NBA Draft 2016: Latest Mock Draft with NCAA Tournament Underway

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2016

The Big Dance already has top prospects putting on a show for the NBA.
The Big Dance already has top prospects putting on a show for the NBA.Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Madness hit the NCAA tournament Thursday, with No. 12 Little Rock upending No. 5 Purdue and No. 12 Yale taking down No. 5 Baylor to greatly skew the potential meetings between NBA draft prospects.

That's right, while most have focused on filling out brackets, it's officially NBA mock draft season, with this time of year shuffling the draft board daily.

Unlike other sports, the collegiate basketball realm can greatly change a prospect's stock based on how he performs under the immense pressure of an ongoing event possibly second only to the Super Bowl in stature.

Here's an updated look at how the draft might unfold now that the tournament is officially underway.

 

2016 NBA Mock Draft

PickTeamPlayer
1. Philadelphia 76ersF Ben Simmons, LSU
2. Los Angeles LakersSG Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
3. Phoenix SunsSF Brandon Ingram, Duke
4. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn)SF Jaylen Brown, California
5. Minnesota TimberwolvesPF/C Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
6. New Orleans PelicansPG Kris Dunn, Providence
7. Sacramento KingsPF Dragan Bender, Turkey
8. Toronto Raptors (from New York)PF Henry Ellenson, Marquette
9. Denver NuggetsSG Jamal Murray, Kentucky
10. Orlando MagicPF/C Deyonta Davis, Michigan State
11. Milwaukee BucksC Jakob Poeltl, Utah
12. Phoenix Suns (from Washington)PG Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt
13. Utah JazzSG Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey
14. Chicago BullsPF Ivan Rabb, California
15. Boston Celtics (from Dallas)SG Timothe Luwawu, France
16. Denver Nuggets (from Houston)C Diamond Stone, Maryland
17. Detroit PistonsSG Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
18. Denver Nuggets (from Portland)PG Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
19. Indiana PacersSF Taurean Prince, Baylor
20. Atlanta HawksC Damian Jones, Vanderbilt
21. Charlotte HornetsSG Grayson Allen, Duke
22. Philadelphia 76ers (from Miami)PF Brice Johnson, North Carolina
23. Memphis GrizzliesSG Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
24. Boston CelticsPF Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga
25. Los Angeles ClippersC Cheick Diallo, Kansas
26. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City)F Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida
27. Toronto RaptorsF Paul Zipser, Germany
28. Phoenix Suns (from Cleveland)G Caris LeVert, Michigan
29. San Antonio SpursPG Melo Trimble, Maryland
30.Golden State WarriorsC Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV
Author's opinion.

 

Prospects with Most to Gain as Bracket Unfolds 

9. Denver Nuggets SG Jamal Murray, Kentucky

Jamal Murray's great shooting has him in the top-10 conversation.
Jamal Murray's great shooting has him in the top-10 conversation.Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray has taken the nation by storm with his shooting-happy ways, but can the young star do it under the pressure of the Big Dance?

He did Thursday against No. 13 Stony Brook, going 7-of-16 from the field with 19 points in the 85-57 win.

Fine, but Murray entered the night shooting 46 percent from the field and 42 percent from deep. More important, perhaps, was the consistency he carried into the tournament, as explained by ESPN Stats & Info:

The task now? Being just as consistent while leading the Wildcats through a portion of the bracket containing North Carolina, Notre Dame, West Virginia and Xavier.

No. 9 to the Denver Nuggets feels like the floor for Murray. Among other needs, Emmanuel Mudiay could use a partner in crime, and Murray certainly has the shooting to fit.

Of course, more interesting is Murray's ceiling. That, though, might depend on how well he can play while carrying the Wildcats.

 

23. Memphis Grizzlies SG Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Malcolm Brogdon will boost his stock if the Cavaliers keep rolling.
Malcolm Brogdon will boost his stock if the Cavaliers keep rolling.Steve Helber/Associated Press

Malcolm Brogdon might be old by NBA draft standards thanks to his status as a senior, but that doesn't change the fact he can use the Big Dance as a way to improve his stock.

Brogdon has good size for a wing player at 6'5" and 215 pounds, and he averages the best numbers of his career as a scorer this time out, shooting 47 percent from the floor, 41 percent from deep and averaging 18.7 points.

Not that Virginia's leader isn't well-rounded. Sports Illustrated's Chris Johnson listed him as a sleeper and shed some light on his strong defensive play:

For one, Brogdon is a strong defender who can check players at multiple positions. Since redshirting in 2012–13, Brogdon finished in the top five in the ACC in Defensive Win Shares in three consecutive seasons, and the Hoos never ranked lower than fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency.

In the first round against Hampton, a blowout win, Brogdon didn't need to do much while going 4-of-9 from the floor, 2-of-5 from deep and posting 11 points. He will be needed in a portion of the bracket boasting Michigan State and others, though, especially with him expected to carry his team far or succumb to an upset considering the Cavaliers are a No. 1 seed.

For now, Brogdon's stock falls somewhere in this range, and he's a good fit with the Memphis Grizzlies. It's hard to know what will happen, but Memphis has a nice core underneath the basket and could use a guy like Brogdon to compete with folks such as P.J. Hairston at shooting guard.

Whether Brogdon can boost his stock further rests on his own shoulders.

 

29. San Antonio Spurs PG Melo Trimble, Maryland

Maryland goes as far as Melo Trimble, and so does his stock.
Maryland goes as far as Melo Trimble, and so does his stock.Jim Mone/Associated Press

One of the more interesting prospects potentially in the 2016 class is Maryland's Melo Trimble, one of those players responsible for his team's outlook no matter what happens.

Trimble has had a rough go of it as of late, but the sophomore still averages 14.4 points and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 41 percent from the floor ahead of his team's first-round matchup with No. 12 South Dakota State.

The star point guard spoke with Alexander Lee of PressBoxDC.com about how he's grown compared to last year.

"I think it's the same," he said. "Last year, we were locked in around this time, and this year, we're locked in as well. You know, towards the end of the season, everything is important now. Everything is going to count. This is where all the marbles come in."

Strong words, though Trimble will have to back them up in the bracket and get the Terrapins deep into the tournament to make some noise and keep his stock in the first-round range.

Not that teams will want Trimble to boost his stock too much. A team like the San Antonio Spurs wouldn't mind getting their hands on him for depth purposes. After all, this is the team that has 33-year-old Tony Parker at the point and just brought on Andre Miller, 39, for insurance.

Trimble, future still an unknown, remains one of the must-watch players as he gets ready to enter the fray.

 

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

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