2016 NBA Mock Draft: Jamal Murray or Brandon Ingram 2nd Overall?
By Jason McIntyre
11 Washington Wizards – Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah. Skilled, polished, and the perfect backup to Gortat (who turns 32 in February), where he’ll learn for a couple years and then take over. Poeltl should be a first-team All-American: 19.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 70 percent from the field.
13 Boston Celtics – Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey. With perhaps three Top 20 picks, they can afford to stash one of them. Korkmaz is only 18, has a blazing fast first step, and here are some videos to get up to speed on him. A decade from now, we could be talking about him as the greatest player from Turkey in NBA history (right now, that’s Hedo Turkoglu).
14. Charlotte Hornets – Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State. How about a healthy MKG and Valentine on the wing? There may not be a better all-around player in college hoops this year than Valentine.
16. Denver Nuggets (via Houston) – Isaiah Briscoe, G, Kentucky. A lot of questions in Denver, from free agent-to-be Gallinari, to suddenly-explosive Will Barton. There are a lot of questions about Briscoe, too. He has underwhelmed so far with the Wildcats.
17. Memphis – Troy Williams, SF, Indiana. Plenty of time to turn the season around, but it appears the Grizzlies NBA Finals window has closed, and it sounds like a major shakeup is coming in the front office. Maybe he’s the wing they’ve been trying to nab the last few years?
18. LA Clippers – Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame. Chris Paul and Austin Rivers are a strong 1-2 punch at PG, but with Paul a free agent after the 2018 season … Jackson is a very, very good college point guard.
19. Boston Celtics (via Dallas) – Stephen Zimmerman, C, UNLV. Promising start to the season could be slowed by an injury he suffered against Arizona. The Celtics don’t have a true 7-footer who plays with his back-to-the-basket, though one could argue maybe Brad Stevens doesn’t want one.
20. Detroit Pistons – Brice Johnson, PF, UNC. Can you imagine him next to Drummond? Shooting 64 percent this year and scoring 15.7 ppg and grabbing 9.2 rpg. For a college player, he’s got very game inside 10-feet.
21. Orlando Magic – Timothe Luwawu, G/F, France. Majorly on the rise. Only 20. Extremely athletic. With so much young talent on the roster, this feels like a stash-a-player spot.
22. Chicago Bulls – Tyrone Wallace, PG, California. Get ready to replace Noah? A point guard for when Derrick Rose leaves? Wallace doesn’t shoot that well, but he’s a plus defender and has great size and length (6-foot-6, 200 pounds).
23. Toronto Raptors – Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina. The Raptors extended Terrence Ross, and they could lose DeMar DeRozan in free agency. If they do, Ross would start, and Jackson – a very good defender whose jumper isn’t quite there – would fill would fill Ross’s spot coming off the bench.
24. Indiana Pacers – Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State. The Pacers have an arsenal of 3-point shooters, but losing Myles Turner to injury has left them thin inside. Davis has been a pleasant surprise at times, but he’s a bit of a project who is a couple years away from contributing in the NBA.
25. Atlanta Hawks – Caris LeVert, G, Michigan. Has rebounded well from the ACL injury and despite Michigan’s struggles, has shot extremely well (49/44/81). Kyle Korver turns 35 in March.
26. Philadelphia 76ers (via Miami) – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma. Would instantly be a leader, good chemistry guy on a team needing some, and he’s shooting 50% on 3-pointers so far this season. Could be the College Basketball Player of the Year.
27. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City) – Malik Newman, G, Mississippi State. The 76ers need all the shooters they can get. Newman is off to a slow start in Starkvegas, but he is shooting 35% on 3-pointers. Given his hype coming out of high school, Newman has been a disappointment, but it’s early, and the talent is there.
28. Phoenix Suns (via Cleveland) – AJ Hammons, C, Purdue. Alex Len, whom I loved coming out of Maryland, simply hasn’t panned out. Hammons studies at the altar of Tyson Chandler for a couple years, develops into a defensive force?
29. San Antonio Spurs – Marcus Paige, PG, North Carolina. After this season, Parker only has two more years left on his deal. NBA scouts I spoke with aren’t nearly enamored with Paige’s game as I am. Four year player, great leader, smooth inside and out … but have we seen the best of him?
30. Golden State Warriors – Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt. Foul-prone but talented – gave Kansas 17 points and 10 rebounds – the 7-footer could become Ezeli’s backup after next season when Bogut retires.