2016 NBA Draft: Kris Dunn, Demetrius Jackson Lead Point Guards


As one NBA Draft ends, another NBA Draft season begins. The 2016 NAB Draft doesn’t have the buzz that the 2014 draft, or even the 2015 draft, had. The incoming freshmen are viewed as relatively average. They also didn’t get a boost from the upcoming high school seniors (that class is loaded) with most of the big time prospects, namely Josh Jackson, deciding not to re-classify.

Still, I actually think this is an underrated class. There’s already two elite prospects, two others who are right on the cusp, and a host of talented big men who could find themselves in the mix too.

As we all know, players will rise and fall. Last year this time, Cliff Alexander was a projected lottery selection and D’Angelo Russell wasn’t even projected to be picked in the first round. People still had high hopes for Wayne Selden and Cameron Payne was a mid-major unknown. Things will change — positions that look weak will become stronger and vice versa.

Over the next couple weeks we’ll take a look at prospects from each position. First up: point guards.

More from Draft

Top Returning Players: Kris Dunn (Providence) and Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame)

Both Dunn and Jackson probably would have been first round picks if they stayed in the 2015 draft. Instead, they’ll have another year to prove themselves. Dunn is a personal favorite of mine. Great size and a very good athlete. Great playmaker that lead the nation in assists per game, albeit a bit inefficient. Good defender that racks up a ton of steals.

Even though he’s already 21, he still has a lot of untapped potential. If he continues to improve his jump shot (35.1 percent from three), he’ll have a good shot at being a top 10 pick, if not higher.

Mar 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Demetrius Jackson (11) celebrates after the Fighting Irish score during overtime against the Butler Bulldogs in the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Consol Energy Center. The Fighting Irish won 67-64 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson will be given the full-time point guard duties at Notre Dame now with Jerian Grant in the NBA. He lacks great size, but he checks just about every other box. Super quick, athletic, good defender, good shooter, etc. He’s a pure point guard, but showed capable of also being able to play off the ball. He’s another lottery candidate if he plays to his potential.

Best of the Rest: Melo Trimble (Maryland), Monte Morris (Iowa State), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky)

Trimble had a great freshman season at Maryland, but made the right decision to return for his sophomore campaign. He’s a talented scorer and a really good shooter and ball handler. He’s still a bit too much of a combo guard, but if he improves his point guard play, he’s an intriguing player that could find himself in the first round.

Morris is one of the purest point guards in the nation. He has solid size and has a consistent jumper. Because he’s not an elite athlete though, that consistent jumper needs to become a real weapon for him. If that happens, he’s another guy who could rise in the draft.

Taylor is a good athlete that also is a true point guard, but he had a very underwhelming sophomore season at Texas. With Rick Barnes out and Shaka Smart in, he’s a kid that’s stock could rise. Will need to improve his jumper regardless.

Ulis is an incredibly undersized point guard at 5-foot-9, but he’s amazingly quick, a great decision maker (3.6 assists to 1 turnover per game), and has a good jumper. He should be given the full-time reins at Kentucky where he’ll have a large platform to prove that his size is his only weakness.

The Freshmen: Isaiah Briscoe (Kentucky), Derryck Thornton (Duke), and Jalen Brunson (Villanova)

Heading into the season, this isn’t a tremendously strong freshmen point guard class. None of these guys are locks to be first round picks, and all three could return to school for their respective sophomore seasons.

Live Feed

Will the Charlotte Hornets be in the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery?
Will the Charlotte Hornets be in the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery? /

Swarm and Sting

  • Cleveland Cavaliers’ 10 biggest draft busts since 2000King James Gospel
  • Latest 2024 mock draft has Washington Wizards land an explosive athleteWiz of Awes
  • 3 reasons why Johnny Davis may never grow to his draft positionWiz of Awes
  • Meet Cooper Flagg: The best American prospect since LeBron JamesHoops Habit
  • Where do the Washington Wizards rank in terms of future draft assets?Wiz of Awes
  • Briscoe has great size. He’s built like a NFL safety at 6-foot-3, 216 pounds. Really impressive strength, and uses that strength to get to the basket. Elite ball-handler. Long wingspan and a stud defensively. But he’s not an elite athlete and still doesn’t have much of a jump shot.

    With Ulis cemented as Kentucky’s point guard and Jamal Murray (we’ll get to him later) heading to Kentucky too, I’m not sure how much of the ball Briscoe will see. He may be best served to stay at Kentucky for another year. He has the potential to be a very good point guard, he just needs to be more polished.

    Thornton is stepping into a better situation, taking over for the departed Tyus Jones at Duke. He’s a good athlete with a terrific first step. Talented scorer. He’s small though and doesn’t have even average length, only standing 6-foot-1 with a 6-foot-2 wingspan. Needs to work on his jump shot, and learning to keep his teammates involved while still being a scorer. Fringe first rounder.

    Fresh off leading the United States U19 squad to a gold medal at the World Championships, Brunson is heading to Villanova with a bit of hype. He does a lot of things well. Great ball-handler. Underrated athlete. Very high basketball I.Q. Already knows how to run the pick and roll. His jumper looks much improved.

    He doesn’t have neither the size nor the length, measuring only 6-foot-2 with a 6-foot-3 wingspan. And while he’s an underrated athlete, his athleticism could be something that holds him back at the next level. He’s more than likely to stay at least two seasons at Villanova, but he’s a kid to watch.

    Next: Standouts, Slumps From Utah Summer League

    More from The Sixer Sense