Prospect watch for the NBA Draft 2016
The 2016 NBA Draft is now less than four months away and there are a clutch of new college stars and freshmen that are waiting in the wings ready to be picked by the 30 teams from the National Basketball Association.
Ben Simmons, PF, LSU
6-foot-9 Simmons has been touted as the number one prospect due to his impressive all round skills. Simmons has been ranked as the best high school player by the majority of scouts and is a gifted forward who now plays for LSU Tigers after moving from his home town of Melbourne to Montverde, Florida in 2013. The 19-year-old possesses excellent ball handling skills and moves seamlessly in the open court.
Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
Ingram is a scoring wing with a 7-foot-3 wingspan and a smooth jump shot. The 18-year-old ranks among the best when it comes to athleticism, skill set and speed and is likely to be among the top picks if he can fill out his slightly thin frame. He has been a star player for the Duke Blue Devils during the 2015/16 NCAA Division I season, impressing with his shooting and raw talent.
Dragan Bender, PF
Bender is currently the hottest overseas prospect. Just 17 and standing at 7-foot-1 inches, Bender is already mixing it with the best in Europe and is considered an extremely skilled prospect despite his tender years. The Croatian is currently third in many top prospect lists behind Simmons and Ingram.
Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky
Labissiere has consistently been in top ten prospect lists for the last twelve months. The 210-pound 19-year-old was born in Haiti and now represents the Kentucky Wildcats. Labissiere is considered a superb shot blocker and was one of the stars of the Nike Hoop Summit last year after scoring 21 points on 9-15 (60%) and registering six blocks and six rebounds. He has struggled of late but still has huge potential.
Ivan Rabb, PF, and Jaylen Brown, SF, California
Rabb and Brown could both be selected by No.3 this summer. Rabb is an incredible rebounder and shot blocker with a long wingspan while Brown has impressed during the current season with his speed, shooting and defensive skills. Brown has been the biggest mover in top draft lists in recent months.
Jamal Murray, PG, Kentucky
Murray is an elite combo guard who has steadily moved up the top prospect ranks since the turn of the year. The Canadian 19-year-old was name MVP at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit and has continued to prosper for the Wildcats during the NCAA season.
Basketball fans can get more involved with this year’s draft and the latter stages of the NBA 2015-16 season by debunking betting myths and making their own fantasy team and betting on individual players and team outcomes.
There are a number of key dates coming up in the basketball calendar including the NBA Draft Combine 2016 in Chicago, which is the traditional multi-day showcase involving college basketball players. The NBA Draft Lottery 2016 will then take place on May 17 before the main event, the NBA Draft 2016 is held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 23, 2016.