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NBA AM: A Detailed 2015 NBA Mock Draft

A detailed look at the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, with explanations for each pick.

Steve Kyler

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 1

 Karl-Anthony Towns – 7’0 248lbs PF/C

Towns is likely the best fit for the Wolves for a number of reasons. He fits with the existing personnel, they have a low-pressure situation because of their young players and he can play right away on both ends of the floor. While Jahlil Okafor might be the best overall talent, there’s almost no question Towns is the best fit.

 2

 Jahlil Okafor – 6’11 272lbs C

If Towns is off the board at one, that leaves Okafor at two for the Lakers and it’s an amazing fit. Not only is he a super skilled and talented player, he could be the future face of the franchise the Lakers have been searching for. Okafor could handle the pressure of the large media market and he is a hard worker who would embrace playing with Kobe Bryant. This could not be a more ideal fit for Okafor. If Minnesota takes Okafor at one, then Towns slides into number two and he’s equally a good fit.

 3

 D’Angelo Russell – 6’5 193lbs PG

D’Angelo Russell is the likely the pick here. The Philadelphia 76ers have a glaring need at point guard and Russell may be the safest pick on the board. The problem with Philadelphia is the wildcard factor, as they could go Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis or even Mario Hezonja. The smart money says it’s Russell; however, when dealing with the Sixers, anything is possible.

 4

 

 Justise Winslow – 6’7 222lbs SF

The New York Knicks are a house divided; there does not seem to be a consensus within the Knicks at number four. They could go Willie Cauley-Stein, Justise Winslow or even Porzingis is an option.  Mudiay is the name linked to the Knicks most aggressively, but it does not seem he’s nearly as high on their board as some of the Mock Drafts have him. There is also a growing sense that the Knicks may trade this pick and move down and gain other assets or offload Jose Calderon. However, if they hang onto it, it sounds like Winslow is the leader in the clubhouse.

 5

 Kristaps Porzingis – 7’0 220lbs PF

At number five, the Magic are playing with house money. They have a roster filled with young talent and not a lot of glaring needs that can be immediately solved in the draft. The Magic have shown a history of swinging for the fences, which means Porzingis could be the front runner. The fit for Porzingis is good and he could, in time, be one of the better players in this draft class.

 6

 Emmanuel Mudiay – 6’5 200lbs PG

The Kings at number six may get the point guard they’ve coveted for some time in Emmanuel Mudiay. While this pick would represent a perceived dropping of his stock considering his hype, the long-term fit would be amazing. If Mudiay is off the board, the Kings could find themselves catching Winslow, Cauley-Stein or Porzingis.

 7

 Mario Hezonja – 6’8 200lbs SG

The Denver Nuggets at seven seem to be leaning toward Mario Hezonja, but if Winslow is still on the board or by some chance Mudiay, things could change for Denver fairly quickly. Denver has been exploring the trade market and could make a draft-day trade involving one or more of their veteran players, with Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried being the names most talked about in NBA circles.

 8

 

 Stanley Johnson – 6’7 242lbs SF

The Detroit Pistons could go a number of ways with the number eight pick, but Stanley Johnson seems to be the best fit for head coach Stan Van Gundy. However if Winslow, Cauley-Stein or Porzingis are still on the board, there’s a chance they could be the pick. A dark horse here could be Hezonja, as he has ties to new Pistons executive Arn Tellem.

 9

 

 Cameron Payne – 6’2 183lbs PG

With the trade of Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Charlotte Hornets now find themselves with a need for an off guard and have a long-running need for scoring. This could be the home for Cameron Payne. While Payne has a commitment from the Thunder at 14, jumping up to nine wouldn’t be out of the question especially for an offensive player like Payne.

 10

 Frank Kaminsky – 7’1 231lbs PF

The Miami Heat need talent and talent that can play right away, which has them looking at players like Frank Kaminsky or one of the Euros should they fall. The HEAT have always valued proven collegiate players and none is more proven in this class then Kaminsky. Jerian Grant, Bobby Portis, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker could all find a home in Miami if they look past Kaminsky.

 11

 Willie Cauley-Stein – 7’1 242lbs C

The Pacers have been looking at point guard and Jerian Grant could very well be their pick. However, if Cauley-Stein is still on the board at 11, it may be hard for Larry Bird and the Pacers to pass on a player that clearly fits their culture and style of play.

 12

 

 Devin Booker – 6’6 206lbs SG

Like the Magic, the Jazz are playing with house money. They don’t have any material needs that the draft can solve so they really could go best available player and let it all get worked out in training camp. The best option on the board might be Booker, the sharpshooter from Kentucky who not only could have tremendous upside but could help solve the Jazz’s immediate need for perimeter scoring.

 13

 

 Jerian Grant – 6’5 198lbs PG

The Suns have been all over the board looking at talent. Their biggest need is at backup point guard and this could be the home for Jerian Grant. There is also a sense that the Suns may look to move away from the Morris twins, who were involved in some nasty off-the-court issues. That could open the door for players like Myles Turner, Portis and Kevon Looney.

 14

 

 Myles Turner – 7’0 239lbs C

The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to work out players hoping to find the right talent that will fall to them at 14. Word is they have a draft promise to Cameron Payne but he may be off the board when the Thunder pick at 14. It’s also not out of the question that the Thunder trade up to ensure they get their guy. The Thunder have a history of doing it. If Payne is off the board, Turner may be the best upside player available.

 15

 

 Bobby Portis – 6’11 246lbs PF

The Atlanta Hawks need athleticism and defense and Bobby Portis may fit the bill on all accounts. There is a chance that the Hawks go Looney or Turner should he be available, but the smart money says this is where Portis lands.

 16

 Kelly Oubre – 6’7 203lbs SF

The Boston Celtics are loaded with draft picks and can afford to swing for the fences at 16. Kelly Oubre may be the best upside talent on the board and also solves a need at small forward. At this point in the draft, dozens of combinations become reasonable but if best talent on the board is the goal, Oubre is likely the guy.

 17

 

 Trey Lyles – 6’10 241lbs PF

Milwaukee is looking for size and versatility or outside shooting at 17. Trey Lyles may be too good to pass up. A number of teams higher up the board see Lyles as a potential starter with a lot of upside and that’s exactly what Milwaukee is looking for.

 18

 Sam Dekker – 6’9 219lbs SF

The Houston Rockets have been sniffing around the point guard crop, but if Sam Dekker is on the board at 18, that might be too much proven talent to pass on even though he may not have a huge role right away. The Rockets have a long history of drafting best talent, and Dekker would be exactly that.

 19

 Kevon Looney – 6’9 222lbs PF

The Wizards don’t have a lot of needs in the frontcourt, but in Kevon Looney the Wizards would get a promising young guy who needs a little time and that may fit better for the Wizards than trying to force a pick that would need minutes right out of the gate. Much like the Wizards did with Otto Porter, being patient with Looney could yield a really promising talent.

 20

 Jarell Martin – 6’9 239lbs PF

The word is that Jarell Martin has a mid-first round promise, and while it’s not clear if it’s the Raptors who made the commitment, he does fit in nicely with what Toronto is looking for in the draft. He is a little older, but also more equipped to contribute right away. After going with the unproven Bruno Caboclo last year, a Martin pick would be about improving the team next year.

 21

 Justin Anderson – 6’6 231lbs SF

The Mavericks are looking for an athletic talent, and Justin Anderson might be the best one on the board. Anderson has worked out very well in the draft process and has a number of potential suitors. Anderson has a bigger body of work and may be a safer pick for a Mavericks team that needs a talent infusion.

 22

 Terry Rozier – 6’2 190lbs PG

The Bulls could go a number of directions with this pick, but given the Bulls’ need for a solid reserve type point guard and that they have been all over Rozier throughout the draft process, he could be the pick. Rozier to the Bulls may seem high, but according to sources they have met with him three times (John Paxson was at his Pro Day) and may have him back in for a fourth before the draft.

 23

 Jonathan Holmes – 6’9 242lbs SF/PF

At 23, the draft is a crap shoot. There could be any number of combinations of player left in the pool, but in this case Jonathan Holmes represents the best talent on the board. The challenge with this pick is Holmes is 22, and analytics tends to punish older players. The Blazers have needs all over the place, but Holmes could contribute right away, especially if free agents start walking away.

 24

 R.J. Hunter – 6’6 185lbs SG

It is conceivable that R.J. Hunter goes as high at 17 to the Milwaukee Bucks, but in this case he’s the best talent on the board for a Cavaliers team that needs scoring and shooting. With how much cap space the Cavaliers look to have committed, there is a chance the Cavs trade this pick for a veteran player rather than pick up a young guy who may not see minutes on a contending team.

 25

 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 6’7 211lbs SF

The Memphis Grizzlies need shooting and scoring, so it would seem counter intuitive to go Rondae Hollis-Jefferson here, but he fits the culture and character of the team and could be part of their future. The draft is just one place to address a need, and while a scorer is on the needs list, could anyone that the Grizzlies grab at 25 really be enough offensively to matter as a rookie? The odds are the Grizz grab a quality player at 25 and address scoring needs with a proven veteran in free agency.

 26

 Nikola Milutinov – 7’0 220lbs C

The Spurs want to preserve as much cap space as possible, so do not be surprised if the Spurs grab the best draft-and-stash option on the board and bring the pick over at some time in the future. Nikola Milutinov could be that guy. There are a lot of options here for the Spurs, but knowing they are making a run at a serious free agent in a few weeks, likely means they trade out of the pick or draft a future asset instead.

 27

 Tyus Jones – 6’2 185lbs PG

There are many interesting players available here but Tyus Jones might be the best talent on the board and given that this Mock has the Lakers with Okafor, why not reunite the duo that committed to Duke as a package deal and then won a national championship together? League sources say the Lakers are interested in trading this pick if only to avoid the guaranteed salary associated with it. There has also been talk of bundling this pick with other assets and moving up, so this selection is clearly in flux.

 28

 

 Montrezl Harrell – 6’8 253lbs PF

The Celtics do not have a lot of needs so with this pick, it’s simply the best talent on the board. There is a chance the Celtics look to move this pick for future consideration or bundle it with a player to open up a roster spot. Like the 27, the 28 could end up being used by someone else.

 29

 Christian Wood – 6’11 216lbs PF

Rumor has it the Nets were the floor for Terry Rozier, so if he still is around, this is likely where he lands. However, considering he’s long gone in this mock, Christian Wood is the pick based strictly on upside talent. Wood will need time to develop physically, but he has a knack for the game that may be too hard to pass on.

 30

 Michael Frazier – 6’5 199lbs SG

Believe it or not, the Warriors are looking for more outside shooting and Michael Frazier is the best pure shooter in the draft class. The Warriors could go a number of directions here, but with Frazier it’s all about upside and shooting and that makes him the selection.

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @AlexKennedyNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @SusanBible @TommyBeer, @JabariDavisNBA , @MokeHamilton , @JCameratoNBA, @iamdpick, @jblancartenba and @CodyTaylorNBA .

Steve Kyler is the Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA and basketball for the last 17 seasons.

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 3/19/19

With the field of teams set for the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament, things should get noisy over the next few weeks on the NBA Draft front. Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick Mock Draft before all the zaniness begins.

Steve Kyler

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Let the Madness begin.

The basketball world will shift its attention to college basketball’s biggest stage over the next few weeks, especially this weekend’s opening round of 64.

While the tournament doesn’t necessarily make or break a player’s draft stock, this will be the first time some notable draft prospects will face elite talent and, more importantly, the pressure of the big stage. You can check out march madness predictions 2019 here.

Expect things in the draft world to start to percolate, not just because of the magnitude of the games, but also because a lot of NBA scouts will be in the same places, which is where the draft chatter originates.

Equally, a lot of NBA teams will watch games together in the conference rooms this week, so more group discussion on players will happen inside NBA teams’ front offices, and that could lead to new preference information flowing into the NBA Draft information bubble.

Here is this week’s 60-Pick Mock Draft, based on NBA games played through 3/18/19:

Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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Mock Drafts

NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 3/12/19

The annual March Madness tournament gets underway next week, and draft hype will really start to rev up. Steve Kyler offers up another 2019 60-pick mock draft.

Steve Kyler

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Things are starting to heat up on the NBA Draft front specifically for those teams already eliminated or facing playoff elimination this week.

The 2019 March Madness Tournament kicks off next Tuesday with the “First Four,” and the major teams and players take the floor on March 21st and 22nd, which will ramp up draft talk and ranking speculation.

It’s important to state that while the NCAA Tournament brings a ton of visibility to players, it isn’t nearly the deciding factor some like to make it out to be. Most NBA teams have a good grasp on their top 100 players and have thoroughly scouted and investigated those players. The tournament stage often helps answer questions and assumptions, but usually, teams already have an idea of what players are going to be at the next level.

That’s not to say a bubble guy can’t push himself one way or the other with a strong or weak performance, but usually, the idea that the tournament can catapult a guy way up or way down typically is not the case. Most insiders will say a good tournament can help win over scouts and executives, but that a bad showing doesn’t necessarily hurt as much as you’d think, unless its an utter collapse. So be careful about tournament exuberance – the hype is never as real as you think, any more than the idea of draft stock declines.

There is some truth to this idea, a lot of NBA general managers – especially ones running winning teams – don’t spend as much time scouting as say teams looking at the lottery, so there is a chance for a player to catch a GM’s eye, especially players on non-major teams. The draft is littered with mid-major guys jumping into the discussion, but usually, it means more draft workouts.

Donte DiVincenzo helped himself tremendously last year, but it was his draft workouts that really sealed the deal for him. No one is drafting a guy on his tournament play. It’s way too big a decision for one weekend to make or break a player at the next level.

Here is this week’s Mock Draft:

Here are the first-round picks that are owed and how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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NBA Daily: 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft 3/5/19

With the college basketball season starting to wind down, the NBA Draft will play a bigger part of the NBA conversation, Steve Kyler offers up another 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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As the college basketball regular season starts to wind down, and the March Madness Tournament starts to rev up, the 2019 NBA Draft will play a bigger and bigger role in the NBA conversation, especially with NBA teams already eliminated from the postseason (sorry Phoenix).

The Basketball Insiders Top 100 has had its biggest update of the season (http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/), which means this week’s Mock Draft reflects some of the biggest moves so far.

It’s important to note that the Mock Draft process is not meant to be a direct reflection of the Top 100 prospects. While the top of every draft reflects the top guys, as the draft plays out, many teams – especially those with multiple picks will start to use those picks for the future – meaning draft and stash scenarios come into play.

Also, keep in mind some picks are safer bets than others, even safer than betting on the Final Four.

With that in mind, here is how this week’s Mock Draft played out:

There are a number of first-round picks that are owed. Here is how those picks landed where they are.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyle Korver trade in 2017, which is top-10 protected. But based on the standings, it will not be conveyed.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick as a result of the three-team Jeff Green trade in 2015; the pick is top-eight protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Atlanta Hawks are to receive the Dallas Mavericks first-round pick as a result of the Luka Dončić – Trae Young swap on draft night in 2018. The pick is top-five protected and, based on the standings, would convey.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the more favorable of either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers first-round picks as part of the Markelle Fultz pre-draft trade in 2017. Based on the current standings, the Kings pick is the more favorable and would convey to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are to receive the LA Clippers first-round pick as a result of the Deyonta Davis draft day trade with Memphis in 2016. The Grizzlies got the pick in their Jeff Green/Lance Stephenson deal at the deadline in 2016. The pick is lottery protected and, based on the current standings, would not convey.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are to receive the Houston Rockets first-round pick as a result of the three-team deadline deal that sent out Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

The Brooklyn Nets are to receive the Denver Nuggets first-round pick as a result of the Kenneth Faried – Darrell Arthur trade in July 2018. The pick is top-12 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The San Antonio Spurs are to receive the Toronto Raptors first-round pick as a result of the Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade in July 2018. The pick is top-20 protected and, based on the current standings, would convey.

The Phoenix Suns are to receive the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick as a result of the Eric Bledsoe trade in 2017. The pick has top 3 and 17-30 protections, designed to yield a lottery-level pick to Phoenix. Based on the current standings this pick would not convey. If the debt is not settled this year, the pick in 2020 would be top-7 protected.

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @TommyBeer, @jblancartenba, @SpinDavies, @JamesB_NBA, @MattJohnNBA, @DrewMaresca, @JordanHicksNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau .

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