After a unusually not surprising yet historic NBA lottery event on Tuesday, it will be the NBA’s worst team from the 2015-16 season, the Philadelphia 76ers, having the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft next month.
It was historic in the sense because it was the first time in the history of the lottery that the order went as projected based on odds to get the top spot.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 18, 2016
So the Sixers are on the clock. But everybody in America and their mother and brother know that they will be selecting one of two freshman phenoms – LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
Another thing to keep an eye on over the next month leading up to the draft will be that of former Michigan State Spartans standouts Denzel Valentine and Deyonta Davis.
Valentine of course was named the AP Player of the Year for 2015-16 and became the first player ever to post game averages of 19.2 points, 7.8 assists, and 7.5 rebounds. The Big Ten POY became the latest great example of the four-year development process under head coach Tom Izzo at MSU, following in the footsteps of former Spartan and now NBA All-Star and champion Draymond Green.
Davis, one of the very few ‘one and done’ players in the Izzo era at MSU, saw his NBA prospect status gradually increase as the season progressed. The numbers aren’t staggering, averaging only 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and nearly two blocks per game, but the efficiency at which he did it, averaging only a little over 18 minutes a contest, is what NBA scouts and coaches are hoping can translate well at the pro level.
Over the last month or so, both have seen their names hovering around the first round of various mock drafts. Depending on which outlet and source you prefer for all your NBA Draft news, Valentine and Davis could both be lottery picks, or both could be outside the top 14.
Obviously with the order set for the draft, where they will be called will largely depend on the needs of team and the direction each team is heading; are they teams ready to strike and try and win next year, or is still in the midst of a rebuilding project?
One outlet in particular, CBSSports, says that Davis’ decision to not perform in physical workouts at the recently concluded NBA Scouting Combine diminishes his chances, at least for the time being, and that he will need to hold private workouts with individual teams to earn further evaluation.
What do we think? How should we assess the overall makeup of both Valentine and Davis? Are they players to build around for the future, or better suited as role players for win-now clubs?