There’s some sort of postseason going on, Stephen Curry is flying through the air, Klay Thompson is luckily OK after a Vincent Van Gough scare, there’s only two teams left…  but all of that is less exciting to us than the new blood to enter the 2015-16 Fantasy player pool!  As we’ve done for the second straight year (is two years considered a tradition yet?!), Slim and I mocked the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft by alternating picks for their respective teams with a fantasy outlook for each rook.  2014 didn’t… um…  go quite to plan.  But hey!  We got a couple right and this year doesn’t quite offer the top-to-bottom talent as 2014.  With a little bit more of an even playing field, I have a feeling this Draft will feature even more trades and more surprising risers and fallers…  Hopefully we get a good portion of the lottery right!  The optimist in me is ready ta go!  Here’s our 2015 Mock NBA Draft:

1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns – PF/C (JB)

Woooo, about to be the third straight #1 overall pick heading to Minnesota!  And well, two of them should be pretty entertaining to watch, amiright?! (sorry to have lost your click, Anthony Bennett‘s family…)  Look at Andrew Wiggins and Towns play together, already in sync!  Towns will give the Wolves great versatility up front and a great defender to spell the – I dunno – 12 minutes a game Nikola Pekovic will play.  I love this stat – in 321 less minutes, Towns had 34 more blocks than Okafor.  The Wolves need some more explosiveness on defense rather than a pure post scorer.  Although if the Wolves do champion Okafor, I could see them squeezing out a decent ransom from the Lakers to swap the top two picks – I bet LA would love Towns.

While I think he’s a great fit for the Wolves and will be effective in the NBA right away, I’m not sure if Towns will be the best fantasy pick.  Splitting time with Pek will be frustrating, but he’ll be close to must own when Pek has his inevitable injury issues.  The blocks should translate, he’s a good FT shooter, and should pull down a few boards.  But with the bevy of shotblockers to emerge last year, I don’t know if he’ll be a top 100 draftable guy.

2. Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor – C (Slim)

The Lakers have holes at every position (*cough* except PG *cough*) and with Towns off the board Okafor makes the most sense as the #2 option behind Kobe this year and LA’s #1 option in ’16-’17.  The biggest question mark seems to be whether or not Okafor and Julius Randle can coexist offensively since neither has much of a jump shot.  Then there’s the question of whether or not Jal-El, yes he is Superman’s brother from another mother, and Randle can successfully defend the interior.  Questions abound and the only answer I can come up with is that Jordan Clarkson is one sexy Filipino American and if he asks me my answer is yes, I will have his child.

Jal-El should start and see 30 minutes immediately out of the gate.  He’s going to score well on a high percent, he should board at a good clip, and we’re praying to whichever god is listening that his 1.42 blocks per game in college carries over to the NBA.  The biggest problem for us is his .510 FT% on 5.1 attempts per game as a Dookie.  He should be a solid pick on fantasy draft day but he’s only going to find his way on my team if I’m punting FT%.

3. Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell – PG/SG (JB)

Just like how the top 2 need bigs, the next two need points!  It’s all been foretold!  Is it me, or every time I see D’Angelo Russell’s name I think of The Wire…  Anyway, D Barksdale has some great polish (he’s not from Poland!) with the ability to create both in transition and in halfcourt sets off pick-and-rolls.  He’s a scorer just as much as a passer; a perfect fit for the Sixers scheme.

If this comes together, he’s the Sixers starter day one.  He should be less turnover prone than Michael Carter-Williams was in 13-14 and won’t rack up the steals, but otherwise shouldn’t be too much different than MCW’s rookie season.  Well, the FG% shouldn’t be as bad either.  MCW owners are like, “oh my god!  He’s MVP caliber!”  I’m of course not going there, but he’s probably the first rookie off the board for me next year in Philly.

4. New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay – PG (Slim) traded to DEN for Ty Lawson

There has been a trade.  The Knicks send Mudiay to Denver and receive back Ty Lawson and a future, conditional, protected, irrelevant for the next 5 years, 1st round pick.  If they can now sign a big man (Aldridge?) then maybe, just maybe, they could consider themselves a playoff caliber team.  A little bit of hope there for the Knicks, but I am thoroughly convinced if they do want to be a playoff team next year then this pick needs to be traded.

What can we expect from the Congolese born, by way of a Texas high school, product?  First off he’s a big kid and could probably, eventually, play both the 1 or 2 in the NBA.  Second, at this point he’s more of a slasher than a shooter but everyone seems to think that part will develop in time.  With a 30 minute starting gig in Denver he should give solid counting stats as the #1 option, with 3s and steals, but both percents and TOs could get a bit out of hand.  If this really turns out this way then Mudiay will be on my short list for fantasy rookie of the year candidates.  His ceiling is absurd and in a dynasty his price tag should be very high wherever he ends up.

5. Orlando Magic – Justice Winslow – SF (JB)

Tobias Harris is almost certainly walking from the Magic, opening a gaping hole at SF that seems perfectly suited for the talented one-and-doner from Duke.  I heard someone comp him to James Harden once.  I laughed at that person.  Winslow is better on the defensive side of the ball!  Not that he can’t score, but he’s not going to fill in Harris’ offensive shoes.  However, he’d give the Magic probably the best defensive PG/SG/SF in the NBA and doesn’t need to have an assertive role on O with Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic the main options.  The Magic – along with a good PF signing (cough, Channing Frye bust, cough) – could be a playoff contending team if they go this route.

If Winslow lands in a starting role, he’s so versatile and strong on D that I see him having no trouble racking up 32-33 minutes a game.  And he should be a multi-cat powerhouse if so, able to give rainbow lines on the regular.  That said, I don’t think he’s going to shine in any one stat and will be more of a metrics-friendly ranked guy over his true value.  A great stat-stuffer in the late rounds that I could see dropped in a lot of leagues and be a key streamer.

6. Sacramento Kings – Willie Cauley-Stein – C (Slim)

It’s finally going to happen.  The Kings are going to make the right pick.  “But DeMarcus Cousins is a Center, why would they draft another Center?”, you ask.  First, I appreciate the question.  Second, it’s because Cauley-Stein can guard 1 through 5, and on offense he just needs to stay out of Cousins way.  In this scenario you match Willie up with the opponents best big and let Cousins rest up for the offensive end.

Even with a nearly 30 minute role Cauley-Stein won’t be much more than a niche contributor, a couple of boards, a steal and 1.5 or so blocks.  Useful for sure, but there isn’t much upside for any offensive production.

7. Denver Nuggets – Mario Hezonja – SG/SF (JB)

Full rebuild mode!  After trading for Mudiay, the Nuggets get another quality youngun to develop with the Croatian winger.  Hezonja has a lot of professional experience playing the last three years for Barcelona, and pro experience actually dates back to when he was 14 in the Croatian leagues.  I only had one thing I could go pro at when I was 14, if ya know what I mean!  He has been on the NBA radar for a while, but withheld his name last year (smart move) and looks to be an easy top 7 or 8 pick this year, if not higher.

A shooter with good size, Hezonja profiles to be a little ThrAGNOFfy early in his career.  Even if he goes to the Nuggets who don’t have a standout at SG for the moment, I don’t think he’ll start right away despite the professional experience.  He’s still only 20 – but on the board at #7, he’s clearly the direction Denver should go with the best upside remaining.

8. Detroit Pistons – Kristaps Porzingis – PF (Slim)

If there’s one thing I miss about David Stern it was his uncanny ability to horribly mispronounce a player’s name on draft day.  Porzingis is a 19 year old 7-footer out of Latvia and that’s about the sum total of what I know.  We’ve all heard a few things, “He can shoot 3s, block shots, he’s got a high ceiling”, etc.  Maybe the ghost of Darko makes Detroit go a different route.  Or maybe it’s the ghost that gets Porzingis drafted by Detroit.  I’ve said too much.

I don’t think any team out there thinks they draft Kristaps to play immediately.  He needs a lot of seasoning.  I don’t mean just your usual salt and pepper.  These Porz chops need fire!

9. Charlotte Hornets – Stanley Johnson – SF (JB)

Virtually every mock has SJ heading to the Hornets with the 9th pick, as he fits an immediate need at the wing for a team with a bigger wing shortage than during last year’s Super Bowl.  A defensive-minded wing, Johnson could immediately play the starting 2 next to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the 3, then Charlotte brings in Mo Williams (seems like he’s staying) for offense alongside Kemba Walker for combo sets.

As we’ve seen with MKG, Charlotte has no issues starting the defensive minded guys only to bench the starters for bigger minutes-offense off the pine.  His O still needs some polish, and there’s still Lance Stephenson to feed a few minutes as well even though they seem way over him.  The contract means Lance’ll have to play… Unfortunately…

10. Miami Heat – Frank Kaminsky – C (Slim)

Assuming of course the Heat bring back their core, then I imagine they will want someone who can step up and score from the 2nd unit immediately.  Kaminsky certainly doesn’t have the highest ceiling (<– understatement), but he might just be the most NBA ready.

There are 20 minutes a night for Kaminsky game 1 on the Heat.  Best case he’s Ryan Kelly.  Worst case he’s Ryan Kelly.  I’m not trying to be mean to the man, but I need Kaminsky to prove he can guard an NBA big before I trust he’s anything more than Ryan Kelly.

11. Indiana Pacers – Kelly Oubre – SF (JB)

Still a tad raw at 19 (well, pretty much everyone is 19 these days, but ya know…), Oubre has easy top-10 if not top-5 potential.  6’7 with a crazy 7’2 wingspan, one of his best assets is his smooth jumper and the Pacers want to run some faster O.  They’ve already said they’d like Paul George to play some minutes at the 4 and really push the tempo, as their defensive-approach seems to be a thing of the past.

I see the need for Pacers to go big, but they could get a great running mate for Paul George in an explosive offense going Oubre.  He’s likely a bench player almost anywhere he goes, so won’t be a strong fantasy pick in any redraft league.  But in deeper dynasties, he might be worth a stash.

12. Utah Jazz – Bobby Portis – PF (Slim)

The Jazz don’t need a draft pick.  Wanna trade?  No.  OK then who can help Utah make the playoffs this year?  There are a lot of good Kentucky players but none of them were SEC player of the year.  People say Bobby Portis isn’t an elite athlete and won’t be able to translate his game.  He’s a 20 year old 6’11” stretch-4 who steals, blocks, and has ever increasing range.  Yeah sure, those guys don’t do well at all in the NBA.

Portis’ numbers at Arkansas were very fantasy friendly.  Low TOs, 54%/74% FGs/FTs his sophomore year.  While I do think he plays this year, it might not be game 1.  Trevor Booker played well last year and has another year on his contract, but in this scenario I think Portis is only one injury away from being 12-team relevant.

13. Phoenix Suns – Trey Lyles – PF (JB)

Front court depth was a big problem for the Suns – sure the Morris’ twins played fantastic – but other than Alex Len and when Brandan Wright came over, lacked any sort of length.  Lyles had a little bit of an up-and-down season for Kentucky, but a big part of that was he had to play SF next to their twin towers.  Some may see this pick as a bit of a reach, but his mobility, ability to create off the dribble for a 6’10er, and ability to slot at any front court position I think the Suns gamble on.

Lyles doesn’t excel in any particular area – not a great blocker given the length (but then again the out of position play could’ve been a factor) and only a decent rebounder – but he should have some nice games off the bench running the floor.  Not a huge fantasy asset out of the gate.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Cameron Payne – PG (Slim)

Is he Reggie 2.0?  If by that you mean OKC will barely play him for 2 years then yes.  While this is terrible for us, I don’t think it’s going to happen.  I think he’s going to be Elfrid 2.0.  By that I mean someone is going to trade ahead of OKC to land him.  Either way, this is the farthest he falls.

Payne’s sophomore season was amazing, albeit not against the toughest competition.  If his NBA ceiling is those numbers (20 ppg, 6 assists, 2 stls, 2.4 3s, 0.5 a block, 2.5 TOs) then he’s destined to be an all-star.  Does any of that matter to OKC?  Nope.  DJ Augustin will take all those backup minutes, but we might look back on this draft one day and say Cameron Payne was the best point guard in it.

15. Atlanta Hawks – Sam Dekker – SF (JB)

Maybe someone who knows a bit more about college basketball would know this, but Dekker was a #13 overall prospect when committing to Wisconsin and could’ve been a first round pick either of his first two years.  He stayed through his Junior season and had a great tourney run to boost his stock, and through those appearances got the layman’s attention.  Aka me!  He’s got a great all-around game, and would give the Hawks a great 3/4 option off the bench for some extra offense.

The Hawks just fell in the Eastern Conference Finals suffering several injuries to their wings, and everyone would expect them to contend again.  Dekker is NBA-ready now and won’t be expected to do too much off the bench.  And he won’t be expected to do too much for fantasy either, but if injuries rear their ugly head (particularly DeMarre Carroll – who along with Paul Millsap is a free agent as well), he could be an interesting ThrAGNOFfy guy for deepers.

16. Boston Celtics – Kevon Looney – PF (Slim)

I’m pretty sure Boston is eyeing someone else here, but this draft is no where near as deep as last year’s and they might need to trade up to get their guy.  Looney is a bit undersized at the 4 but he’s a good, strong defender and should be able to succeed there in the NBA.  He can shoot a 3, but his jump shot is probably the least NBA ready aspect of his game.

Boston has made promises to make big moves this offseason and if that happens then they can sit back and develop the 19 year old.  If they don’t, then Looney could compete for minutes at some point in the season versus the likes of Boston’s current bigs.  Either way Looney isn’t going to help us this year.

17. Milwaukee Bucks – Myles Turner – C (JB)

The Bucks would be buckin’ if they got a big man like Turner this deep into the draft, as several mocks have him going earlier.  Offering some great size for the defensive end, he also features a polished jump shot for a big that would give the Bucks an entirely different weapon at the 5 than John Henson or Larry Sanders the past few years.

With a solid role (which he certainly would have on the Bucks), Turner could offer a handful of 3s along with a boatload of blocks.  He also hit 83.9% of his FT in his freshman Texas campaign.  Those three things together in one player are uncommon, and while he’s certainly no Serge Ibaka, he could be a surprise contributor if he gets the minutes.

18. Houston Rockets – Tyus Jones – PG (Slim)

Duke’s style of play didn’t revolve around its PG and so Tyus had a Beverley-esque usage rate.  The Rockets connection is purely coincidental as Tyus has a much higher perceived ceiling coming out of college than Patrick Beverley, but Beverley is a free agent.  Nevermind, apparently there are no coincidences in life.

Tyus isn’t ready for the NBA.  There is plenty of upside for a dynasty though and maybe he could eventually put up stat lines like, I don’t know, Patrick Beverley.  Fine god, you win, there’s a plan.

19. Washington Wizards – Christian Wood – PF (JB)

This is one of the bolder reaches in our mock, but Wood is a perfect fit for the Wizards needs.  He gives them length and explosiveness above the rim in their front court, which is littered with veterans and more, aherm, grounded big men.

At only 19-and-a-half, Wood will be one of, if not the youngest player entering the draft, making him a little bit of a project.  His upside is easily lottery-level though, with length to block shots and an offensive game with enough upside to hit treys and get some nasty transition dunks.  It may take a year or two, but the really deep dynasties might want to scoop him up earlier than later in the right situation.

20. Toronto Raptors – Devin Booker – SG (Slim)

I’m having trouble getting excited about Booker.  I have an idea.  I knew a Devin.  She was a very pretty girl.  I’m getting a little more excited now.  Devin, the guy, shoots 3s, lots of 3s.  I think I know what our Toronto fans would say, “We have a SG/SF who shoots 3s, now try this poutine, eh?”  First, no, that’s nothing but starch and fat and second, I made this pick as an indictment of Terrence Ross.

Devin, the guy, might be the starting SG by the end of the year.  Whether that’s in the NBA or the D-League I couldn’t tell you.  He’s just ThrAGNoF.  I might not even care that he has a starting job.

21. Dallas Mavericks – Jerian Grant – PG (JB)

The Mavs need an up-and-down facelift at PG.  A starter.  Bench guys.  Everything.  So I see no way that they pass on whatever PG they can get, and it also wouldn’t surprise me to see them trade up a handful of draft slots if they champion Tyus Jones or Cameron Payne.

A breakout as a senior usually spells bust to me.  When I watched Notre Dame games, he didn’t seem to profile like a true PG and I think could be stuck in PG/SG limbo and not make much of an NBA impact.

22. Chicago Bulls – Robert Upshaw – C (Slim)

Breaking News!  The Bulls aren’t getting any younger.  Not that I believe Upshaw is NBA ready or anything, but he has big time shot blocking upside and the Bulls can afford to let him learn the game a bit more in the D-League.

I doubt he plays much if at all next year and if the stars align and he does play, he will be relegated to free throw punting teams only.  But those sweet sweet blocks.

23. Portland Trail Blazers – Montrezl Harrell – PF (JB)

I’ve seen virtually every mock have him land here, and as much as we like to be different I just couldn’t do it!  I’m now a conformist!  Ugh…  Anyway, Harrell would be a perfect backup PF to LaMarcus Aldridge if he stays for a team ready to re-tool and re-contend, or an NBA ready starter if LA walks in a rebuild to see how it plays out.

I watched a good amount of Louisville games this past year, and he disappeared too much for me.  Mostly on the offensive side that is, as he is a great defender and boarder.  If REBOUNDNOF was a term, Harrell would fit it perfectly…

24. Cleveland Cavaliers – R.J. Hunter – SG (Slim)

Hunter had a bit of an odd season last year.  He had more responsibility in the offense but at the expense of his shot.  It isn’t too often a sub 40% shooter in their final year of college is a 1st round pick, but there’s plenty of other things to build on.  Cleveland can bench him and let him develop; it’s a win-win all around.

One day Hunter is going to play meaningful minutes.  Maybe Cleveland trades him to Knicks for a signed bluray of Oldboy, stranger things have happened.  If that happened then Hunter could give lots of 3s and steals, FTs at high volume, he can block a shot… the fantasy upside is intriguing.

25. Memphis Grizzlies – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – SF (JB)

RHJ would be a huge get for the Grizzlies at 25th, bringing another defensive-intensive (rhyme time!) player to play wing off the bench.  Not much of an offensive prospect, RHJ will be an above-average NBA defender day one as he was widely regarded one of the best defenders in college basketball.

As you’d expect with a prospect drafted late first round more for defense, there will be little-to-no fantasy value here.  Long-term he could become a solid all-around guy, but profiles more like a role player – maybe Tony Allen-ish upside.

26. San Antonio Spurs – Rashad Vaughn – SG (Slim)

The Spurs have been drafting them young recently and at 18 years old, Vaughn fits the mold.  He’s a super aggressive scorer and profiles long term as quick offense off the bench.  The Spurs – and anyone who would look to draft Vaughn – is thinking much further down the road than this year.

ThrAGNoF bitches.  *Slim throws a gang sign*

27. Los Angeles Lakers – Chris McCullough – PF (JB)

Few players this deep have the upside of McCullough, with a long 7’3 wingspan that could develop into a very toolsy NBA PF.  He unfortunately tore his ACL last year, and beforehand was too thin as it was, so there’s a long road ahead before he can do much on a consistent NBA level.

While there’s a lot of hurdles, the upside could easily equate to a lottery pick.  Even though Kobe Bryant has one year left and will “want to win”, the Lakers could use a deep building block piece like this to swing for the fences.  Not much for fantasy in the next 2-3 years though.

28. Boston Celtics – Justin Anderson – SF (Slim)

This late in the draft you’re either going with depth or upside.  You don’t get to have both.  I think Boston chooses depth.  Anderson is good at a lot of things, but great at none.  Well, there is one: he went from a 30% 3-pt shooter his 1st two years to last year shooting 45% from deep.

If Boston thinks he’s that kind of shooter then maybe he can get a few minutes next year.  He’s a little older than the others at 21, he mostly played a sixth man role in college, and there isn’t too much competition for playing time.  But for us, just another ThrAGNoFer.

29. Brooklyn Nets – Andrew Harrison – PG/SG (JB)

Most mocks and outlooks project Harrison as an early 2nd rounder, but why not reach for a little youth at PG with a guy who has a pretty low floor and medium ceiling?  It’s easy to forget that he was seen as a sure-fire lottery pick when he originally got to Kentucky, and could have an immediate backup PG impact when he hits the NBA.

With Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack still around, Harrison wouldn’t be able to provide much of an impact, but both vet PG have been frequented in trade rumors.  For dynasty it seems like Harrison will likely be a career backup.  However, in the right situation with an injury or a rebuilding team dumping vets, he could have some decent stretches.

30. Golden State Warriors – Delon Wright – PG (Slim)

A senior?  They do exist.  Delon is a slasher, he can play an uptempo game and he’s a well above average defender.  He made strides with his 3-pt shooting his senior year, but if he wants to play for GS then he better practice.

There’s a bit of upside for steals and out of position blocks.  Earning playing time is going to be tough.  Fortunately he has the size to cover a SG.  The best thing you can say about Delon Wright is that he’s versatile; not the highest praise but it makes it easier to earn minutes.

 

And there ya have it!  Good luck to your favorite teams on draft day, and we’ll be recapping the big night once it’s said and done the day after!

  1. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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    Sick mock draft JB and Slim! Thanks.

    Out here in Rip City I hear a lot of folks proposing that the Blazers try to move Batum for a top 10 pick…I don’t understand why, but he really gets an unfair shake out here some times.

    If LA bolts we could be looking at an interesting rebuilding effort…money to spend and possibly some attractive options. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again dudes!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @OldMilwaukeePounders: Thanks for reading man!

      Hmmm interesting… Batum would be a fantastic piece for contenders, and if Aldridge walks too – yeah that’s some major rebuilding.

      I think if LA does indeed walk, I like the idea of moving Batum. I don’t think you guys will have a title-contender without him unless you bring in Love and a few more pieces. But Love said he’s staying in CLE… We’ll see on that haha.

      Thanks for stoppin by man!

      • Old MilwaukeePounders says:
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        @JB Gilpin: I honestly can’t see Love coming to town. He is widely disliked here, maybe more than any other player. Thoughts on Milsap fitting in at the 4 here?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Old MilwaukeePounders: Interesting, I didn’t know that…

          Yeah Millsap would be a good fit too, another mid range guy who can knock some 3s. He’s getting a little up there though, going to POR would kinda feel like you have only a 1-2 year window left unless you knock out some incredible draft picks

          • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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            @JB Gilpin: Yes, Kevin Love is actually from a town just outside of Portland, he just happens to have a bad reputation among most native Portlanders. He has gone on record as stating that he views LA as his “home” due to attending UCLA.

            If there is one thing Rip City residents hate, it is LA. I am not originally from Portland, so I don’t have the weird hangup against Kevin Love. I don’t care where he is from or where he went to school, dude can ball. I would be thrilled if he came to the Blazers in the event of LaMarcus leaving.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @OldMilwaukeePounders: Ahhhhhh yeah I didn’t know that about his birth home! I knew the UCLA thing and rumors he wanted to be back there.

              Yeah moving Batum for a pick and getting Love would give you Lillard/Matthews/Love banging 3s and be a mad fun team and tough to stop defensively. BUt yeah, tough to see him going there with that back story on top of it 🙂

              • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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                @JB Gilpin: If Aldridge bolts and Batum gets traded, I really am not sure about Matthews will be brought back either. Coming back from blowing out an achilles is a tall order. I suppose if his deal is reasonable it will get done.

                Hell, they might even let your boy RoLo go to. It is a very interesting time for the organization. Aldridge’s decision may literally change the entire makeup of the team. It will be all Dame all day if that happens.

                • JB Gilpin

                  JB Gilpin says:
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                  @OldMilwaukeePounders: You might be right there, I dunno I just get a feeling he really wants to stay there and might get a better deal staying since the market might not wanna risk him off the injury.

                  The O-ffense = The O-men!

                  • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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                    @JB Gilpin: The question then is, will that actually hurt Dame’s value? Losing some dimes, jacking more (not necessarily good or high %) shots?

                    • JB Gilpin

                      JB Gilpin says:
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                      @OldMilwaukeePounders: Ummm, nah I think he’d have so much usage it wouldn’t hurt. Maybe lose a tad of FG% and a few more TO for a few more Pts and Ast.

  2. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    “Could legit be a rainbow line threat every night, in a Antetokounmpo sort-of way. But with even more upside.”

    So, how do you really feel about Aaron Gordon (now) JB??

    Who are each of your top 5 long term guys from this draft. JB? Slim?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Hah well 1 – went to the Magic 2 – broke his foot and 3 – Anteok isn’t hitting 3s anymore either. I still think there’s some good upside for Gordon – maybe that statement from a year ago is a little hyperbolic but it’s not too crazy!

      Towns, Okafor, Russell, Mudiay I think have to be locks. Not to be lame, but I think Winslow is indeed 5. I could see Payne becoming a good NBA starter and Slim likes him a lot too, Oubre could develop, and I dunno, watching film on Christian Wood gives me… Well… ya know. Has to land in the right spot though

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Trey Lyles has a ton of talent and if he was on any other team last year he would have gotten a lot more minutes. He’s like Aaron Gordon, but a better FT shooter. Which btw I don’t trust Gordons 72% last year. Lyles has #1 scorer kind of upside that I’m not sure Gordon has.

      Myles Turner is interesting long term but he looks really awkward at times. I think he’s got a long ways to go. The 2 foreign guys look solid. But I’m with JB, best long term prospect (outside of the top 5) looks to be Oubre.

  3. Dante Green says:
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    Your thoughts bout bledsoe man? I’ve always said that I’m a huuuge Suns supporter, but is he gonna average 20ppg? His FG last season went down from .470(13-14 season) to .450. Is he the type who can make a huge jump in improvement just like what happened to Klay and Jimmy? Thanks man!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Dante Green: Yes to all! Love Bledsoe and have him 22 right now, which I think will be a good 10 ahead of consnesus and be a monster late 2nd/early 3rd rd pick if I get an early draft slot. I think the Suns are going to really feature him. Any time!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Dante Green: Hmm… numbers seem about the same no matter who is on the court with him. 20 ppg… I don’t know. His best attribute is his all round production though so I wouldn’t focus too hard on a couple of points.

  4. Sal says:
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    JB, how will Kyrie’s very unfortunate injury affect his ranking next season? Will he go down to being a 3rd rounder?

    And if Batum’s get traded how will that affect him?

    Thanks man, wishing u all the best!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Sal: Yo! Whew that’s a great question on kyrie, will be one of the first things Slim and I talk about on the next Pod. Kyrie had injury issues all through his career even in his one college year at Duke, so I think I have to discount at least a little bit, even if things are optimistic by training camp. Maybe not quite to the third round, but definitely close. Kyrie vs. Bledsoe will be tough for me now.

      Yeah for sure a trade will impact Batum, I think on a team with two playmakers at G he will have trouble getting a lot of dimes. More defense oriented and camping for 3s… I don’t think I’ll like him most spots.

      Thanks for stopping by man, appreciate it!

      • Sal says:
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        @JB Gilpin: thanks man! One more thing tho regarding Dieng, what’s his role going to be next season in Minny? Will he play at 4 alongside KAT?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Sal: Yeah I think he’s a 30 min 4/5 combo, gets some next to Towns some next to Pek and maybe some at pure C with neither of them out there. 30 minutes is a nice number and all, but it’s gonna be some like 24 min games in there which’ll be mad frustrating

  5. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Whoa! Where’d all this basketball stuff come from?! Somehow this and the early rankings slipped past me. I love Oubre teaming with PG in IND. Oubre could be a non-batshit Lance Stephenson. I dunno if the Mavs will look for their point guard in the draft. Their window with Dirk is only open the tiniest of cracks. If Monta opts in, be dominates the ball so much that the point guard really just needs to hit open 3’s and initiate the offense every now and then. That sounds like a recipe for a Mo Williams signing to me.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: Hah we keep up hoops 365 days a year! Well, slowing down a tad now until the actual draft and free agency…

      Yeah I bypassed bigs which a lot of mockers like going to IND for a high-upside running mate. Could be a sick combo.

      Ya know, if the Mavs had a top 10 pick, I might agree with you, but I think their pick being so late they’ll just hope for a backup since they need any PG they can get. Mo Williams I think wants to stay in CHA since he’s friends with Al Jefferson and played so well when he came over – but it would be a good spot if he changes his mind

      • Clyde Prompto says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Aww, I didn’t realize Mo and Al were BFF. Monta could also decide the $9 mil player option isn’t enough and try for one last long term deal elsewhere. The only certainty is that Rondo won’t be there, haha.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Clyde Prompto: Haha the “Aww” is very applicable. I kinda have a feeling Ellis stays and maybe they move him to pure PG which would be interesting… Yup Rondo is long gone haha

  6. Phranque (pronounced Frank) says:
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    What to say about this series? After three games, the Dubs are outshooting the CAVs from the field (Cavs under 40% for 3 games). WOW…amazing what tough, gritty defense can accomplish. BUT WAIT…. In the 2 CAVS wins, they got 64 FTs to DUBS 37. In game 3, Lebron got as many FTs as the entire GS team. In their 2 wins, the CAVS have outscored the DUBS by a total of 7 points….But outscored the Dubs at the FT line by 19 PTs. But wait…it’s not the DUBS who are playing “knock ’em down” defense … it’s the CAVs who are doing all the grabbing and holding. Go figure? Makes me remember the 2002 Lakers/KINGS Western Finals UGH! Can it be that the league has decided to add the legend of King James and wants to sell a bunch of #23 jerseys….Or maybe the NBA & its corporate partners want to be sure the series goes 7. I’m betting the FTs even up in game 4 and the Dubs win by 12. Nothing like a 2-2 series going back to the coast to jack the ratings.. Thoughts?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Phranque (pronounced Frank): Oops, somehow it submitted half sentence haha… …a cult phenom through this.

      Hah well lets not go to those finals that were rigged! I dunno if we’re there… Maybe the NBA is trying a bigger spread to Australia with all the DellaV stuff! Haha. One thing about the FT is LeBron is always a FT magnet, and no one on the Warriors really is. But I do think GS wins it to keep it tight

    • Clyde Prompto says:
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      @Phranque (pronounced Frank): I love a good conspiracy as much as anyone, but I can’t go that far here. During the regular season, the Dubs averaged 20 FTA per game, while the Cavs were at 26.5. There was going to be a discrepancy just based on the way each team runs their offense. Now that Cleveland’s offense is pretty much “LeBron hurl yourself down the lane and throw the ball toward the rim,” it’s even more exaggerated. If you want a real Lebron-spiracy to believe in, the one where he took two weeks off during the season to pump himself full of PEDs while everyone looked the other way is my personal fave.

  7. Phranque (pronounced Frank) says:
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    O.K…Getting ready for Game 5. Feeling pretty smug. “Sorta” predicted DUBs win in Game 4(Game 4 FTs were about even and DUBs won by 21). Seems to me CAVs only win game 5 if :

    1) They hold the DUBs under 26 points for 1st QTR.; AND
    2) CAVS get at least 10 more FTs than the DUBS. AND
    3) Lebron gets a trip dub of at least 32/12/10.

    Thoughts?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Phranque (pronounced Frank): Hah yeah dubs looked much better. I dunno about 1 and maybe 3 is a tad bold, but I would go close to it. Def agree on 2. I could see a situation where the Cavs actually play a high octane scoring game and are able to keep pace until the end and use FTs to win it if the dubs miss a few late key shots

  8. Dante Green says:
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    Is embiid becoming greg oden 2.0? I just read about the dude suffering a setback!! I’m not really interested in him but the possibility of him playing will definitely affect Noel’s numbers! And with the news of him reinjuring himself, I gotta say Noel will have a great season! I hope he follows thru with his great 2nd half last season!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Dante Green: Wowwwww yeah just saw that today… Let’s hope not! A lot of talent could be squandered if he needs another procedure. If Embiid is out into the regular season, Noel will certainly jump up maybe 10 in my ranks, he should be beastly. Sad to likely not see Embiid in summer league

      • Dante Green says:
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        @JB Gilpin: OK so I just read there’s a ‘legitimate chance’ Embiid could miss the entire 15-16 season!! Should I draft Noel at 30-35? Hah. And if they land D’Angelo Russell on draft day, is he easily a top 100 pick??

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Dante Green: Wow yeah I saw that too… Ummm 35ish seems pretty appropriate. Yup I think Russell does make top 100 there in Philly!

  9. Clyde Prompto says:
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    I like that the Clippers’ solution to their locker room friction is to trade for Lance Stephenson. Blake and CP3 can bond over how much they hate Lance. It’s brilliant!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Clyde Prompto: Hahahahaha nice! Yeah a weird move for them, but as a semi-Hornets fan, I love it! Maybe Lance is indeed a bonding move haha

  10. Phranque (pronounced Frank) says:
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    GAME 6 Predictions…from one without a clue…but in deference to the “greatest basketball player on the planet”:

    1) CAVS win tonight
    2) Lebron gets at least 36/12/10
    3) MOZGOV gets more than 20 minutes
    4) DUBS held to under 26 points in the 1st Quarter
    5) No more than 183 total points will be scored in this game
    4) AND MOST IMPORTANTLY….praise to the zebras…..CAVS get 10 more FTs than the DUBS

    O.K. You’ve been presented an eye into the future….run to your bookie….Oh! And these predictions are worth every penny you’ve paid for them.

    • Clyde Prompto says:
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      @Phranque (pronounced Frank): O/U on number of times Mark Jackson says “defensive end of the floor”: 4.5

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Phranque (pronounced Frank): @Clyde Prompto: Hahaha.

        Wow, I buy all of those except 183 seems a little low for an O/U to me. As in, 183 times Mark J says defensive end of the floor haha.

        I’m rich with your predictions! Haha

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