The NBA Finals appeared to be a one-sided affair, with the Golden State Warriors winning the first two games by a combined 46 points before the Cleveland Cavaliers fought back in Game 3. So why not turn our focus to the 2016 NBA Draft?
This year’s draft is extra exciting because of the marquee franchises at the top. The Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics own the top three picks, and each team has a fan base desperate to see the success of years past.
The Celtics, who won 48 games and lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs, are the closest of the three teams to competing for a championship. They have three first-round picks and a full roster, so something has to give before next season.
Boston must make some sort of trade that uses its many quality assets to bring back the superstar player it needs.
Here’s our latest 2016 NBA mock draft, assuming the draft order doesn’t change via trades.
1) Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, F, LSU
2) Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, F, Duke
3) Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets): Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma
4) Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
5) Minnesota Timberwolves: Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
6) New Orleans Pelicans: Kris Dunn, G, Providence
7) Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks): Jaylen Brown, F, California
8) Sacramento Kings: Domantas Sabonis, C, Gonzaga
9) Toronto Raptors (via Denver Nuggets): Jakob Poeltl, C, Austria
10) Milwaukee Bucks: Malik Beasley, G, Florida State
11) Orlando Magic: Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
12) Utah Jazz: Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey
13) Phoenix Suns (via Washington Wizards): Demetrius Jackson, G, Notre Dame
14) Chicago Bulls: Marquese Chriss, F, Washington
15) Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina
16) Boston Celtics (via Dallas Mavericks): Denzel Valentine, SG/SF, Michigan State
17) Memphis Grizzlies: Henry Ellenson, PF/C, Marquette
18) Detroit Pistons: Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Washington
19) Denver Nuggets (via Portland Trail Blazers): Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
20) Indiana Pacers: Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
21) Atlanta Hawks: Thon Maker, PF/C, Australia
22) Charlotte Hornets: Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt
23) Boston Celtics: Stephen Zimmerman, PF/C, UNLV
24) Philadelphia 76ers (via Miami Heat): Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV
25) L.A. Clippers: Timothe Luwawu, PG, France
26) Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): DeAndre Bembry, SG/SF, St. Joseph’s
27) Toronto Raptors: Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
28) Phoenix Suns (via Cleveland Cavaliers): Cheick Diallo, PF/C, Kansas
29) San Antonio Spurs: Ben Bentil, PF, Providence
30) Golden State Warriors: Guerschon Yabusele, PF, France
Thumbnail photo via Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports Images