With the 2016 NBA season now completely wrapped up, the draft for the next NBA season is soon to be upon us. And you can’t have the NBA draft for 2016 without some NBA mock draft 2016 by fans and experts alike. Don’t bother searching terms like “NBA mock draft rumors,” “NBA mock draft date,” and “NBA mock draft time,” though; such terms don’t apply, and what does come up will be overwhelming. What you should be looking at instead is the official draft and subsequent NBA rumors. But when is the NBA draft? Sooner than you think, which is why you need to learn to tell apart mock draft details from the real thing.
A Guide to the NBA Mock Draft
For the unfamiliar, a “mock draft” is a simulated sports league draft done for pretty much every major sport that has actual drafts each year. They are commonly featured in sports-related web sites, publications, and TV programming and are created by both casual fans and people who follow the sport in question for a living. Even the NBA’s official web site performs mock drafts despite being the source of the real one.
When performed by expert analysts, mock drafts are often treated as a good source of speculation about which player will go to which team, since these analysts have the knowledge and experience to have a pretty good idea of how the real draft will play out. Which isn’t to say that fans should be discouraged from contributing to a mock draft; ESPN often runs such drafts, allowing anyone who visits its site to vote on who they think a team will choose.
NBA Draft 2016
Mock drafts for professional basketball have become especially prevalent in recent weeks, both with the end of the 2015-2016 season and the NBA draft 2016 date fast approaching; in fact, it’s tomorrow, June 23. Many sites, including NBA.com, have done multiple simulations of the upcoming draft. This is possible because the NBA draft features the teams that did not make it to the Playoffs, so the participating cities were confirmed back in mid-April then the first round began. The NBA draft order has also been confirmed ahead of tomorrow’s draft:
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Boston Celtics (Boston was in the playoffs, but acquired Brooklyn’s pick)
- Phoenix Suns
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Denver Nuggets
- Sacramento Kings
- Toronto Raptors (the Raptors actually did make the playoffs, but have rights to this pick thanks to a series of trades involving themselves, New York and Denver)
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Orlando Magic
- Utah Jazz
- Phoenix Suns
- Chicago Bulls
This order was determined following the draft lottery, which was held when the playoffs began. These are only the first 14 picks, with 60 choices being spread across two rounds and featuring more teams than the 14 listed above, largely due to draft picks that other teams were owed.
NBA trade rumors will be more common shortly after tomorrow’s official draft comes to a close, but they have already been fueled by some of the more credible mock drafts. Again, experts have a keener eye for where every player will end up, and that extends beyond the draft. For instance, based on the order in which they get to pick, a team may choose someone who plays what is already their strongest position not because they need him—because he’ll add very little—but rather to use that young rookie as trade bait for a player who would better fill a hole in that team’s game. The sought-after player likely is one whom the team lost its opportunity to pick due to lottery placement.