Community Shootaround: 2016 NBA Draft Class

In the wake of the 2016 NBA draft, No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was considered the early frontrunner for the 2016/17 Rookie of the Year award. However, a foot injury derailed Simmons’ chances, and it’s his teammate Joel Embiid that now looks like the heavy favorite to be named this season’s Rookie of the Year.

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, who breaks down the league’s top rookies on a weekly basis in his “Rookie Ladder” feature, has Embiid atop his most recent list, with Sixers teammate Dario Saric at number two. However, while Embiid and Saric are technically NBA rookies, having never appeared in a game before this year, both players are members of the 2014 draft class. Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in 2014, missed his first two seasons due to injury, while 12th overall pick Saric remained overseas for two more years before arriving stateside.

The 2016 draft class, sans Simmons so far, is certainly represented on Howard-Cooper’s list. But according to the NBA.com scribe, it’s Malcolm Brogdon, a second-round pick, who ranks as 2016’s most impressive rookie so far. Top picks like Jamal Murray and Brandon Ingram show up a little further down the list, while others, such as Kris Dunn, Jaylen Brown, and Buddy Hield aren’t mentioned at all.

Meanwhile, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders observes (via Twitter), only two rookies – Embiid and Willy Hernangomez – have an above-average PER through the first quarter of the 2016/17 season, with late first-round picks or second-rounders like Pascal Siakam, Tyler Ulis, Brogdon, and Deyonta Davis showing up among the top 10 in PER.

There are typically some growing pains for rookies as they adjust to the NBA schedule and the NBA game, but prospects like Dunn and Hield, who played four years of college ball, were expected to have an impact right away. And Ingram was right there with Simmons as a consensus top-two player in the draft. So far, their play has been up and down.

That brings us to today’s discussion question: Which top picks in the 2016 draft class have impressed or disappointed you so far? Will those top picks who are struggling in the early going turn things around, or have you altered your view of their long-term outlook at all? And which of the later picks in the draft have stood out to you?

Jump into the comments section below to weigh in with your thoughts on this year’s draft class!

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9 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: 2016 NBA Draft Class

  1. frankthetank41

    JoJo should win ROTY unless he falls off or gets hurt

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  2. Andrew C.

    Hield: Not surprised that he’s struggling but thought he’d be more NBA ready, so I didn’t mind the Pelicans taking him over someone like Murray at draft time. Already doesn’t look like a smart pick in retrospect unfortunately.

    Dunn: I was never the biggest fan of Dunn. It’s still early in the season, but I’m still not sold on him to be quite honest. He’s had a couple good games but I don’t know if he’s the best solution for Minnesota at PG. On paper he seems like a good fit – an athletic defensive force with dynamic playmaking abilities – but with his shortcomings (turnovers, mediocre shooting, poor decision-making) he’s just more athletic and less skilled Rubio in my opinion. He’ll probably become a decent player in the future, I just think that his ceiling isn’t as high as experts deem it to be.

    Brogdon: I knew well beforehand that he’d be a good player in the NBA and so far he’s proven me right. Plays the game with such impressive control and intelligence. I think his role as a defensive combo guard is perfect for the Bucks in the future.

    Whitehead: One of my favorite players from the draft and I was ecstatic that he was taken by Brooklyn. Always love it when a player gets to play for his hometown, especially when that team is rebuilding. Has definitely struggled with shooting but I think he has the tools to be a good combo guard. Really well-rounded in terms of his tools, and I think it’s only a matter of time before he puts it together.

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  3. FormerlyZ

    Slightly more than 25% of the season so far. Rookies will get better. It’s a tough league this year, with so much parity. Even the bad teams aren’t that bad. A lot of close games every night. I’ve been impressed with a bunch of the young guys and their ability to play a role early on. Interested to see certain guys’ development

    I personally think buddy hield will be a bust if he continues like this. Kid is pressing. Just go out and play basketball. Trying too hard can be a bad thing

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  4. Dorian Finney-Smith has looked really good on the mavs especially for a UDFA. He’s been covering one of the top two options on opposing teams every night. Showing potential as a 3 and D guy and is improving at attacking close outs.

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  5. Joe Love

    Siakam is playing big and good minutes for the Raps no?

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  6. Nobodyknows41

    I still believe in Brandon Ingram. This kid was a great draft pick for the Lakers.

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  7. Trust the process... lol

    Sam Hinkie is gonna look like a genius by this time next year. Sixers ownership couldn’t take the heat and basically fired him (asking him to take a lower position while hiring another GM is firing him) for doing what they brought him in to do.

    By the end of this season, the Sixers will have the 3 best rookies in the NBA (Embiid, Saric, Simmons). For all the scrutiny he took on the Embiid pick, he looks like he can be a top 5 NBA player if healthy. With Embiid on the floor Philly has the 2nd best defensive rating in the league, second worst without him. For a guy who didn’t start playing ball until high school, and sitting out for almost 3 calendar years, what he is doing is unreal. When he gets his legs back and starts playing above the rim he will be impossible to stop.

    Saric not gonna be a star, but can be a great role player.

    Hopefully 17′ draft is better than 16 because Ingram, Jaylen Brown, Dunn, and Buddy have been underwhelming. Ingram is young, and I still think he can be good. But Jaylen Brown reminds me of Igudola offensively (that is not a complement).

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    • Yup hinkie will look like a genius especially if fultz, Jackson, or tatum get drafted by the 6ers with the 1st pick they get (higher of 6ers or kings pick) or even if they get unlucky and those guys are gone and they add an Issac, smith jr or ball then the 6ers would have 3 potential superstars or at least stars. And okafor could still be a star too but its looking more unlikely although i do think embiid and okafor will play very well together if or when they get a chance at extended playing time together. Then the 6ers still have the lakers top 3 protected 1st round pick which i think will be in the 7th through 12th range and if the 6ers add an Issac, smith jr, fox, monik, that french pg/sg, or another sf, sg, combo guard or pg then the future looks ridiculously bright in philly because they could still get ok value for noel in a trade if he can ever get and stay on the court. Then they also have Sacramentos unprotected 1st round pick in 2019. Plus they have tons of cap room which in theory could allow then to sign 3 players to max contracts before they need to resign embiid or Okafor or simmons or the 2017 draft picks to big contracts. So they could possibly add at least 1 good/star player or even 3 good/star players through free agency. But embiid will be a top 5 player in 2-3 years & a top 3 player in 3-4 years and i could see other stars wanting to come play with embiid and simmons soon! But hinkie will look like a genius if brian “the basketball ball guy” colangelo doesn’t screw it up! But thank you Sam hinkie, trust the process!!!!!!

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