NBA

Redrafting the Top 10 Picks of the 2015 NBA Draft

Nov 23, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dribbles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) in the third quarter at Target Center.
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NBA Draft might be the most unique drafts in league history. Over half of the 14 lottery picks have not met their expectations. However, it did also come stacked with talent, as in just five years, this class has had four different All-Stars. This is quite successful, especially compared to 2013 and 2014, which both had fewer All-Stars despite being older.

There are also second-rounders or even undrafted players who have carved out successful careers thus far. This is a redraft of the top 10 of the class. Selections will be made based on the best player available, not team fit. 

All Statistics Courtesy of basketball-reference.com

#1: Minnesota Timberwolves Pick Karl-Anthony Towns

Feb 8, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) holds up three fingers after making a three point shot in the first half against the LA Clippers at Target Center
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Karl-Anthony Towns

In what seems to be a rarity, the number one pick keeps his slot in the redraft. Towns came out of Kentucky with massive expectations, and started his career by earning rookie of the year honors. He is now one of the best centers in the league and is easily the top shooting big. This year, he averaged 26.5 points with nearly 11 rebounds, and an impressive 4.4 assists per game. Towns also shot an unbelievable 41% from deep on almost eight attempts per game. Long-range shooting with this volume and efficiency is incredible for a center. He is already a two-time All-Star and has made an All NBA team in the past. He will be the face of the Timberwolves, and maybe even the center position for years to come. 

#2: Los Angeles Lakers Pick Devin Booker

Aug 4, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, USA; Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles downcourt during the game against the LA Clippers at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via USA TODAY

Actual Selection: D’Angelo Russell

Devin Booker has been a revelation in the league so far. He is one of the best scoring guards in the league, with a deadly jumper. The former Kentucky Wildcat was already popular, but became a sensation after scoring 70 points against the Celtics in just his second season. Apart from his scoring, Booker has improved most other areas of his game. His playmaking might have taken the biggest jump, with his assist average going from 2.6 to 6.5. The Suns have struggled with team success, but it is difficult to imagine Booker not having equal, or even more success in another situation. 

#3: Philadelphia 76ers Pick Kristaps Porzingis

Mar 10, 2020; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay (22) in the second half at the AT&T Center.
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Jahlil Okafor

Passing on D’Angelo Russell would be difficult here, but the Sixers would not be able to pass up on Porzingis. A 7’3 big man with elite defense and the ability to stretch the floor is about as rare as it gets. Porzingis could have been higher on this list if not for recurrent injury problems which have halted his development. Even in a winning situation in Dallas, he initially struggled with efficiency. However, he has been much better since the Orlando restart, averaging over 30 points and 9 rebounds per game on much-improved efficiency. He will most likely contribute even more next season, as this was his first one back after his major injury. 

#4: New York Knicks Pick D’Angelo Russell

NEW YORK, USA - FEBRUARY 5 : Golden State Warriors player D'Angelo Russell seen ahead of the NBA match between Golden Gate Warriors and Brooklyn Nets held on February 05, 2020 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Actual Selection: Kristaps Porzingis

It is rare for a player to play for four teams in their first five seasons. Even less with a player as good as D’Angelo Russell. The former Ohio State Buckeye broke out in Brooklyn, his second team, making his first All-Star appearance in 2019. However, the Nets were forced to move on from him, and after half a season in San Francisco, he now resides in Minnesota. Playing second fiddle to Karl-Anthony Towns is exactly what Russell needs at this point in his career. He will continue to show why he is one of the most talented guards in the league. 

#5: Orlando Magic Pick Montrezl Harrell

Mar 1, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) reacts after blocking a shot in the second half of the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Mario Hezonja

Montrezl Harrell is the most successful second-rounder of this draft class. Since being involved in the Chris Paul trade, Harrell has improved steadily for the Clippers. With the offseason acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, he is now a massive contributor to one of the title favorites. The former Louisville Cardinal is now averaging 18.5 points and 7 rebounds per game on the second-best team in the West. On an expiring deal, the Sixth Man of the Year Candidate is set to earn himself a max contract this offseason. 

#6: Sacramento Kings Pick Myles Turner

Mar 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) shoots against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Willie Cauley-Stein

The Sacramento Kings get a big upgrade at the center position here, selecting Myles Turner over Willie Cauley-Stein. Turner is a perfect, all-around modern center. The former Texas Bevo has been one of the best rim protectors in the league and was even the blocks leader last season. He also has a reliable jump shot, shooting 34.5% from deep on over four attempts a contest. Alongside Domantas Sabonis, Indiana has one of the brightest big man duos in the league. Throw in Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, and TJ Warren into the mix, the Pacers will compete in the playoffs for the foreseeable future. 

#7: Denver Nuggets Pick Norman Powell

Mar 5, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) controls the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter at Chase Center.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Emmanuel Mudiay

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the surprises of the season. Despite losing Kawhi Leonard, they have secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The drastic improvement of Norman Powell is a huge reason why. He is averaging 16 points a game, on shooting splits all slightly under 50, 40, 90. His numbers could have looked even better if not for the shutdown. Between November 29th and the shutdown, Powell was averaging 20 points a game on 53% from the field and 43% from downtown. If the Raptors are to make a deep playoff run, the efficient scoring and improved defense of Powell will be a huge reason why. 

#8: Detroit Pistons Pick Josh Richardson

Feb 27, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Josh Richardson (0) dribbles the ball against the New York Knicks during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Stanley Johnson

Josh Richardson has exceeded expectations so far in his career. Entering the draft as a senior out of Tennessee, he was taken in the second round by the Miami Heat. In his four years in South Beach, Richardson improved steadily. Despite a career year last season, he was dealt to Philadelphia in order to make room for Jimmy Butler. The former Tennessee Volunteer has been a solid contributor to the Sixers, improving his efficiency due to his decreased volume. His ability to score, defend, and distribute will make him a successful contributor for the rest of his career. 

#9: Charlotte Hornets Pick Kelly Oubre Jr

Feb 21, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Phoenix Sus forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) gestures after scoring against the Toronto Raptors in the first half at Scotiabank Arena.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Frank Kaminsky

Kelly Oubre has improved tremendously since landing in Phoenix. After three and a half solid seasons in Washington, Oubre got the starting gig he desired with the Suns. He has taken full advantage, averaging career highs in nearly every statistical category. He is an improved defender, and a much more efficient deep ball shooter. If Phoenix keeps this group together next year, the core of Oubre, Booker, and Ayton could be a dark horse in the West. 

#10: Miami Heat Pick Terry Rozier III

Oct 14, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier III (3) signals to his team during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Hornets won 120-99.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Selection: Justise Winslow

Terry Rozier spent his first four years in the league as a backup: first to Isaiah Thomas, and then to Kyrie Irving. Despite his below-average efficiency, he was always someone that GM Danny Ainge wanted to keep a hold of. This worked wonders in the 2018 playoffs, where Rozier led a team without Irving and Hayward to the Eastern Conference finals, averaging over 16 a game in the process. Now in Charlotte, Rozier is having a career year. He is averaging bests in points, assists, steals, and most importantly, shooting efficiency. While the Hornets seem to be going nowhere as a franchise, Rozier should continue to put up big numbers for them. 

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