2015 NBA Mock Draft

June 25th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Filed under Basketball, General, Sixers.

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In just about seven hours, the next generation of hopefuls will fulfill their dreams, hearing their names called on the biggest stage of all, the NBA Draft. The highly anticipated No.1 overall pick looks to join elite company such as LeBron James, Tim Duncan, and Patrick Ewing, amongst others as franchise changing players. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been on the clock since May 19th, and are widely expected to select Kentucky Wildcats big man Karl-Anthony Towns. However, we know from experience that there is no such thing as a sure thing, until his name is officially called. With that said, Anthony-Towns isn’t the only elite talent in this class. KAT, as he’s known is also joined by Duke big man Jahlil Okafor, and highly touted Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell as the top prospects in this deeply talented draft class. Keeping all of this in mind, let’s get down to business on the real reason why you’re here….the mock draft.

1.) Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl Anthony-Towns (PF/C- Kentucky)

Towns has been viewed as the “overwhelming” favorite to go No.1 overall, ever since his dominant performance during Kentucky’s pursuit of history this past season. Pretty close to the “perfect” big man, Anthony-Towns comes with his fair share of flaws….no matter how minor they may be. At 7’0″, he has the size and he certainly has the skill.  Towns also possesses a great basketball I.Q. This kid has something special, and is just starting to scratch the surface of his true potential.

2.) Sacramento Kings (via L.A. Lakers): Jahlil Okafor (PF/C- Duke)

The Kings acquire this pick in the first draft-day blockbuster.  By shipping all-star center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to “Tinseltown”, the Kings set themselves up nicely for the future by acquiring 2014’s 7th overall pick Julius Randle, 2014’s 46th overall pick Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers 2nd overall pick in 2015, and a top 10 protected pick in 2018, amongst other assets. This selection would give the Kings a dynamic duo in the front-court of Randle and Okafor for years to come.  Jahlil is arguably the most polished player in this draft, and stands a legitimate chance of sneaking into the No.1 spot.  However, I just don’t see the T-Wolves passing on a talent like Towns.

3.) Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Payne (PG/Murray State)

Sam Hinkie does it again. Hinkie loves to shake things up, and create shock waves.  This move is no exception.  Many believe, and expect Hinkie to grab Ohio State standout D’Angelo Russell, but I pencil them in with grabbing Payne. Cameron’s draft stock has skyrocketed in the month of June, catapulting him from a mid-late 1st rounder, to a lottery pick, to a possibly top 5 pick.  Payne’s a very intelligent point guard with a great ability to knock down jumpers from anywhere on the floor.  Fantastic range on his shot, and has a natural feel for the game.  Like Towns, this kid is something special.

4.) New York Knicks: D’Angelo Russell (PG/Ohio State)

“I can definitely thrive”.   Those were Russell’s exact words when asked about the Triangle Offense. Ironically enough, the Knicks run the triangle offense. Phil Jackson is hellbent on running his offense through Carmelo Anthony, and they’ll need someone to run the point, in order to do so.  Russell is their guy.

5.) Orlando Magic: Kristaps Porzingis (PF/Latvia)

Orlando LOVES this kid.  I mean, they have a full-on bromance going with this dude.  Porzingis has pretty much skyrocketed out of nowhere, much like Cameron Payne, to the top of the draft boards.  He is a big favorite inside of many NBA front offices, but Orlando is perhaps his biggest admirer/fan.  His skill set, and style of play is eerily reminiscent to Knicks center Andrea Bargnani.  Recent reports linking the 76ers to Porzingis, have prompted Orlando to keep a close eye, and possibly swing a deal to assure they land their man.  That’s an interesting dynamic to watch as the night unfolds.

6.) Sacramento Kings: Emmanuel Mudiay (PG/China)

Mudiay is considered to be one of the three “franchise-altering” prospects in the draft, but teams have shied away from him inside the top 3.  The fact that Mudiay skipped going to college, in order to sign a contract and play in China, has caused some to question his “maturity” level, and whether he really loves the game of basketball or just the money. I personally love what Mudiay brings to the table, and believe that he’ll succeed wherever he lands.

7.) Denver Nuggets: Frank Kaminsky (C/Wisconsin)

8.) Detroit Pistons: Justise Winslow (SF/Duke)

9.) Charlotte Hornets: Mario Hezonjia (PG/Croatia)

10.) Miami Heat: Willie Cauly-Stein (C/Kentucky)

11.) Indiana Pacers: Sam Dekker (SF/Wisconsin)

12.) Utah Jazz: Myles Turner (C/Texas)

13.) Phoenix Suns: Trey Lyles (PF/Kentucky)

14.) Oklahoma City Thunder: Stanley Johnson (SF/Arizona)

15.) Atlanta Hawks: Bobby Portis (PF/Arkansas)

16.) Boston Celtics: Kevon Looney (PF/UCLA)

17.) Milwaukee Bucks: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (SF/Arizona)

18.) Houston Rockets: Devin Booker (SG/Kentucky)

19.) Philadelphia 76ers (via Washington Wizards): Montrezl Harrell

20.) Toronto Raptors: Rashad Vaughn (SG/UNLV)

21.) Dallas Mavericks: Jerian Grant (PG/Notre Dame)

22.) Chicago Bulls: Tyrus Jones (PG/Duke)

23.) Portland Trailblazers: Guillermo Hernangomez (PF/Spain)

24.) Cleveland Caveliers: Justin Anderson (SG-SF/Virginia)

25.) Memphis Grizzlies: Jarell Martin (PF/LSU)

26.) San Antonio Spurs: Jordan Mickey (PF/LSU)

27.) Los Angeles Lakers: Delon Wright (PG-SG/Utah)

28.) Boston Celtics: Kelly Oubre (SF/Kansas)

29.) Brooklyn Nets: Terry Rozier (PG/Louisville)

30.) Golden State Warriors: RJ Hunter (SG/Georgia State)

There you have it folks.  The 2015 NBA Draft, picks 1-30 through my own eyes.  How do you guys believe the draft will turn out?   What do you want to see the Sixers do; trade up, trade down, or stay put?   Fire off your opinions in the comment section below, and feel free to give me a follow on Twitter @RyanW_TSP, and as always, you can follow TalkSportsPhilly on Twitter @talksportsphila.  

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