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2015 NBA Mock Drafts: Gary Parrish

Gary Parrish
By Gary Parrish
CBSSports.com College Basketball Insider


The debate, it seems, will continue until the week of the 2015 NBA Draft.

And that's fine.

But I've forever believed Jahlil Okafor should be this year's No. 1 pick, and the one-and-done star who led Duke to the national title did nothing in his freshman season to move me from that opinion. Sure, Karl-Anthony Towns is terrific, and a reasonable person could prefer the Kentucky freshman; I acknowledge that. But Okafor's size, hands and footwork are just too intriguing to pass on, I think. So he'll remain atop this mock draft unless something surprising surfaces and demands a switch at some point over the next two months.

NBA Mock Draft - 04/22/2015
Round 1
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke: There was a time, a few months back, when Okafor was the only sensible player for this spot. But now, I think, there are other options worth at least considering -- most notably the prospect immediately below him. Regardless, again, I'd still take Okafor first overall, if only because his footwork and hands, at this age and size, are extremely rare attributes.
2. New York Knicks
Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky: The way Towns performed in the final month of the season was enough to make him a reasonable alternative to Okafor for the top overall spot. Ultimately, it'll come down to which team actually picks first. But, no matter the order of the lottery, I can't see this one-and-done star dropping any lower than second.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Justise Winslow, SF, Duke: Winslow is an elite athlete with a great body who projects as an overwhelming defensive player at the next level. But he's pretty accomplished at the offensive end, too. The 6-foot-6 wing shot 41.8 percent from 3-point range this season, and his ability to handle the ball improved from November to April. Simply put, Winslow has star-potential. And it's hard to envision a scenario where he's not at least really good.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State: Nobody enhanced his so-called stock more this season than Russell. He's an elite scorer, a capable shooter and a uniquely gifted passer with tremendous vision. He was an awesome college player who could end up being an All-Star in the NBA.
5. Orlando Magic
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China: Mudiay is probably suffering, at least a little, from out-of-sight/out-of-mind. But that'll change once the workouts start and everybody is reminded of just how physically overwhelming this big and strong lead guard can theoretically be as a pro.
6. Indiana Pacers
Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona: Johnson, perhaps because he played in the Pacific Time Zone, didn't get the attention this season that other freshmen received -- specifically Okafor, Towns and Russell. But the 6-foot-7 wing led the Pac-12 champs in scoring, and getting him outside of the top five would be a nice moment for any franchise.
7. Denver Nuggets
Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky: Cauley-Stein didn't necessarily return for his junior season to enhance his status as a prospect, but he's undeniably enhanced his status as a prospect. Few men his size are this agile. He'll be a defensive weapon at the NBA level right from the start.
8. Detroit Pistons
Myles Turner, C, Texas: Granted, I like Turner more than most. But his combination of size and shot-blocking instincts is rare, and he's already comfortable playing away from the basket. In other words, Turner could develop into a lethal pick-and-pop big at the NBA level.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin: From a borderline top-200 high school recruit to the National Player of the Year in college to a lottery pick in the NBA. That's going to end up being the Frank Kaminsky story. Pretty awesome, right?
10. Miami Heat
Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia: Hezonja should be the first international player off the board -- not counting Mudiay. He projects as a possible high-level scorer in the NBA. He just turned 20.
11. Indiana Pacers
Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas: Oubre got off to a really slow start at KU. But he looked, by the end of the season, like the lottery pick he's forever been projected to become.
12. Utah Jazz
Kris Dunn, PG, Providence: It's doubtful anybody helped himself more in the final two months of the college season than Dunn. There's a lot of stuff to work with here, he showed. Unless there are medical or off-the-court red flags, I can't imagine the Providence point guard slipping far out of the lottery.
13. Phoenix Suns
Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA: Looney wasn't celebrated in his one year of college like many other elite freshmen -- mostly because UCLA was unranked the majority of the season. Either way, he's a stretch-4 who shot 41.5 percent from beyond the arc as a Bruin.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Jerian Grant, PG, ND: Seniors don't typically make sexy lottery picks, but Grant belongs. He's a playmaking combo guard who had a terrific final year of college. He's capable of contributing as a professional immediately.
15. Brooklyn Nets
Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky: Lyles spent much of his one year in college overshadowed by teammates -- specifically Towns and Cauley-Stein. Regardless, he should join them in the lottery, then in the NBA for a long, long time.
16. Boston Celtics
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia: Porzingis is a 19-year-old inside-outside threat who would be a household name in the United States if he played college basketball. He has the potential to be a high-level face-up power forward in the NBA.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Bobby Portis, PF, ARK: The reigning SEC Player of the Year was never the best prospect in the SEC. But he averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a sophomore, and now he'll be first Razorback selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Ronnie Brewer went 14th overall in 2007.
18. Houston Rockets (via trade)
Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky: Guards with size who can really shoot are commodities in the NBA, and Booker is a guard with size who can really shoot it. He wasn't great down the stretch for the Wildcats. But the 6-foot-6 freshman still shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range this season.
19. Washington Wizards
Christian Wood, PF, UNLV: Wood rarely played a game this season where he didn't have at least a few moments that showed why he's an interesting prospect with a high ceiling. He could go in the lottery, and it won't be crazy if he does.
20. Toronto Raptors
Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin: Dekker has an NBA body and certain NBA skills. The only question is whether he can consistently play at a high-level and shoot well from the perimeter.
21. Dallas Mavericks
Tyus Jones, PG, Duke: Jones isn't an exceptional athlete, and he's small. But he really knows how to run a team, totally understands when to push and when to pull, loves to take and make big shots, and there's just always going to be a place in the NBA for guys like that.
22. Chicago Bulls
R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State: Hunter shot it poorly this season. But NBA scouts saw him enough last summer -- specifically at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas -- to know he's a pure shooter with size and NBA range. There's no way he falls out of the first round no matter what his percentages from his junior season suggest.
23. Portland Trail Blazers
Montrezl Harrell, PF-C, Louisville: Jones isn't an exceptional athlete, and he's small. But he really knows how to run a team, totally understands when to push and when to pull, and there's just always going to be a place in the NBA for guys like that.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State: Payne went from an overlooked recruit from Memphis -- whom Memphis didn't even seriously recruit -- to a legitimate NBA prospect in just two years at Murray State. He's a terrific story and on the verge of becoming a millionaire while the overwhelming majority of prospects ranked ahead of him in high school continue to play for room-and-board.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Delon Wright, PG, Utah: Wright isn't a young, which might hurt him. But a team already competing for a title and drafting at the bottom of the first round shouldn't care much about that because they'll be getting a 23-year-old rookie ready to contribute immediately.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona: Hollis-Jefferson probably wasn't even one of Arizona's top two players this season, but he's still somebody who possesses an obvious NBA skill in his ability to guard on the wing. He's most likely a role player at the next level. But he could be a really nice role player for the right franchise.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia: Anderson could've returned to college and helped the Cavaliers compete for a national title while earning All-America honors. But it's hard to blame the 6-foot-6 junior for entering the NBA Draft -- especially considering he shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range this season, which is something he probably wouldn't duplicate as a senior.
28. Boston Celtics
Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville: Rozier was not a preseason First Team All-American like his more celebrated teammate listed above in this mock draft. But he was probably Louisville's best player down the stretch. He can create for himself and should be able to get into the lane consistently at the NBA level.
29. Atlanta Hawks
Jarell Martin, PF, LSU: This makes five Kentucky Wildcats in the first round, which would tie an NBA Draft record set by -- the Kentucky Wildcats. Johnson is 7-0, 255 pounds and more athletic than most probably realize.
30. Golden State Warriors
Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas: Alexander helped neither Kansas nor himself in his one year of college.
Round 2
31. Minnesota Timberwolves
Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV: Vaughan is a gamble worth taking on natural ability alone.
32. Houston Rockets
Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky: Vaughan is a unique talent who will get drafted on ability almost regardless of how his freshman season unfolds.
33. Boston Celtics
Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma: Hield still has a choice to make -- either get paid now or return to OU and try to win a Big 12 title.
34. Los Angeles Lakers
Robert Upshaw, C, Washington: Upshaw is an elite shot-blocker who is worth a so-called roll-of-the-dice even with his off-the-court issues.
35. Philadelphia 76ers
Joseph Young, SG, Oregon: Young was a big-time college scorer who could be a nice piece off somebody's NBA bench.
36. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU: Jackson's versatility, at 6-8, is what makes him an intriguing prospect.
37. Philadelphia 76ers
Chris McCullough, PF, Syracuse: McCullough remains a compelling prospect even though he was mostly injured as a freshman.
38. Detroit Pistons
Norman Powell, SG, UCLA: Powell is a reliable jumper away from being a useful NBA player.
39. Charlotte Hornets
Andrew Harrison, PG, Kentucky: Despite his flaws, Harrison is still a point guard with size who made the Final Four in both years he spent in college.
40. Miami Heat
Aleksandar Vezenkov, SF, Bulgaria: Vezenkov is a nice draft-and-stash prospect, if a franchise chooses to use him that way.
41. Brooklyn Nets
Rakeem Christmas, C, Syracuse: Christmas finally, as a senior, became the college player he was always supposed to be for the Orange.
42. Utah Jazz
Yogi Ferrell, PG, Indiana: Tom Crean is still waiting to see whether Ferrell wants to earn a paycheck ASAP or compete for a Big Ten title.
43. Indiana Pacers
Georges Lucas Alves de Paula, PG, Brazil: Most front offices like big point guards -- and this one is 6-foot-5.
44. Phoenix Suns
Anthony Brown, SF, Stanford: There's usually a place in the NBA for a 6-foot-6 wing who shot at least 44.1 percent from 3-point range in his final two years of college.
45. Boston Celtics
Brandon Ashley, PF, Arizona: Meeks has dropped around 50 pounds since enrolling at UNC and will benefit financially from it.
46. Milwaukee Bucks
Tyrone Wallace, PG, California: Wallace will get selected if he enters but could still decide to return to Cal and play with Ivan Rabb.
47. Philadelphia 76ers
Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain: Hernangomez is another likely draft-and-stash prospect.
48. Oklahoma City Thunder
Alan Williams, C, Santa Barbara: Trimble has returned Maryland to national relevance and enhanced his reputation among NBA scouts in the process.
49. Washington Wizards
Keifer Sykes, PG, Green Bay: Sykes is small but fast and worthy of a look at the NBA level.
50. Atlanta Hawks
Aaron White, PF, Iowa: White is a 6-foot-9 forward who is comfortable shooting from beyond the arc.
51. Orlando Magic
Aaron Harrison, SG, Kentucky: Scouts still believe Harrison can be a nice pro shooter even though his shooting percentages have dropped across the board.
52. Dallas Mavericks
Mouhammadou Jaiteh, C, France: Jaiteh is another 20-year-old draft-and-stash prospect.
53. Cleveland Cavaliers
Branden Dawson, SF, Michigan State: Dawson, if nothing else, will always have an NBA body and the ability to guard opposing perimeter players.
54. Utah Jazz
Michael Frazier II, SG, Florida: Frazier was miscast as a star in his final season at Florida but is still an above-average catch-and-shoot perimeter player.
55. San Antonio Spurs
Egemen Guven, PF, Turkey: Guven is yet another ideal draft-and-stash prospect.
56. New Orleans Pelicans
Olivier Hanlan, PG, Boston College: Hanlan is a dynamic combo guard who scored big each year he was at BC.
57. Denver Nuggets
J.P. Tokoto, SF, North Carolina: Tokoto's early entry was a surprise even though he does have at least one NBA skill.
58. Philadelphia 76ers
Michael Qualls, SG, Arkansas: Dawson, if nothing else, will always have an NBA body and the ability to guard opposing perimeter players.
59. Atlanta Hawks
Tyler Harvey, SG, Eastern Washington: Harvey averaged a national-best 22.9 points per game this season.
60. Philadelphia 76ers
Richaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green: Holmes is a 6-foot-8 forward who shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range as a senior.
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