NBA Draft

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

Apr. 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Varsity basketball team member Jahlil Okafor poses at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago. Okafor, a 6 foot 10 inch junior who plays the center position, is poised to become one of the top basketball recruits for college teams in the country. Mandatory Credit: Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 27, 2014

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.TeamPlayer
1Milwaukee BucksC Jahlil Okafor, Connecticut
2Philadelphia 76ersPG Emmanuel Mudiay, Southern Methodist
3Orlando MagicC Karl Towns Jr., Kentucky
4Utah JazzPF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia
5Boston CelticsC Myles Turner, Texas
6Los Angeles LakersSF Justise Winslow, Duke
7Sacramento KingsPF Cliff Alexander, Kansas
8Detroit PistonsSF Mario Hezonja, Croatia
9Cleveland CavaliersC Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
10New Orleans PelicansSF Stanley Johnson, Arizona
11New York KnicksPG Tyus Jones, Duke
12Denver NuggetsPF Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
13Minnesota TimberwolvesSF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona
14Phoenix SunsSF Chris Walker, Florida
15Atlanta HawksSF Kelly Oubre, Kansas
16Charlotte HornetsSF Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
17Brooklyn NetsPF Bobby Portis, Arkansas
18Washington WizardsSG Wayne Selden, Kansas
19Chicago BullsPG Ron Baker, Wichita State
20Toronto RaptorsPF Jordan Mickey, LSU
21Dallas MavericksSF Justin Jackson, North Carolina
22Memphis GrizzliesSF Caris LeVert, Michigan
23Golden State WarriorsSG Marc Garcia, Spain
24Portland Trail BlazersC Ilimane Diop, Senegal
25Houston RocketsSG Jabari Bird, California
26Miami HeatPF Brice Johnson, North Carolina
27Indiana PacersPG Andrew Harrison, Kentucky
28Los Angeles ClippersPF Jarell Martin, LSU
29Oklahoma City ThunderPG Kasey Hill, Florida
30San Antonio SpursSF 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.)

Mar 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonalds High School All American center Jahlil Okafor (22) poses for photos on portrait day at the Marriott Hotel . Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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.

Mar 18, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Emmanuel Mudiay of Prime Prep Academy poses for a portrait. He is a finalist for the USA Today Player of the Year Award. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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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