boston, but he slides to a point where Phoenix can make a deal to jump up and get him. The Suns will reportedly send Bogdan Bogdanovi, the 13th and 28th overall picks and a future pick to move up to eight. Phoenix has now added both Bender and Chriss - two players they were rumored to like in the top five.
9. Toronto Raptors - Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
The Raptors pick up the first bona fide big in the draft. Poeltl is a legitimate center with a solid post game. What the Raptors wrap around him will be interesting as DeRozan has opted out, but this gives Toronto a lot of size moving forward.
10. Milwaukee Bucks - Thon Maker, F, Australia
This kid is the biggest wild card in the draft, and he's headed to Milwaukee. Lining him up next to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker gives the Bucks a freakishly tall lineup. How they coexist under coach Jason Kidd will be fun to watch. He's coming straight out of a prep school in Canada, being deemed eligible for the NBA draft in spite of allegedly being only 18.
11. Orlando Magic - Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga
On a young team with Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, Sabonis could excel early. He's a tremendous passer and excellent rebounder. He plays smart and works hard and will be on a team desperately looking to take the next step in the Eastern Conference.
Then this happened:
Oklahoma City has traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic, league sources told @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
Orlando will send Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and rights to Sabonis to the Thunder, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
WOW. Stunning deal for the Magic and appears to be incredible value for Oklahoma City.
12. Atlanta Hawks (from Utah) - Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
Incredible reach here for Atlanta, who acquired this pick in a three-team deal that send Jeff Teague to Indiana and George Hill to Utah. Pretty surprising pickup considering most analysts had him rated a late first rounder.
13. Sacramento Kings (from Phoenix) - Georgios Papagiannis, C, Greece
Sacramento moved down from eight in a trade earlier in the draft. ESPN's Chad Ford had this guy ranked 46th overall and there were probably a dozen bigs ahead of him on most lists, but the Kings apparently see something they like in the European center who played in the suburbs of Philly in high school.
14. Chicago Bulls - Denzel Valentine, G/F, Michigan State
Absolutely love this pick! A tremendous, versatile leader who spent four years under Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Personally, this is the best guy on the board for the post-Derrick Rose Bulls. Love love love.
15. Denver Nuggets (from Houston) - Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain
Hernangomez is 20 and played well against older competition in Spain. A good athlete and nice shooter for Denver to add here.
16. Boston Celtics (from Dallas) - Guerschon Yabusele, PF, France
ESPN compared him to Draymond Green during their broadcast. Sure, why not. Everyone loves a 20-year-old from France who's the next [enter name of hot player here].
17. Memphis Grizzlies - Wade Baldwin IV, PG, Vanderbilt
Looking to probably replace Mike Conley, the Grizzlies take the highest rated point guard left on the board. A good, mature point guard. Solid pick and good value at 17th overall.
18. Detroit Pistons - Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
After only one year at Marquette, many had Ellenson pegged as a potential top ten pick. He reminds me of Kevin Love - when he came out of UCLA, not the last two years in Cleveland. Looking at possibly losing Andre Drummond this summer, this is a nice addition for Detroit.
19. Denver Nuggets (from Portland) - Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
Denver adds Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez and Beasley to the mix for next year - a solid use of their three first round picks. Beasley is a good shooter who adds depth to their backcourt that had already been addressed.
20. Brooklyn Nets (from Indiana) - Caris LeVert, G, Michigan
The Nets picked up this selection in the deal that sent Thad Young to the Pacers earlier on Thursday. LeVert is a supremely talented guard who ran all over the Big Ten when he was healthy... but he struggled in the health department. Because he was injured, his draft stock slid but this is good value for the Nets if he can stay on the court.
21. Atlanta Hawks - DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph's
Atlanta took Taurean Prince - who probably would have been available here - at 12. Bembry is a good swing player who gets to the rack well. But the differences between him and Prince aren't enough for me when you've got two picks in the first round. If the Hawks only needed depth at the shooting guard or small forward positions these would feel better...
22. Sacramento Kings (from Charlotte) - Malachi Richardson, G/F, Syracuse
The Kings get this pick from an earlier trade for Marco Belinelli. At 13, the Kings reached (a lot) for Georgios Papagiannis. If we throw out when the players were selected, the Kings did fairly well. Unlike the Hawks, they added size and a good wing to compliment their roster. This is a good pick of a player who was flying up a lot of draft boards lately.
23. Boston Celtics - Ante Zizic, C, Coratia
So Boston comes into the draft trying to move a pick or two to get a veteran difference maker and end up with two players who will stay in Europe for another year or two. This kid has a lot of talent and some say a high ceiling, but on the surface the three picks Danny Ainge had in the first round feel like a loss on a biblical level.
24. Philadelphia 76ers (from Miami) - Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, SF, France
This kid is a really good athlete who a few analysts said was one of the top two or three European players in the draft. He'll stick in Europe for a year or two but this is really good value for Philly.
25. Los Angeles Clippers - Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina
Johnson might be a poor man's Blake Griffin with incredible spring board legs and a lot of energy on the court. He'll fit well in the Western Conference.
26. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City) - Furkan Korkmaz, SF, Turkey
Another really good pick out of Europe for Philly. Two guys will stick overseas for a year or two but the Sixers got really good value in the 20s without any room to fit the guys on their roster next year.
27. Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam, PF, New Mexico State
Interesting. The 22-year-old played two years at New Mexico State and averaged 20.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per game last year. At this point in the draft, it's a shock that Deyonta Davis is still there but Toronto saw something in Siakam to take him here.
28. Sacramento Kings (from Phoenix) - Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky
He disappointed at Kentucky but still came out after one year. A potential lottery pick slides almost completely out of the first round. Sacramento traded up to get him here, getting Cleveland's pick from Phoenix.
29. San Antonio Spurs - Dejounte Murray, G, Washington
Of course the Spurs get incredible value. ESPN's Chad Ford had Murray ranked ninth overall in his final top 100 after averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists as a freshman. This might be the heir apparent to Tony Parker.
30. Golden State Warriors - Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
The Warriors really missed Andrew Bogut in the NBA Finals, so they pick up a good, big, true center in Jones. This is really good value for a team that won 73 regular season games and 15 postseason contests this year.
That ends the first round!
The best players left on the board:
- Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
- Cheick Diallo, PF, Kansas
- Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
- Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
- Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV
- Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
- Isaiah Cousins, SG, Oklahoma
- Ben Bentl, PF, Providence
- AJ Hammons, C, Purdue
- Chinanu Onuaku, C, Louisville