Next Up: A Look At The 2016 NBA Draft Class

Next Up: A Look At The 2016 NBA Draft Class

The next breed of NBA superstars will take the next step in their careers this Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

With the 2015-16 NBA season over and a champion crowned, we don’t have to wait very long for the next cycle to begin. That’s right, the 2016-17 season starts up this Thursday with the NBA Draft in Brooklyn. Easily one of my favorite events of the year, we get to see the next crop of superstars hear their name called and achieve their lifelong dream of making it to the NBA.

While this year’s draft class is not the most exciting, there are a number of players who show outstanding potential. For some soon-to-be draftees, their raw talent and athleticism will allow them to be successful wherever they go. For others, it is more a matter of being placed in the right system.

This year, the Sixers once again have the first pick and must choose between two great players in Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.

Simmons, a one-and-done player from LSU, is one of the most unique players the league has seen in years. With the size of a center, the scoring ability of a wing, and the playmaking ability of a point guard, Simmons could be the next Kevin Durant and will help the Sixers win games right away.

Ingram, on the other hand, is not as NBA ready, but is still a top-tier talent – I think he is currently more skilled than Simmons. Weighing in at less than 200 pounds, Ingram needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room before he can compete with the big boys night in and night out.

Beyond Simmons and Ingram being the first two picks, nobody is too sure how the rest of the draft will play out.

Leading this year’s guard crop is Kris Dunn of Providence College. One of the few college graduates in the draft class, Dunn had a breakout senior season after suffering through two torn labrums and the death of his mother earlier in his college career. Dunn, an elite floor general and perimeter defender, could hear his name called as early as three and as late as ten. What’s certain about Dunn, however, is his leadership ability. My uncle, Dunn’s weightlifting coach at Providence, has said many times that Dunn will be great in any NBA locker room.

Another standout guard this year is Buddy Hield of the University of Oklahoma. Another college graduate, Hield is arguably the best shooter in the draft. He boasts less potential than Dunn given his defensive woes, but Hield will be a scoring threat no matter where he goes.

The biggest mystery of this year’s draft is Thon Maker. A 19-year-old hailing from Sudan, Maker was able to circumvent the NBA’s eligibility rules that require players to be a year removed from their high school graduation high school by completing a post-graduate year at his prep school in Canada.

In terms of talent, Maker, like Simmons, draws Kevin Durant comparisons. His Youtube mixtapes showcase his athletic ability and seemingly endless motor. Yet, still a teenager, Maker’s fundamentals and decision making still need development. He’ll get drafted, but probably not until the second round.

Hidden amongst the big names are always talents that fly under the radar. While I’m excited to see Simmons, Ingram, Dunn and the other standouts make their NBA debuts, I am more interested in seeing the players who are going to shock the world.

After all, nobody was giving Steph Curry the hype he receives before he was drafted in 2009.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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5 Tasks The Detroit Pistons Must Do To Change The 8th-Seed Stigma

After speaking with my lawyer, blackmailing Tom Gores into selling the team is off the table.


The Detroit Pistons returned to the NBA playoffs following a three-year hiatus. Unfortunately, the newest acquisitions to the coaching staff and roster weren't enough to change the narrative of Detroit Pistons basketball and first-round playoff sweeps. Milwaukee dominated the Pistons into a third-consecutive first-round playoff exit since 2009. What can the new titleholders of the NBA consecutive playoff game loss record do to revitalize their early 2000s reign as tenacious contenders within NBA's Eastern Conference?

1. Don't trade Andre Drummond

With the 9th pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected Andre Drummond from the University of Connecticut. Throughout Drummond's six years in the NBA, he continues to adapt, learn, and overcome the adversity surrounding his athleticism and play-style.

The 2018-2019 NBA season was arguably best offensive and defensive season for the 25-year-old center. Trading the three-time NBA total rebound champion that led the league in defensive win shares the past two years is not the answer to our problems.

2. DEFINITELY (and I can't stress that enough) trade Jon Leuer

Jon Leuer received a four year, 24 million dollar contract in 2016 under the management of Stan Van Gundy. As Pistons fans suffering slowly comes to an end, we still have an opportunity to trade Leuer to acquire a player or draft picks that are basically guaranteed to prove more beneficial than Leuer's inconsistent run as a backup power forward.

The Detroit Pistons trading for Thon Maker mid-season was the nail in the coffin for Leuer's run as a Piston, finishing the season averaging 3.8 points, 2.4 rebounds throughout 41 games. We're already paying Josh Smith $5.3 million to sit at home and watch us get swept in the playoffs, we don't Jon Leuer sitting on the bench doing the same thing.

3. Acquire size, strength and defense on the wings

Whether it's in the NBA Draft, a trade (hopefully involving Jon Leuer) or even a free agency signing this off-season, the Pistons desperately need to establish depth of wing players. Currently, the Pistons don't have a single small forward on the team.

The Pistons current depth chart (considering we do not re-sign any expiring contracts) is made up of a single point guard, five shooting guards, three power forwards and one center. A wise man once advised the Pistons to use their size and strength to "form a fuckin' wall." Without small forwards, forming a wall isn't an option and mismatches will be an easy exploit for larger teams.

4. Weigh every option with the 15th draft pick

Due to our past drafting history, it's crucial for the front office and coaching staff to weigh every option before we use our 15th overall draft pick. It's common knowledge Detroit has struggled when it's come to the NBA Draft. The narrative began after skipping over talents like Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in 2003 and most recently with Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo in recent drafts.

Trading the pick away, trading down in the draft, even trading up in the draft must all be considered. Shopping the draft pick should rank above using it specifically based on our shameful lack of cap space. The Pistons' picks in the 2019 NBA Draft are the only elusive assets Detroit has left until 2020.

5. Find a legal way to force Tom Gores to sell

Since blackmail is illegal, how about brainwash? Tom Gores bought the struggling team in 2011 for $325 million since then not much has changed. He's proved he isn't capable of responsibly owning the team after allowing Stan Van Gundy to take over as head coach and president of basketball operations on top of approving ridiculously priced contracts for players. I'm grateful he gave the Pistons a shot to prove themselves when rumors of relocation circled like vultures but it's time to move on.

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