The NBA Draft is less than 24 hours away and I’ve channeled the minds of every GM in the league to bring you this mock draft. This is how the draft should go down. With the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select:
1. Karl-Anthony Towns JR, C, Kentucky
The future is bright in Minnesota. If the T-Wolves can dump Anthony Bennett’s carcass on some poor team who thinks the worst #1 overall draft pick of all time (yes I’m including Greg Oden) can bounce back, they’ll be a contender in the West in 2-3 years.
2. LA Lakers select Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
While it’s still complete bullshit that the Lakers landed the 2nd overall pick, LA fans can rest easy knowing they’re getting the best offensive big man to come out of the draft since DeMarcus Cousins. Okafor won’t be in Laker gold and purple for longer than a few minutes, though, as LA will inevitably trade him to Sacramento for, um, DeMarcus Cousins.
3. Philadelphia 76ers select
Latvian stick-figure Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Latvia
4. New York Knicks select DeAngelo Russell, PG, Ohio State
It’s not often one of the best players in the draft falls into the Knicks’ lap. While New York will need help via free agency to compete in 2015, Russell gives them a future All-Star caliber guard who can put the team on his back if and when he needs to. He doesn’t have the athleticism of Russell Westbrook or pre-knee implosion D-Rose, but he can flat-out ball.
5. Orlando Magic select Mario Hezonja, SF, Croatia
Hezonja is the best international prospect on the board. While he can’t dribble with his left hand, he can shoot the rock and throw down with reckless abandon. His swag is off the charts. People in Orlando love swag. I think. His dunk 38 seconds into this video would have been the top play in the NBA last season:
6. Sacramento Kings select Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
After dealing their best offensive bigman DeMarcus Cousins for a younger, less aggy offensive bigman in Jahlil Okafor, the Kings need some rim protection. Enter Willie Cauley-Stein. When Okafor is getting burned on D by quicker opponents, Cauley-Stein flies in to swat the ball into the 8th row. In 3 years this could be the best frontcourt in the league.
7. Denver Nuggets select Justise Winslow, SF, Duke
Denver’s wins are going to be high with my pick for Rookie of the Year. Jimmy Butler v2.0 will be a star in this league.
8. Detroit Pistons select Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China
A tall, athletic point who can’t shoot for shit. He’s had decent workouts and has wowed teams with his athleticism, plus he’s already got a season of professional ball under his belt. This isn’t the player the Pistons were looking for, but he’s the guy that has fallen into their lap. They should bring in a shooting expert, ASAP, if they don’t already have one on staff (how is Ray Allen not a shooting coach somewhere already?)
9. Charlotte Hornets select Devin Booker, SG/SF, Kentucky
Michael Jordan probably watched some of the NBA Finals and figured his team could use someone who can shoot the ball. Devin Booker is as lights out as anyone on the board.
10. Miami Heat select Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
Stanley Johnson fills a void for Miami Heat left by LeBron last season- athleticism and strength. He’s no LeBron, though. He’s not even a quarter LeBron. But he’s a solid player and if Bosh is healthy the Heat can be a top 5 team in the East.
11. Indiana Pacers select Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
The problem with the one-and-dones from Kentucky last season is they got about half as much play as they would have on any other roster in the NCAA. We don’t really know how good Trey Lyles can be, yet. The answer is very, very good.
12. Utah Jazz select Myles Turner, PF/C, Texas
Whether he plays alongside Rudy Gobert or backs him up, Turner won’t turn many heads this season (see what I did there?). The kid needs to pack on about 30 lbs of muscle to compete in the NBA.
13. Phoenix Suns select Frank Kaminsky, PF/C, Wisconsin
They say Alex Len is coming along nicely in the desert. Frank the tank is better. Expect him to eat into Len’s minutes slowly and start at Center by the end of the season.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder select Cameron Payne, PG, Murray St
This pick is out of pure necessity. There are better players on the board, but Payne is the best PG out there. Someone’s gotta be on the court the 10 minutes Russell Westbrook is getting a breather.
15. Atlanta Hawks select Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
Portis is being hailed as a sleeper pick, just like the Hawks were to finish 1st in the Eastern Conference last season. He put up huge numbers for the Razorbacks all season, and showed out in their 2 games in the NCAA tournament. He has as much upside as anyone left on the board.
16. Boston Celtics select Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
Dekker is the type of guy Brad Stevens would have recruited at Butler while he was coaching. There’s a chance he goes off the board earlier, but this is pretty much as far as he drops in the draft tomorrow.
17. Milwaukee Bucks select Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas
During the 2014-2015 NCAA season, Oubre’s stock chart resembled the results of Lance Armstrong taking a lie detector test. It was a flat line in the beginning of the season (like when they ask you to state your name, address and so forth) but went up and down with violent swings from game to game (have you ever used steroids, Mr Armstrong?). Once projected as a top 5 pick, the Bucks hope they land a steal this late in the draft. Only time will tell.
18. Houston Rockets select Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
While I selfishly wish Jones would have stayed another year in college, I guess his stock will never be higher after leading the Blue Devils to the National Championship, so I guess it makes sense to take the leap. Jones shut down his workouts after an “injury” during his Rockets session. Me thinks Kevin McHale is up to his old hijinks. At least this time Daryl Morey will have to take the rap if they get caught doing anything shady.
19. Washington Wizards select Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA
Highest upside player on the board. The Wizards were a few injuries away from the Eastern Conference Finals this past season. Might as well gamble here.
20. Toronto Raptors select Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
Vaughn fits right in as a backup guard for Toronto, something they could definitely use. I’d go with Jerian Grant if I were them but NBA teams seem to like younger players.
21. Dallas Mavericks select Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame
Jerian Grant can flat-out ball. If he wasn’t basically a senior citizen by rookie standards he’d be a damn lottery pick. Cuban lucked out with this one. Dude had the dunk of the year last season for the Fighting Irish, and many more:
22. Chicago Bulls select Delon Wright, PG, Utah
Another “old” rookie, Wright was one of the best players in the NCAA last season. Having someone who can run the point in case D-Rose’s knees burst like Kyle Broflovski at the Colorado Youth All-Star Game is a must, and Wright can be that guy to step right in and facilitate for the Bulls.
23. Portland Trail Blazers select Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
Hollis-Jefferson is just a defensive stopper at this point. He can’t shoot a lick, and is injured more often than he is healthy, but his elite athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect this late in the draft. Unfortunately for him, Portland is a magnet for injuries and I fear he won’t be suiting up for all 82 games this season.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers select
whoever LeBron wants Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville
RIP Delly’s minutes. Rozier instantly becomes the backup to Kyrie, and should see significant minutes this season when Irving’s brittle bones cause him to miss time. Don’t be surprised if this pick gets sent to the Miami Heat for Shabazz Napier, LeBron’s man-crush of the 2014 draft class.
25. Memphis Grizzlies select Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
It seems absurd that Rozier would go ahead of Harrell, but I feel like it’s gonna happen. Harrell relied on his strength and athleticism the last 2 seasons in college, but unfortunately for him he’s only an average athlete when it comes to NBA standards. He tried expanding his range in 2014-2015 with limited success, but should fit in well with the Grizz as a backup to Z-Bo.
26. San Antonio Spurs select Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia
The Spurs always seem to find value at the end of the 1st round. If they don’t go with some international player no one else has ever heard of, expect the best player off the board at 26, and at this point it’s Anderson.
27. LA Lakers select RJ Hunter, SG, Georgia St
Swaggy P better keep an eye on his minutes.
28. Boston Celtics select Jarell Martin, PF, LSU
Martin should have stayed in school to make a run at an NCAA Championship this season but I can’t fault a kid for wanting to get that paper.
29. Brooklyn Nets select Joseph Young, SG, Oregon
Young can shoot the rock and spell Joe Johnson for a few minutes each game.
30. Golden State Warrior select Guillermo Hernangomez, PF/C, Spain
The Warriors will pick a big man at this spot in the draft. A foreign player no one has heard of before makes sense. I think.
That’s it for the first round. Enjoy the draft, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.