2016 NBA Draft Results
Round 1 Picks 1-15
Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June 23, 2016
Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, SF, LSU A+ Grade
- The 76ers have a dire need at small forward and will get their pick of the litter between freshmen Ben Simmons, SF, LSU and Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke. Simmons averaged 19.2 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game, and 4.8 assists per game. His .560 field goal percentage and .333 3 point percentage also helps him out at the next level. Simmons is posting unreal numbers and is showing NBA scouts why I was smart to compare him to LeBron James coming out of High School. LSU may have missed the 2016 NCAA Tournament, but he's a special player and easily the top prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft.
- Philadelphia probably will suck in 2015-2016. If the 76ers land Ben Simmons, they instantly become a playoff team that will challenge for the top spot in the Atlantic Division because Okafor and Simmons can both be top 10 players at C and SF once the 2016-2017 NBA season rolls around.
- Having Okafor and Simmons play with each other will make it so difficult to game plan against this team. Guys like Robert Covington and Nerlens Noel will get better as complimentary players that end up being the third or fourth scorer behind Okafor and Simmons plus having all that balance on the 76ers' will make their squad so lethal in the event that they ended up with Simmons.
- As long as the 76ers don't screw up by trading Okafor for the third pick, this team will be set to make the NBA Playoffs as early as 2017 and win a series as early as 2018. Then again this is the 76ers, and their delusional front office may brainwash Bryan Colangelo into thinking Joel Embiid can be a franchise center when healthy.
Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke A+ Grade
- The 6-9 190 lb Brandon Ingram who has the versatility to play point guard, shooting guard, small forward, or power forward has the best chance to supplant Ben Simmons as the top pick, but both Simmons and Ingram are top 2 picks in this years NBA Draft. Ingram averaged 17.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, 2 assists per game, 1.4 blocks per game, 1.1 steals per game a .441 field goal percentage, and a .413 3 point percentage.
- The Lakers now have four long term starters with point guard D'Angelo Russell, shooting guard Jordan Clarkson, small forward Brandon Ingram, and power forward Julius Randle. They just need a starting center to round out their starting 5. Los Angeles has enough pieces to return to the NBA Playoffs, but they won't win a series until they add a quality center to round out the starting five.
Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown, SG, California A Grade
- Jaylen Brown was my third best player in the preseason behind Ben Simmons and Diamond Stone. The 6-6 225 lb Jaylen Brown was a small forward at California, but he has the size of a shooting guard on the wing and actually projects to perform better as a shooting guard in the NBA.
- Jaylen Brown averaged 14.4 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 2 assists per game, and a .435 field goal percentage. Brown gives Boston an immediate starter at shooting guard I like the pick and the Celtics get an A grade, but not an A+ grade because Jamal Murray and Buddy Hield would have been better fits, but I like this pick for Boston.
Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender, PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv A Grade
- The 7-0 215 lb Dragan Bender gives the Suns an immediate starter at power forward. The Suns still need starters at small forward and center, but taking Bender is a great first step.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence A+ Grade
- Kriss Dunn is a pure point guard anbd fills out Minnesota's starting five. The Timberwolves get the final piece they need to be a playoff team in 2016-2017 and a possible contender to win the Western Conference by 2018 or 2019 with their young nucleus.
- Kris Dunn is the best player available and many consider him to be the top overall guard since the 6-4 220 lb point guard is a natural defender with the size of a shooting guard. Dunn is considered a 2 guard with his size so he may be able to transition to shooting guard, but he is much better at point guard.
- Dunn averaged 16 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 6.2 assists per game. His field goal percentage and 3 point percentage has dropped in 2015-2016. Dunn had an awesome 2016 NCAA Tournament with a fourth quarter comeback against USC in the round of 64 dropping 16 points. He led Providence and North Carolina for most points by a player in the Providence VS North Carolina game in the round of 32 dropping 29 points on a North Carolina team with an excellent starting five. That's what makes Dunn a special prospect and a fantastic pick for the Timberwoves.
New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma A Grade
- The New Orleans Pelicans are capable a playoff series in 2017 once they get a center to complete their starting five assuming point guard Jrue Holliday, shooting guard Eric Gordon, small forward Tyreke Evans, and power forward Anthony Davis. All four of those starters dealt with injuries in 2015-2016 and the Pelicans had no depth behind those four.
- The problem is Eric Gordon is a Free Agent at shooting guard and so is his backup Jordan Hamilton. Both shooting guards averaged over 10 points per game. I think drafting a center would be the smart thing to do. New Orleans may draft Jamal Murray for upside with this pick.
- Hield once weighed 6-4 220 lbs, but he has lost 6 lbs and is a lot faster and more explosive. Hield averaged 25 points per game in 2015-2016. Hield has been consistent as a 4-year starter at Oklahoma, and you have to think Hield has a good chance of being the first senior taken in the top 10 in quite some time.
- Buddy Hield has a career high .496 field goal percentage, .464 3 point percentage, and a .895 free throw percentage. New Orleans has to take Hield if he slips to their pick assuming Jamal Murray is off the board.
- The Pelicans have to find a center in the second round if they take Jamal Murray at six. Right now I think the Pelicans are leaning towards Murray here.
- I'm only giving this an A grade instead of an A+ grade for one reason. I thought Jamal Murray was a slightly better prospect, but the Pelicans addressed a need here at 6.
Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky A+ Grade
- Denver's starting five really clicked at the end of the year. Emmanuel Mudiay the Nuggets 2015 first round pick showed why he's the leader of this team. Shooting guard Gary Harris and veteran power forward Kenneth Faried became great complimentary players. Even small forward Will Barton and center Nikola Jokic managed to average double digit points.
- The 6-4 207 lb Murray averaged 20 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 2.2 assists per game. Murray has a .456 field goal percentage, .421 3 point percentage, and .787 free throw percentage at Kentucky.
- This was a fantastic selection by the Nuggets. They can be as patient as they want with Murray, and I honestly believe they could trade Harris tonight for another pick and still have a productive player from day 1 in Jamal Murray easilyy an A+ grade for the Nuggets here.
Phoenix Suns: Marquese Chriss, SF, Washington A+ Grade
- The 6-9 225 lb Marquese Chriss was the best player available. I originally gave this a B+ grade since he didn't fill a need for the Kings. The Suns traded 13 and 28 to get Chriss and now he can play the 3 at small forward with his size so this was a fantastic trade by the Suns. Chriss averaged 13.7 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 0.8 assists per game. Chriss had a .530 field goal percentage and a .350 three point percentage last season in 2015-2016.
Toronto Raptors: Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah A+ Grade
- This was an awesome pick by Toronto. Jakob Poeltl was my highest graded player after Ben Simmons prior to March Madness. The best part with Poeltl is he gets to begin as a depth player in Toronto. If Toronto can keep Jonas Valenciunas, Bismack Biyombo, and Jakob Poeltl on this roster then they will have enough bigs to push the Cleveland Cavaliers to 7 games next season and may even defeat Cleveland if all 3 of those guys can stay in Toronto and stay healthy.
- Jakob Poeltl is the top player available. The 7-1 240 lb center is a tremendous shot blocker and rebounder who can be a low post presence that gets you 10 points per game. After averaging 10 points per game as a freshman, Poeltl averaged 17.6 points per game, 9 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, .656 field goal percentage, and a .689 free throw percentage.
- Poeltl had a .681 field goal percentage as a freshman. The big concern was would his free throw percentage improve as that has skyrocketed from .444 to .702. Poeltl had big games against California and Jaylen Brown.
- Poeltl has been consistent heading into the 2016 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. He should be the pick here and would give the Raptors even more depth on defense.
Milwaukee Bucks: Thon Maker, C, Athlete Institute HS (ON) A+ Grade
- Thon Maker is a year removed from high school and graduated in 2015. Maker averaged 22.2 points per game and 13.1 rebounds per game in 2015. Maker may be a project.
- I love the idea of Maker on Milwaukee. I didn't think anyone would take him at 10. Great job by Milwaukee realizing Maker was worthy of a top 10 talent and ignoring all the big market teams that wanted Maker to drop on draft boards. Now they can move Greg Monroe back to power forward where he thrived in Detroit and Jabari Parker back to small forward where he dominated at Duke.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Domatas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga A+ Grade
- I gave the Magic an A+ grade for taking Sabonis for depth at 11. With the Magic trading Victor Oladipo and Sabonis to the Thunder the Magic get Serge Ibaka in return who is a great fit for Frank Vogel's defense, but I think the Thunder won this trade. Oladipo has the ability to be a 20 point per game guy, but he can get 12-18 easily with Westbrook and Durant plus I think Sabonis can start in this league. Call me crazy, but I think the Thunder won this trade and I'm giving them an A+ grade here
- Domantas Sabonas averaged 17.6 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game. His recent emergence as a double double type player may make him a lottery pick, plus he's a great fit for the Orlando Magic at 11. With 3 double doubles in all 3 of his 2016 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament games he had a double double in the round of 64, the round of 32, and the Sweet 16.
Atlanta Hawks: Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor Isaiah Thomas Grade
- Trade Jeff Teague for the 12th pick. Let Al Horford walk. Draft Taurean Prince at 12. These are all things Isaiah Thomas would do if he were the Hawks General Manager so this pick warrants our first Isaiah Thomas grade of the evening.
- Prince posted a .432 field goal percentage, a .361 three point percentage, along with a .774 free throw percentage. Prince has a tremendous wingspan and basketball IQ. Those were two things that impressed NBA scouts at the 2016 NBA Combine which may propel Prince back into the first round.
- I get that Prince dominated the NBA Combine. Taking him at 12 is irresponsible.
Sacramento Kings: Georgios Papagiannis, C, Greece Vlade Divac Grade
- Vlade Divac is the Kings Director of Scouting. Maybe he wanted the team to draft a younger version of himself. Papagiannis is a 7-2 240 lb center, but he only averages 6 points per game, was projected to go undrafted, and is a huge reach here at 13. I'm amazed the Kings passed on Denzel Valentine here. This pick warrants a Vlade Divac grade.
Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State A+ Grade
- The 6-5 220 lb shooting guard has the size and is one of the most unselfish leaders on the court. Valentine had 19.2 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, and 7.8 assists per game. Valentine can pass, rebound, shoot, and defend, so he has the tools of a complete shooting guard.
- I'm not sure how Valentine fits in Chicago with Jimmy Butler at this point. Right now the Bulls have nothing to lose by dealing Butler for Kris Dunn if they want to blow up their roster and rebuild from scratch. The Bulls can also start Valentine on the bench behind Butler and move Butler at the trade deadline if the team struggles in 2016-2017.
Denver Nuggets: Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain F Grade
- Juan Hernangomez is a reach here. This pick gets a F grade. Hernangomez may have been a second round sleeper, but taking him at 15 is completely unnecessary.
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