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NBA Mock Draft 2015: Early Projections for Every 1st-Round Pick

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NBA Mock Draft 2015: Early Projections for Every 1st-Round Pick
Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Don't blink, mock draft readers. The 2015 NBA draft is rapidly approaching.

That may be a slight exaggeration, but this isn't: Pro scouts are already eyeing up the following players. It's never too early to educate yourself.

Here are early projections for next year's draft.

 

Hypothetical 2015 draft order is identical to 2014 and does not account for outstanding trades.

2015 NBA 1st Round Mock
No. Team Player
1 Milwaukee Bucks C Jahlil Okafor, Connecticut
2 Philadelphia 76ers PG Emmanuel Mudiay, Southern Methodist
3 Orlando Magic C Karl Towns Jr., Kentucky
4 Utah Jazz PF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia
5 Boston Celtics C Myles Turner, Texas
6 Los Angeles Lakers SF Justise Winslow, Duke
7 Sacramento Kings PF Cliff Alexander, Kansas
8 Detroit Pistons SF Mario Hezonja, Croatia
9 Cleveland Cavaliers C Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
10 New Orleans Pelicans SF Stanley Johnson, Arizona
11 New York Knicks PG Tyus Jones, Duke
12 Denver Nuggets PF Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
13 Minnesota Timberwolves SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona
14 Phoenix Suns SF Chris Walker, Florida
15 Atlanta Hawks SF Kelly Oubre, Kansas
16 Charlotte Hornets SF Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
17 Brooklyn Nets PF Bobby Portis, Arkansas
18 Washington Wizards SG Wayne Selden, Kansas
19 Chicago Bulls PG Ron Baker, Wichita State
20 Toronto Raptors PF Jordan Mickey, LSU
21 Dallas Mavericks SF Justin Jackson, North Carolina
22 Memphis Grizzlies SF Caris LeVert, Michigan
23 Golden State Warriors SG Marc Garcia, Spain
24 Portland Trail Blazers C Ilimane Diop, Senegal
25 Houston Rockets SG Jabari Bird, California
26 Miami Heat PF Brice Johnson, North Carolina
27 Indiana Pacers PG Andrew Harrison, Kentucky
28 Los Angeles Clippers PF Jarell Martin, LSU
29 Oklahoma City Thunder PG Kasey Hill, Florida
30 San Antonio Spurs SF Branden Dawson, Michigan State

Projections

 

1. Milwaukee Bucks: C Jahlil Okafor, Connecticut

While it's unlikely the Bucks will be the worst team in the league again after drafting Jabari Parker, the most pro-ready player in the class, Jahlil Okafor is so gifted that they should want to be in position to land the first overall pick. (I know what you're wondering. Yes, he's a cousin of Emeka Okafor.)

USA TODAY Sports

In a league in which true centers are slowly becoming extinct, Jahlil is just that at 6'10" and 260 pounds. ESPN.com rated him the best prospect of the 2014 recruiting class. And if his Duke career goes as plannedshort and sweethe'll be the best prospect in the 2015 NBA draft too.

Milwaukee's greatest need isn't necessarily a center. But with a talent like Okafor available, the Bucks' best bet would be to select Okafor and trade Larry Sanders.

 

2. Philadelphia 76ers: PG Emmanuel Mudiay, Southern Methodist

The top players in the 2015 NBA draft are big men and Mudiay. While the 76ers already have Michael Carter-Williams at point guard, they also have three young bigs now in Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.

Gannett for USA TODAY Job # 1307

Philadelphia may not have to deal Carter-Williams to make room for Mudiay like Milwaukee would have to for Sanders, though. The 6'5" Mudiay and the 6'6" Carter-Williams should be able to coexist, as Mudiay is a combo guard anyway.

The 76ers should be set at the 3 after selecting K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant on draft night. The 2, though, is still an unsolved problem.

And due to Embiid's injury and Saric's contract in Europe, this is a realistic draft spot for Philadelphia next year. With all of these top prospects, no one should be shocked if Philadelphia is a top Eastern Conference contender in two years.

 

3. Orlando Magic: C Karl Towns Jr., Kentucky

Orlando acquired two fairly raw players in Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton on draft night, so it could be back in the early lottery again next year. No top player is a perfect fit for the Magic, but Towns would be a major upgrade over Nikola Vucevic.

Vucevic averaged 14.2 points and 11.0 rebounds this season, but he's no Towns. At 7'0" and 245 pounds, Towns has even more ideal size for a center than Okafor. Towns isn't as physical, but he's probably more skilled.

Unlike Okafor, Towns can handle the basketball and has range out to the three-point line. Towns, Gordon, Payton and Victor Oladipo would form one of the most promising young cores in the league.

 

David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.

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