scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Simmons No. 1 in NBA beat writers mock draft; Celtics take Brown

Ben Simmons played one season at LSU.USA Today Sports

LSU forward Ben Simmons was the top pick in the Globe’s second annual NBA beat writers mock draft Tuesday.

“Extremely versatile, the Australian can play small forward, power forward, and line up as a small-ball center in certain situations,” said Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who made the top pick.

Brandon Ingram of Duke went No. 2 to the Lakers, and with the No. 3 pick, Gary Washburn of the Globe picked Cal forward Jaylen Brown for the Celtics.

“The Celtics really want to move this pick, but Brown may have the best potential of a lot of candidates,” Washburn said.


Reporters covering NBA teams across the league made first-round picks for the teams they cover and added a brief explanation.

2016 Boston Globe NBA beat writers mock draft

1. Philadelphia: Ben Simmons, F, LSU

■  Extremely versatile, the Australian can play small forward, power forward and line up as a small-ball center in certain situations.

— Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, F, Duke

■  Well-rounded player with a sweet shot, but needs to add weight quickly. And he knows it.

— Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times

3. Boston: Jaylen Brown, F, Cal

■  The Celtics really want to move this pick, but Brown may have the best potential of a lot of candidates.

— Gary Washburn, Boston Globe

4. Phoenix: Dragan Bender, C, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

Rina Castelnuovo/The New York Times

■  The Suns do not have any power forwards under contract for next season. Bender is not NBA-ready but he has the size and skill to spread the floor, defend different positions and be a playmaker.

— Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic

5. Minnesota: Kris Dunn, G. Providence

■  Wolves already have Ricky Rubio at PG, you say? True, but new boss Tom Thibodeau values defense and toughness, and this guy has both.


— Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis Star Tribune

6. New Orleans: Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky

■  Pelicans need perimeter scoring, especially with Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson entering free agency. Murray is a superb 3-point shooter and will be a good fit with Anthony Davis.

— John Reid, The Times-Picayune

7. Denver: Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma

■  Nuggets in search of additional shooting. If Murray’s off the board, Hield fits the bill.

— Chris Dempsey, Denver Post

8. Sacramento: Marquese Chriss, F, Washington

■  If the Kings can’t land a top PG or SG, they’ll take the best player available in Chriss, a former local prep star.

— Jason Jones, Sacramento Bee

9. Toronto: Domantas Sabonis, F, Gonzaga

■  Trade makes most sense, but you can’t argue with the genes as Raptors corner the market on Lithuanian big men.

Doug Smith, Toronto Star

10. Milwaukee: Henry Ellenson, F, Marquette

■  Marquette product is very skilled and should give Bucks another low-post presence.

— Gary Washburn, Boston Globe

11. Orlando: Skal Labissiere, F, Kentucky

■  Orlando needs a player who can contribute right away, but Labissiere’s potential is too much to pass up. Can add some rim protection and defense too off the bench for Frank Vogel’s team.

— Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily

12. Utah: Deyonta Davis, F, Michigan State

■  The Jazz go best available here, provided they keep the pick. Davis = upside.

— Tony Jones, Salt Lake Tribune

13. Phoenix: Dajounte Murray, G, Washington

■  The Suns’ strength lies in their backcourt, but Murray has special long-range potential with his length, explosiveness and determination at point guard.


— Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic

14. Chicago: Denzel Valentine, G, Michigan State

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

■  Michigan State product adds guard depth and checks boxes for Bulls’ drafting profile — multiyear college player and leader.

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

15. Denver: Cheick Diallo, C, Kansas

■  Diallo gives the Nuggets a chance at improving their rim protection. Raw offensively, but defensive impact and rebounding are the focus here.

— Chris Dempsey, Denver Post

16. Boston: Ante Zizic, C, Cibona Zagreb (Croatia)

■  Celtics need a stash guy and Zizic has skills and will stay overseas for at least two more years.

— Gary Washburn, Boston Globe

17. Memphis: Timothe Luwawu, G, Mega Leks (Serbia)

■  Luwawu adds defense and shooting to a paper-thin Grizzlies wing corps, and terrifically high upside to segue into the years ahead.

— Kevin Yeung, SB Nation

18. Detroit: Wade Baldwin, G, Vanderbilt

■  The Pistons would love this scenario, as you hear the Vanderbilt product is a prospect of interest. The team would still seek to acquire a veteran backup for Reggie Jackson, so there probably won’t be immediate pressure to produce.

— Vincent Ellis, Detroit Free Press

19. Denver: Furkan Korkmaz, G, Anadolu Efes (Turkey)

■  Shooter who is a project. Nuggets are an internationally-focused team and can bring him over a year later.

— Chris Dempsey, Denver Post

20. Indiana: Taurean Prince, F, Baylor

■   Although Prince is a four-year prospect from Baylor, he is the versatile wing player who could be the stretch-PF that the Pacers desperately need alongside Paul George and Myles Turner.


— Nate Taylor, Indianapolis Star

21. Atlanta: Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

■  It seems unlikely Poeltl would fall this far, and the Hawks would gladly snap him up if he did. He provides much-needed rim protection, and insurance for Al Horford (free agent) and Tiago Splitter (hip surgery).

— Mike Conti, 92.9 The Game

22. Charlotte: Malik Beasley, G, Florida State

■  Hornets need two-way play. Beasley is an explosive leaper, range shooter, and can defend multiple positions despite size issues. Yes, please.

Doug Branson, SB Nation

23. Boston: Thon Maker, F, Athlete Institute (Canada)

■  A project that could pay big dividends if he works out. Potential is too much to pass on this late in first round.

— Gary Washburn, Boston Globe

24. Philadelphia: Malachi Richardson, G, Syracuse

■  His shooting will make him a fan favorite playing close to his hometown. The Sixers are extremely excited to get him at 24.

– Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Juan Hernangomez, F, Movistar Estudiantes (Spain)

■  Salary cap situation demands Clippers immediately fill needs, and Hernangomez, a versatile big, can help depth instantly.

— Dan Woike, Orange County Register

26. Philadelphia: Tyler Ulis, G, Kentucky

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

■  Despite being on the small side, the Sixers believe Ulis can be a solid point guard since they were unable to get Dunn or Murray.


— Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer

27. Toronto: Ivica Zubac, C, Mega Leks (Serbia)

■  A total draft-and-stash, teenage Croatian may be something or he may not, but taking a flier makes sense.

Doug Smith, Toronto Star

28. Phoenix: Guerschon Yabusele, F, Rouen Metropole (France)

■  With three first-round picks, the Suns are likely to do a draft-and-stash. Everyone wants a Draymond Green, and Yabusele’s size/skill gives him a chance to do some of what Green can.

— Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic

29. San Antonio: Isaiah Cousins, G, Oklahoma

■  At 6-foot-4, he’s athletic, can shoot the three, guard multiple positions, and brings that tough-minded defensive style that was lost when Cory Joseph departed for Toronto. Tony Parker can’t play forever. Cousins, if they can develop him like they did with Kawhi Leonard, could be the guy to take over once Parker’s days are complete.

— Jabari Young, San Antonio Express-News

30. Golden State: Diamond Stone, C, Maryland

■  As we saw during the Finals, the Warriors need a productive big man. It’s either Stone or Damian Jones here. Stone has more upside.

Gary Washburn, Boston Globe

Related: 2015 NBA beat writers mock draft

Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter at @rachelgbowers. Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at@mattpep15.