Live 2015 NBA Draft Grades

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Live 2015 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 16-30 | Grades for Round 2

2015 NBA Mock Draft | 2016 NBA Mock Draft
Updated: June 26, 2015.

    Follow @walterfootball for updates.
  1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, PF/C, Kentucky – A Grade
    In terms of fit, Towns was the right choice. His versatility on both ends of the floor makes him the best prospect in this draft as he could plug a hole for the Timberwolves at power forward or play some center as well. Towns has a solid back-to-the basket game but can also space defenders with his outside jumper. He and last year’s first overall pick, Andrew Wiggins should bring a ton of optimism to Minnesota.

    Note: If Towns isn’t Minnesota’s pick, this will be adjusted. We’ll be posted live NBA Draft Grades all evening, so keep checking back or follow @walterfootball for updates.

  2. Los Angeles Lakers: D’Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State – A- Grade
    I think Okafor was the better option but it’s hard to argue with Russell here. The Lakers need a point guard and playmaker of the future since Kobe’s historic career is winding down. I think Russell is going to be a star at the next level.

  3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke – A Grade
    Philly wanted Russell to fill their backcourt needs but instead settle for another big body inside in Okafor. Taking the best available player and figuring it out down the road is the smart play especially with Joel Embiid’s future still a major question mark and Philly not being close to a playoff contender.

  4. New York Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia – B Grade
    This is a total high risk/high reward pick for the Knicks. Porzingis has all the intangibles to potentially be a great player at the next level but will need some time to develop. Is he the next Dirk, Darko, or somewhere in between? Time will tell and New York decided to roll the dice versus playing it safe.

  5. Orlando Magic: Mario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia – C+ Grade
    The Magic need to add a shooter on the wing to complement their crop of athletes and Hezonja fits that bill. He will play the small forward position in Orlando but is a question mark in terms of how quickly he adapts to the NBA. There wasn’t an obvious choice here but drafting a foreign player is always a bit of a risk.

  6. Sacramento Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky – A Grade
    His stock was reportedly all over the place but I stuck to my guns that he would be a perfect fit in Sacramento next to DeMarcus Cousins and got this pick right. His defensive versatility will be a huge asset in Sacramento. Love this pick.

  7. Denver Nuggets: Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Congo – C+ Grade
    Justise Winslow would have been a better pick in my opinion since the Nuggets have a lot of question marks on the wing. Mudiay could be a potential replacement for Ty Lawson but until Lawson is dealt, I don’t love this pick.

  8. Detroit Pistons: Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona – A- Grade
    The Pistons have a huge hole at small forward and Johnson fills that void. He isn’t the perimeter threat that Detroit needs but his versatility and NBA ready build makes him their three of the future. It is interesting that Johnson was the pick over Winslow, whom many consider to be a better prospect.

  9. Charlotte Hornets: Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin – C+ Grade
    The Hornets need options inside since they dealt Noah Vonleh, and both Al Jefferson and Bismack Biyombo could be free agents. I like Kaminsky, but don’t love him this high. He should be NBA ready and his offensive versatility is coveted at the next level but I don’t see him being more than a role player.

  10. Miami Heat: Justise Winslow, SF, Duke – A+ Grade
    This is my favorite pick of the draft so far. Winslow is a terrific value this low considering he had been talked about as high as No. 4. His versatility will be a major asset and provide insurance in case either Dwyane Wade or Luol Deng leave in free agency.

  11. Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner, C, Texas – B Grade
    The Pacers have question marks inside and needed to add front court depth since Roy Hibbert and David West could both be gone. Turner is a project and has bust or boom potential. Someone like Trey Lyles would be a safer pick, but this choice is solid.

  12. Utah Jazz: Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky – A- Grade
    Trey Lyles brings some needed versatility to the Utah frontcourt to complement Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. This is a solid pick for a young Utah team that has a bright future.

  13. Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky – A Grade
    Phoenix needs a shooter on the wing and Booker is one of the best three-point threats in the league. He will be a valuable player alongside Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight (assuming he returns to the Suns) and will help replace free agent Gerald Green.

  14. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State – A- Grade
    Since they dealt Reggie Jackson prior to the trade deadline, Oklahoma City needed to find a backup for Russell Westbrook. Payne flew under the radar a bit this season but can score or distribute. He and Westbrook could potentially play together in the Thunder backcourt as well.

  15. Washington Bullets: Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas – B+ Grade
    Oubre gets dealt to the Bullets for the 19th pick and two future second-round picks. The Bullets need depth on the wing with Paul Pierce opting out of his contract but again, Oubre likely isn’t ready to contribute right away. From a potential standpoint, this is a good value.

  16. Go to Live 2015 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 16-30
    Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I’ve received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.

    Go to Live 2015 NBA Draft Grades: Round 2

    Go to 2015 NBA Mock Draft
    Go to 2016 NBA Mock Draft

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: [email protected].
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

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