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NBA 2016 Top 10 Mock

       
       The NBA season is fast approaching an end, meaning teams will start to decide whether to battle for a fringe playoff slot, or just tank it out for a lottery chance at the top pick, albeit, a minimal one. Since so many changes can occur from now, until draft lottery night, and once again, after the lottery, we will be using the current standings with the RealGM lottery simulator to determine the pecking order.

1] Phoenix Suns select Benjamin Simmons from Louisiana State University
       What was supposed to be a season where Phoenix was going to battle for a playoff spot in the West, ended up derailed due to injuries and has the Suns battling for a top lottery pick, currently projected to be the third pick. Hitting the lottery here allows the Suns to pick up the coveted Ben Simmons to add to a core of Eric Bledsoe, Brendan Knight, TJ Warren and Devin Booker. Simmons has a lot of work to do to refine his offensive game, however, his contributions on the defensive end will be immediately noticeable, and with the scoring prowess of Knight and Booker, Phoenix can allow Simmons to ease into his future.

2] New Orleans Pelicans select Brandon Ingram from Duke University
       New Orleans has had injury concerns for ages, it seems. Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday just can not seem to stay on the court. The payoff is Ingram, Coach K's 6'9 wing prospect. Ingram may not have the ceiling possessed by Simmons, but his floor is projected to be much greater at the next level, and the Pelicans may be lucking into the pick here, as the offensive punch brought by Ingram should fit in well, with, hopefully, a healthy Holiday, Gordon and Davis.

3] Los Angeles Lakers select Jakob Poeltl from the University of Utah
       The recent emergence of D'Angelo Russell, and the continued solid play of Jordan Clarkson has the Lakers set at both guard slots for the foreseeable future, assuming both are retained. Julius Randle is penciled in to be the Purple and Gold's four, leaving the small forward and center spots open. In comes Poeltl, the Utes 7' footer that possesses solid defensive awareness and post play. His passing out of double teams is ahead of the curve, and should translate to the next level. Can't see Los Angeles gambling with Dragan Bender here, though, it is a strong possibility. Same with Jaylen Brown.

4] Philadelphia 76ers select Jamal Murray from the University of Kentucky
       With Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, something has to give with the 76ers this summer, but until trades are made, the 76ers go with the young combination guard from Kentucky with the fourth slot. Dropping from the top projected to four and also missing out on the Lakers top three protected pick stings, but still allows the 76ers to build towards the future by building with more youth. Murray should boost the team's offensive output almost immediately.

5] Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn) select Dragan Bender from Croatia
       Boston has a handful of picks, and will most likely be looking towards consolidating talent. However, with the impeding free agencies of Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, the Celtics take the top ranked big man of the draft, and hope Bender can put on some strength to remain in the pros for years to come. A stretch four, Bender has the agility to spend time at the three, even at 7' feet, and can spot at the five as well.

6] Minnesota Timberwolves select Jaylen Brown from the University of California
       While the Wolves don't need another wing, with Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammed being small forward prospects, and toss in Zach LaVine at the two, Brown may just be too intriguing to pass up. Comparisons to Jason Richardson bode well for the swing man while the Wolves look to shore up their offensive output. Kris Dunn would be a better pick here, but Minnesota might just be stuck with Ricky Rubio at the point.

7] Denver Nuggets (from New York) select Kris Dunn from Providence
       The Carmelo trade pays off dividends for the Knicks, as they take the seasoned Junior point guard from Providence here. Dunn can step in and immediately make the Nuggets into a playoff threat, with his activity on the floor. Among the NCAA's assist leaders, Dunn also nets 2.7 steals an outing and can blow by nearly any opponent. Being a junior shouldn't affect his stock much.

8] Toronto Raptors (from Denver) select Ivan Rabb from the University of California
       Kyle Lowry is the teams point man, DeMare Carroll and DeMar DeRozan hold down the wing slots with Terrance Ross behind them and Jonas Valanciunas has the center slot on lock down. Toronto has gotten away with Luis Scola as the starting power forward all season, and Rabb comes in to make an immediate impact for the Canadian side. Comparisons drawn to Chris Bosh, a former Raptor, should warm up Raptor fans to his game, though Rabb is lacking an offensive repertoire. His defense needs to be shored up, but Valanciunas should be able to cover it up for the first couple of seasons, along with the team defense.

9] Milwaukee Bucks select Buddy Hield from the University of Oklahoma
       Giannis Anteup has been on an absolute tear since Jason Kidd moved him to the point guard position, but the Bucks are still missing an offensive presence. Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo is a solid sixth man, while Khris Middleton is improving as days go on. Hield comes in to immediately be the teams top option and spreads the floor for the Bucks to work with Giannis everywhere on the court. Being a senior may deter the Bucks, but the jump Buddy made from his junior to senior year can't be overlooked, and potential still does remain.

10] Sacramento Kings select Denzel Valentine from Michigan State University
       Valentine may be one of the more overlooked prospects, as most mocks have him barely sneaking into the lottery. With Demarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein up front, and Rajon Rondo manning the point, I can't see Sacramento being eager to pick up anyone but a swing man. Enter Denzel Valentine. Coming from a Tom Izzo team means that Valentine is ready to provide defense, but his all around game can't be overlooked, with averages of 20 points and 7.5 rebounds/assists per game as a senior is solid. Toss in hitting 45.4% from behind the arc while attempting 7.6 per night, and you have a guy that can be among the best 3&D prospects in the NBA. Also allows for the Kings to look into trading Rudy Gay away.

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