Here are the rules:
- Chip Williams and I are putting on our GM caps and switching picks.
- Trades are possible.
- No picking Memphis Tigers.
*The draft order is as of March 10, 2015. Some changes have transpired between now and then.
With the first pick, the New York Knicks select........Jahlil Okafor (6'11" 270lbs.) Center, Duke.
Chip: Listen, for the two or three years, Jahlil Okafor has been projected as the No.1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, and the Duke standout has done nothing to suggest that he is not deserving of being selected with the top pick come June. Okafor already has a better offensive skill-set than the majority of NBA centers, and while his defense does need some work, his domination on offense will overshadow his defensive shortcomings. The Knicks need to win and win soon because Carmelo Anthony only has maybe three or four really good years before he enters a steep decline, and Okafor should be an All-Star level center within his first three seasons (partly because of the position he plays and partly because he's really freaking good).
Jonah: Jahlil scares me so much. I just don't know about him. He could be a slower DeMarcus Cousins or Eddy Curry. I don't know what the in-between for him is. I wouldn't take him number one considering the other big man talent that's out there.
With the second pick, the Philadelphia 76ers select.......D'Angelo Russell. (6'5" 180 lbs.) Shooting Guard, Ohio St.
Jonah: I'm going to start this off by saying that the Philadelphia 76ers could do anything here and it wouldn't surprise anyone. They could trade this pick and Joel Embiid for, like, 7 second round picks and everyone will shrug and say "that darn Sam Hinkie sure knows what he's doing". I think D'Angeolo Russell is the best guard in this draft and will pair perfectly with Tony Wroten. He can shoot the lights out and is a dynamic play maker. I think after the workouts and combine, Russell will be considered the guy with the highest upside in the draft. Wroten/Russell/Noel/Embiid would immediately make the 76ers a must-watch league pass team next year.
Chip: I was REALLY hoping that D'Angelo Russell would fall to the T'Wolves at the third pick. He's a very interesting talent with crazy upside.
There has been a trade:
Since D'Angelo Russell isn't available, the T'Wolves want out of the No. 3 pick, and they've struck a deal with the Sacramento Kings.
Timberwolves receive: Nik Stauskas, Darren Collison, and the No. 7 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
King receive: Chase Budinger and the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Chip: As for the trade, Sacramento gives up a lot without actually hurting itself. The Kings seemed to have been willing to part with Stauskas for some time, and the addition of Mudiay makes Collison more expendable.
From a T'Wolves perspective, they don't necessarily need Mudiay or Karl-Anthony Town, and they'd be reaching if they were to select a Mario Hezonja, Justice Winslow or Kristaps Porzingis. So by trading down four spots, they pick up a proven veteran point guard in Collison who can be played as a backup to Ricky Rubio or utilized as an off-guard with Rubio since both are very different point guards. Stauskas gives them a young two-guard to develop along with their young core. And Minnesota still gets to pick in the top 10.
Jonah: I like this deal, but I wish the Timberwolves could find someone to dump Pekovic on. I think the Timberwolves are trying to move back in hopes Towns falls to them. I don't think that's going to happen.
With the third pick, the Sacramento Kings select.........Emmanuel Mudiay (6'5" 200lbs.) Point Guard, Guangdong (Chinese Basketball Association)
With the fourth pick, the Los Angles Lakers select...........Karl-Anthony Towns (6'11" 250 lbs.) Center, Kentucky
With the fifth pick, the Orlando Magic select.......Mario Hezonja (6'8" 200 lbs.) Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Barcelona (Croatia)
Chip: The Magic have built themselves a really nice young core, and I think they take the best player on the board regardless of position. I almost went Kristaps Porzingis - who has the potential to be a 7-foot scoring maniac and equal potential to be out of the NBA in three years. But Hezonja makes the most sense. At 6'8", the Croatian can play either wing position next to Victor Oladipo or Tobias Harris. Additionally, Hezonja provides insurance just in case Harris bolts in the offseason. Hezonja is an incredibly efficient scorer - knocking down 41.5 percent of his threes this past season - and has the length and athleticism to be a plus defender in the NBA.
Jonah: I can't tell you how much I love Mario. Literally every single thing that has come out about him has made me love him more.
With the sixth pick the Minnesota Timberwolves (via Sacramento Kings) select........Myles Turner (6'11" 243 lbs.) Center, Texas.
Jonah: It's obvious that Nikola Pekovic isn't the long term answer at center so the Timberwolves need a replacement. He also shores up any rim protections issues the young Wolves have. Offensively he can space the floor while Wiggins works smaller defenders on the block or Gorgui Dieng does Gorgui stuff. Kevin Garnett a young guy that isn't unlike himself to mentor and scare the crap out of on a daily basis. It may take him a year or two, but Turner is going to contribute on a big stage and this is the perfect team for him to grow with.
Chip: Turner seems like one of those guys that, if you're patient with him, could be a really good, but he won't be an instant success in the league and six seems like a bit of a reach for me, honestly. He can afford to add some weight to his frame, but he does have some serious skill, and it'd be great if he could learn behind KG for a year or two - but KG may completely ruin him.
With the seventh pick, the Denver Nuggets select........Stanley Johnson (6'8" 243 lbs.) Small Forward, Arizona.
Chip: I LOVE STANLEY JOHNSON. AND I LOVE HIM SO MUCH MORE AT SEVEN. I think Johnson has a very legit chance at being a top-five pick in this years draft. I mean, what's not to like? He's got a massive frame with a 7-foot wingspan; he's averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals per game as a freshman, and he's a really, really good defender. He's the best player left on the board at this point, and he's going to be so much fun on that Nuggets roster with Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson. Johnson will need to work on his jumpshot if he wants to reach his full potential, but he has the tools to be starting NBA three for very long time.
Jonah: The Nuggets are such a weird situation. Stanley Johnson could be really good, but that situation could ruin him. Jalen Rose preaches about a team being right for a player and he's right. The Nuggets small forward position is stacked and they have an uneasy coaching situation. I don't know if the Nuggets and Johnson are right for each other.
With the eighth pick, the Detroit Pistons select.....Justise Winslow (6'6" 225 lbs.) Small Forward, Duke.
Jonah: I, like Detroit will, tried to find a trade that would combine Brandon Jennings and the eighth pick, but couldn't find anything that made sense for either side. So the Stan Van Gundy goes with the best player available and that's Winslow. Winslow could be a special defensive player on the NBA level due to his instincts, motor and athleticism. Van Gundy will be great for Winslow's not so consistent offensive game and overall development in general.
Chip: Winslow in Detroit is something I could get on board with. Winslow will have every opportunity to play small forward in Detroit, but I do somewhat worry about him as a player. He's a tremendous athlete with a high ceiling, but he has a long way to go as an player. Stan Van Gundy is probably the right guy in terms of helping the development of Winslow, but I have questions about him. They always say, though, if you're going to miss on a player, miss on a player that's a great athlete and Winslow is most definitely that.
With the ninth pick, the Atlanta Hawks select.......Willie Cauley-Stein (7'0" 244 lbs.) Center, Kentucky
Chip: I love this fit so much. Cauley-Stein is most likely ready to come in from day one and be in the Hawks rotation backing up Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Cauley-Stein is ridiculously long and athletic, and he has potential to be an elite rim-protector and shot-blocker. He could afford to add a little bit of weight to his frame in order to deal with some of the bigger, stronger big men he will face in the league, and his offensive game could use some work. But in terms of coming in right away and playing a role immediately for a very good basketball team, I'm not sure there's a better fit an Willie Cauley-Stein to the Hawks. Plus he would not be asked to do very much outside of his role, so he will be afforded plenty of time to develop while learning from one of the best big man combos in the NBA.
Jonah: That fit intrigues me. Atlanta could do anything there. They aren't in need of any one thing so I wouldn't be surprised if thye even went for a small forward here. Cauley-Stein is my least favorite of all the Kentucky big men, but he could develop nicely in Atlanta.
Celtics trade: 10th pick
2016 second round pick from Cleveland
Rockets trade: 14th pick
Jonah: I think I'm going to go with this. Both Kelly Olynyk and Terrence Jones are really good. I love both of these guys as third bigs off the bench and the trade gives them a chance to shine. I think Jones is a bit more valuable so Boston has to give up a bit more for him. Olynyk will step in and fit right in with the culture in Houston. He loves to shoot and they love it when their bigs can hit from downtown.
Chip: I like that trade for Houston, but I think they might could have nabbed Booker if they had stood pat at 14. But they ensured that they got their guy, and they were able to get a guy who should be a solid rotation player for them in Olynyk. So it was a good trade from Houston's standpoint.With the 10th pick, the Houston Rockets select Devin Booker (6'6" 206 lbs.) Shooting Guard, Kentucky
With the 10th pick, the Houston Rockets select Devin Booker (6'6" 206 lbs.) Shooting Guard, Kentucky
Jonah: The Houston Rockets need floor spacing next to James Harden at all times and Jason Terry can't play forever. So they move up to grab one of the best floor spacing guards before he's off the board. Booker has been a joy to watch at Kentucky this season and may be the most talented guard on that roster. The big guard can knock shots down from all over the perimeter while not being completely lost on defense. I think this is a perfect fit.
Chip: As for Booker, the kid can flat out stroke it. Shooting comes at a premium in the NBA and Booker will provided valuable spacing for Houston playing behind Harden and Ariza.
With the 11th pick, the Utah Jazz select........Kristaps Prozingis (7'1" 220 lbs.) Sevilla (Latvia)
Chip: My trade finger was itchy with this one, but the more I thought about it, the more Porzingis to the Jazz makes sense. As I stated before, Porzingis has the greatest variance between his ceiling and his floor. The guy could be Dirk Nowitzki or Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Porzingis has a good jumpshot for being over 7 feet tall. He's got elite size for the power forward position, and he's a good athlete that moves well for someone that big. He needs to improve upon an abundance of things like strength, rebounding and his post game. Porzingis is the prototypical face-up European power forward, but he will need lots and lots of coaching, time and patience. But if he pans out, can you imagine a Rudy Gobert-Kristaps Porzingis frontcourt? Holy hell. It's worth the risk at 11 if you're Utah.
Jonah: KRISTAPS!!!!! Hands down my favorite name in the draft. Oh man he fell like a rock in this mock. I thought coming in he would be a bit too high, but right here is just right. The Jazz don't have a guy to space the floor next to Favors or Gobert so Kristaps can come in and immediately help in one way. As you said, he has a good amount of work to do, but man that Jazz frontcourt has so much potential.
With the 12th pick, the Philadelphia 76ers select Kelly Oubre (6'7" 200 lbs.) Small Forward, Kansas
Jonah: As I said with the number two pick, the 76ers could move this pick and I wouldn't be shcoked at all. Oubre ensures the the 76ers have one of the scariest defensive frontcourts in the East. It's all long arms, quick feet and smart defenders. Oubre is where KJ McDaniels was on defense, but has so much more offensive upside. The Kansas freshman already has a consistent jump shot and he can get out in transition to wreak havoc. This is why Sam Hinkie did what he did. The 76ers should scare you now, but they will terrify you in two years.
There has been a trade:
Phoenix Suns Receive: PJ Hairston (Absorbed into Trade Exception) and No. 15 pick
Charlotte Hornets Receive: No. 13 Pick
With the thirteenth pick, the Charlotte Hornets select.........Frank Kaminsky (7'0" 242 lbs.) Power Forward/Center, Wisconsin
Chip: My sources tell me that Phoenix contacted as many as four or five teams trying to move back in the draft. Several teams were interested in leapfrogging Boston to snatch Kaminsky, and Charlotte, after much consideration, provided the best offer for the Suns. Phoenix got Hairston in the deal and only had to move back two spots, so they feel good about what they did. As for the Hornets, they add of the college basketball's best players over the last couple of seasons to their already talented frontcourt of Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller. Kaminsky is ready to step in right away and jump into Charlotte's rotation providing a high level scorer and rebounder and a legit 7-foot presence on the interior. Plus he posted an utterly ridiculous 36.1 PER as a senior. Seriously, 36.1 is out of this world.
Jonah: WISCONSIN LARRY BIRD HAS FOUND A HOME!!!!!!!!!!
With the fourteenth pick, the Boston Celtics select....Kevin Looney (6'9" 220 lbs.) Small/Power Forward, UCLA
Jonah: Since Kaminski went to the Hornets the Celtics settle for the best player on the board. Looney is a combo forward that can pulls down boards with reckless abandon. His primary position will most likely be at the four in the NBA, but he has shown he can play at the wing a bit. If he can play the four he becomes invaluable for the Celtics since they are weak at that position. Looney will come in and spread the floor for the Celtics on offense, but he may struggle on defense. He has the length to be a good defender, but he isn't very strong or quick. If anyone can get the best out of this young forward it will be Brad Stevens.
With the fifteenth pick, the Phoenix Suns select........Montrezl Harrell (6'8" 230 lbs.) Power Forward, Louisville
Chip: Montrezl Harrell's parents really missed an opportunity when they put a silent 'L' at then of of his name instead of a silent exclamation point. I mean, seriously, Montrezl Harrell has been a once a decade type dominant player at Louisville. He's got a massive frame, and he can, deceptively because of his size, jump out of the gym. He'll fit in very nicely with Phoenix providing scoring from 16 feet and in and good rebounding out of the power forward position. He's a guy that you can just plug-in and play from day one.
Jonah: Montrezl is going to fit right into Phoenix's up tempo pace. They are lacking that athleticism on their front line. I hope the Phoenix coaching staff doesn't try to reinvent him as a small forward. That's not what he is. He's a power forward with elite athleticism.