Uncle Doug's Lock Draft 2016
by Doug Ferguson
I started my annual #LockDraft a few years ago as one who has nothing but internet rumors to substantiate any mock draft I might do. Since predicting the future is not my bag and predicting who’s amateur talent is going to translate well to the league is, I came up with #LockDraft. It is plainly who this not so humble scout would pick if he was in charge of every pick in the draft. Without further ado, I present #LockDraft2016
Philadelphia 76ers: Brandon Ingram/W/Duke/6-9/195/FR
The cool thing for the two lottery winners this year is that both Ingram and Ben Simmons transcend need with their versatility. Normally teams picking at the top of the draft need a lot of things and both Simmons and Ingram provide many of them. I feel like this is especially true for the Sixers who’s “take the best player available” approach the past couple years has kind of backfired on them, and to be fair to Sam Hinkie, that is an approach that works more often than not. It has left Philly in short supply at the guard position though, so much so that giving up too much for Ish Smith mid season was a necessity just to put a professional team on the floor. The bottom line with the first pick is that I just think Ingram is better than Simmons. We all know the things they can and cannot do well. Ingram is just the better prospect.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Ben Simmons/F/LSU/6-10/240/FR
Simmons is without a doubt the more ready of the 2 top prospects to play right now. The Lakers would be ecstatic to have this go their way and the word from the land down under is the Simmons camp would also. I have Ingram on a tier by himself with Simmons and Kris Dunn on a second tier graded out almost equally. Simmons is about as perfect of a fit as the Lakers might find with a big body and the ability to create shots for others. He would also make for Ned Flanders’ dream of an all left-handed, young core for the Lakers of Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle.
3. Boston Celtics: Kris Dunn/PG/Providence/6-4/220/JR
The Celtics should and I believe ultimately will deal this pick. I’m not quite sure if it’s up, down, or sideways but their stockpile of picks indicates that this is their time to go for it. The problem is the 2 teams ahead of them aren’t likely to part with their picks which hold more value than the usual top 2 picks. They have 8 picks in this draft (3 first round) though and I think they could probably make it happen. If they keep the pick it’s possible that they take Dragan Bender. Shooting is a need for them and Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray wouldn’t be horrible choices but Dunn is the clear number 3 in this draft and perhaps the 2nd best prospect available to anyone. So despite their need for anything but another PG you have to get the best guy available when the 3rd pick falls in your lap.
4. Phoenix Suns: Jamal Murray/G/Kentucky/6-4/205/FR
With all the clamor around Buddy Hield and his similarities to a certain league MVP, the best shooter in the draft is Jamal Murray. His ability to be a team’s primary ball handler is likely but the Sun’s have the luxury to already have 2 point guards in which they are heavily invested. Big is definitely a need for Phoenix which leaves guys like Bender and Marquese Chriss heavily in play but they have 2 other picks in the first round where they willl address that and Alex Len is a guy for whom they still have high hopes. Murray is the best player here and he makes shots which is a need for everyone, especially the Suns.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Dragan Bender/B/Bosnia and Herzogovina/7-1/225/1995
This could be the pick that puts the T-Wolves over the top in 5 years and it all revolves around the Bosnian Austin Powers progression. I don’t see Tom Thibodeau making the pick but a frontcourt of Bender/Towns/Wiggins is pretty scary if Bender projects out on the high end. Henry Ellenson is my other consideration here but as previously stated, if Bender comes to fruition this is a championship team.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Henry Ellenson/B/Marquette/7-0/245/FR
Best player on the board as well as outstanding fit for Alvin Gentry’s system. Anthony Davis is the next evolution in small ball that allows the team he is on to play small ball without the small. Ellenson fits well next to and as a spell for Davis at the 5.
7. Denver Nuggets: Jaylen Brown/W/Cal/6-6/225/FR
Denver’s glaring need is at wing, particularly a power wing after they staked themselves on a guy like Wilson Chandler who missed all of last season after laying carnage to every odd on his career that is going into double digit seasons. Marquese Chriss is an option here as their 2 foreign bigs have turned out to both be pleasant surprises, however Kenneth Faried seems to have become trade bait and Chriss is the guy most people believe can be the home run of the draft. Brown could be a home run also though as he was a projected top 5 pick for most of the college season and he might be the most ready to go of all the elite prospects.
8. Sacramento Kings: Buddy Hield/G/Oklahoma/6-5/215/SR
The Kings need to do something that makes people not say “Oh man the Kings are at it again smh.” They have become the punchline people need in the draft absent a Clippers team not run by a racist slumlord. Buddy Hield fills the need they foolheartedly thought they satiated with Ben McLemore. The Rajon Rondo experiment is being looked at with a grin but look at the numbers and it was actually great value. Not sure if Rondo is going to take another shot in NoCal but Hield would give him the kind of floor spacing that his game requires. Another point to replace Rondo is an option here but they would be better served to trade down if they have their eyes on guys like Demetrius Jackson or Tyler Ulis.
9. Toronto Raptors: Domantas Sabonis/B/Gonzaga/6-10/240/SO
With Bismack Biyombo set to reset the gross national product of the Congo, Toronto’s need for beef in the frontcourt becomes even more glaring than it did while they were the glorified layup line for the Cavs Finals matchup with Golden State. If I am sure of one thing coming out of this draft it is that Sabonis is a double digit rebounder in the NBA. As a team on the proverbial cusp they could shoot for the moon and take Chriss or solidify their rotation right away with Sabonis who is just a year older and has a lot of skill and room to grow as a player, especially offensively where he already operates well out of both the high and low post.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Marquese Chriss/B/Washington/6-10/235/FR
At 10 and 11 are two teams that are peering into the real world version of Space Jam where length and athleticism trumps all. After a season where they had a 7 footer “play a little point” and they actually lured a free agent of substance to the land of endless cheese, the Bucks have anointed Jason Kidd as leader of FUTURE TEAM. Kidd, who was somewhat of a transcendent player in his own right just signed an extension and is ready to blaze trails and Chriss is the perfect pick for them to do so.
11. Orlando Magic: Skal Labissiere/B/Kentucky/7-0/215/FR
Also on the bus of long and athletic is the Orlando Magic. With Aaron Gordon having the switching ability on defense but clogging things up offensively, Skal gives them a stretch big option without giving up much defensively. They appear to have run Scott Skiles out of town which gives the impression that they are looking at things from a more broad, long term point of view lending itself the time it would take to develop a guy like Skal.
12. Utah Jazz: Deandre Bembry/W/Saint Joseph’s/6-5/205/JR
Point guard has been determined as a need area for Utah by most standards and it doesn’t really make sense. The are 2 years removed from spending a top 5 pick on the PG of the future and they have a quality, long term backup in Trey Burke. They have had success in 2 of the past 4 years picking point guards in the lottery. The need to me seems to be versatility
13. Phoenix Suns: Jakob Poeltl/B/Utah/7-1/240/SO
This is the karma you accrue when you stockpile multiple picks and draft the best player available. Jamal Murray does not fill a particular need for Phoenix but he is clearly the best player available when they pick. Big is a need and Poeltl is better than the 13th available player in this draft. #DraftKarma.
14. Chicago Bulls: Cheick Diallo/B/Kansas/6-9/220/FR
Either way it goes, Jimmy Butler or no Jimmy Butler, this team is getting torn down to the ground. Some people think Diallo is just an energy big, I believe that might be true if so he is a top shelf energy big with room to grow. He double dipped as McDonald’s and Jordan Brand MVP just one short year ago and while that doesn’t mean everything, it means that he has talent that can be developed as this team tries to build itself for Post-Lebron Eastern Conference in 5 or 6 years.
15. Denver Nuggets: Timothe Luwawu/W/France/6-7/195/1995
In an attempt to build an Epcot Center in their frontcourt the Nuggets also get the best player available and in the course of about 1 real time hour all of the sudden become big and explosive on the wing. With another pick in the next half hour or so to add depth to the frontcourt and become a playoff contender in the Western Conference.
16. Boston Celtics: Deyonta Davis/B/Michigan State/6-10/240/FR
Another case of #DraftKarma here as Boston has less need for Kris Dunn than Phoenix has for Jamal Murray. Davis is sort of an enigma but not really as it has been shown that Tom Izzo has little to no use for freshmen. Davis has tremendous defensive versatility and already has shown to be a great rebounder by his per 40 numbers.
17. Memphis Grizzlies: A.J. Hammons/B/Purdue/7-0/260/SR
The biggest steal in the 2nd round of the draft will be A.J. Hammons. I saw a mock draft the other day with the Nets getting him at 55 which caused me to say “hmm, that’s not bad punishment for such an awe-inspiringly bad trade. He also fits well with the “grindhouse” style they play in Memphis.
18. Detroit Pistons: Denzel Valentine/G/Michigan State/6-5/210/SR
This hometown hero story looks like it has legs and it makes some sense for Stan Van Gundy who has a very young future superstar. He also has somebody who might not be a franchise point guard but it’s somebody they at least have to make it work with at the moment. That is where Valentine comes in because I think his future in the league if he has one is at the 1. I have questions as to whether he is a primary ball handler or not but it isn’t like the NBA is trotting out Nolan Richardson’s 40 minutes of hell on a back to back of a 4 out of 5 stretch. He has point guard skills and 24 seconds is not a lot of time for a team to have to do work in order to get the ball into the hands of the guy who is going to make the play.
19. Denver Nuggets: Stephen Zimmerman/B/UNLV/6-11/235/FR
I really see a lot of possibilities for Zimmerman ending up to be a Steven Adams type pick. Not in the form of being a total bad ass pirate ninja way, but in the form of not being all that productive in his one year of college but we all know he is good way. The coaching predicament at UNLV probably weighed heavily into his lack of productive but this is too skilled of a 7 footer to slip out of the first round. This would be the pick out of the 3 first rounders that Denver should target a semi-project of a big.
20. Indiana Pacers: Demetrius Jackson/PG/Notre Dame/6-1/195/JR
Another hometown story that makes sense for the team. It has been made clear that Larry Bird will make his team play faster lest he get his whole team to start doing methamphetamine. As that would likely cause problems in the community, locker room, and in the league offense he can get a point guard that is able to push the pace. He reminds me a lot of Monta Ellis with good baggage instead of bad which allows Bird to move Ellis as he would probably like to do but it’s hard to come to work every day telling Paul George that Rodney Stuckey is going to be the answer.
21. Atlanta Hawks: Taurean Prince/W/Baylor/6-8/220/SR
A steal for Atlanta here they get their replacement for Demarre Carroll in the late first round.
22. Charlotte Hornets: Furkan Korkmaz/W/Turkey/6-7/175/1997
Fluid moving wing would be too far of a fall for even Michael Jordan to pass up a European player.
23. Boston Celtics: Ivica Zubac/B/Croatia/7-0/245/1997
Draft Cliffnotes - Zubac > Zizic
24. Philadelphia 76ers: Tyler Ulis/PG/Kentucky/5-9/150/SO
A team in desperate need of leadership get’s the one they need at their biggest need position.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Dejounte Murray/G/Washington/6-5/170/FR
Who better for “Baby Jamal Crawford” to learn from than “Grown Up” Jamal Crawford.
26. Philadelphia 76ers: Wade Baldwin/G/Vanderbilt/6-4/200/SO
Even though this would have them come out of these 3 first round pick minus still anyone who can really shoot, they are still “trusting the process”.
27. Toronto Raptors: Thon Maker/B/Canada/7-1/215/1997
This is the area where a team can take a chance on all their hard scouting work on YouTube, especially having already made a choice in the top 10
28. Phoenix Suns: Gerschon Yabusele/F/France/6-8/260/1995
If they haven’t yet made a draft and stash selection they will surely do it now.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Anthony Barber/G/N.C.State/6-3/175/JR
San Antonio has trouble scoring with the other elite teams and Barber could be a better and cheaper version of Patty Mills.
30. Golden State Warriors: Ben Bentil/B/Providence/6-8/230/SO
This will assuredly be a big that can play now and Bentil fits the Warriors offensive scheme well.
31. Boston Celtics: Malachi Richardson/W/Syracuse/6-6/200/FR
32. Los Angeles Lakers: Damian Jones/B/Vanderbilt/6-11/245/JR
33. Los Angeles Clippers: Patrick McCaw/W/UNLV/6-6/180/SO
34. Phoenix Suns: Zhou Qi/B/China/7-2/215/1996
35. Boston Celtics: Georgios Papagiannis/B/Greece/7-2/275/1997
36. Milwaukee Bucks: Gary Payton II/G/Oregon State/6-3/185/SR
37. Houston Rockets: Diamond Stone/B/Maryland/6-10/255/FR
38. Milwaukee Bucks: Danuel House/W/Texas A&M/6-7/215/SR
39. New Orleans Pelicans: Isaiah Whitehead/G/Seton Hall/6-5/210/SO
40. New Orleans Pelicans: Kay Felder/PG/Oakland/5-9/175/JR
41. Orlando Magic: Wayne Selden/W/Kansas/6-5/230/JR
42. Utah Jazz: Pascal Siakam/F/New Mexico State/6-9/230/SO
43. Houston Rockets: Malik Beasley/G/Florida State/6-5/190/FR
44. Atlanta Hawks: Petr Cornelie/B/France/6-11/210/1995
45. Boston Celtics: Juan Hernangomez/B/Spain/6-9/225/1995
46. Dallas Mavericks: Kyle Wiltjer/B/Gonzaga/6-10/245/SR
47. Orlando Magic: Brice Johnson/B/North Carolina/6-1/210/SR
48. Chicago Bulls: Georges Niang/F/Iowa State/6-8/230/SR
49. Detroit Pistons: Perry Ellis/F/Kansas/6-8/220/SR
50. Indiana Pacers: Yogi Ferrell/PG/Indiana/6-0/180/SR
51. Boston Celtics: James Webb III/F/Boise State/6-9/200/JR
52. Utah Jazz: Joel Bolomboy/F/Weber State/6-9/225/SR
53. Denver Nuggets: Isaia Cordinier/G/France/6-5/180/1996
54. Atlanta Hawks: Marcus Paige/PG/North Carolina/6-2/165/SR
55. Brooklyn Nets: Sheldon McClellan/W/Miami/6-6/200/SR
56. Denver Nuggets: Malcolm Brogdon/G/Virginia/6-5/225/SR
57. Memphis Grizzlies: Robert Carter/B/Maryland/6-8/250/JR
58. Boston Celtics: Damion Lee/G/Louisville/6-6/210/SR
59. Sacramento Kings: Boris Dallo/G/France/6-6/210/199460. Utah Jazz: Rade Zagorac/F/Serbia/6-9/200/1995