The general consensus is that the 2016 NBA Draft is a “two player draft” because it features two prospects at the top that have a much better chance than the remainder of the class of developing into top-tier talents in the league. For the past six month or so, LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram have found themselves perched atop the majority of publicly available big boards that identify the draft’s top prospects.
After Simmons and Ingram, the ordering of prospects becomes much more fluid. While many analysts are attached to Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Dragan Bender as the draft’s third best prospect, you don’t have to search hard to find boards that diverge from that opinion and identify players like Buddy Hield or Kris Dunn as the next best option. The importance of this debate will reveal itself on draft night.
The Boston Celtics hold the third pick in the 2016 draft and who general manager Danny Ainge selects there will have significant ramifications for how the remainder of the first round progresses. My previous mock drafts have frequently paired Bender and the Celtics together at the third pick, but what could happen if that marriage fails to materialize? Here’s a look.
This mock draft is brought to you by Upside & Motor, part of the Hardwood Paroxysm Basketball Network. You can find more in-depth analysis of the prospects mentioned within, including scouting reports and performance breakdowns, over at Upside & Motor.
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