A mock draft in August?
There's a reason it's called the Way Too Early Mock Draft.
I know, it seems a bit absurd to try to project players to teams when neither side has played a game this season, but it's never too early to start talking draft for NBA executives, scouts and fans of obvious lottery teams. In fact, NBA scouts have already been out in full force this summer at various camps and international tournaments getting a gauge on the 2016 class. And thanks to our ESPN panel of Summer Forecast voters, we have a first glimpse at what the order might look like on draft night in June.
Remember, in a mock draft we don't tell you where a player should go, but rather what each team in the draft would likely do with its pick. If you want a ranking of players, check out our first Big Board of the year. At this point, this is purely a guessing game. Most teams don't figure out whom they'll pick until draft night, let alone in August. So expect this mock draft to fluctuate greatly over the course of the next 10 months.
Nevertheless, it's time for our first full mock draft of 2016. It's our best stab at a full first-round mock draft -- assuming every eligible prospect who has yet to state his intentions on the draft declares -- after taking into account team needs.
So, without further ado, I present Mock Draft 1.0: Summer Forecast edition.
Note: Traded picks include explanations at the bottom.
The ESPN forecast has predicted the Sixers would finish with the worst record in the league for the past two years. In 2014, they finished second to last. In 2015, they were third to last. Third time's the charm?
The Sixers have two potentially dominant big men in Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel and possibly a third inĂ?Â Joel Embiid if he ever gets healthy -- but they still need plenty of help in the backcourt and on the wing. Simmons is really a positionless player. He's 6-10, 240, and plays like a point guard. The comparisons to a young LeBron James or Magic Johnson show how highly regarded he is by scouts. Simmons, as a versatile playmaker, could be a great fit in Philly. In fact, he has more upside and potential than any of the four lottery picks the Sixers have selected in the past three drafts. So tank away, Sixers. Maybe 2016 will be your year.
Odds of winning lottery: 25 percent