2015 NBA Draft Big Board Update: Draft Declarations shake up top 100

With the college basketball season ending on Monday, and Hoop Summit and Portsmouth ending this weekend, we're about to hit a slight lull in the evaluation period of NCAA prospects. So now seems to be as good a time as any to discuss the adjustments I've made to my NBA Draft big board.

First, I'll note the board has lost over the course of the past week due to the decision to return to college. For me, the highest-rated player that will go back to school is Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga, who was No. 27 on my board before he decided to return. Sabonis is a feisty, strong 6-foot-10 forward that also has shown quite a bit of skill in his time on the international circuit in age bracket tournaments. He'll likely be one of the top 20 guys on my board when I come out with one in 2016.

North Carolina's Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson have also decided to return, both of whom were top-40 prospects on my board. Jackson is a strong scoring wing with length that could really use a good shooting season to solidify his stock as a first-round pick. Johnson will be a senior next year and could also use the addition of a nice 16-foot jump shot to his game in order to potentially move into the first round. The good thing here for them is also that the Tar Heels are absolutely loaded for next season, and they'll be a preseason top-five team as long as Marcus Paige decides to stay. 

A pair of Big Ten combo forwards have also decided to stay in Nigel Hayes and Jake Layman, both of whom were in the top 60 on my board. With scouts continually looking for the next Draymond Green type of mobile defender that can play multiple positions, Hayes will likely have a place in the NBA at some point. Layman is something of a conundrum, as he has every single offensive tool in the book for a guy that's 6-foot-9 outside of the ability to handle the ball, but hasn't yet totally put them together. Hayes will get the chance to play a bigger role next season with Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky gone, but Layman will likely continue to be a role player on Maryland's top-five preseason team. It'll be interesting to see how their differing situations affect their stock.

Some others who have decided to stay that were on my big board but are now off of it: Damian Jones of Vanderbilt, Troy Williams of Indiana, Malik Pope of San Diego State, Chris Obekpa of St. John's, Wayne Selden of Kansas, and Marcus Lee and Tyler Ulis, both from Kentucky. All in all, those guys along with previous decisions have opened up 14 spots on my big board for new players. I'll discuss those guys and more in the notes section below.

Big board notes:

Cameron Payne will be in the NBA next season. (USATSI)
Cameron Payne will be in the NBA next season. (USATSI)
  • Murray State's Cameron Payne had been on my big board previously, but after speaking with some scouts this week at Hoop Summit I've moved up a bit. They all seemed to be high on his ability to play in the pick-and-roll, his shooting, and his length -- which should help to mitigate his lack of strength. He was in the 30s previously, but I've moved him to No. 23, and will likely write more about him next week. 
  • The two best players of the NCAA Tournament -- Dekker and Tyus Jones -- slide up the board just slightly, basically remaining in the same tier they were in prior to the tourney. Dekker moved up a bit more due to his play against the length of two elite defenses -- Arizona and Kentucky. Those were two of the top-five defenses in the history of the KenPom database going into their games against Wisconsin, and he beat them to the tune of 43 points on 14-20 shooting from the field, including a hot run from 3-point range. The shot still scares me an awful lot because of how long it takes to get off, but if he can continue to iron that out in the pros he'll have a nice long career as a forward that moves well off ball and plays hard on defense. Jones didn't really move as much on my board due to the fact that his great performance came against a Wisconsin pick-and-roll defense that had really been sputtering since the Big Ten Tournament. Still, he's the No. 21 player on this board. 
  • Chris McCullough re-enters at No. 40 after deciding to declare. He's the highest newcomer, followed by Mamadou Ndiaye of UC-Irvine. With Russell Turner returning, my guess is that Ndiaye will also return to play another season for the Anteaters. However, he hasn't announced that yet so in he goes. Simply put, this would be a totally developmental add. At 7-foot-4 with at least an 8-foot-1 wingspan, he'd have by far the largest standing reach an NBA that is starved for rim protection. He'd need work in the D-League, but he seems to be worth a flier given the way he impacts games for UC-Irvine and almost orchestrated an upset over Louisville in the Round of 64.
  • Two other wings that I like that I've moved onto my board: Tennessee's Josh Richardson and Villanova's Darrun Hilliard. Hilliard is a terrific shooter that knocked down 40 percent of his nearly 400 3-point attempts in his junior and senior seasons, plus he defends well with a 6'8 wingspan. Richardson is a good all-around player that has improved his jump shot, passes the ball well, and really gets after it defensively. Both will be interesting to track in workouts. 
  • Some others who hop on the board: Arizona's T.J. McConnell, Penn State's D.J. Newbill, Harvard's Wesley Saunders, and recent declaration Vince Hunter from UTEP. 

Here's the full board: 

2015 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings
Rank Player School Year POS HGT WGT
1 Karl-Anthony Towns Kentucky Fr. PF 6-11 255
2 Jahlil Okafor Duke Fr. C 6-11 270
3 Emmanuel Mudiay China - PG 6-5 200
4 D'Angelo Russell Ohio State Fr. SG 6-5 180
5 Justise Winslow Duke Fr. SF 6-6 225
6 Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky Jr. C 7-0 242
7 Stanley Johnson Arizona Fr. SF 6-7 245
8 Mario Hezonja Croatia - SG 6-7 195
9 Kristaps Porzingis Latvia - PF 6-11 220
10 Kelly Oubre Jr. Kansas Fr. SF 6-7 200
11 Kris Dunn Providence Soph. PG 6-3 205
12 Myles Turner Texas Fr. C 6-11 240
13 Bobby Portis ARK Soph. PF 6-11 242
14 Kevon Looney UCLA Fr. PF 6-9 220
15 Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin Sr. C 7-0 242
16 Trey Lyles Kentucky Fr. PF 6-10 235
17 Devin Booker Kentucky Fr. SG 6-6 206
18 Jerian Grant ND Sr. PG 6-5 204
19 Sam Dekker Wisconsin Jr. SF 6-9 230
20 Jakob Poeltl Utah Fr. C 7-0 235
21 Tyus Jones Duke Fr. PG 6-1 190
22 Caris LeVert Michigan Jr. SG 6-6 185
23 Cameron Payne Murray State Soph. PG 6-2 180
24 Justin Anderson Virginia Jr. SF 6-6 228
25 Montrezl Harrell Louisville Jr. PF-C 6-8 240
26 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona Soph. SF 6-7 220
27 Delon Wright Utah Sr. PG 6-5 190
28 Christian Wood UNLV Soph. PF 6-11 220
29 R.J. Hunter Georgia State Jr. SG 6-6 190
30 Cliff Alexander Kansas Fr. PF 6-8 240
31 Jarell Martin LSU Soph. PF 6-10 235
32 Buddy Hield Oklahoma Jr. SG 6-4 212
33 Robert Upshaw Washington Jr. C 7-0 250
34 Demetrius Jackson Notre Dame Soph. PG 6-1 198
35 Aleksandar Vezenkov Bulgaria Fr. SF 6-8 210
36 Terry Rozier Louisville Soph. PG 6-1 190
37 James Blackmon Jr. Indiana Fr. SG 6-4 195
38 Rashad Vaughn UNLV Fr. SG 6-6 210
39 Norman Powell UCLA Sr. SG 6-4 215
40 Chris McCullough Syracuse Fr. PF 6-10 220
41 Zhou Qi China - C 7-1 215
42 Ron Baker WICHST Jr. SG 6-4 220
43 Egemen Guven Turkey - PF 6-9 210
44 A.J. Hammons Purdue Jr. C 7-0 261
45 Amida Brimah Connecticut Soph. C 7-0 230
46 Michael Qualls Arkansas Jr. SG 6-6 205
47 Yogi Ferrell Indiana Jr. PG 6-0 180
48 Georges Lucas Alves de Paula Brazil - PG 6-5 200
49 Guillermo Hernangomez Spain - C 6-11 255
50 Mouhammadou Jaiteh France - C 6-11 249
51 Nikola Milutinov Serbia - C 6-11 220
52 Joseph Young Oregon Sr. SG 6-2 180
53 Andrew Harrison Kentucky Soph. PG 6-6 210
54 Dakari Johnson Kentucky Soph. C 7-0 255
55 Anthony Brown Stanford Sr. SF 6-6 215
56 Tyler Harvey Eastern Washington Soph. SG 6-4 185
57 Jordan Mickey LSU Soph. PF 6-8 235
58 Olivier Hanlan Boston College Jr. PG 6-4 190
59 Tyrone Wallace California Jr. PG 6-5 200
60 Michael Frazier II Florida Jr. SG 6-4 194
61 Rakeem Christmas Syracuse Sr. C 6-9 250
62 Shawn Long UL Lafayette Jr. PF 6-9 245
63 Brandon Ashley Arizona Jr. PF 6-9 230
64 Marcus Paige North Carolina Jr. PG 6-1 175
65 Wang Zhelin China - C 7-0 251
66 Mamadou Ndiaye UC Irvine Soph. C 7-6 300
67 Alan Williams Santa Barbara Sr. C 6-8 265
68 Gary Payton II Oregon State Jr. PG 6-3 175
69 Aaron White Iowa Sr. PF 6-9 228
70 Darrun Hilliard II Villanova Sr. SF 6-6 215
71 J.P. Tokoto North Carolina Jr. SF 6-6 200
72 Perry Ellis Kansas Jr. SF 6-8 225
73 Kennedy Meeks North Carolina Soph. C 6-9 270
74 Treveon Graham VCU Sr. SG 6-6 225
75 Nedim Buza Bosnia - SF 6-7 190
76 Alex Poythress Kentucky Jr. PF 6-8 235
77 Branden Dawson Michigan State Sr. SF 6-6 225
78 Andzejs Pasecniks Latvia - C 7-1 220
79 Aaron Harrison Kentucky Soph. SG 6-6 212
80 Dez Wells Maryland Sr. SG 6-5 215
81 Kenneth Smith Louisiana Tech Sr. PG 6-3 180
82 Kenan Sipahi Kosovo - G 6-6 195
83 Cedi Osman Macedonia - PG 6-6 190
84 Arturas Gudaitis   - C 6-10 253
85 Kyle Wiltjer Gonzaga Jr. PF 6-10 240
86 Daniel Diez   - SF 6-8 216
87 T.J. McConnell Arizona Sr. PG 6-1 195
88 Terran Petteway Nebraska Jr. SG 6-6 215
89 Shannon Scott Ohio State Sr. PG 6-1 185
90 Keifer Sykes Green Bay Sr. PG 6-0 180
91 Vince Hunter Texas-El Paso Soph. PF 6-8 205
92 Josh Richardson Tennessee Sr. SG 6-6 200
93 Fred VanVleet Wichita State Jr. PG 6-0 195
94 Moussa Diagne Senegal - C 6-11 230
95 D.J. Newbill Penn State Sr. SG 6-4 210
96 Wesley Saunders Harvard Sr. SG 6-5 215
97 Jonathan Holmes Texas Sr. SF 6-8 240
98 Juwan Staten West Virginia Sr. PG 6-1 190
99 Isaiah Taylor Texas Soph. PG 6-1 170
100 Le'Bryan Nash Oklahoma State Sr. SF 6-7 235

Overall · Point Guards · Shooting Guards · Small Forwards · Power Forwards · Centers

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