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2015 Basketball Insiders Group Mock Draft

The entire Basketball Insiders team gets in on this mock draft, making picks for the teams in markets they cover. (Updated frequently).

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Everybody loves a good mock draft, but the problem with a one-person mock is that they involve the opinions of only a single person. In a group mock draft, like the one we here at Basketball Insiders are going to undertake over the course of the next few days, a number of different people make the picks one at a time, and they do so from a place of knowledge because more often than not, the person making the selection for a team either covers that team or that division.

It will take a few days for these to roll out, but every hour or two from now through Thursday morning, a new pick will pop up here. Come back and/or refresh the page as often as you like, but make sure you scroll down for the new picks.

On Thursday, once all the picks have been made, there will be a little analysis added in regards to how everything all panned out. The Basketball Insiders gang is itching to get going, so let’s do this thing:

(Scroll down for picks. Analysis at the bottom.)

 

With the #1 pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Karl-Anthony Towns.

Simply put, he’s the best prospect in the draft. He’s a two-way big with an elite ceiling on both ends and projects to add skills the Wolves need with his outside shooting and shot-blocking combination. Easy choice at No. 1.

– Ben Dowsett

With the #2 pick, the L.A. Lakers select Jahlil Okafor.

While other players have grabbed the attention of scouts and fans due to stellar workouts, Okafor remains the best post prospect the draft has seen in years. Time will tell just how much of an adventure it might be on the defensive end, but there’s simply too much talent and potential to pass on.

– Jabari Davis

With the #3 pick, the Philadelphia 76ers select D’Angelo Russell.

D’Angelo Russell will provide the 76ers with a versatile guard that can step into either spot in the backcourt and contribute immediately. He’ll help improve an offense that was ranked dead-last in the league in efficiency and help a defense that was ranked 12th in the league.

– Cody Taylor

With the #4 pick, the New York Knicks select Emmanuel Mudiay.

The Knicks’ hopes of winning anything with Carmelo Anthony rest squarely on their ability to surround him with players that can create offense both for him and his teammates. An athletic, explosive point guard makes the most sense for the Knicks, even if the team is married to the idea of playing the triangle. At 6’5″, Mudiay has the height to play either guard position in the triangle, but even at the point guard position, his ability to get to the basket would come in handy, even when playing off the ball. Although questions would arise, his talent and ceiling is too great to pass up at number four.

– Moke Hamilton

With the #5 pick, the Orlando Magic select Kristaps Porzingis.

A seven-foot player that can drive the ball and stroke the three-pointer is exactly the type of player the Magic need on their team. He’s very athletic and has displayed the necessary quickness needed to guard pick-and-rolls. He has also shown the ability to defend given his 1.5 steals and 2 block averages per 40 minutes, and he still has room to improve.

– Cody Taylor

With the #6 pick, the Sacramento Kings select Mario Hezonja.

Hezonja might actually be the perfect fit for Coach Karl’s system. After reportedly adding some bulk at 6’8″, he’s still agile and athletic enough to play the two or the three in a league where roster flexibility is key.

– Jabari Davis

With the #7 pick, the Denver Nuggets select Justise Winslow.

The Nuggets have a new coach that wants to be more aggressive defensively and Winslow can be a big part of that. Some have suggested Winslow could be one of the best talents in this draft, getting him at #7 might be a steal.

– Steve Kyler

With the #8 pick, the Detroit Pistons select Willie Cauley-Stein.

The NBA Draft is often more about best player available over fit. The Detroit Pistons need a backup center behind Andre Drummond, but they also need upgrades at shooting guard and small forward. Cauley-Stein, arguably the best defensive player in the draft and a true seven-footer is too talented for the Pistons to pass up.

– Eric Pincus

With the #9 pick, the Charlotte Hornets select Devin Booker.

Charlotte decided to part ways with Lance Stephenson this offseason so a hole has opened up at the shooting guard spot that Devin Booker would be a great fit for. Booker’s great shooting stroke, solid athleticism and team-first mindset will fill an immediate need for the Hornets. Booker’s talent and potential is a smart pick-up for a young Hornets team growing together and he should contribute right away even if coming off the bench to begin his career.

– Kyle Cape-Lindelin

With the #10 pick, the Miami HEAT select Frank Kaminsky.

Miami has a veteran-laden team that wants to make a run in the weak Eastern Conference in the 2015-16 NBA season, so drafting the NBA-ready Frank Kaminsky makes a lot of sense. He adds depth to their frontcourt and gives them a stretch-four who can space the floor, knock down shots and score down low as well. Miami has expressed interest in Kaminsky and with Devin Booker off of the board (who I’ve had Miami picking in our mock drafts simply as a “best player available” pick), I think the big man out of Wisconsin would be the HEAT’s pick.

– Alex Kennedy

With the 11th pick, the Indiana Pacers select Myles Turner.

The Pacers have been looking pretty seriously at point guards to give the team a more reliable distributor, but with Roy Hibbert and David West potentially gone in the next 12 months it’s time to start shoring up the frontcourt. Turner’s got as high a ceiling as anybody left on the board, and that potential added to great athleticism and good skills on both sides of the ball should make him a solid Lego brick for the team’s rebuild.

– Joel Brigham

With the 12th pick, the Utah Jazz select Stanley Johnson.

When a top-10 talent slides to you with 12th pick, you take it. He’s a versatile wing with a chiseled NBA body and plenty of upside as a two-way player, which will make a highly-rated Jazz defense even better. His improved shooting won’t hurt anything, either.

– E.J. Ayala

With the 13th pick, the Phoenix Suns select Cameron Payne.

I know, I know, the Phoenix Suns already have Eric Bledsoe and traded for Brandon Knight. But Knight is a restricted free agent who will demand a big raise. In Payne, the Suns get a rising point guard who may end up being one of the steals of this class.

– Jesse Blancarte

With the 14th pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Jerian Grant.

With the 14th pick in the 2015 Basketball Insiders group mock draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Jerian Grant. With point guard D.J. Augustin about to enter his final contract year, NBA-ready Grant is an ideal fit to compliment one of the league’s best at the position in Russell Westbrook. Grant, nephew of four-time NBA champion Horace Grant, has athleticism and tremendous size (6’5) and loves to pass the ball.

– Susan Bible

With the 15th pick, the Atlanta Hawks select Sam Dekker.

The Hawks need additional depth on the wing, but more importantly someone who can fit their style of play. Dekker is the guy in this range who possesses the length, outside shooting, willingness to play system ball and even slash to rack on occasion, something the Hawks sometimes lack. On paper this would be a solid mutual fit.

– Lang Greene

With the #16 pick, the Boston Celtics select Bobby Portis.

With Brandon Bass in free agency, Portis could fill his role through the draft. Portis has already talked about Kevin Garnett-like intensity and would look to bring a fire to the Celtics. The young team made strides by reaching the playoffs, and Portis’ “all-in” attitude would be a fit as they look to carry that momentum into next season.

– Jessica Camerato

With the #17 pick, the Milwaukee Bucks select Trey Lyles.

The Bucks feel like they’ve got talent at a lot of the important positions, but the reality is that they need to shore up their frontcourt with both Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova both gone. Lyles also is arguably the best player on the board at this point, so he works in a couple of different ways. He’ll be able to haul in some rebounds and knock down some shots. Perfect stretch-four for today’s NBA.

– Joel Brigham

With the #18 pick, the Houston Rockets select Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The former Arizona Wildcat has a grown man’s body and can defend in the NBA today. He’s the best available player on the board, has relentless energy, is tough as nails, and makes winning plays. Potential as a two-way wing if he continues to improve his shooting.

– EJ Ayala

With the #19 pick, the Washington Wizards select R.J. Hunter.

The strength of the Washington Wizards is their dynamic backcourt of Bradley Beal and John Wall. The problem is both guys have spent plenty of time in custom-made suits watching from the sidelines over the years due to injury. The need to improve depth at the guard position in this draft is critical. With both R.J. Hunter (shooting guard) and Tyus Jones (point guard) both available in this mock, it came down to who would be ready to play from day one. The Wizards are a playoff team and need guys who can contribute right away. Hunter is best positioned to do so, with great size, perimeter shooting and maturity.

– Lang Greene

With the #20 pick, the Toronto Raptors select Kevon Looney.

Looney should provide the Toronto Raptors with a serviceable big man who, while limited in some fashion, will get along well with coach Dwane Casey and his preference for bruising, hard-working big men. With Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough both set to hit the free agency market this summer, Looney would provide similar intangibles. Offensively, he is believed to possess some upside, as well. If Looney fills out and continues to be a strong rebounder and finisher around the rim, a few years from now, he could mark a nice get for general manager Masai Ujiri. Rarely do NBA teams find players this late in the draft that can immediately step in and fill a void, but for the Raptors, Looney may be able to provide just that.

– Moke Hamilton

With the #21 pick, the Dallas Mavericks select Jarell Martin.

I’ve been told that Martin has a mid first-round promise and I believe he’ll be off the board right around this point (or maybe even a bit earlier). Martin played very well this past season and has been shining during the pre-draft process. Sources say he received a promise from a team, which is why he stopped all workouts. Martin will bolster Dallas’ frontcourt and, at 21 years old, he can contribute right away if neccessary.

– Alex Kennedy

With the #22 pick, the Chicago Bulls select Tyus Jones.

Derrick Rose will never not be a mystery ever again, both in terms of health and output, so the time is ripe for Chicago to pluck a backup point guard with some potential of eventually taking over as a starter. Jones is a proven winner and hard worker, which fits in well with the Bulls’ locker room culture. Delon Wright or Terry Rozier would have worked fine here, but Jones slipping this far is a best-case scenario for the Bulls.

– Joel Brigham

With the #23 pick, the Portland Trail Blazers select Justin Anderson.

Anderson has the potential to be a great two-way player who can hit the open shot and has the athleticism to be a major threat in transition. He fits in nicely for the Blazers and can make his presence felt on defense, provide some insurance for Nicolas Batum and offers maturity that helped him be a leader for three years at Virginia.

– Kyle Cape-Lindelin

With the #24 pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Delon Wright.

The Cavs’ lack of depth on the perimeter was exposed repeatedly this postseason following Kyrie Irving’s multiple injuries. Wright is one of the oldest players in the class and almost certainly one of the most NBA-ready, and could contribute off the bench right away. He can check both guard spots and even some 3s in a pinch, and has a versatile offensive skill set. His lack of shooting is a bit of a concern, but as far as this pick goes, there isn’t a whole lot more help the Cavs could find in that area from a guy who’d also be able to stay on the floor on the other end.

– Ben Dowsett

With the #25 pick, the Memphis Grizzlies select Rakeem Christmas.

After a stellar run through the NBA workout gauntlet. Christmas has emerged as one of the more intriguing big men. Memphis covets size to potential replace Koustos Koufos and while shooting is a need. Christmas is cut from the same cloth as the other Memphis stand outs.

– Steve Kyler

With the #26 pick, the San Antonio Spurs select Terry Rozier.

With the 26th pick in the 2015 Basketball Insiders group mock draft, the San Antonio Spurs select Terry Rozier. The Spurs need a back-up point guard, and 6’2″ Rozier shows real promise as a player who can develop under our system. At Louisville, he proved he can score (17.1), rebound (5.6), steal (2.0) and defend at a high level. He’s a leader with energy and explosiveness; Tony Parker can teach him how to create for his teammates.

– Susan Bible

With the #27 pick, the L.A. Lakers select Rashad Vaughn.

Having gone with the frontcourt bulk of Okafor with the No. 2, the Lakers can solidify their backcourt by taking the 6’5 Vaughn. He made 38 percent from beyond the arc as a freshman at UNLV, but is far from just a spot-up shooter. His offensive creativity and versatility should blend well with Jordan Clarkson moving forward.

– Jabari Davis

With the #28 pick, the Boston Celtics select Chris McCullough.

The Celtics have made late first round picks in the past based on potential and upside (think Fab Melo). McCullough suffered a torn ACL this past season, so his rookie year will be his first in the NBA as well as his first back since the injury. That being said, the Celtics could take a chance on his athleticism and young talent.

– Jessica Camerato

With the #29 pick, the Brooklyn Nets select Montrezl Harrell.

While Harrell doesn’t exactly fit a glaring need on the Nets roster – he is the most talented/proven player left on the board. Considering that the Nets have traded away so many of their future first-rounders, they can not afford the luxury of drafting based on need – they have to take the best player available, and that is Harrell.

– Tommy Beer

With the #30 pick, the Golden State Warriors select Kelly Oubre.

Somehow along the way teams forgot about Kelly Oubre. The Golden State Warriors happily take the young swingman from Kansas, who even at 19-years old comes in with NBA athleticism.

– Eric Pincus

Analysis:

A couple of thoughts on this mock, as there are some things that stand out:

  1. There’s a zero percent chance that Oubre falls to the 30th pick unless some sort of phantom knee injury surfaces in the next six or seven hours. In the heat of a group mock assembled over three or four days, he’s just a guy that got overlooked at some point in the lottery and then people picking later started assuming it was time to start looking at players projected to go in the late 20s/early 30s. There really isn’t any team from pick #18 on who wouldn’t prefer Oubre over who they ended up with.
  2. There weren’t any major risks with the top five selections. It’s doubtful any of those fan bases would be too upset with any of those picks. It looks more or less like the right order.
  3. The Booker/Kaminsky picks at 9/10 will probably be swapped now that the Batum trade has gone down.
  4. There really weren’t any massive stretches here. Nobody had a guy they loved but who didn’t fit the range. Everybody was taken either at a discount or market value, more or less. Jerian Grant might have been a tiny reach at #14, but otherwise things look pretty equitable here.
  5. Montrezl Harrell and Oubre were the steals of the draft. Stanley Johnson at #12 looks like a pretty solid bargain, too.

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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