Who Are The Safe Lottery Picks In The 2016 NBA Draft?

Mar 15, 2016; Dayton, OH, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores guard Wade Baldwin IV (4) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Wichita State Shockers of First Four of the NCAA men
Mar 15, 2016; Dayton, OH, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores guard Wade Baldwin IV (4) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Wichita State Shockers of First Four of the NCAA men /

NBA teams are always trying to find superstars in the lottery. In this year’s NBA draft, however, teams should try to make safe picks in the lottery, even though there are only a few options.

One of the most interesting things about the Thursday’s 2016 NBA Draft is that there are many unproven players in the lottery. You do not know what you are going to get out of a lot the players in the lottery, even some of the top players like Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.

Many of the players in the lottery have high upside, but they are also risky. Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield are pretty safe picks, but Hield is not very good on defense, which is concerning.

So, if your team is looking to make a safe pick later in the lottery or the top 10, there are a few options to choose from.

Dunn and Hield are safe picks for the most part in the top 10 and maybe even in the top five, but after that it is hard to find a safe pick without overvaluing a prospect. Other safe players that could end up in the late lottery include Wade Baldwin, and Domantas Sabonis.

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Each player’s stock has been rising heading in to the draft because teams are starting to realize that they are not risky players and they know what they are going to get from these players.

Most of these players are projected to be at least top 20 picks and players like Dunn and Hield might crack the top five. Below will be a breakdown of each player and do not be surprised if each one lands in the lottery on Thursday night.

Kris Dunn

The former Providence point guard is the top point guard in the NBA draft. He is polished on both ends of the floor and is a great facilitator. Any team that needs a point guard will be happy with Dunn because he will be able to help out right away.

Dunn is a physical point guard that can score in a variety of ways and he can match up with any type of guard in the backcourt.

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield knows how to score and if you need a scorer or a shooter, Hield could be your guy. He is not very good on defense, which is a concern, but he does have good size and quickness, so he should be able to become a better defender at the next level.

He was not asked to defend that much at Oklahoma and now that he will not be the No. 1 scoring option, hopefully his defense will improve. All in all, he is still a safe pick because of his offensive skill.

Wade Baldwin IV

Wade Baldwin made a name for himself this year at Vanderbilt and he caught the eyes of many NBA scouts. Baldwin is a combo guard that has a strong physical presence. He can cover multiple positions on defense with 6-foot-11 wingspan (yes, 6-foot-11).

He is freakishly athletic and he will be able to help out an NBA team right away. Baldwin also has high upside because he did struggle on offense at times last year for Vanderbilt, but a big reason why is because the team relied on him heavily.

He shot 40.9 percent from deep last season, which is impressive and he will be productive on offense in the NBA because he will be heavily relied on from the start.

Domantas Sabonis

The big man out of Gonzaga is the most polished frontcourt player in this draft and that was certain after he put a beatdown on Jakob Poeltl in the NCAA Tournament.

Domantas Sabonis can score in a variety of ways on the offensive end and he plays with a never-ending motor on both ends. He is not a great rim protector, but he has great size and he is a good rebounder.

Sabonis could be able to play a little small-ball 5 at the next level, which would make him even more valuable. If your team takes Sabonis, you know that you are getting a high character guy that never stops on both ends of the floor.


People tend to think this draft is weaker than drafts in the past, which might be true because there are too many unpredictable players in this draft.

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Unpredictability in the lottery in not great for teams that are trying to push their team in the right direction, but NBA teams should know that players like Hield, Dunn, Baldwin, and Sabonis are safe picks and each player has a bright future in the league.