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Decoding The Top 10 Picks Of The 2016 NBA Draft

A few surprises, last-minute moves, but mostly sound decisions
by John Paulo Aguilera | Jun 24, 2016
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This year's NBA Draft was almost overshadowed by that blockbuster deal that sent Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka to Orlando, in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo, forward Ersan Ilyasova, and the rights to No. 11 pick Domantas Sabonis. It came a day after Chicago hometown kid and former MVP Derrick Rose got traded to the New York Knicks.

Long considered a two-player draft, the special night produced a few surprises, last-minute moves, and mostly sound decisions from the 30 franchises involved. Save for the Sixers and the Lakers, who chose instant impact players Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram respectively, the rest of the teams opted to play the long game, hoping their selections will be competitive enough to guarantee a playoff appearance in two to three years.

And since you, our dear readers, had been showing our basketball features some love, FHM tries to play basketball analyst once more and understand what each of the Top 10 draft picks meant to their respective teams.

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Thon Maker

No. 10, Milwaukee Bucks

As if their lineup isn't lanky enough, the unexpected acquisition of the 7'1" Sudanese-Australian just made the Bucks longer than Giannis' last name. Given that his freakish guard skills translate well in the pros, Maker possibly teaming up with Antetokounmpo in the backcourt looks like a freakish proposition to consider, if Coach Jason Kidd would be daring enough to give it a go.

Jakob Poeltl
No. 9, Toronto Raptors

With centers Jonas Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo already in the fold, it is interesting to see how Poeltl (and his minutes) will fare in his first year in Toronto. What the Austrian brings to the table: above-average low-post moves, a nose for the ball (both parents were members of the national volleyball team), and the potential to become the Raptors' two-way big man who'll take them to the Promised Land.

Marquese Chriss
No. 8, Sacramento Kings (traded to the Phoenix Suns for picks No. 13 and 28, a second-round pick on 2020, and draft rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic)

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The Kings' surprising activity before and during draft night didn't exactly turn the ailing franchise' fortunes around—just ask DeMarcus Cousins. The Marco Bellineli deal (to the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 22 pick) and this one became three unproven players in Georgios Papagiannis (13), Malachi Richardson (22), and Skal Labissiere (28), whom Vlade Divac believes was a "steal" for them.

Jamal Murray
No. 7, Denver Nuggets

Kentucky's leading scorer can learn a thing or two about defense from his future backcourt partner Emmanuel Mudiay, who, in turn, can pick up a few pointers on the offensive end from Murray. Not used to being the primary ball-handler, playing alongside Mudiay will allow Murray to just focus on shooting efficiently like he did in college.

Buddy Hield
No. 6, New Orleans Pelicans

Apparently, Hield's otherworldly 85-of-100 three-point sniping during one of his pre-draft workouts wasn't enough to land him in the Top 5. The good news is, he'll get the green light to ballistic from the field by the Pelicans, a team that sorely needs a second scoring option to support superstar Anthony Davis.


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Kris Dunn
No. 5, Minnesota Timberwolves

The arrival of Tom Thibodeau as the team's head coach and president of basketball operations makes this pick sensible. The former Chicago Bulls mentor fancies players that can deliver on both ends of the floor, and Dunn has all the offensive and defensive tools needed to become one. A power struggle at the point guard spot between him and Ricky Rubio could be imminent.

Dragan Bender
No. 4, Phoenix Suns

The Suns might have taken some inspiration from Phil Jackson of the Knicks, whose gamble last year on a mystery power forward from overseas (Kristaps Porzingis) paid off handsomely. For a team that is still searching for answers since the Steve Nash era ended, Phoenix needs all the luck it can get with Bender and their other young guns (Devin Booker, Alex Len) to return to relevance.

Jaylen Brown
No. 3, Boston Celtics 

Probably the most intriguing pick this year (aside from Maker), Brown joins the Celtics, whose officials had actively shopped their draft position for a player that can contribute right away until nixing all deals offered to them in the last minute. Although Brown wasn't projected to be selected this high, the 6-foot-7, 225-pound wing has all the raw tools to help a roster that could use some help in the forward position.

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Brandon Ingram
No. 2, Los Angeles Lakers

This was a no-brainer for the Purple and Gold. Ingram's play bears similarities to Kevin Durant's (length, shooting). The youngest collegiate player in the draft—only 18 years old—he could use some beefing up to get ready, just like what the superstar he's being compared to had to during his own rookie season. We're excited to see him deliver his own brand of Showtime and carry the once-proud Lakers franchise to a post-Kobe era relevance.

Ben Simmons
No. 1, Philadephia 76ers

His pre-draft Instagram post is a good sign that he is more than up to the challenge of reviving a dead franchise. Playing point forward, Simmons show flashes of LeBron James at best (the reason for his high draft stock), or Lamar Odom at worst. Either way, Sixers fans will have a reason to "Trust the Process" once he starts playing.


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