Pedro Casas: Let’s just say after going over thirty picks for my own Mock Draft I can rest assure that no GM in the NBA should be worried about me coming for their job. This was tough as can be and I’m not the one who has to open my checkbook and make one of these guy’s an overnight millionaire. We all know that Draft night is like no other so I can only imagine some major trades will take place between now and then and completely shake up the order of the draft. Plus, some of these teams make some questionable choices when it comes to who is getting the keys to the franchise for years to come. So let’s see who is crazier, most NBA GM’s or myself.
1: Philadelphia 76ers
Pedro: Ben Simmons (PF) – Is there anybody else we’re really picking in this spot? Anybody? Simmons has been commonly referred to as the poor man’s Lebron James, he does a little of everything for his team. The sky is the limit for this prospect, especially if he develops a consistent jumper. His mechanics aren’t flawed so a few years with some NBA shooting coaches and he’ll be a threat from any spot on the floor and ready to be the face of the 76ers franchise.
Rafael: Ben Simmons (PF) – The Sixers can use someone to run their offense especially because of their lack of a point guard. Although I expect them to be aggressive in acquiring a point guard either through trade or in free agency, this pick is a no brainer.
Davon: Ben Simmons (PF) – Ben Simmons is by far the most talented player in this years draft. Averaging 19 ppg 12 rpg and 5 apg we will not see the 76ers pick anyone else with the first pick.
2: Los Angeles Lakers
Pedro: Brendon Ingram (SF) – Very skilled wingman who will perfectly with the young core of Clarkson, Russell and Randle. Measuring at 6’9, he has an abnormally long wing span at 7’3. Ingram can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and will hopefully help fill the gaping hole Kobe Bryant left behind. If Ingram can add 15-20 lbs of muscle and strength to his body throughout his career, this may end up being the best player to come out of this draft.
Rafael: Brendon Ingram (SF) – Ingram didn’t impress me much with his college play. There were too many times where looked to be taking it too easy and too many possessions that he just completely took off. Maybe he was just bored and needed competition? If thats the reason he will have fun trying to keep the Lakers in games next season.
Davon: Brendon Ingram (SF) – Of course the lakers would love to have Ben Simmons but Brandon Ingram in LA makes perfect sense. The Lakers desperately need scoring and with Ingram being the deadly scorer he is with massive potential to be a superstar in the nba along with D’Angelo Russell & Julius Randle. The Lakers will not look anywhere else with the #2 pick.
3: Boston Celtics
Pedro: Dragan Bender (PF) – What scares me about this pick is that I’m not entirely sold on his game yet. Bender wasn’t very consistent from the floor and he never seems to be on the attack towards the rim. He relies on his teammates to get him his shot in Pick and Roll situations. He is only 18 years old so this may be a project in the making but I do like his overall upside. If Kristaps Porzingis taught me anything is don’t under estimate these foreign players anymore, plus the Celtics need help in the front court, badly.
Rafael: Dragan Bender (PF) – Bender is a uniquely skilled big man. He can pass, shoot and has shown flashes of defense. Although most analysts believe that there is a hug drop off after the first and second pick, I feel like there are at least four or five players with all star potential in the top 14 and Bender is one of them.
Davon: Dragan Bender (PF) – Dragan Bender is a big question mark in this years draft but the Celtics with a playoff roster of loaded talent can actually afford to take a risk by drafting him.
4: Pheonix Suns
Pedro: Buddy Hield (SG) – I’ve read numerous pieces where some people feel Hield is the most NBA ready prospect in this year’s draft. At 6’4, 215 lbs, Hield has the NBA body most prospects only dream of at this stage in their career. Hield has that swagger about him that oozes confidence when he’s out on the floor. Equipped with a sweet jumper and the ability to play effective one-on-one defense, Hield might be the missing piece in Phoenix that gets them over the Playoff hump.
Rafael: Jaylen Brown (SF) – Brown is known as one of the best athletes in the draft. He in some ways reminds me of Stanley Johnson from last years draft. He lacks a consistent jumper and is pretty raw talent wise but has the physical tools and motor to become a great player. He is already above average on defense and as a wing in the league he will need to develop a 3 point shot in order to not be a liability on offense. If this kid puts it together, he’s going to be one of the best players in this draft. The suns have great offensive guards which would minimize Brown’s ineffectiveness on that end of the floor.
Davon: Marquese Chriss (PF) – The Suns desperately want a PF or C for now and the future and Marquese Chriss is definitely the guy for them. Chriss has recently been rising on draft boards and I do not see why the Suns wouldn’t take a chance on him with the #4 pick especially when they have the 13th pick also.
5: Minnesota Timberwolves
Pedro: Jamal Murray (SG) – I don’t think Murray gets enough credit for how athletic and explosive he is for a Point Guard. He attacks the rim with a purpose and never shies away from throwing contact and a big dunk. Murray has been in an “NBA type” environment having played for Coach Calipari at Kentucky, he is used to the bright lights and media attention. Combine him with Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine and last year’s ROY Karl-Anthony Towns, you have a nucleus of talent to build around in Minnesota for years to come.
Rafael: Kris Dunn (PG) – Dunn is said to not only be the best point guard in the draft but he could potential be the best player overall. He’s explosive of the dribble but also makes the correct plays. If the rumors are true, the Wolves will be looking to trade Ricky Rubio which would open up a starting point guard spot that would be Dunn’s to lose. All in all he looks like a safe bet to become an effective NBA point guard. With his size athleticism and feel for the game, I don’t see a reason he won’t succeed.
Davon: Kris Dunn (PG) – Kris Dunn is easily the best point guard in the draft and he is ready to step in and be a starter already. The Timberwolves have been contemplating on trading Rubio for some time now and I think them drafting Rubio will make their decision way easier.
6: New Orleans Pelicans
Pedro: Jaylen Brown (SF) – Brown has been quoted saying he feels he is the best player in this year’s draft, isn’t that the kind of attitude you want from a player you’re hoping is going to help lead your franchise for years to come? I think so, Brown has all the tools to help any NBA franchise on his first day. Pair him alongside Anthony Davis for the next five years and you could have a possible sleeper in the Western Conference for years to come.
Rafael: Buddy Hield (SG) – Hield has Kobe’s blessing. Should I stop there? This kid is a workhorse. He has improved every year in college and looks to improve even more. Shooting historical numbers from behind the arc that haven’t been done since Stephen Curry is impressive, but this young man has quieted all of his doubters with his play this season. He could easily be the best shooter in the draft. The only thing holding Hield back is his athleticism and his court vision.
Davon: Buddy Hield (SG) – We all know the Pelicans battled through injuries all season long but that is no excuse for how poorly Anthony Davis’s supporting cast has played. Buddy Hield will be an elite scorer and already has an amazing 3 ball. He can be an instant impact in New Orleans and can actually help Davis win some games to get right back to the playoffs, which they missed this past season.
7: Denver Nuggets
Pedro: Kris Dunn (PG) – When I think of the smartest player on this draft I think of Kris Dunn. There is absolutely no wasted movement in his game, he is precise and to the point when he is on the floor. He has that IT factor when it comes down to Point Guards and the ability to put his finger prints on the game and the pace it goes at. Emmanuel Mudiay now has a running mate in the Denver back court and they can begin to challenge the Lakers for the best young back court in the NBA.
Rafael: Jamal Murray (SG) – Jamal Murray believes he is the best player in the draft and that is hard to argue. He shot over 40% from 3 while putting up more than 7 3s a game. He showed the ability to play out of the pick and roll and utilizes the entire court on offense. From circus shots to off balance fade away 3s, this kid has the whole arsenal. He’s a scorer in every sense of the word, he can come off of screens and shoot from just about anywhere on the court.
Davon: Jaylen Brown (SF) – The Nuggets already have a stacked young team with loads of talent but it never hurts to add on more. Jaylen Brown is the right pick for this young nuggets team simply because their starting SF Danilo Gallinari and back up Wilson Chandler cannot stay healthy. Brown would fit right in with the Nuggets system and he has great defense that’s going to keep growing and getting better.
8: Sacramento Kings
Pedro: Dejounte Murray (PG) – Murray makes up for what he lacks in the weight, 170 lbs and measuring in at 6’5, in every other way on the court. He is fearless once he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the bucket. Scoring double figures in 26 of 34 collegiate games, Murray showed the ability to score when he decided it was time to. With a little work Murray can be one of the real steals in this draft.
Rafael: Timothy Luwawu (SG) – Luwawu is an athletic guard who can play both positions. With good size at 6″7 he can see over defenses and make difficult passes look easy. The scary part is the Luwawu is more of a shooting guard. He uses crafty spin moves and euro steps to get into the lane and finishes with a soft touch or a thunderous dunk. He uses both hands effectively and can knock down the occasional 3. If this kid becomes a more consistent 3pt shooter, he will be a future all star.
Davon: Jamal Murray (SG) – There’s no reason the Kings shouldn’t draft Jamal Murray if he’s available with the 8th pick. Everything about this pick makes perfect sense with SG Ben McLemore not progressing the way the Kings had hoped, Murray can step right in and be an instant impact to the team along side Rondo, Boogie Cousins & Ga.
9: Toronto Raptors
Pedro: Marquese Chriss (PF) – If I’m correct this will mark the second year in a row that two teammates get drafted back to back. Chriss reminds me of Willie Cauley-Stein with extended range on the perimeter, which ironically was Trey Lyles’ and Devin Booker’s teammates at Kentucky. Who just so happened to be the guys beforehand mentioned being drafted out of the same school, crazy how the world works, huh? Chriss embodies the big man of the future in the NBA, mobile and can affect shots at the rim. Adding Chriss to the roster can be the icing on the cake after a deep run in the Eastern Conference Playoffs for Toronto.
Rafael: Marquese Chriss (PF) – Chriss is perfect for the NBA in this day and age. He can step out and knock down the 3, he can post up and he can also work from the elbows. Not only does he work well on offense, Chriss also defends at a high level. The Raptors don’t have any glaring holes in their roster so drafting Chriss and giving him time to develop shouldn’t be too hard for them.
Davon: Henry Ellenson (PF) – With a desperate need at the PF position the Raptors should definitely select Henry Ellenson with the 9th pick. Ellenson has a great offensive skill set and an impressive rebounding ability. He will be able the scoring the Raptors need outside of their all-star backcourt.
10: Milwaukee Bucks
Pedro: Jacob Poeltl (PF,C) – Poetlt is an intriguing in my eyes due to the fact he brings an Old school feel to the hardwood coming in at 7’1 240 lbs, yet he seems to be so nimble and sweet footed. He can knock down the elbow jumpers which is starting to be an essential for big men so the floor stays evenly spaced for the guards. Pair him up with the Greek Freak and Jabari Parker, and you start to see the possible playoff contender for Head Coach Jason Kidd and the Bucks.
Rafael: Jacob Poeltl (PF,C) – The Bucks have an extremely young and active roster, but the only thing they lack is defense from the center position. Greg Monroe has provided offense but has hurt more often than not on defense. With Poeltl they would have a long defensive center who can also slide into the power forward position. Poeltl is mobile enough to stay in front of the pick and roll ball handlers although he could use some work on his foot speed.
Davon: Domantas Sabonis (PF) – With the ” Greek Freak” being named the starting PG for the Bucks heading into the 2016-2017 season they will look to add another Forward to their roster and Sabonis makes perfect sense. He will be an instant contributor.
11: Orlando Magic
Pedro: Domantas Sabonis (PF) – Sabonis just like his father, Arvydas Sabonis, Domantas can do a little bit of everything from the Center position. He can pass, he can knock down a jumper and he’s versatile. Sabonis brings a bit more athleticism than his father was back in the day, mix that in with his high IQ thanks to growing up around the game. Sabonis feels like a real comfortable pick here for the up and coming Orlando Magic.
Rafael: Skal Labissiere (PF) – Labissiere is the biggest question mark in this draft. He fell out of the rotation in Kentucky when he came out the gate struggling. He was once thought to potentially be the first overall draft pick this year but fell off completely. He was in that position for a reason though and any player can have a bad year. With no holes in their roster, the Magic can afford to give Skal a couple of seasons to develop.
Davon: Denzel Valentine (SG) – Denzel Valentine is arguably the most versatile player in this draft & the Orlando Magic would not make the wrong decision here by drafting him especially since they traded Tobias Harris. The Magic already have slot of young depth but Valentine’s leadership skills can help the Magic finally start clicking with the young talent they have on their roster.
12: Utah Jazz
Pedro: Skal Labissiere (PF) – This guy may not be around this late in the lottery as his upside is one of the highest in the entire draft. You have a supreme-defensive minded big man with a polished post-up game, what else do you really want? You could drop the ball off into him ten times a night and let him go to work on his defender. Given the right system, he might exceed all expectations going into draft night.
Rafael: Deyonta Davis (PF) – The Jazz are pretty much set at every position. They could use a new point guard but at 12 I don’t see a point guard worth drafting with the potential to become more than a role player which is what the Jazz mostly have. In this case they should draft for potential and Davis has plenty of that. He can back Derrick Favors up for his first few season and if Favors decides to part ways with Utah, he can slide right in and become their starting power forward.
Davon: Dejounte Murray (PG) – The Utah Jazz are in desperate need of a PG to play alongside Dante Exum. Dejounte Murray makes perfect sense, a 6’5 combo guard with fantastic physical tools & scoring instincts along side Exum who’s pretty much the same can be very successful in the back court especially since they both have playmaking potential.
13: Pheonix Suns
Pedro: Deyonta Davis (PF) – This class is loaded with athletic big men who can play both sides of the ball and Deyonta Davis is no different. The heart and back bone of the Spartans even though Denzel Valentine was their best player. Add Davis next to Alex Len in the front court and you’re looking at a Enes Kanter/Steven Adams set up. Two big twin towers in the paint with that athleticism and you’re going to give teams nightmares.
Rafael: Henry Ellenson (PF,C) – Ellenson would provide a stable forward center rotation for the Pheonix Suns. With Tyson Chandler towards the end of his career, he could be a mentor for Ellenson and teach him what made Chandler such a reliable defender.
Davon: Skal Laberssire (C) – Skal Labissiere certainly play how we all expected at Kentucky but that doesn’t mean he won’t be successful in the NBA. The Suns already have 4 former Kentucky players on their roster, why not add another one. The Suns need a Center for the future and if Labissiere lives up to his potential he can very well be the face of the Suns franchise for many years to come. He has great physical and has offensive and defensive potential to be a superstar in the NBA.
14: Chicago Bulls
Pedro: Brice Johnson (PF) – With the departure of Joakim Noah looking all but inevitable in the Windy City, this pick makes perfect sense. A rim protector who has an inept ability to win those 50/50 balls is exactly what the Bulls need to pair alongside Pau Gasol for the last few years of his career. Johnson will allow Chicago the ability to have a guy in the front court run the fast break with Butler and Rose.
Rafael: Thon Maker (C) – The Chicago Bulls could be losing both of the front court starters. With Pau Gasol likely chasing a ring and Joakim Noah reportedly unhappy in Chicago, the Bulls will need to put all their marbles on the best available center and Thon Maker fits the mold.
Davon: Jakob Poeltl (C) – The Bulls are more than likely losing both Joakim Noah & Pau Gasol this summer so drafting Jakob Poeltl is a no brainer! Poeltl has size and mobility, defense, hustles and rebounds and is very efficient offensively. Him and Bobby Portis will be great replacements for Gasol & Noah.
15: Denver Nuggets
Pedro: Malik Beasley (SG)
Rafael: Wade Baldwin IV (SG)
Davon: Timothy Luwawu (SG)
16: Boston Celtics
Pedro: Henry Ellenson (PF)
Rafael: Domantas Sabonis (PF)
Davon: Furkan Korkmaz (SG)
17: Memphis Grizzlies
Pedro: Malachi Richardson (SG)
Rafael: Demetrius Jackson (PG)
Davon: Malik Beasley (SG)
18: Detroit Pistons
Pedro: Furkan Korkmaz (SG)
Rafael: Denzel Valentine (SG)
Davon: Malachi Richardson (SG)
19: Denver Nuggets
Pedro: Thon Maker (C)
Rafael: Brice Johnson (PF)
Davon: Cheick Diallo (PF, C)
20: Indiana Pacers
Pedro: Damian Jones (C)
Rafael: Furkan Korkmaz (SG)
Davon: Brice Johnson (PF)
21: Atlanta Hawks
Pedro: Denzel Valentine (SG)
Rafael: Damien Jones (PF)
Davon: Deyonta Davis (PF)
22: Charlotte Hornets
Pedro: Patrick McCaw (SG)
Rafael: Juan Hernangomez (PF)
Davon: Ben Bentil (PF)
23: Boston Celtics
Pedro: Cheick Diallo (PF, C)
Rafael: Ivica Zubau (C)
Davon: Patrick McCaw (SG)
24: Philadelphia 76ers
Pedro: Stephen Zimmerman (C)
Rafael: Taurean Prince (SF)
Davon: Demetrius Jackson (PG)
25: Los Angeles Clippers
Pedro: Timothy Luwawu (SG)
Rafael: Petr Cornelia (PF)
Davon: Taurean Prince (SF)
26: Philadelphia 76ers
Pedro: Taurean Prince (SF)
Rafael: Dejounte Murray (PG)
Davon: Caris LeVert (SG)
27: Toronto Raptors
Pedro: Ante Zizic (C)
Rafael: DeAndre’ Bembry (SF)
Davon: Zhou Qi (C)
28: Pheonix Suns
Pedro: Guerschon Yabusele(PF)
Rafael: Isaiah Cornier (SG)
Davon: DeAndre’ Bembry (SF)
29: San Antonio Spurs
Pedro: DeAndre’ Bembry (SF)
Rafael: Tyler Ulis (PG)
Davon: Thon Maker (PF)
30: Golden State Warriors
Pedro: Pascal Siakam (PF)
Rafael: Malik Beasley (SG)
Davon: Diamond Stone (C)