01 Feb NBA 2015 Draft: Grading the top 5 Teams
The night of the 2015 NBA draft came out to be full of surprises! Live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York, millions of fans tuned in as they watched their team select a potential high caliber player that could hopefully help their team escalate to the next level in order to compete for the NBA championship.
It was the Minnesota Timberwolves who ultimately came out the biggest winners of the night adding the nation’s number one college prospect in Karl-Anthony Towns. As for the Lakers, Sixers, Knicks and Magic, they each have made bold decisions on the selection of their picks. Our experts are here to grade the top 5 teams on who they have drafted.
Number 1 Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves
Drafted: Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky 6’11” PF/C
Overall Grade: A+
It was obvious for the Minnesota Timberwolves to select Kentucky’s big man Karl-Anthony Towns first overall. Towns is a gifted young man who can play on both ends of the court. His defensive potential and free throws percentage is what puts him ahead of Jalil Okafor. Towns’ shooting, touch and rim protections will make it difficult for other teams to play against. With Andrew Wiggins and Towns, the Wolves now have a strong foundation to build moving forward.
Number 2 Pick: Los Angeles Lakers
Drafted: D’Angelo Russel, Ohio State, 6’5”, PG/SG
Overall Grade: A-
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled the biggest surprise drafting D’Angelo Russell second overall. Many thought that Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak would draft the second ranked college prospect in Jalil Okafor, however the Lakers took a different rout selecting a point guard from Ohio State in D’Angelo Russell. Russel is a gifted player who can create his own shot on the floor — he has a lot of potential and can really blow up to be an all star guard in the league. Assuming the Lakers can reel in a high-profile free-agent big man, Russel was the right pick for the Lakers to draft up!
Number 3 Pick: Philadelphia 76ers
Drafted: Jalil Okafor, Duke, 6’11”, C
Overall Grade: B+
The 76ers are now loaded with another young center as they drafted Jalil Okafor from Duke University. Given the setback of last year’s pick in Joel Embiid’s foot injury, it’s acceptable for the 76ers to make another big man selection in the draft. Jalil Okafor’s skill set revolves around his offensive post-up game. Okafor is considered to be a future all-star in the coming years. In order for him to succeed at a higher level, Okafor needs to work on the defensive area of his game. Overall the 76ers need to address their point guard position, maybe selecting Emmanuel Mudiay may have been a better option to help the foundation of the team. For this reason they get a B+.
Number 4 Pick: New York Knicks
Drafted: Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia, 7’1”, PF
Overall Grade: B
The Knicks shook the world when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall. The Latvian has enormous potential, whose game can be compared to Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitski. President and 11 time NBA Champion Phil Jackson believes that Porzingis is a great fit for the triangle offence and has the ability to knock down jumpers while being contested. Porzingis is a choice that is a very high risk with a very high reward and for that we give the Knicks a B.
Number 5 Pick: Orlando Magic
Drafted: Mario Hezonja, Croatia, 6’8”, SG/SF
Overall Grade: A
The Magic has addressed their SG/SF issue drafting Mario Hezonja from Croatia as their fifth overall pick. Hezonja is a knockdown shooter whose game resembles Kyle Korver and Ryan Anderson. Many experts believe that Hezonja is NBA ready and can already compete at a high level. The Croatian has the ability to handle the ball, pass and score from the perimeter. This was an easy decision from the front office of the Orlando Magic to draft the European stud.
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