Winds of change have come to basketball again as the 2016 Draft sweeps through the NBA’s new era.
This is the next generation. This is the future. What a time to be drafted.
Here’s how they all fell.
With the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft the Philadelphia 76ers select Ben Simmons out of LSU. Potentially the biggest player from that university alumni since the Magic smile of Shaq! But the SLAM book of basketball, throwback cover star and most hyped player since King LeBron James won’t be draped in the royalty of purple and gold anymore. Instead in joining two of the biggest rookies over the past few seasons in Jahil Okafor and Joel Embiid, Simmons may just be Philly’s answer to the post Allen Iverson, future franchise face legacy and legend now they can let number 3 go to the rafters.
As for number two that spot was reserved for a player who could have gone first and foremost too. And in handing the cap to Brandon Ingram the choice is the Lakers. The Duke Blue Devil has the spirit and ethic of Coach K in him heading to the city of angels and the skinny on this rail-thin kid is he could the next Durant. So maybe the Lakers don’t have to go after Kevin in free agency after all. Now Kobe is retired get your Instagrams ready for Ingram because Brandon could just be the future chapter of this storied franchise of Mikan, Wilt, West, Baylor, Kareem, Magic and Shaq. The last forward the Lake Show took this big was the Worthy game of James. You see where number 42 lies. Now in this small ball revolution Brandon Ingram could join the fellow youthful revolution of last years number 2 D’Angelo Russell, previous lottery pick Julius Randle and surprise rookie and sophomore’s Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in running a new life line-up to death. Showtime!
A franchise steeped in even more history than the Lakers looked to their own future that they hope flies like a Bird as the Boston Celtics selected forward Jaylen Brown with the 3rd pick. Whilst Phoenix made a Porzingis like gamble on international big Dragan Bender. Rounding out the top five, Kris Dunn seems the perfect fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Forming a one-two punch with Kentucky’s reigning Rookie of The Year Karl Anthony-Townes that could be the second coming of Da Kid and Starbury…or like Dunn’s alma mater…Providence.
Our sixth man could be this years Emmanuel Mudiay as Bahamas born Buddy Hield like Canadian great Rick Fox is calling New Orleans friend now. Whilst the latest cat from Coach Cap’s Kentucky to run wild in the big leagues is Denver’s Jamal Murray, a real nugget find. But the sleeper pick of this draft doesn’t lie in the top ten with the Suns Marquese Chriss (expect a rising year). Or Toronto’s Jakob Poeltl (get ready for the Drake references) and the Bucks Milwaukee will throw at Thon Maker finishing this final countdown. But instead somewhere between February and a Washington movie as the Chicago Bulls steal Denzel Valentine with the almost criminal 14th pick. Cupid may have missed an unlucky 13 times but you got to love it! This draft choice will leave the Windy City asking “Derrick who”? Rising above this kid has more than just game. Just like Gary Payton II has more than a name…no matter how great it is. As the Rockets hand the gloves of their franchise future to this undrafted rookie there’s more than one way to get to basketballs biggest stage than draft day.
But for those looking to win the lottery…this is just the ticket!
Lets run roll call…
1) Philadelphia: Ben Simmons, F (LSU)
2) LA Lakers: Brandon Ingram, F (Duke)
3) Boston: Jaylen Brown, F (California)
4) Phoenix: Dragan Bender, F (Croatia)
5) Minnesota: Kris Dunn, PG (Providence)
6) New Orleans: Buddy Hield, SG (Oklahoma)
7) Denver: Jamal Murray, G (Kentucky)
8) Phoenix: Marquese Chriss, F (Washington)
9) Toronto: Jakob Poeltl, C (Utah)
10) Milwaukee: Thon Maker, PF (Canada)
11) Oklahoma City: Domantas Sabonis, C (Gonzaga)
12) Atlanta: Taurean Prince, SF (Baylor)
13) Sacramento: Georgios Papagiannis, C (Greece)
14) Chicago: Denzel Valentine, SG (Michigan State)
15) Denver: Juan Hernangomez, F (Spain)
16) Boston: Guerschon Yabusele, PF (France)
17) Memphis: Wade Baldwin, G (Vanderbilt)
18) Detroit: Henry Ellenson, PF (Marquette)
19) Denver: Malik Beasley, SG (Florida State)
20) Brooklyn: Caris LeVert, G (Michigan)
21) Atlanta: DeAndre Bembry, F (St. Joseph’s)
22) Sacramento: Malachi Richardson, SG (Syracuse)
23) Boston: Ante Zizic, C (Croatia)
24) Philadelphia: Timothé Luwawu, SG (France)
25) LA Clippers: Brice Johnson, F (North Carolina)
26) Philadelphia: Furkan Korkmaz, F (Turkey)
27) Toronto: Pascal Siakam, PF (New Mexico State)
28) Sacramento: Skal Labissiere, PF (Kentucky)
29) San Antonio: Dejounte Murray, PG (Washington)
30) Golden State: Damian Jones, C (Vanderbilt)
31) Memphis: Deyonta Davis, C (Michigan State)
32) LA Lakers: Ivica Zubac, C (Croatia)
33) New Orleans: Cheick Diallo, PF (Kansas)
34) Phoenix: Tyler Ulis, PG (Kentucky)
35) Memphis: Rade Zagorac, (Serbia)
36) Milwaukee: Malcolm Brogdon, SG (Virginia)
37) Houston: Chinanu Onuaku, C (Louisville)
38) Golden State: Patrick McCaw, SG (UNLV)
39) LA Clippers: David Michineau, PG (France)
40) LA Clippers: Diamond Stone, C (Maryland)
41) Orlando: Stephen Zimmerman, PF (UNLV)
42) Brooklyn: Isaiah Whitehead, SG (Seton Hall)
43) Houston: Zhou Qi, C (China)
44) Atlanta: Isaia Cordinier, SG (France)
45) Boston: Demetrius Jackson, PG (Notre Dame)
46) Dallas: A.J. Hammons, C (Purdue)
47) Portland: Jake Layman, SF (Maryland)
48) Chicago: Paul Zipser, SF (Germany)
49) Detroit: Michael Gbinije, SF (Syracuse)
50) Indiana: Georges Niang, PF (Iowa State)
51) Boston: Ben Bentil, PF (Providence)
52) Utah: Joel Bolomboy, PF (Weber State)
53) Denver: Petr Cornelie, PF (France)
54) Atlanta: Kay Felder, PG (Oakland)
55) Utah: Marcus Paige, PG (North Carolina)
56) Denver: Daniel Hamilton, SF (Connecticut)
57) Memphis: Wang Shelin, C (China)
58) Boston: Abdel Nader, PF (Iowa State)
59) Sacramento: Isaiah Cousins, SG (Oklahoma)
60) Utah: Tyrone Wallace, PG (California)
Class of 2016 your time is now!