The 2016 NBA Draft Lottery was held on May 17. The draft lottery is used to determine the top of the draft order. All teams who missed the playoffs were given proportional odds based on their winning percentage. Then, number combinations are drawn for the top three selections. Spots 4-14 are then filled in based on reverse order of winning percentage. Though the lottery is crucial for all lottery picks, it often is most important for the top three teams.
As fate would have it, this year’s lottery fell in line exactly according to the percentages. The Philadelphia 76ers, who are trying to build towards relevance, will pick first. The Los Angeles Lakers, who are trying to fill the Kobe Bryant void, will pick second. Finally, the Boston Celtics, who owned the rights to the Brooklyn Nets pick, will pick third and try to add talent to a playoff roster.
Here is what I feel the teams with the top three picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, which will take place on June 23.
#1 Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, LSU
Ben Simmons has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft. He projects to be a superstar with his combination of size, instincts, and skill. The 76ers should draft him number one overall for several reasons. First, he’s the best prospect available and, second, the team has yet to find a direction. With Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric the team has yet to find a direction for its front court. By bringing in Ben Simmons they will increase the competition and hopefully figure out who they believe to be their front court of the future.
#2 Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, Duke
With Kobe Bryant’s retirement the Los Angeles Lakers lack a go-to wing for the first time in 20 years. Brandon Ingram can try to fill that void. Ingram provides length and defensive versatility on the wing with the ability to guard multiple positions. This two-way stud can score, too. With his rail thin body, however, he will have to prove he can bang with the pros.
#3 Boston Celtics – Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
The Boston Celtics have managed to get better every season under Brad Stevens without having that true “superstar.” They haven’t needed it though with the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder all elevating their games. The Celtics may never draft that true superstar they want. However, they could chase one in free agency. With this pick though they should look to fill a need. Buddy Hield provides dead-eye perimeter scoring, which is something the Celtics lack. With four years of college basketball under his belt Hield knows how to score and will carry that over into the NBA as a go-to wing scorer for the Celtics.