Thursday 25th May 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

2016 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0


  • skal labissiere
    Last year’s top NBA Draft picks like Karl Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Jahlil Okafor are already tearing it up in the Association and it’s never too early to take our initial look the top 2016 NBA Draft prospects.

    As it seems to be every year, next season’s crop of potential NBA stars include a bevy of freshmen like Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere, LSU’s Ben Simmons, Duke’s Brandon Ingram, and Cal’s Jaylen Brown.

    Some of the top upperclassmen include Damian Jones of Vanderbilt, Kris Dunn of Providence, Caris LeVert of Michigan, and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma.

    Also, let’s not forget about the International prospects as players like Dragan Bender, Jonathan Jeanne, and Zhou Qi could become household names in the United States.

    As usual, these early projections are based solely on potential as most have yet to play their first college minutes or step foot on American soil.

    As of right now, NBA teams like Philadelphia, Portland, Denver, and Minnesota again figure to struggle and be in the mix for the top overall NBA pick in 2016.

    Check out our initial installment of the 2016 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0……………..


  • skal labissiere kentucky 3

    6’11 220lbs
    Freshman
    Power Forward/Center

    It has been a toss-up between Simmons and Labissierre for the top pick early on but we give the initial edge to “Big Skal” as he reminds some of former Kentucky standout Anthony Davis. His long and lanky frame make him an excellent rim protector but it is his offensive game that everyone talking. He can play both inside and out, using his length to shoot over smaller players, with range extending out to the 3 point arc. He may not ever be as dominant as Davis defensively but is already ahead of him on offense as a collegiate freshman.


  • ben simmons lsu 4

    6’10 230lbs
    Freshman
    Small Forward/Power Forward

    Possessing star quality and an NBA ready physique, Simmons has drawn some comparisons to Lebron James for his playmaking abilities at the SF position. He has the size and strength to play the 4 but has the ball skills to play on the perimeter and should dominate the competition in college. He has a game that is much advanced for an NCAA freshman, so look for him to push Labissierre for the #1 pick next June.


  • brandon ingram duke

    6’9 195lbs
    Freshman
    Small Forward

    Considered the jewel of Coach K’s incoming recruiting class, Ingram was one of the best scorers in high school last season. Ingram should make an immediate impact for the Blue Devils who lost 4 starters from last year’s championship squad. Ingram is still rather thin but reminds many of Kevin Durant when he entered Texas nearly a decade ago for his physique and ability to put up points in bunches.


  • jaylen brown cal

    6’7 225lbs
    Freshman
    Small Forward

    Although his immense hype has dimmed a bit following a mediocre showing in the HS All Star Games, Brown has Top 5 NBA pick credentials. He surprisingly chose to go to Cal over teams like Kentucky or Duke but is arguably the most athletic player in the incoming freshman class. He has the athletic build of NBA rookie Stanley Johnson but is a much more skilled offensive talent. He should be one of the regulars on SportCenter’s Top 10 all season.


  • dragan bender

    7’0 215lbs
    International
    Power Forward/Center

    Easily this season’s top International prospect, Bender hasn’t gotten much exposure because of a shoe contract despute with his Croatian team but he projects as a Pau Gasol type big man that could have a long NBA career. He’s still only 17 years old but has proven to be able to outplay opponents 3-4 years his elder in International competition. His biggest assets are his quickness, mobility, and offensive firepower in a legit 7 foot frame.


  • jamal murray kentucky

    6’4 205lbs
    Freshman
    Point Guard

    The Canadian native burst onto the national scene in this year’s Nike Hoops Summit when he helped lead the World Select team to victory over Team USA, scoring 30 points. He has great size and enough athleticism to dominate opposing guards on the collegiate level and could lead the Wildcats in scoring this season. There are some questions if he can play the PG position full time but has the intelligence and clutch gene to be a Top 5 selection next June.


  • damian jones 1

    7’0 245lbs
    Junior
    Center

    A physical and athletic freak, Jones has natural instincts on defense with a developing offensive game that closely resembles the LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. In a stacked SEC, Jones has the skills to lead Vandy into the NCAA Tournament and potentially a 2nd place finish behind Kentucky in the conference. With a breakout junior season, look for Jones to be a lock in the 5-10 range in June’s NBA Draft.


  • cheick diallo 1

    6’9 225lbs
    Freshman
    Power Forward

    Although he has yet to be cleared by the NCAA for this season, Diallo has a non-stop motor that excels in the open floor and on the defensive end. He’s still rather raw offensively but has added a hookshot to score consistently within the painted area. If cleared, Diallo is a game-changer for the Jayhawks and could help them contend for another NCAA crown. As a freshman, he reminds many of Denver’s Kenneth Faried but has only scratched the surface of his potential.


  • ivan rabb cal 2

    6’11 220lbs
    Freshman
    Power Forward

    Another elite level, instant impact freshman, the rather thin forward has added some muscle in his few months on the Cal campus and projects as an athletic big man reminds many of a young Chris Bosh. He has a nice mid range jumper to go with a great post game but needs to get stronger for the next level. Rabb and fellow elite prospect Jaylen Brown could have Cal as the favorites in the PAC-12 this season.


  • Utah v Oregon

    7’1 240lbs
    Sophomore
    Center

    The 7 foot sophomore has some elite potential at the next level as a solid 2 way center in the Association. He turned down millions to return to Utah for his sophomore season instead of being a late 1st rounder last season. He has legit size and strength to dominate the collegiate level but must improve offensively. Poeltl is very mobile and gets up and down the floor with ease, reminding some of Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas.


  • caris levert

    6’7 205lbs
    Senior
    Shooting Guard

    LeVert has been on the NBA’s radar for a few seasons now but injuries have hampered his pro potential. He missed most of last season with a broken foot but looks to return strong and be one of the top seniors in the nation. He has elite size(6’8) and length for the next level, reminding many of Golden State’s Harrison Barnes. LeVert is a high volume scorer with above average 3 point range and an improved ability to play off the bounce and in catch and shoot situations. Don’t be surprised if Caris emerges as an NCAA POY candidate.


  • kris dunn

    6’4 205lbs
    Junior
    Point Guard

    Considered by most to be one of the top returning players in all of college basketball this season, Dunn led the nation in assists last year. He surprisingly returned to the Friars despite being pegged as a 1st Round talent by most experts. He has great size and defensive abilities as well as above average quickness but now plays on a less than spectacular Providence team that won’t get much exposure and is a longshot to make the NCAA Tournament.


  • damontis sabonis 2

    6’10 240lbs
    Sophomore
    Power Forward

    The son of former NBA standout Arvydas Sabonis, the 6’10 forward is as tough as they come as part of one of the NCAA’s top frontcourts this season. He’s not an above the rim type player but is very athletic, mobile, and physical within the painted area. He leaves it all on the floor every game and has potential to be an All American by season’s end. He had a dominating performance against Top 5 pick Jahlil Okafor in the NCAA Tournament and looks to improve as a sophomore.


  • buddy hield 2

    6’4 215lbs
    Senior
    Shooting Guard

    Easily one of the more talented offensive players in the nation, Hield bolsters a strong Sooners quad that could challenge Kansas in the Big 12 Conference this season. He’s a bit undersized but is a stellar athlete who can both score and facillitate making him a potential stud combo guard at the next level. One of the top seniors in the nation, Hield should be in the running for National POY honors.


  • isaiah briscoe

    6’3 215lbs
    Freshman
    Point Guard

    Part of another strong Kentucky recruiting class, Briscoe is an elite freshman talent with decent size and athleticism to play either guard spots at the next level. Briscoe plays in a crowded backcourt alongside Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis but already has made his mark, tallying a double-double in just his 2nd game as a Wildcat. Sometimes out of control, Briscoe is physical and has proven to be an elite defender at the HS level with a multi-faceted offensive game that should make him one of the top point guards selected come June.


  • malik pope 2

    6’9 225lbs
    Sophomore
    Power Forward

    Likely the most athletic prospect in college basketball this season, Pope has tremendous potential to be a two way player in the mold of San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard. Right now it’s just potential but he made great strides as a freshman and has an innate ability to face up and attack the rim against opposing forwards. NBA executives drool over his athletic abilities but he’s still far from a finished product. Right now he’s a first round lock but could be a Top 5 pick if he ever puts it all together.


  • malik newman

    6’4 185lbs
    Freshman
    Shooting Guard

    One of the top HS players in the nation last season, he also may be one of the game’s most potent scorers. He reminds many of Indiana’s Monta Ellis as a high volume point producer with blazing speed to blow by defenders. He’s a bit undersized but it hasn’t held him back to this point and could be a breakout star at Mississippi State as a freshman.


  • jonathan jeanne

    7’1 210lbs
    International
    Center

    One of the top prospects in all of Europe, the French 7 footer has drawn comparisons to Rudy Gobert for his immense frame, physical low post play, and innate shot blocking abilities. He’s still rather young and might be a few years away in terms of making an immediate impact in the NBA, but he should be in high demand on draft day next June.


  • diamond stone 3

    6’10 255lbs
    Freshman
    Center

    Stone has the luxury of entering the college ranks as the lynch-pin up front of one of the nation’s top teams at Maryland. Possessing great footwork and advanced knowledge of the game as a freshman, Stone is a beast within the painted area, reminding many of a poor man’s Zach Randolph. He should dominate opposing bigs on the collegiate level.


  • justin jackson 2

    6’8 220lbs
    Sophomore
    Small Forward

    The 2nd year forward has all of the skills to be a standout NCAA player with potential at the NBA level. Possessing a polished all around offensive game, the long and lanky small forward forms a great 1-2 punch alongside senior PG Marcus Paige at UNC. He’s also proven to be a great passer and deadly jump shooter but needs to expand his range to outside the arc and improve his strength for the next level. He has an immense 6’10 wingspan giving him potential as a defender reminding many of Washington’s Otto Porter Jr.


  • henry ellenson 2

    6’10 245lbs
    Freshman
    Power Forward/Center

    Another in the talented crop of freshmen flooding the NCAA this season, Ellenson might be the best frosh not getting a ton of exposure because Marquette is in a down year. Possessing the size to play either the 4 or 5 positions, he has terrific ball-handling skills, footwork, and perimeter shooting skills that make him a potent stretch 4 at the next level. He’s so skilled, he has already drawn comparisons to young Kevin Love entering college.


  • melo trimble 1

    6’3 190lbs
    Sophomore
    Point Guard

    One of the nation’s top floor generals on arguably one of the nation’s top teams, Trimble looks to add on to a stellar freshman campaign last year. He may not yet be the best passer, but knows how to run an offense and always seems to make the right play at the right moment. He has potential to be an elite scorer, reminding many of Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Trimble has NCAA POY potential but may be a tad undersized to be a starter at the next level.


  • nigel hayes 1

    6’8 240lbs
    Junior
    Power Forward

    With the departures of stud players Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker to the NBA, Hayes is the next man up for coach Bo Ryan and the Badgers. He’s an undersized PF with a great all around skill set similar to Golden State’s Draymond Green, who showed some great improvement from his freshman season. Although an average athlete, he’s a polished offensive talent with range out to the 3 point line.


  • troy williams 1

    6’7 200lbs
    Junior
    Small Forward

    The son of AAU godfather Boo Williams, the super athletic, above the rim forward is a highlight reel play waiting to happen. Still a work in progress, Williams is the definition of a raw talent and should draw some 1st Round looks on draft day. If he can help propel Indiana back into the NCAA Tournament and have a breakout season, T-Will could be a Top 15 selection.


  • zhou qi

    7’2 215lbs
    International
    Center

    One of the most talented International prospects on the board, Qi draws some intant comparisons to former NBA great Yao Ming for his imposing size(7’2) and defensive presence. Still only 19 years old, he has a polished offensive game, nimble feet, and soft touch on his jumper out to the 3 point line. Some concerns remain about a rather thin frame and lack of strength to bang down low but with the success of New York’s Porzingis, Qi should be a 1st Round lock next June.


  • stephen zimmerman 2

    7’0 240lbs
    Freshman
    Center

    A highly touted incoming freshman, Zimmerman should make an immediate impact as a freshman at UNLV. He has a solid offensive game as an 18 year old and has potential to be an elite player with NBA size and skill set. Some have compared him to Pau Gasol but right now that wpuld be a stretch. He could be in the running for NCAA Freshman of the Year honors.


  • ron baker 1

    6’4 220lbs
    Senior
    Shooting Guard

    Baker, along with backcourt mate Fred Van Vleet have been a huge reason for the Shockers ascension from mid major darlings to NCAA Tournament mainstays. He’s a tad undersized but is a scrappy, hard-nosed wing player that has a knack for scoring. His strength is from behind the arc where he shoots over 40% making him a commodity in the mold of Atlanta’s Kyle Korver.


  • marcus paige 3

    6’2 180lbs
    Senior
    Point Guard

    Paige has long been the offensive star for the Tarheels but has suffered through some nagging injuries in his college career. His scoring is his obvious strength and has developed into a decent passer but will never be an elite assist man. a proven leader and clutch performer, Paige once again begins his snior season on the mend but hopes to return strong and lead the Preseason #1 Tarheels deep into the NCAA Tournament.


  • zach auguste 1

    6’10 240lbs
    Senior
    Power Forward

    The 6’10 senior should be one of the top PF prospects in college this season, possessing an athletic frame, capable of running the floor with ease. He has struggled with consistency during his entire NCAA career but will be one of the leaders on a talented Notre Dame squad in 2015-2016. Most remember Auguste for being dominated by #1 pick Karl Towns in last year’s Elite Eight, but Zach also put up 20 points in the defeat.


  • marcus lee 1

    6’9 225lbs
    Junior
    Power Forward

    It’s been a long time coming for the former elite HS player, who has bided his time behind a plethora of NBA picks like Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl Towns, and Julius Randle in the Kentucky frontcourt, but the time is now for the uber athletic power forward. Lee’s strength is his raw athletic ability that regularly see him play above the rim. Defense is another strength despite a still rather thin frame. His offensive game is mediocre at best but does most of his damage around the rim on offensive put-backs and dunks.


 

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