2015 NBA Mock Draft v 2.0

My mock already has major changes, both from a prospect and NBA team perspective. Gone are Kelly Oubre, Chris Walker and Wayne Selden, three players who have not shown they are anywhere near NBA ready. In are Chris McCullough, D'Angelo Russell, Zac Irvin, Dakari Johnson and other early surprises.

One must remember to temper expectations. Stats are often bloated as the best prospects are playing against cupcake opponents, but good players are good players.



1. Philadelphia 76ers (0-14)
C Jahlil Okafor, Fr, Duke
6'11, 270 lbs
Hometown: Chicago, IL
2014-2015 Stats: 15.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg

I like what Sam Hinkie is doing in Philadelphia. Unless you play in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles, the best way to build a championship contender is through the draft. On the flip side, the management has the audacity to actually charge fans money to see this "team." I see no chance that this Philadelphia team does not shatter the record for winning percentage futility. This is the least talented roster ever assembled.

That is why I find it hilarious that some people think the Sixers should pass on the best prospect in the draft, Jahlil Okafor, because they already have Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. First of all, a team this devoid of talent should always select the best player available. Second, the jury is still out on Noel and Embiid. Okafor is a different type of player than both of those youngsters. He has shown great touch around the rim and there are few college big men that can contain him on the block. With added strength development, he could be a DeMarcus Cousins type at the NBA level. Best case scenario for the Sixers, all three big men pan out and they have the most devastating front court in the NBA.


2. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-12)
PG Emmanuel Mudiay, Guangdong Southern Tigers, China
6'5, 190 lbs
Hometown: Dallas, TX
2014-2015 Stats: 16.4 ppg, 6.1 apg, 6.0 rpg

The Thunder are expecting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back by the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, by then it might be too late for Oklahoma City to make a push towards the top of the playoff bracket in the West. Either way, they will not be picking this low.

If somehow Durant and Westbrook can't return, this might be a good opportunity for the Thunder to land some much needed talent. Emmanuel Mudiay would be a fantastic get for the Thunder. He made the controversial decision to skip college and play a year in China, but I doubt that will affect his draft stock all that much. Out of all the prospects in this draft, he has the biggest superstar potential, and I can't see him falling out of the top three or four. He has great size and strength for the point guard position, and this is simply a point guard league right now. With the Thunder he could replace upcoming free agent Reggie Jackson, and split back court minutes with Westbrook.


3. Los Angeles Lakers (3-11)
PF/C Karl Towns, Fr, Kentucky
7'0, 245 lbs
Hometown: Metuchen, NJ
2014-2015 Stats: 7.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.6 bpg

The only reason to tune in to see Lakers games is to watch Kobe Bryant spend the twilight of his career chucking up 30 shots per game to break some records. Other than that, this is a team with little youth to build around, but a boatload of cap space they will hope to spend in 2015. If Julius Randle can bounce back from his injury, the Lakers should have two solid youngsters to build around. This pick is important.

Karl Towns has simply been one man in John Calipari's 10 man rotation, but I think by the end of the year he will separate himself from the rest of the pack. He has the ability to be a stretch four on offense who can block plenty of shots, as evidenced by his 3.5 blocks in only 18 minutes per game. So far he has been a rebounding and shot blocking machine, who has not been asked to carry much of the load on offense. He has the ability to be a LaMarcus Aldridge type on offense, and unless he face plants, will be a very high draft pick. Towns has the frame to pack on another 10 or 20 pounds and hold down the center spot in Los Angeles.


4. Detroit Pistons (3-11)
SF/PF Kevon Looney, Fr, UCLA
6'9, 220 lbs
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
2014-2015 Stats: 14.8 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 2.8 apg

It has been another tough year in Detroit. The mix of veterans on this team is just not working. Greg Monroe is probably on his way out and Josh Smith has regressed to the point where he is grossly overpaid. The Pistons need to hit reboot and build a team around Andre Drummond.

Kevon Looney has been the rare UCLA freshman who has exceeded expectations. He is off to a blistering start, pulling down rebounds, running the floor, blocking shots, disrupting passing lanes, and being an all around force. He was not a top five recruit, but scouts immediately took notice and he was on plenty of pre season NBA Draft sleeper lists. He is a sleeper no more, and looks like a no brainer top ten pick. He has drawn some Lamar Odom comparisons, and his versatility and hustle would be a welcome addition to a Pistons team full of me first players.


5. Minnesota Timberwolves (3-9)
SF Stanley Johnson, Fr, Arizona
6'7, 237 lbs
Hometown: Fullerton, CA
2014-2015 Stats: 12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.5 apg

The Timberwolves undoubtedly made the right move in trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins, but there is no way they have the talent to compete in the brutal West. If Minnesota chooses to flat out rebuild, they have tradeable assets in Thaddeus Young, Corey Brewer and Nikola Pekovic. The future of this team lies in mega athletes Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine.

Stanley Johnson was the prize jewel of another fantastic Arizona recruiting class, and has gotten off to a great start. He is a tough, defensive beast who can already be a solid NBA defender. His offense is a work in progress, but he has shown a nice jump shot and excels at overpowering his opponent for easy buckets. What scouts like most about him is he is humble, and has the non stop motor and determination of a walk on. He is a long time winner, who has an infectious winning personality and would make a great teammate for the other young Timberwolves players. If he continues to improve on his jump shot, a top three pick is not out of the question.


6. Charlotte Hornets (4-11)
SG Caris LeVert, Jr, Michigan
6'6, 185 lbs
Hometown: Pickerington, OH
2014-2015 Stats: 16.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4.4 apg

The Hornets have struggled to put the ball in the basket, ranking near the bottom of the NBA in scoring and three point shooting. Al Jefferson remains a 20 point per game threat, but other than him, Gary Neal has been their most effective scorer. That is not a good sign. In today's NBA you simply need athletes who can put the ball in the basket.

I may be higher on Caris LeVert then most, but I think he is going to make a very good pro. There are few dangerous shooting guards in the NBA, and LeVert is a very consistent scorer. He has three point range, but the strength to attack the rim, as evidenced by his 13 free throw attempts in a win against Oregon. He reminds me a bit of an Evan Turner with an offensive game.


7. New York Knicks (4-11)
PF/C Myles Turner, Fr, Texas
7'0, 240 lbs
Hometown: Bedford, TX
2014-2015 Stats: 12.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.6 bpg

It has been another lost year in New York, but that was to be expected. The Knicks are simply hoping Derek Fisher can gain some valuable coaching experience while waiting for the albatross contracts of Andrea Bargnani and Amare Stoudemire to run it's course. The Knicks will be a major player during the 2015 free agency process, where guys like LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic and Marc Gasol could be available.

Scouts have to be drooling after witnessing Myles Turner's amazing performance against St. Francis. Yes, it was St. Francis but in only 25 minutes Turner shot 11-12 from the field, 3-3 from the three point line for 25 points, and added 11 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and a steal. That type of all around performance is great no matter who the competition. Turner was thought of as an aloof, raw project when he arrived at Texas, but looks to be well ahead of schedule. If he can continue to showcase his all around game as the competition stiffens, a top five pick is not out of the question.


8. Utah Jazz (5-10)
SF Justise Winslow, Fr, Duke
6'6, 221 lbs
Hometown: Houston, TX
2014-2015 Stats: 15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.2 apg

The Jazz are simply too young to compete in the Western Conference, but seem to have their core seven in place. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors is off to a great start, and Alec Burks, Trey Burke, Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert and Dante Exum should all be solid pros. So the Jazz simply need to let their young players continue to develop while they add another key piece in the draft.

Utah can afford to go best player available here, and that looks like Justise Winslow. Winslow is off to a great start for Duke. He is third on the team in scoring and rebounding. He is playing solid defenses, but what has scouts so excited is his three point shot. He has not been afraid to let it fly from deep, and is connecting on almost 40% of his shots. He earned some dreaded Michael Kidd-Gilchrist comparisons, but has shook those off with a better than advertised jump shot. Scouts need scoring from their wings, and Winslow has shown his ability to be a two way player, which will only help his draft stock.


9. Boston Celtics (4-8)
SG RJ Hunter, Jr, Georgia State
6'6, 190 lbs
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
2014-2015 Stats: 20.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 3.6 rpg

The Celtics have drafted well, and former draft picks Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart look like they will be key contributors going forward. Danny Ainge has options, and has to figure out if he is going to trade or resign Rajon Rondo, who will most likely require the max. Rondo and Jeff Green could fetch nice returns on the trade market if he chooses to go that way.

Have I mentioned before that scouts love shooting? There is perhaps no better shooter in this draft than RJ Hunter. Like most small school stars, he does everything for his Georgia Southern team. But like guys like CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard have shown, if you are talented enough, you can shake that small school stigma and become a lottery pick. Hunter has the look of a solid shooting guard at the NBA level. He has good size for the position and is a dangerous three point threat. He has been a chucker thus far, including a terrible 1 for 9 three point shooting output in a win over Western Carolina, but that is not rare for mid major stars. The Celtics do not really have any wings who can stretch the floor, and Hunter would be a good compliment to Rondo and/or Smart in the back court.


10. Orlando Magic (6-10)
PF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia
7'0, 220 lbs
Hometown: Ventspils, Latvia
2014-2015 Stats: 10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg

The Magic are still a bad team, but it seems they have won their third straight trade. Like Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris, the Magic landed a talented youngster in Evan Fournier for a veteran that was going to depart via free agency anyway. Along with Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, those three players look to make up the core of Orlando's future.

Kristaps Porzingis was thought of as a borderline lottery pick as an 18 year old, and has shown improvement in his game, so there is no reason he should not be a top ten pick in 2015. He is your classic European stretch big. He has a jump shot out to the three point lane but is a solid rebounder and shot blocker. He is 7 foot with a frame to bulk up to 240 pounds or so. Guys like him have been hit and miss in the past, but at 10 he represents excellent value for the Magic.


11. Atlanta Hawks (7-5)
(from Brooklyn Nets)
PF Montrezl Harrell, Jr, Louisville
6'8, 240 lbs
Hometown: Tarboro, NC
2014-2015 Stats: 18.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 apg

Interestingly enough it is the Hawks, not the Heat or Bulls, who have the longest playoff appearance streak in the East. They continue to plug away as a mid teir playoff squad behind solid contributions by starters Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. There is little depth or youth to speak of on this roster, so the Hawks simply need to draft the best talent available to build a bench.

Montrezl Harrell has to be considered one of the favorites for NCAA Player of the Year, and had perhaps the best early season performance in the nation, dropping 30 points with three 3 point shots in an opening game win over Minnesota. Harrell has been a much bigger threat on offense, and if he can prove that three point shot is for real, he could solidify his spot in the top ten. His biggest knock is his lack of size for the power forward position, but he is a very good rebounder who has expended his offensive game, and improved his free throw shooting, as a sophomore.


12. Denver Nuggets (7-7)
PF Cliff Alexander, Fr, Kansas
6'8, 240 lbs
Hometown: Chicago, IL
2014-2015 Stats: 9.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 bpg

The Nuggets have won five games in a row, and will most likely play themselves out of a top draft pick but not into the playoffs. The key for this season is health and improvement from their young players. Denver is not married to Danillo Gallinari, JaVale McGee or Wilson Chandler long term, and management needs to figure out if those are the players they will choose to build around along with Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried.

Denver has a chance here to land a player who can grow into a starter. Cliff Alexander is still extremely raw, and probably needs another year or two in college, but has the potential to be an explosive, entertaining NBA big man. Right now Alexander still relies on instinct and brute force to get his buckets and rebounds. The knock against Alexander is he lacks the basketball IQ and does not have a great feel for the game. This is the reason I do not see him as a top five pick, despite his impressive physical tools. Bill Self has given him more minutes than Kelly Oubre at least, but has not trusted him with much playing time.


13. Houston Rockets (11-3)
(from New Orleans Pelicans)
PG/SG D'Angelo Russell, Fr, Ohio State
6'5, 190 lbs
Hometown: Louisville, KY
2014-2015 Stats: 18.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.0 apg

The Rockets will go as far as James Harden and Dwight Howard take them, and are almost exclusively reliant on their two superstars. Trevor Ariza is the only other real threat on this roster, and Houston simply needs to find a way to add depth to this team, even though they are off to a fantastic start.

Talented freshman D'Angelo Russell has been up and down this season, but when he has been up, he has been fantastic. Russell dominated in a win against Sacred Heart, dropping 32 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists against only two turnovers in 25 minutes. Scouts knew about Russell's scoring ability, but it has been a strong assist to turnover ratio that could cause his draft stock to shoot up. Scouts love combo guards who can handle the ball when need be. If Russell can continue to score and dish when Big 10 competition begins, he could be a mid to late lottery pick.


14. Phoenix Suns (9-6)
PF Chris McCulloch, Fr, Syracuse
6'10, 220 lbs
Hometown: Bronx, NY
2014-2015 Stats: 15.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.6 bpg

Same story as last year, as the Suns continue to play solid basketball but could find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time.

Five star recruit Chris McCullough has been as good as advertised for a depleted Syracuse squad. He is second on the team in scoring, rebounding and steals, and leads them in blocked shots. The knock on him in high school was that he was passive and lazy, but he has played very hard in his very short college career. McCullough might not ever be a banger, but he possesses the athleticism to be a Tyson Chandler lite, and could excel as a hustle player and shot blocker who can knock down the 20 foot jumper. He would be a great fit with the Suns.


15. Indiana Pacers (6-8)
PF Bobby Portis, So, Arkansas
6'10, 231 lbs
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
2014-2015 Stats: 17.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg

The Pacers were expected to bottom out without Paul George, but could challenge for the final playoff spot in the East. Roy Hibbert, Luis Scola and David West are all possible free agents, and could open up major minutes in the front court for Indiana.

Arkansas used to be a hotbed for NBA talent, and Bobby Portis is the best prospect to come out of that school in years. He has become a much more lethal scorer as a sophomore, though he has sacrificed rebounding. Scouts would like to see him attack the glass more, but they have to be excited that he has hit 5 of 6 three pointers on the year. He is long, athletic and can block some shots as well.


16. Chicago Bulls (9-6)
(from Cleveland Cavaliers)
C Willie Cauley-Stein, Jr, Kentucky
7'0, 245 lbs
Hometown: Spearville, KS
2014-2015 Stats: 8.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg

The Bulls have one of the best starting lineups in the league, but could continue to add depth to the bench, and have the ability to do so with two first round picks, depending on how the Kings finish. Rookies do not often play for head coach Tom Thibedeau, though they eventually become factors.

The Bulls have a big need for a solid rebounding and shot blocking back up big man. Willie Cauley-Stein is what he is at this point. He is long, athletic and can hit the glass and erase shots. I think if he played at another school he would be much higher thought of than this, but it is hard to differentiate himself from the likes of Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee, Dakari Johnson and Karl Towns. His game reminds me of Samuel Dalembert and I think he eventually carves out a career as a solid starting center.


17. Milwaukee Bucks (8-7)
PF/C Frank Kaminsky, Sr, Wisconsin
7'0, 234 lbs
Hometown: Lisle, IL
2014-2015 Stats: 19.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.8 bpg

The Bucks have been one of the biggest surprises of the early season, but have still struggled mightily on offense. Brandon Knight has developed into a very good scorer and Jabari Parker should be a 20 point per game guy in a year or two, but there are few other consistent scoring threats on this roster, especially from the front court.

Frank Kaminsky has had quite the journey during his four years at Wisconsin. He was simply bench fodder as a freshman and sophomore, but contributed greatly as a junior. He made a name for himself during the 2014 NCAA Tournament and has been one of the best players in the country as a senior. Big men tend to develop slower, and it's always tough to project a senior center's NBA ability, because they are often 21 and 22 year old men going up against kids, but Kaminsky's strengths translate well to the NBA game. He is athletic, and can really knock down the three point shot. He might not be as strong of a rebounder in the NBA, but teams are always looking for stretch fours who can block the occasional shot. He should find a role in an NBA rotation, and he would be a popular player staying home in Wisconsin.


18. Philadelphia 76ers (0-14)
(from Miami Heat)
SG Norman Powell, Sr, UCLA
6'4, 215 lbs
Hometown: San Diego, CA
2014-2015 Stats: 21.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1 apg

Eventually the 76ers will need to start drafting players that will immediately help the team, right? Norman Powell has transformed from a defensive stopper to a true all around threat. What scouts like the most is his improved scoring ability. He is shooting a scorching 52% from the three point arc. He is a bit undersized, but a fearless scorer who can attack the basket or knock down the jump shot. He is also able to bother opposing guards on defense. His lack of height would not be as much of an issue playing next to Michael Carter-Williams.


19. Brooklyn Nets (5-8)
(from Atlanta Hawks)
SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, So, Arizona
6'7, 205 lbs
Hometown: Chester, PA
2014-2015 Stats: 13.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg

Brooklyn's decision to trade youth and draft picks for overpaid veterans has predictably backfired, as the Nets are nothing more than a fringe playoff team with no prospects to develop for the future. Fortunately, the contracts of Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez will expire in a couple of seasons. Unfortunately, Brooklyn still owes the Celtics a couple of first round draft picks. That is what you call NBA limbo, with little hope to be good now or improve in the future.

The Nets still do have a rare first round draft pick, though they will have to swap with the Hawks if they finish with a worse record, which is likely. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the kind of jack of all trades player who could appeal to a team like Brooklyn. Hollis-Jefferson is not much of a shooter, but is a strong defender who can score in transition. He lacks the scoring ability to be a lottery pick, but should become a solid role player at the next level.


20. Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7)
(from Chicago Bulls)
C Dakari Johnson, So, Kentucky
7'0, 255 lbs
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
2014-2015 Stats: 11.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg

The Cavaliers are really struggling as they break in an entirely new roster. Even when/if the offense gets worked out, Cleveland will continue to have issues with low post defense, because there really is not a bruiser who can stop guys down low.

Dakari Johnson has had a tremendous impact in his 20 minutes per game for Kentucky. He has been a rebounding machine, and is scoring at a higher rate then scouts thought possible. Johnson lacks the athleticism to be a lottery pick, but could carve out a role as a Kendrick Perkins type starter in the NBA. All the Cavaliers will ask him to do is be a bully in the paint, and he should excel in that role.


21. Boston Celtics (4-8)
(from Los Angeles Clippers)
SG Buddy Hield, Jr, Oklahoma
6'4, 209 lbs
Hometown: Freeport, GB
2014-2015 Stats: 20.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.0 apg

Like Norman Powell, Buddy Hield is another undersized two guard who has exploded as an offensive threat in the early going. Hield has done it all for the Sooners, knocking down jump shots, getting to the line and rebounding the basketball. He is not the defender Powell is, but the NBA will always find spots for gifted scorers. With James Young, RJ Hunter and Hield, the Celtics are adding quite a bit of talented shooters to the roster.


22. Chicago Bulls (9-6)
(from Sacramento Kings)
PG Terry Rozier, So, Louisville
6'2, 190 lbs
Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH
2014-2015 Stats: 14.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.3 apg

Terry Rozier was tabbed as a major breakout candidate after a fantastic summer, and has justified those expectations. He is more of a mid range scorer, but has hit shots at a very high clip. Rozier is tough, and can get to the lane against weaker opponents. He is not much of a three point shooter, and should be averaging more assists, which likely limits his starting upside in the minds of NBA scouts, but he could make a solid backup point guard. That is something the Bulls should always be on the lookout for, since Derrick Rose just cannot stay healthy.


23. Dallas Mavericks (10-5)
SF Sam Dekker, Jr, Wisconsin
6'8, 220 lbs
Hometown: Sheboygan, WI
2014-2015 Stats: 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.5 apg

The Mavericks had a very successful off season, and are one of the deepest and most efficient teams in the league. Dallas has not gotten a lot of contributions from their recent draft picks, but will hope to add a key piece to the bench during the draft.

Sam Dekker is a favorite of the analytics crew, with a unique game. He is a good shooter and rebounder who scores at an efficient rate. However, he has a very submissive personality and might be better as a rotation player than a second or third option. He has been lapped by Frank Kaminsky as Washington's go to guy and still hasn't quite fulfilled his offensive potential, but should still be a late first round pick when he does declare.


24. Washington Wizards (9-4)
PG/SG Ron Baker, Jr, Wichita State
6'3, 213 lbs
Hometown: Scott City, KS
2014-2015 Stats: 18.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg

The Wizards have a unique blend of front court experience and back court youth and athleticism, and the results have been very good so far. With quite a few players nearing the end of their career, the Wizards should continue to draft for depth.

Ron Baker is a talented tweener who has been the face of the great Wichita State team for a couple of seasons. As a junior, he has upped his shooting percentages across the board. He will likely remain a fringe first round pick because he is severely undersized for the shooting guard position, but does not have point guard instincts. Scouts will want to see more performances like his 21 point, 6 assist, 2 turnover performance in a win over Memphis. The Wizards are set long term at the guard position, but Andre Miller does not have much left in the tank, and Baker could carve out a role as a scoring combo guard off the bench.


25. San Antonio Spurs (9-4)
SG/SF Zak Irvin, So, Michigan
6'6, 215 lbs
Hometown: Fishers, IN
2014-2015 Stats: 18.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.8 apg

Different year, same story for the Spurs. San Antonio continues to plug along as one of the best teams in the league. Tim Duncan continues to defy father time. Tony Parker continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NBA. San Antonio will once again go with an European prospect or someone who will ride the bench and slowly develop into a solid contributor.

Zak Irvin was a highly recruited prospect who was buried behind Caris LeVert and Nik Stauskas as a freshman. He has been a tremendous scorer early in his sophomore year, knocking down 3 three pointers per game. He is a bit of a one trick pony, but that trick always is a hit with the NBA scouts. Shooters of his caliber will almost always find a spot in the first round, though he would do well to round his game out a little bit.


26. Los Angeles Lakers (3-11)
(from Houston Rockets)
SG/SF Mario Hezonja, Croatia
6'7, 200 lbs
Hometown: Dubrovnik, Croatia
2014-2015 Stats: 2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.0 apg

Mario Hezonja is young, has been known to be a bad teammates with attitude problems, and is not playing at all for his European team. Despite all of that, he remains one of the most talented prospects in Europe and one of only a few worth drafting in the first round and stashing. Hezonja has the ability to be a Manu Ginobili type on offense, as a strong, ball handling scoring threat. Chances are strong that he never pans out, but as a flier late in the first round, he is worth a gamble.


27. Portland Trail Blazers (11-3)
PF/C Kennedy Meeks, So, North Carolina
6'9, 280 lbs
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
2014-2015 Stats: 16.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg

The Trail Blazers have perhaps the best starting lineup in the NBA, but depth has always been an issue. Portland will continue to draft in hopes of rounding out it's roster.

Kennedy Meeks was a solid role player as a freshman, and has continued his amazing production in limited minutes as a sophomore. Meeks is averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds in only 21 minutes per game. Meeks lacks the athleticism and conditioning to be a 30 point per game starter in the NBA, but has a high basketball IQ and simply knows how to play the game. Every team needs toughness off it's bench, and Meeks should have no problem overtaking Thomas Robinson as Portland's main backup power forward.


28. Golden State Warriors (11-2)
PF Brice Johnson, Jr, North Carolina
6'9, 210 lbs
Hometown: Orangeburg, SC
2014-2015 Stats: 14.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.7 bpg

The Warriors undoubtedly made the right move by not gutting their roster to land Kevin Love. Stephen Curry has taken the step to an MVP level, and this roster is constructed around his strengths. Golden State has become a yearly playoff force and will look to advance even deeper in the West.

Brice Johnson was inexplicably stuck behind James McAdoo as a sophomore, and has put up very good numbers as a full time starter. He is undersized and might be a Brandan Wright/Travis Outlaw at the next level. He is very athletic with a spring to his step, and has the ability to pull down rebounds, run the floor and block shots. He would be a good fit for a Warriors team that has drafted tremendously in recent seasons.


29. Memphis Grizzlies (12-2)
PG Nigel Williams-Goss, So, Washington
6'3, 190 lbs
Hometown: Happy Valley, OR
2014-2015 Stats: 12.7 ppg, 6.3 apg, 5.7 rpg

The Grizzlies are the best defensive team in the NBA, and are loaded with veterans. A rookie is unlikely to make much of an impact. Nigel Williams-Goss has everything you do not look for in a starting point guard, but don't mind having as your top backup. He is very good at taking care of the basketball. He is big and strong for the position and can rebound as well. However, he is a poor shooter or athlete, and has drawn some dreaded Kendall Marshall comparisons. I still like him as a long term backup point guard, something the Grizzlies really do not have right now.


30. Toronto Raptors (12-2)
C Mouhammadou Jaiteh, France
6'11, 249 lbs
Hometown: Patin, France
2014-2015 Stats: 9.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.9 bpg

What a season so far for the Toronto Raptors. The players have finally bought into Dwayne Casey's philosophy. Toronto leads the NBA by a wide margin with an 11.6 point differential, showcasing their offensive and defensive ability. The Raptors are young, deep and well coached, and poised to make a deep playoff run.

Masai Ujiri might be the best GM in the business (just ask Nuggets fans, like me, how much we miss him). He made the controversial pick of unknown Bruno Coboclo in the first round last year and could go the foreign route again. Mouhammadou Jaiteh was a fringe first round pick last year. He withdrew from the 2014 draft when he failed to gain a first round promise, but another year of development in France could allow his name to be called within the first 30 picks. He has a big frame with an emerging offensive game and will be a popular draft and stash pick.

Jonathan Carrano

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments: