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NBA Draft Big Board 1.0: The cream rises to the top

Harrison Wind Avatar
April 18, 2016


When looking at this year’s draft crop versus the 2015-16 class, there’s simply no comparison.

Last year’s class had star power, depth, and prospects who looked like clear cut rotation players and starters, falling towards the late lottery or even out of the top-14 all together.

This year’s class looks a lot different.

At the top, Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons have separated themselves as the cream of the crop in this draft. What order they are in is up for debate, but Ingram and Simmons are clearly in a tier of their own.

Kris Dunn and Dragan Bender have been fighting it out for the No. 3 spot all winter, but after that it gets murky. A slew of wings including Jamal Murray, Timothe Luwawu, Buddy Hield and Jaylen Brown figure to go in the lottery, while versatile bigs and wings like Ivan Rabb, Furkan Korkmez and Marquisse Chriss represent prospects who could jump into the top-10 with encouraging workouts.

However, what this draft lacks in star power at the top, it makes up for in depth.

Rabb, Chriss, Deyonta Davis, Brice Johnson, Jakob Poeltl and Domantas Sabonis are all four and five-men could have a place in this league if they end up in the right situation. They range from prospects like Chriss, who projects as an athletic, above the rim, stretch four, but right now is incredibly raw, to Davis, who is a throwback, shot-blocking and rebounding interior presence. Johnson is extremely versatile and skilled, like a taller Shawn Marion, while Poeltl and Sabonis are your classic back-to-the-basket, interior players.

None of those frontcourt prospects are likely going to mature into stars or maybe not even starters, but pick the right one and develop him properly, and you could find a quality rotation piece.

Outlook for Nuggets

Denver holds three first round picks in this summer’s draft (the higher of the Knicks and Nuggets picks, No. 15 and No. 19), but with so many young pieces already under contract and how mediocre this draft is, I highly doubt we’ll see three rookies on the opening night roster next season.

Packaging their picks or combining one of their tradeable contracts to jump up and grab someone who’s high on Tim Connelly’s draft board isn’t out of the question, but if they stay where they are, I could also see Denver taking or trading back for a draft-and-stash guy in the middle of the first round.

Harrison Wind’s Big Board 1.0
Rank Player School Year (Age) Position Height Weight
1 Brandon Ingram Duke Fr. (18) SF 6-9 190
2 Ben Simmons LSU Fr. (19) F 6-10 240
3 Kris Dunn Providence Jr. (22) G 6-4 220
4 Dragan Bender Croatia — (18) PF 7-1 216
5 Jamal Murray Kentucky Fr. (19) SG 6-4 207
6 Timothe Luwawu France — (20) SG 6-7 205
7 Buddy Hield Oklahoma Sr. (22) SG 6-4 214
8 Ivan Rabb California Fr. (19) PF 6-11 220
9 Jaylen Brown California Fr. (19) F 6-7 225
10 Henry Ellenson Marquette Fr. (19) PF 6-11 245
11 Denzel Valentine Michigan St. Sr. (22) G 6-5 220
12 Furkan Korkmaz Turkey — (18) SG 6-7 175
13 Marquese Chriss Washington Fr. (18) PF 6-9 225
14 Deyonta Davis Michigan St. Fr. (19) PF 6-9 225
15 Brice Johnson North Carolina Sr. (21) PF 6-10 230
16 Jakob Poeltl Utah So. (20) C 7-0 248
17 Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga So. (19) PF 6-11 240
18 Skal Labissiere Kentucky Fr. (20) PF/C 6-11 225
19 Dejounte Murray Washington Fr. (19) PG 6-4 170
20 DeAndre Bembry Saint Joesphs Jr. (21) SF 6-6 210
21 Tyler Ullis Kentucky So. (20) PG 5-9 160
22 Malik Beasley Florida St. Fr. (19) SG 6-5 196
23 Wade Baldwin IV Vanderbilt So. (20) G 6-3 194
24 Demetrius Jackson Notre Dame Jr. (21) PG 6-1 201
25 Jonathan Jeanne France — (18) C 7-2 200
26 Thon Maker Austrailia — (19) PF/C 7-1 218
27 Cheick Diallo Kansas Fr. (19) PF/C 6-9 220
28 Gary Payton II Oregon St. Sr. (23) PG 6-3 190
29 Taurean Prince Baylor Sr. (21) F 6-8 220
30 Diamond Stone Maryland Fr. (19) C 6-11 255
Is Ben Simmons destined to wind up in Los Angeles? Credit: Ben Simmons on Twitter
Is Ben Simmons destined to wind up in Los Angeles?
Credit: Ben Simmons on Twitter


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