Live 2016 NBA Draft Grades

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Live 2016 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 16-30 | Grades for Round 2

2016 NBA Mock Draft | 2017 NBA Mock Draft
Updated: June 23, 2016.

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  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, SF, LSU – A+ Grade
    The 76ers made the right decision by taking Simmons first. With his size, athleticism, and versatilily, the Australian has a chance to be a special player. Yes, he doesn’t shoot the ball exceptionally well right now, and he doesn’t exactly fill a need for Philly, but he adds a piece to their future that is needed and should ignite excitement throughout their fan base.

  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke – A Grade
    By process of elimination, Ingram ends up in Los Angeles, which should be a great fit for both sides. Ingram doesn’t bring the star power to make up for Kobe Bryant’s retirement, but could develop into a Kevin Durant-like talent due to his length and ability to shoot the ball from the outside. Plus, he fills a void at small forward for the Lakers.

  3. Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown, F, California – C- Grade
    The “Boston trading this pick rumors” were a lot of fun but it appears they were unable to get a big enough offer to move this selection. There were reports they really liked Jaylen Brown, but at No. 3? That’s seems way too high. He is a physical wing, but struggles shooting. It’s hard to believe they couldn’t swing a deal for a player they liked better than Brown.

  4. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender, F, Bosnia – B Grade
    The Suns had a huge hole at power forward so Bender and Marquese Chriss were the likely candidates here. Bender is more skilled and versatile offensively and seems to be the better fit for Phoenix than Chriss, but Chriss has more superstar potential.

  5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence – A- Grade
    Yes, the Timberwolves have Ricky Rubio, but Tom Thibodeau reportedly loved Kris Dunn and he fell into their lap at No. 5. Thibs can figure out how to use them together, or maybe Minnesota shops Rubio, or even still moves Dunn. A shooter like Jamal Murray or Buddy Hield would have been a better fit, but Dunn’s potential is much higher. By the way, if Minnesota really turned down Jimmy Butler for Zach LaVine and this pick, that’s insane.

  6. New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma – A+ Grade
    With Eric Gordon entering free agency, the Pelicans sorely needed a two guard, and both Hield and Jamal Murray fell to them at six. Hield likely steps into the starting role and will be ready to score in the NBA right away. Great pick here.

  7. Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky – A Grade
    Jamal Murray will be an upgrade over Denver’s current starting shooting guard, Gary Harris. I think Murray was a top five player in this draft so the Nuggets getting him at seven is good value. I like this pick better than had Denver selected Marquese Chriss.

  8. Phoenix Suns: Marquese Chriss, F, Washington – A Grade
    The Suns were reportedly torn between Bender and Chriss at No. 4 and now end up with both guys. To only give up Bogdan Bogdanovic, the 13th and 28th picks to move up for Chriss, that’s a steal for the Suns. They definitely have addressed their need at the power forward position.

  9. Toronto Raptors: Jakob Poeltl, F, Utah – B+ Grade
    The Raptors needed a power forward or backup big and land the latter here with Poeltl. He should be a solid NBA big man for years to come, and if can he and Jonas Valanciunas play together, I’ll like this pick a lot more.

  10. Milwaukee Bucks: Thon Maker, C, Australia – D- Grade
    This is the ultimate risk/reward pick and insanely high to take Maker, who could be 19 years old like he says or in his mid-30s… who knows? Maker is long and a defensive presence which Milwaukee already has in John Henson. The Bucks would have been better off drafting someone like Domatas Sabonis or Henry Ellenson or Deyonta Davis or Skal Labisierre or… I think you get my point.

  11. Oklahoma City Thunder: Domantas Sabonis, F, Gonzaga – B+ Grade
    Big deal here, as the Magic deal this pick, Ersan Ilyasova, and Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City for Serge Ibaka. For the Magic to help turn this pick into Ibaka is a great deal as he and Nikolva Vucevic form a pretty damn good frontcourt. Sabonis helps plug the minutes at power forward that Oklahoma City will be losing from trading Ibaka.

  12. Atlanta Hawks: Taurean Prince – Isiah Grade
    I had Prince as a borderline first-round pick, so this is baffling. The Hawks must have LOVED Prince and didn’t think he would be available at No. 21, their original pick. Really? He does plug a hole at small forward since Kent Bazemore is a free agent, but this is way too high to draft him.

  13. Sacramento Kings: Georgios Papagiannis, C, Greece – Isiah Grade
    This draft is drunk. Papagiannis was another dude I (and most other mocks) had going in the second round. The Kings traded down from No. 8 to land him here and must have really liked the 7-2 Greek. I mean, I guess… will he even play right away? Doesn’t Sacramento already have Boogie and Willie Cauley-Stein? What is going on?

  14. Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine, F, Michigan State – A Grade
    I think Denzel Valentine is going to be a very solid role player in the NBA due to his versatility. The Bulls traded Derrick Rose and need another guard (especially if they end up trading Jimmy Butler too) and Valentine is ready to contribute from day one. Bad knees or not, Valentine will know his spot in the NBA and will thrive in it.

  15. Denver Nuggets: Juan Hernangomez, F, Spain – C Grade
    With three first-round picks, you knew Denver was going to go the foreign route with one of their picks. Hernangomez is a versatile forward, but the Nuggets already have a few of those. He probably doesn’t factor into their equation right away, but maybe in a couple years?

  16. Go to Live 2016 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 16-30
    Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I’ve received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.

    Go to Live 2016 NBA Draft Grades: Round 2

    Go to 2016 NBA Mock Draft
    Go to 2017 NBA Mock Draft

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: [email protected].
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

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