The draft is here! I’m so excited that I pushed through a hectic day to have a live post throughout the night, something I told Slim I probably wouldn’t be able to get to. He’s all like, “5,000 ranty words on Interstellar, and you can’t do a live draft post?!” And I’m like, “MUUURRRPPPHHHHH!!!!!”
Let me start with this question to loyal Razzball Nation readers – is the NBA draft the best of the professional sports drafts? My vote is hell yea! Better trades, it flows faster, rooks impact right away… Ugh, I wish the MLB draft got a little more interesting at the top. And the NFL draft, well, 2/3 of the players who get picked don’t impact fantasy so I care a lot less…
So here we go folks! I’ll be updating the post live with every pick – so constantly hit dat refresh – along with some immediate fantasy thoughts and a gut-call grade as we go. Here’s how the 2015 NBA Draft went down (which you can compare to Slim and I’s mock draft early this month):
7:28 EST – Maybe my ThrAGNOF bias is a big factor here, but I watched a lot of film on Mario Hezonja and I just don’t know… They just had a big board of international prospects, and the dude had him above Emmanuel Mudiay. I dunno about all that…
7:33 EST – I love that Silver’s speech was short. Also I love the 5 minutes between picks. None of this NFL 15 minutes ish.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns (PF/C)
Not much of a surprise here. His explosiveness on defense and ability to run the floor will make the Wolves fun to watch yet again. This is quickly turning into a really interesting squad. Especially with my Latin Lover Ricky Rubio racking up 14 dimes a game! With Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng still in the fold, I don’t know if KAT is a “for-sure” top-100 player, but we’ll see. I could see him getting in the late 80s/early 90s though.
Grade – A – I almost went lower thinking they could get a ransom for the pick, but it’s such a good fit.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – D’Angelo Russell (PG)
Hahaha Okafor looked so mad… About as mad as I am. Adios Jordan Clarkson… Yikes, I hate it. HATE IT! And then there’s what the Sixers do now!
I think it’d be hard to say Russell doesn’t have comparable upside to a full season of Clarkson next year, so I gotta think Russell is likely the first rookie off the board. 60ish? Should score, get dimes, and really have some crazy usage once Kobe Bryant gets hurt.
Grade – D – Don’t the Lakers need bigs? I guess they assume a FA is coming…
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Jahlil Okafor (C)
While Russell would’ve been mad fun to watch on the hapless Sixers, this was a great add for the Sixers – drafting someone they actually SHOULD’VE taken. I’m already seeing some mad tweeting about trades though… No, none from Embiid!
If this sticks, yikes for Nerlens Noel. Okafor is going to clog the middle worse than eating cement mixed with Indian food. Okafor’s awful FT shooting plus in a non-ideal location makes him for-sure outside of the top 100 for me, if he sticks in Philly.
Grade – A+ – Great value, and the Sixers didn’t F it up.
4. New York Knicks – Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C)
Wow, the Knicks fans suck!
Well, once we move past all the boos, I think this was a fairly solid pick. Although he has a little bit of growing room as a skinny stretch 4. Very interesting dynasty pick, that will have my REL interest peaked. Or peeked. Or pieked. However you spell that!
Very, very doubtful he’s drafted in standard 10 or 12ers. He’s friggin’ tall! Towered over whatever ESPN interview lady that was.
Grade – B – I like it, but there’s gonna be so much pressure on him to be good right away. Shows Phil Jackson is building for the long-haul, which the Knicks need.
5. Orlando Magic – Mario Hezonja (SG)
Meh. Seemed like it was going this way, and I hate it. Justice Winslow would’ve been such a better pick.
Super quick release, will camp for 3s, and I guess he’ll fit the Evan Fournier role. I just wasn’t too impressed with him when we did our mock… Streamable for ThrAGNOFfing, but that’s about it for me.
Grade – D- – If I’m a Magic fan, I’m going ballistic they didn’t get Winslow. That PG/SG/SF defensive edge would be redonk.
6. Sacramento Kings – Willie Cauley-Stein (C)
Wooooo, I got this right in the mock! (edit – oops – Slim fact checked me! He had Cauley-Stein to the Kings, but I remember thinking that made the most sense of any pick past KAT)
DeMarcus Cousins has always needed a good post defender next to him to keep him out of foul trouble, and this is a perfect fit if indeed the Kings keep Boogie and keep George Karl from trading him.
Defensive specialists aren’t the best for fantasy purposes, but I think he back-fills blocks and some out-of-position steals towards the end of 10 or 12 team drafts.
Grade – A+ – I obviously liked it before, and love it now – given it would change if they dump Boogie.
7. Denver Nuggets – Emmanuel Mudiay (PG)
Our mock had this right too! Except it involved a trade with Ty Lawson, but ya know, we got it right is all I’m sayin’. Gus Ayonin’!
His stock fell a bit through the past few months, but the rebuilding Nuggets get a huge upside PG to build around. If the Nugs dump Lawson which all signs point towards, he’ll enter the top 100, but just barely.
Grade – A – Great fit – even though he’s a tad raw, the Nuggets can handle it.
8. Detroit Pistons – Stanley Johnson (SG/SF)
Anyone else notice the ESPN Shaft music? Or whatever this funk stuff is they’re playing over his clips… weird…
Not a huge fan of this pick. Isn’t Jodie Meeks still signed a while? KCP is still there… I dunno, I’m not the biggest Winslow fan, but I think he’s better than StanJohn.
Playing time is going to be really funky here. Very unlikely he’s drafted in standards.
Grade – C- – Johnson is known for defensive size and prowess, but ummmm, Winslow fits that too… And I think is better.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Frank Kaminsky (PF/C)
Boooooooooooo! Booooooooooooooooo! F. As in the grade and in the word.
C-Zell had some usable moments, but other times when he was unstreamable. Seems similar to Frank the Tank’s status. Hornets the Tank is more like it.
Grade – F – Horrible pick. Charlotte franchises just keep taking college stars instead of NBA prospects. Adam Morrison. Sean May. Etc, etc…
10. Miami Heat – Justice Winslow (SF)
One team’s loss is another team’s gain…
He woulda been a great fit to the Hornets; instead the Heat get a great all-around player with lockdown defense. He won’t need to do too much on O with Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic (if he stays) sucking up usage. His rainbow flirting in a great situation like this has him a top 100 player for me.
Grade – A+ – It’s less on the Heat and more on the past 4-5 picks that have passed on him for some reason. Heat had such a value fall in their laps.
11. Indiana Pacers – Myles Turner (C)
Lots of buzz that the Pacers are shopping Roy Hibbert hard, so even though I was hoping to see an awesome tandem of Oubre and PG13, this seems to fit a need.
Tons of blocks and can stretch it out. I think the offense could still use some work, but this is a great situation if Hibby is sent out. He’s in the last pick or two range in standard leagues for me, but a lot will depend on projected playing time. Upside for 2 blocks and 0.3-0.4 3s is tough to ignore.
Grade – B+ – It fits a need, but the Pacers need to re-tool and I think need a little more O. But other than my man crush on Oubre, I don’t see a better option on the board.
12. Utah Jazz – Trey Lyles (PF)
Lyles has all the ingredients to be really interesting for fantasy, minute the treys. But we’re getting to the point in this draft where no one else is going to be drafted in standards, but he won’t be a target for me even in deepers.
Grade – B- – Not a bad pick, but I think the Jazz need more depth at 1-3 than 4-5.
13. Phoenix Suns – Devin Booker (SG)
This became an increasingly popular opinion in mocks – too bad I “reached” for Lyles in the mock and ended up not reaching enough!
Instant offense off the bench, but c’mon Jay Bilas – young Klay Thompson?! These comps are starting to get out of control.
ThrAGNOFish, maybe Gerald Green-ish in stats. “Wait JB, you comped him to someone on his own team? How lazy are you!” I told you these comps are getting out of control!
Grade – B – Solid. I thought a running big man would be a little more interesting, and if the Suns re-sign Gerald Green, it could be a little cloggy.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Cameron Payne (PG)
Wooooo, our mocks will rocks your socks offs! I got too crazy with plurals there.
One of the buzziest guys out of the top 10, since he’s from a mid-major he gets a lot of Elfrid Payton comps. Oh lord, selfie stick though?! Fail.
Combo G system should be fun in OKC, as they fill the Reggie Jackson role with another big PG/SG. Unfortunately like R-Jax, it will take an injury to make him valuable, especially in his rookie season. Dynasty drafts should give him some good attention though, as he carves out more PT the next few years.
Grade – A- – Will take some pressure off Russell Westbrook so his face doesn’t collapse on itself.
Atlanta Hawks traded to Washington Wizards- Kelly Oubre (SF) Meh. I love Oubre. Lovvvvvvvvveeeee! Except now he’s in a system that makes his fantasy upside really limited. All that talent starting ahead of him means he can get groomed. Although those shoes… DOPE! I don’t know if I’ll pursue him in REL anymore. Deeper dynasties like that are cringing that Oubre got picked to a good team instead of a bad one where he’d play pretty quick.
Edit – Ohhhhhh, Wizards might have an opening for him at the 3 sooner than later, starting to like this a lot more for the dynasties!
Grade – A –
Grades are for the real-life pick, and the Hawks did well since they can afford younger, more project guys. An A+ for the Wizards, who didn’t have to give up much for the move up.
TRADE: Greivis Vasquez traded to the Bucks for a 1st Round Pick.
Well, the Michael Carter-Williams trust factor is way down, but who could blame em?! Raptors got a second-rounder and a 2017 first rounder, so I think both teams made out good here.
16. Boston Celtics – Terry Rozier (PG)
Whoa, finally a big shocker! He was out of the first round on most boards!
Even though he’s played a few years at Louisville, his extra experience won’t have him getting enough minutes to be fantasy relevant.
Grade – D- – Not a big fan, although if Smart (or even Smart + another G) got moved for anything, maybe it makes more sense.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Rashad Vaughn (SG)
A lot of upside. Big boy for a SG, this gives the Bucks a chance to let Khris Middleton walk and Vaughn could even start right away. Maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but it gives them that option.
The Bucks need a big, but I like the pick even though we had Vaughn going a few picks later. If the playing time looks saucy, he might end up within the top 150 and a last pick option in 12ers.
Grade – A- – Flexbility with Middleton is solid, and they need a shooter regardless.
18. Houston Rockets – Sam Dekker (SF)
Hmmmm, interesting. Not bad. Interesting.
Dekker was one of the best values on the board, and he can slot in as some instant O at backup SG/SF/PF. Houston must feel like a PG is coming to them via free agency, as Slim and I both loved the idea of Tyus Jones heading to the Rockets.
Some streaming opportunities, but not draftable. Although if Trevor Ariza had a long-term injury, Dekker could slot into the starting line-up.
Grade – A+ – The more I think about this pick, the more it’s a great fit.
Washington Wizards traded to New York Knicks – Jerian Grant (PG) Heh? Isn’t this going to the Hawks? Why the hell do the Hawks need another PG? I wasn’t too impressed watching him in college, and this is a brutal fit.
Edit – OK, that makes more sense that he’s on the way to the Knicks. Not much for fantasy, but a lot better than going to ATL.
Grade – B – To the Hawks was illogical, but to the Knicks is interesting. I doubt he falls into a starting job, but should be an immediate impact backup.
TRADE: In the Wiz/Hawks hooblah, the Knicks got involved and send Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks.
Interesting, Hawks get an NBA-ready scorer at the 2. Solid add for a instant-O bench role.
20. Toronto Raptors – Delon Wright (PG)
So the Raptors dump Vasquez, get a future first-round pick, AND get Wright who I think can play backup PG to Kyle Lowry right away. Raptors might get the best moves of the night award.
Known a tad more as a defender, I don’t think there’s too much upside here. Obviously if he wins the pure backup PG role and Lowry got hurt he’s likely ownable, but that’s about it.
Grade – A+ – Some solid, solid moves tonight from the Raptors.
21. Dallas Mavericks – Justin Anderson (SF)
Surpsied the Mavs didn’t go Tyus Jones.
Another ACC player here that I wasn’t too impressed with. Given I only see ACC games and I’m biased for the cheating Tar Holes, I don’t know if there’s too much here in fantasy terms. A nice perimeter defender though.
Grade – C – The Mavs need some PG depth, even if it ended up being a backup.
22. Chicago Bulls – Bobby Portis (PF)
I’m sure Slim loves the value here! Slim took him all the way up at 12th overall in our mock, and almost every big board had him high teens.
Solid player down low – won the SEC player of the year – and will give the Bulls some extra depth in the front court. Should see minutes right away, but not enough to be too relevant.
Grade – B+ – Talent fell pretty far here to the Bulls. I don’t know if they could’ve done much better, but I don’t know if there’s huge upside here for a team with a lineup fairly set for 15-16.
23. Portland Trail Blazers – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (SF)
Well, so much for almost every mock – including ours – taking Montrezl Harrell here!
Eesh, I don’t think I like this pick at all. The Blazers need to rebuild, and a limited upside good defender I don’t think is the way to go. And I hate to say this – I’m perpetuating a league-wide issue – but he’s 20 which makes him a little old too.
Grade – D- – While his pants get an A, I don’t think this is a good fit for the Blazers rebuilding, unless they’re 100% sold that when caps expand in 16-17 they will be loading up on scoring vets.
Cleveland Cavaliers traded to Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyus Jones (PG) Everyone can love on their Matthew Dellavedova blow up dolls, but man the Cavs get an awesome backup PG that I think it ready now. If Kyrie Irving got hurt, Jones wouldn’t post “ridiculous” numbers, but he’d be really, really good.
Grade – A – Fantastic pick – a guy I mentioned a few times above I would’ve taken earlier. For the Wolves, they didn’t have to give up too much, but it’s not an A for them.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Jarell Martin (PF)
A big boy – he’s an interesting pick since he’s lauded for his offense and not so much for the D, the antithesis of normal Grizzlies picks.
I think he makes the team, but that’s about it.
Grade – B – Grizz could use some bench O. Not a home run pick, but a nice solid double.
26. San Antonio Spurs – Nikola Milutinov (C)
7 footer from Serbia with some upside at 20 years old, he hasn’t really played against great competition and he’ll need some time to develop. Has a lot of D-League work ahead of him.
Grade – B+ – The Spurs have no urgency for talent, so can afford to develop a big dude.
27. Los Angeles Lakers – Larry Nance Jr. (PF)
Wow, what a story. Dad plays in NBA, Jr. dealt with an illness, had to play college in friggin’ Wyoming, and is now a first-round pick. Dad will always be a better dunker though!
Like Milutinov, seems destined for the D-League. Maybe some upside down the road.
Grade – B – At this point in the draft, any upside is welcomed, but I had the feeling Chris McCullough was the development player they would go with.
28. Boston Celtics – R.J. Hunter (SG)
Wouldn’t have Rozier fallen to 28? Weird…
A non-stop shooter, I love a tweet I saw saying he’s this year’s Jimmer Fredette. Yikes. Apt, but he is 6’6 and should be a solid 2 guard. Not much to see for fantasy, but could grow into a post-ASB ThrAGNOF.
Grade – A- – While I thought he was a little overrated coming into the draft, he fell pretty far and the Celtics could use a big guard that can bang a few treys.
29. Brooklyn Nets – Chris McCullough (PF)
Aha! This is where McCullough was told he would go, as he is coming off an ACL tear and it seemed like his draft stock would go up if he stayed another year. It was rumored a team told him he’d be a first round pick if he entered.
Here’s your deep dynasty shot in the dark. Great upside, has old forwards and centers ahead of him for the future, with upside for an all-around game including some treys.
Grade – A+ – Awesome fit, great upside, and the Nets get the ultimate home run pick. Nets fans there in Barclay’s loved it too.
30. Golden State Warriors – Kevon Looney (PF)
Prospected to go in the 20s, the Warriors pick up a nice value with a little risk due to a hip issue that ESPN would not stop talking about.
Another high Slim pick (he had him #16), Slim loves his upside although he doesn’t have much of a shot yet. A nice home run pick.
Grade – A – Warriors are built for now with a for-sure backcourt, might as well go for big upside in the front court.
Well, a fun draft, but lacking the fireworks! Very few trades, and really only the Rozier pick was jaw-dropping (in the good or bad way). Maybe the Kaminsky one too. Stupid Hornets. Their first-round picks the past decade have been god awful.
Happy offseason, Razzball Nation!