2015 NBA Mock Drafts: Gary Parrish

Gary Parrish
By Gary Parrish
CBSSports.com College Basketball Insider

I have forever believed Jahlil Okafor should be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. And I still believe that. But it seems pretty clear, at this point, that Minnesota is set to select Karl-Anthony Towns first overall. So it's time to update this mock draft.

Again, I disagree with what Minnesota is set to do.

I like Towns but wouldn't pass on Okafor, if I were them.

Either way, here's my new -- and final, I think -- mock draft:

NBA Mock Draft - 06/23/2015
Round 1
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky: Towns is an ideal power forward prospect for this league -- somebody who is big enough to guard bigs but skilled enough to step away from the basket and stretch the floor with a jumper. With proper minutes at Kentucky, he would've been a legitimate National Player of the Year candidate. With proper health in Minnesota, he could develop into a perennial All-Star.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke: If it's possible to somehow package this pick with a player or two and lure DeMarcus Cousins from Sacramento, I guess the Lakers should probably do that, if only because A) Cousins is a top-10 talent right now, and B) it might give the Lakers a chance to win in what will likely be Kobe Bryant's final season. Short of that, they should just take Okafor, who could become the next great Lakers center within three years while returning the presence of the dominant big to the NBA.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia: People keep asking if I think the Sixers would really draft another frontcourt international prospect in the lottery. My answer: Why not? There's a growing number of people who seem to genuinely believe Porzingis is one of the top three talents in this draft. And, if that's the case, there's nothing silly about taking him in the top three.
4. New York Knicks
D'Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State: New York fans were devastated when the Knicks fell out of the top two on lottery night. But being able to grab Russell with the fourth pick would ease the pain significantly. He's a dynamic combo guard with great vision who can also shoot, and his instincts are top-shelf. Nobody should be surprised if Russell becomes the best pro from this class even if he won't be the top pick.
5. Orlando Magic
Justise Winslow, SF, Duke: Label me intrigued by a 1-2-3 combination of Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Winslow in Orlando. That's the type of young core that could do big things in the Eastern Conference in the next three years -- especially if Winslow turns into the star so many believe he has the potential to become.
6. Sacramento Kings
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China: Mudiay was, this time last year, projected by some to be either the first or second pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. So the idea that he could be available here is excellent news for Sacramento. The cast of characters surrounding Mudiay is a little bit of a concern, if only because they haven't handled his career well to date. Still, Mudiay is an undeniable talent, and the Kings would be wise to scoop him up if he's on the board.
7. Denver Nuggets
Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky: Cauley-Stein slipping in some mocks seems, to me, like little more than the result of draft-week positioning. At worst, he's an athletic, rim-protecting big who can switch pick-and-rolls. Anybody who has him falling too far is simply over-thinking things. And, no, I don't care that Denver already has some young bigs on the roster. That's not the type of thing that would make me pass on Cauley-Stein.
8. Detroit Pistons
Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia: Hezonja's decision to remain in the NBA Draft should lead to two international players going in the top 10. He's a good athlete who can really shoot it -- a prospect who can provide much-needed help on the wing for Detroit.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky: Booker's natural shooting ability was evident in one season at Kentucky and will allow him to stick in the NBA for at least a decade (barring injury). There's never been a time when shooting was more valued than it is these days. Booker will benefit from that. And Charlotte definitely needs shooting.
10. Miami Heat
Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin: Kaminsky is tall and skilled. He can shoot. He can rebound. So I really don't know what's not to like here. Yes, the Heat already have Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside in the frontcourt. But Kaminsky can play with either, and he'll be ready to contribute as a rookie.
11. Indiana Pacers
Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State: Mid-major recruits who become lottery picks after just two years of college are incredibly rare bordering on nonexistent. So it's amazing what's happening with Payne. Oklahoma City is an obvious option if he slips. But Payne makes sense for the Pacers, too.
12. Utah Jazz
Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona: Johnson would be the best player available at this point and an absolute steal for the Jazz. He doesn't necessarily fit a need in Utah. But the Arizona star would be hard to pass on here.
13. Phoenix Suns
Myles Turner, C, Texas: There's no reason for a 7-foot, 19-year-old who can block shots and make jumpers to slip any farther than 13, and I won't be surprised if Turner actually goes higher. There's some questions about whether he can shed a reputation of being soft. But his talent is intriguing toward the bottom of the lottery.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas: Oubre projects as an athletic perimeter defender with star potential. If he falls this far, Oklahoma City would be wise to scoop him up in an attempt to keep stocking talent in pursuit of a championship.
15. Atlanta Hawks
Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA: Paul Millsap is a free agent, meaning the Hawks might need a power forward. So taking Looney makes sense because he's A: immensely talented, and B: a future frontcourt starter.
16. Boston Celtics
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, and those are big questions with no clear answers. Either way, he's a 6-9 athlete with the potential to develop into a 6-9 athlete who can stretch the floor with his jumper, and that's enough to keep him in the top 20 of this draft.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas: 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 the first Razorback selected in the first round since Ronnie Brewer went 14th overall in 2007. Barring injury, I think, Portis will be in the NBA for a decade based on his measurements and motor.
18. Houston Rockets (via trade)
Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame: Grant will turn 23 before the 2015-16 season begins. So he's older than most prospects, which might hurt him with some franchises. Regardless, this dynamic playmaker is capable of adding athleticism to anybody's backcourt, including Houston's.
19. Washington Wizards
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 described that way. Beyond all that, I'm told Jones was, predictably, super impressive in interviews at the combine. Playing behind John Wall seems like a good spot to start his NBA career.
20. Toronto Raptors
Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky: Lyles spent much of his one year in college overshadowed by teammates -- specifically Towns and Cauley-Stein. But he's still an elite prospect with lots of potential. For those reasons and more, it's difficult to see Lyles going outside of the top 20.
21. Dallas Mavericks
Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia: The Mavericks only have a small handful of players guaranteed to return next season, meaning they need a guy who can play immediately. Anderson checks that box. He has an NBA body, understanding of defensive principles and a shot good enough to make opponents guard him out to the 3-point line.
22. Chicago Bulls
Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV: Vaughn was an elite prep player who, after one year of college, still has so much room to grow. He's only 18. So the former UNLV standout is totally worth a gamble somewhere in the 20s even it's likely he'll spend some time in the D-League.
23. Portland Trail Blazers
Montrezl Harrell, PF-C, Louisville: Harrell is not and will never be LaMarcus Aldridge -- if only because he's about four inches shorter. But a lot people are predicting the Blazers will lose their All-Star power forward in free agency. So selecting Harrell could add a talent and fill a need.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Delon Wright, PG, Utah: Wright isn't 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 who could theoretically help next season.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
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. Every team (except maybe the Warriors) needs more shooters. And it's possible nobody needs more shooters more than the Grizzlies.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona: Hollis-Jefferson is one of the best athletes in the draft and capable of becoming an elite perimeter defender in the NBA. Every championship team needs a guy like that. So he makes a lot of sense for the Spurs.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Christian Wood, PF, UNLV: With two first-round picks, why not swing for the so-called fences on a talent like Wood who would go in the lottery if not for red flags? That's what I'd do. Because Woods' potential is enticing.
28. Boston Celtics
Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU: Mickey reportedly helped himself at the combine -- perhaps enough to sneak into the first round and secure a guaranteed contract. He'd be a nice piece for a Celtics team still building.
29. Brooklyn Nets
Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville: Rozier was not a preseason All-American like his more celebrated teammate above. But he was Louisville's best player down the stretch. He should be able to get into the lane consistently at the NBA level.
30. Golden State Warriors
Chris McCullough, PF, Syracuse: McCullough remains a compelling prospect even though he was mostly injured as a freshman. At this point, for a team already built, he's worth the gamble for the Warriors.
Round 2
31. Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Brown, SF, Stanford: There's usually a place in the NBA for a 6-6 wing who shot at least 44.1 percent from 3-point range in his final two years of college.
32. Houston Rockets
Jarell Martin, PF, LSU: Martin averaged 16.9 points and 9.2 rebounds as a sophomore, meaning he developed in ways scouts hoped to see him develop.
33. Boston Celtics
Robert Upshaw, C, Washington: The fact that Upshaw was removed from two college teams -- combined with a diagnosed heart condition -- should cost him a spot in the first round. But he's a lottery talent worth a flyer in the 30s.
34. Los Angeles Lakers
Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas: Alexander helped neither Kansas nor himself in his one year of college. Still, he remains an intriguing prospect even if he's mostly an undersized center.
35. Philadelphia 76ers
Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky: Johnson's size makes him worth a serious look early in the second round.
36. Minnesota Timberwolves
Rakeem Christmas, C, Syracuse: Christmas finally, as a senior, became the college player he was always supposed to be for the Orange.
37. Philadelphia 76ers
Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain: Hernangomez is another likely draft-and-stash prospect.
38. Detroit Pistons
Pat Connaughton, SG, Notre Dame: What's not to like about a 6-5 athlete who can shoot?
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 of college.
40. Miami Heat
Jonathan Holmes, SF, Texas: Holmes is a 6-8 forward who took 4.1 3-pointers per game as a senior at UT. So he could be useful when it comes to creating space.
41. Brooklyn Nets
Arturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania: Gudaitis is a 6-10 center who is leading his professional team in Lithuania in rebounding.
42. Utah Jazz
Joseph Young, SG, Oregon: Young was a big-time college scorer who could be a nice piece off somebody's NBA bench.
43. Indiana Pacers
Norman Powell, SG, UCLA: Powell is a reliable jumper away from being a useful NBA player.
44. Phoenix Suns
Mouhammadou Jaiteh, C, France: Jaiteh is another 20-year-old draft-and-stash prospect.
45. Boston Celtics
Cedi Osman, PG, Macedonia: Osman, like so many others, projects as a solid draft-and-stash prospect.
46. Milwaukee Bucks
J.P. Tokoto, SF, North Carolina: Tokoto's early entry was a surprise even though he does have at least one NBA skill.
47. Philadelphia 76ers
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.
48. Oklahoma City Thunder
Richaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green: Holmes is a 6-8 forward who shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range as a senior.
49. Washington Wizards
Nikola Milutinov, C, Serbia: Milutinov has been a part of two Serbian League championship teams.
50. Atlanta Hawks
Olivier Hanlan, PG, Boston College: Hanlan is a dynamic combo guard who scored big each year he was at BC.
51. Orlando Magic
Tyler Harvey, SG, Eastern Washington: Harvey averaged a national-best 22.9 points per game this season.
52. Dallas Mavericks
Aaron Harrison, SG, Kentucky: This Harrison will, like his brother, be selected way lower than he was projected to be selected out of high school despite consecutive appearances in the Final Four.
53. Cleveland Cavaliers
Vince Hunter, PF, Texas-El Paso: Hunter averaged 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds as a sophomore with the Miners.
54. Utah Jazz
Aaron White, PF, Iowa: White is a 6-9 forward who is comfortable shooting from beyond the arc.
55. San Antonio Spurs
Larry Nance Jr., PF, Wyoming: Nance was special at Wyoming despite battling mono as a senior.
56. New Orleans Pelicans
Josh Richardson, SG, Tennessee: Richardson has at least one NBA skill -- an ability to defend on the perimeter.
57. Denver Nuggets
Quinn Cook, PG, Duke: Cook can be a primary ball-handler and shot-maker off the bench at the NBA level.
58. Philadelphia 76ers
Alan Williams, C, Santa Barbara: Williams is an undersized center -- but one who is tough and strong.
59. Atlanta Hawks
Treveon Graham, SG, VCU: Graham is a natural wing with good size who can shoot from the perimeter.
60. Philadelphia 76ers
Michael Qualls, SG, Arkansas: If the Sixers can spend a lottery pick on an injured player, surely they can spend the final pick on an injured player.
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