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2016 NBA Draft: Winners and Losers

The NBA Draft was last week and after the first ten picks, players began moving up and down the draft board. Typically, the draft almost goes according to the mock drafts, but this year was quite different.

Players expected to go anywhere in the teens to the end of the first round fell to the second round, most notably Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis, and Washington’s Dejounte Murray just scraped by in the first round.

Here is a look at the biggest winners and losers from the 2016 NBA Draft.


Chicago Bulls – The Bulls traded away its former MVP point guard in Derrick Rose the day before the draft as part of a rebuilding process. With the 14th pick the Bulls took Denzel Valentine of Michigan State. Valentine played as an undersized small forward for the Spartans but with his size and length he should slot into a shooting guard in the NBA. Valentine also possesses a pure stroke from anywhere and is a natural leader and playmaker.

Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets got a steal with Kentucky’s Jamal Murray dropping to them at number seven. He gives Denver a solid and reliable shooter from three. The Nuggets also picked up a Spanish power forward in Juan Hernangomez, who can stretch the floor with his shooting. Grabbing Malik Beasley with the 19th pick was a good pick. He’s another two-guard the Nuggets can use with Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris. The Nuggets are quietly putting together a strong roster.

Indiana Pacers – The Pacers took Michigan’s Caris LeVert with the 20th pick, but packaged him and a future second round pick to Brooklyn for Thaddeus Young. Young is a solid power forward and will excel in Indiana. Before the draft, Indiana sent George Hill to Utah and received Jeff Teague as part of a three-team deal. The Pacers have improved drastically around Paul George and Monta Ellis. Throw in their second round pick of Georges Niang, who is a solid pick up late in the second round, the Pacers should once again be in the playoffs next year.

Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizzlies took guard Wade Baldwin IV out of Vanderbilt with the 17th pick. Baldwin will fit in with the Grizz as a point guard or shooting guard, and regardless if Mike Conley stays with the team. Memphis then grabbed two more picks by trading away a 2019 protected first round pick for Deyonta Davis, who was a projected to go in most experts top-15 or -20 picks. He gives the team another body to relieve an aging Zach Randolph and could turn into a starter in a few years.

Oklahoma City Thunder – During the draft, the Thunder sent power forward Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to the 11th pick, Domantas Sabonis. It was an absolute haul for Same Presti and the Thunder. Oladipo would complete a big three if OKC can re-sign Kevin Durant this offseason. And, this trade might have shown him how much the Thunder want to win a championship. Sabonis is a solid power forward from Gonzaga who uses his body to move people around.


Boston Celtics – The Celtics tried and tried to get out of the number three pick because there was no true NBA star after Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. Instead, they took freshman Jaylen Brown who has potential to be a solid NBA player. Boston had a total of eight picks and ended up trading two of them for a potential 2019 first round pick to the Grizzlies. The rest of the Celtics draft was mediocre at best due in part because of a weak draft class.

Charlotte Hornets – The Hornets only had one pick this year at number 22-overall. Charlotte decided to take Syracuse’s Malachi Richardson. However, they flipped him to Sacramento for the sharp-shooting of Marco Belinelli, who had an awful season and is still owed $13 million over the next two years.

Miami Heat and New York Knicks – Neither team had a draft pick in the 2016 Draft. New York has plenty of money to spend in free agency to rebuild, even if the draft allows you to draft players for your system. While Miami has a lot of cap space too since LeBron left two years ago. But Miami has an aging roster, so you would have liked to see them try and get a pick or two. But with no picks, for now they are automatically a part of the losing teams.

Orlando Magic – The Magic got rid of one of their young talents that was the cornerstone of the franchise. The guy the team wanted to build around. The problem is that re-build is going to take longer than expected. They did pick up Serge Ibaka, which is a great guy to have on the floor and in the locker room to mentor the young guys. Orlando also gets one and done center Stephen Zimmerman out of UNLV. He will be a solid big guy in the league once he adds a few more pounds in the weight room. Still not a fan of this trade for the Magic. Gave up way too much for way too little.