2015 NBA re-draft: The way it should have been

As far as NBA drafts go, 2015 was a fairly average one, with a good amount of solid depth on it, at least one superstar, or two, depending on how you see things, and just a few busts. We also have a few players who went undrafted that year get taken in this re-draft, including one who went No. 6 overall.

Meanwhile, a player who didn’t even go in the Top 10 did take the top spot in this re-draft while the actual No. 3 pick plummeted down the ranking in this exercise.

Below, check out our 2015 NBA re-draft, with the players taken in the order they should have gone in.

No. 1 pick: Devin Booker

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The second-to-last pick in the lottery of 2015, Devin Booker has exceeded every expectation, currently having a strong case to be considered the best shooting guard in the league. Booker also has team success behind him, with the Suns winning a whole lot of games over recent years, including in 2020-21 when they came within two wins of the franchise’s first championship. Booker is showing no signs of remotely slowing down, either, as his three-level scoring and playmaking have him looking like a perennial All-Star for the foreseeable future.

Actual position: No. 13
Career earnings: $98,316,565
Career stats: 23.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.7 apg, 45.8 FG%, 35.7 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 2 pick: Karl-Anthony Towns

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Karl-Anthony Towns was the leader of the Kentucky team that nearly went undefeated before falling in the Final Four to Wisconsin, on what was a loaded Wildcats team. The No. 1 pick in 2015, Towns slides down one spot in this re-draft, though it’s impossible to call him a disappointment in any way, as he has already established himself as one of the best shooting big men ever, as well as a 20-and-10 double-double machine. The only thing Towns is missing is team success, though that might come now behind his partnership with Anthony Edwards.

Actual position: No. 1
Career earnings: $114,123,435
Career stats: 23.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 52.7 FG%, 39.3 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 3 pick: Kristaps Porzingis

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The unicorn Kristaps Porzingis looked well on his way to being a superstar early on in his career as a member of the Knicks, but injuries caused him to fail to live up to that massive potential. That might be a little unfair, however, as he’s still clearly one of the best players from his draft class, an outside big man who shoots three from quite deep, can face-up and score from the midrange and block loads of shots on the other end.

Actual position: No. 4
Career earnings: $107,053,494
Career stats: 19.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 44.9 FG%, 35.6 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 4 pick: D'Angelo Russell

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D’Angelo Russell has had his ups and downs throughout his career, as evidenced by his having switched teams five times already be it through trades or free agency, but at his best, he’s a confident bucket-getting lead guard with creativity as a playmaker and basically zero defensive impact.

Actual position: No. 2
Career earnings: $108,965,728
Career stats: 17.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 42.4 FG%, 36.0 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 5 pick: Myles Turner

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A shot-blocking, floor-spacing specialist, Myles Turner is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now and has more than lived up to the expectations placed upon him when the Pacers selected him 11th overall in 2015.

Actual position: No. 11
Career earnings: $64,436,434
Career stats: 13.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 49.6 FG%, 35.7 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 6 pick: Christian Wood

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From undrafted to the sixth player taken in our re-draft, Christian Wood definitely benefited some from his raw numbers being impressive, as his actual impact on winning has long remained in question, with his name even popping up in trade rumors this season with the Mavericks. Still, Wood is a greatly talented modern big man who can space the floor, attack the basket and block shots.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $31,054,897
Career stats: 14.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 52.1 FG%, 37.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 7 pick: Larry Nance Jr.

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For a while, the Lakers had a great run of late-first-round picks who popped, one of them being Larry Nance Jr. Now a Pelican, Nance Jr. is an explosive big man with great finishing ability near the rim and underrated playmaking chops on the short roll.

Actual position: No. 27
Career earnings: $41,234,325
Career stats: 8.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 53.7 FG%, 33.3 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 8 pick: Norman Powell

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Norman Powell is one of this draft class’ success stories, a mid-second-round pick who has unquestionably become one of the 10-best players from his class. Powell is a wing who can space the floor from three but also do some scoring as a slasher and in transition, though his defense leaves something to be desired at times.

Actual position: No. 46
Career earnings: $48,862,988
Career stats: 8.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 53.7 FG%, 33.3 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 9 pick: Terry Rozier

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A solid peak earlier in his career is what earned Terry Rozier his place in this re-draft, as nothing he has done over recent seasons warrants a Top 10 pick. Rozier can score and create some but is too selfish of a player and not efficient enough to warrant his confidence on the basketball court.

Actual position: No. 16
Career earnings: $65,469,709
Career stats: 13.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 41.7 FG%, 37.0 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 10 pick: Bobby Portis

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An impressive college career saw Bobby Portis get drafted in the first round in 2015, though not as high as we believe he should have gone, as Portis has been one of the league’s better bench bigs during his time in the NBA. Capable of shooting the ball at a high level and scoring down low, too, Portis is an offensive-minded big man who plays with toughness and bundles of energy.

Actual position: No. 22
Career earnings: $29,729,986
Career stats: 11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 47.3 FG%, 37.8 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 11 pick: Kevon Looney

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Originally a point guard in a big man’s body in high school – seriously, look up his high-school mixtape, it’s nuts – Kevon Looney had a lot of hype heading into UCLA, even receiving comparisons to Kevin Durant due to his skill level and shooting touch from the outside as a prospect. Well, even in college, it quickly became apparent Looney would not be a Durant, or even a wing, long-term, as the big man had to learn to adapt his game in order to succeed. And succeed he has, as Looney, after going 30th overall in 2015, remains an important piece for the Warriors dynasty, starting many hugely important games for them – just as a center, not a point guard anymore – and winning three titles with the franchise.

Actual position: No. 30
Career earnings: $19,817,476
Career stats: 5.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 58.2 FG%, 17.2 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 12 pick: Tyus Jones

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A national championship-winning point guard at Duke, Tyus Jones still fell to No. 24 in his draft class due to poor measurables and average – at best – athleticism. Jones has proven doubters wrong, though, as he is currently one of the better backup point guards in the NBA, one that may not post huge numbers but makes a very big impact whenever he’s on the floor.

Actual position: No. 24
Career earnings: $33,846,623
Career stats: 6.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 43.4 FG%, 35.6 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 13 pick: Kelly Oubre

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly Oubre Jr. slots in at No. 13 in our re-draft, two spots ahead of where he actually went in 2015. Oubre really lacks efficiency, often taking bad shots and making poor decisions with the ball, which lessen the impact he should be making based on his freakish athletic gifts. Oubre remains one of the game’s high-flyers, though perhaps a bit less so than earlier on in his career.

Actual position: No. 15
Career earnings: $51,228,550
Career stats: 12.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 43.3 FG%, 32.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 14 pick: Montrezl Harrell

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Lack of size caused Montrezl Harrell, who won an award for the nation’s best power forward in college, to fall to the second round of the 2015 draft, and after a hot start to his career, we’re starting to see why over recent campaigns. That lack of size and basically nil defensive impact have taken Harrell from winning Sixth Man of the Year in 2019-20 to now averaging 5.7 points per game.

Actual position: No. 32
Career earnings: $34,495,282
Career stats: 12.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 61.9 FG%, 11.4 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 15 pick: Josh Richardson

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Originally thought of as a huge steal, going from 40th-overall pick to starting for the Miami Heat in just Year-2 of his career, Josh Richardson has looked more like a second-round pick since leaving Miami, never reaching the heights he did in 2018-19 when he averaged 16.6 points while starting 73 games in Miami. Richardson is pretty much just a role player at this point, one who is a tough defender, can hit open shots and even drain some looks off the dribble.

Actual position: No. 40
Career earnings: $44,836,167
Career stats: 12.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 42.9 FG%, 36.4 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 16 pick: Royce O'Neale

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Undrafted coming out of Baylor in 2015, Royce O’Neale spent years playing overseas, including in Liga ACB, widely considered the second-best basketball league in the world, before breaking through with the Jazz as a 3-and-D specialist with defensive versatility. O’Neale remains a tough-nosed, productive role player.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $21,112,377
Career stats: 6.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, 43.8 FG%, 38.6 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 17 pick: Richaun Holmes

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In and out of the rotation this season in Sacramento, Richaun Holmes has still outplayed his actual draft position, though it’s disappointing off-the-court issues have derailed what looked like a promising career heading into 2022-23. A master at finishing out of the pick-and-roll thanks to his bounce and screen-setting, we’ll see if Holmes can get back on track, maybe on a new team, next season.

Actual position: No. 37
Career earnings: $25,327,752
Career stats: 9.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 60.7 FG%, 26.7 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 18 pick: Delon Wright

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More beloved by analytics than raw production, Delon Wright checks in at No. 18 in our re-draft, just two spots ahead of where he actually went in his draft class. Wright is a solid backup, one who can aptly run an offense and make some shots but one who particularly shines defensively, where he is a master of taking the ball away from opponents.

Actual position: No. 20
Career earnings: $34,268,738
Career stats: 7.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 45.2 FG%, 35.1 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 19 pick: Cam Payne

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The final pick in the 2015 lottery, Cameron Payne looked well on his way to being a bust over his first couple of NBA seasons, averaging just 6.0 points over his first four campaigns. Joining the Suns changed everything for Payne, though, as he is now quietly one of the better backup point guards in the league, playing a vital role on one of the NBA’s top contenders over the past few league years. Payne’s quickness, finishing ability and outside shooting have really come on strong since his joining the Suns.

Actual position: No. 14
Career earnings: $18,451,095
Career stats: 8.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 42.0 FG%, 36.5 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 20 pick: Pat Connaughton

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Pat Connaughton was a two-sport stud at Notre dame, playing both college basketball and baseball before going pro in the former, a wise decision considering he remains a steady role player. Connaughton has freakish athleticism and a pretty, though inconsistent, jumper, which has led to him having a better NBA career than expected.

Actual position: No. 41
Career earnings: $16,606,768
Career stats: 6.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 43.8 FG%, 36.3 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 21 pick: Cedi Osman

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A high-second-round pick in 2015, Cedi Osman has pretty much lived up to the billing, still, an NBA rotational player with 3-and-D capabilities to this day, though without the potential to be much more than that anymore. Still, Osman has enjoyed a solid NBA career, proving he clearly has a place in the top basketball league in the world.

Actual position: No. 31
Career earnings: $25,298,914
Career stats: 9.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 42.7 FG%, 34.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 22 pick: Justise Winslow

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Another bust from the 2015 class, ESPN announcer Jay Bilas would often compare Justise Winslow to James Harden while calling Duke games due to their southpaw similarities and strong shoulders, which would help them get to the rim and finish with aplomb. Those similarities certainly did not translate to the NBA, as Winslow’s small hands gave him trouble finishing around the rim as a pro as his poor outside shooting has really negated his offensive potential. Still, he remains a solid, versatile defender and a decent-enough backup option.

Actual position: No. 10
Career earnings: $41,131,565
Career stats: 8.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 41.2 FG%, 31.5 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 23 pick: TJ McConnell

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Very few expected TJ McConnell to have as long of an NBA career as he has had, still grinding along as an impactful backup point guard and one of the best steals artists in the league to this day. McConnell had an impressive college career at Arizona but went undrafted due to his lack of size and average – and that’s putting it kindly – athleticism. But to this day, he remains an absolute bulldog at point guard and a very solid backup.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $18,971,631
Career stats: 6.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 50.5 FG%, 33.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 24 pick: Trey Lyles

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On what was a loaded Kentucky roster, Trey Lyles was seen as one of its best pro prospects, even going ahead of Booker in the 2015 draft. Lyles was somewhat hyped coming in despite mundane college production thanks to his high level of skill and outside-shooting potential, though that potential has been pretty much unmet, as Lyles has been a pretty average deep-bench piece his entire NBA career.

Actual position: No. 12
Career earnings: $23,886,049
Career stats: 7.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 44.3 FG%, 34.0 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 25 pick: Frank Kaminsky

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Frank Kaminsky was a very fun player to watch in college, a big man with a lot of skill as a ball-handler, shooting touch and crafty moves in the post. His lack of strength has hurt him in the NBA, however, and there’s no question he has disappointed relative to his lottery status in his draft class.

Actual position: No. 9
Career earnings: $20,411,555
Career stats: 8.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 43.1 FG%, 34.9 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 26 pick: Willy Hernangomez

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A product of the Real Madrid academy who also won Eurobasket MVP with Spain in 2022, Willy Hernangomez was an early second-round pick and has performed pretty much like one, outpacing his actual draft position by about 10 spots in our re-draft. Hernagomez can do some scoring and rebounding but lacks the athleticism and skill to be an every-night key player in today’s NBA.

Actual position: No. 35
Career earnings: $10,048,350
Career stats: 7.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 53.4 FG%, 29.4 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 27 pick: Juan Toscano-Anderson

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Undrafted after a four-year career at Marquette, Juan Toscano-Anderson ground away for years to make it to the NBA, including spending time in Mexico, before breaking through as a decent bench piece for a Warriors team that eventually won another championship in 2022.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $2,995,745
Career stats: 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 51.9 FG%, 34.7 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 28 pick: Willie Cauley-Stein

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Willie Cauley-Stein got off to a decent enough start in the NBA, earning All-Rookie Team honors, and even had a couple of seasons where he averaged double-digit points. But his very limited offensive game – he was mostly just a lob threat without much defensive or rebounding impact – caused his NBA career to fall off a cliff once he lost even an ounce of athleticism.

Actual position: No. 6
Career earnings: $25,848,040
Career stats: 8.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 54.4 FG%, 18.8 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 29 pick: Jahlil Okafor

Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor

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One of the biggest busts of his draft class, Jahlil Okafor was just a player in the wrong era, a ground-bound, back-to-the-basket big man. The former Duke standout had a plethora of moves down low and was a fun player to watch go to work in the post, but the NBA’s abandonment of the post game, as well as his slow feet and poor defensive awareness, cursed his NBA career from the start.

Actual position: No. 3
Career earnings: $21,649,023
Career stats: 10.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 54.2 FG%, 22.2 3P%
Scouting Report

No. 30 pick: Quinn Cook

Quinn Cook
Quinn Cook

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No longer in the NBA, Quinn Cook was a serviceable backup point guard for years, winning multiple championships as a deep bench piece. He could hit some shots from three and create plays but his lack of size and athleticism really hindered his NBA chances for a long career.

Actual position: Undrafted
Career earnings: $6,812,336
Career stats: 6.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 46.1 FG%, 40.8 3P%
Scouting Report

Biggest risers

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Christian Wood: From undrafted to No. 6
Royce O’Neale: From undrafted to No. 16
TJ McConnell: From undrafted to No. 23
Juan Toscano-Anderson: From undrafted to No. 27
Quinn Cook: From undrafted to No. 30
Norman Powell: From No. 46 to No. 8 (+38)
Josh Richardson: From No. 40 to No. 15 (+25)
Pat Connaughton: From No. 41 to No. 20 (+21)
Larry Nance Jr.: From No. 27 to No. 7 (+20)
Richaun Holmes: From No. 37 to No. 17 (+20)
Kevon Looney: From No. 30 to No. 11 (+19)
Montrezl Harrell: From No. 32 to No. 14 (+18)

Highest picks not listed


Mario Hezonja: No. 5
Emmanuel Mudiay: No. 7
Stanley Johnson:
No. 8
Rashad Vaughn: No. 17
Sam Dekker: No. 18
Jerian Grant: No. 19
Justin Anderson: No. 21
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: No. 23
Jarell Martin: No. 25

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Story originally appeared on HoopsHype