2015 gave us a much better draft class than any of us expected. It’s been both top heavy with stars and loaded with deep talent. Many of these rookies have really gotten it going in March, which gives us a lot of shake up in these new rankings.
#1) Karl-Anthony Towns (C-MIN)
Previous Rank: #1
At this point we can put Towns’ name in permanent marker for ROY. He’s going to hold down the top spot for the rest of the season. Towns has shown the ability to score at the rim and away from the basket, and is a fantastic rebounder and shot blocker. He’s going to become one of the best bigs in the league very quickly.
#2) D’Angelo Russell (PG-LAL)
Previous Rank: #7
Russell has the starting gig now in L.A. and is finally playing like the No. 2 pick. He’s played 30+ minutes in his last eight games, scoring 20+ points seven times, including a 39-point outburst against the Nets. Russell is the best guard in this draft when he plays to his potential.
#3) Devin Booker (SG-PHX)
Previous Rank: #4
The youngest player in the draft is on an absolute roll for Phoenix right now. Booker has three games of 32+ points so far in March, and is doing it by scoring the ball in multiple ways. This kid’s not just a shooter. Booker has also done a good job finding his teammates of late. He’s got Klay Thompson potential.
#4) Emmanuel Mudiay (PG-DEN)
Previous Rank: #5
After very inconsistent play since returning from injury, Mudiay has found his stride in March. He’s averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 boards and 6.4 helpers this month, and maybe even more importantly, just 2.4 turnovers. The team has responded well to him taking the lead on the floor, going 4-1 so far in March.
#5) Nikola Jokic (C-DEN)
Previous Rank: Unranked
The other reason Denver’s been winning is this kid. Jokic has stuffed the stat sheet in March — 16.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals. Looks like the Nuggets found themselves a nice one-two punch in this draft.
#6) Kristaps Porzingis (PF-NYK)
Previous Rank: #2
Porzingis is a little banged up and hasn’t topped 25 minutes in a game since February 24. He’s still playing pretty good basketball, but he hasn’t been dominant like we’ve come to expect from him. Porzingis is just going through a rough patch after what’s sure to have been a long rookie season for him. He’s still one of the top-2 players you’d take in this draft if you’re building a team (Towns being the other), so his long-term value is still elite. Maybe Kristaps has hit the rookie wall.
#7) Mario Hezonja (SG-ORL)
Previous Rank: #10
There’s a pretty big drop off from the top-6 to Hezonja when it comes to consistency. Mario has been very hit or miss, but seems to play well when he’s given the minutes. His 21 points in 37 minutes during a Magic win over the Bulls is a good example of what he’s capable of.
#8) Myles Turner (PF/C – IND)
Previous Rank: #3
Turner’s hot streak has come to a close, but he’s still a very good player. After scoring in double-figures in nine straight, Turner’s only done so once in his last six games. His long-term ceiling gives him the potential to be a top-5 player in this draft, though.
#9) Justise Winslow (SG/SF – MIA)
Previous Rank: #9
I won’t waste time trying to write something new about Winslow. He’s a very strong defensive player that plays like a NBA vet. He’s slowly growing offensively, but he’s still been helping Miami win all season. Winslow is a winning player, just like what he proved to be in his year at Duke.
#10) Josh Richardson (SG-MIA)
Previous Rank: Unranked
Winslow isn’t the only rookie helping out in Miami. Richardson has come out of nowhere to really impress. He’s been playing progressively more minutes and become a serious part of the rotation since mid-February. Richardson has turned into a very nice second-round surprise.
Note: Jahlil Okafor would have been ranked No. 7, but it appears he will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
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