Guest analyst Nick Ramacher joined Nate Leer, Kras and JJ Bens for a draft “war room” to pick all 30 first round picks for tonight’s draft. We analyzed rosters for each team and made the selections that we think each team is most likely to make, not necessarily who we would take. Plus, we offer our take and potential fantasy impact for the first 10 picks.
1. Philadelphia: Ben Simmons – F – 19 – 6′ 10″ 239
Why: Sixers told his agent he will be the #1 pick.
Our take: Comp Lamar Odom. Obviously the Sixers hope/believe he will be better than Odom but his size, skills and lack of domination (not getting LSU close to the big dance) are much like Odom – one of the great 6th men ever but not a superstar. Not a great shooter and rebounding numbers could drop tremendously given his seeming lack of motor at times (think Derrick Williams or Michael Beasley). We see the upside but think he could be a Beasley-like bust.
Fantasy impact: Given that Simmons will almost assuredly play a bunch and his multi-dimensional game, he could be a better fantasy player than real-life player, especially early. IF he rebounds well, runs the offense at least some and can shoot at all, he could put up nice numbers for where he gets drafted. His percentages and turnovers may hurt though so it could take a year or two until he becomes a true stud.
2. LA Lakers: Brandon Ingram – SF – 18 – 6′ 9″ 196
Why: Lakers announced he will be #2 pick if Simmons is #1.
Our take: Some in our war room feel he should have been the 1st pick. There is a lot of Kevin Durant to his offensive game (and frame). Could be a dominant scorer in the league for a long time given his potential to shoot well, length and athleticism.
Fantasy impact: Bad team means minutes galore as he won’t have much competition at SF for LA. However, don’t draft him early if at all this year because he is likely to only contribute as a scorer. There will probably be someone in your league that takes him too early based on his potential and hype.
3. Boston: Dragan Bender – PF – 18 – 7′ 216
Why: It has been widely reported that GM Danny Ainge is trying to trade out of this spot. IF they stay, the best big man makes the most sense as they have a quality SF and plenty of guards. Their is no consensus on who the best prospect available will be and Ainge is usually inclined to shoot for the moon.
Our take: Bender has the most upside and fits a need so this pick makes sense. Other teams may trade up for Dunn or Murray if they feel they are better prospects but this is the move for the Celtics.
Fantasy impact: Don’t expect him to be Porzingis! Bender is so young and raw that it is hard to see him even getting enough minutes to be viable much less actually produce. Boston is probably too good to be out of contention late in the season but if they are Bender could be a late pick-up with some upside.
4. Phoenix: Kris Dunn – G – 22 – 6′ 4″ 205
Why: Talent is just too good for the Suns to pass up even with their backcourt depth. Or a team could trade up to get ahead of Minnesota, New Orleans from 6 is a possibility.
Our take: We always say to take the best available player in a draft – more so in the NBA than any other league. That makes this the right move for the Suns although a trade seems almost more likely. Maybe they even take Dunn then offer him to the T-wolves for the next pick and an asset.
Fantasy impact: Dunn’s impact depends a lot on his landing spot. Phoenix may be tough to get minutes, Minnesota could be good or bad based on other moves they make (trade Ricky Rubio?) and New Orleans might be a great landing spot. His age and experience could help him quickly transition into a starter at PG and give you assists, steals, some scoring and possibly help with boards.
5. Minnesota: Jamal Murray – G – 19 – 6′ 5″ 201
Why: Getting a big guard who could translate quickly into a shooter, maybe play some point and D up would seem to help the T-wolves one way or the other. This seems like a Thibodeau-type player and he will be calling the shots.
Our take: The upside of other prospects available give a little pause to this pick but with Dunn and Bender off the board, this is the right move.
Fantasy impact: The backcourt is too crowded unless Rubio is traded for much production early. However, keep an eye on Murray as the season goes along. As minutes sort themselves out for this talented, young squad due to ability, injury, trade, etc. Murray could get a chance to step up and produce enough to be helpful down the stretch.
6. New Orleans: Buddy Hield – SG – 22 – 6′ 5″ 212
Why: GM Del Demps will probably want a player who can help the team win now and Hield fits as something of a replacement/improvement for UFA Eric Gordon.
Our take: This pick makes sense from a roster standpoint but an upside player such as Marquese Chriss or Jaylen Brown may be the better picks long term. Hield has overcome a lot to get here so he may keep stepping up. Or he may be similar to Gordon and the Pelicans miss out on a more talented player.
Fantasy impact: This could be an ideal situation for Hield to get minutes and shots, especially 3s. Probably not draftable but keep an eye on him to see if he starts to hit enough treys to help your team.
7. Denver: Marquese Chriss – PF – 18 – 6′ 10″ 233
Why: Denver does not seem to be big on Kenneth Faried anymore so a young PF who can shoot would help.
Our take: We like it because he is arguably the best player available and fits better than the other top players available.
Fantasy impact: None likely in 2016-17.
8. Sacramento: Jaylen Brown – SF – 19 – 6′ 7″ 223
Why: Not a need position for the Kings but his athletic upside makes him the last player left in the draft’s second tier of prospects.
Our take: Kings can’t pass on this talent. Sacramento does not always do the smart thing but they should feel lucky to be in the top 8 in this draft and take the last of the players with a ton of upside.
Fantasy impact: None likely in 2016-17.
9. Toronto: Deyonta Davis – F/C – 19 – 6′ 11″ 237
Why: Toronto is another team that expects to compete, especially if DeMar DeRozan returns.
Our take: If Davis can protect the rim and help on athletic PFs, he would be a great fit next to Jonas Valanciunas.
Fantasy impact: None likely in 2016-17.
10. Milwaukee: Jakob Poeltl – C – 20 – 7′ 1″ 239
Why: His complete game could replace Greg Monroe as the Bucks have reporting been shopping him.
Our take: He would help their rebounding and his all-around skills fit on a team loaded with one-dimensional bigs.
Fantasy impact: A bit of a deep sleeper especially is Monroe gets sent packing. Another player to monitor in 2016-17.
11. Orlando: Skal Labissiere – F/C – 20 – 7′ 216
Why: Athleticism and shot blocking are big needs for Orlando and this player has some upside.
12. Atlanta: Wade Baldwin – PG – 20 – 6′ 4″ 202
Why: Arguably best player available and could be the replacement for Jeff Teague and/or play next to Dennis Schroeder with his size and shooting. Pick could be traded again…
13. Phoenix: Domantas Sabonis – F/C – 20 – 6′ 10″ 231
Why: Suns need help up front and Sabonis brings offense and rebounding.
14. Chiocago: Henry Ellenson – PF – 19 – 7′ 242
Why: Big man who could develop into a shooter helps replace Pau Gasol.
15. Denver: Timothe Luwawu – g/f – 21 – 6′ 7″ 205
Why: Young potential 3-and-D guy next to Danilo Galinari and Emmanuel Mudiay would fit well.
16. Boston: Furkan Korkmaz – SG – 18 – 6′ 7″ 185
Why: Celtics probably need to take a player they can stash in Europe for a year or two and a big wing makes sense.
17. Memphis: Dejounte Murray – G – 19 – 6′ 5″ 170
Why: He is a potential replacement for Mike Conley at PG or an effective scorer from the SG spot.
18. Detroit: Denzel Valentine – SG – 22 – 6′ 6″ 210
Why: He could contribute right away, seems to be a Stan Van Gundy-type player and his all-around game complements the abilities of the players in place. Plus there is the Michigan connection!
19. Denver: Ivica Zubac – C – 19 – 7′ 1″ 265
Why: Denver never seems to have enough somewhat talented bigs and maybe he will okay to play another year in Europe which helps Denver integrate their other picks.
20. Brooklyn: Malachi Richardson – G/F – 20 – 6′ 6″ 220
Why: Nets desperately need help on the wing and he has some upside here.
21. Hawks: Malik Beasley – SG – 19 – 6′ 5″ 190
22. Charlotte: Brice Johnson – PF – 21 – 6′ 11″ 209
23. Boston: Ante Zizic – C – 19 – 7′ 249
24. Philadelphia: Demetrius Jackson – PG – 21 – 6′ 2″ 194
25. LA Clippers: – DeAndre Bembry – SF – 21 – 6′ 6″ 207
26. Philadelphia: Paul Zipser – SF – 22 – 6′ 8″ 220
27. Toronto: Taurean Prince – SF – 21 – 6′ 8″ 220
28. Phoenix: Thon Maker – PF – 19 – 7′ 1″ 216
29. San Antonio: Damian Jones – C – 20 – 7′ 244
30: Golden State: Juan Hernangomez – F – 20 – 6′ 9″ 220