clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Mock Draft 2016: Chad Ford, Kevin Pelton Project First 10 Picks

New, 8 comments

Murray and Noel in Philly?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 NBA Draft is still three months away, and now is when we'll start seeing more mock drafts for it as prospects make their declarations known.

For the Kentucky Wildcats, there probably won't be as many lottery picks as we've seen in years past, and it definitely won't be like last year when four guys were drafted within the first 14 picks.

But we should absolutely expect to see Jamal Murray go within the top 10. He's coming off one of the best freshman seasons any player has had in the one-and-done era, which could propel him into the top five of this draft.

Former NBA general manager Kevin Pelton and ESPN draft guru Chad Ford just put out their first projection of this year's top-10 picks, and Murray comes in at No. 3 to the Philadelphia 76ers.

3. Philadelphia 76ers (swap with SAC): Jamal Murray

Pelton: The Sixers got swap rights for 2016 and 2017 in their trade with the Kings last July. That pays off in this case, as it allows them to slide ahead of Sacramento in the lottery and get their choice of the second tier of prospects.

That's particularly important because it guarantees Philadelphia a shot at Murray, the best guard in the draft.

He would immediately be a huge upgrade on the 76ers' current backcourt options and provide an injection of needed playmaking with more upside than players like Ish Smith and Isaiah Canaan.

Seeing Murray get paired with Nerlens Noel would be good to see. Noel has endured a lot of losing since coming to the NBA, and Murray would make an immediate impact, not to mention he may become their go-to scorer as a rookie and may be a strong Rookie of the Year candidate.

Ford and Pelton's entire top 10 is as follows:

1. Sixers: Ben Simmons

2. Lakers: Brandon Ingram

3. Pelicans: Jamal Murray

4. Kings: Dragan Bender

5. SunsHenry Ellenson

6. CelticsMarquese Chriss

7. Timberwolves: Buddy Hield

8. NuggetsKris Dunn

9. Raptors: Furkan Korkmaz

10. Magic: Jaylen Brown

I don't see Skal Labissiere or Tyler Ulis getting drafted ahead of these guys, even if they both do sneak into the lottery.