2015 NBA Mock Draft v 3.0

A few changes in this mock. The biggest addition is Jakob Poeltl, who looks like a lottery lock whenever he does declare.

I limited this mock to ten freshman, so guys like Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander were left out. Last year's draft had that amount in the first round. If I included all freshman, I believe about 2/3 of the first round would be composed of them.

I decided to run a lottery simulator for this draft, because why not? The first three picks were awarded to Philadelphia (1), Orlando (9) and Charlotte (6).


1. Philadelphia 76ers (0-14)
C Jahlil Okafor, Fr, Duke
6'11, 270 lbs
Hometown: Chicago, IL
2014-2015 Stats: 17.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.5 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. Orlando Magic
PF/C Karl Towns, Fr, Kentucky
7'0, 245 lbs
Hometown: Metuchen, NJ
2014-2015 Stats: 9.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.8 bpg

The Magic continue to hang around in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but only because the East is so bad. In reality, this is a 30 win team at best who still needs to develop their young players. Elfrid Payton has improved and Tobias Harris is developing into a 20 point per game scorer. Adding another front court piece would be key for Orlando.

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 2.8 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.


3. Charlotte Hornets
PG Emmanuel Mudiay, Guangdong Southern Tigers, China
6'5, 190 lbs
Hometown: Dallas, TX
2014-2015 Stats: 18.9 ppg, 6.6 apg, 6.3 rpg

The Charlotte Hornets continue to struggle badly on offense, plodding their way to only 94 points per game. Other than Al Jefferson, there is no efficient scorer on this roster. Charlotte has drafted big the past few drafts, and needs to find some players who can create their own offense.

Emmanuel Mudiay is clearly the best guard prospect in this class. 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 Hornets, he would slide into the back court with fellow point Kemba Walker, and both would be interchangeable as ball handlers and scorers.


4. Detroit Pistons
PF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia
7'0, 220 lbs
Hometown: Ventspils, Latvia
2014-2015 Stats: 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg

Everyone expected the 76ers to struggle to finish with a better than .100 winning percentage, but the Pistons are breathing down their neck. The criminally overrated Joe Dumars final parting gift was to leave Stan Van Gundy with a roster full of overpaid, no defense playing, terrible shooting percentage ball hogs. This roster is simply constructed horribly and needs to be torn down to it's core, and rebuilt with shooters surrounding Andre Drummond, who has no choice but to be a black hole right now.

Kristaps Porzingis was thought of as a borderline lottery pick as an 18 year old, and has shown solid 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 scouts seem to agree his upside makes him one of the top five prospects in this class. He would be a great fit as a stretch four next to Drummond, and give Stan Van Gundy his new Rashard Lewis.


5. New York Knicks
C Jakob Poeltl, Fr, Utah
7'0, 235 lbs
Hometown: Vienna, Austria
2014-2015 Stats: 11.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.9 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.

Jakob Poeltl has quickly emerged as a legit top ten prospect whenever he does decide to declare. The Austrian has some experience playing professional style ball, but has still just scratched the surface of his potential. He is long, athletic, and one of the most efficient rebounders and shot blockers in college basketball. He is shooting 72% from the field (5th best in the nation among qualifiers) and has a nice jump shot out to 18 feet or so. This draft is big on size, and true centers are always drafted high. He will need to be developed for sure, but after the top four, he offers as much potential as anyone.


6. Minnesota Timberwolves
SF/PF Kevon Looney, Fr, UCLA
6'9, 220 lbs
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
2014-2015 Stats: 13.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg

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 tradable assets in Thaddeus Young, Corey Brewer and Nikola Pekovic. The future of this team lies in mega athletes Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine.

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 definite top ten pick. He has drawn some Lamar Odom comparisons, and his versatility and hustle would be a welcome addition to a young but talented Timberwolves squad.


7. Phoenix Suns
(from Los Angeles Lakers)
SF Stanley Johnson, Fr, Arizona
6'7, 237 lbs
Hometown: Fullerton, CA
2014-2015 Stats: 13.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.4 apg

Insult will definitely be added to injury if the Lakers fall out of the top five picks. If that happens, this pick goes to the Suns for that terrible Steve Nash trade of yesteryear. Phoenix is a deep, athletic team who could afford to go with the best available talent.

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 that was to be expected. He also needs to cut down on his turnovers. 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 personality and would fit right in with the team philosophy Jeff Hornacek has going on in Phoenix. If he continues to improve on his jump shot, a top three pick is not out of the question.


8. Utah Jazz
PF Chris McCulloch, Fr, Syracuse
6'10, 220 lbs
Hometown: Bronx, NY
2014-2015 Stats: 14.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.4 bpg

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 are 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.

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. Enes Kanter is an upcoming free agent, and a player who fits the above profile would be a solid compliment to the emerging Favors.


9. Indiana Pacers
PG/SG D'Angelo Russell, Fr, Ohio State
6'5, 190 lbs
Hometown: Louisville, KY
2014-2015 Stats: 18.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 apg

This is a lost season in Indiana, but on the bright side, they should get a lottery pick to pair with Paul George when he returns in 2015. The Pacers have little youth to develop, so this season will be spent deciding if they want to continue on with Roy Hibbert and George Hill, among others.

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. The Pacers have got to find an offensive compliment for George, and I think Russell could be a more consistent Rodney Stuckey type.


10. Boston Celtics
SG Caris LeVert, Jr, Michigan
6'6, 185 lbs
Hometown: Pickerington, OH
2014-2015 Stats: 17.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.1 apg

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.

Shooting guard is the one position where guys seem to rise higher than expected. Guys like Terrence Ross, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Victor Oladipo and Nik Stauskas went from late first round to top ten players. 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. The Celtics lack wing players with size who can stroke it, and I think LeVert is a future 18 point per game scorer at the next level.



11. Oklahoma City Thunder
SG RJ Hunter, Jr, Georgia State
6'6, 190 lbs
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
2014-2015 Stats: 23.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.6 rpg

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both back for the Thunder, which means the chance that they will be drafting here are slim to none. Stranger things have happened, and no playoff team in the West is going to hand their spot over to Oklahoma City easily.

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, racks up steals (a good indicator of NBA success) 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. With the Thunder, all he would need to focus on is knocking down corner threes.

12. Denver NuggetsPF/C Myles Turner, Fr, Texas
7'0, 240 lbs
Hometown: Bedford, TX
2014-2015 Stats: 11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg

Being a mediocre team in the West pretty much ensures the Nuggets will not be drafting in the top ten, but not 15 or lower. 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.

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. Turner has been up and down since, and was engulfed by the length and size of Kentucky's front court. But his defense and size will ensure he will be a lottery pick. If Turner can continue to showcase his all around game as the competition stiffens (he has struggled against better teams), a top five pick is not out of the question. More than likely, he will be mid to late lottery project who will need to be developed.


13. Houston Rockets
(from New Orlenas Pelicans)
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 Rockets will go as far as James Harden and Dwight Howard take them, and are almost exclusively reliant on their two superstars. Trevor Ariza and Terrence Jones are the only other real threats 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.

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 very strong defensive minded starting center. His growth will be limited behind Dwight Howard, but he would keep things moving on defense the 15 or so minutes he plays per night in Houston.


14. Chicago Bulls
(from Sacramento Kings)
SF Justise Winslow, Fr, Duke
6'6, 221 lbs
Hometown: Houston, TX
2014-2015 Stats: 12.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.1 apg

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 Thibodeau, though they eventually become factors.

Brooklyn needs depth at all positions and should just go for the best talent available. Justise Winslow is off to a good start for Duke. He is third on the team in scoring and rebounding. He is playing solid defense, 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, and those are usually handed out for solid wing defenders who can't shoot. Winslow has really struggled with his two point shot, which is why I have him slotted at this spot. Scouts need scoring from their wings, and if Winslow can continue to improve his jump shot, he should shoot into the top ten. His versatility and defense would eventually be a welcome addition for Tom Thibodeau, who likes to have his rookies ride the pine.


15. Atlanta Hawks
(from Houston Rockets)
SG/SF Mario Hezonja, Croatia
6'7, 200 lbs
Hometown: Dubrovnik, Croatia
2014-2015 Stats: 4.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg

Not only were the Hawks able to unload Joe Johnson's contract on the hapless Nets a couple seasons ago, they received first round picks as well. They are able to swap picks with Brooklyn, and add a piece to a shallow bench.

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 one of the most talented scoring amateurs in the world, will be worth a pick in the mid first round.


16. Philadelphia 76ers
(from Miami Heat)
PG Tyus Jones, Fr, Duke
6'1, 190 lbs
Hometown: Apple Valley, MN
2014-2015 Stats: 10.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.3 rpg

The 76ers are still so bad that they should still be drafting the best talent available, though they would gravitate towards a wing scorer if one were available. This is not a great draft for wing talent.

Tyus Jones is off to a tremendous start for Duke. He sports an amazing 6:1 assist to turnover ratio and can rebound and score as well. Two things could keep him from being a lottery pick however. One, scouts like point guards who can shoot, and Jones is not a major threat from deep, though he knocks down about one 3 point shot per game. Two, he is pretty undersized, and does not have the extreme quickness to make up for his slight frame. Still, he should go in the teens and work himself into a quality starting point guard. The 76ers are not completely sold on Michael Carter-Williams, and the two point guards could not be any different.


17. Milwaukee Bucks
PF/C Frank Kaminsky, Sr, Wisconsin
7'0, 234 lbs
Hometown: Lisle, IL
2014-2015 Stats: 16.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.1 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. Phoenix Suns
PF Montrezl Harrell, Jr, Louisville
6'8, 240 lbs
Hometown: Tarboro, NC
2014-2015 Stats: 16.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg

The Suns are a deep, athletic team that is expected to compete for one of the final playoff spots. Ideally with their second first round pick they would draft a player to stash overseas, but other than Porzingis and Hezonja, no prospect has emerged as a mid first round guy. The closest bt would probably be Egemen Guven from Turkey, but I do not often include 18 year old foreign prospects in my mocks, since they rarely end up staying in the draft.

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 late lottery. 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 junior. He would be another athletic, versatile big man coming off the bench for the deep Suns.


19. Chicago Bulls
PG Terry Rozier, So, Louisville
6'2, 190 lbs
Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH
2014-2015 Stats: 14.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.6 apg

With two first round picks, the Bulls can afford to go best player available with one then try to fill a backup big man or point guard spot with the second.

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.


20. Cleveland Cavaliers
C Dakari Johnson, So, Kentucky
7'0, 255 lbs
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
2014-2015 Stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg

As expected, the Cavaliers have overcome a sluggish start and look like near locks to make at least the Eastern Conference semifinals. This team is not without weakness, however. First and foremost is someone who can clog the paint on defense. LeBron James reportedly has no interest playing with rookies though, so whoever is drafted here will probably ride the pine.

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. Dallas Mavericks
C Mouhammadou Jaiteh, France
6'11, 249 lbs
Hometown: Patin, France
2014-2015 Stats: 9.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.9 bpg

Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have assembled one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. The Mavericks have always leaned heavily towards veterans, and might not want to waste a roster spot on a rookie, so if someone emerges as a stash pick, the Mavericks could swoop him up.

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.


22. Washington Wizards
PG/SG Ron Baker, Jr, Wichita State
6'3, 213 lbs
Hometown: Scott City, KS
2014-2015 Stats: 18.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 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.


23. Brooklyn Nets
(from Atlanta Hawks)
PF Bobby Portis, So, Arkansas
6'10, 231 lbs
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
2014-2015 Stats: 15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg

Spending a couple hundred million dollars a year should buy you more than a .500 record, but predictably, the Nets spending spree on washed up stars backfired. They are reportedly looking to cut all losses, but trading their core of overpaid, aging veterans will be a next to impossible task. Even worse, this team still owes the Hawks and Celtics some draft picks, meaning they will be bad now with little hope to improve in the future.

Arkansas used to be a hotbed for NBA talent, and Bobby Portis is the best prospect to come out of that school in years. Portis has not really improved much as a sophomore, which likely limits his draft stock to the 20's. Still,. he is long, athletic and can block some shots. He has decent range on his jump shot and the length to rise up over defenders and even knock down the occasional 3 point shot. The Nets need to draft the best player available here and hope he can work his way into Brooklyn's rotation.


24. Toronto Raptors
SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, So, Arizona
6'7, 205 lbs
Hometown: Chester, PA
2014-2015 Stats: 12.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg

The Raptors remain the best team in the East, thanks to Dwayne Casey's defensive philosophy, which the team has finally bought into. Kyle Lowry is on the early MVP list, and the Raptors are built for a deep playoff run in the Eastern Conference.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the kind of jack of all trades player who could appeal to a team like Toronto. Hollis-Jefferson is not much of a shooter, but is a strong defender who can score in transition. He lacks the shooting ability to be a lottery pick, but should become a solid role player at the next level.


25. San Antonio Spurs
SF Sam Dekker, Jr, Wisconsin
6'8, 220 lbs
Hometown: Sheboygan, WI
2014-2015 Stats: 11.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 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.

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.


26. Los Angeles Lakers
(from Houston Rockets)
SG Justin Anderson, Jr, Virginia
6'6, 225 lbs
Hometown: Montross, VA
2014-2015 Stats: 15.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.7 apg

The Lakers will have a first round pick, even if they have to deal their lottery selection to the Suns. Unfortunately, it is expected to be in the 20's, so they will be lucky to get a contributor this late. Los Angeles cannot attract the marquee free agents they used to, so developing some young talent will be key.

The Virginia Cavaliers remain one of the country's best teams, even without a standout NBA prospect. Justin Anderson is probably their best bet this year. Always long on talent, he has filled the role vacated by Joe Harris as Virginia's go to scorer. He has a big, strong frame and is shooting an extremely high percentage from the field, and particularly from three point land. The NBA is always hungry for wing talent, and if Anderson keeps it up during tough ACC play, he could find a home in the mid to late first round.


27. Boston Celtics
(from Los Angeles Clippers)
PF Christian Wood, So, UNLV
6'11, 220 lbs
Hometown: Palmdale, CA
2014-2015 Stats: 13.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.6 bpg

Again, no one quite knows which direction Danny Ainge will take this franchise. The Celtics would like to find a rim protector on defense.

Christian Wood was a highly ranked prospect who has started to deliver on some of that promise as a sophomore. While the first round may be a stretch right now, his talent level will warrant looks around this spot. He is tall, still lanky, and not much of a threat on offense. He floats out to the perimeter too much, and lacks strength to body big men down low. But he could wind up being 7 foot and is already a tremendous shot blocker and rebounder, skills that usually translate to the NBA. If properly developed he could make a fine rotational big man.


28. Portland Trail Blazers
SG Norman Powell, Sr, UCLA
6'4, 215 lbs
Hometown: San Diego, CA
2014-2015 Stats: 17.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg

The Trail Blazers have perhaps the best starting lineup in the NBA, but could use additional depth. Unfortunately, no one drafted here is likely to make much of an impact for a championship contender.

Norman Powell has transformed from a defensive stopper to a true all around threat. What scouts like the most is his improved scoring ability. His three point shot has cooled off a bit in recent games, but he is still shooting a very solid 46% from deep. 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, and could carve out a role off an NBA bench.


29. Memphis Grizzlies
PG Nigel Williams-Goss, So, Washington
6'3, 190 lbs
Hometown: Happy Valley, OR
2014-2015 Stats: 14.7 ppg, 6.9 apg, 5.6 rpg

The Grizzlies had to suffer through long stretches without Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol the past two years. Both big men are healthy and productive, and the Grizzlies have resumed their spot as one of the best teams in the NBA, and a serious title contender.

Memphis is the best defensive team in the NBA, and is 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. Golden State Warriors
SG Jerian Grant, Sr, Notre Dame
6'5, 205 lbs
Hometown: Bowie, MD
2014-2015 Stats: 19.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 6.1 apg

The Warriors are operating on all cylinders right now. They are the most complete team in the league, excelling on both ends of the court. It seems that the only thing that can slow them down is injuries, which is always a concern for guys like Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut.

There is room on this roster for a guard to ride the pine and knock down shots during mop up duty. Jerian Grant has had an up and down Notre Dame career. Son of Harvey and brother of Jerami, Grant is one of the most gifted scorers in college basketball. He was briefly suspended from the team last year, but has come back and carried the Irish to a 9-1 start. He is at his best in transition, which should fit right in with the Warriors. He could make it as a backup combo guard.


Next Ten In

PG Delon Wright, Sr, Utah
PF Jarell Martin, So, LSU
PF Chris Obekpa, Jr, St. John's
PF Brice Johnson, Jr, North Carolina
SF/PF Chris Walker, So, Florida
PF Kennedy Meeks, So, North Carolina
PG/SG Andrew Harrison, So, Kentucky
SG Terran Petteway, Jr, Nebraska
SG Aaron Harrison, So, Kentucky
C Robert Upshaw, So, Washington

Jonathan Carrano

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