The excitement has been brewing since the beginning of the 2014-15 season. Many fans across the country watched their teams drive into the wall repeatedly just to get their insurance claim at the end of the year in the form of a high draft pick. These heralded moments will happen tomorrow in the Barclays Center of Brooklyn, NY. Fans will leave the Barclays Center with an array of emotion: pure elation, surprise, delight, thankfulness, confusion, frustration, anguish, sadness, hopelessness and bitter hatred to name a few. There’s really nothing like it. Everyone makes their predictions, but only a select few make some educated ones. Some players undeservedly go higher than others because of team needs. I did my absolute best to sort out team needs and make an attempt to predict the outcomes of this essentially unpredictable night.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
Towns has been the consensus #1 for a while now, and many will look on in confusion if Towns does not come off the board first.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
Jahlil Okafor will likely be the next center in the long line of great centers that the Lakers have had, if they do not go with the dark horse D’Angelo Russell at 2.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Ohio State
Mar 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonalds High School All American guard D’Angelo Russell (3) poses for photos on portrait day at the Marriott Hotel . Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-McDonalds
Philly needs a point guard since they shipped Michael Carter-Williams out of town for unknown reasons last year. We’ll see if they fill the void with Russell, or go with more explosive Mudiay, or take the leap with Porzingis.
4. New York Knicks – Justise Winslow, SG/SF, Duke
Winslow impressed heavily in workouts, and with Russell off the board, it’s hard to say that Phil Jackson would elect unpolished Mudiay for the triangle. Willie Cauley-Stein may seem like a reach, but may be a worthwhile one to make.
5. Orlando Magic – Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
Orlando is actively trying to shop Vucevic, and with Harris testing the market, Orlando has some holes up front. They figure this out by figuring out where Porzingis will help them.
6. Sacramento Kings – Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Congo
Sacramento likes explosive reckless scorers who can move the ball around. George Karl likes Ty Lawson at point guard, but Mudiay seems like the guy to fill that void.
7. Denver Nuggets – Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
Denver’s inferiority inside has been a problem for a couple years now, and WCS can fix this with a snap of his fingers.
8. Detroit Pistons – Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
Detroit needs a new Tayshaun Prince. Stanley is that, and more.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Jerian Grant, PG/SG, Notre Dame
Jerian and Kemba is so vivid in my imagination that I can’t see how it doesn’t happen. Charlotte has a void at SG and Jerian fills it.
10. Miami Heat – Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas
Miami gets their pretty boy perimeter shooter in Oubre. Also see this vividly in my mind.
11. Indiana Pacers – Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
With David West testing the market, the Pacers have a big hole at power forward.
12. Utah Jazz – Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia
Utah is known for taking a chance on international guys, and I have Super Mario slipping to Utah.
13. Phoenix Suns – Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
Phoenix needs a guy like this to further stretch the floor. Sam is an excellent fit in Phoenix.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
Devin gives OKC the offensive shooting guard they’ve been needing since James Harden went to Houston.
15. Atlanta Hawks – Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
Bobby Portis gives Atlanta that grittyness that Budenholzer loves and gives them flexibility at the 3-4.
16. Boston Celtics – Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
I see Harrell as a Gerald Wallace type player, and Gerald was (or is) a Celtic.. so..
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin
I see Kaminsky in a Bucks jersey more than any other. He’s exactly what they need.
18. Houston Rockets – Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State
Houston needs a point guard. Cameron Payne is a point guard and takes something off of Harden’s shoulders.
19. Washington Wizards – Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
Washington may trade the pick or they may just deepen one of their positions. Vaughn seems like a Wizard name.
20. Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
Toronto likes Hollis-Jefferson. Toronto is somewhat weak at the 3 and RHJ would be a good fit.
21. Dallas Mavericks – Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
Tyus Jones is the prototype Dallas Maverick point guard. If he slips to 21, Mark Cuban is not taking any chances.
22. Chicago Bulls – Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA
Looney is that power forward who has hustle and game and Chicago loves to stack the frontcourt.
23. Portland Trail Blazers – Myles Turner, C, Texas
With Robin Lopez leaving, Portland needs a backup plan to Meyers Leonard and the probable departure of LaMarcus Aldridge.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville
Cleveland needs some help in the backcourt. Here it is.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky
Dakari Johnson is a tree. With the departure of Marc Gasol this year, he is a great fit.
26. San Antonio Spurs – Delon Wright, PG/SG, Utah
Delon Wright is a do everything type of guard that Popovich is sure to love.
27. Los Angeles Lakers – Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU
Jordan Mickey can do it on the glass and more probable of a pick if the Lakers take Russell at 2.
28. Boston Celtics – Rakeem Christmas, PF/C, Syracuse
Merry Christmas, Danny Ainge.
29. Brooklyn Nets – Jarell Martin, PF, LSU
Hard to see the Nets making a good pick at 29. Thaddeus Young might be leaving Brooklyn, so they’ll need to replace him.
30. Golden State Warriors – Justin Anderson, SG/SF, Virginia
Warriors could use a little more depth at this position.. as if they honestly need depth at any position. Justin Anderson has the talent to be a Warrior.
I see a variety of trades happening, and this list may be completely shaken up by hour 1 of draft day, but I can see at least 33% of these being correct.
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