With one of the most anticipated drafts in years, NBA teams are licking their chops at the potential talent coming their way. Watch what happens when three college degenerates get their chance to run the league. mattkaveney starts off the draft, followed by pfrie27 and last kosscastillo as they alternate turns in East Coast Egos’ first annual rotating NBA Mock Draft.
1st Overall: Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl Anthony Towns (Kentucky)
Karl Anthony Towns is a special talent this year. He has the ability to become a franchise player for the Timberwolves along with Andrew Wiggins. He will fit well with Flip Saunders’ team with his defensive dominance and offensive talent that is undeniable, even though it wasn’t fully exposed due to the way Kentucky spread the ball last year.
2nd Overall: Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor (Duke)
Jahlil Okafor is both a need and a value pick for the Lakers at #2. He was widely considered to be the best player in college basketball for most of the season at Duke, this years national champs. He has a polished offensive game and the necessary size to be effective right away in the NBA. The Okafor and Julius Randle tandem should prove to be a formidable force for years to come on the Lakers.
3rd Overall: Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)
Even with all the recent hype around Kristaps Porzingis and his possible selection in this spot, there is no better fit for the Sixers than D’Angelo Russell. Russell will add sure talent and excitement to a franchise that has been a sinking ship for the past several seasons. Russell may not be able to carry the Sixers to the playoffs in his first year as some fans may hope, but he will help secure a young backcourt that needs a dominating presence to take the next step towards relevance. Expect Russell to put up Rookie of the Year numbers.
4th Overall: New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay (International)
Emmanuel Mudiay will add a John Wall/Russell Westbrook type element to the Knicks at number 4 overall. His athletic ability is unmatched in this draft class, and his potential is scary if he can develop a more threatening outside jumper. The Knicks go with the best player available at 4 and that will most likely be Mudiay. Read http://eastcoastegos.com/2015/06/24/why-the-4th-overall-pick-could-be-worse-for-the-new-york-knicks/ to find out more about this pick.
5th Overall: Orlando Magic – Justise Winslow (Duke)
Justise Winslow finished off this college basketball season hot in the tournament which boosted his stock. On Duke he played second fiddle to Okafor all season long, however, he has the athleticism and playmaking ability to be a top offensive option in the NBA. The Magic have a lot of interesting young pieces but they are all at guard and in the post, so Winslow is a nice fit here on the wing for them.
6th Overall: Sacramento Kings – Kristaps Porzingis (International)
With prized possession Emmanuel Mudiay snatched up by the Knicks, Sacramento simply goes for the best available player in this spot. With Porzingis in the discussion to go top-3, the Kings take advantage of the value they are given. As Demarcus Cousins trade rumors swirl, Porzingis gives the Kings a versatile big man who can stretch the floor and make up (in part) for Boogie’s lost 24 points and 13 rebounds per game, if he is shipped. If Cousins stays, Porzingis gives Sacramento the potential for one of the top young frontcourts in the league. Look for the Kings to select a point guard later in the draft or acquire one in free agency.
7th Overall: Denver Nuggets – Devin Booker (Kentucky)
Devin Booker is beginning to draw a lot of comparisons to NBA champion Klay Thompson and for a good reason: he is a lethal shooter and quality defender. So why pass on this guy? The Nuggets could use the 6’6 Kentucky product to make an immediate impact come October.
8th Overall: Detroit Pistons – Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
Sam Dekker is another player whose draft stock soared thanks to his play in the NCAA tournament. He is a classic Bo Ryan and Wisconsin player. He has good size for his position which allowed him to play a nice inside/outside game in college. If he can continue to develop his post game he should be able to translate his style of play into the pros nicely because his ability to shoot will always be there for him. The Pistons are set down low with Drummond and Monroe (if he stays) and they are good at guard with Reggie Jackson so this also meets a positional need.
9th Overall: Charlotte Hornets – Mario Hezonja (International)
Another value pick here, as Hezonja has the potential to be a top 5 pick. Hezonja provides a scoring dimension to a team with very limited offensive talent (28th in the league in scoring last year). Add that to the loss of SG tandem Lance Stephenson and Gerald Henderson and you have a recipe for disaster. At 6’8 with superior athleticism, Hezonja has all the tools (and confidence) in the world to become a future star in the league and will benefit from being a main scoring option in Charlotte so early in his career.
10th Overall: Miami Heat – Stanley Johnson (Arizona)
Stanley Johnson to the Heat here is a perfect match. The Heat need a slashing SG/SF and he fits the bill. He could certainly go higher than 10 but if he’s around this late, the Heat will gladly take him.
11th Overall: Indiana Pacers – RJ Hunter (Georgia State)
RJ Hunter put himself on the map this year with his big shot and great play in the NCAA tourney in their first round upset. His shooting is where he brings value so he fits in well with a Pacers team known for their defense and lack of offense while Paul George was hurt last year.
12th Overall: Utah Jazz – Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)
The reigning National Player of the Year in college basketball, Kaminsky immediately adds a talented and, more importantly, experienced big man. With the majority of college players declaring early for the draft, Kaminsky’s high basketball IQ will provide an early edge over other members of this draft class.
13th Overall: Phoenix Suns – Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky)
Another talented Kentucky player, Willie Cauley-Stein, will be taken in the lottery. The only question is where? The Suns could use this 7’0 athletic freak with the ability to provide an immediate spark the suns need to get to the next level
14th Overall: Oklahoma City Thunder – Tyus Jones (Duke)
Tyus Jones to the Thunder at 14 is my personal favorite pick. Jones is a high IQ point guard who showed off his chops in the clutch in the National Championship game. When healthy the Thunder have star power at guard and forward, and they recently acquired Enes Kanter at center. So this pick isn’t necessarily a need but it certainly is a good value pick in my book. Tyus Jones is a winner and his knack for making smart plays will compliment the sometimes erratic Russell Westbrook nicely.
15th Overall: Atlanta Hawks – Bobby Portis (Arkansas)
One of the most underrated players in the country last year, Bobby Portis is an athletic F/C who will make an impact on both the offensive and defensive ends. Atlanta will be the perfect spot for Portis, as he will not be relied on to carry too big of a load given the Hawks’ strong starting lineup.
16th Overall: Boston Celtics – Myles Turner (Texas)
17th Overall: Milwaukee Bucks – Jerian Grant (Notre Dame)
18th Overall: Houston Rockets – Delon Wright (Utah)
19th Overall: Washington Wizards – Trey Lyles (Kentucky)
20th Overall: Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona)
21st Overall: Dallas Mavericks – Kelly Oubre Jr. (Kansas)
22nd Overall: Chicago Bulls – Justin Anderson (Virginia)
23rd Overall: Portland Trailblazers – Cliff Alexander (Kansas)
24th Overall: Cleveland Cavaliers – Terry Rozier (Louisville)
25th Overall: Memphis Grizzlies – Cameron Payne (Murray State)
26th Overall: San Antonio Spurs – Montrezl Harrell (Louisville)
27th Overall: Los Angeles Lakers – Rashad Vaughn (UNLV)
28th Overall: Boston Celtics – Anthony Brown (Stanford)
29th Overall: Brooklyn Nets – Kevin Looney (UCLA)
30th Overall: Golden State Warriors – Christian Wood (UNLV)
mattkaveney 1st Round Steal: Chicago Bulls, 22nd Overall – Justin Anderson (Virginia)
Anderson is a mature, system player who would mold well with the bulls. Chicago could use a Small Forward here and would be nothing less than ecstatic if Anderson is still on the board at 22.
pfrie27 1st Round Steal – Milwaukee Bucks, 17th Overall – Jerian Grant (Notre Dame)
Jerian Grant was the best player in a high octane offense this year at Notre Dame. The Bucks were one of the best defensive teams in the league this year so they need to balance out their roster. MCW struggles on the offensive side of the ball at point guard so having Grant as a scoring option in the backcourt could be the spark this team needs to get to the next level.
kosscastillo 1st Round Steal: Los Angeles Lakers, 27th overall – Rashad Vaughn (UNLV)
With the Kobe era quickly coming to an end, the Lakers need someone who can take over the scoring role. Vaughn averaged 17.8 points per game in his freshman year at UNLV and will only get better, having the opportunity to play under the greatest scorer of this generation. Adding Vaughn to a roster that already has Jahlil Okafor, Julius Randle and 2015 breakout player Jordan Clarkson will form one of the best young rosters in the NBA, giving Laker Nation hope beyond Kobe Bryant.
The NBA Draft is set for tonight at 7 PM. Grab a beer and watch as your favorite team makes a pick you probably won’t like.