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NBA mock draft 2015

Karl-Anthony Towns, left, and Devin Booker of the

Karl-Anthony Towns, left, and Devin Booker of the Kentucky Wildcats battle for position on a free throw with Frank Kaminsky of the Wisconsin Badgers in the first half during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4, 2015 in Indianapolis. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

Paper or plastic? Pepsi or Coke? Towns or Okafor?

The NBA Draft is on June 25 and the debate continues on who the No. 1 pick should be. Many players' stocks continue to fluctuate. So perhaps one of the projected top-three picks -- Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell -- could fall to the Knicks at No. 4. Then again, perhaps not.

The suspense will end on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn when the 2015 NBA Draft begins. Here's our latest mock draft.

1. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C, Kentucky

The Timberwolves can become the first team in NBA history to have three straight No. 1 overall picks on their roster simultaneously, according to Elias Sports Bureau. This year's pick would join Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, who were both acquired from Cleveland in the Kevin Love trade. Karl-Anthony Towns provides more versatility by scoring inside and from mid-range. His ability to pass out of double teams, should he grow to command them in the NBA, will help create open looks for the Timberwolves, who took the fewest three-point attempts last season. He also provides more rim protection and is a more skilled rebounder than Okafor.

2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

Wondering what it will look like inside the Lakers' war room on draft night? Probably a bunch of guys with their feet kicked up on the table waiting to see who drops to them. Having the focal point of a national championship winning team in Jahlil Okafor fall into their laps isn't such a bad consolation prize. Okafor is a polished post player and gives the Lakers a back-to-the-basket scorer they can dump the ball into, a luxury they haven't had since Shaquille O'Neal.

3. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State

The Sixers always seem to be rebuilding their rebuilds. Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid both sat out the season they were drafted because of injury (and Embiid recently suffered a setback). D'Angelo Russell fills a need at point guard and brings excitement to a fan base that sorely needs it. A scorer and playmaker, Russell will work magic on the pick-and-roll with the Sixers' frontline and maybe bring an end to the constant rebuilding.

4. NEW YORK KNICKS: Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China

If ever there was a year that the Knicks needed a frozen envelope or magnetized ping pong balls, this was it. It seems the Knicks fell one pick short of being in position to draft what most consider the three top-tier players. But if Emmanuel Mudiay had played in college rather than in China, he likely would be in that top-tier discussion. A dynamic playmaker who thrives in transition and has a quick first step, Mudiay could be the explosive point guard the Knicks have lacked. He still needs to develop a consistent outside shot, especially as the primary ball handler in the triangle offense, but can't you already hear the Garden PA announcer: "Emmanuel MOOOOOOOOOO-DEEEEEE-AYYYYYYYY!"?

5. ORLANDO MAGIC: Kristaps Porzingis, F, Latvia

The 7-foot Latvian center's stock is on the rise and teams are buying in. If he's still on the board at five, the Magic will scoop him up and hope he becomes a mobile, rim-protecting, stretch-four whose skill set looks more like Dirk Nowitzki's than Andrea Bargnani's. Big men who can both shoot the three and also provide weak side help around the rim are rare. And they are at a premium in a league that values floor spacing. Plus, they can pair him with Nikola Vucevic in the frontcourt, creating a formidable duo of international 7-footers whose names are regularly misspelled or mispronounced.

6. SACRAMENTO KINGS: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

Taking a player with such glaring limitations on the offensive end with the sixth pick could be somewhat of a reach. But the Kings need someone to protect the rim and nobody in the draft does that better than Willie Cauley-Stein. His presence would take tremendous pressure off DeMarcus Cousins on the defensive end. Cauley-Stein's ability to erase mistakes in the paint, and switch onto guards in pick-and-roll defense was part of the reason Pacers' president Larry Bird told him that he will be a $100 million player.

7. DENVER NUGGETS: Justise Winslow, G, Duke

Easy backpage headline for the Denver newspapers on draft night: "Justise is served!" The Nuggets need help on the wing, with Winslow or Mario Hezonja the obvious choices. Denver has shown a propensity to go the international route of late, but Winslow's upside on both ends of the court is too enticing. He has potential to be an elite perimeter defender. Offensively, there is concern that he thrived at the college level by creating mismatches as an undersized power forward. He won't have that luxury in the NBA, but his explosiveness and athleticism should translate well.

8. DETROIT PISTONS: Mario Hezonja, G, Croatia

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, entering his second season, likes surrounding big men with shooters for an inside-out offense. He already has the center in Andre Drummond. Mario Hezonja, a slasher with shot-making ability, would fit well with his range. At 6-8, he also can create out of the pick-and-roll, and to a lesser degree, on isolations. Devin Booker is a more dangerous sharpshooter but doesn't provide the same versatility.

9. CHARLOTTE HORNETS: Devin Booker, G, Kentucky

Hornets' 52-year-old owner Michael Jordan recently said that he is "pretty sure" he still could beat some of his players one-on-one. He probably could shoot a better percentage from three than them, also. Devin Booker, the youngest player in the draft at 18, may be the best long-range shooter on the entire board and could help Charlotte improve on its league-worst 31.8 shooting percentage from downtown. Great at moving without the ball, Booker can spot up, hit the outside shot off of screens or catch-and-shoot situations, and is dangerous from just about any spot on the floor.

10. MIAMI HEAT: Stanley Johnson, F, Arizona

The first year with LeBron James resulted in a top-10 pick for Pat Riley and the Heat. Assuming Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic return (both have player options) and Chris Bosh is healthy, Miami's new Big Three could be playing alongside a player who initially was projected as a top-five pick. Johnson has good slashing ability but struggled at times to finish at the rim.

11. INDIANA PACERS: Cameron Payne, G, Murray State

Despite Larry Bird's high praise for center Willie Cauley-Stein, the Pacers are looking to play smaller and push the tempo. To do so, they will need point guard help, and Cameron Payne has been rising up draft boards. He can shoot, he has a great handle, and though he isn't the quickest of guards, he has the ability to create off the dribble.

12. UTAH JAZZ: Trey Lyles, F, Kentucky

Somewhat of a third wheel behind Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, Lyles played out of position in an overcrowded frontcourt. But, that helped enhance his play on the perimeter. If he can knock down the outside shot consistently, he could develop into a stretch-four.

13. PHOENIX SUNS: Myles Turner, C, Texas

At 7-foot and only a few pounds away from having an NBA-ready body, Turner can provide an offensive infusion, some rim protection and much-needed depth in the Suns' frontcourt. Between his shot-blocking prowess, his ability to play with his back to the basket, face up, or leak out toward the perimeter for the outside shot, Turner could be a valuable two-way player. At 240 pounds, he moves well for his size, but there are questions about his athleticism.

14. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Kelly Oubre, G/F, Kansas

With Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka healthy, and Russell Westbrook coming off his best season, the Thunder will add a lottery pick to a roster already capable of contending for a title. They could use a shooter to space the floor. Kelly Oubre's shot needs improvement, but he did make 36 percent of his threes last season. He has a 7-2 wingspan and defensive versatility, which GMs crave in a pick-and-roll heavy league.

15. ATLANTA HAWKS: Bobby Portis, F, Arkansas

A team that had four All-Stars, won 60 games in the regular season and went to the Eastern Conference Finals has the 15th pick in the draft? Thanks, Joe Johnson! The Hawks swapped picks with the Nets as part of the Johnson trade and are now in position to fill a need. They could use help on the glass and the 6-11 Bobby Portis, an active rebounder with good size, will provide just that.

16. BOSTON CELTICS: Kevon Looney, F, UCLA

The Celtics were expected to be a lottery team, and with the abundance of draft picks they have hoarded, they may trade up. With Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and Avery Bradley in the backcourt, the Celtics could be in the market for the likes of a Kristaps Porzingis, Willie Cauley-Stein, or a Myles Turner to provide a defensive anchor. If they can't move up to acquire a big, Kevon Looney has double-double potential.

17. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin

When your primary ball-handler is a poor shooter, he must be surrounded by floor spacers. The defensive-minded Bucks are looking for just that. Sam Dekker shot just 33 percent from downtown, but he played in the Bucks' home state, so perhaps Jason Kidd and the front office saw Dekker's heroic shooting performances in the NCAA Tournament. Could be enough to sell them.

18. HOUSTON ROCKETS: Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame

James Harden wants a better guard playing alongside him, and the Rockets could look to please him in the draft (or by signing free agent Rajon Rondo). Jerian Grant has a great handle, can knife into the lane and create for others. He struggles with his shot but likely won't shoot a high volume with Harden and Dwight Howard commanding the ball. That he spent four years in college bodes well for a win-now team coming off an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.

19. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: Frank Kaminsky, F, Wisconsin

The Wizards are in need of frontcourt help and who better to provide assistance than the national player of the year? Kaminsky could be drafted in the back end of the top 10, but questions regarding the 7-footer's defensive ability, specifically his lack of rim protection, could see him drop. His ability to shoot, handle, and pass at his size makes him very intriguing.

20. TORONTO RAPTORS: Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

Harrell is a high flyer, with a 7-3 wingspan, and tremendous leaping ability, qualities which helped compensate for playing undersized at power forward. The Raptors need someone to clean the glass, and Harrell is an excellent rebounder, especially on offensive boards. His mid-range jumper is improving. Jonas Valanciunas hasn't developed into the inside presence the Raptors envisioned, Harrell could provide weak side help.

21. DALLAS MAVERICKS: Tyus Jones, G, Duke

The Rajon Rondo trade was a complete disaster, so the Mavericks are once again shopping for a point guard. As a freshman, Tyus Jones was the floor general for a national championship winning team. He's a smart playmaker who rarely makes poor decisions with the ball, but he doesn't have great athleticism and isn't a ballhawk on defense. He has potential to be a team's point guard of the future.

22. CHICAGO BULLS: Delon Wright, G, Utah

There must be a reliable backup point guard in place behind Derrick Rose. The Bulls could use some youth in the backcourt, especially with Aaron Brooks set to become an unrestricted free agent. Delon Wright is a great distributor, he gets into the paint, and at 6-5, he can guard multiple positions. He is a poor shooter but could provide just what the Bulls need off the bench.

23. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, F/ Arizona

There are plenty of question marks, and potential holes to fill, for the perimeter-oriented Blazers with LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews set to become free agents in July. They could use a low-post presence, a backup for Damian Lillard at the point and more outside shooters. Might be smart to go with the best player available and that could be Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He could be an elite defender but is extremely limited on the offensive end.

24. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Justin Anderson, G/F, Virginia

Justin Anderson greatly improved his outside shot and could help space the floor for a team that has LeBron James and two players that could be first-options on most teams (assuming Kevin Love returns). Anderson is a great athlete and defender and would bring youth to the Cavs' bench. Their lack of depth because of injuries was exposed in their run to the NBA Finals.


The Grizzlies' inside game could be even more dominant if they complement Marc Gasol (if he re-signs) and Zach Randolph with outside shooters to combat double teams. Rashad Vaughn, who shot 38 percent from downtown, could provide spacing by forcing defenders to stay within arm's length, giving the bigs more room to operate down low. The three-point shot is more important than ever, yet the Grizzlies attempted the second fewest threes in the league.

26. SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Cliff Alexander, F, Kansas

Hard to say which way the Spurs may go, considering the potential overhaul for what has been the steadiest roster in the NBA. Cliff Alexander, though limited offensively, has upside as a power forward. Once a highly recruited prospect, eligibility issues mired Alexander's freshman season at Kansas. The Spurs could be the ideal organization to help with his development. Three-point specialist R.J. Hunter also could be an option if the Spurs don't expect to re-sign North Babylon-product Danny Green.

27. LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Christian Wood, F, UNLV

Could be a long-term project, but it's a gamble worth taking for the Lakers with their second pick in the first round. At 6-11, Christian Wood can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. The California native has decent range on his jumper, can face up and is a quality rebounder. Washington center Robert Upshaw could be another project worth taking on.

28. BOSTON CELTICS: Chris McCullough, F, Syracuse

Again, the Celtics may look to package some of their picks in order to move up in the draft. Chris McCullough played just 16 games in his freshman season at Syracuse because of a torn ACL. Many believed he should have spent another season in college. That may scare off GMs and cause McCullough to fall into the second round. But his scoring, rebounding, and play in transition could help the Celtics' frontcourt.

29. BROOKLYN NETS: R.J. Hunter, G, Georgia St.

Having to swap picks with Atlanta in a season that the Hawks had the best record in the East certainly did Brooklyn no favors. The Nets need some help on the defensive end and could also use some shooters since their three-point shooting percentage dropped off considerably last season. R.J. Hunter is one of the better shooters in the draft and he moves well off the ball.

30. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Terry Rozier, G, Louisville

The Warriors are on the verge of winning the NBA championship, thus, they don't have many needs outside of perhaps a low-post scorer. They'd probably love to add another shooter such as R.J. Hunter if he is available. Rozier, a 6-2 point guard, is more of a scorer and less of a playmaker but is too undersized to play shooting guard. Nevertheless, he could provide value playing behind league MVP Stephen Curry.


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