Cleat Geeks

2015 NBA Mock Draft (Picks 1-10)

Looking at this year’s NBA draft class, the first thing people notice is the lack of a real potential superstar. Most of the teams in this year’s Draft Lottery are not absolute lost causes, which leaves little room for players to make immediate impacts on the teams that draft them.

With that said, the NBA Draft gives teams an opportunity to acquire the best young basketball talent in the world and this Draft surely has the potential to be one of the deeper drafts in recent memory.

These are the first 10 picks if the draft order was set based on the order of team’s records from worst to best:

1. Minnesota Timberwolves select PF Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

With Andrew Wiggins all but cemented as the club’s franchise centerpiece, no player in this draft class would complement him better than Towns. Towns has a unique skillset that meshes an inside game that is near impossible to defend against with the defensive ability that made Kentucky one of the premier defensive units in all of college basketball. Towns has the unique opportunity to play quality minutes while learning from one of the best to ever pick up a basketball in Kevin Garnett. With Wiggins and Towns, the Wolves have one of the most intimidating frontcourts in the West. If they pick up a young big man in free agency, there is no reason why the Timberwolves wouldn’t be vying for a Playoff spot next season.

2. New York Knicks select C Jahlil Okafor
Simply put, the Knicks need a big man. While Carmelo Anthony is a very talented player, he can’t do much when opponents are keying in on him every single game. By adding an imposing big man in Jahlil Okafor, Carmelo will have some breathing room to be able to do what he does best: score. Also, Okafor gives the Knicks a presence down low that the club hasn’t had in well over a decade. This alone will not thrust the Knicks out of obscurity; however, this will clearly position the team on the path towards future success.

3. Philadelphia 76ers select SG D’Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell

D’Angelo Russell

The Sixers are facing a huge question that could very well determine their identity for  the next five or six years – do they build on their existing frontcourt talent and draft  someone like Justise Winslow or Willie Cauley-Stein or develop their struggling  backcourt and draft a guard? Since the Sixers’ frontcourt is pretty stable in Nerlens  Noel and Joel Embiid, the Sixers need to shift their attention to their backcourt and  draft a guy that can change the face of that unit: D’Angelo Russell is that guy. He takes  very smart shots, can knock it down from deep, and has the stamina to play extended  minutes when necessary. In addition, Russell’s presence will allow rising star Robert  Covington to return to his natural position as a small forward. If the Sixers can stay  healthy, look for them to make a run at the Playoffs next season.

 4. Los Angeles Lakers select C Willie Cauley-Stein
Willie Cauley-Stein is the final piece to the puzzle for the Lakers to finally have the    frontcourt of the past. With Julius Randle finally healthy, the Lakers have a frontcourt  that could develop into a Zach Randolph-Marc Gasol tandem that would be a  nightmare for the finesse-centered teams of the West to match up against. While the Lakers’ backcourt will still fall well short of the standards the West demands, Lakers fans can rest easier knowing their franchise is taking steps in the right direction.

5. Orlando Magic select PG Emmanuel Mudiay
Victor Oladipo was the focus of most opponent’s defensive strategies last season, rendering him ineffective during crucial moments of the game. With a talented point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay sharing the backcourt with Oladipo, teams will now have to watch both guards, seeing as both are threats to score at any time. This might also translate into a breakout season for small forward Tobias Harris, who is an offensive machine and could benefit from the added pressure on the Magic backcourt. Watch for the Magic to make a run in the weak Southeast division and possibly squeak into the Playoffs as a #7 or #8 seed.

Justise Winslow

Justise Winslow

6. Sacramento Kings select SF Justise Winslow
The Kings had all the talent to make a run in the West last season. The only thing that held them back was the lackluster play of Omri Casspi – with Justise Winslow joining Darren Collison, Rudy Gay, and DeMarcus Cousins on the Kings’ starting five, the Kings will definitely compete against the Pelicans, Jazz, and Thunder for those final few spots in the West.

7. Denver Nuggets select SG Mario Hezonja

Mario Hezonja

Mario Hezonja

With the Nuggets’ frontcourt pretty much settled, it’s time to focus their efforts on developing their aging backcourt. Randy Foye is almost 32 years old, meaning he is well past his prime. Hezonja will not make an immediate impact, but will instead play in the same role Doug McDermott played for the Bulls this season. Hezonja will get to learn the NBA game under the tutelage of one of the best veteran shooting guards in the league.

8. Detroit Pistons select SF Stanley Johnson
As Caron Butler inches closer to retirement, the Pistons find themselves in need of a suitable replacement. Enter Stanley Johnson, a small forward that is not as NBA ready as Justise Winslow, but has a higher ceiling than Winslow and will most likely have the better career when it’s all said and done. Like Hezonja, Johnson will learn under the watchful eye of Caron Butler as he develops his skillset and becomes an integral part to the Pistons’ rebuilding process.

9. Charlotte Hornets select SF Kelly Oubre Jr.
With one of the Eastern Conference’s deepest frontcourts, the Hornets do not need to draft another low post player; however, the same cannot be said for their backcourt, specifically their shooting guard, Gerald Henderson. Henderson has fallen far short of expectations and the Hornets recognize that a replacement is necessary if they ever want to have a legitimate shot at contending for an Eastern Conference title. Oubre is a hybrid small forward who can play the 2 as well as the 3. He is far from a polished player, but he is the multi-dimensional player the Hornets need if they ever want to hold up that illusive NBA Finals trophy.

KristapsPorzingis10. Miami Heat select PF Kristaps Porzingis
As Chris Bosh recovers from blood clots in his lungs, there is a huge hole in their frontcourt that must be plugged if the Heat are ever going to return to prominence. Porzingis, a 7’0″ international phenom, has many of the same physical characteristics as Bosh, but without the health concerns and dinosaur neck. Porzingis has the experience to play right away, as he has played professional for a number of years in Europe. His minutes will depend on whether or not Bosh returns to Miami next season                                                                               and what kind of shape he is in.

The next part in this series of articles, which will highlight the next ten picks in the upcoming Draft, will be up soon, so check back often. In the meantime, make sure to “Like” us on Facebook by clicking here and follow us on Twitter by clicking here.

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