We had Ben Simmons, we had Brandon Ingram and we had a few bright spots here and there. But overall, the 2016 NBA Draft was kind of a dud. It lacked star power, and, quite frankly, it lacked future All-Star-caliber players. Perhaps we’ll get some, but we won’t get many.
“There wasn’t a lot of great players in this draft,” Fox Sports college basketball analyst Vin Parise said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “After you get past the top handful or so, I think even by mid-first round, it’s a lot of (adding) little pieces to the puzzle. I think you see some guys who could have some good backup roles. But I think at the top, I think the roster is dramatically improved, especially when you look at Los Angeles and Minnesota. It’ll be fun to see these rosters develop the next few seasons.”
The Lakers drafted Brandon Ingram second overall while the Timberwolves took Kris Dunn fifth. Parise is high on both players, especially Dunn.
“I try to always take a step back because Providence is a team I’ve covered the most the last couple of years,” Parise said, “but he’s been the most fun and most impressive guy for games that I’ve called in the seven or eight years that I’ve been doing it. It seems like he’s everywhere on the floor. I think he’s the best defensive perimeter in the draft, and other scouts have said that as well. He can guard four positions on the floor, he can run the point – it’ll be fun to watch him play with that young talent in Minnesota. A lot of NBA scouts that I chatted with the last few weeks didn’t even know if he’d (still be available with the fifth pick).
“There is stuff bought up about his questionable outside shooting, but I don’t think the college game was suited for him,” Parise continued. “I think Dunn’s game was suited for this next level. He’s a Russell-Westbrook, get-out-and-go (player). We saw a lot of him walking the ball up the floor in Big East games and playing against a half-court 2-3 zone. That’s not Kris Dunn. I think the best is yet to come that you’re going to see.”
Not every lottery pick, however, was a home run. In fact, Parise was shocked that the Milwaukee Bucks took Thon Maker tenth overall. Maker, 19, is a 7-1, 216-pound project from Sudan.
“I think he’s the rawest guy in the draft, and that’s from being close with college recruiters as well as scouts,” Parise said. “I think he’s a few years away from playing and making a difference because of strength and lack of experience. I’m not saying he can’t turn out to be something terrific. I was just surprised that the Bucks did it at 10 because so many people had him late-first round on the board.”