Thursday, June 25, 2015

NBA Mock Draft

Just two hours away from the ceremony that will shape the NBA landscape for years to come there are still dozens of unanswered questions, ranging from the actual picks to possible Draft night trades, a yearly shocking experience. This is the order in which I think the first 10 players' names will be called out tonight.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, F-C, Kentucky(Fr), 6'11, 250

      He would be a great fit for the Wolves at the power forward spot, forming a great tandem with Andrew Wiggins. Although he is not as NBA ready as Jahlil Okafor I do think he will end up being the better player, as he will be more of a mid-range threat as opposed to Okafor, who will make a living on the low post. Fans in Minnesota finally have a reason to be excited.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State (Fr), 6'5, 180

     Even though most Mock Drafts place Okafor at number 2, I truly think Lakers executives will go small with this pick. Playing Okafor alongside Randle could translate into problems on the offensive end, as neither of the two have a mid-range game. Okafor will be a very good player in the NBA, but his lack of defensive presence and conditioning raise questions.

3. Philadelphia Sixers: Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke (Fr), 6'11, 270

    Sure, the Sixers have already drafted several bigs in the last couple of years, however, I believe they will take the best player available with the third pick, a player that will contribute as soon as he lands in Philly. Moreover, out of the three recently drafted big men, only one (Nerlens Noel) will be available this season, as Joel Embiid has suffered a setback with his foot injury and Dario Saric will stay in Europe for another year. Pairing a defensive minded big in Noel with a low post threat will positively reflect on the Sixers win column.

4. New York Knicks: Justise Winslow, F, Duke (Fr), 6'6, 225

    As I argumented in my previous post, the Knicks don't have the luxury of waiting for Kristaps Porzingis to blossom into a great player, and I feel like, although Phil Jackson likes big guards, Emmanuel Mudiay is still an unproven prospect. On the other hand, at only 19, Winslow has an already NBA body, and his versatility and defensive ability set him apart from other prospects.

5. Orlando Magic: Kristaps Porzingis, F, Baloncesto Sevilla, 7', 220

   The Magic are in the middle of a slow rebuilding process and can therefore aford to wait a couple of years until the Latvian power forward starts contributing on a nightly basis. I truly believe he has the most upside in this year's Draft. Furthermore, pairing a low post phenom like Nikola Vucevic with a stretch-4 that will give him room in the paint to operate seems like a combination that should give fans in Orlando something to cheer about.

6. Sacramento Kings: Emmanuel Mudiay, G, Guangdong Tigers, 6'5, 190

7. Denver Nuggets: Mario Hezonja, G, FC Barcelona, 6'8, 201

    Great offensive player, already a dangerous shooter, he is by far one of the most athletic European prospects in the last decade. He has a ton of upside, as he has played a limited role for European powerhouse FC Barcelona, mainly due to attitude related issues.

8. Detroit Pistons: Stanley Johnson, F, Arizona (Fr), 6'7, 245

    Forward who is always willing to play defense and with an NBA body. Stan Van Gundy generally likes this type of players.

9. Charlotte Hornets: Devin Booker, G, Kentucky (Fr), 6'6, 206

   The fact that the Hornets were a bad shooting team last season and that they have a free guard spot following the Lance Stephenson trade make Booker the ideal pick.

10. Miami Heat: Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin (Sr), 7', 234

   The first upperclassman in this year's Draft, Kaminsky will add depth to an already interesting frontcourt in Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside. His defense is below average and there are questions surrounding his strength, but he is an NBA ready player who be an outstanding low post scorer as soon as he steps in the league.

Get ready for a wild night.

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