The era of full on tanking is in front of us. We've seen teams, namely the Philadephia 76ers, put on a disgraceful product on the floor, night in and night out, in order to lose as many games as possible. Sooner or later, they have to put a respectable product on the hardwood, and the lottery could be the first step. In order to come up with the draft order, I've used the Lottery Simulator over at RealGM.
1] Orlando Magic select Karl Anthony-Towns from Kentucky University The Magic get lucky and strike gold, jumping up from the projected fifth slot. Towns would be a spectacular fit with Vucevic up front, providing the defense that is lacked up front. With Elfrid Payton shutting down opposing points, the two would form a dangerous defensive duo. The future could have been amazingly great had they not muffed with the selection of Aaron Gordon with the fourth slot in 2014.
2] Minnesota Timberwolves select Jahlil Okafor from Duke University With Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, the Wolves add in a post scoring option to build with. Toss in Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng, Adreian Payne and Kevin Martin, the Wolves may build themselves a surprisingly sucessful team for the 2015-16 campaign and beyond. Offensively, Okafor has the potential to have one of the best in the association, with an expanded repertoire. Defense does leave some to be desired, but with time, will be improved on.
3] New York Knicks select Emmanuel Mudiay from the Congo Phil Jackson's debut season as a general manager, nor Derek Fisher's debut into coaching, didn't go as planned. Another wasted year of Carmelo Anthony's prime. Mudiay cane come in, and provide Jackson and Fisher with a point guard that can run the franchise for years to come. At 6'5, Mudiay has great size for his position and needs work on his jumper, but, all the tools are there to be among the league's best guards.
4] Philadelphia 76ers select D'Angelo Russell from Ohio State University Despite extreme tanking, the 76ers end up with the 4th overall selection and go with the dynamic Russell from Ohio State. An all around guard, Russell has the ability to knock down jumpers from virtually anywhere on the court, along with the finesse and handling skills to be able to penetrate and attack the rim. With the proper work put in, Russell can end up among the league's elite guards.
5] Los Angeles Lakers select Willie Cauley-Stein from Kentucky University The Lakers pick is only top five protected, and they get lucky enough to keep the slot. Cauley-Stein might be a bit of a reach at the fifth overall slot, but there is no questioning the defensive prowess provided by him. Teamed with Julius Randle, the Lakers may have the foundation to try to rise back from the bottom of the barrel and back among the NBA's elite. Granted, the duo will take a while to develop, well past Bryant's prime.
6] Sacramento Kings select Stanley Johnson from the University of Arizona Rudy Gay is not getting any younger, so the Kings look to the future by adding Johnson from the UofA. Johnson has all the tools to be a stout defender, while having a nice corner jumper. His offensive awareness has plenty of room for growth, though he should remain in the league for a while with a niche as a defensive stud.
7] Denver Nuggets select Trey Lyles from Kentucky University Denver is in a bit of a pickle. They don't have a team worthy of making the playoffs, however, they don't lack talent to the point where they can lose out. A bit of a treadmill team, the Nuggets, add in an offensive big man to team up with Jusuf Nurkic for the future, while they see what they can get in exchange for Kenneth Faried. With Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler getting to full health, and Ty Lawson running the point, Denver may be able to sneak into a playoff spot next summer.
8] Detroit Pistons select Kristaps Porzingis from Latvia Stan Van Gundy showed the world he didn't care last year, when the Pistons waived Josh Smith and his albatross of a contract. The Pistons will have some decisions to make this summer, as Greg Monroe will be an unrestricted free agent, and the team also has two point guards that are worthy of starting in Brandon Jennings and Reggie Jackson. Porzingis is a legit 7 footer that has the range of a Steve Novak/Kyle Korver. An above average help defender that swat shots, Porzingis would be a great fit with Andre Drummond up front. Though, he's a few years away from being fully NBA ready.
9] Indiana Pacers select Justise Winslow from Duke University Despite missing Paul George for the season, the Pacers remain in the hunt for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. George Hill has been doing a spectacular job in Indiana, though the addition of Winslow, teamed with the return of George, could be just what the Pacers need to regain form as one of the elite in the East.
10] Charlotte Hornets select Kevon Looney from UCLA Looney didn't have an eye popping freshman season, though he has a unique skill set and should have a professional career that trumps his collegiate one. At 6'9, Looney has the size to play either forward position at the next level, though, his defensive game would really excel as a small forward. A relatively big wing span, teamed with legit athletcism, will allow for Looney to switch on pick and rolls with ease, while making him an above average rebounder. His offensive game is still developing, but once it does, he will be one of the few premier two way players in the league.
11] Utah Jazz select Kelly Oubre from the University of Kansas After giving Enes Kanter, Utah has had en emergence from Rudy Gobert, the French International. Team that with a little winning streak, and the buzz is high for the Jazz. Adding in Oubre provides Utah a different look over Gordon Hayward, if not with Hayward. His defensive improvements throughout the year was impressive and a sign to come for the future. Offensively, he can knock down the long range jumper, but needs to improve his strength to be able to attack the rim at the next level. Oubre could become the defensive wing the Jazz may be needing.
12] Philadelphia 76ers (from Miami) select Mario Hezonja from Croatia Philadelphia picks up a foreign prospect who may not come over right away, in the athleic Hezonja from Croatia. Hezonja has insane leaping ability, to go with a high motor, always making him the favorite to win any 50/50 ball. His passing ability allows him to play as a point forward, and the ability to hit the jumper also makes him a catch and shoot threat. A bit of maturity is needed to harness his skills and take them to the next level.
13] Phoenix Suns select Myles Turner from Texas Giving away Dragic and Thomas alleviated the Suns issues of juggling minutes at the point, though, adding Brandon Knight wasn't the smartest follow up. Phoenix is desparetly needing a big man, and Turner brings exactly that. With solid athleticism, and a lanky 7'4 frame, Turner has the ability to be an elite weakside blocker, and a solid rebounder. Needs to add on some muscle, however, and the Suns training staff will help with that.
14] Houston Rockets (from New Orleans) select Sam Dekker from Wisconsin Dekker has boosted his stock, to this point, in March Madness, and becomes the final lottery pick. Not only does he just make the lottery, Dekker joins a contending side, right off the bat, in the Rockets who snagged this pick from the New Orleans Pelicans, in exchange for Omer Asik. The ability to knock down jumpers will fit Dekker in nicely next to James Harden, and help spread the floor for Dwight Howard to control the paint.
15] Boston Celtics select Frank Kaminsky from Wisconsin Back to back Badgers get off the board here, as the surprising, surging, young Celtics add the offensive big man to their arsenal of young bigs. Under the tutorage of Brad Stevens, Kaminsky could develop into a solid center for years to come in the green.
16] Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn) select Buddy Heild from Oklahoma A strong guard that can knock down jumpers and buy into a team concept is a solid pickup for the surging Hawks franchise, that gets to swap picks with the Brooklyn Nets as a result of the Joe Johnson trade.
17] Milwaukee Bucks select Christian Wood from UNLV Both Wisconsin guys went two picks prior to the Bucks here, so the Bucks go across the country and select the Palmdale, CA native here. Wood is a solid man defender, but his defensive positive comes from his ability to rotate and get the weakside block. A jumper that is turning consistent from mid range allows for Wood to have the potential to put together a solid repertoire.
18] Washington Wizards select Montrezl Harrell from Louisville The definition of a garbage man, Harrell will come in from day 1 and collect all the dirty putbacks, while covering for his perimeter guys with his wing span and jumping abilities.
19] Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City) select Devin Booker from Kentucky Third first round pick for the 6ers, and they go with another wing here in Booker, making him the fourth Kentucky Wildcat drafted in the first round to this point. High IQ and the ability to be a knockdown shooter can keep Booker in the association for a good while.
20] Toronto Raptors select Cameron Payne from Murray State Yes, the Raptors currently have the underrated Kyle Lowry running the point, but Payne is the best player available, and should have been taken about five spots ago. An NBA ready offensive arsenal and solid ball handling would make Payne a great replacement for Lowry.
21] Chicago Bulls select Jeremi Grant from Notre Dame With Rose seemingly never being healthy again, the Bulls look towards the future and take the dynamic Grant from Notre Dame.
22] Dallas Mavericks select Tyus Jones from Duke The Rondo experiment hasn't been very successful, and with Rondo being an unrestricted free agent, Dallas may be looking to get past the failure by selecting the pass first Jones from Duke.
23] San Antonio Spurs select RJ Hunter from Georgia State Tim Duncan may not return. Greg Popovich may step away, same with Manu Ginobili. Regardless, the Spurs are the Spurs, led by RC Buford, arguably the best general manager for the past 20 years. Hunter is oozing with the potential to be a deadly shooter with an all around scoring game.
24] Cleveland Cavaliers select Delon Wright from Utah A solid combination guard to bring off the bench, Wright would provide the Cavaliers with versatility as he can play either guard spot, along with handling the rock for spot minutes.
25] Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers) select Rondae Hills-Jefferson from University of Arizona The second Sean Miller Wildcat taken in the first round, Hills-Jefferson will be in the league for years and years to come, if only due to his stallworth defending abilities.
26] Portland Trail Blazers select Cliff Alexander from Kansas University Blazers select a big that can play behind both Aldridge and Robin Lopez, with hopes of developing him into the starting center for the future.
27] Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston) select Norman Powell from UCLA As a Clipper and Bruin fan, I'd hate for this to actually occur, but the Lakers can't pass up on the ever improving Powell, using him as a sixth man for years to come would be great.
28] Cleveland Cavaliers select Dakari Johnson from Kentucky Cavs take another Kentucky Wildcat, making it five in round one and give themselves a prospect big to work behind Mozgov and Vareajo, if he's ever healthy again.
29] Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta) select Terry Rozier from Louisville The point guard for the future is here, as the Nets go in with Rozier, a nice prospect from Rick Pitino.
30] Golden State Warriors select Perry Ellis from Kansas University Warriors add a tweaner here, as Ellis can play either forward spot.