2015 NBA Mock Drafts: Zach Harper

Zach Harper
By Zach Harper
CBSSports.com NBA Writer

While the Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to take Karl-Anthony Towns with the first pick in the draft, there isn't much else we can truly count on when it comes to the 2015 NBA Draft. It could end up being one of the wildest transaction nights in NBA history. We think the Lakers would then go with Jahlil Okafor as the next best big man available, but what if they decide D'Angelo Russell is the guy for them? Will the Sixers be the first team to throw a wrench into this entire process or will they wait for the Knicks, Kings, or Nuggets to get crazy?

We may be introducing an unsuspecting fan base to Kristaps Porzingis. We may watch Phil Jackson move the No. 4 pick or wind up with a gift that falls there out of nowhere. And how much chatter will happen around the DeMarcus Cousins craziness with the Sacramento Kings? Buckle up for Thursday night as we attempt to find the best fits for both the players and the teams.

NBA Mock Draft - 06/25/2015
Round 1
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky: Flip Saunders has coveted Jahlil Okafor's ability as a post-up big man, but some deeper scouting since the season ended seems to be leaning toward Karl-Anthony Towns as their next franchise center piece. Having Towns and Andrew Wiggins together for a decade should make the Wolves' rebuilding plan almost foolproof.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke: The Lakers may flirt with the idea of D'Angelo Russell as their next great guard or Kristaps Porzingis as the next Dirk Nowitzki, but Okafor is probably just too good to pass up on. His defensive issues can be ironed out with some solid coaching and putting him next to Julius Randle could be one of the best frontcourts of the future.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia: I think D'Angelo Russell should be the pick of the Sixers, not only because he fits but he also may end up being the best player in the draft when it's all said and done. But you can't help but think Sam Hinkie will go outside the box here and take a shot on the upside of Kristaps Porzingis. With Joel Embiid's health a question, does it hurt having some options for the big man next to Nerlens Noel?
4. New York Knicks
D'Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State: If D'Angelo Russell falls to No. 4 for the Knicks, they will have hit the jackpot in this draft. After missing out on the Top 3 picks, it looked like the Knicks were doomed and likely to move their pick in a trade. But the Sixers getting weird on us means there is light at the end of the tunnel that isn't a train heading toward the Knicks.
5. Orlando Magic
Justise Winslow, SF, Duke: It seems unlikely that Aaron Gordon will be a long-term solution at the small forward position unless he becomes a good outside shooter. Pairing him with Justise Winslow at the two forward positions could give you a lightning quick pair of forwards who can turn opposing teams on their heads on both ends of the floor.
6. Sacramento Kings
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China: The tricky thing here for the Kings is figuring out if Emmanuel Mudiay can be a star point guard for them or if they need to grab someone like Willie Cauley-Stein to pair next to DeMarcus Cousins (assuming he's still on this team). Kings going with Mudiay here means they feel his shot is correctable and his athleticism is too special to pass up.
7. Denver Nuggets
Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia: If Justise Winslow falls to 7, the Nuggets would probably rather go with him and his potential. But the athleticism and playmaking (mostly for himself) of Hezonja could be a great pairing with Ty Lawson, assuming the Nuggets don't decide to blow up the roster. Hezonja needs to prove he's a shooter in the NBA, but acclimate him to the high altitude and watch him run all over opposing defenses.
8. Detroit Pistons
Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona: Stanley Johnson seemed to be a lock to go Top 5 before his freshman season at Arizona, but his offensive capabilities didn't quite shine through. If Stan Van Gundy believes Johnson can be a shooter at the NBA level, he'll be the guy here and fit in perfectly. He can play the defense Van Gundy craves and stretching the floor for Andre Drummond is the biggest key for the Pistons.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin: With the Hornets dealing Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson for Nicolas Batum, I think they go big at No. 9 and they seem to be enamored with Frank Kaminsky. He immediately pushes Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo for minutes by adding an offensive presence they lost when Josh McRoberts went to Miami.
10. Miami Heat
Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas: The Heat need a lot of depth, but mostly they need a wing with good defensive abilities, the capability of stretching the floor, and turn into a playmaker on hard closeouts. The Heat can't rely on Luol Deng much past next season, so they need to start grooming a replacement unless they can hit a big splash in free agency. Oubre is a great option here, even if he is just a Sixth Man.
11. Indiana Pacers
Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky: The Pacers could go with Cameron Payne as their next point guard and slot George Hill into a scoring role, but grabbing a free-falling Willie Cauley-Stein and having him be the cheaper, better replacement for Roy Hibbert is too good to pass up. This gives Frank Vogel a much more agile rim protector for that system.
12. Utah Jazz
Myles Turner, C, Texas: As good as the pairing of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors is, the Jazz still need a post-up threat and I'm not convinced Favors can be that consistently. Turner can do it at a solid rate and still provide some defensive capabilities that Quin Snyder will crave for his big men. The three-big rotation of Gobert, Favors, and Turner could be one of the best in the league in a few years.
13. Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky: The Suns love outside shooting and there are few better shooters in this draft (if any) than Devin Booker. They could go for someone like Myles Turner if he's available, but grabbing Booker to space the floor for Eric Bledsoe fits with Jeff Hornacek's attack.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State: The Thunder have been searching for a reliable backup point guard to play behind and alongside Russell Westbrook. Reggie Jackson never panned out in that role, but Cameron Payne could be the playmaker and the shooter to make it a successful venture by the Thunder.
15. Atlanta Hawks
Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky: Keep going back and forth between Trey Lyles and Sam Dekker for this position, but I think the Hawks' need for depth inside is much more important than their need for wing depth. Adding Lyles to the rotation gives Paul Millsap a reliable backup and you don't have to pretend Pero Antic is a shooter anymore. Lyles is a smart big man, who can stretch the floor. This works a lot.
16. Boston Celtics
Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin: It's hard to imagine someone like Sam Dekker falling this far in the draft. He seems like a lottery talent and adding him to the wings next to Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley gives the Celtics a nice perimeter attack, and they can grab a big man with their other first-round pick.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA: Looney falling out of the lottery is perfect for the Bucks, especially after their salary-shedding trade of Ersan Ilyasova. That frontcourt isn't as deep as it used to be, and Kevon Looney is a rangy power forward with a big wingspan and the capabilities of slotting in next to Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Montrezl Harrell could also be a great option here.
18. Houston Rockets (via trade)
Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame: Jerian Grant still needs to prove his 3-point shooting woes from last season aren't the norm for him, but as a big, change of pace point guard next to James Harden, he immediately adds great depth and options for the future of this rotation. You can play Grant with Patrick Beverley and Harden together, or hand over the starting PG position to him in a couple of years.
19. Washington Wizards
Montrezl Harrell, PF-C, Louisville: It's a tough call for inside depth between Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Portis, but Harrell is a little easier to play in the rotation right away. Randy Wittman and company will love the tutelage he got under Rick Pitino, and Harrell running the floor with John Wall and Bradley Beal could be devastating. You now have a backup plan for when Nene isn't playable anymore.
20. Toronto Raptors
Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas: It's kind of hard to imagine Bobby Portis falling into the 20's, but this is a pretty deep draft with teams that have real needs to fill in before grabbing Portis. Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough are both free agents, and at worst the Raptors want to find a way to keep Johnson and find an upgrade over Hansbrough. That's exactly what Portis provides immediately.
21. Dallas Mavericks
Tyus Jones, PG, Duke: It's safe to say Rajon Rondo will not be re-signing with the Mavericks this offseason, which means they're in the market for a point guard. Tyus Jones gives them good size at the position, a solid scorer, a good distributor, and someone who can likely be a good defender at the NBA level. They don't have to trust him with the starting position right away, but it won't be long before he's worthy.
22. Chicago Bulls
Delon Wright, PG, Utah: The years of Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks as the backups/fill-ins to Derrick Rose are probably over with Fred Hoiberg as the new coach Hoiberg will need a dynamic option to both pair with Rose and help curb some of the minutes and physical impact Rose goes through in a season. Wright is a big point guard, who projects to be a good defender and playmaker at the NBA level.
23. Portland Trail Blazers
R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State: R.J. Hunter is another guy who is hard to see falling into the 20's in this draft, but that's just how deep it is. With Wesley Matthews' Achilles' tendon injury and Arron Afflalo's impending free agency (Matthews also a free agent), Hunter provides some good depth and insurance at this pick. We know he'll fit in with the perimeter-oriented offense of Terry Stotts.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia: We've see just how much real depth on the wings the Cavaliers need during this playoff run, and Anderson comes with the ability to knock down outside shots and be a playmaker off closeouts. With Shawn Marion retiring, you get much younger here with Anderson and then maybe pursue one of LeBron James' La Familia members this summer at point guard ? like Norris Cole.
25. Memphis Grizzlies
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona: He's a bit of a project on offense because he needs to learn how to shoot from the outside, but he can do everything else that Dave Joerger requires of his wings. He can slide into the small forward rotation with Vince Carter on his way out in the next couple years and fit next to Jordan Adams and Courtney Lee pretty quickly. Memphis can then concentrate on re-signing Kosta Koufos (if possible) and looking for a veteran upgrade at backup point guard.
26. San Antonio Spurs
Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV: The Spurs may have big plans of bringing in a top free agent big man, but if that ends up costing them someone like Danny Green, replacing him with Rashad Vaughn is a great contingency plan. He can shoot the lights out and even if Green stays, Vaughn is a great backup for a few years.
27. Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Brown, SF, Stanford: Anthony Brown is going to be 23 years old by the time his rookie season starts, but he can hit 3s, he has a great wingspan, and he could find his way into that wing rotation for the Lakers right away. Byron Scott may not have to teach an older rookie like this too much.
28. Boston Celtics (via trade)
Chris McCullough, PF, Syracuse: The defensive potential of McCullough is high, as long as he fills out and proves his knee injury isn't a lingering issue. It might be safer to try to wait around for the second round on McCullough, but a lot of the big men left in this draft have plenty of questions. His ability and the added interior depth is a good "risk" by Danny Ainge here.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via trade)
Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas: The Nets don't get the 15th pick because of the Hawks swapping, so they hae to swing for the fences in trying to grab a close-to-lottery talent at the backend of the first round. That could be Cliff Alexander, who was a very good prospect coming out of high school. Alexander will need a few years to figure out how to be a good post scorer in the NBA, but he's a project worth undertaking.
30. Golden State Warriors
Christian Wood, PF, UNLV: The Warriors have been incredible in just about every facet of the game, but they could definitely use a rebounding big man off the bench. David Lee has just one year left on his contract and Marreese Speights can be a free agent this summer. Time to get some long-term depth in there.
Round 2
31. Minnesota Timberwolves
Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville: Wolves don't want Zach LaVine as the long-term backup point guard and adding Terry Rozier to put behind Ricky Rubio is good depth.
32. Houston Rockets (via trade)
Arturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania: Arturas Gudaitis is an intriguing Lithuanian big man the Rockets can stash for now and watch develop for a few years.
33. Boston Celtics (via trade)
Olivier Hanlan, PG, Boston College: Adding a local name in Olivier Hanlan to the point guard options could be a great addition to the Celtics' second unit of the future.
34. Los Angeles Lakers
Jonathan Holmes, SF, Texas: You'd like to see a better, more consistent 3-point shot from Jonathan Holmes, but he's a long forward with solid athleticism.
35. Philadelphia 76ers (via trade)
Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain: The Sixers have five second round picks so expect them to stash some high upside international players like Guillermo Hernangomez.
36. Minnesota Timberwolves (via trade)
Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU: The Wolves have a crowded frontcourt at the power forward position, but Jordan Mickey can actually make them all work for their minutes.
37. Philadelphia 76ers (via trade)
Michael Qualls, SG, Arkansas: Michael Qualls tore his ACL during a workout, but that shouldn't stop the Sixers from stockpiling him as another future asset. Let him rehab this next year and then put him in the lineup next year. That's always the Sixers' plan.
38. Detroit Pistons
Jarell Martin, PF, LSU: He can shoot a little bit, but Stan Van Gundy will want him for his athleticism and toughness.
39. Charlotte Hornets
Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky: Hornets could still use some depth inside just in case Bismack Biyombo leaves this summer and either Cody Zeller or Frank Kaminsky aren't ready to defend.
40. Miami Heat
Robert Upshaw, C, Washington: The Miami Heat won't be scared away by the red flags with Robert Upshaw's heart condition, and they'll look to turn another questionable shot blocking center into a rotation player.
41. Brooklyn Nets
Tyler Harvey, SG, Eastern Washington: The Nets putting Tyler Harvey in the backcourt next to Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson in the second unit could give them a lot of offensive options off the bench.
42. Utah Jazz
J.P. Tokoto, SF, North Carolina: J.P. Tokoto has all of the tools to add depth on the wing except from an outside shooting standpoint. Jazz can develop that.
43. Indiana Pacers
Michael Frazier II, SG, Florida: The Pacers decide to go big with their first-round pick, so grabbing Michael Frazier in the second round to bolster the backcourt is the way to go.
44. Phoenix Suns
Rakeem Christmas, C, Syracuse: He's one of the older players in the draft, but his shot blocking presence and 7-foot-5 wingspan gives the Suns good depth and options inside.
45. Boston Celtics
Nikola Milutinov, C, Serbia: The Celtics will also need to stash one of their second round picks, so grab the big man Nikola Milutinov and see where his game takes him.
46. Milwaukee Bucks
Aaron Harrison, SG, Kentucky: The Bucks lacked some big shot makers after the trade deadline, and Aaron Harrison could be some nice insurance if Khris Middleton leaves.
47. Philadelphia 76ers
Andrew Harrison, PG, Kentucky: The Sixers don't have a ton of long-term options in the backcourt and seeing if Andrew Harrison can recapture some of that lost potential isn't a terrible gamble by Sam Hinkie.
48. Oklahoma City Thunder
Awudu Abass, PF, Italy: He's undersized for a power forward in the NBA, but he has the wingspan make him a solid defender as a combo forward. He?s a stash option for now.
49. Washington Wizards
Norman Powell, SG, UCLA: If Martell Webster can't be healthy and a part of this bench of the future, you need someone to give Bradley Beal a chance to manage his minutes and health better.
50. Atlanta Hawks (via trade)
Mouhammadou Jaiteh, C, France: The Hawks still have Walter Tavares stashed overseas and adding Mouhammado Jaiteh to that stable of big men overseas isn't a bad idea if he falls to 50.
51. Orlando Magic
Josh Richardson, SG, Tennessee: Josh Richardson can be a good playmaker off the bench, but we need to see more development of his 3-point shot, which barely came around in four years at Tennessee.
52. Dallas Mavericks
Vince Hunter, PF, Texas-El Paso: Vince Hunter is a bit undersized for an NBA power forward, but he's a great athlete and could add much needed rebounding to the Mavs.
53. Cleveland Cavaliers
Larry Nance Jr., PF, Wyoming: Larry Nance Jr. had a nice run into the NCAA Tournament, but is he strong enough to be a 4 in the NBA or quick enough to be a 3?
54. Utah Jazz
Joseph Young, SG, Oregon: Joseph Young is an undersized shooting guard, but watch him shoot for a couple of minutes and you'll see why the Jazz would want him off the bench.
55. San Antonio Spurs
Shawn Dawson, SF, Israel: He might end up being a nice shooter and playmaker off the bench, but he has to iron out a lot of sloppiness from his attack.
56. New Orleans Pelicans (via trade)
Richaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green: Richaun Holmes can hit an outside jumper, he's a good rebounder, and his wingspan helps him as a big-time shot blocker.
57. Denver Nuggets (via trade)
Alan Williams, C, Santa Barbara: He's short for a center but he has a long wingspan and he's a phenomenal rebounder. Could find his way into a rotation.
58. Philadelphia 76ers (via trade)
Daniel Diez, SF, Spain: Lack of a good wingspan and athleticism could limit Diez, but he can shoot the ball from deep and is a solid rebounder for a wing.
59. Milwaukee Bucks (via trade)
Pat Connaughton, SG, Notre Dame: He doesn't have great size for an NBA wing but he can shoot the lights out and has some great bounce to his athleticism.
60. Philadelphia 76ers (via trade)
Chris Walker, PF, Florida: Chris Walker used to be a high-flying prospect. Now he might try to become the Isaiah Thomas of power forwards. Sixers taking a gamble here isn't a bad idea.
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