NBA mock drafts have been coming in from experts for months, but now the 2016 NBA Draft is finally about to take place. Sixty international and college basketball players will get selected on Thursday, June 23, with the futures of several franchises now on the line. NBA.com released its final mock draft on Thursday morning, with NBA analyst Scott Howard-Cooper weighing in with his thoughts.
The first two predicted picks of this NBA.com mock draft aren’t surprising, as Howard-Cooper has LSU forward Ben Simmons going to the Philadelphia 76ers with the first pick and then Duke forward Brandon Ingram going to the L.A. Lakers with the second pick. He then has the Boston Celtics taking Providence point guard Kris Dunn at No. 3, the Phoenix Suns taking Washington forward Marquese Chriss at No. 4, and then the Minnesota Timberwolves going with Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield at No. 5.
The latest 2016 NBA mock draft from CBS Sports echoes the first three selections, but then takes a turn at pick No. 4. CBS has the Phoenix Suns selecting Dragan Bender, a forward from Israel, with the fourth overall pick. Gary Parrish notes that, “I think the pick will be Bender even though I’m told the Suns also really like Washington’s Marquese Chriss.” At No. 5, he then has the Minnesota Timberwolves selecting Kentucky guard Jamal Murray. Parrish also feels that the Toronto Raptors will reach for Gonzaga center Damontas Sabonis with the ninth pick.
Chad Ford also released his latest mock draft for ESPN.com. His NBA Draft predictions are Ben Simmons to the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Ingram to the L.A. Lakers, Kris Dunn to the Boston Celtics, Marquese Chriss to the Phoenix Suns, and Jamal Murray to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ford also predicts Buddy Hield to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 6, Dragan Bender to the Denver Nuggets at No. 7, California forward Jaylen Brown to the Sacramento Kings at No. 8, and Utah forward Jakob Poeltl to the Toronto Raptors at No. 9.
While most of the 2016 NBA mock drafts have the Boston Celtics making a selection with the third pick, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, team president Danny Ainge has been working hard to trade that pick. Ainge has been in talks with the Chicago Bulls about Jimmy Butler, the Utah Jazz about Gordon Hayward, and the Milwaukee Bucks about several players. Celtics fans should not be surprised if a big draft-day trade takes place where the team deals several picks to improve the roster in the short-term.
Hoops Hype, which works all year to come up with NBA mock drafts, also has a new version ready for the 2016 NBA Draft. After the obvious picks of Ben Simmons to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brandon Ingram to the L.A. Lakers, the mock draft has Kris Dunn to the Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown to the Suns, and Buddy Hield to the Timberwolves. The site has been high on Brown for a while now, comparing him to veteran guard Jason Richardson. The site compares Hield to former Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy.
The 2016 NBA Draft start time is 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 23. The entire draft will get broadcast live on ESPN as well as through the WatchESPN application online. The NBA Draft order can be found here, but there are likely to many draft-day trades that shift how it plays out. There is a lot of pressure on teams like the L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics to come away from Thursday with a lot of new talent on the roster. Will the NBA mock drafts constructed by the experts come close to predicting who is about to have a huge payday?
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