While the NBA season has crossed the quarter mark, the college basketball regular season is much further along. While LSU’s Ben Simmons has been far and away the most exciting player in college basketball, the next group of guys have posted somewhat average seasons so far, creating a massive clump of possible next-tier talents in the two through 10 range of the projected 2016 NBA Draft class.
There is one international prospect worth knowing and that’s 18-year-old Dragan Bender, who is currently playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. Bender signed a seven-year contract with Maccabi in 2014; that deal is basically four years with an NBA out after the fourth year, although there is a sense if Bender gets drafted high enough this year that he may try and negotiate an early buyout from Maccabi.
That concept becomes a little problematic in projecting his draft range, mainly because he could choose not to buy himself out if he is drafted in an unfavorable situation, which means he may have the power to steer his draft status because of his Maccabi contract. Bender isn’t exactly setting the international game on fire this season, shooting 33.3 percent in his seven Euroleague games while logging just 10 minutes per contest for Maccabi in Euroleague play. Bender is viewed as the best international prospect, but it’s clear that he has a lot of development in front of him as arguably the youngest player projected in the 2016 NBA Draft class.
With those notes out of the way, here is the latest 2016 NBA Mock Draft, Pre-Christmas Edition:
This mock draft does reflect some of the pick debt that is owed based on the NBA standings of games played through 12/21/2015.
As of today, the Brooklyn Nets’ pick belongs to the Boston Celtics. The New York Knicks’ draft pick is owed to the Toronto Raptors. The Charlotte Hornets’ picks is owed to the Boston Celtics. The Memphis Grizzlies’ pick is owed to the Denver Nuggets. The Dallas Mavericks’ pick is owed to Boston. The Miami HEAT’s pick is owed to the Philadelphia 76ers as is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s pick. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ pick is owed to the Phoenix Suns.
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