2015 NBA mock draft: Post-lottery edition
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns (PF/C, Kentucky, Fr., 19, 7-0, 248): While Jahlil Okafor will certainly be attractive to Flip Saunders' style of play, the Timberwolves ranked as the worst defensive team in the NBA last year and could desperately use the rim protection ability of Karl Towns. Additionally, Andrew Wiggins saw the biggest share of his offense in post-up situations last year, while Ricky Rubio is a complete non-shooter, which indicates that the floor spacing Towns could provide might be more valuable to the T'wolves than Okafor's back-to-the-basket game. Finally, Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng are far better fits alongside Towns than Okafor.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor (C, Duke, Fr., 19, 6-11, 272): The Lakers have been searching for a real low-post presence since they traded Shaquille O'Neal to Miami more than a decade ago. Enter Jahlil Okafor, the best back-to-the-basket scorer in the 2015 NBA draft. He won't do much to help what was the second-worst defense in the NBA last year, but he certainly fits into Byron Scott's old-school style of play. How will he mesh with an aging, yet ball-dominant Kobe?
3. Philadelphia 76ers – D'Angelo Russell (PG/SG, Ohio State, Fr., 19, 6-5, 193): With the two frontcourt studs off the board, Philadelphia looks to address its glaring hole at the point guard position, cleared by the Michael Carter-Williams trade and currently occupied by fringe NBA players Ish Smith and Isaiah Canaan. Russell gets the narrow edge here thanks to his superior outside shooting, which Philadelphia's front office has indicated is a major point of emphasis. His ball-handling, creativity and passing will fit well into the Sixers' poor offense (ranked worst in the NBA), and his ability to play off the ball fits next to Dario Saric as well. The Sixers did a lot of things poorly last season, but playing defense wasn't one of them (12th best), so they can probably live with Russell's limitations here with the likes of Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid patrolling the paint.
4. New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay (PG, Guangdong/International, 19, 6-5, 200): The Knicks sported the second-worst offense in the NBA last season, and thus could clearly use a shot in the arm on this end of the floor. With Jose Calderon nearing the end of his career, a big-time point guard like Emmanuel Mudiay makes perfect sense with the way the draft has been projected thus far. Most NBA teams agree there is somewhat of a drop-off after the top tier of two big men and guards, which makes this an easy choice for the New York Knicks.
5. Orlando Magic – Mario Hezonja (SG/SF, Barcelona/International, 20, 6-8, 200): After drafting their backcourt of the future the past two years, along with a position-less forward, the Magic may look to address their glaring lack of depth on the wing this time around. Hezonja has the skill level to play shooting guard, but is also big enough to guard most NBA small forwards. The Magic have gone with defensive-oriented players with their past three lottery picks, but Hezonja would give them a huge shot in the arm offensively, particularly from the perimeter, where they sorely need to add outside shooting to help floor spacing.
6. Sacramento Kings – Willie Cauley-Stein (C, Kentucky, Jr., 21, 7-1, 242): Willie Cauley-Stein is the most versatile defender in this draft class, and should have no problem playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, giving Kings coach George Karl plenty of lineup flexibility. The Kings sported a middle-of-the-road offense and the fourth-worst defense in the NBA last season. Having the luxury of a frontcourt piece like Cauley-Stein, who can defend seemingly any position on the floor, would go a long way.
7. Denver Nuggets – Justise Winslow (SF, Duke, Fr., 19, 6-7, 222): The Nuggets traded starting shooting guard Arron Afflalo at the deadline, and went with Randy Foye at that spot after that, which clearly calls for an upgrade. Justise Winlsow's toughness, unselfishness and track record as a winner should be attractive to a team that struggled with chemistry. He can also see minutes at small forward when the Nuggets inevitably decide to play small with Danilo Gallinari at the 4.
8. Detroit Pistons – Kristaps Porzingis (PF, Sevilla/International, 19, 7-0, 220): With Greg Monroe an unrestricted free agent, the Pistons are likely to be in the market for a starting power forward, one who complements stud starting center Andre Drummond. Having a floor spacer at that spot like Porzingis, instead of another post-oriented big man, could be beneficial for the offense. Frank Kaminsky and Myles Turner will likely get a long look here, as will bigger wing players like Stanley Johnson, Kelly Oubre and Hezonja.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Stanley Johnson (SF, Arizona, Fr., 18, 6-7, 242): Charlotte appears to have moved on from the Lance Stephenson experiment, and after using two top-10 picks on Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh the past two years, could very well be looking to upgrade on the wing, which has long been its weakest link. Stanley Johnson could pair with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to form one of the strongest, toughest and defensive minded 2/3 combos in the NBA, with the added benefit of being able to play small and guard a variety of positions. Shooting is also at a premium for the Hornets, who could also take a look at Kaminsky, Turner, Porzingis or an offensive minded wing like Hezonja or Devin Booker.
10. Miami Heat – Kelly Oubre (SF, Kansas, Fr., 19, 6-7, 203): Miami could seemingly go in a lot of directions here, with a trade certainly being one potential option. The Heat desperately need athleticism on the wing to hopefully replace Dwyane Wade one day, and Oubre certainly has a great deal of upside to grow into long-term. He has outstanding potential as a defender and is a developing shooter, which is something the Heat could absolutely use.
11. Indiana Pacers – Myles Turner (C, Texas, Fr., 19, 7-0, 239): The Pacers have indicated they intend to play a faster and more open style of offense next season. Drafting a stretch big man like Myles Turner could make sense with that in mind, especially if Indiana is serious about moving on from potential free agent Roy Hibbert (player option).
12. Utah Jazz – Frank Kaminsky (PF, Wisconsin, Sr., 22, 7-1, 231): The Jazz have built one of the most talented young rosters in the NBA, with an exciting blend of length and athleticism. Outside shooting has long been a priority of this new regime, and with that in mind, drafting one of the best shooters available in Frank Kaminsky could make a lot of sense. As good as the Rudy Gobert/Derrick Favors 4/5 combo is defensively, it would be helpful to have a real stretch 4 to plug in at times to help the team's spacing.
13. Phoenix Suns – Devin Booker (SG, Kentucky, Fr., 18, 6-6, 206): The Suns' roster transformation is an ongoing process, with the swingman positions continuing to look like the most pressing needs. Devin Booker is one of the best shooters in this draft class, and plays a position of need at the SG spot. He's got nice upside to grow into, which could make him a solid piece as part of Phoenix's long-term outlook.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Cameron Payne (PG, Murray State, So., 20, 6-2, 183): What do you give someone who has everything? It's almost unfair for arguably the most talented roster in the NBA to be adding a lottery pick, but this draft slot did lose a bit of value when a number of highly touted prospects who would have gone around this area decided to return to school. With no great options at the Thunder's biggest position of need, shooting guard, in sight here, the team will likely elect to go with the best talent available, which according to many NBA executives, is Murray State's Cameron Payne. A trade has to be considered an option here as well, as the Thunder have to be feeling some heat with Kevin Durant potentially becoming a free agent next summer.
15. Atlanta Hawks from Brooklyn Nets – Sam Dekker (SF, Wisconsin, Jr., 21, 6-9, 219): With forwards Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll entering free agency, the Hawks could certainly use some help at the 3/4 spots. Sam Dekker knows how to play without the ball and fit into an unselfish and team-oriented offense.
16. Boston Celtics – Bobby Portis (PF, Arkansas, So., 20, 6-11, 246): The Celtics need a true rim protector, but that will be difficult to find at this stage of the draft. Instead, they may look to add some depth at power forward, where they've been starting 30-year-old Brandon Bass, who becomes a free agent this summer (as does his backup Jonas Jerebko). It's easy to understand why Boston's top executive, Danny Ainge, doesn't sound overly optimistic about this year's draft, especially with recent withdrawals hurting the value of this pick.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Trey Lyles (PF, Kentucky, Fr., 19, 6-10, 241): Milwaukee is shallow at power forward, where it starts Ersan Ilyasova, who is entering the last guaranteed year of his contract. Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both combo forwards, and potential free agent Jared Dudley (player option) is a combo forward as well. Lyles is more of a traditional 4/5 who projects to be able to space the floor, which is an absolute necessity with the non-shooting Michael Carter-Williams as the primary ball-handler.
18. Houston Rockets from New Orleans Pelicans – Tyus Jones (PG, Duke, Fr., 19, 6-2, 185): Since Patrick Beverley (restricted free agent) went down with an injury, the Rockets have been giving heavy minutes to 37- and 38-year-old Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni, neither of whom have fully guaranteed contracts next season. With that in mind, point guard is absolutely a position the Rockets could look to address with this pick, with the likes of Jerian Grant, Jones and Payne, all likely go come off the board around this spot. Jones' shooting, playmaking and high basketball IQ will fit in nicely alongside the pieces the Rockets already have in place. His defensive limitations could be minimized with former Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard behind him.
19. Washington Wizards – Kevon Looney (PF, UCLA, Fr., 19, 6-9, 222): The Wizards have a very nice core in place with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, and could look to address the power forward spot, where they've played Paul Pierce and Nene, who is really more of a center. Looney could fit here.
20. Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (SF, Arizona, So., 20, 6-7, 211): The Raptors were statistically the worst defensive team to make the playoffs besides eighth-seeded Brooklyn, which could lead them to look toward that end of the floor in the draft. Hollis-Jefferson's ability to defend both swingmen positions, as well as the guard and power forward spots, could give whichever team that drafts him a great deal of lineup flexibility, which is valuable in today's NBA.
21. Dallas Mavericks – Jerian Grant (PG, Notre Dame, Sr., 22, 6-5, 198): With Rajon Rondo likely having played his last game in a Dallas uniform, the Mavericks have been forced to give way too many minutes to the likes of J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton, who are fringe NBA players at this point in their careers. That could lead Dallas to give a long look to the point guard spot, with Jones, Grant and Delon Wright among the group of players getting consideration. Grant lacks the upside of some of the younger players who will likely come off the board prior to this pick, but is a terrific passer with an outstanding feel for the game.
22. Chicago Bulls – Justin Anderson (SF, Virginia, Jr., 21, 6-6, 231): The Bulls have good depth throughout their roster, but may want to start thinking about adding more firepower on the wing as Mike Dunleavy Jr. (who turns 35 this summer) enters free agency, potentially along with 34-year-old Kirk Hinrich (player option). Anderson has the size, length and athleticism to defend shooting guards and small forwards and could bring outside shooting and toughness to an already physical roster.
23. Portland Trail Blazers – Montrezl Harrell (PF, Louisville, Jr., 21, 6-8, 253): The Trail Blazers have been looking for a hard-nosed big man to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge for some time now, and Harrell certainly fits that bill. His rebounding and defense could help their frontcourt, which struggles in those areas at times.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – R.J. Hunter (SG, Georgia State, Jr., 21, 6-6, 185): With Iman Shumpert (restricted) and J.R. Smith (player option) potentially becoming free agents this summer, the Cavs will likely look hard at adding some depth on the wing, either in free agency or the draft. R.J. Hunter has excellent shooting mechanics and good instincts as a passer, which could help him find a role alongside Cleveland's stars in David Blatt's offense.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Robert Upshaw (C, Washington, So., 21, 7-0, 258): With Kosta Koufos becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer (not to mention Marc Gasol), the Grizzlies will have to start thinking about the backup center position if he decides to bolt for greener pastures. Robert Upshaw comes with significant off-court red flags, but at this stage of the draft the reward might outweigh the risk considering how hard it is to find a legit rim protector.
26. San Antonio Spurs – Christian Wood (PF, UNLV, So., 19, 6-11, 216): Tim Duncan is an ageless wonder, but the Spurs could certainly use some frontcourt depth, with Aron Baynes, Matt Bonner and Jeff Ayres all entering free agency this summer. At 6-foot-11, with long arms and a soft touch, Wood is talented enough to get drafted much higher than this, and the Spurs could afford to be patient and develop him.
27. Los Angeles Lakers from Houston Rockets – Rashad Vaughn (SG, UNLV, Fr., 18, 6-5, 199): The Lakers are in talent-accumulation mode, and will likely be hoping to take the highest upside player they can find at this pick. Vaughn is the second-youngest player in this class and entered the year being considered a top-10 recruit before shot selection and chemistry issues at UNLV torpedoed his stock. The Lakers might decide to roll the dice and see if they are getting a much better prospect than what you would normally expect at the end of the first round. There's a huge shortage of true wing players in the NBA and this draft class in particular, so Vaughn may have some extra value.
28. Boston Celtics from Los Angeles Clippers – Jarell Martin (SF/PF, LSU, So., 20, 6-9, 239): With their second pick in the first round, the Celtics look to add depth. Martin is somewhat of a tweener, but he's extremely athletic and could develop into a solid contributor if he can improve the consistency of his jump shot, which could allow him to see minutes at small forward down the road.
29. Brooklyn Nets from Atlanta Hawks – Chris McCullough (PF, Syracuse, Fr., 20, 6-9, 199): After being forced to swap first-round picks with Atlanta, the Nets will have to dig for gold to try to bring some sorely needed talent onto their roster. One solution could be swinging for the fences for McCullough, who has the physical attributes and upside of a top-20 pick, but is a few years away from being able to contribute because of his lack of experience and the fact he's coming off a torn ACL. The most difficult thing to find in today's NBA is a power forward who can shoot 3s and block shots, and McCullough shows nice potential in those areas.
30. Golden State Warriors – Delon Wright (PG, Utah, Sr., 23, 6-6, 181): The Warriors have one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the NBA, so finding someone who can crack their lineup will be difficult this late, especially with the number of players who decided not to enter the draft in recent weeks. Delon Wright could be one interesting option, especially with the amount of shooting the team can surround him with, coupled with his ability to defend multiple positions.
31. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jordan Mickey (PF/C, LSU, So., 20, 6-8, 238)
32. Houston Rockets from New York Knicks – Andrew Harrison (PG/SG, Kentucky, So., 20, 6-6, 213)
33. Boston Celtics from Philadelphia 76ers – Aleksandar Vezenkov (SF, Aris/International, 19, 6-8, 200)
34. Los Angeles Lakers – Rakeem Christmas (PF/C, Syracuse, Sr., 23, 6-10, 243)
35. Philadelphia 76ers from Orlando Magic – Jonathan Holmes (SF/PF, Texas, Sr., 22, 6-9, 242)
36. Minnesota Timberwolves from Sacramento Kings – Nikola Milutinov (C, Partizan/International, 20, 7-0, 220)
37. Philadelphia 76ers from Denver Nuggets – J.P. Tokoto (SG, North Carolina, Jr., 21, 6-6, 196)
38. Detroit Pistons – Mouhammadou Jaiteh (C, Nanterre/International, 20, 6-11, 247)
39. Charlotte Hornets – Dakari Johnson (C, Kentucky, So., 19, 7-0, 265)
40. Miami Heat – George De Paula (PG, Pinheiros/International, 18, 6-6, 197)
41. Brooklyn Nets – Cliff Alexander (PF/C, Kansas, Fr., 19, 6-9, 235)
42. Utah Jazz – Timothe Luwawu (SG, Antibes/International, 20, 6-7, 205)
43. Indiana Pacers – Richaun Holmes (PF, Bowling Green, Sr., 21, 6-10, 243)
44. Phoenix Suns – Terry Rozier (PG, Louisville, So., 21, 6-2, 190)
45. Boston Celtics – Guillermo Hernangomez (C, Sevilla/International, 20, 6-11, 255)
46. Milwaukee Bucks – Michael Qualls (SG, Arkansas, Jr., 21, 6-5, 201)
47. Philadelphia 76ers from New Orleans Pelicans – Michael Frazier (SG, Florida, Jr., 21, 6-5, 199)
48. Oklahoma City Thunder – Anthony Brown (SF, Stanford, Sr., 22, 6-9, 211)
49. Washington Wizards – Olivier Hanlan (PG/SG, Boston College, Jr., 22, 6-4, 186)
50. Atlanta Hawks from Toronto Raptors – Cedi Osman (SF, Anadolu Efes/International, 20, 6-8, 190)
51. Orlando Magic from Chicago Bulls – Arturas Gudiatis (C, Zalgiris/International)
52. Dallas Mavericks – Norman Powell (SG, UCLA, Sr., 21, 6-4, 215)
53. Cleveland Cavaliers from Portland Trail Blazers – Joseph Young (SG, Oregon, Sr., 22, 6-2, 182)
54. Utah Jazz from Cleveland Cavaliers – Marc Garcia (SG, Manresa/International, 19, 6-6, 180)
55. San Antonio Spurs – Alpha Kaba (PF-C/Pau Orthez/International, 19, 6-10, 225)
56. New Orleans Pelicans from Memphis Grizzlies – Nedim Buza (SF, Spars Sarajevo/International, 20, 6-8, 199)
57. Denver Nuggets from Los Angeles Clippers – Daniel Diez (SF, San Sebastian/International, 22, 6-8, 216)
58. Philadelphia 76ers from Houston Rockets – Moussa Diagne (C Fuenlabrada/International, 21, 6-10, 218)
59. Atlanta Hawks – Alan Williams (C, UC Santa Barbara, Sr., 22, 6-8, 261)
60. Philadelphia 76ers from Golden State Warriors – Tyler Harvey (SG, Eastern Washington, Jr., 21, 6-4, 181)