THIS IS THE PRIZE ALL THESE DRAFT MOVES ARE DESIGNED TO CHASE. NBA DRAFTS ARE WROUGHT WITH SOME BAD SCIENCE, FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE WRONG GUY (SOUND FAMILIAR GIRLS??) FOOLS’ GOLD AND THE OCCASIONAL (LEBRON, TIMMY D, KYRIE, “UNIBROW” MJ) NO-BRAINER THAT CHANGES FORTUNES AND GETS COACHES HIRED AND FIRED. GOOD LUCK TO ALL INVOLVED IN THIS 2015 ODYSSEY. HERE’S MY BEST GUESS AS TO WHO GOES WHERE. (I WILL NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY OF THIS, IT’S AN INDUSTRY HAZARD, WE MUST GUESS THEREFORE WE GUESS.)
By Tom Kirkland
Updated: June 23, 2015
OK, Three days before the NBA Draft night, I’ll take the Mock plunge. Tapping into the wisdom of so many others, like ESPN’s Chad Ford, NBA.com, CBSSports.com, Yahoosports.com, NB Draftnet, and others here’s my First Round mock for each team.
1–T’Wolves take Kentucky Big Karl Anthony Townes PF/C (Kentucky- Freshman)
19 years old | 7’0″ | 248 lbs
2014-15 NCAA (39 GP)
10.3PPG 6.7RPG 1.1APG 31.9PER
The most versatile big out there. most versatile one. Score in the post? . Pick n Roll and Pop and hit the 20 footer check. Even though Kentucky didn’t do much pick and rolling, KAT can do it, proven it in workouts. Can dude defend on the other end? KAT averaged 4.3 blocks per 40 minutes. Basically, Towns is the modern NBA Big with a very high ceiling.
2-Lakers take–this pick is very fluid with the Lakers trying to fleece the Kings out of Demarcus Cousins, to get Boogie it would cost the Lakers this pick. If no trade looks like LA grab DeAngelo Russell
PG/SG (Ohio St- Freshman) 19.years old | 6’5″ | 193 lbs2014-15 NCAA (35 GP)
19.3PPG 5.7RPG 5.0APG 26.9PER
Proven offensive dream, will put points in the books and draw bodies away from the aging Kobe. The Lakers rebuilding project starts with this crafty lefty who can flat score from anywhere. UNLESS they get the BOOGIE man away from the Kings.
3–Sixers grab yet another big, afraid to miss on a big man with ready-to-go NBA skills Philly takes Jahlil Okafor
C (Duke – Freshman) 19 years old | 6’11” | 272 lbs2014-15 NCAA (38 GP)
17.3PPG 8.6RPG 1.3APG 31.0PER
It’s a surprise but welcome to what I think will be a highly volatile top of the NBA Draft. No idea how much Okafor actually helps the Sixers but if he’s healthy and starting on opening night he’s the man, for now.
4–NY Knicks will leap at the chance to take Duke Freshman Justice Winslow
SF (Duke – Freshman) 19 years old | 6’7″ | 222 lbs2014-15 NCAA (39 GP)
12.6PPG 6.5RPG 2.1APG 22.6PER
Here’s a dream pick for the Knicks. Probably won’t elicite any profound boos from Knicks fans in NY. Winslow’s upside is huge. Can shoot, slash, defend the perimeter, with Coach K as a mentor Justice will be coachable and a potential star in a city of stars.
5– Orlando needs just about everything for new coach Scott Skiles. This 19 year old can shoot the deep 3 and has length to challenge on defense. His challenge will be to hook up with the Magic’s attack but with a new coach, the whole team’s learning on the fly. New Magicman is Kristaps Porzingis
PF (Sevilla- International) 19 years old | 7’0″ | 230 lbs2014-15 Eurocup, ACB (50 GP)
11.0PPG 4.6RPG 0.5APG 20.6PER
6–Kings take (assuming they DON”T deal Cousins to the Lakers, the new Kings are not so dumb as to deal one of the best Bigs in the…world) Emmanuel Mudiay
PG (Guangdong – International)
19 years old | 6’5″ | 200 lbs2014-15 China (12 GP)
18.0PPG 6.3RPG 5.9APG 18.7PER
I’m fairly certain six 19 years olds in a row to start the NBA Draft has never happened before. Mudiay’s stock’s been a roller-coaster. His length and ability to shoot from literally anywhere AND since Emmanuel had lights out workouts, this is his absolute bottom and he could go higher, just think the Kings love this kid as a running mate for Rudy Gay and a floor spacer to keep the double teams off Cousins.
7–Nuggets take — Mike Malone will start his brand in Denver with Mario Hezonja. He’s a stock rocket but there’s so much chalk ahead of him…Mario lands in Denver
SG/SF (Barcelona- International) 20 years old | 6’8″ | 200 lbs2014-15 Euroleague, ACB (62 GP)
5.8PPG 2.0RPG 1.2APG 14.0PER
8–Pistons take…Willie Cauley-Stein the 2nd of Kentucky’s 3-name=bigs. Cauley-Stein’s persistent foot issues or at least the fears of another big man with a bad foot has scared his stock down but the Pistons have to replace the likely departing Greg Monroe and this versatile stopper will make Stan Van smile all night long, on defense where he wants the Pistons to make a stand. There are murmurs that Indiana covets this defensive game-changer but that’s down at 11, not sure his foot questions will force him to fall that far. Could be a spot where Pacers move Roy Hibbert, does Van Gundy love Hibbert? I doubt it!
C (Kentucky – Junior) 21 years old | 7’1″ | 242 lbs2014-15 NCAA (39 GP)
8.9PPG 6.4RPG 1.0APG 24.3PER
9–Hornets take…the 3rd Wildcat in the top 10 BEST SHOOTER in the draft Devin Booker. Charlotte’s the worst shooting team in the league and just dealt enigmatic Lance Stephenson. This spot it iffy just matching worst shooting team with a known knockdown 3 pt assassin. Booker could fall but no lower than 13 or 14.
SG (Kentucky- Freshman) 18 years old | 6’6″ | 206 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (38 GP)
10.0PPG 2.0RPG 1.1APG 19.7PER
10–Heat takes–wow so many needs. Counting on healthy return of the blood clott-treated Chris Bosh, about to drop upwards of $80 Mill on Pt Guard Goran Dragic, so who does Dwayne Wade want? How could he not like…Arizona’s Stanley Johnson. The self-annointed “best player in the Draft!” Don’t be stunned if Wisconsin scoring machine Sam Dekkar lands here.
SF (Arizona- Freshman)
19 years old | 6’7″ | 242 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (38 GP)
13.8PPG 6.5RPG 1.7APG 23.0PER
11-Pacers take–Myles Turner. Breaking the Jazz hearts?? Pacers needs lots of help and this young high flier will help Larry Bird reset the Pacers frontcourt with the likely departure or at least de-emphasis of Roy Hibbert. Frank Vogel needs a big who can run and shoot and defend. WELCOME Mr Turner.
C (Texas- Freshman)
19 years old | 7’0″ | 239 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (34 GP)
10.1PPG 6.5RPG 0.6APG 26.2PER
12—Jazz take…I”ve been on him since the NCAA’s and Sam Dekkar’s workouts have bumped him steadily up the mocks. Highest is 8 to Detroit but I see 12 to Utah as Dekkar’s landing spot. He’s an athletic wing who can handle it, shoot it and has attitude for days. Jazz have longed for an offensive machine and I’m thinking Dekkar is the man. He’s Hayward with a chip and a knack for wanting and taking and making the big shot. Jazz haven’t had a certain go to kid late in games?? Now they do.
SF (Wisconsin – Junior)
21 years old | 6’9″ | 219 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (40 GP)
13.9PPG 5.6RPG 1.2APG 25.9PER
13–Suns take Dekkar’s older teammate, Sr Frank Kaminsky the National Player of the Year will arrive ready to contribute to a Phoenix approach that is about 180 degrees from what he learned with the set-heavy Badgers. He’s a big man with fancy footwork who can also step out and take that Phoenix staple, the transition 3. HIgh bkb IQ makes this a simple adjustment to a more free-wheeling system. I could also see Kaminsky and Dekkar flip-flopping at 12 and 13.
14-Thunder– OKC’s a wildcard in this draft, Billy Donovan’s first talent grab in his NBA infancy. He’s a pick n roll guru so I look for that skill set in this pick. OKC takes Kelly Oubre. The Kansas freshman has red flags with maturity issues but I’d expect Donovan to embrace that challenge and appeal to the young slasher who can also fire the deep 3 and work well in the pick n roll with KD or even Russell Westbrook.
SF (Kansas – Freshman)
19 years old | 6’7″ | 203 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (36 GP)
9.3PPG 5.0RPG 0.8APG 21.6PER
15-Hawks– A very attractive landing spot for all kinds of young talent. Coach Bud will take Bobby Portis, athletic bigman out of Arkansas.
PF (Arkansas- Sophomore)
20 years old | 6’11” | 246 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (36 GP)
17.5PPG 8.9RPG 1.2APG 30.0PER
The Hawks found out in the playoffs where life slows down and toughens up, that they need big strong bodies that can produce. An advanced NBA-ready motor seals this deal in Atlanta.
16-Boston–Danny Ainge has plenty of assets to wheel and deal, I haven’t accounted for any deals and how could I. It could shake the entire upper level of this Draft. Barring a trade, I expect Boston to take Trey Lyles, Kentucky’s 4th pick in the top 20!
PF (Kentucky- Freshman)
19 years old | 6’10” | 241 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (36 GP)
8.7PPG 5.2RPG 1.1APG 20.3PER
17-Bucks–Who doesn’t need shooters? JKidd knows he’s a better coach if his Bucks shoot it much better than they did at times last year. Milwaukee may be reaching a bit taking Ga State flamethrower R.J.Hunter. Older, strong and confident, Fear the Deer’s latest weapon
SG (Georgia St – Junior)
21 years old | 6’6″ | 185 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (34 GP)
19.5PPG 4.7RPG 3.5APG 26.0PER
18-Rockets take (love the shooters) and don’t buy the back injury that surfaced right after a scintillating workout with Houston. Rockets take Duke’s Freshman game-breaking shooter Tyus Jones.
PG (Duke – Freshman)
19 years old | 6’2″ | 185 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (39 GP)
11.8PPG 3.5RPG 5.6APG 20.6PER
19-Wizaards need a few areas addressed including backup Pt Guard and shocked that Cameron Payne fell so far, the Wizards grab the Murray St star. He will compliment the ascending backcourt duo of Walls and Beal, more quicks and handles and dimes and 3’s. Randy Whitman just became an even better coach!
PG (Murray St – Sophomore)
20 years old | 6’2″ | 183 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (33 GP)
20.3PPG 3.8RPG 6.0APG 29.5PER
20-Toronto takes UNLV’s scoring machine Rashad Vaughn. His only season in Vegas was somewhat short-circuited by team issues and Vaughn’s ridiculously good Santa Monica workout shot his stock up. Maybe higher than 20 but if he’s there the Raptors take the bite
SG (UNLV Freshman)
18 years old | 6’5″ | 199 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (22 GP)
18.3PPG 4.8RPG 1.6APG 21.2PER
21-Mavs desparate for a pass-first point guard to start their quick rebuild, take Utah’s Delon Wright. Only concern is Wright’s sporadic shooting skills, nowhere to be found in the Utes run to the Sweet 16 but when they reached for Rajon Rondo the Mavs proved they don’t need a point that’s a knockdown shooter.
PG (Utah- Senior)
23 years old | 6’6″ | 181 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (34 GP)
14.7PPG 5.0RPG 5.0APG 29.5PER
22- Bulls leap to take the surprisingly falling Pt Guard Jerian Grant from nearby Notre Dame. Workouts have been solid, Grant could go higher but likely won’t fall lower than here to Chicago, a great fit behind or sometimes alongside Derrick Rose, Jerian’s Dad Horace can tell his son lots of Chicago stories, already a fan-fav based on family connections!
PG (Notre Dame- Senior)
22 years old | 6’5″ | 198 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (38 GP)
16.5PPG 3.0RPG 6.6APG 25.7PER
23-Blazers thinking ahead? You’ll get a feel for whether Portland thinks LeMarcus Aldridge will bolt in Free Agency. Blazers take UCLA’s Wing/ForwardKevin Looney, who they’ve seen a lot in the PAC-12. This team could also grab Montrezl Harrell or maybe Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. His stock dropping due to early weak workouts and concerns for Athsma condition but Looney’s had a few monster workouts lately and will help Portland a lot.
PF (UCLA- Freshman)
19 years old | 6’9″ | 222 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (36 GP)
11.6PPG 9.2RPG 1.4APG 22.4PER
24-Cavs love Virginia’s Justin Anderson and will take Anderson with their first pick. The Virginia star has been solid to great in workouts and NBA world now accepts that indeed Justin can shoot the NBA 3! This maybe the ceiling draft spot for Anderson, Montrezl Harrell could be the Cavs pick here I just like Anderson’s team-first attitude and high end motor
SF (Virginia Junior)
21 years old | 6’6″ | 231 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (26 GP)
12.2PPG 4.0RPG 1.7APG 24.2PER
25-Grizzlies–Make good on a promise many think they made to LSU’s star Jarell Martin Need at small forward makes this make sense.
SF/PF (LSU- Sophomore)
21 years old | 6’9″ | 239 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (33 GP)
16.9PPG 9.2RPG 1.8APG 21.9PER
26-Spurs always seem to have the goods on some of the teams in front of them. San Antonio has needs but also must know Tim Duncan’s returning for at least 1 more season. So Spurs take Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Best available player. Hollis-Jefferson can shoot the 3 and defend the 3. He can also handle some 2’s, 3’s and maybe 4.s on defense and he’s certainly Spurs-Tough!
SF (Arizona- Sophomore)
20 years old | 6’7″ | 211 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (38 GP)
11.2PPG 6.8RPG 1.6APG 22.3PER
27-Lakers, a 2nd pick in the first round, the poor get richer? Maybe. Lakers will grab the falling Montrezl Harrell. Not the biggest kid nor does he bring the biggest motor but he’s tough enough if the Lakers can get him to work every night. Enter Kobe the “tough love” king.
PF (Louisville- Junior) 21 years old | 6’8″ | 253 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (35 GP)
15.7PPG 9.2RPG 1.4APG 25.2PER
28-Celtics 2nd pick in Round one and they go with Louisville leader Terry Rozier. Wowed at the NBA Draft Combine, brings energy and defense-first mentality.
PG (Louisville- Sophomore)
21 years old | 6’2″ | 190 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (36 GP)
17.1PPG 5.6RPG 3.0APG 22.4PER
29-Brooklyn–Among the neediest teams in the NBA finally getting a draft pick, the Nets go with late first round value pick Chris McCoullough from Syracuse
PF (Syracuse- Freshman)
20 years old | 6’9″ | 199 lbs 2014-15 NCAA (16 GP)
9.3PPG 6.9RPG 1.1APG 19.3PER
30-Warriors need-ah–not much! But they’ll take their pick in the first round and have the luxury of picking a bit of a project…in attitude and effort anyway. ChristianWood has killer athleticism and skillset but turned lots of teams off with his attitude. With David Lee departing, there’s a hole down low. Andrew Bogut can be the “tough love” teacher for this kid in need of direction. The World Champs will give Wood a serious “checkup from the neckup” and they may just strike gold in the Golden State.
PF (UNLV- Sophomore)
19 years old | 6’11” | 216 lbs
THAT’S IT FOR MY GUESSWORK…GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE PLAYERS, I’LL BE GLUED TO SEE HOW MY HANDICAPPING PLAYS OUT! Hit me up on twitter @tksportstweets to blast me or praise me or tell me where you agree/disagree!