We're now under a week to ago until the 2016 NBA Draft tips off.
It continues to look like two Kentucky Wildcats will hear their names called during the draft within the first 14 picks. It also looks like Jamal Murray won't have to wait long to have his NBA dreams realized as the Canadian prodigy should within the first six picks.
ESPN's Chad Ford just put out his latest mock draft. After having Murray going to the Boston Celtics at No. 3 for much of the pre-draft process, Ford now pegged this Wildcat to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 6, pairing Murray with former Wildcat great Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans need guards badly. Eric Gordon is a free agent. Jrue Holiday is in the last year of his deal and has struggled to stay healthy. Murray, Dunn and Buddy Hield will all be intriguing.
Dunn's point guard abilities are coveted by head coach Alvin Gentry. Both Murray and Hield can come in and improve the team's shooting from day one. This will be a very tough call for the Pelicans, but given the way the draft board is playing out, Murray seems like a terrific fit. His ability to shoot and play multiple positions should be a big help in New Orleans.
At this point, New Orleans may be the best landing spot for Murray. New Orleans offers him early playing time, a chance to be a star but not have all the pressure on him, and play with one of the NBA's five best players in Anthony Davis. The combination of Murray lighting it up from deep and Davis wreaking havoc in the post could make this the perfect fit.
As for Skal Labissiere, Ford has him going No. 11 to the Orland Magic, which continues to look like the likeliest landing spot for the big Haitian.
Labissiere has been at this position in our mock for a while. I think this is the point in the draft where reward starts to outweigh risk for many players.
Labissiere is a terrific shot-blocker and has the ability to stretch the floor. He'd be perfect next to Nikola Vucevic, but the Magic would have to be patient with him.
The biggest surprise of any pick in Ford's latest mock is no Tyler Ulis in Round 1. That's a bad sign for him as a reported hip issue is threatening his stock just as Draft Week is almost here. It would be terrible to see Ulis fall out of the first round since he's easily one of the 20-25 best players in this draft.
Here's how Ford projected the entire first round:
1. Sixers: Ben Simmons
2. Lakers: Brandon Ingram
3. Celtics: Jaylen Brown
4. Suns: Marquese Chriss
5. Timberwolves: Kris Dunn
6. Pelicans: Jamal Murray
7. Nuggets: Dragan Bender
8. Kings: Buddy Hield
9. Raptors: Domantas Sabonis
10. Bucks: Dejounte Murray
11. Magic: Skal Labissiere
12. Jazz: Jakob Poeltl
13. Suns: Henry Ellenson
14. Bulls: Wade Baldwin IV
15. Nuggets (via Rockets): Furkan Korkmaz
16. Celtics (via Mavericks): Deyonta Davis
17. Grizzlies: Malachi Richardson
18. Pistons: Thon Maker
19. Nuggets (via Blazers): Ante Zizic
20. Pacers: Juan Hernangomez
21. Hawks: Ivica Zubac
22. Hornets: Denzel Valentine
23. Celtics: Cheick Diallo
24. 76ers (via Heat): Malik Beasley
25. Clippers: DeAndre Bembry
26. 76ers (via Thunder): Patrick McCaw
27. Raptors: Guerschon Yabusele
28. Suns (via Cavaliers): Timothe Luwawu
29. Spurs: Demetrius Jackson
30. Warriors: Damian Jones
Other changes in Ford's mock include Jaylen Brown now going No. 3 to Boston, which is looking more and more likely to happen next Thursday. Domantas Sabonis also surged up the rankings into the top 10, so it looks like he's another big man that Skal is battling to go in the top 10.