Chad Ford 2015 Mock Draft: Notable Picks from ESPN Guru's Latest Predictions

Jared Johnson@@jaredtjohnson21Featured ColumnistJune 22, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 04: Sam Dekker #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts after a play late in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

ESPN NBA draft expert Chad Ford released his two-round Mock Draft 7.0 last Wednesday, just eight days before the June 25 event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  

He's done his homework, looking at each squad's needs and talking to team executives. But, as with any year, there's still a lot of uncertainty remaining. According to Ford, "most teams admitted to still considering four to five players at their draft position."

Some of Ford's selections were particularly intriguing or surprising, so let's examine those picks and determine how well they might turn out for the selecting teams.

Before continuing, here's the full mock, which you can also find in its original form here:

Chad Ford Mock Draft 7.0
1Minnesota TimberwolvesKarl-Anthony Towns, F/C, Kentucky
2Los Angeles LakersJahlil Okafor, C, Duke
3Philadelphia 76ersKristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
4New York KnicksD'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State
5Orlando MagicMario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia
6Sacramento KingsEmmanuel Mudiay, PG, China
7Denver NuggetsJustise Winslow, G/F, Duke
8Detroit PistonsSam Dekker, F, Wisconsin
9Charlotte HornetsDevin Booker, SG, Kentucky
10Miami HeatStanley Johnson, G/F, Arizona
11Indiana PacersWillie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
12Utah JazzMyles Turner, F/C, Texas
13Phoenix SunsFrank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin
14Oklahoma City ThunderCameron Payne, PG, Murray State
15Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn)Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
16Boston CelticsKelly Oubre, G/F, Kansas
17Milwaukee BucksTrey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
18Houston Rockets (via New Orleans)Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
19Washington WizardsKevon Looney, F, UCLA
20Toronto RaptorsRondae Hollis-Jefferson, G/F, Arizona
21Dallas MavericksJerian Grant, G, Notre Dame
22Chicago BullsRashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
23Portland Trail BlazersR.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State
24Cleveland CavaliersDelon Wright, PG, Utah
25Memphis GrizzliesJustin Anderson, G/F, Virginia
26San Antonio SpursMontrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
27Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston)Joseph Young, G, Oregon
28Boston Celtics (via Clippers)Jarell Martin, F, LSU
29Brooklyn Nets (via Atlanta)Chris McCullough, F, Syracuse
30Golden State WarriorsAnthony Brown, G/F, Stanford
31Minnesota TimberwolvesTerry Rozier, PG, Louisville
32Houston Rockets (via New York)Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain
33Boston Celtics (via Philadelphia via Miami)Robert Upshaw, C, Washington
34Los Angeles LakersCedi Osman, F, Turkey
35Philadelphia 76ers (via Orlando)Olivier Hanlan, G, Boston College
36Minnesota Timberwolves (via Sacramento via Houston)Mouhammadou Jaiteh, F/C, France
37Philadelphia 76ers (via Denver via Houston, Portland and Minnesota)Vince Hunter, F, UTEP
38Detroit PistonsRakeem Christmas, F/C, Syracuse
39Charlotte HornetsTyler Harvey, G, Eastern Washington
40Miami HeatDakari Johnson, C, Kentucky
41Brooklyn NetsChristian Wood, F/C, UNLV
42Utah JazzPat Connaughton, G/F, Notre Dame
43Indiana PacersLarry Nance F, Wyoming
44Phoenix SunsCliff Alexander, PF, Kansas
45Boston CelticsNikola Milutinov, C, Serbia
46Milwaukee BucksNorm Powell, SG, UCLA
47Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans via Washington and Clippers)Josh Richardson, SG, Tennessee
48Oklahoma City ThunderArturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania
49Washington WizardsRichaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green
50Atlanta Hawks (via Toronto)Michael Frazier II, SG, Florida
51Orlando Magic (via Chicago)Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU
52Dallas MavericksGuillem Vives, PG, Spain
53Cleveland Cavaliers (via Portland via Chicago and Denver)Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky
54Utah Jazz (via Cleveland)Jonathan Holmes, F, Texas
55San Antonio SpursAaron White, PF, Iowa
56New Orleans Pelicans (via Memphis)Alan Williams, PF, UC Santa Barbara
57Denver Nuggets (via Clippers)Quinn Cook, PG, Duke
58Philadelphia 76ers (via Houston)Ziga Dimec, C, Slovenia
59Atlanta HawksJ.P. Tokoto, SF, UNC
60Philadelphia 76ers (via Golden State via Indiana)Daniel Diez, SF, Spain

Philadelphia 76ers select Kristaps Porzingis at No. 3

So you're a general manager, and three young big men (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric) are your team's most exciting prospects for the future. Isaiah Canaan is also the best point guard on your roster.

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Why wouldn't you pull the trigger on another big man (Porzingis) with your No. 3 pick? (sarcasm)

Porzingis has been flying up draft boards in recent weeks as he's impressed in workouts and teams continue to watch his impressive European highlights. He's 7'0", has a nice jump shot and is very athletic for someone his size. He might be a top-three prospect in this draft class.

But should the Sixers draft him third? I don't think so.

D'Angelo Russell is a perfect fit for the Sixers.
D'Angelo Russell is a perfect fit for the Sixers.Mel Evans/Associated Press/Associated Press

D'Angelo Russell is a fantastic all-around player with the size (6'5" in shoes) and skill to immediately start in the NBA either as a point or shooting guard, two positions the Sixers desperately need help at.

The Ohio State standout just turned 19 in February, so his upside could be intriguing as well. Even with Embiid's health a question mark, Philadelphia has too many potential post studs to go after another in the Latvian big man Thursday.

Also, I'm just going to leave this here.

Detroit Pistons select Sam Dekker at No. 8

The Pistons selecting Dekker at No. 8 is the dictionary definition of a reach. has him going 14th, DraftExpress slots him at 16th and Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projects him to go 22nd. His skill set is well-rounded, but none of his attributes is particularly impressive. 

So why would Ford have him so much higher?

As he pointed out in his mock, "[Dekker] had a terrific workout [for Detroit] Saturday, shot the lights out and is more NBA-ready than several of the wings."

However, one of the knocks on Dekker is his streaky shooting, so one workout shouldn't be enough to convince the Pistons that the Wisconsin forward can turn into Kyle Korver from behind the arc.

Sam Dekker's Inconsistent Three-Point Shooting
Six games before NCAA tournament21711.8
NCAA tournament (first five games)153050.0
National championship game060.0

If Dekker were guaranteed to become a great NBA three-point shooter, this might be a good pick. But that's no guarantee.

Miami Heat select Stanley Johnson at No. 10

This pick would be more intriguing than surprising.

Johnson has been linked to Miami in several other mock drafts, but this fit is just too good to be true if the Arizona freshman falls to No. 10. B/R's Dan Favale projects small forward as the Heat's biggest positional need and also noted the team is planning to play faster, per the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

Well, guess what? Johnson is a 6'7", 242-pound small forward who is best in transition. Perfect.

If Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng all return, Johnson could start his career in a low-pressure bench role and capitalize on his massive potential through the tutelage of the Heat's aging stars.

All statistics and measurements are from, and and updated through June 21 unless otherwise indicated.

Follow @jaredtjohnson21.