2015 NBA Mock Draft: Jonathan Wasserman's Final 2-Round Predictions
We could see a number of twists and turns in the 2015 NBA draft Thursday.
With some teams trying to trade up and others willing to move down, there is bound to be plenty of conversation and activity among general managers.
At this point, it looks like the New York Knicks will determine the direction of the draft. Their decision at No. 4 figures to have a major ripple effect down the board.
Draft night is always a good time to expect the unexpected, and that's especially true in 2015. Here's a look at how both rounds could unfold Thursday night.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky, 6'11", PF/C, Freshman
In Karl-Anthony Towns, the Minnesota Timberwolves will add their second major building block to pair alongside Andrew Wiggins.
Towns emerged as the top prospect in the country late in the year after selling scouts on his offensive versatility and defensive upside. He's flashed everything from a back-to-the-basket game and shooting touch to passing, rebounding and defense.
The Wolves can use his rim protection, as well as his ability to knock down jumpers and stretch the floor—two things Nikola Pekovic can't provide.
As a finished product, Towns will have the chance to become one of the league's most dangerous two-way big men.
Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv was the first to report that the T-Wolves have already told Towns he's their pick.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahlil Okafor, Duke, 6'11", C, Freshman
The Los Angeles Lakers have been weighing their options, but when the clocks starts, you have to expect they'll go with the prospect they'd likely have taken from the beginning of this process.
Jahlil Okafor immediately gives the Lakers a high-percentage scoring option on a rookie deal, which is important for a team that is looking to build through free agency. But Okafor also offers long-term franchise-centerpiece potential in the middle.
With plenty of size, strength and length, along with outstanding footwork and touch, he's one of the toughest post covers out of college in recent memory.
Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell deserves serious consideration, but chances are the Lakers will go big and draft their center of the future.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State, 6'5", PG/SG, Freshman
It's just hard to get behind any rumor that has the Philadelphia 76ers taking anyone other than D'Angelo Russell.
He offers superstar potential at a position of need, as well as a degree of certainty that the 230-pound Kristaps Porzingis does not. With Joel Embiid's right foot not quite healing as anticipated, per a statement on the team's website, general manager Sam Hinkie can't afford to miss here.
Russell recently worked out in Philadelphia and had dinner with Hinkie, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Unless Russell goes to the Lakers at No. 2, I wouldn't put much stock into any of the Porzingis-to-Philadelphia buzz. If Russell is unavailable, don't be surprised if the Sixers try to trade down.
4. New York Knicks: Justise Winslow, Duke, 6'6 ½", SF, Freshman
With Jahlil Okafor and D'Angelo Russell off the board, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson will be hoping for the right opportunity to trade down.
That offer won't be easy to find, however. If the Knicks stick at No. 4, they will settle on Justise Winslow, who offers little risk and plenty of potential reward.
It may not even be worth trading down a few spots to get him, as the Orlando Magic could draft him at No. 5.
Kristaps Porzingis will be an option as well, though his Monday workout in New York ended early due to cramping, according to SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria.
Winslow is still a work in progress as a scorer, but the Knicks could immediately tap into his defense and motor.
5. Orlando Magic: Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia, 7'1", PF, 1995
Kristaps Porzingis would be a terrific fit in Orlando, where the Magic should value his three-point shooting and shot-blocking potential.
At 7'1", he can play the 4 alongside Nikola Vucevic, who lacks Porzingis' athletic ability and offensive versatility.
With a young cornerstone at every position, the Magic should look for the top prospect available. If Porzingis hits his stride, few defenders will have the size and foot speed to match up with him.
Croatia's Mario Hezonja is also an option here for the Magic.
6. Sacramento Kings: Mario Hezonja, Croatia, 6'8", SG/SF, 1995
Mario Hezonja just finished up overseas, where he recently made one final sales pitch in the form of 18 points in Game 1 of the Spanish ACB Finals.
He looks as NBA-ready as any prospect outside of Jahlil Okafor, D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Hezonja, a 6'8" wing with spectacular athleticism, has the physical tools, handles, shooting range and confidence to quickly make his mark in the United States.
Emmanuel Mudiay should merit consideration here, but with a competent Darren Collison in place and rumors surrounding Rajon Rondo, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, and Ty Lawson, per ESPN's Chris Broussard, Sacramento isn't likely to be interested in adding a rookie point guard.
Hezonja would allow Rudy Gay to play the 4 and the Kings to speed up the tempo.
7. Denver Nuggets: Emmanuel Mudiay, China, 6'5" PG, 1996
The Denver Nuggets may look to package this pick with Ty Lawson or Kenneth Faried, though I'm not sure who'd bite in the top six.
If the Nuggets stick at No. 7, they'll draft the best talent available, regardless of what position he plays.
Cue Emmanuel Mudiay, who will make it easier for Denver to deal Lawson, given the former's All-Star potential at the point.
At 6'5", 200 pounds, he's an above-the-rim athlete who can run an offense and set the table.
Mudiay will need to improve his shooting touch and decision-making over the next few seasons, but over the long term, he has as much upside in the draft as anyone outside the top four.
8. Detroit Pistons: Stanley Johnson, Arizona, 6'6 ½", SF, Freshman
With Stanley Johnson, the Detroit Pistons can fill a need with arguably the top prospect on the board.
Johnson's 242-pound frame and athleticism were built for the NBA wing, where he projects as a two-way starter.
He's flashed the ability to score from all three levels as a driver and pull-up shooter. Johnson also has strong defensive tools and a sharp competitive edge.
He has to be considered one of the safer bets in this year's field. Mario Hezonja should be the target if he's still on the board at No. 8, but Johnson isn't a bad consolation prize.
9. Charlotte Hornets: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin, 7'1", PF/C, Senior
Having made two trades on the eve of the draft—acquiring Nicolas Batum, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, and Jeremy Lamb, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer—Devin Booker no longer looks like a must-own prospect for the Charlotte Hornets.
Instead, the trades have opened the door for Frank Kaminsky, who could start alongside Al Jefferson from opening night.
The Hornets can use a big to stretch the floor and knock down shots away from the rim. Kaminsky's passing instincts and basketball IQ are attractive qualities as well.
He might not project as an All-Star, but that's not what you're looking for at No. 9. Kaminsky's blend of size and shot-making ability should allow him to contribute from Day 1 to Year 10.
10. Miami Heat: Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, 7'0 ½", C, Junior
If Willie Cauley-Stein slips past the Sacramento Kings, he could be vulnerable to a slight slide down the board. According to DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony, some teams may be wary that Cauley-Stein's 2014 ankle injury hasn't properly healed.
This could be a great chance for the Miami Heat to land a value pick at No. 10, when potential stars aren't normally on the board.
Cauley-Stein's defensive versatility could make him one of the most unique players in the league. He's a rim protector who can switch onto guards and pick up at half court.
The Heat happen to lack depth up front, though Cauley-Stein's talent alone should justify a selection at No. 10.
11. Indiana Pacers: Trey Lyles, Kentucky, 6'10", PF, Freshman
The Indiana Pacers have been involved in a number of trade rumors, with the latest suggesting they could swap with the Atlanta Hawks at No. 15, according to Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy.
But with news that David West will be opting out of his contract, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star, look for the Pacers to take Trey Lyles (if they stay at No. 11) and groom him as the power forward of the future.
Lyles offers terrific value anywhere outside the top 10. He doesn't jump out of the gym, which limits his upside on the surface, but his size, polished skills and basketball IQ are NBA-friendly for a projected power forward.
He's confident and comfortable shooting in the mid-range and sharp enough to put it on the floor. Lyles also knows how to score within an offense, an important strength for a player who won't be featured as a top option.
He takes good shots, hits his open looks and capitalizes when the opportunity presents itself.
12. Utah Jazz: Myles Turner, Texas, 6'11 ½", C, Freshman
Myles Turner's jump-shooting potential should create better spacing for a Utah Jazz lineup that features two interior-oriented bigs in Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. He has a natural outside stroke, which he shows off as a pick-and-pop or spot-up target. In addition, he's flashed tough shot-making ability from the elbows.
Turner also protects the rim using his massive 7'4" wingspan and terrific defensive instincts.
He'll need a year in the weight room before having much to offer. That said, you just don't see many defensive anchors who can also stretch the floor like Turner can.
13. Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, Kentucky, 6'6", SG, Freshman
If Devin Booker slips by Charlotte at No. 9, he well might drop to the Phoenix Suns, who shouldn't let him fall any further.
The Suns could use a complementary shooter and shot-maker to play off their ball-dominant backcourt, especially with Gerald Green set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Booker is arguably the draft's top shooter, and at 18 years old, he's also the youngest prospect in the field. He'll have the next few years to expand on his offensive repertoire and develop his one-on-one skills.
With 6'6" size, a lights-out stroke and a high basketball IQ, Booker offers minimal risk and great potential reward.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Payne, Murray State, 6'1 ½", PG, Sophomore
There could be teams looking to swap with the Oklahoma City Thunder in an attempt to land Cameron Payne. The Phoenix Suns may even be a threat to grab him at No. 13.
But if Payne is there and the Thunder are on the clock at No. 14, look for them to pull the trigger.
They could use another ball-handler and playmaker off the bench. Payne was an offensive machine at Murray State, where he averaged 20.2 points, 6.0 assists and 2.4 threes per game.
Though he suffered a "non-displaced fracture in the ring finger of his right hand" during a workout with Denver earlier in June, per DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony, it shouldn't factor into anyone's draft decision. He has NBA potential as a starter.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Bobby Portis, Arkansas, 6'10 ½", PF, Sophomore
Bobby Portis should receive heavy consideration from the Atlanta Hawks, who brought him in for a workout earlier in June, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
At 6'10 ½" and 246 pounds, Portis has terrific size for a power forward and can knock down jumpers and score with his back to the basket. He isn't the most explosive athlete, but his footwork, touch and skill level are excellent.
The Hawks roster could look fairly different come July, as both Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll are unrestricted free agents, so they aren't likely to put much stock in filling a specific need. They'll take the best prospect available.
16. Boston Celtics: Kelly Oubre, Kansas, 6'7", SF, Freshman
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge will look to package No. 16 with No. 28 (and other second-round picks) in an attempt to move into the lottery, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Unless they add a noteworthy name to the offer, however, only a couple of teams may be willing to listen.
Kelly Oubre will require patience, but he has as much upside as anyone left on the board.
The Celtics will take him here as the best available prospect. Oubre is a stud athlete with deep shooting range and promising defensive tools. With Oubre and James Young, Boston will have tremendous length and bounce on the wing.
He needs a year in the NBA Development League, but Oubre's blend of athleticism and shot-making ability holds long-term NBA value.
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Kevon Looney, UCLA, 6'9", PF, Freshman
The Milwaukee Bucks recently worked out Kevon Looney, who'd be able to offer some depth at power forward behind Jabari Parker.
Looney is a versatile face-up big who can handle the ball, knock down jumpers and pound the offensive glass. He'll need a year to build his body and continue working on his shooting touch, but Looney's physical tools and skill set fuel some intriguing mismatch potential.
He also received an invite to the green room, a good indication he'll be selected in the top 23.
Kansas' Kelly Oubre may be enticing here if he's still on the board, but he didn't work out with the team, and given the likelihood Milwaukee retains Khris Middleton in restricted free agency, there just isn't a place for him in the lineup.
18. Houston Rockets: Tyus Jones, Duke, 6'2", PG, Freshman
With Patrick Beverley and Jason Terry entering free agency, the Houston Rockets should be looking for additional playmakers and ball-handlers. Tyus Jones' passing skills would fit perfectly into a lineup consisting of established scorers and shooters.
He has an excellent feel for the point guard position, as well as the ability to set the table for teammates and knock down pull-ups and floaters.
The fact that he's coming off a national championship during his one year at Duke should only enhance the appeal tied to his intangibles.
Jones is a high-IQ competitor with a winning track record and no personal agenda.
19. Washington Wizards: Sam Dekker, Wisconsin, 6'9", SF, Junior
The Washington Wizards will likely look at a few different options at No. 19, but if Sam Dekker is on the board, they'll take him.
Dekker projects as a high-end role player with the versatility to contribute something different each possession.
He still must improve his shooting consistency, which might require some adjustments to his shot mechanics. But Dekker is the type of wing who can knock down the open shot, make the extra pass and hit the available lane.
20. Toronto Raptors: Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, 6'4 ¼", PG/SG, Senior
The Washington Wizards may give Jerian Grant a look at No. 19, but if they pass, the Toronto Raptors should pounce.
Lou Williams will be expected to generate all sorts of interest in free agency. By drafting Grant, the Raptors can cover themselves by adding another playmaker in case Williams doesn't return.
He's an excellent setup man and half-court facilitator. And at 6'4 ¼" with the ability to create shots in the mid-range and finish at the rim, he could even slide off the ball at the 2.
Grant worked out in Toronto earlier in June.
21. Dallas Mavericks: R.J. Hunter, Georgia State, 6'6", SG, Junior
R.J. Hunter has one of the smoothest jumpers in the field, having made 253 triples during his three seasons at Georgia State. He's also an underrated passer and high-IQ presence on the floor.
With news that Monta Ellis is opting out to become a free agent, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard and Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks will take Hunter here for offense at the off-guard slot.
He might not score in the pros like he did in college, but Hunter projects as a dangerous complementary shot-maker.
22. Chicago Bulls: Delon Wright, Utah, 6'5 ½", PG, Senior
Delon Wright's poise, passing instincts and defensive potential should appeal to the Chicago Bulls, who could use another ball-handler behind Derrick Rose.
Without a threatening jumper at 23 years old, Wright doesn't offer much upside. But his strengths and maturity should allow him to contribute minutes off the bench as a rookie.
He can run an offense, set the table and guard both backcourt positions. He projects as a two-way role player from Day 1.
23. Portland Trail Blazers: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona, 6'7", SF, Soph.
If the Portland Trail Blazers feel hesitant about meeting Wesley Matthews' asking price in free agency—he's seeking a deal worth $15 million annually, per USA Today's Sam Amick—they can cover themselves and pick arguably the top perimeter defender in the draft.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's value lies in his ability to lock down on the wing and guard four positions. He could even play the Draymond Green role as a small-ball 4.
With Portland having shipped off Nicolas Batum, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, adding a wing should be even more of a priority.
An outstanding athlete, Hollis-Jefferson will be a steal this late if he learns how to make jumpers even somewhat consistently.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Terry Rozier, Louisville, 6'2", PG, Sophomore
According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Cavaliers are "shopping the potentially valuable contract of Brendan Haywood, and—in some cases—offering it along with the 24th overall pick in Thursday's draft."
If Cleveland sits tight, Terry Rozier should receive heavy consideration based on his ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands. He struggles as a facilitator, but Rozier can get his own shot in the half court and turn open-floor situations into easy buckets at the basket.
He also happens to be a pesky defender and strong rebounder.
The Cavaliers could use Rozier's athleticism, toughness and playmaking ability off the bench.
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Justin Anderson, Virginia, 6'6", SF, Junior
Without the ability to create, Justin Anderson has little margin for error. He's a shooter, only his sample size of high-level shot-making is fairly small.
Still, after changing his mechanics, he knocked down 45.2 percent of his threes this past year. And when you take into account his diesel 230-pound frame and 43-inch max vertical, Anderson has quietly emerged as a strong three-and-D option in the 20s.
With his physical defense and potentially dangerous outside stroke, he'd fit into the Memphis Grizzlies lineup at the small forward position.
26. San Antonio Spurs: Rashad Vaughn, UNLV, 6'5", SG, Freshman
Rashad Vaughn's name has been hot over the past month, but without an invitation to the green room, he might still be slated for the late first round.
At No. 26, he may be a real option for the San Antonio Spurs, who could lose Danny Green in free agency.
This past year, Vaughn finished second among freshmen in per-game scoring, averaged 2.3 threes and shot 38.3 percent from deep. He also has adequate size and athleticism, and at 18 years old, he's one of the youngest prospects in the draft.
Vaughn has the potential to replace Green's shot-making presence while giving the Spurs some youth to develop for the future.
27. L.A. Lakers (via Rockets): Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, 6'7 ½", PF, Junior
The Lakers may look to package and move this pick, considering they have one early in the second round and could attempt to save money for free agents. But if they're on the clock at No. 27 and Montrezl Harrell is on the board, it would make sense for them to scoop him up.
Harrell wasn't invited to the green room, which could potentially indicate he'll still be on the board in the 20s. (There were 23 invites.)
He's slightly undersized and lacks offensive polish, but his explosiveness, strength, length and intensity could still translate to an energizer role.
The Lakers don't exactly have inspiring depth up front. They could use Harrell's athleticism and motor.
28. Boston Celtics (via Clippers) : Arturas Gudaitis, Lithuania, 6'10", C, '93
Well-known overseas, Arturas Gudaitis' athleticism, rim protection and face-up ability have generated buzz in Euroleague play.
The fact that he stayed in the draft at the deadline suggests he may have heard some positive feedback.
Considering the Celtics have an early second-round pick, they might as well draft and stash at No. 28, save some money for next year and then take an NCAA product at No. 33, where contracts aren't guaranteed.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Hawks): Jordan Mickey, LSU, 6'8", PF, Sophomore
Jordan Mickey put himself on first-round radars with a standout performance at the NBA combine. But he was pretty darn good as a sophomore, leading all qualified players in shot-blocking.
Mickey has terrific instincts in rim protection, as well as a 7'3" wingspan and 37.5-inch vertical.
He's a tough scorer around the basket, and though his shooting accuracy still needs work, he's more than capable of knocking down jumpers in the mid-range.
Brooklyn brought Mickey in for a workout earlier in June, according to Sheridan Hoops' Michael Scotto. With Thaddeus Young expected to opt out, per ESPN.com's Mike Mazzeo, the Nets could look to replace him at the 4 with the more defensive-oriented Mickey.
30. Golden State Warriors: Jonathan Holmes, Texas, 6'9", SF/PF, Senior
Jonathan Holmes would be a good fit for a team that likes to play small ball. Holmes can play the 3, but he's better off at the 4, where he can stretch the floor as a shooter, defend power forwards and overpower wings.
Holmes actually canceled a few workouts with teams in the 30s, according to RealGM's Shams Charania, raising questions as to whether he received assurance from a team in the 20s.
Though he doesn't project as much of a scorer, Holmes' defensive versatility and face-up game are valued in the NBA. Draymond Green would ultimately be the ideal player for Holmes to develop behind.
31. Minnesota Timberwolves: Christian Wood, UNLV, 6'10 ½", PF, Sophomore
There are some concerns regarding Christian Wood's 216-pound frame and motor. But there is no questioning the value of to his size, athleticism and perimeter ball skills.
Wood hit 25 threes as a sophomore and showed he can face up, attack and score on the move. His physical tools and lift also translated to 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.
Wood lacks strength on the interior and off-the-dribble polish for a wing, so he does present some risk. Then again, there really is no such thing as a second-round gamble. Wood has boom-or-bust potential.
32. Houston Rockets: Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse, 6'10", PF, Senior
If Rakeem Christmas doesn't go in the first round, he'll be one of the first picks taken in the second. He'll turn 24 years old in December, so it's reasonable to question how much he'll improve.
However, the jump he made at 23 was off-the-charts unique. Christmas developed into a go-to post player with both a righty and lefty touch.
He was even knocking down mid-range jumpers at the combine, where his 7'5" wingspan also stood out during measurements.
Christmas will get looks from teams in the 20s, but if he slips through the cracks, don't expect him to last long in the 30s. The Rockets seem like a reasonable landing spot at No. 32.
33. Boston Celtics: Jarell Martin, LSU, 6'9", PF, Sophomore
Jarell Martin has first-round talent, but without any standout strength or natural position, it's possible he'll slip into Round 2.
However, he's an explosive athlete with a face-up game and the ability to bully defenders around the basket.
Martin hasn't been too accurate as a shooter, but his jumper doesn't look broken. He has mismatch potential if he can get defenders to guard him 25 feet from the basket.
With Boston's frontcourt consisting of mostly below-the-rim bigs, Martin would be a great get for the C's in Round 2.
34. L.A. Lakers: Joseph Young, Oregon, 6'2", SG, Senior
The Lakers will bolster their backcourt here with the addition of Joseph Young, who projects as an instant-offense microwave scorer coming off the bench.
Young will turn 23 two days after the draft and is 6'2" without point guard instincts. The Lakers could pass on him at No. 27 and likely get him early in the second round instead.
The Oregon product's ability to create and make shots from all over the floor could give him the chance of carving out a Lou Williams-type career. He's a dangerous one-on-one scorer and shooter.
35. Philadelphia 76ers: Cedi Osman, Macedonia, 6'8", SG/SF, 1995
Cedi Osman had a breakout year in the Euroleague as one of its youngest producers.
The Philadelphia 76ers are sure to have a strong grasp on Osman's game, considering he plays for Anadolu Efes alongside Dario Saric, whom the Sixers took in last year's lottery.
Osman's versatility should suit him well one day in the NBA. At 6'8", he's an athletic wing who can handle the ball, pass and knock down open shots.
He'll need another two years to polish up his offense and shooting touch, but Osman should be in line for big minutes in Turkey moving forward.
36. Minnesota Timberwolves: Chris McCullough, Syracuse, 6'9", PF, Freshman
Having torn his right ACL just 16 games into his college career, Chris McCullough could be a tough gamble for a team to take in the first round.
But in Round 2, he'll become a value pick who offers top-20 upside.
Before going down, McCullough flashed athleticism and inside-out versatility. He's confident with the mid-range jumper and is a terrific finisher around the basket.
It's also tough to ignore his 2.4 steals and 2.9 blocks per 40 minutes, though he played exclusively in a zone at Syracuse.
McCullough weighed in at just 199 pounds at the combine, and even though he's been inactive while recovering from his knee injury, it's still a scary number. He'll need to spend the next year working on his body before he can bring anything to the table for whichever team gambles on him.
37. Philadelphia 76ers: Richaun Holmes, Bowling Green, 6'9 ½", PF, Senior
Richaun Holmes has become a must-know name on the NBA draft radar, following a standout showing at the Portsmouth Invitational and a good-looking outing at the combine.
A high-energy forward with excellent size, length and athleticism, Holmes can be a tough face-up cover, with the ability to knock down open jumpers or attack his man off the dribble. He's also a disruptive defender around the basket, where he blocked 3.7 shots per 40 minutes as a senior.
Holmes is an ideal second-round pick who may even get looks from teams in the 20s.
38. Detroit Pistons: Guillermo Hernangomez, Spain, 6'11", C, 1994
Guillermo Hernangomez looks like one of the more attractive draft-and-stash plays outside the top 25. He actually has production to show for some of the potential he's flashed, having averaged 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game between the Eurocup and Spanish ACB.
At 6'11", 255 pounds, he has the body of an NBA center too.
Hernangomez isn't particularly athletic and doesn't quite project as a rim protector, but his size and offensive game are promising enough to invest in at this point of the draft.
The Pistons can allow him to develop more in Spain, where he should be in line for heavy minutes moving forward.
39. Charlotte Hornets: Cliff Alexander, Kansas, 6'8 ½", PF, Freshman
This is a good spot on the board to take a chance on Cliff Alexander, whose athleticism and motor are still worth a look.
He plays above the rim, finishes around it, runs the floor and rebounds. His activity in the paint also translated to 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes before he was suspended in late February due to an NCAA eligibility investigation.
In a role that allows him to play to his strengths and away from his weaknesses as a shot-creator, Alexander will have the chance to carve out a role as a frontcourt energizer.
40. Miami Heat: Anthony Brown, Stanford, 6'7", SF, Senior
Anthony Brown has established a reputation as a potential three-point specialist, having shot at least 44 percent from downtown in back-to-back seasons.
That label should allow him to glow in a second-round field that lacks standout prospects.
Brown is a capable defender, and with standard size for a wing, all he needs is that lights-out three-ball to carry over.
The Heat were one of the weaker shooting teams in the league last year. Brown could be a target at No. 40—if he's still available.
41. Brooklyn Nets: Robert Upshaw, Washington, 7'0", C, 1994
Character issues make Robert Upshaw a first-round gamble, but nobody is a risk in the second round, where contracts aren't guaranteed.
Without a defensive-minded center in the rotation, the Nets might want to take a chance here on Upshaw. He was leading the country in shot-blocking before being dismissed from Washington in January.
At 7'0", 258 pounds with a 7'5 ½" wingspan, he's physically built for the NBA paint. The question is whether he's mentally ready. This late, it's worth finding out.
42. Utah Jazz: Michael Frazier, Florida, 6'4", SG, Junior
He's one-dimensional, but Michael Frazier's jump-shooting ability is worth looking into this late.
In three years at Florida, he made 43.2 percent of his threes, having showcased picturesque mechanics and plenty of range.
He'd likely be higher on most boards if he had a few more inches in height to work with. But for a team like Utah that lacks shot-making off the bench, Frazier could potentially be of service.
43. Indiana Pacers: Olivier Hanlan, Boston College, 6'4", PG/SG, Junior
Oliver Hanlan is a combo guard who can generate offense on or off the ball. At 6'4", he's slightly undersized for a 2, but at the point, he's a dangerous playmaker with the ability to create shots for himself or teammates.
He averaged 19.5 points and 4.2 assists per game as a junior. Hanlan projects as a weapon who can come off the bench to spark a lineup.
With one of the weaker backcourts in the league, Indiana could turn to Hanlan in the second round for some extra firepower. He worked out for the Pacers earlier this month.
44. Phoenix Suns: Nikola Milutinov, Serbia, 7'0", 1994
With 7'0" size and above-average mobility for a center, Nikola Milutinov has established himself as an enticing second-round draft-and-stash play.
He has production to show for his potential, having played regular minutes in the Eurocup and the Adriatic League.
Milutinov does most of his work catching and finishing off the ball, whether it's as a roll man, target at the rim or offensive rebounder.
The Suns don't have any sure things at center and might want to invest in one overseas.
45. Boston Celtics: Dakari Johnson, Kentucky, 7'0", C, Sophomore
Dakari Johnson's limited offensive repertoire will keep him from breaking into Round 1, but in Round 2, his size and physical presence will hold value.
At 7'0" with a 9'4" standing reach, Johnson projects as a catch-and-finisher, rebounder and rim protector. His physical tools alone could give him the chance to hold down a backup center role.
Conditioning may be Johnson's biggest challenge. He'll crack a roster and stick if he can stay in shape and provide interior activity.
46. Milwaukee Bucks: J.P. Tokoto, North Carolina, 6'6", SG, Junior
J.P. Tokoto is one of the more unique prospects in this year's field, given his elite athleticism, passing instincts and defense. But he's not a shooter, having hit just 20 threes over the last two years. That has clouded his outlook as an NBA prospect.
The good news: If Tokoto learns how to shoot, then whichever team grabs him in the second round will have found a steal. He happens to excel in areas of the game you just can't teach.
Tokoto will spend the next year in the D-League in hopes of sharpening his offensive skills.
47. Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Richardson, Tennessee, 6'6", SG, Senior
Josh Richardson has been gaining steam in workouts after failing to receive an invite to the NBA combine.
He passes the eye test with 6'6" size and above-the-rim athleticism. He can also score from all three levels, though shooting consistency will be atop his priority list.
Richardson was given playmaking responsibility at Tennessee this past season, where he averaged 3.6 assists to go with 16.0 points per game. He could be one of the bigger sleepers in this year's field.
48. Oklahoma City Thunder: Shawn Dawson, Israel, 6'6", SF, 1993
Over the past two months, Shawn Dawson has been one of the most productive players in Israel, where he finished the year averaging 14.6 points in 26.9 minutes per game.
Dawson passes the eye test with NBA size and athleticism for the wing. He's at his best attacking the basket off the catch or dribble. He also averaged one made three-pointer per game.
In what looks like a down year with regard to international prospects, he could be a sneaky draft-and-stash option for a team that's tracked his development.
49. Washington Wizards: Satnam Singh, India, 7'2", C, 1995
Satnam Singh will be at the draft, according to DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony, which indicates a team likely made him a second-round promise. Singh, who trained at IMG Academy and was born in India, worked out for a handful of teams, including the Washington Wizards.
At 7'2", 290 pounds, Singh is gigantic, and though he isn't too athletic or light on his feet, he has a good-looking stroke.
For what it's worth, there should also be a ton of marketing appeal tied to Singh.
50. Atlanta Hawks: Mouhammadou Jaiteh, France, 6'11", C, 1994
Mouhammadou Jaiteh doesn't offer much upside, lacking defensive instincts, athleticism and a diverse offensive game.
But the few things he does well could hold NBA value. He's capable of controlling the glass, finishing around the rim and scoring around the low block.
He looked like he belonged in five-on-fives at the combine and is coming off a breakout year in France's top league.
51. Orlando Magic: Vince Hunter, UTEP, 6'7 ½", PF, Sophomore
Vince Hunter's production at UTEP was driven by athleticism, motor and instincts around the basket. He isn't particularly skilled, and he's slightly stuck between the 3 and 4 positions.
However, Hunter just has a knack for making plays at the rim. He averaged 20.9 points and 13.0 boards per 40 minutes, which highlight his high-level activity.
He was a standout at the combine in five-on-fives and now finds himself in the second-round conversation.
52. Dallas Mavericks: Andrew Harrison, Kentucky, 6'5 ½", PG, Soph.
Andrew Harrison will be a long shot for the first round but should get picked up in the second, where his mismatch size will be worth a look.
Though not a great athlete or decision-maker, he's still a 6'5 ½" ball-handler who can get to the rim and pass in the pocket or on the move. Harrison also improved his shooting percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio as a sophomore.
He's a backup at best, but this late, you take one if you can get one.
53. Cleveland Cavaliers: Norman Powell, UCLA, 6'4", SG, Senior
Norman Powell's jumper remains a question mark, which is why he's projected as a second-round pick after four years at UCLA. However, his high-flying athleticism and lockdown defensive potential are worth targeting this late.
Though not much of a playmaker or scorer, Powell is an easy-bucket machine in transition and a human blanket on the perimeter.
The Cavaliers could take him this late in hopes of stealing a Tony Allen-like role player.
54. Utah Jazz: Pat Connaughton, Notre Dame, 6'5", SG, Senior
Pat Connaughton's sweet shooting stroke and 44-inch max vertical is an attractive combination for a 6'5" 2-guard.
He was the talk of the NBA combine, having lit up both the athletic testing and five-on-five portions of the event. Since then, the Notre Dame product has been working out like a madman, flying from city to city and auditioning for team after team.
He'll be a three-point-specialist option for anyone in the 40-60 range.
55. San Antonio Spurs: Larry Nance, Wyoming, 6'8 ½", PF, Senior
Larry Nance is one of the more athletic bigs in the draft. He looked like he belonged at the NBA combine, where he showcased his motor and ability to make plays without the ball.
He also shot at least 75 percent from the line in each of his four years at Wyoming.
Improving his shooting range will be atop his priority list, but Nance's ability to attack facing up and make plays around the basket could work in an energizer role.
56. New Orleans Pelicans: Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington, 6'4", SG, Junior
Tyler Harvey struggled at the NBA combine, which may keep teams from reaching in the 30-45 range. But the country's leading scorer could be there for New Orleans at No. 56.
Harvey is a microwave capable of creating and making shots from all over the floor. He nailed a nation-leading 128 threes at a ridiculous 43.1 percent clip as a junior.
He won't score in the pros like he did in college, but he'll have a chance to succeed as a reserve shot-maker and shooter.
57. Denver Nuggets: Nikola Radicevic, Serbia, 6'5", 1994
A ball-screen point guard with excellent size for the position, Nikola Radicevic has received plenty of exposure playing alongside potential future NBA bigs Guillermo Hernangomez and Kristaps Porzingis.
His strengths revolve around his vision, passing and crafty playmaking ability, though a lack of athleticism and explosiveness is a major red flag.
Radicevic worked out for Denver earlier in June. He'll be a draft-and-stash option without any appealing options left to choose from.
58. Philadelphia 76ers: Darrun Hilliard, Villanova, 6'6", SF, Senior
Darren Hilliard could well be one of the draft's more undervalued prospects, given his size, three-point stroke and defensive discipline.
He worked out twice for the Sixers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey. Hilliard's shot-making skills and role-player potential are appealing for a late second-round pick.
He was well-coached at Villanova and fairly steady over the past two seasons. Despite not being invited to the combine, Hilliard will have a chance to hear his name called at some point Thursday night. Otherwise, look for him in summer league.
59. Atlanta Hawks: D.J. Newbill, Penn State, 6'4", SG, Senior
A team's willingness to overlook D.J. Newbill's physical limitations may give him a shot this late. He recently worked out for Atlanta, which could use some offense at the off-guard slot.
Newbill was a big-time scorer at Penn State, where his passing and shooting gradually improved as well.
He struggled at the Portsmouth Invitational, which hurt his chances of rising up boards. But Newbill's role-player potential should be worth a look.
60. Philadelphia 76ers: Daniel Diez, Spain, 6'8", SF, 1993
Daniel Diez shot 41.4 percent from three in the Spanish ACB this past year, which has helped him generate some second-round buzz.
He has excellent 6'8" size for a wing, and though not particularly athletic, he possesses a live motor that plays to his role-player potential.
The Philadelphia 76ers have five second-round picks. Look for them to draft and stash or trade their selections in the 50s.