2016 First Round Draft Recap


Draft Photo
A historic NBA season, filled with record breaking performances from many teams and individuals, has come to an end, and that could only mean one thing, DRAFT NIGHT!
This year’s draft is set to be one of the most exciting draft’s in recent memory, with two potential superstars at the top of the board. Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram have been locked in at picks one and two all season, and with the night finally here, the excitement is through the roof. Make sure you tune into Friday’s podcast to get the guy’s reactions and breakdown of the draft
So without any further ado, here is the 2016 NBA Draft First Round recap.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons – Freshman PF, LSU
    No surprises here with the number one pick. Simmons has been the consensus first pick for the entire season. He has the most upside in this draft, as a player who can handle the ball, rebound, and pound it inside. This is why the 76ers have been so bad the past couple of years, to get a can’t miss prospect like Simmons. How he will fit next to Philidelphia’s other bigmen such as Okafor, Noel, Embid, and Croatian Dario Saric is yet to be seen, but you would think the 76ers would look to move one or more of those players. Overall the right decision was made, even though Ingram may be a better fit.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram – Freshman SF, Duke
    Once again no surprises with the number two pick, Ingram has been the only other player to contest Simmons’ number one spot. Ingram is a great fit for the Lakers, who need scoring on the wing with the departure of Kobe Bryant. He’s a great shooter, can get to the rim, and has prototypical wing length. The big knock on Ingram is his weight, and should he bulk up, he has the potential to be a dangerous threat on the wing for years to come.
  3. Boston Celtics (Via BRK): Jaylen Brown – Freshman SF, California
    This is where things got interesting. Jaylen Brown is a physical player, that is ready to contribute for an NBA team right away. He could defend with the best of them in college, with great physical tools. Not much of a shooter currently, but like Simmons, that is something that will develop over time. Should the Celtics keep him, he can fit into their rotation, however don’t be surprised if he gets moved in the coming days, as they are looking to contend in the East next year.
  4. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender – Maccabi Tel Aviv PF, Croatia
    At seven foot one inches, who can shoot the three ball and run the floor, Dragan Bender is going to be so exciting to watch this year in the desert. Bender can play at both ends, and has the potential to be a special talent in the NBA. It is all dependant on how the Suns develop him. He fills an immediate need for Phoenix, who need a forward to stretch the floor, and run out on the break. An exciting pick for Suns fans.
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kris Dunn – Junior PG, Providence
    This is a fantastic pick for Minnesota. They needed a strong point guard to come off the bench, and to possibly replace Ricky Rubio, should they part ways with him. Dunn is incredibly fast, with good court vision, great ability to finish around the basket, and an excellent defender. He will be a terrific fit in Tom Thibodeau’s defence, and playing next to Wiggins and Towns has the potential to be a star.
  6. New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield – Senior SG, Oklahoma
    It’s Buddy time in New Orleans! He fills a much needed spot for the Pelicans, as a secondary scorer next to Anthony Davis. He can handle the ball, and shoot the lights out with fantastic range. His age and defensive struggles may have turned some teams off him, but with Davis behind him, Buddy will be a great fit for the Pelicans.
  7. Denver Nuggets (Via NYK): Jamal Murry – Freshman SG, Kentucky
    This is an absolute steal for the Nuggets. Murry is an NBA ready guard with a fantastic scoring ability. He can handle the ball, pass well, and most of all, shoot with deep range. He has a lot of room to improve on the defensive end, however he has good help next to a strong defensive point guard in Emanuel Mudiay. The first of many first round picks for the Nuggets was a very successful one.
  8. Sacramento Kings: Marquese Chriss – Freshman PF, Washington (Traded to Phoenix Suns)
    The Suns and Kings have agreed to a trade for Marquese Chriss. Phoenix now adds Chriss to a young frontline that includes Dragan Bender and Alex Len. Chriss is an athletic freak, with so much room to grow. He has a capable outside jumpshot, and will look to run and jump all over opposing players. He needs to get better on defence, as he led the NCAA in fouls. Good pick for the Suns, as they look to develop some young bigmen with lots of potential. Chriss goes to the Suns in exchange for the 13th and 28th picks, the rights to Croatian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, and a future second round pick.
  9. Toronto Raptors (Via DEN): Jakob Poeltl – Sophomore PF/C, Utah
    Jacob Poeltl is a strong bigman, with a developing jumpshot, who likes to operate from the post. If that sounds like Jonas Valanciunas, that’s because these two players are very similar. Not the best pick in terms of floor spacing, but he has the potential to develop into a strong post presence. The more immediate need would have been a four man who could stretch the floor, it is hard to see Poeltl having a strong season in the T-Dot.
  10. Milwaukee Bucks: Thon Maker – Athletes Institute PF, Sudan/Australia
    The first bad pick of the draft in my opinion. Thon Maker is just not ready for NBA competition. He is too skinny, and will get bullied in the post. He can stretch the floor, but is years away from contributing to an NBA team. This was a real panic move by the Bucks, who could have easily traded for a later pick to grab Maker. I could be wrong, but for the Bucks, this pick makes absolutely no sense to me.
  11. Orlando Magic: Domantas Sabonis – Sophomore PF, Gonzaga (Traded to OKC)
    Great pick from OKC. They need a bigman to play next to Steve Adams, and they got an NBA ready one. He can score in the post, stretch the floor with a midrange shot, and more than anything rebound at an elite level. The young core of the Thunder gets a little bit younger, and the future looks even brighter for the Western powerhouse. He has been send to the Thunder along with Victor Oladipo, and Ersan Ilyasova, in exchange for Serge Ibaka. The Thunder are looking very dangerous for next year.
  12. Atlanta Hawks (Via UTA): Taurean Prince – Senior SF, Baylor
    Strong pick from the Hawks. They get a player I can see doing well in their tough defensive system. Prince is an athletic wing, who may be a bit of insurance for Kent Bazemore, should he leave in free agency. He can defend, and has shown a little bit of range spotting up behind the three-point line.
  13. Phoenix Suns (Via WSH): Georgios Papagiannis – Panathinaikos C/PF, Greece (Traded to Sacramento)
    Woah, this pick came out of nowhere. Georgios Papagiannis is a massive player out of Greece, who has shown the ability to stretch the floor, and score well in the post. He has experience playing professionally, which may help him in a similar way to Nikola Jokic. The Kings really swinging for the fences with this pick.
  14. Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine – Senior SF/SG, Michigan State
    Chicago are definitely looking for someone to handle the ball, after the departure of Derrick Rose. Valentine is a smart, experienced prospect who is going to be able to contribute rights away. He can shoot, distribute, rebound, and play solid defence. His knees have been highlighted as a red flag, however I love this pick, Valentine is going to have a strong career.
  15. Denver Nuggets: Juan Henangomez – Movistar Estudiantes PF, Spain
    Hernangomez is an athletic, sweet shooting big from Spain. He can run the floor, and is very active in the pick and pop game. He has an NBA ready body, and can step in and help right away. He will enter a team with a bunch of established European big man to mentor him into being a productive player in the NBA.
  16. Boston Celtics (Via DAL): Guerschon Yabusele – Rouen Metrople PF, France
    Much like the King’s Papagiannis pick, this came out of left field. A thick, strong power forward who can stretch the floor, Yabusele looks to be an exciting big who could develop into productive role player. He reminds me of Jamycal Green for the Grizzlies. At pick 16, the Celtics may have reached to get him, but if he is as good as they think, I could be eating my words.
  17. Memphis Grizzlies: Wade Baldwin IV – Sophomore PG, Vanderbilt
    Wade Baldwin IV is a long athletic point guard who I thought would go a lot earlier in the draft. He can handle the ball well, and is a pest on the defensive end with his huge wingspan. He may be being brought in as some insurance for Mike Conley, who is a free agent. Baldwin is a good player, and a steal at pick 17.
  18. Detroit Pistons: Henry Ellenson – Freshman PF, Marquette
    A good pick for the Pistons. Ellenson can stretch the floor next to Drummond, whilst also providing help on the boards. He can score from the post with his back to the basket, and facing up. He is young, with lots of room to grow as a defensive player. Not much of a rim protector, that is something he will need to improve on going forward.
  19. Denver Nuggets (Via POR): Malik Beasley – Freshman SG, Florida State
    The third Nuggets pick of the first round, they’ve gotten two great players so far, and Beasley looks to be another contributor. They are clearly looking to get faster, and to spread the floor. Beasley in an athlete, who needs some work on defence, but has a lot of potential on this run-and-gun Denver team.
  20. Indiana Pacers: Caris LaVert – Senior SG, Michigan (Traded to Brooklyn)
    LaVert was a highly touted prospect coming into Michigan four years ago, but numerous injuries have really hurt his stock. However, he is a guard with top 10 talent, who could handle the ball for the Nets. Brooklyn just need anyone that they could build around, and LaVert has the potential to be a great wing in the NBA. This pick was traded to Brooklyn for Thaddeus Young.
  21. Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Brembry – Senior SF, Saint Joseph’s
    Good pick from the Hawks. A player that can handle the ball and get to the rim with ease. He has shown the ability to defend his position. Not much of a shooter, but that is always something that can improve. Brembry a strong talent, has some good potential to become a solid wing.
  22. Sacramento Kings (Via CHA): Malachi Richardson – Freshman SG, Syracuse
    Richardson a terrific offensive player, who will be able to score on the wing for the Kings. Great both off the dribble and spotting up, however, he needs to improve at finishing at the hoop. Has good NBA wing length, but struggles on the defensive end. Look at him to back up Ben Mclemore in Sacramento.
  23. Boston Celtics: Ante Zizic – Cibona C, Croatia
    Celtics could be looking at an international draft and stash with Zizic. A very strong bigman from Croatia, with a terrific work ethic. He can protect the rim, and has a well-rounded post game. An outside jumpshot will develop in time, but a questionable pick, with some good American prospects still on the board who could come in and contribute next year.
  24. Philadelphia 76ers: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot – Mega Leks SF, France
    Great pick for the 76ers, whether they draft and stash him or bring him in to contribute now. He has an NBA ready body, and is a super athlete. He has a tendency to run in straight lines on drives, but will only improve with time. A young player with lots of room to grow, good pick.
  25. Los Angeles Clippers: Brice Johnson – Senior PF, North Carolina
    L.A have found another lob city player. Brice Johnson is someone who can help the Clippers win right away, with a solid, well-rounded offensive game, whilst also being an athletic rim protector on defence. I would have gone for someone younger, like Deyonta Davis, however this is still a good, win-now pick.
  26. Philadelphia 76ers (Via OKC): Furkan Korkmaz – Anadolu Efes SG, Turkey
    Another possible draft and stash for the 76ers, Korkmaz is a long, athletic wing who can get to the rim and shoot the three-ball extremely well. He needs to fill out his skinny frame, but other than that, this is an absolute steal for a player some projected to go in the lottery.
  27. Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam – Sophomore PF, New Mexico State
    Siakam is an energy big who can score, rebound, and block shots. He doesn’t have a very diverse game, but could be a good replacement for Bysmack Biyombo, should he leave in free agency. Siakam is an experienced player, continuing the trend of teams going for experience over youth in this year’s draft.
  28. Phoenix Suns (Via CLE): Skal Labissiere – Freshman PF, Kentucky (Traded to Sacramento)
    Finally, Skal has been drafted. A former number two ranked prospect, only behind Ben Simmons, Skal is an absolute steal for the Kings at this point in the draft. He can stretch the floor and block shots, but like a lot of other bigmen in the draft, needs to add some size to truly contribute.
  29. San Antonio Spurs: Dejounte Murry – Freshman PG, Washington
    A very Spursy pick here, Murry is a good scorer at the lead guard position, who will be able to come in and learn from Tony Parker right away. Don’t be surprised if in five years we are all saying how did this guy slip so late. He has a good ability to get to the basket, and has shown a capable stroke for a point guard, great pick by the Spurs.
  30. Golden State Warriors: Damian Jones – Sophomore C, Vanderbilt
    With the final pick of the first round, Damian Jones with an NBA ready body, who can carve out space on the low block, and send away shots from time to time. He will need to expand his offensive game, but an overall good pick from the Warriors.

What do you guys think of the first round, let me know in the comments below.

Ben Hopkins

Aussie battler, kebab connoisseur, passionate Suns fan.

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