Post Lottery NBA Mock Draft: 1-14

Post Lottery NBA Mock Draft: 1-14

The NBA lottery has come and gone. All the suspense is over, and there was no big shake up. Every team’s projected spot before the lottery was actually where they ended up. The big stories of the night included that the Phildelphia 76ers won the lottery because of Dikembe Mutombo and Sam Hinkie (#trust), and that the Los Angeles Lakers get to keep their pick by landing the No. 2 pick. Now, that the lottery is over and the order is set, it is time to take a look at what picks each team should make on draft night.

Below is a mock draft of picks 1-14 with analysis.

Updated: Wednesday May 18, 5:05 PM ET

Mock Draft: Lottery Edition

1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons SF/PF (LSU)

Yes, Ben Simmons is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft because he fits quite nicely on the 76ers. I have said before that the debate between Simmons and Brandon Ingram will be solved once we find out who the No. 1 pick is. The 76ers need facilitators that can dish the ball to their multiple frontcourt weapons and Simmons can be that guy.

Simmons is a gifted passers and he has great size, once area of concern is his competitive spirit. At LSU, he was hesitant to take over games and he looked like he did not want to be there. If he heads to Philadelphia, it is going to still take some time before they head in the right direction. All in all, Simmons is worth the risk because he is the perfect fit on the 76ers.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram SF (Duke)

As we all know, this draft has two players that are far better than the other prospects, so the Lakers are going to take whoever the 76ers do not take, and in they will end up taking Brandon Ingram. He will fit perfectly on the wing for the Lakers with his great length, scoring, and shooting ability. He actually was a pretty good three-point shooter in college by shooting over 40 percent, which is something the Lakers could use.

He is really good at creating his own shot, but he must become better on the defensive end and put on a little more weight to have a long career at the small forward position.

3. Boston Celtics: Dragan Bender PF (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

The Boston Celtics are going to try and package this trade for a veteran player or star because of the big drop off after picks one and two. Bender is interesting because people are comparing him to Kristaps Porzingis and every loves KP. Bender is seven-feet tall and he can step out and knock down the deep ball. He is very athletic, but he is going to need some time to develop.

Bender is not going to be ready to help out a team right away, but he has a lot of potential because of his size, athleticism, and offensive and defensive versatility.

4. Phoenix Suns: Jaylen Brown SF (California)

Jaylen Brown has the prototypical NBA body for a small forward, but he has ways to go on the offensive end. He is not a very good shooter and he is not a very good finisher, but he is young and a dynamic athlete. He would be a good fit on the Suns because they need someone with his size on the wing and he has the potential to be a really good defender with his size and speed.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Buddy Hield SG (Oklahoma)

The Timberwolves have a very bright future, and if they drafted someone like Buddy Hield, he could step in right away as big time shooting guard with a lot of experience. He is older than most of the star players on the Timberwolves and he will be able to shooting to a team that lacks consistent three-point shooting. Hield would be a phenomenal fit in Minnesota.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Kris Dunn PG (Providence)

Kris Dunn is the best point guard in this draft and he is great on both ends of the floor. It would awesome to see him paired up with Anthony Davis in New Orleans and the Pelicans would be happy to have Dunn on their squad. Dunn can help out the Pelicans right away on both ends of the floor and he is a very safe pick for a team that wants to make a run at the playoffs after a disappointing and unlucky year.

7. Denver Nuggets: Marquese Chriss PF (Washington)

Chriss is one of the most intriguing players in the draft because of his elite athleticism and because he has such a high ceiling. He can step out and hit the deep ball and he can attack the rim at will. The Nuggets have some pretty good frontcourt pieces as it is, but they do not have a player that can step out and hit the deep ball like Chriss.

8. Sacramento Kings: Jamal Murray PG/SG (Kentucky)

Jamal Murray is one of the best shooters in this draft and the Kings could really use his shooting on the perimeter. He would not help out the team’s poor defense, but he would certainly help out their shooting and he is really good off the catch.

9. Toronto Raptors: Deyonta Davis PF/C (Michigan State)

The Raptors could use a little help in the frontcourt, and Davis would be a great rim-protector to add on the team. He is also extremely athletic, and he should be able to help the Raptors right away on the defensive end, he just needs to polish his offensive game a tad.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jakob Poeltl C (Utah)

The talented center could help out the Bucks right away on both ends of the floor. He could come off the bench to start off and give them a boost on both ends with his soft touch and great rim-protecting ability. He is rather slow, which could be a problem and he cannot guard multiple positions, which could be a problem.

11. Orlando Magic: Skal Labissiere PF/C (Kentucky)

Labissiere’s stock has been rising since the end of the season and he could be a top 10 pick, but I am still a little skeptical on his offensive game. He has a lot of potential, but he has not shown me much on the offensive end yet. Orlando could really use his rim-protection in the frontcourt and it would be really fun to see him and Aaron Gordon play together in the frontcourt.

12. Utah Jazz: Timothe Luwawu SG/SF (Mega Leks)

Luwawu is a very talented wing that can help out the Jazz right away with his shooting ability. He would add depth to the wing position and he can help out wit his three-point shooting. He is also extremely athletic, which could be great for the Jazz.

13: Phoenix Suns: Henry Ellenson PF (Marquette)

The Suns will probably take best available at this spot and Ellenson has a lot of upside as a power forward with range. His defense is questionable, but he is pretty gifted on the offensive end.

14. Chicago Bulls: Denzel Valentine SG (Michigan State)

Denzel Valentine is a player that does not need time to develop, which is something the Bulls could use. Chicago needs help, but they do not want to take on any projects in the lottery, and Valentine is a safe pick that will add offensive versatility and shooting.

 

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NBA Awards Roundtable

NBA Awards Roundtable

The NBA regular season will come to a close on Wednesday night, which means it is just about that time to make postseason award predictions.

MVP

Stephen_Curry_meets_with_President_Barack_Obama_in_the_Oval_Office,_2015-02-25

Eric Laboissonniere: 

  1. Stephen Curry (Close to unanimous)
  2. Russell Westbrook
  3. LeBron James
  4. Kevin Durant
  5. Kawhi Leonard

Connor Casey

  1. Stephen Curry (Without a doubt)
  2. Kawhi Leonard
  3. Russell Westbrook
  4. LeBron James
  5. Kevin Durant

Timmy Sclafani

  1. Steph Curry
    1. Kobe Bryant
  2. Russell Westbrook
  3. LeBron James
  4. Kawhi Leonard
  5. Chris Paul

 

 

Defensive Player of the Year

Eric Laboissonniere: 

  1. Draymond Green
  2. Kawhi Leonard
  3. Rudy Gobert

Connor Casey

  1. Draymond Green
  2. Kawhi Leonard
  3. Paul Millsap

Timmy Sclafani

  1. Kawhi Leonard
  2. Draymond Green
  3. Paul Millsap

Rookie of the Year

Eric Laboissonniere:

  1. Karl Anthony-Towns (should be unanimous)
  2. Kristaps Porzingis
  3. Nikola Jokic

Connor Casey

  1. KAT!! (It will be unanimous)
  2. Nikola Jokic
  3. Kristaps Porzingis

Timmy Sclafani

  1. Karl Anthony-Towns
  2. Kristaps Porzingis
  3. Nikola Jokic

Coach of the Year

Eric Laboissonniere:

  1. Gregg Popovich
  2. Steve Clifford
  3. Dwayne Casey

Connor Casey

  1. Terry Stots
  2. Gregg Popovich
  3. Steve Kerr

Timmy Sclafani:

  1. Steve Kerr
  2. Greg Popovich
  3. Dave Joerger

Sixth Man of the Year

Eric Laboissonniere:

  1. Jeremy Lin
  2. Enes Kanter
  3. Ed Davis

Connor Casey

  1. Jamal Crawford
  2. Jeremy Lin
  3. Enes Kanter

Timmy Sclafani:

  1. Jamal Crawford
  2. Tristan Thompson
  3. Jeremy Lin

Most Improved Player of the Year

Eric Laboissonniere:

  1. C.J. McCollum
  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  3. Ian Mahinmi

Connor Casey

  1. C.J. McCollum
  2. Giannis Antetokunmpo
  3. Jae Crowder (I had to have at least one homer pick)

Timmy Sclafani

  1. C.J. McCollum
  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  3. Kemba Walker

All-NBA

Eric Laboissonniere:

First Team

  • G- Stephen Curry
  • G- Russell Westbrook
  • F- LeBron James
  • F- Kevin Durant
  • C- Draymond Green

Second Team

  • G- Chris Paul
  • G- Kyle Lowry
  • F- Kawhi Leonard
  • F- Paul Millsap
  • C- DeMarcus Cousins

Third Team

  • G- Damian Lillard
  • G- James Harden
  • F- Paul George
  • F- LaMarcus Aldrdige
  • C- Al Horford

Connor Casey

First Team

  • G – Stephen Curry
  • G – Russell Westbrook
  • F – Kawhi Leonard
  • F – LeBron James
  • C – Draymond Green

Second Team

  • CP3
  • Damian Lillard
  • Kevin Durant
  • Paul Millsap
  • DeMarcus Cousins

Third Team

  • Kyle Lowry
  • James Harden
  • Paul George
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Andre Drummond

Timmy Sclafani:

First Team

  • G – Stephen Curry
  • G – Russell Westbrook
  • F – Kevin Durant
  • F – LeBron James
  • C – Draymond Green

Second Team

  • Chris Paul
  • Damian Lillard
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Paul George
  • Al Horford

Third Team

  • Kyle Lowry
  • Klay Thompson
  • Paul Millsap
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • DeMarcus Cousins

All-Defense

Eric Laboissonniere: 

First Team

  • G- Chris Paul
  • G- Tony Allen
  • F- Kawhi Leonard
  • F- Draymond Green
  • C- Rudy Gobert

Second Team

  • G- Avery Bradley
  • G- Klay Thompson
  • F- Jae Crowder
  • F- Paul Millsap
  • C- Hassan Whiteside

Connor Casey

First Team

  • G – Kyle Lowry
  • G – Tony Allen
  • F – Kawhi Leonard
  • F – Draymond Green
  • C – Rudy Gobert

Second Team

  • G – Avery Bradley
  • G – Jimmy Butler
  • F – Paul George
  • F – Paul Millsap
  • C – Hassan Whiteside

Timmy Sclafani:

First Team

  • G – Chris Paul
  • G – Avery Bradley
  • F – Kawhi Leonard
  • F – Draymond Green
  • C – Rudy Gobert

Second Team

  • G – Tony Allen
  • G – Jimmy Butler
  • F – Paul George
  • F – Paul Millsap
  • C – DeAndre Jordan

All-Rookie

Eric Laboissonniere:

First Team

  • G- Emmanuel Mudiay
  • G- Devin Booker
  • F- Karl Anthony-Towns
  • F- Kristaps Porzingis
  • C- Nikola Jokic

Second Team

  • G- D’Angelo Russell
  • G- Justise Winslow
  • F- Myles Turner
  • F-Jahlil Okafor
  • C- Willie Cauley-Stein

Connor Casey

First Team

  • G – Emmanuel Mudiay
  • G – Devin Booker
  • F – Kristaps Porzingis
  • F – KAT
  • C – Nikola Jokic

Second Team

  • G – D’Angelo Russell
  • G – Trey Lyles
  • F – Justice Winslow
  • F – Myles Turner
  • C – Willie Cauley-Stein

Timmy Sclafani

First Team

  • G – D’Angelo Russell
  • G – Devin Booker
  • F – Kristaps Porzingis
  • F – Karl Anthony Towns
  • C – Nikola Jokic

Second Team

  • G – Justice Winslow
  • G – Trey Lyles
  • F – Justice Winslow
  • F – Jahlil Okafor
  • C – Willie Cauley-Stein

NBA First Round Mock Draft 2.0: Post NCAA Tournament

NBA First Round Mock Draft 2.0: Post NCAA Tournament

This is my second mock draft focusing on players that have been trending up or down after the NCAA tournament. Many players have recently declared for the draft because of the new rule which allows players to “test the waters”. It will be interesting to see which players actually keep their name in the draft and which players head back to college.

Below is every first round pick projection based on team fit. Cheers and enjoy.

Team order as of April 6, 9:30 PM ET

1.Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons SF/PF (LSU Tigers)

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram PF (Duke Blue Devils)

3. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender PF/C (Maccabi Tel Aviv| International)

4. Boston Celtics: Jamal Murray PG/SG (Kentucky Wildcats)

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Buddy Hield SG (Oklahoma Sooners)

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Jaylen Brown SF (California Golden Bears)

7. Sacramento Kings: Kris Dunn PG (Providence Friars)

8. Denver Nuggets: Henry Ellenson PF (Marquette Golden Eagles)

9. Toronto Raptors: Jakob Poeltl C (Utah Utes)

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Skal Labissiere C (Kentucky Wildcats)

11. Orlando Magic: Timothe Luwawu SF (Mega Leks| International

12. Phoenix Suns: Marquese Chriss PF (Washington Huskies)

13. Houston Rockets: Tyler Ulis PG (Kentucky Wildcats)

14. Chicago Bulls: Demetrius Jackson PG (Notre Dame Fighting Irish)

15. Utah Jazz: Deyonta Davis PF/C (Michigan State Spartans)

16. Boston Celtics: Ivan Rabb PF (California Golden Bears)

17. Detroit Pistons: Denzel Valentine SG (Michigan State Spartans)

18. Denver Nuggets: Furkan Korkmaz SG (Anadolu Efes| International)

19. Indiana Pacers: Domantas Sabonis PF/C (Gonzaga Bulldogs)

20. Memphis Grizzlies: Wade Baldwin IV PG (Vanderbilt Commodores)

21. Charlotte Hornets: Diamond Stone C (Maryland Terrapins)

22. Philadelphia 76ers: Thon Maker (Athletic Institute| International)

23. Boston Celtics: Taurean Prince SF (Baylor Bears)

24. Atlanta Hawks: Ivica Zubac C (Mega Leks| International)

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Brice Johnson PF (North Carolina Tar Heels)

26. Toronto Raptors: Stephen Zimmerman C (UNLV Rebels)

27. Philadelphia 76ers: Grayson Allen SG (Duke Blue Devils)

28. Phoenix Suns: Isaia Cordinier SG (Denain| International)

29. San Antonio Spurs: Malik Beasley SG (Florida State Seminoles)

30. Golden State Warriors: Damian Jones C (Vanderbilt Commodores)

Trending Up

Brandon Ingram-

Ingram had a really impressive NCAA tournament. He showed that he can step out and make the deep ball pretty consistently and he showed that he was not afraid to attack the rim. He can basically score from anywhere on the court and he is super athletic. He needs to become a better finisher at the next level, which should happen when he puts on a little more weight.

Right now, there is no consensus No. 1overall pick, it would not surprise me if either Ben Simmons or Ingram went No. 1. Ingram certainly helped his stock during the tourney, while Simmons did not even get to play.

Buddy Hield-

Man, Buddy put on a show for everyone during the NCAA tournament. He scored in a variety of ways throughout the tournament and his shooting was fantastic. Hield is definitely a top 10 pick, but now he might be a top five pick. He would be an intriguing fit on a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Boston Celtics because both teams need a shooter that can help out right away at the fourth or fifth pick in the draft.

Thon Maker-

The big news this week came from Thon Maker, and how is going to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft. He might not be eligible because he is still in high school and you need to be out of high school for at least one year before you enter the draft. He is 19 though, so it will be interesting to see if the NBA lets him in.

Maker is very athletic and he can handle the ball like a floor general. He is a seven-footer, and he can take it coast to coast and finish around the rim, but he must improve his shooting and ability to dominate inside. Maker needs a couple years to mature his game and himself, which is why he would be a good pick for a playoff team between the 20-30 range. Maker could be a prime draft and stash pick.

Brice Johnson-

Brice Johnson’s stock rose pretty high after this tournament because he showed time after time that he can take over a game in the frontcourt. He is super athletic and he has great touch around the rim. Johnson is also very good with his feet in the frontcourt, which is why he now looking like a late first round pick.

Patrick McCaw-

McCaw decided to declare for the NBA draft recently, which is why his stock has risen. If he decides to go through with playing in the NBA next season, McCaw is looking like a late first round pick. He is an ideal wing/shooting guard for the next level, who is freakishly athletic. He is a also a pretty good shooter and he has great length. Once he puts on a little more weight, he is going to be tough to stop.

Trending Down

Pac-12 Prospects Not Named Marquese Chriss

Jakob Poeltl, Jaylen Brown, and Ivan Rabb all disapointed in the NCCA tournament. Poeltl showed that he cannot keep up with power forwards at the next level, and Rabb and Brown showed us that they still have a long way to go before they starting making some noise on offense at the next level. Poeltl and Brown are likely still top 10 picks, but neither of them are looking like top five picks, while Rabb could go anywhere from 10-20.

Vanderbilt Prospects

Both Damian Jones and Wade Baldwin did not help out their draft stock at all against the Wichita State Shockers in the tournament. Jones should have dominated against a smaller team, but he struggled to assert himself in the paint. Baldwin played alright, but he showed that he still lacks control and good decision skills, which is something a point guard really needs.

 

2016 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: First Round

2016 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: First Round

Everyone knows that this year’s 2016 NBA Draft is going to be a “weak” draft, but there are some intriguing players with a lot of upside. The thing that is most intriguing about this draft is that Ben Simmons was arguably the most talked about incoming freshmen/potential No. 1 overall pick since someone like Kevin Durant. Right when Simmons came out of high school, people were not focusing at all on his college career, they were focusing on his game translating to the NBA and seeing if he could become the next elite player in the league.

Now, Simmons might not even go No. 1 overall because of his poor performances down the stretch for the LSU Tigers and due to his inability to shoot does not help either. Many mock drafts out there have Brandon Ingram of Duke going No. 1 overall. Both players are going to be fighting for that No. 1 spot all the way up until draft night, and to be honest, there is no clear No. 1 anymore. Depending on what team gets that No. 1 pick is really what it is going to come down to in the end.

So this is the first version of my mock draft, we just finished the first crazy week of the NCAA tournament where future draft picks did not shine, but there were a few that did. Obviously, we will not know the order of the draft until the lottery, so right now I am going to base it on records

Cheers and enjoy.

Team order as of March 25, 2016 at 9:00 PM ET

1.Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons SF/PF (LSU Tigers)

Wait, didn’t you just say that everyone thinks Ingram is the No. 1 pick right now? The answer is yes, many mock drafts have Ingram going one right now because of how Simmons finished his college career and because Simmons cannot really shoot right now, which is something that Ingram obviously can do. Simmons is still the No. 1 pick in my eyes unless a team like the Los Angeles Lakers or Phoenix Suns get the first pick. The 76ers need a lot of help, but most importantly they need a facilitator. Simmons is a gifted passer, very unselfish, and his basketball IQ is off the charts. The 76ers need a player that can get the ball to Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, and hopefully Joel Embiid.

Now yes, Simmons only shot three shots from beyond the arc in college, which is wild to think about seeing where the NBA is heading, but his shot is certainly not broken, he just never felt comfortable taking the deep shot in college. Simmons going to LSU was not ideal for his game because they never drew up plays for him and because LSU wanted him to be this elite go-to scorer, but he did not have that in his game this year. That part is a little worrisome because in big games, Simmons still always passed the ball and never looked for his shot when LSU needed a bucket. Simmons is still going to need a little time to develop his offensive weapons.

Simmons must develop a jumpshot down the road if he wants to have a long successful career, and he just needs confidence in his shot because he has pretty good mechanics and a nice release point. Simmons has the most upside out of any NBA player in this draft, and it is good that he is college career is over because it was a nightmare situation for him.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram PF (Duke Blue Devils)

If the Lakers get the No. 2 pick overall, they better hope that Ben Simmons goes No. 1 because Brandon Ingram would be a wonderful fit on the Lakers. The Lakers have a pretty promising backcourt with Jordan Clarkson , D’Angelo Russell, and you cannot forget Marcelo Huertas! They also have a nice young frontcourt with players like Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Now the team is looking for a young exciting wing that can score and Brandon Ingram could certainly be that guy.

At 6-foot-9 he is very hard to defend because of his ability to rise up on his jumpshot. He is very explosive and he has a 7-foot-3 wingspan, which is crazy. He must improve his ball-handling skills at the next level and he must put on a little more weight if he wants to have a long career as a wing in the NBA. He shoots 41.5 percent from three for the year, and over his past five games he has shot 57 percent from three. Other than Buddy Hield, Ingram is probably the best offensive player in this year’s draft and the Lakers would be very happy if they landed him.

Ingram is one of the only lottery picks left in the NCAA tournament, so keep an eye on Ingram and see if he can keep his impressive play up against elite competition. Ingram would fit perfectly on the Lakers, and he has had a really impressive year at Duke.

 

3. Boston Celtics: Jamal Murray PG/SG (Kentucky Wildcats)

Not many players in this draft can shoot like Jamal Murray can. Murray had those games in college where he could not miss and his ability to catch-and-shoot is probably his strongest trait. Murray averaged 20.0 PPG as a freshmen at Kentucky and he shot 41.4 percent from deep. He is listed at 6-foot-5, and he is primarily a shooting guard. Even though the Celtics have a crowded backcourt, the team could really use Murray’s impressive shooting ability.

Murray really knows how to get open on the offensive end, and Isaiah Thomas could certainly drive and dish to Murray around the perimeter. He will need to get better on defense at the next level, especially if he want to play big minutes on the Celtics.

4. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender PF/C (Maccabi Tel Aviv| International)

Many of these lottery teams in the NBA are hopeful that Dragan Bender can be the Kristaps Porzingis of this year’s draft. Bender’s statistics are not going to jump off the page at you, but if you watch some of his highlights, you can see that he has an awesome feel for the game.

He is around 7-foot-1 and he has great touch around the rim, but he is going to hang out around the three-point line. He is a pretty good deep shooter and he is athletic, but not as athletic as Porzingis. The Suns have had a terrible season, but to be honest, if Ingram and Simmons are off the board, none of the other players really fit their need. Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, and Devin Booker make up an impressive backcourt. The team really needs a scoring big like Bender, who can stretch the floor as well with Tyson Chandler on the floor or Alex Len.

Bender would be a nice fit in Phoenix, and it might take a little time for him to start playing meaningful minutes, the Suns just have to be patient and play him every night so he can get a feel for the NBA.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Buddy Hield SG (Oklahoma Sooners)

Before the college basketball season started, Buddy Hield was a late first or early second round pick, but now he is looking like a top 10 pick and maybe even a top five pick. Hield was the best scorer in college basketball this season and he shot an impressive 46.2 percent from deep. He averaged 25.3 PPG on the season and he can score in a variety of ways. Hield has a beautiful jumper and he can attack the rim at will.

Hield does turn the ball over a lot and he is not great on defense, which are his two main weaknesses. Minnesota needs more three-point shooting on their roster and if a player like Jamal Murray is off the board, then they might take Hield to help in the backcourt with Ricky Rubio. Also, Hield is putting up all these crazy impressive numbers against some of the best players and teams in the country, which is certainly something to take into account.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Jakob Poeltl C (Utah Utes)

Poeltl is a really gifted center on both ends of the floor. He averaged 17.3 PPG, 8.9 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. Poeltl is an excellent rim-protector, which is why the Pelicans might want Poeltl on their squad. Anthony Davis and Poeltl would make up a very scary frontcourt that can protect the rim and get it done on the offensive end. Poeltl plays very close to the basket, while Davis gets the ball around the free-throw line usually, which is why the spacing would work.

Poeltl has great touch around the rim on the offensive end and he does not have many weaknesses on defense, unless he has to guard a stretch-four. A small-ball center could really do damage against Poeltl due to the speed of a small-ball center or even a stretch-four. Poeltl can guard traditional centers well, but any frontcourt player that can step out and take a deep mid-range or three will give Poeltl a lot of problems. The good news is that Anthony Davis is on the Pelicans who can guard just about anyone if New Orleans takes Poeltl.

7. Sacramento Kings: Kris Dunn PG (Providence Friars)

The Kings do not really need to fill any voids on their team, but they could use some unselfish players who understand the importance of getting DeMarcus Cousins going. Kris Dunn is the best true point guard in this draft, he is a terrific facilitator and he can attack the rim at will. He is also a very physical guard that has the ability to makes plays on both ends on the floor, and he is pretty good on defense, which is something the Kings desperately need.

Dunn must improve his outside shooting, but he is definitely already a better three-point shooter than Rajon Rondo. The Kings would love to have Dunn’s playmaking ability, gritty defense, and high basketball IQ on their team.

8. Orlando Magic: Skal Labissiere PF/C (Kentucky Wildcats)

Before the college basketball season started, Labissiere was certainly a top five pick, but he did not impress at all during his time at Kentucky until the end of their season. He started to show why he is lottery pick towards the end of SEC play. He did not have numbers that really jump off the page, but he affected the game on both ends of the floor in a big way. He is an elite rim-protector and he is really good at finishing around the rim, plus he has the ability to knock down the mid-range shot.

The Magic really need rim-protection in the frontcourt, which is why Labissiere would be great in Orlando. They are not going to rely on him for offensive too much, they are going to need him to protect the rim and make big plays on the defensive end.

9. Denver Nuggets: Jaylen Brown SF (California Golden Bears)

Jaylen Brown certainly did not end the college season on a high note. If he chooses to come out, he might be the prospect with most questions. He has the ideal frame and size for the wing position in the NBA and he is really athletic, but he struggles to score the basketball on the offensive end. He averaged 15.0 PPG this season, but only shot 43.5 percent from the field and he shot 30 percent from deep. He also averaged 3.0 TPG, which is not ideal, and he had a poor stretch during the end of the season. Right now, Brown does not look like a player that an NBA team could rely on to get them scoring off the bench, but he could reach that point in the future if he works on his shooting.

Brown’s athleticism is what makes him so intriguing and the fact that he has a similar game to Stanley Johnson, who was drafted in the top 10 last year. Johnson silenced many doubters this year in the NBA before he got hurt, and they had similar weaknesses. The Nuggets have a very young and promising roster, which is why they could use a guy like Brown, who might need a little time to truly develop his game.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Timothe Luwawu SG/SF (Mega Leeks| International)

Dragan Bender is the top-rated International prospect, but Timothe Luwawu is not very far behind. Luwawu has great court vision and he is a pretty good knockdown shooter. He is a 6-foot-7 small forward/shooting guard that has a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He is really athletic and he would fit in nice on the athletic and big Milwaukee Bucks.

He adds shooting and scoring that the Bucks really need and he will fit in quite nicely on one of longest and biggest teams in the NBA.

11. Toronto Raptors: Henry Ellenson PF (Marquette Golden Eagles)

Henry Ellenson had a pretty impressive freshmen season at Marquette. Ellenson can step out an knock down the three or he can use his soft touch in the paint. He certainly not a great three-point shooter, but that is something that he could improve on. The Raptors need another scoring big that can add that deep shooting threat.

Ellenson is a poor defender, which would not help the Raptors’ frontcourt. Ellenson is a ideal NBA power forward, and in the future he could become a small-ball center with the ability to stretch the floor, which is why the Raptors could really use Ellenson.

12. Houston Rockets: Deyonta Davis PF/C (Michigan State)

Deyonta Davis is 6-foot-10 power forward that can really protect the rim. His offensive game is not great, but he does have good touch around the rim. He can hit the mid-range and he is a good rebounder. Davis is an elite rim-protector, and he could help the Houston Rockets, especially if Dwight Howard signs somewhere else in the offseason.

Davis is certainly known for his defense, but he has the potential to develop a strong offensive game at the next level. He already has great feel in the paint and he would be a nice fit on the Rockets off the bench.

13. Phoenix Suns: Ivan Rabb PF (California Golden Bears)

Ivan Rabb is one of the hardest players to read in this year’s draft. Some night’s he would totally bring it in college on both ends and sometimes he would not. Rabb never really dominated in the Pac-12, but he did show that he can score in a variety of ways this season. His defense is questionable because of his size, he must put on more weight to be a power forward at the next level. He shot two shots from the beyond the arc at California and made one of them.

He is not a stretch four, he is not a great defender, but he does have some nice tools on the offensive end. Suns could use some young depth in the frontcourt, and it might take some time for Rabb to start playing meaningful minutes.

14. Chicago Bulls: Demetrius Jackson PG (Notre Dame Fighting Irish)

Demetrius Jackson could certainly go a little higher in the lottery because he is still playing in the NCAA tournament, but right now he is looking like a good fit at No. 14 for the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls might have to go through a little bit of a rebuilding phase, especially if they do not make the playoffs. Jackson would a be a great fit on the Bulls as a point guard. He is extremely athletic, and a elite playmaker. Jackson also has great size at the point guard position.

He is one of the most athletic guards in the draft and he has shown at Notre Dame that he has the ability to takeover games and make big plays down the stretch.

15. Utah Jazz: Tyler Ulis PG (Kentucky Wildcats)

Wait, Tyelr Ulis is a lottery pick and the second best point guard in this draft? The answer is yes. Ulis is one of the best facilataotrs in this draft and this is something the Utah Jazz desperatley need. Raul Neto is fine, Trey Bruke is fine, and Dante Exum is still a mystery. Ulis is a safe pick right here because of his high basketball IQ and his ability to get the ball to primary scorers. He would feed the Jazz’s frontcourt and help Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood, who have to create for themselves most of the time. Ulis can also shoot the deep ball pretty well, unlike a lot of point guards in this draft not named Wade Baldwin IV, and the Jazz really need shooting. Baldwin would be a good fit on the Jazz as well, but he loses control of the game as a floor general, which is something that Ulis never does.

I would not be shocked if the Jazz took Demetrius Jackson or Baldwin, but Ulis would fit best on the Jazz because of great decision-making.

16. Boston Celtics: Marquese Chriss PF (Washington Huskies)

Now, Marquese Chriss could be a top 10 pick, but as of right now he is looking like a mid-first round pick. Chriss would be a good fit on the Celtics because he could give the team the ability to play small at times, especially if they do not have the same roster in tact next year. He can shoot it from deep, he is very strong in the paint, and he is a high-flyer. Chriss is also a solid rim-protector.

Chriss is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft because he does have a lot of potential. He is a dangerous offensive player, but he definitely needs to make better decisions on that end of the floor at the next level.

17. Denver Nuggets: Furkan Korkmaz SG (Anadolu Efes| International)

Furkan Korkmaz is a talented prospect out of Turkey, who can really shoot the ball. He has a fantastic release and he can really knock down shots off the catch. He must improve in off-the-dribble shooting, but he does know how to use his body when he attacks the rim. Denver could use a shooter like Korkmaz and he has great size at 6-foot-7. He must put on a little more weight for the next level, but he could certainly help out Denver’s shooting woes.

18. Detroit Pistons: Denzel Valentine SG (Michigan State Spartans)

Denzel Valentine and Buddy Hield were the two best players in college basketball this season, and Hield is lotter pick, Valentine will go a little later in the first-round because he is not elite at one thing, he is just above average at everything. He is a great passer, pretty good shooter, and a decent defender.

19. Indiana Pacers: Domantas Sabonis PF/C (Gonzaga Bulldogs)

Domantas Sabonis’s draft stock has been rising as of late after his great performance against Jabok Poeltl and Utah Utes in the NCAA tournament. In that game, Sabonis showed practically everything that he can do. He has great footwork around the rim, he can step out and make the mid-range jumper, and he can even step out hit deep shots. Sabonis would be a nice fit on the Pacers. He would add depth to a young frontcourt and he could share minutes with players like Myles Turner and Jordan Hill.

Sabonis is a really gifted player on both ends of the floor.

20. Memphis Grizzlies: Wade Baldwin IV PG (Vanderbilt Commodores)

Wade Baldwin is a athletic point guard with great playmaking ability. He has great size for a point guard at 6-foot-3 and he shot over 40 percent from deep this year. The Grizzlies definitely need shooting and scoring in the backcourt, which is what Baldwin could add. He is also a decent defender, which is another reason why he would fit in Memphis.

Baldwin could be a lottery pick, but I think he is behind true point guards like Ullis, Jackson, and Dunn.

21. Philadelphia 76ers: Taurean Prince SF (Baylor Bears)

Taurean Prince had an impressive career at Baylor because he could score in a variety of ways. He is very versatile on offense; he can beat you off the dribble, create his own shot, and knockdown the deep ball. The thing is really great about Prince is that he put up impressive numbers during his final season against some of the best teams in the country. Prince will add shooting and scoring in general for the 76ers. He will be able to step in right away for the 76ers.

22. Charlotte Hornets: Diamond Stone C (Maryland Terrapins)

The Hornets really need a solid center for the future, and if they do not land one in free agency, they need to draft a center. Diamond Stone would be a good fit on this team because he is solid around the rim and he has great footwork in the paint. He cannot stretch the floor very well, but he has the ability to score in a variety of ways. He is a pretty good defender and he is very strong, which makes him hard to guard.

 23. Atlanta Hawks: Ivica Zubac C (Mega Leks| International)

You might not know much about the 7-foot-1 center from Croatia, but that does not mean that he cannot help out an NBA team right away. He has excellent touch around the rim, and he is a very good shot-blocker. He would be a nice fit on the Hawks, who lack frontcourt rim-protection, especially if Al Horford is not the team next year.

24. Boston Celtics: DeAndre Bembry SF (Saint Joseph’s Hawks)

The Boston Celtics need wings and they needed expereinced wings that can help out on both ends of the floor. DeAndre Bembry was incredible for Saint Josephs this year and he had played pretty well in the NCAA tournament. Bembry is really good at attacking the rim and he is a good finisher. He is not a great three-point shooter, but he can knock it down. He has good size for a small forward and he always seems to make the right decision.

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Damian Jones C (Vanderbilt Commodores)

Damian Jones is a talented center that has great low-post moves. He has great size and he is very strong down in the paint. He is a pretty good shot-blocker, and he would be a nice fit on the Clippers coming off the bench. Jones had games in college where he did not do much at all, which is a little concerning. In the game against Wichita State in the NCAA tournament, Jones had a bad game, which is unacceptable due to how small Wichita State is. Jones needs to show that he can bring it every night if he wants to play meaningful minutes in the NBA next season.

26. Toronto Raptors: Stephen Zimmerman C (UNLV Rebels)

Stephen Zimmerman was projected to be a top 20 pick before the college basketball season started, but his stock fell as the season went on. He obviously still has a lot of potential to be a solid center at the next level, but it might take some time before he totally finds his game. Before he suffered a season ending knee injury in February, Zimmerman had a pretty solid freshmen season. He is 7-feet tall and he has a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He has the ability to knockdown the mid-range jumper and he shot 29.4 percent from deep. He needs to improve his three-point shooting and put on a little more size for the next level. He would be a decent fit on the Raptors because they need depth in their frontcourt. He is very young and versatile, which is something the Raptors could use.

27. Philadelphia 76ers: Grayson Allen SG (Duke Blue Devils)

Grayson Allen is a really skilled shooting guard that can score in a plethora of ways. He obviously can shoot the basketball pretty well from deep, but he also very good at driving to basket and finishing. He draws a lot of fouls and gets to free-throw line, which is why he led the Blue Devils in scoring. Allen is a winner and that is something the 76ers could seriously use… #trusttheprocess.

28. Phoenix Suns: Isaia Cordinier SG (Denain| International)

Isaia Cordinier is from France and he is anther International prospect with a lot of upside. He can really shoot the basketball and he is a high-flyer. Cordinier can get to the rim at will, and he has good size at 6-foot-5. He must put on a little more weight to become a better player in the future. He probably will get stashed by the Suns because their backcourt in pretty crowded and because he is not fully ready for the NBA.

29. San Antonio Spurs: Juan Hernangomez SF/PF (Estudiantes| International)

Juan Hernangomez is 6-foot-9 and he can play multiple positions. He can shoot the basketball from beyond the arc and he can hurt you with his inside game. He is pretty athletic and not a bad defender. Hernangomez would be a nice fit on the Spurs because he could add shooting and the ability to play multiple positions.

30. Golden State Warriors: Malik Beasley SG (Florida State Seminoles)

Malik Beasley is a gifted scorer, and he can really shoot the ball on the catch. He is also very athletic and is not afraid at all to take it to the rim. He certainly does not lack confidence on the offensive end, and he is not scared to take the big shot. Golden State does not need much obviously, but a shooter and scorer like Beasley would be nice to have.

NBA High-Five Reaction All-Stars

NBA High-Five Reaction All-Stars

So, last night was another eventful night in the NBA. There were not any owners dunking or introductions of new mascots that look like they could be on the cover of cereal box, but there were great NBA games on. The Boston Celtics won their 12th straight game at home against the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers. Rookie R.J. Hunter also had like the worst thing ever happen to him, which you can see below.

Below are basically my high-five reaction all-stars from this season and the past. You make the list depending on how great, funny, and creative your reaction is to receiving or not receiving a high-five. Below are the different types of categories.

The Rookies Don’t Deserve High-Five Guy

The NBA is the sport where most of the teams have stars, and we have seen many times that sometimes, stars are not about that high-five life. Isaiah Thomas was pumped that his team was dominating and that he had a great game, so no way was he going to high-five a rookie. Hunter’s reaction was pretty classic though, basically making a facial expression like “alriighttt……”, and leaving his hand up to make it look like there was something wrong with his hand.

Thomas did apologize after the game for leaving Hunter hanging.

Part of this section will also include this amazing rookie to star handshake between Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne. This handshake is awesome, and since Payne is not get much playing time anymore, fans should always pay attention to the pregame handshake between these two.

#FREECAMPAYNE

The High-Five For Energy Guy

Russell Westbrook is literally the craziest man in the NBA and if I was going to war with another country, he would be my super soldier cause he is relentless and freakishly athletic. He feeds off energy, so when a player did not give him a high-five coming to the bench, he made sure to stop and get a high-five. Gotta respect his hustle, I would not want to be the dude that did not give Westbrook the high-five.

The High-Five Yourself Guy

Then there is Kosta Koufos, who has the best reaction to a non-high-five in my opinion. I would react in the same exact way if I lent a hand out to friend in need with a high-five, but he was like nahhhhhh, then I would dap myself up. Sometimes if I see a buddy pretty far away but I want to say high, I’ll pretend that we dapped each other up by dapping myself up.

The Too Cool High-Five Guy

The fan just wanted some love from Andre Iguodola, but Iggy was not about that life at all. The fan literally high-fived the air, I would have done the exact same thing. Come on Andre do not leave my dude hanging like that.

NBA Coffee Table Talks: Rookies

NBA Coffee Table Talks: Rookies

For this edition of NBA Coffee Table Talks, the staff writers at C&B will give their takes on some of the rookies around the league. We will talk about players like Kristpas Porzingis, Cameron Payne, Jarell Martin (maybe not), and much more!

2015 NBA Draft Towns

Is the NBA ROY race already over?

Timmy: It sure is. Can you even call Karl-Anthony Towns a rookie?  I mean… It’s his first year in the NBA, but it doesn’t even seem fair. Towns just had his 12th game with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds, which is the fourth most in the NBA. Just 2/3 of the way through his rookie campaign he is drawing comparisons to Tim “Old Man Riverwalk” Duncan–one of the all time greats. The only stat that really favors Porzingis is PER–but watch one game, or look at one stat line, and you will see that KAT is the undisputed rookie of the year.

Connor: Timmy pretty much summed it all up. KAT has been heads and shoulders above the rest of the rookie class. Sure Porzingis has had his impressive performance and his stretches where he has looked like ROY candidate, but KAT has been the most consistently productive. I think a lot of people *cough, Timmy, cough* overlooked KAT because he wasn’t able to show his entire skill set at Kentucky. We saw the defense and the post game but we barely ever saw the shooting touch or the play-making ability (thanks a lot Calipari). It’s a no-brainer at this point for me and I don’t think any other rookie can do anything over the remainder of the season to change my mind.

Chris: Can’t argue with the fact that Towns is an absolute beast and has proved that he’s going to be a double-double machine for a long time. If the season ended now then yes, Towns is the ROY without a doubt. Unfortunately for him Kristaps Porzingis a.k.a The Latvian Lion, Godzingis, KP, Zinger is right behind Towns in PPG, Rebounds and leads all rooks with 1.90 blocks per game. So while Towns’ play has been stellar I still have faith in my man KP to make a late season run and further contend for the coveted ROY title. There’s not much else a Knicks fan can hope for this season…

Eric: Kat Kat Kat!!!! He is a monster and has been a monster all year. Kristaps is certainly in the discussion as well and maybe you could convince me that Devin Booker is in the conversation as well. Booker has been awesome, even though the Phoenix Suns might be the worst team in the NBA.

  1. Towns
  2. Gawddzingis
  3. Booker

 

What rookie has really impressed from the get-go?

Timmy: I will use this question to show some love for the Zinger. He walked on to a flawed New York Knicks team and is averaging 14 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. While Porzingis still needs to put on some weight and work on his defense, he immediately made himself one of the NBA’s most exciting players to watch. If you don’t love a good ol’ fashioned Porzingis putback dunk, then you don’t love basketball. To top it all off, he got Melo to share not only the spotlight–but also the ball!

Connor: I’m going to have to go with Devin Booker on this one. He is stuck in a terrible Phoenix organization that has no direction whatsoever, but he has really proved to be a brilliant shooter. Not to mention he is the youngest player in the NBA this season. He has proven to be a capable defender and has even shown flashes of play-making and ball handling. I didn’t think coming out of the draft that he would be able to contribute so quickly.

Chris: Clearly my bias lays with Porzingis as he (as promised) turned the draft day boos into cheers with excellent play over the course of the season. I have run into many Knicks fans that have claimed they knew Porzingis would end up being a stud from the beginning of the season, ironically those were the same people who sent me “fire everybody” texts after New York took KP 4th overall. Interesting.

Eric: I know Justise Winslow does not have great numbers like Towns, Porzingis, or even Booker, but he has been terrific as well from the start. Sometimes it is hard for rookies to come off the bench right away, but he has really adapted to his role in Miami. He is an excellent defender and pretty good on offense, especially when he is taking it to the rack.

He must improve his three-point shooting, but other than that, he has looked really sharp.

Most disappointing rookie?

Timmy: I’ll just admit that I went through the list of rookies and didn’t see a single one that I would classify strictly as a disappointment. They’ve basically all shown promise, which is really the most you can ask in a guys first year. This rookie class has been deceptively great and I think a LOT of these players have potential not only to be in the league for many years–but to develop into legit starting players and All-Stars.

Connor: This might not be a fair assessment but I had pretty high hopes for Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky this year. After Michael Jordan and the Hornets organization refused to take up to six draft picks from the C’s just so that they could grab Kaminsky made me think that he might be a hidden gem. While he has certainly had some good moments throughout the season, shooting 40 percent from the field doesn’t get me too excited about what he has to offer. Sure he can has time to grow, but with Al Jefferson out for almost two months, Kaminsky had a chance to solidify himself as a mainstay in the rotation and, in my opinion, he did nothing to make himself stand out.

Chris: This has been a stacked rookie class from top to bottom and as most of these guys are still teenagers it’s impossible to predict where their play will be at a few years down the line. With that being said I expected a little more out of Emmanuel Mudiay. He slipped a little bit on draft day after playing a year professionally in China. Mudiay is averaging a solid 11.3 PPG and leading rooks in the assist per game with 5.7. With his professional experience I thought he would have been a top 4 scorer for rookies heading into the season, solid play but it just goes to show how talented the rookie pool really is this year.

Eric: Kelly Oubre Jr. only play 11.3 MPG because he has not been very good this season for the Washington Wizards. The team definitely had high hopes for Oubre on the wing to help the team with scoring but he has disappointed big time. He averages 3.7 PPG, but he does shot 35 percent from deep, which is not bad. In the month of February, he is averaging 4.4 MPG and 1.9 PPG because people have came back from injury and because there is no need for Oubre in the lineup.

I thought Oubre was a steal for the Wizards in the draft because it filled a need on the wing to back up Otto Porter Jr., but he has been a huge disappointment so far.

Which rookie is in the worst situation?

Timmy: Uhm, can I pick the Celtics rookies? Sure they are in a great, team-oriented locker room with one of the best coaches in the NBA on a team currently sitting in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference… but they can’t BUY minutes on the floor unless it’s a blow out in one direction or the other. Towards the beginning of the season R.J. Hunter was getting some nice first-half minutes–but despite some promising outings, Coach Brad Stevens has all but cut him out of the roster in the interest of shortening the bench.

Connor: As much of a Celtics homer as I am, I have to agree with Timmy on this one. Now I’m not advocating for all of them to be playing 20 minutes per game, but I think there are spots where their skill set could be helpful. When fellow rookie KAT was putting a hurting on the C’s on Monday night, would it have hurt to throw Jordan Mickey in there and see if he has any chance of slowing him down? Certainly nobody else had been able to stop him, so why not throw him in? If I had one qualm with the way Brad Stevens coaches is that he sometimes gets a little to trusting in his veteran players. Granted, Evan Turner has been playing really well lately, but sometimes the match ups call for different things and the Celtics’ three rookies have something to offer.

Chris: Maybe a better question  would have been what rookie is in the best situation? Philly, LAL and Minnesota all have young talent and presumably solid draft picks in 2016. The young players on these teams are growing and developing together to one day get out of the gutter and contend in the playoffs. Towns and Okafor are averaging 30 minutes per game which is great for their development into All-Stars down the line. I don’t understand why D’Angelo Russell isn’t getting more time in L.A. on such a weak team. Might be time to start playing your draft pick so he has time to grow rather than focus on the Kobe Farewell Tour, just a thought.

Eric: Mario Hezonja should be playing a lot more than he is. He is a very talented young player, that has the ability to put on a show on any given night. He reminds me of a smarter J.R. Smith because they both are really good deep shooters and they also have a lot of confidence in themselves. It is not his fault that there really is not much room for him to play, he is a shooting guard on the Orlando Magic, which is a team full of guard and they just added another guard in Brandon Jennings. The Magic need to play him much more.

My second pick for worst situation would be Bobby Portis. People see now that Portis is starting to play a lot more, but the only reason he is starting to play a lot more is because Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic are sidelined with injuries. He is a very good player that could be playing a lot of quality minutes on plenty of teams, but the Bulls need to make some moves this offseason to clear up their heavily crowded frontcourt, so Portis can play more.

Last question, do you think Timmy should apologize to Karl-Anthony Towns?

Timmy: Hey, hey, hey. See question 1.

The short answer is yes.

Connor: If there isn’t a thank you card sent out by the end of the day I’m going to be furious. So many apologies need to be made.

Eric: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSM3w1v-A_Y

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Towns’s Stats As A Rookie