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NBA Draft Big Board 4.0: Breaking down the lottery (+1) from a tiered approach

Harrison Wind Avatar
June 15, 2016


The only thing most experts agree on regarding this year’s lottery is at the top.

Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons, no matter what order you rank the two in, are in a tier by themselves. Both project as All-Star caliber players, significant contributors and maybe even the best player on a championship team.

Below them, we could really see some surprises. Less so than in year’s past, there’s been little consensus developing from picks three through 14. Dragan Bender, who I have as the No. 3 player in this draft, was once looked at as the favorite to go to Boston, but now the Celtics seem as confused as ever at three and are looking to move the pick for possibly Jimmy Butler. Bender has the highest ceiling of the remaining prospects and his skill-set and frame fit perfectly on pretty much any team in the lottery.

Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray, Timothe Luwawu, Buddy Hield, Jaylen Brown, and Marquise Chriss make up my next tier of players. I’m higher than most on Luwawu and included him with this tier, but scouts are mixed on the French international. Some view him as a top-10 talent, while others don’t think he’s worthy of a selection until the middle of the first round. Dunn is the guy I like most in this group and feel he can step in, be an immediate starter and have a Michael Carter-Williams type impact his rookie season.

Murray and Hield have similar skill-sets, but the difference is one guy is three years younger. I’d imagine Murray would be every bit the player Hield was at Oklahoma if he had three more years under his belt, if not better. Brown and Chriss have the most upside in this group and both are extremely enticing prospects. I loved Chriss if you could get him outside the top-10, and while his ceiling is up there with Bender his poor rebounding in college scares me. Brown, on the other hand, has all the physical tools to be a starting wing and is a terror in transition, but is raw and his offense has a long way to go.

After that third tier, I grouped three guards, all of which could be low-end starters on championship-caliber teams, together. Denzel Valentine could be a 15-year backup that can play either the one or on the wing for most second units and may have one of the highest floors in the late-lottery, Furkan Korkmaz has the potential to be a double-digit per game scorer once his body develops, and Wade Baldwin projects as an efficient point guard who should be able to run a first unit for most teams.

Brice Johnson, Jakob Poeltl and Deyonta Davis make up the end of my lottery and are three prospects that do everything a little different. I’m highest on Johnson, a four-year player from North Carolina who’s an incredible athlete that doesn’t have any glaring deficiencies outside of his strength. He’s a tenacious defender with an underrated shot that I could see stretching out to three and will be able to find a rotational spot on most teams.

Jaokob Poeltl and Deyonta Davis are both young big men that GM’s could have ranked much higher than me. Poeltl is a classic five-man who can score with his back to the basket and is pretty athletic for his size with good hands and feet. However, he’s paint-tied on offense and has the size, but not the instincts to be a great rim protector.

Davis is a high-energy big man who put up big per-40 minute numbers at Michigan State after averaging just 18.6 minutes per game his freshman year. He’s got soft hands, great touch around the rim and good shot mechanics even though he didn’t venture too far outside the paint last season. Davis also has the length, quickness, and the ability to switch out onto smaller defenders in the pick and roll, all qualities of a developing defensive player.

Harrison Wind’s Big Board 4.0
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. Dragan Bender Croatia — (18) PF/C 7-1 216
4 . Kris Dunn Providence Jr. (22) G 6-4 220
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. Jaylen Brown California Fr. (19) F 6-7 225
9. Marquese Chriss Washington Fr. (18) PF 6-9 233
10. Denzel Valentine Michigan St. Sr. (22) G 6-5 220
11. Furkan Korkmaz Turkey — (18) SG 6-7 175
12. Wade Baldwin Vanderbilt So. (20) PG 6-3 194
13. Brice Johnson North Carolina Sr. (21) F/C 6-10 230
14. Deyonta Davis Michigan St. Fr. (19) PF/C 6-9 225
15.  Jakob Poeltl Utah So. (20) C 7-0 248
Valentine is one of the safer first-round potential lottery selections. Credit: Mike Mulholland, MLive.com
Valentine is one of the safer first-round potential lottery selections. Credit: Mike Mulholland, MLive.com

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