2015 NBA Mock Draft: 1st-Round Projections and Top Prospects After Lottery

Justin Hussong@@HeatChecksHussContributor IIIJune 13, 2015

Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could wind up being one of the steals of this draft.
Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could wind up being one of the steals of this draft.Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

With the 2015 NBA draft now less than two weeks away on June 25, rumors are starting to filter in and out as we all gain a better feel for what is unfolding. We have a general idea of which players' stocks have risen to guaranteed lottery level, but what about the rest of the first round?

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are putting on a show in the NBA Finals behind rosters centered on a large amount of former lottery picks. It is unlikely you will find your own LeBron James or Stephen Curry after the first 14 selections, but good luck making it to the Finals without guys like Draymond Green and Matthew Dellavedova.

A lot of playoff teams will be looking for those pieces to round out the roster between picks 14 and 30. We will be focusing heavily on exactly that in this 2015 NBA mock draft.

2015 NBA Mock Draft
1Minnesota TimberwolvesKarl-Anthony Towns, C/PF, Kentucky
2Los Angeles LakersJahlil Okafor, C, Duke
3Philadelphia 76ersD'Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State
4New York KnicksEmmanuel Mudiay, PG, Congo
5Orlando MagicJustise Winslow, SF, Duke
6Sacramento KingsKristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
7Denver NuggetsStanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
8Detroit PistonsMario Hezonja, SF, Croatia
9Charlotte HornetsWillie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
10Miami HeatDevin Booker, SG, Kentucky
11Indiana PacersMyles Turner, C, Texas
12Utah JazzFrank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin
13Phoenix SunsSam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
14Oklahoma City ThunderCameron Payne, PG, Murray State
15Atlanta HawksTrey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
16Boston CelticsRondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
17Milwaukee BucksMontrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
18Houston RocketsJerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
19Washington WizardsBobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
20Toronto RaptorsKevon Looney, PF, UCLA
21Dallas MavericsDelon Wright, PG, Utah
22Chicago BullsKelly Oubre, SG, Kansas
23Portland Trail BlazersJustin Anderson, SF, Virginia
24Cleveland CavaliersRashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
25Memphis GrizzliesR.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State
26San Antonio SpursTyus Jones, PG, Duke
27Los Angeles LakersCliff Alexander, PF, Kansas
28Boston CelticsNorman Powell, SG, UCLA
29Brooklyn NetsChristian Wood, PF, UNLV
30Golden State WarriorsChris McCullough, PF, Syracuse

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The former Arizona Wildcat enters the NBA with a 67-9 career record during his two years in Tucson, as well as a pair of Elite Eight appearances. For teams outside the lottery, this will jump out just as much as any of his athletic or statistical numbers.

We know his issues as well as he does. The main one is shooting ability, but he can develop his jump shot over time without question. What you can't teach are his grit and passion. Both of those traits shine through in this wonderful recent quote he had,Β according to Lakers Nation.

RHJ showed marked improvement as a sophomore, but it has not positively impacted his draft projection. Had he come out after his freshman campaign, he would have been a possible top-10 selection, and I know have him generously landing at No. 16.

It is difficult to find weaknesses in his game outside of his shooting. It's an issue because of the position he plays, as the league continues to trend toward outside shooting from the wing positions. But on the other end of the spectrum, you have to be able to stop opposing shooters too.

Who better to do that in this draft than Hollis-Jefferson?

With the right team, this is a guy who could easily turn into a Draymond Green type, albeit at small forward. His defensive tenacity and overall intangibles are exactly what an established team looks for in a young player.

Bobby Portis

Portis is an intriguing big fella. At first glance, you wonder why he isn't projected to go higher. He is 6'11", can rip the three ball and just won SEC Player of the Year over everyone on that 38-1 Kentucky squad.

So what gives?

Portis defends, passes, rebounds and scores every which way. His lack of experience against NBA-level competition in the SEC is somewhat of a concern, but he showed little hesitancy going up against Kentucky.

He is set to finally visit the Washington Wizards in what is one of my favorite potential first-round player-team fits. Washington started its rebuild by snagging John Wall first overall some years ago, followed by backcourt mate Bradley Beal at No. 3. The two are showing legitimate growth and have the Wizards on the verge of serious contention for many years.

Fellow No. 3 pick Otto Porter Jr. showed big signs of life this year as well. All it might take to round out a nasty young core in the nation's capital is a big, two-way threat at power forward who can play alongside them. Portis could take the eventual reins from Nene and run with that role for years.

His versatility alongside Porter's could catapult this team to the upper echelon. Giving Wall a capable young big to run the floor and execute pick-and-roll sets with also helps the All-Star point guard. There isn't a more perfect pick for the Wizards at this junction.

R.J. Hunter

The narrative for the Memphis Grizzlies over the past few seasons has always been that they could be a huge title threat with the addition of just one more outside shooter.

They have acquired guys like Courtney Lee, Vince Carter and Jeff Green to mitigate the issue. All of them are good but just not the answer. Memphis needs to finally bring in a young sharpshooter who can provide more excitement.

Enter R.J. Hunter, the NCAA tournament darling who was also a projected lottery pick at one time. He is coming into this league as a shooter. Point blank.Β The fact that he has the length and ability to be a good defender at the next level just adds to his prestige.

Shooting is at a premium in today's NBA, so you can bet if he is still around after pick 25 or so, squads will be lining up out the door to get a shot at Hunter. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders indicated he might even have a very long shot at going in the top 10.

He did not log his 19.8 points per game as a junior efficiently, which is a big reason why his draft stock isn't peaking. Memphis could capitalize on a potential late-round gold mine here by taking one of the draft's most electrifying shooters. The Grizz need a kick in the pants, and Hunter should be their guy.


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