2015 NBA Mock Draft: Order of Selections and Final 1st-Round Team Predictions

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2015

Mar 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Justise Winslow (12) dribbles during the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the finals of the south regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor will lead a new generation of talent to the Association at the 2015 NBA draft.  

Renowned for its impressive depth underneath the basket and when it comes to sharpshooters, the 2015 class offers teams a chance to secure foundation blocks for the future.

Unlike most years, the second half of the first round doesn't figure to be an afterthought. With an increased league emphasis on big men who can step back and shoot and on shooters in general, there are solid pro-ready contributors throughout the round.

Before things get underway, let's take a look at one final mock based on team need and the prospect stock market.

2015 NBA Round 1 Mock Draft

1Minnesota TimberwolvesJahlil Okafor, C, Duke
2Los Angeles LakersKarl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky
3Philadelphia 76ersEmmanuel Mudiay, PG, China
4New York KnicksD'Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State
5Orlando MagicJustise Winslow, SF, Duke
6Sacramento KingsWillie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
7Denver NuggetsStanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
8Detroit PistonsKristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
9Charlotte HornetsCameron Payne, SG, Murray State
10Miami HeatMario Hezonja, SG/SF, Croatia
11Indiana PacersFrank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin
12Utah JazzSam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
13Phoenix SunsMyles Turner, C/PF, Texas
14Oklahoma City ThunderKelly Oubre, SG, Kansas
15Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn Nets)Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA
16Boston CelticsTrey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
17Milwaukee BucksMontrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
18Houston Rockets (from New Orleans Pelicans)Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
19Washington WizardsBobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
20Toronto RaptorsRondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
21Dallas MavericksTyus Jones, PG, Duke
22Chicago BullsTerry Rozier, PG, Louisville
23Portland Trail BlazersJerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
24Cleveland CavaliersDakari Johnson, C, Kentucky
25Memphis GrizzliesRichaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green
26San Antonio SpursDelon Wright, PG, Utah
27Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston Rockets)R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State
28Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers)Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia
29Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta Hawks)Rakeem Christmas, PF, Syracuse
30Golden State WarriorsChristian Wood, PF, UNLV
Author's projections

Final Predictions for Most Intriguing Teams

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No. 5: Orlando Magic

The Pick: Justise Winslow, SF, Duke

This seems about right—the forgotten team in the top five takes a forgotten prospect lost in the hype of others over the course of the past month or so.

It's easy to forget the Orlando Magic feature a stunning crop of young talent, headlined by Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo in the backcourt, with Nikola Vucevic down low.

What the team needs to round out the solid foundation is a pro-ready small forward with high upside, otherwise known as Duke's Justise Winslow. As a freshman, the Houston native averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, showcasing elite upside.

A scout who spoke with ESPN.com's Chad Ford puts it best:

And you're hoping the skill part comes based on his work ethic. It reminds me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist a few years ago. The intangibles are outweighing some red flags on his game. The only difference is that Winslow is a better spot-up shooter than MKG. But the similarities are there.

Considering Winslow shot 49 percent from the floor and 42 percent from deep, it's clear he can help on the offensive side of the court right away, even if most consider defense his strong suit.

For a team capable of going many ways with a top-five selection, the Magic can't go wrong by hitting a position of need with perhaps the best prospect in the draft at the spot.

No. 6: Sacramento Kings

The Pick: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

It seems the drama in Sacramento could have a direct impact on every team in the top 10.

Drama, as in the power struggle as the team decides whether to trade star big man DeMarcus Cousins, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

No matter what happens on such a dramatic front, the Kings won't mind grabbing one of the draft's top players in the form of Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein. By far the best defender in the class, WCS enters off a season in which he averaged 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

It's worth mentioning, too, a Cousins-WCS nugget from ESPN's Ryen Russillo:

Russillo @ryenarussillo

Few trade notes. The scouts put WC Stein in special tier as a defensive player. Heard Cousins wants him @6 so he doesn't have to play C.

Should Cousins not stick around, WCS won't have any problems holding down the paint as a defender right out of the gates. He's a freak athlete for a guy who stands at 7'2" and 242 pounds with room to grow. In time, the offensive game will develop, too.

Perhaps scarier is the thought that the two big men can take the court and play together, crafting the best twin-towers look in the league. It's a big "perhaps" though, with the Kings winning no matter what if WCS is there when they walk to the podium.

No. 8: Detroit Pistons

The Pick: Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia

Is it real hype or the biggest smokescreen? 

Such is the question around Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis in the hours leading up to the draft. He's the biggest riser in recent weeks after arriving in the U.S. and putting on a show for scouts in Las Vegas.

Thanks to Porzingis' 7'2", 230-pound frame and an elite ability to convert shots from beyond the arc, many don't take issue with a Dirk Nowitzki comparison. Former teammate Ben Woodside spoke with Pistons.com on the matter:

Comparing anyone to Dirk is a tough task when he’s only 19, but he’s got a similar game. He stretches the floor really well. He can really shoot it. Just his style of game makes you think about how Dirk plays – his height, his release point on his shot. How he plays is similar to Dirk, but he’s extremely athletic, as well. Zinger’s a heck of a player. I enjoyed playing with him. I hope he shines.

It's a no-brainer for the Pistons should Porzingis take a dive. Coach Stan Van Gundy loves his players who can stretch the floor and get big men out of the paint. With Greg Monroe perhaps on his way out, too, it makes sense to pull the trigger.

There's a risk with Porzingis, but it's one teams hoping to contend will take without much in the way of hesitation. Look for the Pistons to be the team if the draft's current hot commodity winds up as more smoke than fire.

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.  

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