• Connor Harr

An Early Look at the 2016 Draft Class: Tier 2

We are going to continue this series by looking at the second tier of NBA draft prospects for next year’s 2016 draft. In this tier, there will be some key cogs to NBA teams. One or two of these guys could very well be a bust, but a couple could be flat out studs as well. Now, let’s take a look at the tier two prospects. Jaylen Brown, SF California

*Photo via USA Today

Jaylen Brown is a guy that I’m not particularly high on compared to most draft experts. Both NBA Draft Net and Draft Express list him as the number three-draft prospect in the class of 2016. I have him listed at six on my big board.

Brown is a long athletic wing player that gets to the rim and scores most of his baskets on drives to the hoop. He will probably impress scouts the most with his defense and ability to guard the one through four positions at the next level.

However, his offensive game, especially his shooting stroke, is a huge work in progress. Regardless, the two-way potential is certainly there. Dragan Bender, PF Croatia

With the small sample size that I have seen from Bender, I’ve been very impressed. He is another European big man molded for the modern NBA as he is versatile and has the ability to stretch the floor.

Bender’s biggest flaw is that doesn’t really excel in one or more areas of his game. Bender will also be labeled with the general soft stereotype that comes with being a big man from Europe, which he will have to overcome. Daniel Hamilton, SF UCONN

*Photo via USA Today

The opposite of Jaylen Brown, Daniel Hamilton is a guy that I rank higher than most draft gurus right now. Hamilton had a solid freshman campaign at UCONN last season, and don’t be surprised to see him follow that up with an impressive sophomore year.

Hamilton excels offensively at shooting and creating off the dribble, but he can also create for others as well, as he averaged almost four assists per game last year. He needs to get stronger and improve defensively, but if Hamilton can put it all together, he is a player knocking at the doorstep of becoming a collegiate star. Cheick Diallo, PF Kansas

Diallo really burst onto the scene during what I call ‘The High School All Star Games’. Diallo won MVP honors at both the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All American Game.

He showed off a nonstop motor, an ability to protect the rim, and established himself as one of the best rebounders in the class. Diallo’s offensive game still needs a ton of work but his defensive ability and length are impeccable. Malik Newman, SG/PG Mississippi State

*Photo via NBC

Newman is a very explosive athlete, but a slightly undersized combo guard with a solid NBA frame. He possesses a capable pull-up jumper with the scoring instincts and explosiveness to be a serious NBA scoring threat.

But, his smaller size, wingspan, and lack of pure point guard instincts will all be obstacles Malik Newman will have to overcome in the NBA. Kris Dunn, PG Providence

Dunn is arguably one of the best players in college basketball. He is a triple double threat just about any time he gets on the court, something that’s uncommon to most college players, especially college point guards. Dunn has ideal NBA size for his position, to go along with being a good, but not great athlete.

The pure point guard instincts are there too. The only thing holding Dunn back last season was his mediocre jumpshot. His inability to shoot the ball and being 22 years old by the time the draft comes around could keep Kris Dunn from sneaking his way into the top 10. Furkan Korkmaz, SG Turkey

*Photo via FIBA

I got to watch Korkmaz play for Turkey at the FIBA U19 World Championships and I was very impressed. He has solid size for a wing player at 6’8” and scored the ball very efficiently shooting 48 percent from the field and 45 percent from deep.

Korkmaz is a borderline elite athlete and solid defender, as he had two games at the FIBA World Championships where he got five plus steals. Korkmaz is a poor playmaker, and he also needs to add more muscle, but other than that he’s a solid prospect. Justin Jackson, SF North Carolina

Jackson is another player I rate higher than most “experts”. He is a lengthy wing player with exceptional size for his position. Despite not being a high level athlete, Jackson can score from anywhere on the floor by using his size, length, and high basketball IQ.

He will probably fly a little under the radar to the average eye, but with all this undeveloped NBA talent on North Carolina’s roster there will be plenty of opportunities for Jackson to impress the NBA scouts. Jakob Poeltl, C Utah

*Photo via AP

Poeltl is a hard-nosed throwback big man and a defensive force as well as a beast on the boards. He doesn't really offer much on the offensive end, as most of his points come off putbacks and easy lay-ins.

But, his offensive game can still be developed. He's added more muscle to his frame and looks like he has an NBA ready body. Poeltl's ability to protect the rim and rebound will make him a first rounder in this year's draft.

Tier 1

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