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The 2015 NBA Draft Thread: Draft Day Is Here - Page 41

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Shoud've made it Trillie Cauley-Stein nthat.gif
One Last Ride
One Last Ride
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Still can't believe dude from OSU blew that layup
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It's going to be HILARIOUS to watch the Knicks fans react when they draft Porzingis :lol

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As a PG, are there any similarities between D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner?
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If the Magic draft Porzingis mean.gif


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Originally Posted by cleansneaksonly21 View Post

Ya'll can have him.




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He has great vision, is stronger than perceived, not very explosive off the dribble, but uses his handle to set up defenders and seals with his body well.  defensive liability.  Would do well with a center that can protect the rim and support him from the backside. 

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I agree.  He is better than I thought he would be, but I do not know if I would trade to get him to run my team (if I had a team).

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Originally Posted by JJs07 View Post

As a PG, are there any similarities between D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner?
He already had the Cauley

Both light skinned, that's about it.

Russell is already a better shooter than Turner will ever be and he's coming to the league at a far younger age.
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Originally Posted by VICTOR PAGE View Post

It's going to be HILARIOUS to watch the Knicks fans react when they draft Porzingis laugh.gif

100% certain this isn't gonna happen

NY Knicks | NY Jets | NY Yankees


"When I die I want the Knicks/Jets to carry my casket so they can let me down one last time"



NY Knicks | NY Jets | NY Yankees


"When I die I want the Knicks/Jets to carry my casket so they can let me down one last time"


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Originally Posted by JJs07 View Post

As a PG, are there any similarities between D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner?

Russell can shoot and can play without the ball in his hands also more athletic than ET

Maybe they played the same roll at OSU but that's all the similarities
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Originally Posted by JJs07 View Post

As a PG, are there any similarities between D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner?

Turner couldn't shoot it like Russel and was old as dirt when he broke out in college.
Instagram. | just my art and photography. #NT will follow back. Also Flickr.
Instagram. | just my art and photography. #NT will follow back. Also Flickr.
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Russell is about to be my favorite guard in the league behind Kyrie.
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Originally Posted by JJs07 View Post

As a PG, are there any similarities between D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner?

Both light skin
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Originally Posted by keeL252 View Post

Russell is about to be my favorite guard in the league behind Kyrie.



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Originally Posted by FinallyFamous View Post


We all saw that one coming laugh.gif
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Super Mario :hat

Kobe 8 System :  The Man, The Myth, The Manigault
Kobe 8 System :  The Man, The Myth, The Manigault
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Originally Posted by EarldaGoat View Post

Super Mario pimp.gif

eek.gif:x @ the .55 second mark. How do they not run that play back AT LEAST 3 times in slow motion.

Mario lookin' like he have it all.
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Range to the parking lot, can create his own shot, premium size for his position and great athlete?

Sign me up man, Pistons better get him.
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Mario looks like ROY if he gets on a team that gives him some burn. Lot of points to be scored by that youngster.
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Dom (Fl) [via mobile]

Mario Hezonja, the next.....?
Chad Ford (1:10 PM)

He actually reminds me of a young ... Danny Ainge (cue Danny rolling his eyes when he reads this). He's bigger than Danny, but has a similar game and plays with the same sort of fire.


An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.
An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.
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Yea I remember Ainge pulling up from 40 feet early in the shot clock and catching reverse alley oops with his head at the rim.

Comparison is spot on.
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someone said drazen petrovic before
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The kid has the usual Euro size and skill, but he moves WAY more fluid than most those guys. Plus he's taking into people, not away. One other thing of note is that the game seems to come to him. What's the last prospect that has the flair he does?
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@DraftExpress: Jahlil Okafor has only been here for four days, but he came in phenomenal shape. As lean as I've ever seen him. Hasn't been vacationing...


NY Knicks | NY Jets | NY Yankees


"When I die I want the Knicks/Jets to carry my casket so they can let me down one last time"



NY Knicks | NY Jets | NY Yankees


"When I die I want the Knicks/Jets to carry my casket so they can let me down one last time"


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Originally Posted by nickmaz96 View Post

@DraftExpress: Jahlil Okafor has only been here for four days, but he came in phenomenal shape. As lean as I've ever seen him. Hasn't been vacationing...


Tryna get that #1 pick money, ain't **** sweet. laugh.gif
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Thread Starter 
Chad Ford's 'Grade: A' mock draft

Every year I produce roughly 12 Big Boards and seven to eight Mock Drafts as a way of reporting how NBA scouts and GMs rank various players in the draft (Big Board) and what each individual team is thinking about doing with their draft picks (Mock Draft). Both are reported pieces that examine what NBA teams think, and what they're likely to do.

My opinion typically doesn't come into play until after the draft is over, when I produce my annual Draft Grades column. It's the first take of the year, from me, on who I actually liked and didn't like in the draft.

This year, my editors asked me to try something a little different. My NFL draft counterpart Mel Kiper produced a Grade A Mock Draft last month, playing the role of GM for all 30 teams and taking what he believed to be the best possible player and fit for each team. In other words, it was what every team would have to do to earn an "A" grade from Kiper.

While I don't have Kiper's hair (or much hair at all, for that matter) or longevity (he's been doing this for 30 years -- I've been covering the NBA draft for ESPN since 2001), I agreed to give it a shot this year.

No sources. No anonymous GMs whispering in my ear. My take for all 30 teams, roughly seven weeks before the draft.

Per Kiper's piece, please read the ground rules for this sort of mock:

1. At each slot, I make a pick in the best interest of only the team with the pick.I won't pass on a player at No. 4 just because I like the team fit better at No. 5.

2. No trades unless they've already been established as of today.

3. Team needs are taken into account; however, value can and often will supersede need. If there's clearly a best player available on the board, I won't pass on him just to fill a need.

Again: I'm not reporting or predicting who will go where. This is my opinion about what should happen. Not what will happen.

Below is a team-by-team look, as well as a pick-by-pick version so you can see how the order of the picks progressed and get an idea of who was off the board when each team selected.

Picks in order, Rounds 1-2

Minnesota Timberwolves

Needs: PF, shooting

Round 1 (1) Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C, Fr., Kentucky
Round 2 (31) Rashad Vaughn, SG, Fr., UNLV
Round 2 (36) Kenneth Smith, PG, Sr., Louisiana Tech

Analysis: The Wolves are really stacked with young players, which allows them to be pretty flexible. I've been in Towns' camp for a while, regardless of who gets the No. 1 pick, but I love the fit in Minnesota. His ability to protect the rim and stretch the floor are perfect next to their young core of Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng -- and you are talking about the best young core in the NBA. With young players like Zach LaVine, Anthony Bennett and Adreian Payne coming off the bench and vets like Kevin Garnett, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin on the roster, the Wolves could be playoff-bound faster than anyone expects in the West. Vaughn is a value pick at the top of the second round. He's 18, averaged over 17 PPG as a freshman and can score from the perimeter or at the rim. He gives them a scoring 2-guard who also is big on upside. Smith is one of the best pure distributors in the draft and a nice third-string point guard to put behind Rubio and LaVine.

New York Knicks

Needs: PG, C, SG, SF

Round 1 (2) Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China

Analysis: There's going to be a lot of debate in New York about this pick. Towns will be the obvious choice for them if they get the No. 1 pick. If they fall where the odds say they will, at No. 2, there's a very tough choice to make among Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell and Mudiay. They need help everywhere, so need can't really factor into the equation. Here's why I would take Mudiay -- I think he's the one player with the swagger to handle the bright lights and criticism that inevitably come with playing in New York. He is confident beyond his years, plays in attack mode all the time and while he'll make mistakes, I think he's the one kid Phil Jackson could build around. The other options are intriguing. They need size, but I think an Okafor-Carmelo Anthony front line will be too porous defensively. They also need shooting and Russell provides that, but he too can be soft on defense and the Knicks have plenty of that. Toughness, grit and athleticism is what this team needs, and I think Mudiay is the best fit.

Philadelphia 76ers

Needs: PG, SG, SF, shooting

Round 1 (3) D'Angelo Russell, G, Fr., Ohio State
Round 2 (35) Chris McCullough, F, Fr., Syracuse
Round 2 (37) Michael Frazier II, SG, Jr., Florida
Round 2 (47) Vince Hunter, F, So., UTEP
Round 2 (58) George de Paula, G, Brazil
Round 2 (60) Arturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania

Analysis: The Sixers have six -- that's right, six -- picks in the draft. But five of them are in the second round, meaning they only get one real shot in this draft to add a major difference-maker. I don't expect the Sixers to actually draft six guys. Three is much more likely. But for now, here's what it would look like if they kept all of them. Nerlens Noel looked like a keeper after a strong finish to his rookie year. Joel Embiid has the potential to be the best player in the 2015 draft if he can stay healthy and keep progressing. The Sixers could end up with a monster front line in a few years. What they need desperately is some backcourt help, and I love what Russell brings them. I think the James Harden-Russell comps are right on. Not only does he provide something they utterly lack -- shooting -- but he also gives them versatility. Russell's ability to play both guard positions allows the Sixers to be more flexible down the road and his shooting should help open up the paint for Embiid and Noel. The rest of the draft is a who's who of upside. McCullough played like a potential lottery pick early in the season and has the unique ability to both stretch the floor and protect the rim. Frazier might be the most underrated shooter in the draft, and gives them a second guard who can stretch the floor. Hunter's an elite athlete who, if he ever learned how to shoot, could be a steal at this point in the draft. De Paula is another interesting pick, whom they could decide to bring over now. He's not ready, the Nike Hoop Summit made that clear, but he's got great size for his position and I believe he could be a solid rotation player down the road.

Los Angeles Lakers

Needs: C, SF, SG

Round 1 (4) Jahlil Okafor, C, Fr., Duke
Round 1 (27) Tyler Harvey, G, Jr., Eastern Washington
Round 2 (34) Michael Qualls, G/F, Jr., Arkansas

Analysis: I'm not down on Okafor. And in fact, if this were the 2005 NBA draft instead of the 2015 one, I think he'd go No. 1. He's the most offensively polished big man I've scouted in years. But I do think there are legitimate concerns about fit with Okafor. His lack of defense, his lack of elite athleticism and his poor free throw shooting are all major red flags for teams that are emphasizing smaller, quicker athletes who can protect the rim in the NBA. With that said, at No. 4, he's a no-brainer in this draft and paired with last year's lottery pick Julius Randle would give the Lakers a very impressive young front line for the future. I'm also a big fan of Harvey and even at 27, I think I might be selling him short. I thought about drafting him as high as 17. He's the closest thing I've seen to a young Stephen Curry and I think his backstory points to a young man, who, like Curry, will keep working on and improving his game to the point that he can be something special. He'll need to land on the right team, but given the Lakers' rebuilding process, I think he could find minutes and shots in LA and give them a much-needed sniper who can create his own shot off the dribble. Qualls is another value pick at No. 34. He's an NBA athlete all the way, defends multiple positions and when his shot is falling he's a dangerous weapon offensively, as well. If the Lakers can pull off a draft like this, I'll be much more bullish about their future than I am right now.

Orlando Magic

Needs: PF, Rim protection, shooting

Round 1 (5) Kristaps Porzingis, F/C, Latvia
Round 2 (51) Nedim Buza, G/F, Serbia

Analysis: I've said all year that I believe Porzingis is actually in the same tier with Towns, Okafor, Russell and Mudiay. He's an elite talent who would likely be in much stronger contention for the No. 1 pick if he were playing at Kentucky or Duke instead of in Spain. It's rare to find a 7-footer who can shoot the 3, protect the rim and see the game the way he does. The only real knock on him is that he's really skinny. But I think he's a great fit in Orlando next to Nikola Vucevic in the middle and Aaron Gordon at small forward. The Magic have drafted well the past few years. Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Gordon all have a chance to be really good. But Porzingis has star potential and if they're willing to be patient for one season while he adjusts to the league, they could have a very special team going forward -- high character, athletic, team-first. After Towns, Porzingis is the next guy on my board for Orlando over Okafor, Russell or Mudiay. As for Buza, he's a value pick at No. 51. He was up and down at the Nike Hoop Summit, but I do think he'll be an NBA player someday thanks to his length and ability to shoot it.

Sacramento Kings

Needs: Rim protection, PG

Round 1 (6) Myles Turner, F/C, Fr., Texas

Analysis: In my last few mock drafts I've had Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein here, and based on my intel, I still believe he's the most likely candidate to go at No. 6 if that's where the Kings end up picking. But I've had this nagging feeling all season that it's Turner, not Cauley-Stein, whom teams should be turning to if they're looking for a big rim protector. The analytics certainly back that up (somewhere Kevin Pelton is shouting "Amen" as he reads this). Not only was Turner a better shot-blocker as a freshman than Cauley-Stein was as a junior, but he has the unique ability to stretch the floor. He's not a good shooter. He's a potentially great shooter who was badly misused as a freshman at Texas. I've also been put off by the awkward way he runs all season, but my intel out of Vegas where he's been working out is that his knees are totally healthy and he's cleared up his running mechanics. If that's true, he's the most underrated player in the draft and I think the Kings would have to take him over Cauley-Stein. Cauley-Stein's ability to guard every position on the floor is so impressive, but his defensive limitations and questions about his personality on a team already filled with several question marks has me leaning Turner.

Denver Nuggets

Needs: SG, SF

Round 1 (7) Justise Winslow, F, Fr., Duke
Round 2 (57) Keifer Sykes, PG, Sr., Green Bay

Analysis: I love Winslow and kept trying to justify him going at No. 4 over Okafor (I was sorely tempted), at No. 5 to the Magic (again, he'd be a good fit there, especially culture-wise) and at No. 6 to the Kings (I believe he'd be an upgrade over Rudy Gay within a season). And when I do this exercise one more time right before the draft, I might have him in one of those three spots. But for one thing, that speaks to the strength of this draft at the top; and two, Winslow, for all of his pluses (motor, NBA strength, athleticism, leadership) still has question marks. His 2-point jump-shooting was atrocious this season. He dominated the game by playing power forward for much of the season -- a position he'll never play in the pros. And as much as his 3-point shot looked more than solid all season, his free throw shooting and lack of sample size put red flags there, as well. So could he be the Kawhi Leonard of this draft? Absolutely, but being a bit cautious with him doesn't sound unreasonable either, given the data. As for Sykes, he's one of my sleepers in this draft. He's super quick and explosive, he just lacks size and an elite jump shot. But at No. 57, I think he's a great value.

Detroit Pistons

Needs: PF, SF, shooting

Round 1 (glasses.gif Mario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia
Round 2 (38) Dakari Johnson, C, So., Kentucky

Analysis: With Greg Monroe potentially on the move, I'm tempted to reach for a Kevon Looney or Cauley-Stein here. But here's the thing -- at this point, in my opinion, Hezonja is clearly the best talent on the board. If Winslow is the best wing on the board, Hezonja's 1b. It's that close. And he fits their second-biggest need (assuming Monroe is gone). Hezonja to me, has the talent to go as high as four or five in this draft. He's got great size, is tough, athletic, shoots it and plays with such a swagger. He's a massive upgrade over what they had last season. Johnson gives them a solid backup in the middle. He's not sexy, he's not going to be an All-Star someday, but you can't play Andre Drummond 48 minutes a night and Johnson is a worthy 10- to-15 minute per night backup.

Charlotte Hornets

Needs: shooting, shooting, shooting

Round 1 (9) Kelly Oubre, G/F, Fr., Kansas
Round 2 (39) Joseph Young, G, Sr., Oregon

Analysis: The Hornets need a shooter, and they're in a funny place at No. 9. The two best shooters are ranked in another tier below them. Do they reach just because of need or do they hope that one of the guys in their range -- Oubre, Stanley Johnson or Sam Dekker -- turns into a really good shooter? I just don't think you dismiss talent for need and I think Oubre, especially, has the chance to turn into something they really need -- a long, athletic wing who can not only shoot but can defend. Oubre was streaky as a shooter, but I think his stroke is fundamentally sound. I know Hornets fans will scoff a bit here given Oubre's averages at Kansas, and given the Hornets' win-now attitude. But Oubre, on pure potential, has as much upside as both Hezonja and Johnson, maybe even more given his elite length. And pair him with an emerging Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh and I really think the Hornets will have something down the road. The goal isn't to be an seventh or eighth seed. It's to win it all and I think that warrants the gamble on Oubre. As for Young, I especially like this pick if he can play some backup point for them in a Lou Williams-type of mold. He's very undersized as a 2-guard, but as a 1 he's got great size, and unlike everyone else in the backcourt, he too can really stroke the basketball. Both of these guys could be major cogs for them in the future.

Miami Heat

Needs: C, SF, SG

Round 1 (10) Sam Dekker, F, Jr., Wisconsin
Round 2 (40) Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain

Analysis: I have Stanley Johnson going here in my mock and was tempted to put him there. He fits. He's got a NBA body, he can hit open shots, has a reputation as a tough defender, etc. But something is missing with Johnson and I can't put my finger on it. I want to love him. I understand his rep out of high school, but every time I watched him play, I was never blown away. And that leads me to Dekker. Dekker is bigger, he's a better athlete, and when freed a bit from the constraints of Wisconsin's system, I think Dekker blows up. He too is ready to play right now in the NBA and I think there's a swagger to him that Pat Riley will appreciate. I'd love to see them go head-to-head in workouts, but if I was drafting today, I think I'd take Dekker over Johnson and I think, in five years, I'd be right. Hernangomez is another guy who's probably underrated. Scouts came in with super high expectations for him and while he put up good numbers for his age, he was never dominant in Spain. The Heat aren't getting a game- changer at No. 40, but Hernangomez could play in the NBA right now.

Indiana Pacers

Needs: C, PF, SG, backup PG

Round 1 (11) Willie Cauley-Stein, F/C, Jr., Kentucky
Round 2 (43) Andrew Harrison, G, So., Kentucky

Analysis: Larry Bird made it clear in the exit interview that the lumbering Roy Hibbert was part of the past. He wanted a more athletic, quicker front line going forward. If Cauley-Stein actually fell this far, he'd be absolutely perfect in Indiana and the up-tempo approach they want to move to. Cauley-Stein to me is a fit type of pick. On the right team, he could be a stud. On the wrong team, a bust. I think the Pacers are the right team. As for Harrison, I think Bird has proved he's willing to rehabilitate high school stars and give them a second chance. It worked with Lance Stephenson and I think it could work for Harrison, as well. The Pacers could use the help at both backcourt positions and if Harrison humbles himself and puts in the work, I could see him eventually helping much like Stephenson once did off the bench.

Utah Jazz

Needs: backup PF, backup SF, shooting

Round 1 (12) Kevon Looney, F, Fr. UCLA
Round 2 (42) Aleksandar Vezenkov, SF, Cyprus
Round 2 (54) Anthony Brown, G/F, Sr., Syracuse

Analysis: The Jazz are one of the few teams in the lottery without any glaring needs. Their starting five of the future is pretty set: Dante Exum at point guard, Alec Burks at SG, Gordon Hayward at SF, Derrick Favors at point forward and Rudy Gobert at center. That starting five has a chance to be awesome someday, and I don't think anyone in Utah is going to mess with it. Burks is the biggest question mark of the group, but given his recent contract extension, they're going to try to make it work. And even if it doesn't, the way Rodney Hood played toward the end of the season gives them hope that his replacement might already be on their roster.

That frees them to take the best player available, and I think that's Looney. If there is a third tier in this draft, it ends around No. 12 and Looney is the last guy in it. He has the talent of a top-five pick, but it's still unclear where his position will be in the pros, and he's seen as a longer-term project than most. I'm not sure he is a long-term project, and I think in Utah he could get minutes right away backing up both Favors and Hayward. He's one of the most versatile players in the draft and a steal at No. 12. Vezenkov is really intriguing, as well. He might be the most skilled young forward in Europe right now. He's just not an elite athlete, and that limits his upside somewhat. But the Jazz have always valued basketball IQ, players who can execute and he could be a steal down the road for them. Brown is just a solid senior who can shoot the basketball and defend. He could end up being a Wesley Matthews-type pick for them late in the second.

Phoenix Suns

Needs: backup C, backup PG

Round 1 (13) Cameron Payne, PG, So., Murray State
Round 2 (44) Timothe Luwawu, SF, France

Analysis: Another point guard? With Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight already on the roster? Hear me out. Both Bledsoe and Knight are really 2-guards in point guard bodies. They'll work well together and will get a ton of minutes playing both guard spots. But Payne is more of a pure point guard and frankly, sees the floor better than both of them. I love him and I think you take the best talent on the board -- especially with Knight a free agent and the long-term results of this experiment still very much up in the air. Long-term, the Suns will need help to back them up anyway. Remember they traded away Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Ennis at the trade deadline and only brought in Knight in return. They could choose to re-sign Kendall Marshall this summer, but I think Payne is a much better long-term solution. As for Luwawu, he's a draft-and-stash pick who's got the athleticism to play in the league someday if his skill set ever catches up.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Needs: SG, backup PG

Round 1 (14) R.J. Hunter, SG, Jr., Georgia State
Round 2 (48) Guillermo Vives, PG, Spain

Analysis: I'm a bigger fan of Hunter than most. I think he's an elite shooter (ignore his shooting this year; he took every shot with two defenders draped on him), has elite length for his position (he has a 6-foot-10 wingspan) and he has a crazy high basketball IQ. He has a lot of Klay Thompson in his game and a Klay Thompson-type player is exactly what the Thunder need. I'm not in love with the rest of their corps of 2-guards -- Dion Waiters, Andre Roberson, Anthony Morrow, Jeremy Lamb. None of them are getting it done. Given the long-term needs of the franchise he's worth a pick here. (For what it's worth, I think the Hornets at No. 9, Pacers at No. 11 and Jazz at No. 12 should take a long look, too). Kevin Pelton has Hunter ranked as the fifth-best player in the draft and I think that's a lot closer to the truth than in the 20s, where most NBA teams have Hunter ranked. As for Vives, he's another draft-and-stash candidate. A pure point guard with great size who just lacks elite athleticism.

Atlanta Hawks

Needs: SF, C

Round 1 (15) Stanley Johnson, G/F, Fr., Arizona
Round 2 (50) Alan Williams, PF, Sr., UC-Santa Barbara
Round 2 (59) Olivier Hanlan, G, Jr., Boston College

Analysis: The Hawks benefit from the Nets' decision to hand over the farm in exchange for Joe Johnson and of all the actual assets they received (their biggest by far was cap flexibility) this might be the one they cash in on. If Johnson is on the board (or Sam Dekker) they've got a shot to upgrade at the 3 with an 18-year-old. Very few teams with the best record in their conference would ever have such an opportunity. And while I'm not sold that Johnson is a star, I do think he's going to be in the league a long time and would be perfect on a team that's competing for a championship. Williams reminds me a bit of a young Paul Millsap. Teams wrote off Millsap for four years because he was undersized and lacked conditioning, but ignored the fact that he somehow found a way to outrebound everyone in the country. Williams has averaged 10.7. 11.5 and 11.8 RPG the past three seasons, all in about 30 minutes per game. And his shot-blocking and steal numbers point to the fact that while he's not very tall, his crazy long arms (he has a 7-2 wingspan) make up for much of it. As for Hanlan, he's another intriguing underclassman who, if he can make the transition to point guard, could end up being a great value pick for the Hawks.

Boston Celtics

Needs: C, rim protection, SF

Round 1 (16) Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, G/F, So., Arizona
Round 1 (28) Robert Upshaw, C, So., Washington
Round 2 (33) Cedi Osman, G/F, Macedonia
Round 2 (45) Chris Walker, F, So., Florida

Analysis: Celtics fans are rightfully stoked that this year's squad made the playoffs. But it came at huge price. There are 10 to 12 real difference-makers in this draft and the Celtics fell to 16. If it cost them a chance at a rim protector like Cauley-Stein or Turner, or an upgrade at small forward like Winslow or Hezonja, this year's run hurt the franchise long term. I confess that Hollis-Jefferson is one of my favorite players in this draft. I know he can't shoot and the Celtics need someone who can do more than play hard. But man, does he do everything else so well. He's so tough, so versatile and if he could ever get his jump shot straightened out, he could be a Kawhi Leonard-type player. I don't know how the Celtics would score with Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and Hollis-Jefferson on the floor. But I also don't know who could score against them. Upshaw is the one guy who could be a big factor for them. He has major off-the-court red flags, but he was the best shot-blocker in the country last year and if he can stay out of trouble will be an absolute steal for the Celtics at No. 28. He's worth the risk given the Celtics' needs. Osman is also a great get as a potential point-forward down the road. He's already playing big minutes in Turkey and while he might not be ready for prime time yet, he's the type of Euro who could develop into something special with another season or two in Europe. Walker is a crazy athlete who, if he ever developed a jump shot, could be a really nice player in the NBA someday. He was ranked as a lottery pick over the course of his freshman year. At No. 45, he's worth a shot.

Milwaukee Bucks

Needs: C, shooting

Round 1 (17) Frank Kaminsky, C, Sr., Wisconsin
Round 2 (46) Nikola Milutinov, C, Serbia

Analysis: I'm pretty sure Kaminsky won't actually last this long in the real draft, but I think this would be the best-case scenario for him and Milwaukee. I like Kaminsky, but I don't think he has the upside of a lottery pick. He's, at best, Channing Frye. But on a team like the Bucks who desperately need some size, he could be perfect, get plenty of minutes and meld into a very intriguing up-and-coming team. The combination of Michael Carter-Williams at PG, Khris Middleton at SG, Giannis Antetokounmpo at SF, Jabari Parker at power forward and Kaminsky at center has a great long-term future. As for Milutinov, he's a draft-and-stash prospect with some real upside. He's big, mobile and fundamentally sound. With another few seasons in Europe, he could be a nice asset for the Bucks.

Houston Rockets

Needs: PG

Round 1 (18) Jerian Grant, G, Sr., Notre Dame
Round 2 (32) Cliff Alexander, PF, Fr., Kansas

Analysis: I don't think there's a person alive who doesn't know that the Rockets need help at point guard. Patrick Beverley is good when he's healthy, but he's a free agent this summer. And that's about it. Grant is another of my favorites in this draft, and I kept looking for spots ahead of here to put him. The Thunder were especially tempting. I went back and forth between Grant and Tyus Jones a bunch of times. I get the argument for Jones, and the more I talk to people in the league, the more I think he's the odds-on favorite to be selected by the Rockets if he's on the board. He is coming off a national title, was the most outstanding player of the Final Four and is an analytics darling (he ranks No. 3 overall on Kevin Pelton's board). But I actually like Grant as a prospect better. I just thought, given where the Rockets are, Grant is a better fit for a couple of reasons. One, he's more versatile than Jones. James Harden is the primary ballhandler for them and Grant can play off the ball. Two, he has a huge size and athleticism advantage over Jones. Three, given where the Rockets are as a team, he's more ready to come in and compete right now. As for Alexander, I never saw why he was rated as a lottery pick. He has the NBA body, but he's undersized and his basketball IQ is really low. But as a backup big who can rebound, and play with energy? Pick No. 32 sounds just about right.

Washington Wizards

Needs: PF, backup C

Round 1 (19) Bobby Portis, PF, So., Arkansas
Round 2 (49) Mouhammadou Jaiteh, F/C, France

Analysis: Néné will be coming into the last year of his contract. The Wizards are set with young players at point guard (John Wall), shooting guard (Bradley Beal), small forward (Otto Porter) and have a veteran center, Marcin Gortat, in his prime. But power forward is still a major need and Portis looks like the perfect fit for them. He's a lot like Porter -- he doesn't excel at any one thing, but does just about everything well. He can score inside and outside, rebounds, blocks shots and if he has a talent, it's playing hard. The Wizards' backcourt is the engine that makes this team run. They just need bigs who will play their role, and I think Portis is perfect for that. Jaiteh is another big man who is probably underranked. Scouts fell in love with him as an 18-year-old, were turned off by a poor performance at the Nike Hoop Summit and have ignored the fact that he's gotten much better the last two seasons. He has the size to be a really good backup big man down the road.

Toronto Raptors

Needs: PF, backup C, backup SG

Round 1 (20) Montrezl Harrell, PF, Jr. Louisville

Analysis: Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough are both free agents this summer, as GM Masai Ujiri starts to remake this Raptors team. What the team needs is more players with attitude (a quality Ujiri loves), and Harrell provides that. He's not the most skilled big guy on the planet, but he attacks the rim and plays with a great motor. Trey Lyles and Christian Wood are both other intriguing names for me here. I'm a fan of both of them, but I just think Harrell is a better fit with this team.

Dallas Mavericks

Needs: PG, C, SG

Round 1 (21) Tyus Jones, PG, Fr., Duke
Round 2 (52) Marc Garcia, SG, Spain

Analysis: If Jones doesn't go to the Rockets, it seems likely he'd go to Dallas for almost all the same reasons he'd go to Houston. They too really need help at the point. They love analytics, too. And at this point, Jones is the best point guard on the board. I'm not sure I see the Mike Conley comps everyone else is making. Jones isn't the athlete or defender that Conley was coming out of Ohio State, but I do feel like Jones has the best feel of any point guard in the draft and won't be asked to do much more than make good plays and keep turnovers to a minimum -- things he does exceptionally well. Garcia was considered a first-round talent before struggling this season. The talent's there, the production wasn't, but the Mavs could do a lot worse with a draft-and-stash candidate than Garcia.

Chicago Bulls

Needs: backup PG

Round 1 (22) Delon Wright, PG, Sr., Utah

Analysis: Everyone is enthusiastic about the return of a healthy Derrick Rose. But the key to his longevity in the league will be finding a worthy backup for him. Kirk Hinrich is getting too old for the gig and while Aaron Brooks played admirably, I think Wright is a better option. He's 22, is well-seasoned, can get anywhere he wants to get on the floor and sees the floor very well. If he was 19, he'd be a top-10 pick in this draft and at this point, I think he'd be a great fit in Chicago.

Portland TrailBlazers

Needs: PF, backup SF

Round 1 (23) Trey Lyles, PF, Fr., Kentucky

Analysis: LaMarcus Aldridge looks like he might have one foot out the door, which would leave a gaping hole at power forward for the Blazers. I don't think you find his replacement at No. 23, but in Lyles, you have a chance. I'm not sure how sexy a pick Lyles is. He reminds me a bit of a young Carlos Boozer. But the Canadian native has a high basketball IQ, a nice mid-range game and at this point in the draft, I think he's a great value pick for the Blazers.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Needs: shooting, backup PG, backup C

Round 1 (24) Devin Booker, SG, Fr., Kentucky
Round 2 (53) Jordan Mickey, PF, So., LSU

Analysis: I'm not as crazy about Booker as most are -- I think he's an example of Kentucky's loaded roster actually helping his draft stock. But at No. 24, given the move to more shooting in the NBA, I'm comfortable with him here over anyone else left on the board. Especially in Cleveland, which could really use a few shooters in the backcourt to open up everything else. Mickey is an enigma, an athletic forward who can block shots, but who is wildly inconsistent. But at No. 53, and given the Cavs' need for shot-blockers, I think he's good value here.

Memphis Grizzlies

Needs: shot blocking, shooting

Round 1 (25): Christian Wood, F/C, So., UNLV

Analysis: I want to like this guy's skills. I really do. I see the shot-blocking and how he runs the floor. He has a nice face-the-basket game. But there's a little too much "me" in his game for my tastes. His shot selection is poor and I don't think he wants to be a big man. The upside is there and I know lots of scouts are falling for him. I usually fall for upside guys like this too, but I think there's a lot of risk with him. At No. 25, the reward outweighs the risk, especially for a Grizzlies team that could really use a shot-blocker coming off the bench.

San Antonio Spurs

Needs: SG, PF

Round 1 (26) Justin Anderson, G/F, Jr., Virginia
Round 2 (55) Richaun Holmes, PF, Sr., Bowling Green

Analysis: I want to believe that Anderson is closer to the 50 percent 3-point shooter he was this past season than the 30 percent 3-point shooter he was a freshman and sophomore. I want to believe it, but by his place on the board, it's clear I'm struggling. What I also want to believe is that if I'm the Spurs' GM, he'll automatically turn into that 50 percent shooter just because of our culture. Guys don't come to the Spurs and fail. As for Holmes, I've been watching tape on him since his breakout performance at Portsmouth and I'm intrigued. He's definitely far from a sure thing, but then again, if we're the Spurs, he'll be an All-Star in five seasons.

Brooklyn Nets

Needs: SG, SF, backup PG

Round 1 (29) Terry Rozier, G, So., Louisville
Round 2 (41) Moussa Diagne, C, Senegal

Analysis: I like Rozier more than his No. 29 spot indicates. I just couldn't see him on a number of teams ahead of the Nets. The Nets have Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack already, but Rozier can play off the ball, and long-term, neither of those guys are the answer. Both will be on the trading block heavily this summer. What Rozier lacks in polish, he makes up for in athleticism and toughness. As for Diagne, he's big, athletic and a very good defender. He's a draft-and-stash candidate until Brook Lopez's contract expires at the end of next year.

Golden State Warriors

Needs: Backup PF, backup SG

Round 1 (30) Jarell Martin, F, So., LSU

Analysis: The Warriors have an embarrassing wealth of riches right now. I'm not sure they need anything. But I like the Martin fit here. I've always been intrigued by his potential. He's athletic and versatile. He's just never found a great fit. But I could see him becoming a weapon off the bench in Golden State behind Draymond Green, once David Lee's contract expires in another year. I think there's a lot more to Martin's game than what we saw at LSU.

New Orleans Pelicans

Needs: C, shooting

Round 2 (56) Paul Zipser, F, Germany

Analysis: The Pelicans honestly aren't going to get much at No. 56. But I still am intrigued with Zipser as a potential draft-and-stash candidate from Germany. He's athletic, a good shooter off the bounce and in a few years could make this pick much more valuable than had they just drafted a college senior.

Los Angeles Clippers

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I slipped a question into Chad Fords chat. See if you can spot it. nerd.giflaugh.gif
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