The draft lottery is right around the corner, and the fates of tanking sides, such as the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and numerous others will be decided. Did the tank job provide them with a fruitful top pick, or will they be leapfrogged by a better team. Once again, I've used RealGM's lottery simulator to determine the order, as with my Mock V.1.0.
1] Philadelphia 76ers select Emmanuel Mudiay from the Congo While I don't believe Mudiay is the best player of this draft, the 76ers follow the high praise of former coach, Larry Brown, and add the young point guard to Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. A great penetrator, Mudiay is full of great size and athleticism that needs to work on his jumper and offensive awareness. While not a true point guard, Mudiay should be able to power most of the NBA's point guards to get his. His defense, however, leaves a lot to be desired.
2] Orlando Magic select Karl Anthony-Towns from Kentucky Orlando may not have won the top pick, but they get that is the perfect fit. As I said when Orlando won the simulation last time around: "Towns would be a spectacular fit with Vucevic up front, providing the defense that is lacked. 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." 3] New York Knicks select D'Angelo Russell from Ohio State Knicks are coming off a season of turmoil. The debut of Phil Jackson as General Manager and Derek Fisher as Head Coach was a total failure. Russell comes in and has the chance to take the franchise player title from Carmelo Anthony within two seasons, if not right off the bat. A dynamic scorer, Russell is the perfect guard for the triangle scheme Jackson has made famous, and gives the Knicks two wings that can score over 20 per night.
4] Minnesota Timberwolves select Jahlil Okafor from Duke A team stacked with youth, the Wolves take the guy who may be the best post scorer in this draft with the fourth selection, teaming him with Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, Adreian Payne and Shabazz Mohammed. Vets Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic round out the roster, and the Wolves will need to make some moves to head in the right direction, and a scoring big would be a great way. Though, I'd be weary of Okafor turning into the next Eddy Curry.
5] Los Angeles Lakers select Justise Winslow from Duke While I firmly believe Willie Cauley-Stein is the best pick for the Lakers, the fifth slot may be just a bit high to take the defensive big man. Winslow, like Cauley-Stein, is highly praised for his defensive abilities. Strength is a key of Winslow's game, as he was able to hold his own in the post with the lateral quickness and overall athleticism to stay in front of wings. Winslow would be solid piece to add to Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. 6] Sacramento Kings select Kristaps Porzingis from Latvia A fluid release is one of the pieces that make Porzingis' potential so intriguing. Combined with his length, mobility, height and awareness, Porzingis would be a great fit next to DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings franchise player, as the franchise looks to get back into the playoff picture.
7] Denver Nuggets select Kelly Oubre from Kansas Nuggets are stuck in purgatory. They have enough talent to prevent them from getting a top five pick, but not enough talent, nor health, to make the playoffs in the stacked West. Capable players at every position, pending any trades, the Nuggets go with the smooth wing in Oubre. Nice length, size and strength for the three spot, Oubre is full of defensive potential with a solid stroke to go with it. Lack of athleticism, as compared to his colleagues, may hurt, but his IQ more than compensates for it.
8] Detroit Pistons select Frank Kaminsky from Wisconsin Frank The Tank comes in, and instantly replaces Greg Monroe, who many expect to be headed out of Michigan. Kaminsky provides the offensive punch Steve Van Gundy needs from his big men, as Andre Drummond's prowess to crash the boards and play stout D is well known around the league. The inside-outside punch will keep Detroit in the playoff hunt during Van Gundy's second season.
9] New Orleans Hornets select Willie Cauley-Stein from Kentucky If Al Jefferson returns, Cauley-Stein would be the perfect compliment to the offensive output. Quite easily the best defensive big in the draft, WCS' weak side blocking is as NBA ready as possible, and his strength won't be any sort of an issue. Developing any resemblance of an offensive game will be a huge boost for the young big man.
10] Miami Heat select Stanley Johnson from Arizona Retaining Goran Dragic is the key for the Heat, as is getting Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade healthy and good to go for the 2015-16 campaign, the Heat select a defensive stallworth at the three, making a solid defensive duo with the surging Hassan Whiteside at the center spot. Improving his jumper could keep Johnson in the pros for years as a 3&D specialist.
11] Indiana Pacers select Trey Lyles from Kentucky The third Kentucky player taken in the lottery as the Pacers look for a long term replacement to David West the four spot. Hibbert's future with the franchise may be surrounded by questions, however, Lyles would be a solid fit next to Roy and would fit in snuggly between Hibbert and Granger. 12] Utah Jazz select Mario Hezonja from Croatia Utah 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 Again, I give Turner to the Suns. As stated last time: 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] Oklahoma City Thunder select Christian Wood from UNLV A solid shot blocking big, with a good amount of strength and athleticism, Wood refines the Thunder's post game, providing a nice four some with Enas Kanter, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison. An ever improving mid range jumper, Wood will be a solid pick and pop guy,on the offensive end.