By Frank Almarez
The 2016 NBA Draft has concluded Thursday night and 60 new members of the NBA family will be coming in next season. Let’s see how your team did.
Round 1: No. 12 Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor; No. 21 Deandre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph
Round 2: No. 44 Isaia Cordinier, SG, France
The Hawks seem to be preparing for a future without Kent Bazemore with two wing players being drafted in the first round. Prince is a solid long-range shooter making 36 percent from beyond the arc, while Bembry is a ball handler who can take it to the basket. 19-year-old Cordinier may not play in the NBA for a year or two, but is an athletic guard making quick development.
Round 1: No. 3 Jaylen Brown, SF, Califronia; No. 16 Guerschon Yabusele, PF, France
No. 23 Ante Zizic, C, Croatia
Round 2: No. 45 Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame; No. 51 Ben Bentil, PF, Providence
No. 58 Abdel Nader, PF, Iowa State
That’s a lot of picks. To first start the night, Celtics picked arguably the third-best player in this draft by selecting Jaylen Brown. He fills a need as a wing scorer, and can develop into a great defender. Yabusele is a draft-and-stash prospect, but does have the ability to improve the Celtic’s frontcourt with his ability to shoot the three ball and his explosiveness to the rim. Another draft-and-stash for at least one season, Zizic is looked at as the second best international prospect behind Dragan Bender, and can develop into a nice rotation player. Both Jackson and Bentil have first round talent and were steals for the Celtics.
Round 1: No. 20 Caris LeVert, SG, Michigan
Round 2: No. 42 Isaiah Whitehead, SG, Seton Hall
After trading Thaddeus Young for the number 20 pick, the Brooklyn Nets select Carias Lavert. A prospect with a lot of upside, but fell out of the lottery due to his inability to stay healthy. Playing in only 15 games for Michigan last season, LeVert has a lot to prove, but the reward is high for this risky move by the Nets. Whitehead also brings skill on the offensive end, but has work to do on everything else.
Round 1: No. 14 Denzel Valentine, SG/SF, Michigan State
Round 2: No. 48 Paul Zipser, SF, Germany
Trading Derrick Rose to the Knicks left a hole to fill for the Chicago Bulls, and they believe Valentine is able to do so. Though Valentine is not a point guard, he is one of the best playmakers in this draft. If healthy, picking him this late in the draft is a steal by the Bulls. Despite being picked late in the second round, Zisper will most likely find a place on the Bulls roster next season because of his versatility.
Round 2: Kay Felder, PG, Oakland
Getting this pick from the Atlanta Hawks, Kay Felder could find himself in the Cavalier’s rotation if Matthew Dellavedova or Mo Williams are not around next season. This could potentially be a steal because there is a lot to like about Felder’s game, but his 5’ 9” height is what got teams to shy away. Remember Isiah Thomas?
Round 2: No. 46 A.J Hammons, C, Purdue
A dictionary definition of a boom-or-bust. Issues with his conditioning and attitude can hold back Hammons, but has shown promise when he is locked in.
Round 1: No. 7 Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Kentucky; No. 15 Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain; No. 19 Malik Beasly, SG, Florida State
Round 2: No. 53 Petr Cornelie, PF, France
The Denver Nuggets are an interesting team because their roster has a lot of talent, but they still found themselves in the lottery. Jamal Murray is a quick point guard who is aggressive on the offensive end with his scoring and passing abilities. He can play both guard positions, but there can be trouble finding minutes. Hernangomez can serve as a stretch 4, and looks ready to compete right away. Beasly is a definition of a three and D player with athleticism and can come off the bench. Peter Cornelie is another draft-and-stash player with the ability to stretch the floor.
Round 1: No. 18 Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
Round 2: No. 49 Michael Gbinije, SF, Syracuse
Projected as a late lottery pick, Ellenson is a steal for the Pistons because of his ability to shoot the ball as a versatile big man. He could be great off the bench. Gbinije did not have a set position while playing at Syracuse, but he is a ball-handler that can take on multiple positions. ]
Golden State Warriors
Round 1: No. 30 Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
Round 2: No. 38 Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV
If Festus Ezeli chooses to leave the Warriors in free agency, the Warriors picked up a nice replacement in Damian Jones. A big man with explosiveness and the ability to hit a jumper can fit nicely into the Warriors. The question is his motivation and motor. Going into a team like the Warriors can probably be beneficial for him. Probably. After paying $2.4 million to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Warriors select Patrick McCaw who can serve as a three-and-D player with good size.
Round 2: No. 37 Chinanu Onuaku, C, Louisville; No. 43 Zhou Qi PF/C, China
Not having a first round pick due to the Ty Lawson trade, the Rockets select Chinanu Onuaku and Zhou Qi in the second round in case Dwight Howard leaves, which is most likely. Both are projects that can provide some depth in the frontcourt.
Round 2: No. 50 Georges Niang, SF/PF, Iowa State
Because if the trades bringing in both Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young, the Pacers had to wait until number 50 to make their pick. Choosing Georges Niang. At 6’9”, Niang can play multiple positions who can create for others. A potential solid pick for an interesting Pacers team watch out for next season.
Los Angeles Clippers
Round 1: No. 25 Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina
Round 2: No. 39 David Michineau, PG, France; No. 40 Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
With needs in almost every position outside of the big 3, the Clippers make a solid pick in Brice Johnson. A rebounder and explosive finisher with an occasional jump shot, he can play alongside anyone in the frontcourt. A head-scratching pick for Michineau, due to his underwhelming stats in all categories. Diamond Stone has underwhelming skills outside the paint, but can rebound. Both second round picks are questionable due to the Clippers needing depth and neither picks seem to fit the bill.
Los Angeles Lakers
Round 1: No. 2 Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
Round 2: No. 32 Ivica Zubac, C, Croatia
The post-Kobe Bryant era has begun, and the Lakers are looking in the right direction with Brandon Ingram. A potential star/superstar scorer with a huge 7’3” wingspan is exactly what the Lakers need. At number 32, the Lakers select Ivica Zubac, a 7-footer looking like he could fit right away, but might stay overseas for at least a season. A first round talent in the second round for the Lakers.
Round 1: No. 17 Wade Baldwin IV, PG/SG, Vanderbilt
Round 2: No. 31 Deyonta Davis, PF/C, Michigan State; No. 35 Rade Zagorac, SF, Serbia; No. 57 Wang Zhelin, C, China
An insurance policy pick in Wade Baldwin in case Mike Conley leaves in free agency. A similar player to Mike Conley, who will not knock down many jumpshots, but can be efficient on both ends of the floor. Baldwin surprisingly dropped to 17 and should make an immediate impact starting or coming off the bench next season. Deyonta Davis is another solid pick for the aging Grizzlies’ frontcourt, with lottery talent. Two draft-and-stash players in Zagorac and Zhelin. Zagorac looks like the shooter Grizzlies desperately needs, but Zhelin looks more like a project despite his 7’0” frame.
Round 1: No. 10 Thon Maker, PF, Australia
Round 2: No. 36 Malcolm Brogdon, SG, Virginia
The skinniest 7’1” three point shooting power forward I have ever seen is a huge gamble for the Bucks with the number 10 pick in Thon Maker, which teams had him going late in the first or early second round. He needs to add a “few” pounds before heading to the NBA, but it is definitely a high risk pick similar to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Oh, and he could be older than 19. Malcom Brogdon can be a nice addition with his shooting and defending capabilities combined with his high basketball I.Q.
Round 1: No. 5 Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
Tom Thibodeau’s first draft has Kris Dunn at number 5 overall. Arguably the best guard in the draft, it is puzzling why the Timberwolves would pick a point guard with Ricky Rubio on the roster especially with Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray on the board. Dunn can make an impact right away with his great vision.
New Orleans Pelicans
Round 1: No.6 Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
Round 2: No. 33 Cheick Diallo, PF/C, Kansas
Buddy Hield can flat out score as he has shown with multiple 30+ point games throughout the season while knocking down 50.1 percent of his shots from the field and 45.7 shots beyond the arc. He can serve as a replacement for Eric Gordon next season. After trading up to the number 33 spot, the Pelicans select Cheick Diallo, a first round talent available early in the second round.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Round 1: No. 11 Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga
Round 2: No. 56 Daniel Hamilton, SF, Connecticut
The biggest news of the night belonged to the Thunders with the surprising trade of Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Illyasova, and the rights to Domantas Sabonis. Wow. Sabonis value lies in his back to the basket play and his ability to pass the ball. This will make the Thunders a dangerous team if Kevin Durant decides to come back. Daniel Hamilton is a wing player that can provide quality minutes off the bench with his defense.
Round 2: No. 41 Stephen Zimmerman, PF/C, UNLV
A good value at number 41 with a consistent jumpshot for a big man. The flip side is the Magic gave up too much for Serge Ibaka.
Round 1: No.1 Ben Simmons, SF/PF, LSU; No. 2 Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, France; No. 26 Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey
A potential superstar in Ben Simmons is too tempting to turn away from despite his broken jumper and questions to his motor. Ben Simmons is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Timothe Luwawu is the athletic wing shooter 76ers desperately need and is a great bargain and number 24. Add another great shooter who can handle the ball with Korkmaz is potentially another steal for the 76ers.
Round 1: No.4 Dragan Bender, PF, Croatia; No. 8 Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
Round 2: No. 34 Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
Can we see another Kristaps Porzingod-like episode next season? Dragan Bender is a 7-footer who can shoot the three, run the floor, handle the ball and pass. The question is if he can do those in the NBA level since he has a lot to prove. Marquese Chris plays the same position as Bender, and probably needs as much development. Add another Kentucky guard to the Phoenix Suns roster in Tyler Ulis. Unless a trade happens, Tyler Ulis will not see many minutes.
Portland Trail Blazers
Round 2: No. 47 Jake Layman, SF, Maryland
A potential three-and-D player with athleticism, but is going to a crowded Trail Blazers team already with Allen Crabbe and Maurice Harkless if they stay. Add Pat Connaughton with similar skillsets to Layman. The Trail Blazers gave up $1.2 million and a 2019 second-round pick to Orlando for Layman. I do not see why.
Round 1: No. 13 Georgios Papagiannis, C, Greece; No. 22 Malachi Richardson, SF, Syracuse; No. 28 Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky
Round 2: No. 59: Isaiah Cousins, PG/SG Oklahoma
Does anyone take the Sacramento Kings seriously anymore? I do not and this draft just gives me further reason. I feel your pain Boogie.
Grade: Who cares?
San Antonio Spurs
Round 1: No. 29 Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Washington
Every draft prospect that goes to the Spurs are steals. Dejounte Murray is no different. A lottery prospect with the abilities for playmaking and being able to play on both ends of the floor. Murray could not fall into a better situation landing to the Spurs with Tony Parker as his mentor. Just don’t take any marriage advice.
Round 1: No.9 Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah; No. 27 Pascal Siakam, PF, New Mexico State
The Raptors desperately need frontcourt depth with the possible departure of Bismack Biyombo. Both Poeltl and Siakim are solid picks with Poeltl being an offensive weapon and Siakim taking more of a Biyombo role with his energy and rebounding.
Round 2: No. 52: Joel Bolomboy, PF, Weber State; No. 52 Marcus Paige, PG, North Carolina; No. 60 Tyrone Wallace, PG, California
Joel Bolomboy brings in good value this late in the draft. In case Trevor Booker leaves in free agency, Bolomboy can fill a need in the power forward position with his rebounding ability. Both Marcus Paige and Tyrone Wallace look like they will be heading to the D-League or a different team because it is hard to see any room for them on Utah Jazz’s roster.