From the House Jay-Z built, we have the 2015 NBA Draft coming up in a little while. Where will the ACC’s elite go? Many predict Duke C Jahlil Okafor to go 3rd thru 5th, and it would be a very safe pick for a bipolar Knicks front office at four. So far Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky looks to be the consensus #1 for the Timberwolves, while his frontcourt mate Willie Cauley-Stein’s stock seems to be dropping. Jahlil Okafor won’t be the rim protector that Tyson Chandler was, but Cauley-Stein is more in that mold. I have a hard time being confident in either, considering Calipari didn’t give either of them enough sufficient run last year to truly show their ability to dominate. This draft is going to be built of flashes shown. The safest pick appear to be Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, who had mastered the college game by the end of the season.
I’ll be joined tonight by Justin Cates and Mike McDaniel as we discuss the draft in progress.
While all the normal humans are sleeping, some of us weirdos are still up to see North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto selected with the 58th overall pick among a cavalcade of foreign players no one has ever heard of. Tokoto is a versatile player who has a knack for making the plays that are needed, but he did himself no favors leaving school a year early to enter the draft. Still, he made his choice and he’s got a chance to make a roster though the odds are long as a low selection. Best of luck to all the draftees.
— Kenny Klein (@KKcards) June 26, 2015
A couple of notable ACC bigs have gone now as we drag on through the second round. Montrezl Harrell went to the Rockets with the No. 32 pick and Rakeem Christmas went a few picks later at No. 36, initially to the Timberwolves but he’ll end up in Cleveland after another trade. Rakeem was looking very 1990s doing it too.
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) June 26, 2015
Harrell plummeted presumably because he’s a 6’8″ forward which is a bit undersized and his outside shooting still isn’t where it needs to be to play much as a swingman. There was a time last season and earlier this year when he was thought to be a lock for the lottery, but it wasn’t to be.
Shortly after that we had Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton selected at No. 41 and picked up by Portland after a trade and Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan went at No. 42 to Utah. That’s a beautiful state, but it’s one of those places that makes me think of Wayne’s World and how they view Delaware.
Many people have said, and in fact are saying right now, that McCullough has Lottery talent but his torn ACL dropped him all the way to the end of the first round. We really only just started to see the potential he has at Syracuse right before he got injured. He’s certainly got length and skill, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be healthy enough to play this season. I guess the Nets are taking a page out of the 76ers book and drafting young, injured talent now.
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) June 26, 2015
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) June 26, 2015
Tyus Jones and Justin Anderson are now off the board (or on the board…depending on which board we’re talking about) with Anderson going 21st overall to the Mavericks and Jones to the Cavaliers at No. 24. It sounds like Tyus is immediately getting traded to Minnesota (his home state) for the No. 31 and 36 picks. Tyus has shown a remarkable ability to step up in big games and while I don’t quite get him with the T-Wolves given Ricky Rubio already there, he will continue to develop into a more consistent player.
Justin Anderson is a good player who will find a role and make the most of it with the Mavs. He’s a good defender who proved to be an important part of the UVA offense this season and I can see him fitting in very nicely with Dallas as a complementary piece with room to grow. He celebrated his selection with his coach Tony Bennett.
— Virginia Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) June 26, 2015
And you thought MSG was done with Jerian Grant …
— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) June 26, 2015
While it appears the Knicks have actually done some things right tonight, I’m inherently suspicious. The Knicks don’t ever do the right thing. So, while picking up a talented Latvian forward and adding backcourt depth with Jerian Grant seems excellent on the surface, I’m curious to see how they blow this. Phil Jackson would likely be very critical of my Chi right now.
Jerian Grant to the Wizards couldn’t be a better insurance policy for the oft ill-timed injuries suffered by Wall and Beal. He’s ready to go from day 1. He’s a rotation player, and should add to a nice 2nd team that featured Gortat and Otto Porter and wore opposing teams down. But instead the Wizards are trading him to NY, which I can’t fathom as being a good decision. It is frustrating that these pending deals aren’t revealing themselves in full right now. Tough to judge, so we default to “typical Bullets $&$&$!#”
Jerian Grant sitting too long here. He’d be a great fit for the Rockets. But they took Sam Dekker in hopes of replacing the Chandler Parsons performance of a few years ago. Will he be able to coexist on a team with two black holes (three if you cast Patrick Patterson)? He may stand there looking simple a good bit. Especially if Harden is going one on three looking to get to the line.
With the 18th pick in the NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets select SF Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
Honestly, I don’t care for anything Boston (sorry Mike)…not even those cream pies or doughnuts, but I trust Brad Stevens implicitly and he’s got that team moving in the right direction. If he thinks they need another guard for some reason, perhaps they’ve got a trade in mind. Either way, I expect the Celtics to make the playoffs this season in the sad sad Eastern Conference.
Rashad Vaughn, a player I see none of due to the East coast bias, looks to have a true stroke. The deer can use all the help they can get on the finesse end. Not sure how he fits in the rotation with all the versatility the Bucks have at their disposal. He may wind up having to play bigger at times early on. This team lost Larry Sanders and haven’t really recovered inside on defense since.
With the 17th pick in the NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select SF Rashad Vaughn, UNLV
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) June 26, 2015
Terry Rozier to the backcourt heavy Celtics. He’s a great pressure defender, and could likely supplant Marcus Smart. But his three stroke is not to be respected. This pick is probably a bit early. Plus, it was difficult to ascertain who was dominating at Louisville this past season with Chris Jones playing great alongside him before his dismissal for disciplinary reasons.
With the 16th pick in the NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select PG Terry Rozier, Louisville
Oubre to Wizards? If Pierce is opting out that is a nice booby prize, Interested to see the terms here. As a Wizards fan, particularly
With the 15th pick in the NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks select SF Kelly Oubre, Kansas. The Hawks have traded Oubre to the Wizards for the #19 pick, as well as two future second rounders.
Cameron Payne from Murray State. And nary a mention of Popeye Jones. I’m ashamed of this spectacle. This kid has to face up to Russell Westbrook. I give it an over/under of 3.5 hours before Westbrook has made him cry this fall in mini-camp.
With the 14th pick in the NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select PG Cameron Payne, Murray State
So another KY player goes lotto. Calipari getting more pompous. The Suns get Devin Booker at #13, a two guard who has about a 50/50 shot of unseating fellow KY product Eric Bledsoe, who is just superhuman at times. Suns continue to spin the wheels, but will challenge for an 8 seed if they stay healthy
With the 13th pick in the NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns select SG Devin Booker, Kentucky
Utah with another PF in Trey Lyles? They just divested of several PFs in the name of Derrick Favors. I guess this is about the best available player at this point of the lottery. Just hope he’s ready for the wakeup calls in Utah.
With the 12th pick in the NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select PF Trey Lyles, Kentucky
Myles Turner looks physically imposing enough to replace David West or Roy Hibbert in relief. That franchise faced it’s share of dsyfunction throughout the Lance Stephenson experience. Any active body is going to help this team get back to the formidable group it was 2-3 years running.
With the 11th pick in the NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers select C Myles Turner, Texas
Justise Winslow to the heat. A solid pick, he can play alongside Wade, and take over for him one day. SImilar skill set. Winslow is a pleasure to watch. He is rarely out of control. He can shoot from multiple ranges. His attention to D will need to improve, but with Deng and Wade over there are happy to help get him to respect that end of the floor as well.
Since I walked in the door after a late dinner, this is the first pick that makes any kind of sense to me and it’s still kind of puzzling. Frank Kaminsky is an inside out guy who can really shoot with range. Charlotte needs shooting and they got a guy who will create mismatches. I really like this pickup, though it’s worth noting I’m an NBA neophyte. Side note, I find Jalen Rose incredibly annoying. Stop yelling so much man.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) June 26, 2015
Kaminsky is an interesting pick for the Hornets, who are in need of a big man who can stretch the floor. I think Kaminsky has a chance to be a very good player, but there is going to be an adjustment period to the NBA game. We’ll see how he pans out. As for Winslow, I love the pick for the Heat. It is a bit of a surprise that Winslow nearly fell out of the top 10, but Pat Riley may have struck gold with this pick, as he looks to bring in his wing of the future.
Frank Kaminsky to the Hornets. MJ and GM Cho you have found your corner three messiah. He’s Ryan Anderson 2.0. And he’ll likely rebound a little bit better. Finally some shooters to get Kemba one one one. He’s been having a spy assigned to him for a couple years now. So with Batum, acquired today in a trade, and Kaminsky, this team has some perimeter weapons for Al Jefferson to pass to out of double teams
With the tenth pick in the NBA Draft, the Miami Heat select SF Justise Winslow, Duke
With the ninth pick in the NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets select PF/C Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Admittedly, Stanley Johnson looks a little bullish and undersized. He’s going to have some difficulty getting acclimated. He isn’t Barkley or Rodney Rogers, no finesse to the game. This looks to be an upside of an energy guy off the bench who has a full compliment of fouls.
With the eighth pick in the NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select SF Stanley Johnson, Arizona
Emmanuel Mudiay had a rough time in China but earned some nice coin, if only he hadn’t had a leg injury early on. But he still set the world on fire with the combine tests. He needs some work on his shot, but he compensates in other ways, with incredible intensity on D and moving on offense constantly. He can finish with a flourish and will be popluar in Denver. which has been starved for a playmaker for a couple years now
Interesting pick there for the Nuggets. Mudiay could end up being very good for Denver, but veteran Ty Lawson may be on the move at some point, as Denver has chosen their point guard of the future. Even more interesting is the fact that Justise Winslow out of Duke continues to slide down the board. Let’s see where he ends up.
With the seventh pick in the NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets select PG Emmanuel Mudiay, China
Rim protection for the KIngs and a potential fill in for Cousins if Krazy ass George Karl is as crazy as we all think he is. Nice touch on the bow tie by Willie Cauley-Stein. Nuggets up next. Highly interested to see what kind of ill fitting piece that the 7th pick always provides.
With the sixth pick in the NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select C Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
Oh, the cocky Croatian is coming to Orlando. He is going to bring some attitude to that spineless outfit. Oladipo may find his minutes slashed if the shooting doesn’t improve. He has upside enough to be #5, but a preliminary report indicates he’s highly narcissistic and balked at coming of the bench as one of the team’s younger players. He’s a tenacious two way player, but has been known to quit on teams of his that are not performing. He wants to be the best, and the right coach will bring that out. The jury is still out on Scott Skiles, he’s been at it a while and abhors preferential treatment. Be interesting to keep an eye on that dynamic.
I love the Hezonja pick for Orlando. He has good size for a shooting guard, and he can shoot the lights out of the gym. Shooters usually stick when coming over from overseas, and the Magic are short of pure shooting players in the backcourt.
With the fifth pick in the NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select SG Mario Hezonja, Croatia
Knicks’ Dolan with Isaiah Thomas apprises the role of wormtongue. And It’s Kristaps! Latvia in the hizzy. Is he the next Danilo Gallinari, or is the Tskitishvili. Euro at four. Kid rode a wave of late publicity into the top five. The question is, can he co-exist with Melo? Both are ball dominant forwards. He engenders memories of the recently retired AK-47 Andrei Kirilenko. And Kristaps sounds ready. He is dropping knowledge in English. He is going to be OK.
I don’t love this Porzingis pick for the Knicks. Sure he has upside, but he is a project, and I’m not sure you should ever draft a project with the 4th pick. Phil Jackson the GM strikes again, with what may be another bust of a draft pick.
With the fourth pick in the NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select PF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia
Embiid, Noel, Okafor. Somebody is getting moved by the trade deadline. Okafor is the best offensive player of the three. Noel is keeper, he does the dirty work. It’s that malinger Embiid that is killing them. Not to worry GM Sam Hinkie has a plan! He has 25 picks in the 2nd round. I wouldn’t be surprised if a deal were swung tonight to move one of these guys.
With the third pick in the NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select PF/C Jahlil Okafor, Duke
He is not expected to turn into the new Kobe Bryant. He will be a great little point guard who may remind some of Tiny Archibald. But he may struggle to mesh with the ball-dominant Kobe. Kobe holds the Lakers hostage. He needs to go someplace they need a piece and turn into a rich man’s Jamal Crawford. The Lakers aren’t in that part of their process yet.
Lakers fans should like this pick. They have a future beyond Kobe to look forward to. But he may have a rough rookie year with the speed of the game to get acclimated to. And his shot needs some work. He may eventually be a Nick Van Exel type if he adds range. Not taking a big must mean Randle looks ready to return, and of course the Demarcus Cousins rumors abound.
And the Lakers take D’Angelo Russell, who in my mind, is the best player in this draft. Now what the 76ers do at #3 is of supreme interest at this point, as it is a possibility that they could trade out of this spot. They don’t want Okafor, and he has a ton of suitors.
With the second pick, the Los Angeles Lakers select PG D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
Lakers pick D'Angelo Russell with No. 2 pick, their first top-2 pick since James Worthy in 1982. pic.twitter.com/2ond4NM4ik
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 25, 2015
No surprises with the first pick. Another Kentucky product, with low mileage. He may have some issues getting up to 35 minutes a night. He’s a low risk pick but he’s dealing with a mediocre coach who has a 1998 gameplan in Flip Saunders. He and Wiggins and Lavine make this an interesting club. Especially with Rubio handling the rock. I could see Minnesota adding 10 wins next year, making a run at 30. After all the west is still the west.
With the first pick, Minnesota selects PF Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
The Draft has officially begun. Seems like Towns is going to officially be a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. What happens with the Lakers tonight could determine how crazy these first ten picks could be.