Pre-Tournament NBA Mock Draft

The NBA draft team of students put together this mock draft just before the NCAA tournament and in the madness we never got around to posting it on the site. The mock draft does not account for the NBA decisions already made. We will update you with a new mock draft once the list of draft entrants is officially set.

1.Philadelphia 76ers- Ben Simmons

 

LSU SF/PF, 6’10”, Freshman

This should not shock anyone. Ben Simmons has been considered the top prospect since he was in high school and has done nothing to change that. He is a versatile forward that can do so many things to contribute on both ends. Philadephia cannot pass up on a player like Simmons even though they have drafted mostly big men throughout their rebuilding process. -Bradley Kreppel

2. Los Angeles- Brandon Ingram

Duke SF, 6’9”, Freshman

I want to make one thing clear: the gap between Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram is extremely small, yet they are very different players. Simmons is a physical specimen who is capable matching up on pretty much everyone on the court, distributing the ball, and striking to the basket with high efficiency, but hasn’t shown any real shooting ability thus far. Ingram stands at 6’9” with a 7’3” wingspan, and sits at a mere 195 lbs. He is an excellent shooter (53.9% Effective Field Goal %) and uses his length to add quickness to his game, yet due to his size, has trouble matching up against bigger players. The biggest difference is the shooting, which is an extremely important asset to possess in today’s NBA (just ask Steph Curry). If not for a cold February where Ingram has shot just 36% from the field, there would be more debate as to who the top pick should be.

 

Laker Nation should be ecstatic to land a player that not only fits the mold for a modern NBA small forward, but could succeed Kobe in leading this team into the future. The Russell-Ingram duo would be lethal, and would immediately solidify the Lakers as a top young team. If Ingram can bulk up and strengthen his defense, there is no reason why Ingram cannot turn out to be a better pro than Simmons.  -Adam Gross

3.Phoenix Suns

Dragan Bender, Maccabi Tel Aviv

7’0” PF, 220 lbs

After the success of Kristaps Porzingis with the Knicks, teams are going to want to snag the next big foreign thing. Bender can definitely fill that void. He is long, athletic and has an impressive jump shot for a big man. He runs the court well, and has a high basketball IQ. Along with that, he has a lot of defensive potential and can develop into an excellent two way player once he becomes more refined.

However, I also err on the side of caution with a pick like this. For every Porzingis, there is a Darko Milicic that doesn’t succeed in the NBA. Currently, Bender can look great against the weaker foreign competition. That being said, he still needs to bulk up and add some muscle or he will get destroyed down low in the NBA. He’s not quite as versatile as Porzingis, so he will need to develop his post game a little more. This is still a great pick for the Suns, who need talent at every position, they just need to make sure they thoroughly scout him out. -Zach Beeler

4. Boston Celtics- Jaylen Brown

Cal SF, 6’7”, Freshman

This is the exact type of player the Boston Celtics need.  Headed by a tremendous coach in Brad Stevens, this fundamental team needs to add some athleticism to really make a splash in the Eastern Conference.  Adding a strong, lengthy wing to the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder is a great start.  Brown has an NBA ready body, he can get out and run and finish on the break with relative ease.  His athleticism alone makes him worth a lottery pick, but add in his ability to create shots and get to the rim is the reason he is so highly touted.  A top-level athlete like Brown can be turned into a lethal weapon once Brad Stevens gets ahold of him.  Developing a long-range jumper is something Brown needs to work on, and if he can shoot at a higher rate from beyond the arc, there is no reason he can’t develop into an NBA All-Star.  Drafting a young guy with a high ceiling like Jaylen Brown could potentially put Boston back on top in the East. -Ryan Dahlkamp

 

5. Minnesota Timberwolves- Buddy Hield

Oklahoma SG, 6’4”, Senior

This pick really shows how far the Timberwolves have come. They have so many young talented players that they are finally drafting someone over the age of 20 that has some more polish. Hield will fit in right alongside Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine to provide more of an outside threat that Minnesota lacks at the minute. Hield is a spectacular shooter who can score from anywhere on the court. His game will translate very well to the NBA style of play. Oklahoma had tons of dribble isolation for Hield and that is very similar to how things work in the NBA. -Brad Kreppel

6.Denver Nuggets- Jamal Murray

Kentucky SG, 6’4”, Freshman

The Canadian Shooting Guard has continued to develop and improve his game as Kentucky has seen their upward trend the past few weeks. Gary Harris hasn’t developed necessarily like the Nuggets would have liked, and I think that a backcourt of Emmanuel Mudiay and Murray could be one of the most young, dynamic backcourts not only in the Western Conference but the NBA. With Kenneth Faried’s athletic force at the 4 and Nikola Jokic’s continued development at 5, the Nuggets could see a quick turnaround of fortunes. – Duncan Hensley

 

7. New Orleans Pelicans- Jakob Poeltl

Utah C,7’1”, Sophomore

New Orleans will have two major needs on their roster for next season: shooting and a defensive big to pair with Anthony Davis. I felt that all of the shooters available would be major reaches with the seventh pick. Jakob Poeltl was the pick here because he fills the Pelican’s hole for a defensive minded center. Omer Asik will likely not remain in New Orleans past this season leaving a vacancy for Poeltl to come in and make an unstoppable pairing with Anthony Davis.

 

Poeltl has made a huge jump from his freshman season to his sophomore campaign. He has doubled his scoring output and has improved his rebounding. He is considered the best defensive player in this draft with his ability to guard the post and protect the rim. He will be a great fit in the Pelican’s lineup taking some of the defensive pressure from Anthony Davis while providing some offensive when needed. -Bradley Kreppel

8. Milwaukee Bucks- Kris Dunn

Providence PG, 6’3”, Senior

After surrendering a protected Lakers first-round pick to the Sixers for Michael Carter-Williams, seeing the franchise draft a point guard with shooting woes and turnover problems might strike fear into Bucks fans. Worry not though, Kris Dunn will prove to be a better player than MCW.

 

Firstly, Dunn is a great athlete. His quickness combined with a high basketball IQ allows him to run an offense with high efficiency. He’s an excellent passer, ranking third in the NCAA in assist percentage (42.4%). He struggles with turnovers (3.6 per game), but this could be due to his high usage percentage (28.3%). His court vision is exceptional, and will be essential to run a team filled with young players.

 

Dunn is by no means a great shooter, but his reputation of being a poor shooter is absurd. Dunn leads a Providence team that lacks top-notch talent, forcing him to take nearly 13 shots per game. He possesses good striking ability for a point guard, and does a good job finishing at the rim. He’s not a spectacular outside shooter, but he has improved each season at Providence, currently shooting at a 35.5% clip from downtown.

 

Dunn is one of the most reliable and NBA-ready players in the draft, which should prove to be extremely beneficial to an underperforming Bucks team. -Adam Gross

 

9. Toronto Raptors-Henry Ellenson

Marquette Golden Eagles PF, 6’10” Freshman

Toronto is in the midst of a great season, and also get a lottery pick thanks to the New York Knicks. If there is a glaring weakness to the Raptors squad, it seems to be at the Power Forward position. This can be solved with smooth forward Henry Ellenson, out of Marquette University. He is skilled, and can really stretch the floor with his shooting ability. He is a good rebounder as well, and has a great rebounding mind.

He isn’t explosive, but I wouldn’t say he is a poor athlete. He is fluid with great balance, and it helps him run the floor in transition. He has a great post game, with a turnaround jumper that doesn’t leave much to be desired. Passing could also be considered a strength, and he doesn’t make many mistakes. Although his ceiling may be lower than some due to a lack of explosiveness, Ellenson should be a solid NBA player and would be a great fit in Toronto. -Zach Beeler

10. Sacramento Kings- Ivan Rabb

Cal PF, 6’11”, Freshman

Already having the top center in the league in Boogie Cousins, and solid role players in Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo, the Kings are still looking for more pieces to add to the puzzle.  Rabb’s athleticism and defensive abilities could potentially make him a perfect complement to Cousins and give the Kings one of the top frontcourts in the NBA.  His ability to score with either hand makes him a viable option on offense if Cousins is getting all the opposing defense’s attention.  Although his post-up game needs a little fine tuning, there is no reason to believe he can’t develop in that area because of his highly touted work ethic and high motor.  At 6’11” he has the size to play PF in the NBA.  He is one of the more raw prospects in the draft due to his young age, but he has a boat load of potential and would be able to learn from the likes of Demarcus Cousins to help his development. -Ryan Dahlkamp

 

11.Orlando Magic- Furkan Korkmaz

6’7” SG, Turkey

For the second year in a row the Magic will take an international player who can shoot. Last year they took Mario Hezonja who has had an up and down year. This year they will take arguably the best shooter in this draft class in Korkmaz. Korkmaz has great size for the 2 guard position at 6’7” and can knock down shots from anywhere. Finding the right combination between Korkmaz, Hezonja, and Victor Oladipo will be key for the Magic to take this core of young talent to the next level.-BK

 

12. Phoenix Suns-Demetrius Jackson

Notre Dame PG, 6’1”, Junior

Demetrius Jackson’s development during his time at Notre Dame has seen him become one of the best point guards throughout the nation. Maybe the most incredible stat showing his development during his college career is his Assist and Turnover Rate. Assist Rate according to Ken Pomeroy at KenPom.com is “assists divided by the field goals made by the player’s teammates while he is on the court”. Jackson’s Freshman year he had an Assist Rate of 14.7%, versus a rate of 25.8% during his Junior year. Turnover Rate is defined as “the percentage of personal possessions used on turnovers. Jackson’s Turnover Rate was 21.4% his Freshman year compared to 14.3% his Junior year. Jackson should be a good fit in Phoenix where he and Devin Booker can help reenergize what was once one of the most exciting and promising backcourts in the entire NBA. – DH

 

13. Houston Rockets- Skal Labissiere

Kentucky PF/C, 6’11”, Freshman

Skal Labissiere has been one of the tougher players to peg this season. He came into Kentucky with scouts pegging him as a top 2 pick in this draft but he has struggled to transition to college basketball. He lost his starting spot and does not play the minutes you would expect a future lottery pick to receive. I think part of the reason that Labissiere has struggled has been foul trouble and the other part is that John Calipari tried to use Labissiere as a true post player like he did with Karl Anthony Towns last season. Labissiere’s game is not that of a true post player but more as a Anthony Davis style of play. I am not saying Labissiere is Anthony Davis but if you watch Davis he takes a lot of mid range jump shots and prefers to face the basket. Labissiere would be most effective facing the basket in the NBA.

 

When it came to finding a player that could be a fit for Houston I was really lost. Patrick Beverley just signed a contract extension last summer, Dwight Howard’s future is up in the air, and James Harden seems like a tough guy to play with. Labissiere can provide the Rockets with minutes off the bench his rookie year but will need some development and weight training to reach his potential.

 

My feeling is that Labissiere will impress teams with his workouts and end up being a lottery pick. He may even have a chance to sneak back into the top 10 if he can close out the season on a high note and do well during the draft process. –BK

 

14. Utah Jazz- Timothe Luwawu

International SG/SF, 6’7”

It’s no secret that this draft class is weak. Top-tier talent runs two picks deep, and everything that follows will be a bit of a crapshoot. That is why the Jazz select Luwawu, who possesses one of the highest ceilings of any player available at this point.

Luwawu has prototypical size for an NBA wing, at 6’7”, 205 lbs., and a 6’11” wingspan. His best attribute is his defense, which is a combination of his size and athleticism. Though his handles can use improvement, he has good ability to strike to the basket off the dribble. He’s improved his shooting mechanics, but doesn’t project to be a great shooter in the NBA. He is an all-around solid player, and at the very least should be a good role player off the bench.

 

The Jazz don’t have any particular holes in their starting lineup, so adding depth at the wing should be one of their main goals. Rodney Hood has become a pleasant surprise, and would offer good mentorship for Luwawu. -AG

 

15. Denver Nuggets-Domantas Sabonis

Gonzaga Bulldogs, 6’10” PF

Denver has some pieces, but they are in dire need of consistency. That is what Sabonis brings to the table, a guy that you’ll be able to rely on night in and night out. Sabonis is a great rebounder, and has a great instinct when it comes to that facet of the game. With Kenneth Faried also on the team, it gives the team two very solid rebounders at the 4. Along with rebounding, he brings a great energy to the court and could be a solid defender as well at the next level.

Although not elite athletically, Sabonis can hold his own. As I mentioned, his instinct and body control will help make up for a lack of explosiveness. He is a solid post player offensively, but will need to continue to work on it as that will be where he makes his money. He’ll make a longer jumper if he’s open, but will need to put in a lot of work if he wants to make that a legitimate weapon for the future. Overall, I like Sabonis a lot and feel that he has the potential to be a very consistent player in the league for years to come. –ZB

16. Denver Nuggets- Denzel Valentine

Michigan State PG/SG, 6’5”, Senior

A guy with the skill set of Denzel Valentine falling out of the lottery?  How is it possible that the potential National Player of the Year in the NCAA falls this late in the draft?  I personally believe that he has top 12 talent, but perhaps his limiting factor is his average athleticism.  Described as ‘The Swiss Army Knife’, Valentine can do it all.  Over the past two years he has continuously developed his jumper which is showing through his 19.6 ppg.  Not to mention his 7.5 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game are pretty impressive as well.  He seems to make a “wow” play every time he steps foot on a basketball court.  Teaming up Valentine with young prospects like Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Jokic, and Kenneth Faried could be the start of a bright future in Denver.  Even though he hasn’t played in an NBA game yet, he already seems to play like a savvy veteran.  He seems to always find an open man or knows when to shoot and his basketball knowledge makes him an extremely valuable asset.  Denzel Valentine at 16 would be the steal of the draft. –RD

 

17. Boston Celtics- Greyson Allen

Duke SG, 6’4” Sophomore

Greyson Allen is going to be a good NBA player. I know he has been known for his antics on the court and I have been one of his biggest critics but the kid can flat out play. Allen will fit right in with guards Isiah Thomas, Courtney Lee, and Marcus Smart to be an unstoppable force. Allen will add the go to scorer in the second unit. Thomas is a great scorer off the bench but his size can limit him at times. Allen can drive the ball and finish strong and he is an excellent deep shooter. His ego may take a hit with role player minutes but Brad Stevens should be able to comb that over.-BK

18. Charlotte Hornets-Juan Hernangomez

International SF/PF, 6’9”, 20 Years Old

The Spanish International may not be very well known yet in the United States, but he could end up being one of the real hidden gems of this draft class. Hernangomez is relatively refined on the offensive end, with a nice shot, efficient on the pick and roll, and able to attack with either hand will allow Hernangomez to smoothly transition to NBA Defenses. He must also continue to develop a consistent shot from 3. The two areas that will dictate whether he can be a successful NBA player will be his defense and his decision-making. Hernangomez routinely gets taken advantage of in the post and gambles too much on the perimeter. He also must make better decisions on the offensive end, where he averages nearly one more turnover than assists currently in the Spanish Professional Basketball League. – DH

 

19. Chicago Bulls- Deyonta Davis

Michigan State PF/C, 6’10”, Freshman

The way that the picks fell this draft I ended up selecting mostly big men in this mock draft. Chicago did not trade Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah at the trade deadline but it is clear that those two bigs are not part of Fred Hoiberg’s long term plan for the Bulls. Last year the Bulls selected PF/C Bobby Portis and he has shown flashes of greatness this season even with limited playing time. The Bulls will look to pair Davis and Portis together for years to come.

 

Davis has not played a major role in the Michigan State offense this season but he has shown some flashes of potential. He still is very raw but he is a natural shot blocker and will be able to provide rim protection right away for the Bulls. He has shown the ability to knock down hook shots and his midrange jumper is developing. Davis is a guy with tremendous potential and will be a steal to get him outside of the lottery.-BK

 

20. Atlanta Hawks- Malik Beasley

Florida State PG, 6’5”, Freshman

At the beginning of the CBB season, many people believed Dwyane Bacon would be the one-and-done guard out of Florida State that would land someone in the first round. As we near the end of the season, Malik Beasley has shocked the country and gets slotted earlier than Bacon in the first.

 

The athleticism is the first thing that pops out in Beasley’s game. At 6’5” with a 6’6” wingspan, he possesses good size for a two-guard. He had some good showings against stiff competition, including a 23 point (10-16) outing against then #17 Louisville. He’s a good shooter, hitting 37.6% of his shots from downtown, and shooting 82.6% from the charity stripe. His scoring efficiency as a freshman is one of his best assets, putting up a 53.6% Effective Field Goal Percentage. Though he can stand to add some weight to his frame (190 lbs.), he’s not afraid to bang down-low, averaging 5.3 rebounds per contest.

 

Kyle Korver is going to turn 35 this month, and hasn’t been as effective this season as last season’s all-star campaign. Bringing in a young, athletic guard who can shoot should be a priority for Atlanta to replace Korver at the two, and Beasley would perfectly fill that role. Not only would this be a good fit, Beasley might be the best value at pick 20. -AG

21. Indiana Pacers- Wade Baldwin

Vanderbilt Commodores, 6’3” PG

The Pacers have a few pieces to build on, but in this point guard driven league George Hill won’t bring them a championship anytime soon. Wade Baldwin has a lot of potential, and it would be wise for the Pacers to take a shot on him. He has a ridiculous 6’10” wingspan, which just screams defensive potential. Along with that, he is a fluid athlete that just looks comfortable manning the point. He is a good outside shooter, and could definitely make people pay for leaving him open or missing a switch defensively.

Perhaps the biggest knock on Baldwin is his inconsistency. There are times when Baldwin looks engaged, energized, a lottery pick. Then there are games like the one against Kentucky this year, when he looked lackadaisical in a 1-9 shooting effort. He will need to work hard to become more consistent if he wants to start at point guard in the NBA. However, his body looks like that of an NBA point guard and he is more than worth the risk if he falls to the Pacers. -ZB

 

  22. Philadelphia 76ers- Monte Morris

Iowa State PG, 6’3”, Junior

The Sixers have the youngest roster in the league along with a stockpile of draft picks.  If the Sixers do end up being awarded the top pick in the draft they will already have the beloved Ben Simmons. Adding a safe player like Monte Morris to all of their young talent would be a smart move.  Morris boasts a near 5:1 assist: turnover ratio.  He always makes the smart play and is able to set up his teammates with relative ease.  This season the Sixers have turned it over more than any other team.  They need a guy like Monte Morris who can slow the tempo and control a game.  Teaming him up with frontcourt talent such as Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and potentially Ben Simmons, Morris would make each of these players better with his elite passing ability.  To go along with that, Morris has a knack for the ball on defense averaging nearly two steals per game over his past two seasons at Iowa State.  With all the shaky moves by the Sixers’ front office, taking a safe player like Monte Morris would be in their best interest. –RD

 

23. Boston Celtics- Brice Johnson

UNC PF, 6’10” Senior

Boston added a 2 guard and a small forward already in this draft so they decide to go with some experience and athleticism with Brice Johnson. Johnson is a rebounding monster who has great touch around the basket. I believe he has room to grow but can be a very formidable backup as a rookie. The Celtics like to get out in the fast break where Brice is at his best. This isn’t a risky pick but one that can pay off greatly in the right system.-BK

 

24. Memphis Grizzlies- Melo Trimble

Maryland PG, 6’3”, Sophomore

Melo Trimble came to Maryland with loads of expectations as a McDonald’s All-American and needing to help Maryland transition from the ACC to the Big 10. By all accounts Trimble has been all of that and more for Mark Turgeon and the Terrapins helping them to the Sweet 16 last year and the Terps look to be a National Title Contender as the calendar turns to March. The Grizzlies need to start evolving as a team as their “ground and pound” game with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph continue to age and it looks more and more certain that Mike Conley will not be returning to Memphis after he enters Free Agency in the Summer of 2016. Trimble’s 3-Point Shooting and his ability to effectively utilize the pick and roll will allow for Memphis to kick-start the development of a newer and more perimeter-focused squad. – DH

 

25. LA Clippers- Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Kansas SG/SF, 6’8”, Sophomore

 

The Clippers are in need of some shooting to supplement the aging JJ Reddick. The Clippers are led by two post players who are not used to stepping far outside of the basket offensively so the wings must be able to knock down outside shots in order to stretch the defense. Sviatoslav can do just that for the Clippers. He is a 6’8” guard or small forward that is lethal from long range. He is originally from the Ukraine and has extensive experience with their national team before arriving in Lawrence last year.

 

His playing time has been limited because Brannen Greene has been Bill Self’s go to shooter off the bench. When Mykhailiuk has gotten minutes he has done nothing but impress. He can knock down shots from anywhere and is continuing to add strength and offensive diversity to his game. This year Mykhailiuk is shooting just under 40% from three point range. He just scored 17 points in the Big-12 clinching victory over Texas Tech.  The Clippers will make this pick with an eye on the present and the future as Mykhailiuk can come off the bench and provide a deep shooting threat while continuing to develop and add strength. I have been high on Mykhailiuk all season because of his size and shooting ability. Bill Self has struggled the past few seasons of managing his bench and it seems like Mykhailiuk is one of those guys who has fallen through the cracks. He will be a huge asset for the Clippers and make Ukraine proud. –BK

 

26. Toronto Raptors- Caris LeVert

Michigan SG, 6’7”, Senior

This selection can vary greatly depending on how LeVert’s leg heals. Many believed LeVert would crack the lottery if he had stayed healthy this season, so if he is able to properly rehabilitate, this could be a steal for Toronto.

 

Caris LeVert is an all-around force at the shooting guard position. He’s a great shooter, hitting his 3’s at a 44.6% clip this season. He has become a very good passer, putting up a 2.96 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is a big jump from 1.7 last season. His height (6’7”) and wingspan (7’1”) helped him average 5.3 rebounds per contest this season, but he lacks the ideal size (205 lbs) for the NBA. Though he possesses ideal length and quickness, he’s an average defender, which can be somewhat fixed when he enters the league.

 

With Demar Derozan opting-out of his contract, according to Brian Lewis of the NY Post, finding a replacement is essential for Toronto. LeVert’s game has some flaws, but should be a successor, whose game has developed well after four years in Ann Arbor. It doesn’t appear as though LeVert’s ceiling is too high, but if his leg heals properly, this could be the best value pick of the draft. -Adam Gross

 

27. Philadelphia 76’s- Dwayne Bacon

Florida State Seminoles, 6’5” SG

Well, the Sixers have a frontcourt. As for a backcourt, that is a different story. In Dwayne Bacon, they would get an elite scorer who could immediately bring a scoring punch to a team desperately in need of a punch of any kind. Bacon is a natural scorer, a slasher who has a knack for finishing at or near the rim by any means necessary. Although he isn’t elite athletically, this knack for scoring should translate just fine to the NBA, although it may limit his ability to be a star.

Also limiting that star capability is the fact that Bacon struggles from long range. He shoots below 30% from three, and can struggle with shot choice at times as well. He is an average defender, but is nothing to write home about. I worry that without improving one or both of these areas, Bacon will become just another run of the mill bench unit scorer. But the Sixers have plenty of picks and are willing to be patient, so Bacon may be a great fit for the team. –ZB

 

28. Phoenix Suns- Cheick Diallo

Kansas PF, 6’9”, Freshman

Diallo quite possibly has the highest ceiling of any player in this year’s draft.  The only problem is that no one has seen it since Bill Self has played him only eight minutes per game.  His numbers are extremely low considering he, other than Ben Simmons, was possibly the most hyped player in the 2015 recruiting class.  After his impressive showings at the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American game, people were talking about him as a top 5 pick in the draft.  He still has a ridiculous amount of untapped potential and his athleticism and motor make him appealing to an NBA team.  The only reason his is not a lottery pick is because he hasn’t yet showed anyone what he can do. Phoenix is a struggling franchise right now so it may be worth the risk in drafting Diallo and pairing him up with Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, and Brandon Knight.  His length and passion for basketball along with his insane athleticism could make him an NBA All-Star in the long run, but for now, he needs to prove himself on the floor.-RD

 

29. San Antonio Spurs- Diamond Stone

6’10” PF, Maryland

This just feels like a very Spurs pick so late in the first round. Stone was a highly recruited player who did not live up to the extreme hype at Maryland. Part of the issue was that Maryland had a great amount of talent but never really were able to work together. Stone showed some flashes of brilliance when he had the ball with pull up jump shots and some nice post moves but was inconsistent with ball dominant guards on his team.

Stone will fall into the Spurs lap and they will rejoice as they have found a new running mate with LaMarcus Aldridge. Stone plays like Aldridge but is more physical around the rim. The Spurs can build and develop Stone while continuing their amazing success even after Tim Duncan is gone.

 

30. Golden State Warriors-Stephen Zimmerman

UNLV C, 7’0”, Freshman

Most evaluators would have told me I was crazy if I said Zimmerman was going to fall all the way to the end of the First Round at the beginning of the year. What Zimmerman did not know at the beginning of the year is that UNLV would struggle at the beginning of the year eventually resulting in Dave Rice being relieved of his duties as Head Coach. Even with the turmoil in and around the UNLV program, Zimmerman’s potential as a big man who can step out and play the perimeter means that he is tailor-made for today’s NBA. Andrew Bogut is 31 years old, and can help Zimmerman navigate the NBA in his early years, but once Zimmerman is ready to take over and be the starter for this team Bogut should be ready to hang up his sneakers. Pairing Zimmerman with Steph, Klay, Draymond et al should be the perfect system for the young big man. – DH

 

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