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2015 NBA Draft Top 60: 10/5/14

A look at the top 60 2015 NBA Draft prospects, including Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow.

Yannis Koutroupis

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College basketball teams across the country kicked off practice this weekend and will start officially playing in about a month. The 2014-15 NBA regular season will be underway at that point too, but a sizable portion of the league’s front offices will be focused solely on what happens in the NCAA. The 2015 NBA Draft may be over 200 days away, but preparation for it has already begun as teams are always looking towards the future and trying to gain an advantage in scouting for talent.

Without any games being played to help determine the draft order or gauge what team’s needs are, a typical mock draft would be based off of too much speculation. So, rather than putting out a draft based off predictions, Basketball Insiders is releasing a top 60 through the first month of the season based off of last year’s draft order. This is purely a player ranking, and team needs are not taken into account:

For a look at how the draft order will change based off of trades, make sure to check out our draft pick debt page.

Rank Player
1 Jahlil Okafor C 18 years old; 6’11”; 272 lbs. Duke, Freshman
2 Karl Towns PF/C 18 years old; 7’0″; 248 lbs. Kentucky, Freshman
3 Emmanuel Mudiay PG 18 years old; 6’5″; 200 lbs. Guangdong, Freshman
4 Stanley Johnson SF 18 years old; 6’7″; 237 lbs. Arizona, Freshman
5 Cliff Alexander PF/C 18 years old; 6’9″; 254 lbs. Kansas, Freshman
6 Myles Turner C 18 years old; 6’11”; 242 lbs. Texas, Freshman
7 Kelly Oubre SF 18 years old; 6’6″; 204 lbs. Kansas, Freshman
8 Kristaps Porzingis PF 19 years old; 7’0″; 220 lbs. Sevilla, International
9 Montrezl Harrell PF 20 years old; 6’8″; 230 lbs. Louisville, Junior
10 Chris Walker PF 19 years old; 6’9″; 205 lbs. Florida, Sophomore
11 Justise Winslow SF 18 years old; 6’6″; 221 lbs. Duke, Freshman
12 Mario Hezonja SG 19 years old; 6’8″; 200 lbs. Barcelona, International
13 Willie Cauley-Stein C 21 years old; 7’0″; 244 lbs. Kentucky, Junior
14 Sam Dekker SF 20 years old; 6’9″; 229 lbs. Wisconsin, Junior
15 Caris LeVert SG 20 years old; 6’7″; 200 lbs. Michigan, Junior
16 Wayne Selden SG 20 years old; 6’6″; 223 lbs. Kansas, Sophomore
17 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 19 years old; 6’6″; 212 lbs. Arizona, Sophomore
18 Bobby Portis PF 19 years old; 6’10”; 235 lbs. Arkansas, Sophomore
19 Jarell Martin PF 20 years old; 6’7″; 242 lbs. LSU, Sophomore
20 Rashad Vaughn SG 18 years old; 6’5″; 200 lbs. UNLV, Freshman
21 Andrew Harrison PG/SG 19 years old; 6’5″; 207 lbs. Kentucky, Sophomore
22 Norman Powell SG 21 years old; 6’3″; 199 lbs. UCLA, Senior
23 Dakari Johnson C 19 years old; 6’11”; 263 lbs. Kentucky, Sophomore
24 Tyus Jones PG 18 years old; 6’1″; 184 lbs. Duke, Freshman
25 Aaron Harrison SG 19 years old; 6’5″; 210 lbs. Kentucky, Sophomore
26 Amida Brimah C 20 years old; 7’0″; 217 lbs. Connecticut, Sophomore
27 R.J. Hunter SG 20 years old; 6’5″; 180 lbs. Georgia State, Junior
28 Justin Jackson SF 19 years old; 6’7″; 168 lbs. North Carolina, Freshman
29 Terry Rozier PG 20 years old; 6’2″; 189 lbs. Louisville, Sophomore
30 Theo Pinson SF 18 years old; 6’6″; 188 lbs. North Carolina, Freshman
31 Marc Garcia SG 18 years old; 6’6″; 180 lbs. Manresa, International
32 Frank Kaminsky C 21 years old; 7’0″; 234 lbs. Wisconsin, Senior
33 Brice Johnson PF 20 years old; 6’9″; 185 lbs. North Carolina, Junior
34 Delon Wright PG 22 years old; 6’5″; 179 lbs. Utah, Senior
35 Branden Dawson SF 21 years old; 6’6″; 206 lbs. Michigan State, Senior
36 Shawn Long C 21 years old; 6’10”; 256 lbs. La Lafayette, Junior
37 Ilimane Diop C 19 years old; 6’11”; 225 lbs. Vitoria, International
38 Egemen Guven PF 18 years old; 6’9″; 210 lbs. Karsiyaka, International
39 Ron Baker SG 21 years old; 6’4″; 222 lbs. Wichita State, Junior
40 Buddy Hield SG 20 years old; 6’4″; 214 lbs. Oklahoma, Junior
41 Kaleb Tarczewski C 21 years old; 7’0″; 243 lbs. Arizona, Junior
42 Mouhammadou Jaiteh C 19 years old; 6’11”; 249 lbs. Nanterre, International
43 Alex Poythress SF/PF 21 years old; 6’8″; 239 lbs. Kentucky, Junior
44 Juwan Staten PG 22 years old; 5’11”; 186 lbs. West Virginia, Senior
45 A.J. Hammons C 22 years old; 7’0″; 278 lbs. Purdue, Junior
46 Terran Petteway SF 21 years old; 6’6″; 209 lbs. Nebraska, Junior
47 Kenan Sipahi PG 19 years old; 6’4″; 180 lbs. Fenerbahce, International
48 Marcus Paige PG 21 years old; 6’2″; 156 lbs. North Carolina, Junior
49 Michael Qualls SG 20 years old; 6’6″; 198 lbs. Arkansas, Junior
50 Andzejs Pasecniks C 18 years old; 7’1″; 220 lbs. VEF Riga, International
51 Guillermo Hernangomez C 20 years old; 6’11”; 255 lbs. Sevilla, International
52 Timothe Luwanu SG 19 years old; 6’6″; 220 lbs. Antibes, International
53 Michael Frazier SG 20 years old; 6’4″; 200 lbs. Florida, Junior
54 Perry Ellis SF 21 years old; 6’8″; 222 lbs. Kansas, Junior
55 Brandon Ashley PF 20 years old; 6’7″; 191 lbs. Arizona, Junior
56 LeBryan Nash SF 22 years old; 6’7″; 220 lbs. Oklahoma State, Senior
57 Rasmus Larsen PF 19 years old; 6’11”; 210 lbs. Charleroi, International
58 Cameron Ridley C 20 years old; 6’10”; 262 lbs. Texas, Junior
59 Yogi Ferrell PG 21 years old; 5’11”; 165 lbs. Indiana, Junior
60 Georges Niang SF/PF 21 years old; 6’8″; 236 lbs. Iowa State, Junior

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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NBA

NBA Daily: Lessons From The 2018 NBA Draft

After a wild 2018 NBA Draft, here are four lessons and storylines worth watching over the next few years.

Ben Nadeau

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Now that the dust has settled on an unpredictable NBA Draft — what exactly have we learned? In amongst the unrelenting rumors, refused workouts and surprise reaches, there are a few key takeaways from Brooklyn. Of course, some of these are one-off instances, but others are definitely part of modern-day draft patterns. While draft night may sometimes seem like complete chaos or chance, each scenario on this rundown has been boiling over for weeks. Between passing on a talented prospect to letting an injured one slide, here are four important lessons from the 2018 NBA Draft.

Luka Dončić… Not The No. 1?

For months and months, it appeared as if Luka Dončić was poised to become the No. 1 overall pick in this draft. Even today, it’s hard to believe that somebody with Dončić’s age and resume wasn’t the top selection. In 2017-18 alone, the Slovenian took home EuroLeague MVP and Finals MVP plus ACB MVP, with championships in both leagues to boot — but here we are. Dončić averaged 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals over just 25 minutes per game, quickly transforming into the most well-rounded overseas prospect of all-time. But as impressive as Dončić was throughout the spring, the potential ceilings of both DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III eventually won out.

At 7-foot-1, Ayton’s 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game were undeniably worthy of a top selection too, pairing well alongside Devin Booker and Josh Jackson for the foreseeable future. While the jury is still out on Bagley III — his defense needs some major fine-tuning — he won’t take key touches away from De’Aaron Fox either. More or less, nobody wants to be the organization to miss on such a franchise-altering pick. The Suns, Kings and even the Hawks may eventually regret passing on Dončić, but when general managers’ entire careers can depend on making the right choice at the right time, it’s not difficult to understand why the top of the draft unfolded as it did.

Playing Hard To Get Doesn’t Always Work Out…

As draft boards began to take shape, there was one particularly interesting situation sitting at No. 4 overall. Jaren Jackson Jr., solidly leading the second tier of prospects, was looking like a lock at the Memphis Grizzlies’ pick — but with one major caveat: Jackson Jr. reportedly didn’t work out or give his medical information to the franchise. After he was drafted, Jackson Jr. called those rumors “a tad out of context” — but, obviously, those are some massive red flags. Either way, Memphis went with their gut and selected the talented forward anyway.

But beyond all that, Memphis absolutely made the right move by sticking to their guns. Putting a modern three-point shooting, defensive-minded athlete next to Marc Gasol should prove to be an absolute nightmare for years to come. Naturally, Jackson Jr. will get plenty of easy looks from the stellar Mike Conley Jr. too — so if the draftee was once apprehensive, surely that will pass soon. Still, it reflects on a larger NBA pattern, wherein which prospective athletes sensibly look to mold their own path out of college. With players trying to control their draft narratives more than ever, it’s reassuring to see that some franchises will take their target first and then figure out the rest.

We may never know Jackson Jr.’s full thought process behind not working out for the Grizzlies, but there’s a great chance that the former Spartan was made for Memphis’ tough brand of basketball — and we should all be glad we’ll get to see it.

…But Injuries Will Lead To A Slide

Michael Porter Jr. — what a year for him, huh?

After missing out on much of his only collegiate season due to back surgery, Porter Jr. promised that he was feeling better than ever. But over the last month, scouts and front offices were treated to canceled workouts and hazy uncertainty. And, at the end of the day, it probably scared a handful of franchises away from the talented scorer. Just this week, the Kings heavily considered Porter Jr. at No. 2 overall — but even with that sudden unlikelihood passing by, few thought he’d drop out of the top ten altogether. Outside of the guaranteed money that Porter Jr. will miss out on, redshirting his rookie year may also be on the table as well.

The inherent upside with Porter Jr. is obvious, but — similarly to the Dončić issue — it’s tough to ask franchise officials to stake their livelihood on the prospect’s health. If Porter Jr.’s lingering issues stay with him and he never reaches his mountain of potential, that’s a tough pill to swallow. The 19-year-old would fall all the way down to No. 14, where the Denver Nuggets gladly scooped him up. During the combine in May, Porter Jr. called himself the best player in the draft — but it’s now up to him to prove them all wrong.

The Mysterious Men Nearly Miss Out

Let’s rewind to early April. Villanova had been just crowned NCAA champions for the second time in three years, the NBA playoffs were soundly on the horizon and mock drafts had begun to consistently pour out. Early on, there were two athletic big men that looked like shoo-ins as first-rounders: Robert Williams and Mitchell Robinson. Despite their undercooked skill-sets, both players pulled out of the combine and then waited for the hype to build — except, well, it didn’t. Williams, who was typically projected in the early teens, slipped out of the lottery entirely, only to be rescued by the Boston Celtics at No. 27. Williams is a booming, powerful prospect, but he could’ve really benefited from competing against the other top prospects in May.

Although he’s now landed in an ideal situation with Brad Stevens, Al Horford and a process-driven Celtics squad, Williams likely cost himself a whole load of money over the last 30-plus days as well.

In Robinson’s case, many believed his floor was the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 25 — rumors swirling that the 7-foot-1 center even received a promise from the illustrious franchise. Instead, Robinson dropped to the New York Knicks at No. 36 overall. Robinson had originally committed to Western Kentucky in July of 2017 before dropping out to prepare for the draft. After skipping the combine last month, Robinson indeed exhibited the potential to be both a steady shot-blocker and three-point maker during his individual evaluations. But with little to go off of but high school highlight reels and small session workout tapes, he understandably fell.

Sometimes the hype is impossible to ignore, but not participating in the combine and staying as mysterious as possible hurt these ultra-talented prospects.

While the 2018 NBA Draft wasn’t quite the trade-heavy, drama-laden extravaganza much of the world expected, there are plenty of narratives to reflect upon. At the end of the day, the ink is barely dry on this year’s festivities and it’ll be some time before there’s any indication of these successes or failures. Still, there are lessons to be learned from every draft, workout or injury process and these are four conversations worth considering as the NBA quickly rolls into the summer league season.

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VIDEO: 2018 NBA Draft Winners

Basketball Insiders Benny Nadeau and Moke Hamilton break down the 2018 NBA Draft, including the teams and players that may have done better than expected.

Basketball Insiders

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Basketball Insiders Benny Nadeau and Moke Hamilton break down the 2018 NBA Draft, including the teams and players that may have done better than expected.

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Insiders Video

VIDEO: 2018 NBA Draft Losers

Basketball Insiders Benny Nadeau and Moke Hamilton break down the 2018 NBA Draft, including the teams and players that may not have done as well as expected.

Basketball Insiders

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Basketball Insiders Benny Nadeau and Moke Hamilton break down the 2018 NBA Draft, including the teams and players that may not have done as well as expected.

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