2015 NBA Draft: Post-Draft Lottery Mock
The 2015 NBA Draft order is now officially set in stone, as last night’s draft lottery is a thing of the past. The New York Knicks slid out of the top three slots and the Los Angeles Lakers rose all the way to the second overall pick. Everything else went according to plan for the most part, while the Minnesota Timberwolves claimed the #1 overall selection, just as the odds originally suggested.
Now that the draft lottery is out of the way, though, the focus is turned solely on the top prospects and where they might go during June 26th’s draft. A lot can change between now and then, but given team needs and player stock, we should have a reasonable idea of how things could go down.
Let’s take a closer look as we mock the lottery picks (first 14 selections) in the 2015 NBA Draft:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C, Kentucky
The Timberwolves have a good amount of talent, actually, but some of it is a bit misplaced. They also can’t bypass the top prospect in Towns, who would serve as a major offensive upgrade over Nikola Pekovic, who is constantly hurt.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
The Lakers got really lucky by landing this pick and now they can pair another stud with Julius Randle down low. It may take a while for a total turn around for the Lake Show, but Okafor’s footwork and touch around the basket can be put to use immediately.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell, G/F, Ohio State
Philly just lacks offense. And talent. Russell has both and can be an instant impact scorer for a really bad team. He won’t be what puts them over the top, but he’s a positive step in the right direction.
4. New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China/Congo
New York needs everything, but with the top two big men off the board, why not get the best point guard prospect? Mudiay struggles with his shot and decision-making at times, but he’s lightning in a bottle and will put fans in the seats with his flashy play-making ability. He has the potential to be a special player.
5. Orlando Magic – Justise Winslow, SF, Duke
Winslow is a rock solid swing man that already has the size, length and athleticism to score and defend at a very high level. With Tobias Harris potentially on his way out, Winslow could slide right in with a young and improving Magic squad.
6. Sacramento Kings – Stanley Johnson, G/F, Arizona
The Kings badly need help on the outside offensively, and they can get that via Johnson, who can both score and defend at a high level. Whether he plays the two or three spot is open for debate, but he should be an instant starter and could help the Kings slowly work their way back into playoff discussions.
7. Denver Nuggets – Mario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia
Denver’s going just pure upside here. They already have some talent on the wings, but they’re otherwise a total mess and just need talent, period. Hezonja is a solid offensive player who can stroke it from deep. A potentially fast-paced offense could use more of that.
8. Detroit Pistons – Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
If Greg Monroe jets in free agency the Pistons need a backup plan. That could end up being Porzingis, who is a fluid seven footer who can really score the ball.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
Lyles is one of the more versatile prospects in this draft class, which is why he should be pretty appealing to several teams. The Hornets still don’t know what they have in Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh, so why not take another crack at a big man?
10. Miami Heat – Devin Booker, G/F, Kentucky
Miami needs to upgrade their depth scoring and bench play, and Booker is a great way to do it. Booker was a clutch performer at Kentucky that displayed solid range and gave great effort on defense. He’ll be a role player to start his career but he has the game on offense to turn into a quality starter.
11. Indiana Pacers – Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
Indy seems like they want to move on from the ever inefficient Roy Hibbert, and landing a solid replacement is the first objective. They get that with Cauley-Stein, who was a man amongst boys in college and already has the size, length and athleticism to create chaos at the highest level.
12. Utah Jazz – Sam Dekker, G/F, Wisconsin
Utah needs more offensive players that can double as quality defenders and they should find that with Dekker. Dekker brings a solid two-way game to the table, as well as nice versatility.
13. Phoenix Suns – R.J. Hunter, G/F, Georgia State
Hunter is a rising prospect thanks to a nice shooting stroke and solid overall offensive game. He has work to do all over the place, but his jumper is at an elite level. Putting that to work in the Suns’ potent offense could be fun to watch.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Frank Kaminsky, F/C, Wisconsin
OKC is really good at getting falling stars and making something out of them. Frank the Tank figures to slide at least this far, and he can help the Thunder at the four and five spots. Even if his footwork never works down low, he can stretch the floor with his range and athleticism. He could be a key addition from a depth perspective.
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