The 2015 NBA Draft is under 48 hours away, and there is a ton of speculation being thrown around. The NBA Draft should bring some fireworks in terms of trades, the actual picks, and EVERYTHING else. Let’s dive in on the 1st round 2015 NBA Mock Draft.
2015 NBA Mock Draft – Top 10 Picks
Rumors are swirling that Towns has already been informed he will be the top pick, but even if the reports are false, KAT is going to ‘Sota. Having a big as versatile as Towns alongside Andrew Wiggins is going to give the Wolves a legit combo of young stars for years to come. Throw Zach LaVine in the mix and Minnesota is looking at one athletic squad.
Okafor is too talented offensively to pass on. He needs to learn how to play defense, and shoots the ball poorly from the free throw line, but otherwise Okafor has skills that no other player in the draft possesses. He’s a beast in the low post and it stems from his footwork and great hands.
Philly just has to not blow this. Assuming the two bigs are the first off the board like we all think, the 76ers could very well win the draft. Russell has the skillset and potential to be the best player in the draft. Just as important, he seems to have the best mindset in the draft too. Russell can score from anywhere on the floor, has the best vision in his class, and has the ball on a string. I’d strongly consider him with the No. 1 pick.
And Knicks fans go crazy! Well, not really. Despite an impressive workout, Porzingis is probably a couple years away from having his NBA legs under him. I hate using a pick this high on an international unknown, but this kid is growing on me (and a couple people in the league have called him the best player in this draft/a lock to go No. 1 had he gone to college). His size is legit, he can shoot the ball with range and has pretty good athleticism. He may not be Dirk, but I’m now convinced he also wont be Darko Milicic.
Like I said, not a huge fan of international guys this high because of the bust factor, but GMs like these two kids a lot. The Magic really want Porzingis, and if he doesn’t slide to No. 5, they may just trade up to get their guy. If that doesn’t work, they’ll have to think long and hard about Justise Winslow or Emmanuel Mudiay, but Hezonja could be the pick. He’s NBA ready, a great shooter with a well-rounded game and size for his position by all accounts. The biggest bash I’ve heard on Hezonja could be that he’s too confident in his own game.
March Madness put Winslow on the map big-time, but he’s everything that scouts look for in the modern NBA. Andre Iguodala just won NBA Finals MVP because of his versatility. Winslow is exactly that. He can play on the perimeter and in the paint. Handle the ball while looking to score or distribute. Or simply play off the ball. But even more importantly, he’s a great defender at multiple positions.
The Nuggets and Kings are the big winners of the international guys going so high. Mudiay played in China last season and was born in the Congo, but has spent a lot of time playing in the states. Playing high school ball in Texas, Mudiay drew a lot of comparisons to Derrick Rose with his size and ability to attack the rim. Just when we thought we’d get a look at him playing under Larry Brown at SMU, he left to play in China. In the end, that may have prevented him from being a top-3 pick.
Andre Drummond is already in Detroit, and certainly not going anywhere, but the Pistons have to take the best player on the board. Cauley-Stein will begin to get consideration by the Knicks at No. 4 because of his shot blocking ability and defensive versatility. To keep it easy, he’s going to be Tyson Chandler. If Cauley-Stein slides and the Celtics aren’t working on any bigger plans, they’re going to trade up to pick WCS.
Lyles was not properly used under Coach Cal in Lexington. Not only was he playing out of position, but also playing on a team with seven kids in this draft doesn’t give you much time to shine. Lyles is going to be a good NBA player, and potential steal if teams simply look at what he did at Kentucky.
The Heat could be in for a brutal offseason. Goran Dragic has already opted out, and rumors are swirling that Dwyane Wade could too. Johnson gives them the best option as a well-rounded scorer and defender with a high ceiling in the league.
2015 NBA Mock Draft – Picks 11-20
Roy Hibbert who? The Pacers are back in the market for a center, and Turner could be their guy. He’s very raw (Turner had a disappointing year at Texas), but his upside is clear. Turner can block shots in the paint and hit threes on the other end. Tough to find.
Utah is looking for an Enes Kanter replacement, so here he is. Kaminsky would give the Jazz a HUGE frontcourt when he plays alongside Rudy Gobert, but it works because of Kaminsky’s shooting ability. He could also backup Gobert and play with Derrick Favors.
It’s no secret that the Suns want a center, but unless they’re willing to move up, they’re not going to land one. Booker is said to be the best shooter in this draft, and he’s also the youngest player in the draft at just 18. He’s a likely lottery pick.
I keep seeing Cameron Payne’s name here and I don’t get it. Is PG a need for OKC? They have a glaring hole on the wing that they probably want to fill out while Westbrook is still in town. This isn’t like playing with LeBron where you fill in the blanks with shooters; KD and Wesbrook are the shooters. A guy like Hollis-Jefferson fits perfectly. A great defender and rebounder for his size that can fit in on offense and keep the ball moving.
With players like Millsap and Carroll set to hit free agency, the Hawks are likely going to need to add some size. Might as well start in the draft. Portis is an athletic big, but definitely a step down from all the centers you see listed ahead of him. With that said, the middle of the first-round feels right for him. The Suns could even consider him at No. 13.
Oubre is one of the best shooters in the draft with very deep range. He didn’t live up to the hype in his single season as a Jayhawk, but he was still very good. He’s much more raw than I’d be looking for if I’m the Celtics, but like I said, the C’s will find a way to move up in the draft.
Dekker becomes the hometown hero in this situation … kind of. The Bucks are a pretty solid young team, and with guys like Jabari Parker, the Greek Freak and MCW, Dekker would take a year or two to develop and come off the bench.
The Rockets are getting a steal here. Honestly, there’s a very slim chance Payne slides this far. He’s getting a lot of looks, and I’ve seen him projected as high as the No. 9 pick (with No. 14 to OKC the most common landing place). He doesn’t have much size and is from a small school, though; so sliding isn’t out of the question. Damian Lillard is the prime example of why you don’t let those factor interfere with a good pick.
Looney was considered a lottery pick at times this season, but has fallen off recently. The Wiz are pretty strong in the backcourt, but could use some Nene insurance up front. Looney has drawn Lamar Odom comparisons, which is the most you can ask for at this point in the draft.
The Raptors could go in any direction, which leaves them likely going highest upside. That could be Vaughn, who was a let down in his only season at UNLV, but showed flashes.
2015 NBA Mock Draft – Picks 21-30
We all watched Jones’ fantastic National Championship game and know what he’s capable of. He’s also going to struggle in the league at his size. He reminds be a lot of Shabazz Napier – who went in this range last season. Solid gamble for the Mavs.
Hopefully this isn’t Derrick Rose insurance, but just more of a capable backup that can start when he needs to. Rose is still a very good player, but it’s becoming clear there will be nights his backup may need to play more, or even start in his place. Grant can fill that role.
Wes Matthews and Aaron Afflalo both ended last season with pretty serious injuries. And who knows where they’ll wind up next season? Anderson is a perfect fit for Portland as a perimeter shooter. As a junior, he can step right in and play too.
The Cavs looked like they needed a lot in the Finals, but once Kyrie and (maybe) Kevin Love are back, it won’t be so bad. Kyrie will give LeBron the help he needed by adding another creator, which means keep surrounding them with shooting. Why the hell is LeBron so happy to keep the corpses of James Jones and Mike Miller around? Get somebody that doesn’t have to get out of his wheelchair before pulling the trigger from downtown.
Gasol and Randolph aren’t getting any younger or more durable. They need depth behind the two, and Harrell is the best option. He provides athleticism that Memphis doesn’t have in its frontcourt, so some of his talents will be unique to their roster.
I’m not smart enough to think of the next international superstar that the Spurs are going to snag here, so I’ll just go with Wright. Parker and Ginobili (if he even returns) are breaking down by this point. Similar to the pick above, Wright can provide a lot of relief here and play right away.
Alexander has been trending downward for the last year. This kid was beating out Okafor for awards in high school. When he signed with Kansas, he was considered a “One-and-done” top-5 pick. Then maybe a late lottery pick … now maybe a first-round pick if he’s lucky. Someone gambles on the talent that’s in there, through, and why not the Lakers?
I can’t understand why Johnson is projected to go in the middle of the second-round. He’s not even close, in terms of potential, to the centers at the top of the draft, but I’d gamble on him at the end of the first-round before any of the other players floating around in this area. He has the size, he played at Kentucky and he’s still young. Maybe the C’s look for him to fall to No. 33, but somebody go get him!
The Nets need everything they can get. A “solid” pick here that can step in and be a role player does nothing for them. Might as well swing for the fences with McCullough. He’d be leaving school too early even if he hadn’t gotten hurt, but entering the draft with a torn ACL when you’re not a sure thing is risky. Guess that make these two a perfect match. McCullough is an athletic player with a good jumper for his size. We’ll see what he turns into.
Martin could be a good fit here with David Lee out the door. The only problem? To shed Lee’s contract, GSW will probably have to include this pick in the trade to entice a team to pay Lee his $15 million. This pick could very well change hands on draft night.