NBA

Redrafting the Top 10 picks of the 2016 NBA Draft

Brandon Ingram #14 of the Duke Blue Devils takes a foul shot during a first round NCAA College Basketball Tournament game against the Yale Bulldogs at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 19, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island. The Blue Devils won 71-64.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Early on, the 2016 NBA Draft was viewed as one of the weaker drafts in recent times. However, as the players have been given more time to develop, multiple quality players and even All-Stars, have emerged. Here is a Redraft of the top 10.

No. 1: Philadelphia 76ers Select Ben Simmons

Actual Selection: Ben Simmons

With the first pick, the Sixers stick to their original decision and draft Simmons. Despite his lack of a jumper, Simmons has been terrific in just about every other aspect on the court, averaging 17, 8, and 8 this year. He is an excellent finisher around the rim and an excellent passer. What Simmons improved most this year, however, was his defense. Towering at 6’10” yet freakishly athletic and laterally quick, Simmons is becoming one of the top defenders in the league. He is the only multiple-time All-Star from this draft and gets the nod over Siakam due to his higher potential. Simmons is still 23, while Siakam recently turned 26. Simmons could become one of the best players in the NBA if he develops his shot.

No. 2: Los Angeles Lakers Select Pascal Siakam

Actual Selection: Brandon Ingram

Pascal Siakam has come a long way since being drafted 27th overall. Siakam was named the Most Improved Player last season and went on to win the NBA Championship with the Raptors. Siakam has taken another huge step up this year. The Cameroonian forward was named an All-Star starter for the first time, with averages of 23.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Siakam will be a superstar in the league this decade. With his improved three-point shot and savvy ability to finish through contact, nothing is standing in his way.

No. 3: Boston Celtics Select Brandon Ingram

Actual Selection: Jaylen Brown

Brandon Ingram has enjoyed a breakout year since being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. The former Blue Devil was named to his first All-Star game this season, with career-best averages across the board. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that Ingram is still just 22. He’s putting up nearly 25 per game, and he still is far from his prime. As of last year, Brown would still have taken this spot, but currently, Ingram appears to be the better player.

No. 4: Phoenix Suns Select Jaylen Brown

Actual Selection: Dragan Bender

Unfortunately for the Suns, nearly any selection here would be an upgrade over their original pick. Jaylen Brown’s career so far has followed a similar trajectory to that of Brandon Ingram’s. After his first three solid seasons in the league, Brown has taken his game to the next level this year. Before the hiatus, Brown had averages of 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, at an efficient 49% from the field and 38% from three. He still has time to develop his game much further, at only 23 years of age. On the Suns, he would have formed a deadly scoring wing duo alongside Devin Booker.

No. 5: Minnesota Timberwolves Select Jamal Murray

Actual Selection: Kris Dunn

Alongside Nikola Jokic in Denver, Jamal Murray has emerged as one of the best young point guards in the league. This season, the Canadian averaged 19 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal per game. Murray is a terrific shooter off the dribble and has been an improved passer and playmaker this season too. His contribution has been a significant factor in the Nuggets’ third-best record in the West this year. In this scenario, Murray would probably be a Bull right now, being traded to Chicago as part of the Jimmy Butler deal. Murray and Zach LaVine could have formed a scary offensive duo.

No. 6: New Orleans Pelicans Select Domantas Sabonis

Actual Selection: Buddy Hield

Like many other players from this draft class, Domantas Sabonis has had a breakout year. The Pacers big man had career highs in nearly every major statistical category and was rewarded by being named an All-Star for the first time. Sabonis has formed a solid big man tandem with Myles Turner, and the two of them alongside Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers to the 5th best record in the East. This scenario would eventually land Sabonis in Sacramento, being traded in the Demarcus Cousins deal. A pick and roll duo with De’Aaron Fox would have been deadly for the Kings.

No. 7: Denver Nuggets Select Buddy Hield

Actual Selection: Jamal Murray

With their original selection in Jamal Murray off the board, Buddy Hield is the best player available for Denver. Hield is an elite shooter and can instantly contribute to any team in the league. The reigning three-point champion would no doubt give Denver a perimeter threat. Hield would welcome the open looks that he would get from playing with Nikola Jokic, one of the best passing big men in the league.

No. 8: Phoenix Suns Select Malcolm Brogdon

Actual Selection: Marquese Chriss

For years the Phoenix Suns have desperately needed a solid point guard. Although Malcolm Brogdon may not fit their timeline too well, he could be a reliable point guard next to Devin Booker. Both are 6’5, so both of their weaknesses defensively could be covered up by their height when on smaller guards. Brogdon’s playmaking abilities would have made him an asset for Indiana this year, especially in the absence of Victor Oladipo.

No. 9: Toronto Raptors Select Caris LeVert

Actual Selection: Jakob Poeltl

In the absence of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, LeVert has been one of the Nets go-to scorers. He is averaging a career-best 17.5 points per game, and the Nets are the 7th seed despite missing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In this scenario, there is a chance that LeVert would have been dealt to the Spurs as part of the Kawhi Leonard deal.

No. 10: Milwaukee Bucks Select Fred VanVleet

Actual Selection: Thon Maker

Fred VanVleet’s journey to the NBA is quite remarkable. He went from undrafted in 2016 to be a crucial part of the championship-winning Raptors in 2019. This year Vanvleet improved his game even more, averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Despite being undersized at 6’1, Vanvleet can play either guard spot and offers a combination of scoring and playmaking ability. On the Bucks, he could have been another shooter to surround Giannis with, filling a similar role to what Malcolm Brogdon had.

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