clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 NBA mock draft: Jahlil Okafor is too talented for the Lakers to pass on at No. 2

The NBA draft is rapidly approaching. How do things shape up after Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor go off the board?

Since we last published a mock draft, the top three picks remain unchanged. But now we're only three days away from the draft and the potential destinations for this year's top prospects are starting to come into focus as we get deeper into the first round. If you're looking for more information on every player available Thursday night, check out my draft guide.

On to the draft:

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky

Towns has the potential to be an All-Star and he even has an outside chance of becoming a transcendent player. He's long, athletic and scores in a myriad of different ways on the offensive end. He has a great handle for a big man and will likely develop into a knockdown shooter. But he's going to make his most immediate impact on the defensive end as a shot blocker patrolling the paint.

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

This is actually an interesting slot for the Lakers, because Okafor might not be the best fit alongside Julius Randle. Neither player have shown the ability to hit jumpers or defend, but both are fantastic inside scorers. In fact, Okafor might be the best post scorer to enter the draft in years. He is only 19 years old but has advanced moves that 10-year veterans can only dream of making. Sometimes talent is all you need, and Okafor is about as safe of a pick as there is in the draft.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State

Positional versatility is valued in the modern NBA and Russell can provide plenty of that with his ability to play both guard spots. Russell is a nifty ball handler with amazing vision thanks to his 6'5 frame. He frequently delivered accurate passes off the dribble. But he also possesses a knockdown jumper, which could make him a threat shooting off the catch. Russell will give the 76ers the type of point guard they need, and his weaknesses on defense will be mitigated since so many athletic players surround him.

4. New York Knicks: Justise Winslow, SF, Duke

Winslow's versatility makes him a perfect fit for New York's triangle offense. He can play multiple roles on offense with his ability to handle the ball and spot up shoot. Few players show the tenacity on the defensive end of the floor that Winslow does on a nightly basis. He's long, has a strong base and can defend multiple positions. Most important of all, he wants to shut his man down. He epitomizes what teams look for in a leader.

5. Orlando Magic: Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia

Porzingis and Nikola Vucevic would make for a lethal front court combination if Porzingis is able to reach his potential. At the least, he'll be able to drain threes from all over the court. He played on one of the worst perimeter defensive teams in Spain's ACB the past two years, but would now be blessed with the likes of Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton on the perimeter, which could lead to a lot of blocked shot opportunities.

6. Sacramento Kings: Mario Hezonja, SF, Croatia

Vlade Divac has said he will look to draft the next Peja Stojakovic for the Kings. Maybe that player is Hezonja, a potential go-to scorer who has perfect mechanics on his jumper and the ability to drive to the cup and dunk over anyone.

7. Denver Nuggets: Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, DR Congo

Mudiay is an excellent pick-and-roll playmaker, though he must improve on his shooting. He also has wonderful potential as a defender due to his strength and lateral quickness. If the Nuggets are able to draft Mudiay and parlay Ty Lawson for a second lottery pick, their future will look extremely bright.

8. Detroit Pistons: Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky

After trading for Ersan Ilyasova, the Pistons could look to trade this pick, but if they stay with Booker, he could be a player who could come in and be a shooting specialist for them in Year 1.

9. Charlotte Hornets: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

Al Jefferson is now 30 years old and will be a free agent next summer, so the Hornets need to start planning ahead. Bismack Biyombo will be a free agent this year and while they have Noah Vonleh and Cody Zeller on the roster, they don't share the same upside as Cauley-Stein does on the defensive end.

10. Miami Heat: Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona

Miami's future is murky, with various players entering free agency and/or aging. Johnson is a high-end, versatile defensive player and provides complementary offense with his shooting and pick-and-roll play.

11. Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner, PF, Texas

Larry Bird has said the Pacers want to play faster and Turner could mark the beginning of a new era. Turner can spread the floor with his three, but also protect the rim as a shot blocker, though he's years from making an impact.

12. Utah Jazz: Frank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin

Kaminsky is probably the ideal pick for the Jazz. The Tank will be able to stretch the floor alongside Rudy Gobert, and he can drive to the rim, score in the low post and pass like a guard. Kaminsky's defensive weaknesses will be mitigated due to the presence of Gobert.

13. Phoenix Suns: Kelly Oubre, SG, Kansas

P.J. Tucker isn't getting any younger and Oubre has arguably the highest upside at this point of the lottery. Though he's raw and his mental makeup isn't what you'd like it to be, he's an uber athletic player that could get molded by the solid culture they're building in Phoenix.

SB Nation presents: The 3-pointer has gone from novelty to necessary

14. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State

Payne's draft stock has bounced around the lottery, but it's beginning to look like he could slide to the Thunder, one of the first teams who showed interest in the small school point guard. Payne could come in and push Russell Westbrook off the ball for portions of games, which would add diversity to a hard-to-stop offense.

15. Atlanta Hawks: Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky

Lyles brings the versatility that Atlanta values and he works as insurance in case Paul Millsap bolts in free agency. Lyles can play both forward spots and has an elite feel for the game, making him a good fit for the Hawks, who value passing and ball handling ability in their big men.

16. Boston Celtics: Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas

The Celtics value players who can switch on pick-and-rolls and Portis excelled in that area at Arkansas. He has the lateral quickness to defend wings and he's a solid pick-and-roll defender who plays with high intensity, making him a tone-setter on that end. Offensively he's good all-around and could exceed expectations if he extends his range to three.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA

Looney is from Milwaukee and would add even more length to an already stretchy roster. Looney can step out and hit threes, but also has the potential to put the ball on the floor and attack closeouts.

18. Houston Rockets: Tyus Jones, PG, Duke

There probably isn't a better situation for Jones than Houston. Jones brings excellent leadership qualities with his clutch shooting and reliable point guard play. With Patrick Beverley entering restricted free agency, there's a chance Jones would start immediately.

19. Washington Wizards: Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame

Drafting for need can be a mistake at times, but the Wizards desperately need a backup guard behind John Wall and Bradley Beal, and Grant can play both guard positions.

20. Toronto Raptors: Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin

It's difficult to slot Dekker this year, but Toronto could be a great fit for him with Dekker's versatility at both forward spots. If they're able to develop him into a more consistent three-point shooter, he could be a future starter.

21. Dallas Mavericks: Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville

With Rajon Rondo walking the plank of free agency, the Mavericks should look for a point guard on draft night. Rozier seems like a fine possibility. He brings the tenacity they wanted from Rondo on the defensive end, and is developing into a very solid distributor who can penetrate at will on offense. Playing on a loaded roster could also teach him how to play with discipline, an important factor in his development.

22. Chicago Bulls: Delon Wright, PG, Utah

Chicago has drafted wings two years in a row (Tony Snell and Doug McDermott) and now they need to fill other holes. With the seemingly ageless Kirk Hinrich showing signs of degradation and Aaron Brooks entering free agency, the Bulls should take a shot at Wright, who is a terrific perimeter defender and distributor on offense. His jumper is weak, but he could emphasize his strengths off the bench.

23. Portland Trail Blazers: Justin Anderson, SG, Virginia

Coming off an Achilles injury, Wesley Matthews will likely see his three-point percentages dip in 2015. Anderson is cut from the same cloth -- he has developed into a knockdown shooter, plays with unrivaled intensity on defense and is a high-character player in the locker room.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona

The Cavaliers could use a specialist, regardless of the type. And at this point Hollis-Jefferson is the best specialist available, with his potential to be a stud defender. David Blatt could assign RHJ to one of the opponent's top scorers, making for a lockdown tandem alongside Iman Shumpert.

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Montrezl Harrell, C, Louisville

You have to assume the Grizzlies are in "win now or never" mode, so Harrell makes a lot of sense as a serviceable defensive-oriented center who can come in and immediately back up Marc Gasol.

26. San Antonio Spurs: Jarell Martin, F, LSU

Martin received a promise from somebody in the first round, so he shut down workouts. Maybe the Spurs view Martin as a player who can exceed expectations because of his all-around skills. Though he's lacking feel for the game, he could develop it in San Antonio more than he would in other situations.

27. Los Angeles Lakers: Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV

Vaughn was a top recruit and may be viewed in a different light had he not been subject to a toxic situation at UNLV. He's a talented scorer that could come off the bench and get buckets for a rebuilding Lakers squad as he adjusts to the NBA.

28. Boston Celtics: R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State

Hunter is the type of player who could benefit from sliding and being drafted by a team where he could find an immediate role, which would be the case with the Celtics. He's a sharpshooter with deep range and his ability to run off screens would be of great value of a team that ranked 27th in three-point percentage last season.

29. Brooklyn Nets: Chris McCullough, PF, Syracuse

It's not a good feeling when you look in your wallet and see only loose change in there. That's how the Nets feel when they look at their future draft picks. McCullough might not be ready, but he has high upside and could've been a top 20 pick had he not torn his ACL. It's possible he'll give the Nets a greater return on their investment as a boom-or-bust pick.

30. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Brown, SF, Stanford

The Warriors are stacked, so they can afford to draft by team need. Surprisingly, something they need is perimeter shooting off the bench. Brown is one of the draft's best spot up shooters, at over 40 percent from three last season. If he develops as a defender, he could be this year's Khris Middleton.

SB Nation presents: How to construct an NBA champion