2016 NBA Draft Grades

1.Philadelphia 76ers:

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Pick: Ben Simmons

Grade: A-

Analysis: Although Ben Simmons is likely the best player in the draft, the 76ers should not have drafted the LSU product with the first overall selection. The 76ers have selected a center in their last four drafts with their first selection. Amazingly, they have yet to trade any of the centers, although they desperately tried to trade Noel during the draft. Due to Simmons’ ability to pass, they could have him play alongside at least one other big. In addition, they could still trade either Okafor or Noel before the season because they possess value on the trade market. If they are able to trade one of the two centers, the grade would improve to an A.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Pick: Brandon Ingram

Grade: A

Analysis: The Lakers made the best pick in the draft. In my opinion, Brandon Ingram is the best player in the draft because he perfectly fits into today’s style of play. Although Ingram does not have NBA strength, he possesses great size at 6’9″ and a wingspan of 7’3″. In addition, he has the ability to shoot the three and drives the ball incredibly well, even though he does not have the strength to battle inside of the paint. Ingram fits with the Lakers because they have a void at the small forward position. Until the Lakers sign another star, they will be able to build around the trio of Ingram, Russell, and Randle. The Lakers will still be able to sign free agents this offseason because either the addition of DeRozan, Horford, or Whiteside will fit the team’s needs.

3. Boston Celtics

Pick: Jaylen Brown

Grade: C+

Analysis: The Celtics stole this pick from the Brooklyn Nets and they blew the opportunity to draft a top flight prospect. There is no doubt that Brown has an NBA body, but he has yet to show the skills to develop into a star. During his year at California, Brown was able to score, but shot a low percentage from the field. In addition, Brown did not display the ability to effectively handle the ball. If Brown does not significantly improve his game, he will never become a true superstar or an effective all-star. Brad Stevens should be able to get the most out of Brown, but it will take a few years. The Celtics had a need for a shooter, but passed on the opportunity to draft Hield or Murray. Murray and Hield would have been better selections and could have helped the Celtics this season as they attempt to advance further in the playoffs.

4. Phoenix Suns

Pick: Dragen Bender

Grade: B-

Analysis: The Suns have a need for stretch-4, but Bender was not the answer at the position. Bender has potential because of his skills, size, and attitude. However, Bender does not have the same resume as Porzingis. While Porzingis played at the second highest level, Bender received very little playing time at one of the lower leagues in Israel. Bender will need a few years to finally develop into an effective starter because he will need time to develop his skills, garner experience, and build strength. The Suns have depth at the point guard position, but Bledsoe and Knight are undersized point guards.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

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Pick: Kris Dunn

Grade: A-

Analysis: The Timberwolves have one of the most talented, young core in the entire league. Dunn will join the Wolves core of Karl Anthony Towns, Zach Lavine, and Andrew Wiggins. The addition of Dunn will likely signal the end for Ricky Rubio. Rubio does not fit Thibs’ style of play because he is more of a finesse player. However, Dunn is a player that will play great defense and be a physical player. However, Hield and Murray would have been a great selection for the Wolves because they have a need for a shooting guard that can shoot from the three point arc. Since Dunn does not have a great shooting touch, the Wolves should be able to play Rubio and Dunn in the same lineup.

6. New Orleans Pelicans

Pick: Buddy Hield

Grade: A

Analysis: The Pelicans are built around their star power forward Anthony Davis and have been searching for players to complement their franchise building block. The Pelicans have attempted to find players in the back court that can stretch the defense, but Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Tyreke Evans have not been able to fulfill their potential. Anderson and Gordon are both free agents so it is unknown if they will return to New Orleans. Hield should assist Davis because he is a playmaker and an incredible shooter. During his senior year at Oklahoma, he was the best offensive player in college. If Holiday can return from injury, the combination of Holiday, Hield, and Davis should be able to lead the Pelicans back to the playoffs.

7. Denver Nuggets

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Pick: Jamal Murray

Grade: A-

Analysis: Jamal Murray should be a very good player in the NBA for a long time because he can make plays and shoots the ball very well. Murray’s ability to shoot at a high level and handle the basketball should help Mudiay because he does not have a great shooting touch and enjoys driving to the basket. However, Murray is not a great fit for the Nuggets. The Nuggets already have Gary Harris and Emmanuel Mudiay. Although not as talented, Harris possesses many similar attributes to Murray. In addition, neither Murray or Harris are big enough or strong enough to play small forward and effectively guard opposing forwards. The Nuggets should attempt to deal Harris for another small forward because they need a replacement for the often injured Danilo Gallinari.

8. Phoenix Suns (acquired from Sacramento)

Pick: Marquese Chriss

Grade: B+

Analysis: Before Chriss’s rise on the draft board, I believed that the Suns would have drafted Chriss with their 13th overall selection. The Suns do not have a capable power forward on their roster after the departure of Markieff Morris. In addition, Chriss should be able to complement Bender because he plays inside of the arc, while Bender tends to play with more finesse from the outside. Chriss is an incredible athlete with immense potential. Due to his athleticism, speed, and ability to handle the ball, Chriss could become an useful piece in today’s style of play. Chriss is not a developed product and will need a few years of development and coaching to become a quality starting power forward or small center.

9. Toronto Raptors

Pick: Jacob Poeltl

Grade: C+

Analysis: The Raptors had an incredible season and reached the conference finals. However, Poeltl is not a great option for the Raptors because they already have Jonas Valanciunas, who plays very similar to Poeltl and is extended for the next few seasons. In today’s NBA, it will be impossible to play both Poeltl and Valaciunas because neither has the versatility to guard opposing guards or forwards outside of the paint. The Raptors should have selected Sabonis. The Raptors have a desperate need for a stretch four that can shoot threes because Patrick Patterson is not the answer. Sabonis has a good shooting touch and would be incredibly valuable.

10. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick: Thon Maker

Grade: C+

Analysis: Maker is an absolute wildcard so it is difficult to see why the Bucks decided to draft him with a top ten selection. Maker is such a question mark that people do not even know his true age, although he contends that he is 19 years old. Maker is incredibly raw, but possesses great physical attributes and talent. The Bucks believe that they can develop Maker, like Giannas, into a star. Unfortunately, Maker does not have the same talent as Giannis, which limits his ceiling. In addition, Maker will need years until he develops into a useful piece. The Bucks will likely use him as a defensive player early in his career, but he does not have great experience at the professional level, which could lead to foul trouble and a lack of production.

11. Oklahoma City Thunder (acquired from Orlando Magic)

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Pick: Domantas Sabonis

Grade: A-

Analysis: The Thunder obtained this selection from the Magic in exchange for Serge Ibaka. Since the Thunder were able to acquire Victor Oladipo, they no longer had a desperate need for a shooting guard. The Thunder desperately needed to replace Andre Roberson because he cannot effectively score. The Thunder will use Sabonis to replace Ibaka. Toward the end of Ibaka’s stint with the Thunder, they attempted to use him as a stretch-4, but that does not fit his style of play. Since the emergence of Adams and Kanter, the Thunder had little need for Ibaka, who will be a free agent next offseason. Sabonis will be able to stretch the defense for Thunder. In addition, he was a rebounding machine for the Zags during his two years in college.

12. Atlanta Hawks (acquired from Utah Jazz)

Pick: Taurean Prince

Grade: B

Analysis: The Hawks acquired this selection from the Jazz in exchange for a deal including Jeff Teague. The Hawks have Dennis Schroder so they did not need to replace Teague with this selection. However, the Hawks need a potential replacement for Kent Bazemore if he decides to depart during free agency. The acquisition of Prince will likely save Atlanta loads of money because Bazemore was set for a big contract after a solid season. Prince has talent and will be a jack of all trades forward for the Hawks. He will be able to shoot the three well for Atlanta and play very good defense. However, Denzel Valentine would have been a better selection because the Hawks are a win now team and Valentine is one of the most NBA ready players in the draft.

13. Sacramento Kings (acquried from Phoenix Suns)

Pick: Georgios Papagiannis

Grade: D

Analysis: The Kings did a terrible job with their first selection in the draft. The Kings traded out of the 8th pick to the 13th selection and did not receive good value for the selection, especially since they could have drafted Domantas Sabonis. The Kings already have a pretty good center by the name of DeMarcus Cousins. In addition, their selection last year, Willie Cauly Stein, plays center so there seems to be no place for the new Kings’ center. Due to the potential departure of Rajon Rondo, the Kings had room for improvement at literally every other position besides for center.

14. Chicago Bulls

Pick: Denzel Valentine

Grade: C+

Analysis: Although Denzel Valentine is a very good player and should be a quality player, he does not fit into the Bulls’ goal. The Bulls dealt Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks and seem to be in rebuilding mode. Valentine is not a player that should be drafted by a rebuilding team. Although Valentine is young, he is close to a finished project and does not seem to have large room for improvement. In addition, the Bulls have a greater need for a point guard or center after the likely departure of Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose, and Joakim Noah.

Where does LeBron’s performance put him among the NBA’s greats

  1. LeBron confirms himself as one of the five best players and the best small forward in the history of basketball

On Sunday night, LeBron was able to dethrone the previous champion, best the two-time MVP, become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit, and defeat the team with the most wins in NBA history. However, none of those accomplishments were as significant and impressive as bringing a title to Cleveland for the first time in 52 years. Although LeBron did not play or compete at an MVP level during the first two games of the series in Oakland, he significantly improved his overall level of play and took charge of the series. Even though LeBron posted incredible statistics, LeBron cemented himself as one of the five best players in NBA history because he was simply able to win and claim the MVP. Although LeBron has 4 NBA Finals’ defeats, he has 3 rings and 3 Finals MVP and defeated some of the greatest players in NBA history. Even though Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, and Steph Curry have all won regular season MVP and will stake claim as some of the best players in NBA history, LeBron has been able to defeat each of these NBA greats when the title was on the line. Many of LeBron’s critics will point to his disappointing effort against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals. However, many other NBA superstars such as  Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, and Shaq have suffered devastating defeats in the Finals. In addition, no other NBA athlete has ever been under the same amount of scrutiny and pressure as LeBron since he entered the league as an 18 year old teenager. Although LeBron’s resume will never match Jordan’s resume, he has the statistics, individual hardware, and rings to rival any other player that has stepped on the court. It is difficult to compare LeBron against centers such as Chamberlain, Abdul Jabbar, O’Neal, and Russell, but his latest ring places LeBron over every other guard or small forward besides for Jordan. Although Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird have more championships than LeBron, he was never able to play with great players during their primes like O’Neal, Jabbar, Worthy, Parrish, and McHale and he has better all around statistics and talents that put him ahead of his peers. Dwyane Wade is an all-time great player, but he was frequently injured during the playoffs. Although many will claim that Oscar Robertson is a better player because he possesses better statistics, he does not have the longevity like LeBron and he only won one title. During the Big O’s only title, he was not even the best player because Abdul-Jabbar dominated the series.

2. Kyrie Irving distinguished himself as one of the best point guards

Even though many prognosticators were concerned that Irving could not stay with Curry, by the end of the series, Curry was the player that could not compete against Uncle Drew. During the first two games of the series, Irving was noticeably uncomfortable as he averaged only 18 points per game while shooting under 35% from the field and 15% from the three point line. However, after the disastrous effort in the game 2, he averaged 31 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds while shooting over 50% from the field and 45% from three. Although his statistics are impressive, they do not show his true value. Even though LeBron played great and accumulated MVP worthy statistics, Irving was the player that made the clutch shots and was nearly unstoppable over the final few games. LeBron led the Cavs to the fourth quarter, but Irving, like Wade, was the closer and scored the baskets during the most pressure filled possessions. During the third quarter of game 5 and 7 in Oracle, Kyrie carried the Cavaliers’ offense, which gave them the difference. In addition, Irving hit the biggest shot of the series when he pulled up for three over Steph Curry and hit the eventual game winner when the game was tied at 89 with 1 minute left in the fourth quarter. Although it is incorrect to over exaggerate and place Irving over Curry, he demonstrated that he can score against any defender, has an incredible handle, and displayed a knack for hitting clutch shots. Unfortunately, he does not have great passing skills or elite defensive talents, which keeps him from entering the same tier as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Steph Curry.

3. Golden State’s depth and three point shooting ultimately failed them during the final three games of the series.

During the entire season and the first few games of the series, the Warriors heavily relied on their bench. Steve Kerr would frequently use 9-10 players during the year because Kerr trusted Iguodala, Ezeli, Varejao, Barbosa, Livingston, McAdoo, and Rush. However, when the Warriors desperately needed a boost from their bench due to fatigue and injuries, they did not respond to the challenge. Especially when Bogut went down due to a knee injury, Ezeli and Varejao were terrible and could not stay on the court, which forced the Warriors to play small and allowed LeBron to dominate the paint. Besides for Barbosa, who was incredible the entire series, Livingston, McAdoo, and Rush did not give consistent minutes against the Cavaliers’ inferior bench. Along with their disappointing bench, the Warriors did not shoot at the same level as they did throughout the season. The Warriors shot only 37% from the three point line and were never able to hit the clutch threes in the 5th or 7th game. Throughout the season, the Warriors could rely on Thompson and Curry to carry them during the final minutes of the game, but during the finals, Curry bricked numerous three point shots and Thompson experienced similar troubles. Outside of game 4, Curry never had a ‘Curry-like’ game and could not dominate the game with his shooting ability. Although the Cavaliers deserve credit for their defense and physical play on the duo, the players looked fatigued and exhausted, which impacted their ability to shoot from behind the arc. After playing almost the entire season, hurting himself in the first two series, and needing 7 games to defeat the Thunder, Curry look lost throughout the series and did not have the same spring in his step.

4. The Warriors should attempt to sign Kevin Durant

The Warriors have incredible chemistry and cohesiveness, but they could use a boost this offseason. The obvious and most dynamic NBA free agent this offseason is Kevin Durant. Although it seems impossible for the best regular season team in NBA history to sign one of the three best players in the league, the Warriors can create the cap room necessary to sign Durant without significantly hampering their roster. In order to land KD, the Warriors must part ways with Ezeli, Barnes, and Bogut or Iguodala. In addition, they may have to let Livingston, Barbosa, Speights, and Rush departed this offseason. Although it is an incredibly difficult decision, Iggy should be dealt instead of Bogut. Even though Durant is not the same defensive player as Iguodala, he plays good defense and Green can assume many of his responsibilities. During the Finals, the Warriors were a different team without Bogut as their anchor and rim protector. Although many will question if there are enough shots for Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green, they are all great shooters and do not need 20 shots per game to impact the game. Durant would give the Warriors another option so that Curry and Thompson would not have to carry the team. In addition, Durant would instill a new sense of purpose because he would be incredibly determined to win his first title.


NBA Lottery Mock Draft 2016

1) Philadelphia 76ers

Pick: Ben Simmons

Analysis: Although the 76ers have a plethora of young big men, Okafor, Noel, Embiid, and Saric, they will likely draft Simmons number one overall because he is the most talented player. Simmons had a great year for the LSU Tigers and displayed talents that most big men do not possess such as a solid mid range game and incredible court vision. During his freshman year, Simmons averaged nearly 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. If selected, the 76ers could trade one of their other young players for guards. Recently, there have been discussions about playing Simmons at point guard because of his passing ability, but that is simply ridiculous. Although I would not argue with the selection of Simmons, especially if they trade Okafor, I believe that Ingram would be a better fit for the organization due to their other areas of needs.

2) Los Angeles Lakers

Pick: Brandon Ingram

Analysis: Assuming the Lakers do not trade the pick, the Lakers have the easiest selection in the draft because they will either pick Ingram or Simmons. Ingram should be an eventual star because he is exactly the type of player teams are searching for at the power forward position. Due to the fact that teams are playing smaller and want stretch-4s, Ingram will fit into any team because he shot over 40% from three during his freshman season. The Lakers have a multitude of needs and hope that the combination of Russell and Ingram will be the foundation for their next dynasty. Although Ingram has immense talent, he needs to improve his physicality and free throw shooting ability.

3) Boston Celtics

Pick: Jamal Murray

Analysis: The Celtics were able to acquire this pick from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Pierce and Garnett. Like the Lakers, the Celtics will look to trade their pick for an established NBA star. Murray could play well along with Thomas as they try to advance in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics have one of the most exciting teams due to their extreme youth and talent. Murray is my favorite player in the draft and I believe that he will be a star. During his freshman year at Kentucky, he averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds on 45% shooting from the field and 40% shooting from three. Murray is a very good scorer and should be able to display his talents at the NBA level. Although Murray does not have great physical attributes, he has a lot of talent and is very good three point shooter.


4) Phoenix Suns

Pick: Marquese Chriss

Analysis: The Suns have two selections in the lottery, which gives them many options with both picks. The Suns have many stars in the back court so they will likely draft two big men. Chriss is not the type of forward that will stretch the floor as he only shot 35% from three. Chriss will definitely need time to develop into an effective and useful starter or rotational player. However, due to his strength, size, athleticism, and talent, he does have the potential to become a valuable player for any team. If the Suns opt for Chriss and another player later in the round, they should be able to develop with one another. They should select either a true center or a stretch-4 in order to mesh with Chriss since he has the body and strength to bang with opposing power forwards.

5) Minnesota Timberwolves

Pick: Buddy Hield

Analysis:  Minnesota will be able to add another potential star and it will likely be either Buddy Hield or Kris Dunn. Although both would be great choices, Hield is the better selection because he is a more natural shooting guard and would complement Rubio, Wiggins, and Towns. During the NCAA season, Hield was the obvious best scorer and playmaker. Even more impressively, he continued his success in the tournament and led the Sooners to the Final Four. Over the course of the year, Hield averaged 25 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field and 45% from three. Although they have young players, they have the opportunity to advance far in the playoffs with the addition of another star player. Although Hield is not Curry and will not become a generational player, he displayed greatness and a shooting ability that reminded me of Curry, especially late in games.



6) New Orleans Pelicans

Pick: Kris Dunn

Analysis: The Pelicans and Anthony Davis took a major step back this season because they failed to meet expectations and stay healthy throughout the season. Their main problem has been their inability to receive effective point guard play. Although Jrue Holiday is a very good player, he is frequently injured and has not shown the skills that he demonstrated in Philadelphia. The addition of Dunn should alleviate the pressure on Holiday and provide depth to the Pelicans’ back court. During Dunn’s four years at Providence, he significantly improved his game and became a complete player. During his senior year, he led the Friars to the tournament while averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2.5 steals while playing very good defense. Even though Dunn is not a great three point shooter as he shot under 40% every year, he displayed an ability to score. Dunn has size and length, but has been injured throughout his college career, which should scare the Pelicans.

7) Denver Nuggets

Pick: Jaylen Brown

Analysis: The Denver Nuggets are in a rebuilding phase and could use the best player on the board due to their multiple needs. Brown would be an excellent choice for the Nuggets because he has many talents and the physical traits to excel. Although Brown did not have a great freshman season, he averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds while playing above average defense. Brown is not going to be a star the first day he steps onto the floor in Denver. Alongside Mudiay, the Nuggets will definitely not have one of the best shooting back courts, but they will be able to drive the ball to the basket and overwhelm teams with their athleticism. Luckily, he will not be expected to carry the team and they will give him time and opportunities to develop into a potential star. Due to Brown’s poor shooting numbers in college, it is unlikely that he will one day become a superstar in the NBA. However, it is probable that he could be a very useful rotational player or number four option for a championship team.

8) Sacramento Kings

Pick: Dragan Bender

Analysis: Although the Kings have individual talent such as Cousins, Gay, and Rondo, they have not meshed well together due to the organization’s poor stability. Besides the lack of continuity in the system, the Kings do not have enough quality players to compete with the other elite teams in the West. Their major flaws are their lack of a stretch-4 and a shooting guard that can make plays. Dragan Bender is the likely selection. The Kings have a desperate need for a star to play alongside their Cousins. Bender has the ability to allow the Kings to spread the floor and play 4 shooters. Bender has drawn many comparisons to Porzingis because of his size, three point shooting, and quickness. In addition, he is younger than many of the other prospects so he has more time to develop. Although Bender has the talent and potential to become a star, he has yet to show success at any level since he is currently averaging 2 points and 1 rebound in Israel.

9) Toronto Raptors

Pick: Domantas Sabonis

Analysis: The Toronto Raptors posted the second best record in the Eastern Conference, but will select in the top 10 because of their trade with the New York Knicks. The Raptors won 56 games and have few severe weaknesses. The team’s draft decision will likely be determined based upon their belief in DeMar DeRozan returning to Toronto. If DeRozan decides to re-sign, they will look for front court help alongside Valanciunas and Biyombo. Outside of Patterson, the Raptors do not have a big that can stretch the floor and Valanciunas is the only big with the potential to become a star. The addition of Sabonis should solve one or both of those issues. Sabonis hails from a great basketball family as his father was a talented player himself. During his two years at Gonzaga, Sabonis displayed an ability to score as he averaged 18 points while shooting 61% from the field and 36% from three. In addition to his scoring numbers, he gathered 12 rebounds. Sabonis will never overwhelm players with his athleticism or defensive ability, but he will help the Raptors on offense and alleviate the pressure on Lowry and DeRozan to carry the offense .

10) Milwaukee Bucks

Pick: Jakob Poeltl

Analysis: After an exciting first season with Jason Kidd, the Bucks took a step backward although they added Greg Monroe and Jabari Parker. However, the Bucks remain an extraordinary young and talented team with room for improvement. While teams are looking to play small, the Bucks are searching for big men that can play multiple positions. If a point guard drops in the draft or they opt to reach at 10, they will likely select a guard because MCW is not the answer and Antetokounmpo is not a real point guard. However, Poeltl would be a good addition because he would allow Monroe to switch to his natural power forward position. Poeltl is a legitimate center and averaged 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks while at Utah this past season. Poeltl meshes well with Monroe because he will be able to protect the rim and use his inside moves while Monroe can remain at the power forward position and shoot from outside the paint.

11) Orlando Magic

Pick: Skal Labissiere

Analysis: The Orlando Magic are a team on the rise after many years of picking in the top five of the draft. The addition of coach Frank Vogel and the development of their younger players should lead the team to a potential playoff berth. However, the team has problems especially in the front court. After trading Harris to the Detroit Pistons, the team lacks a true power forward that can rebound and shoot from the three point arc. Although Labissiere was an incredible disappointment during his freshman year at Kentucky, he was one of the best prospects in high school. Labissiere did show occasional flashes of greatness during his lone season in Lexington. The Kentucky big man has size, speed, athleticism, and explosiveness to become at least a defensive stalwart, if his offensive game does not develop. The Magic have a quality offense so they do not desperately need Labissiere to be a double digit scorer.

12) Utah Jazz

Pick: Denzel Valentine

Analysis: Like many other teams in the lottery, the Jazz have many young players and could contend in the very competitive Western Conference in the near future. The Jazz have an excellent front court with Gobert, Favors, and Hayward, but their back court is slightly lacking with Hood and Exum. The addition of Valentine should increase the Jazz’s playmaking ability because he has many talents. Although Valentine does not have one great aspect of his game, like fellow Michigan State player Draymond Green, Valentine has a high basketball IQ, can play multiple different positions, and does many different tasks well on the court. In addition, Valentine should provide the leadership that is missing from the Jazz’s lineup because of battles that he fought during his four years at Michigan State. Even if Valentine does not develop into a player like Draymond Green, Valentine should become a quality rotational player that can score and make plays from the bench.

13)  Phoenix Suns

Pick: Henry Ellison

The Suns have two selections in the lottery, which should help in their rebuilding effort. It is likely that the Suns will either take Chrisse or Bender with the fourth overall selection because of their need for a stretch-four. In addition, the Suns could use another big man to pair with either player. The Suns have a wealth of young guards with Booker, Bledsoe, and Knight, but their big men are lacking. Alex Len was suppose to be the answer at center, but he has not developed and they needed to sign Tyson Chandler to a large deal even though he is well past his prime. Ellison is a true center at 6’10”, 275 pounds. Ellison should be able to defend the paint due to his size and instincts, although he does not have the best agility or athleticism. During his year at Marquette, Ellison averaged 18 and 1o and displayed an ability to battle inside with opposing big men.


14) Chicago Bulls

Pick: Malik Beasley

Analysis: For the first time since the team drafted Derrick Rose number one in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Bulls will be selecting in the lottery. The Bulls have been a model for consistency since Rose, but they have never been able to topple LeBron and make the Finals due to numerous injuries. Although the Bulls have experienced a lot of success, they have many holes and difficult decisions to make this offseason. Due to the demise of Joakim Noah and the impending free agency of Pau Gasol, the Bulls will likely lose two big men. However, their biggest problem is the rivalry between Rose and Butler. The team may need to trade one of their star players because they are very similar and their style of play does not mesh together. Even if they do not trade either of the guards, the Bulls could use another scorer that can shoot a high percentage from three. During his freshman season at Florida State, Beasley shot 47% from the field and 39% from three while scoring over 15 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Beasley has solid size, 6’5″, which allows him to guard opposing two guards and rebound well for a guard.