* Chris is actually very connected it seems to me. His final draft picked out the Cavs picks and moves past two years. This is only his Mock 1.0 but his final Mock draft usually has some strong bearing on "insider voices"
15. Atlanta Hawks -- Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
Hawks GM Danny Ferry likes to tap the international market -- witness the drafting of Dennis Schroeder and Lucas Nogueira in the first round last year -- and could nab another in Nurkic, a bruising post player. Nurkic is raw but has the physical tools to develop into the type of center Atlanta needs.
16. Chicago Bulls (via Phoenix) -- T.J. Warren, SF, NC State
Warren is unorthodox -- he has great size for a small forward but lacks the traditional athleticism and perimeter shooting. But Warren is a scorer (which the Bulls need) with a nice in-between game and a willingness to move without the ball that Tom Thibodeau will love.
17. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn) -- Kyle Anderson, G, UCLA
The success of Michael Carter-Williams this season has increased teams' fascination with taller point guards. Anderson is a natural playmaker who thrived when UCLA handed him the reins this season. Scouts question Anderson's speed and defense, but when paired with a two-guard who can defend point guards -- like, say, Avery Bradley -- those issues can be ironed out.
18. Phoenix Suns (via Washington) -- Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Payne is 23, which is the biggest thing working against him. He is a terrific inside-out player who rebounds and is solid from the free-throw line. The Suns' success with Channing Frye this season could motivate them to grab a player who plays a lot like him.
19. Chicago Bulls -- P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legands
If Hairston put up the numbers he did in the D-League (21.8 points) at North Carolina, he would be a lottery lock. Hairston's issues at UNC will be a hot topic at the combine, but if teams like what they hear he could come off the board quickly because of his inside-outside scoring.
20. Toronto Raptors -- Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
League executives see him going anywhere between 10 and 25. If he's here, McDermott's NBA-ready offensive game fills Toronto's need for a polished frontcourt scorer.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Dallas) -- Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse
Grant is a project. He's a big-time athlete with great physical tools, but it's still unclear what position he plays in the NBAl. Is he a small forward? Grant will need to become more of a perimeter threat (he didn't make a three-pointer in five attempts this season). Is he an undersized four? He will need to improve his strength and rebounding to play there. Grant needs time to develop. Which is exactly what Oklahoma City is in a position to give him.
22. Memphis Grizzlies -- Zach LaVine, G, UCLA
LaVine's stock soared after a hot-shooting start to the season and plummeted after his shooting leveled off. LaVine is perhaps the fastest player in the draft, with elite athleticism. He needs to add strength and be more consistent, but he's a potential NBA starter.
23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State) -- K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
McDaniels is a tremendous athlete whose stock has steadily improved throughout the season. He's also a fearsome shot blocker who thrives in the open floor. His offensive skills don't match his athleticism yet, but if they do McDaniels has enormous potential.
24. Charlotte Bobcats (via Portland) -- Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Serbia
The Bobcats need perimeter shooting and Bogdanovic may be just what they are looking for. Bogdanovic is an emerging three-point shooter who can get to the basket and plays an unselfish game.
25. Houston Rockets -- Clint Capela, F, France
Capela is another dynamic athlete who thrives in transition. While the Rockets will be on the lookout for a stretch four in the offseason, Capela is a long, mobile big with a high defensive ceiling and the potential to develop into an intimidating power forward as he fills out.
I have a feeling that if Clint Capella is on the board at #20 he will be a Raptor.
I think Kyle Anderson would be an interesting choice too. Lowry isn't your typical point guard and may benefit from having a point forward on the court with him. The knock on Anderson is his lack of speed and high body fat percentage, so he may not translate to the big leagues very well.
Jballer, I assume we'll be doing our annual mock draft in the coming weeks?
Again.. I sense a little "Canadian Team Euro Bias"....
KJ McDaniels keeps rising in the proxiimity of the Raptors Picks
15. Atlanta Hawks: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Capela is a tantalizing prospect currently playing in the LNB Pro A league in France. He's 6'11" with an enormous 7'4" wingspan and has a ridiculously great highlight reel. The wiry giant has fantastic upside and clearly loves to finish the occasional alley-oop. Capela's game would be a nice change of pace for the Hawks, who currently rely heavily on outside shooting and will need to add a different dynamic to their offense in order to return to the playoffs in 2015.
16. Chicago Bulls (via Charlotte Bobcats): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
Derrick Rose might not skip a beat once he makes his eventual return to the NBA, but the Bulls would be wise to add some depth at the point guard position. Ennis is a fiery, competitive point guard who could probably carve out a niche on just about any NBA team. His no-frills response to Tim and Sid of the Sportsnet Radio Network reflects his tenacity: Perhaps Ennis can channel some of his frustration at Syracuse's collapse into his NBA career.
17. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets): Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Let's make a run on Syracuse players who weren't totally responsible for the abrupt way their run at an undefeated season ended. Grant averaged 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds during his sophomore season at the 'Cuse, a huge leap from his production as a freshman. The Celtics could use Grant in a variety of ways, as he has the ability to compete at both forward spots. However, his jump shot is a bit shaky and will keep him from rising much further than the middle of the first round in this loaded draft class.
18. Phoenix Suns (via Washington Wizards): Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker formed an excellent scoring tandem at Duke. The lengthy 6'7" forward averaged 13.3 points per game and made a name for himself during his lone season in Durham. He might not have had the opportunity to showcase his talent had he not transferred from Mississippi State. The attention lavished upon Parker definitely spilled over to Hood, and he made the most of it. Look for him to continue that success with a young, hungry team like the Phoenix Suns.
19. Chicago Bulls: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
McDaniels is the kind of high-energy defensive specialist that would fit in perfectly in head coach Tom Thibodeau's scheme in Chicago. He's also an absolute wizard when it comes to getting directly to the basket, averaging 17.1 points per game during his junior season at Clemson. McDaniels is unafraid to take outside shots but will need to work on his 30.4 percent three-point shooting if he is to be trusted with those looks in the NBA. But let's get back to the defensive mastery. McDaniels averaged a staggering 2.8 blocks per game at just 6'6" tall and will have everyone in the league looking over his shoulder on fast breaks. SMU coach Larry Brown, who knows a thing or two about the NBA, compared McDaniels to a few prominent NBA stars. Via Aaron Brenner of The Post and Courier: "He reminds me of Paul George and Andre Iguodala, the kid (Kawhi) Leonard at San Antonio. (He’s) a human stat sheet. Guys that find ways to help your team win. He’s going to be playing at the next level doing the same thing." No mincing of words there. Brown's comments should have the Association on notice.
20. Toronto Raptors: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
Since the Raptors decided they needed Drake as a global ambassador, it makes sense that they add some global flavor to their team by selecting Nurkic. He currently plays for Cedevita in Croatia's Adriatic League but has NBA scouts clamoring over him thanks to his 6'11", 280-pound frame. According to Mike Schmitz of Draftexpress.com, Nurkic averaged 13 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in just over 16 minutes of play each night. It is clear he's dominating inferior competition, but Toronto's coaches will have plenty of time to shape the 19-year-old into a formidable post presence capable of playing at the highest level.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Dallas Mavericks): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Gary Harris did an excellent job of improving nearly every facet of his game during his sophomore season, and the NBA definitely took notice. He's not a great outside shooter, but the Thunder desperately need options on offense when either Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant is having an off night. Harris also does a decent job of taking care of the ball, a constant issue for Westbrook, averaging just 1.7 turnovers per game in 2013-2014.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
The Grizzlies have a strong frontcourt tandem in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, but they would be wise to prepare for the future by drafting Payne. Payne has great size at 6'9" and 215 pounds, and he can score in a variety of ways. Whether it is posting up as a power forward or knocking down spot-up jumpers from the perimeter (42.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2013-2014), Payne's versatility should give the Grizzlies a major boost on offense.
23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
Early is likely to end up in the latter half of the first round, and the Jazz would be a perfect spot for his all-around scoring ability and solid defensive work ethic. Early made headlines after his 31-point performance against Kentucky in the NCAA tournament, as he displayed an ability to pop up from outside, drive to the hoop and hit a mid-range jumper or two. Early's athleticism makes him an intriguing pick, and I think the Jazz take him a bit earlier than most observers might expect.
LaVine will have to bulk up in order to survive the rigors of the pro game. Scouts love his raw potential and athleticism, despite the fact he averaged just 9.4 points per game sharing the ball with Jordan Adams and Anderson. Fans would be wise to note that Jrue Holiday left the Bruins with less than spectacular numbers, but the word from scouts gave him the confidence to make the leap, and we all know how well that has turned out. Expect LaVine to make a similarly smooth transition. LaVine would give the Bobcats an excellent shooting option at guard and put some pressure on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to raise his game on offense.
25. Houston Rockets: Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
Adams hasn't officially declared for the NBA draft but has filed paperwork to explore his draft status, according to Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times. He is still just testing the waters, but he may be better off by jumping ship to the league since his teammates LaVine and Anderson have already abandoned Westwood. Adams averaged 17.4 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting from the field and helped lead UCLA to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2014.
15. Hawks -- James Young, G, Kentucky freshman, 6-7, 213
Atlanta would love to get a big man to join Al Horford and Paul Millsap, but taking any of the ones available here would be a reach. Young is streaky, and he shot only 34.9 percent from beyond the arc, but scouts love his potential. Young has good size and could grow into an ideal backcourt partner for point guard Jeff Teague.
16. Bulls (via Hornets) -- Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse freshman, 6-3, 182
Derrick Rose's injury history makes fortifying the point guard position a priority. Ennis, 19, won't wow with his physical tools, but he is a heady playmaker who made big shots last season and displayed composure that belied his age.
17. Boston Celtics (via Nets) -- T.J. Warren, F, NC State sophomore, 6-8, 220The search for Paul Pierce's replacement at small forward continues. Warren has a little Pierce in him -- he owns a nice mid-range game, rebounds well for his position and attacks the angles relentlessly -- though he shot only 26.7 on threes. With Jeff Green on the trade block and Gerald Wallace not part of the Celtics' long-term future, Warren fills a need.
18. Suns (via Wizards) -- Kyle Anderson, G, UCLA sophomore, 6-9, 230
Anderson blossomed as a point guard last season, but his defensive deficiencies make playing the position in the NBA problematic. Ideally, Anderson works alongside a smaller scoring guard, allowing him to run an offense while defending twos. With three first-round picks, the Suns could look for an international player to stash overseas, too.
19. Bulls -- P.J. Hairston, G, D-League's Texas Legends (21 years old), 6-5, 229
After leaving the North Carolina program last December following an NCAA investigation into his use of rental cars, Hairston averaged 21.8 points in the D-League. Hairston has prototypical size for a shooting guard and his scoring and three-point shooting (35.8 percent with the Legends) would boost a Bulls lineup that struggled offensively without Rose.
20. Raptors -- Zach LaVine, G, UCLA freshman, 6-6, 181
With Kyle Lowry's status uncertain as he enters free agency, the Raptors snap up a potential replacement. LaVine insists that he is a point guard, and he has the speed and athleticism to play the position. But is he a playmaker? Kyle Anderson handled those responsibilities for the Bruins. Can he become a consistent shooter? LaVine was streaky last season, finishing at 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, and by the end of the year his playing time had diminished considerably (he averaged 24.4 minutes for the season).
21. Thunder (via Mavs, Rockets and Lakers) -- Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan sophomore, 6-10, 250
McGary, who skipped the combine while rehabilitating a back injury that ended his season in mid-December, is a wild card. At his best, McGary is a high-energy player who rebounds, runs the floor and finishes at the rim. He's also an excellent screener with good pick-and-roll potential, two strengths that will play well in Oklahoma City. With center Kendrick Perkins an amnesty candidate, the Thunder could use (cheap) frontcourt help.
22. Grizzlies -- K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson junior, 6-6, 196
Small forward is a glaring need for the Grizzlies, whose organization is in flux after the ouster of CEO Jason Levien. McDaniels is a spectacular athlete with a wingspan (6-foot-11¼) that will make him a feared weak-side shot blocker. McDaniels was one of the most improved players in college basketball last season, when he averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. With a little polish, he could replace Tayshaun Prince in Memphis after next season.
23. Jazz (via Warriors) -- Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Serbia (21 years old), 6-6, 200
Opinions about Bogdanovic vary, with some scouts questioning whether the Partizan Belgrade shooting guard has the physical tools to thrive in the NBA. Still, Bogdanovic is a solid perimeter shooter, he can attack the basket and he plays unselfishly.
24. Hornets (via Trail Blazers) -- Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse sophomore, 6-8, 214
The Hornets are invested in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the second pick in the 2012 draft. If the small forward's perimeter shooting doesn't improve, though, his future would be murky. Grant has perimeter issues of his own, having shot 6-of-20 from three-point range in two seasons with the Orange, but he can defend multiple positions and thrives in the open floor.
25. Rockets -- Clint Capela, F, Switzerland (20 years old), 6-11, 222
The Rockets' search for help at power forward continues with Capela, a long, mobile big man with a high defensive ceiling. Capela isn't a stretch four, but he is a premier athlete who loves to play in transition with Elan Chalon in France. Plus, with Houston's desire to keep its books clear for another major offseason move, the team could persuade Capela to stay overseas for another season.
Another projection that Raptors take a big man "camp".
Very different from a lot of consensus drafts vis a vis TJ Warren/ Capella/ Enis / Levine
15. James Young ATL Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Kentucky / Freshman 14.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Young proved what an explosive athlete he can be with his dunk over UConn's big men in the national championship game. Young is an athletic lefty two guard with a sweet shot, and plays with good intensity. Though he ran into some bumps during his freshman season and did not shoot as well as scouts would have liked, he remains UK's second-best prospect and shows a real competitive fire. Young was projected as a one-and-done lottery pick entering the season, and over his final 10 games he looked as much.
16. Jerami Grant CHI Small Forward / 6-8 / Syracuse / Sophomore 12.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Grant lacks readiness, but his athleticism is among the top players in this year's draft. Defensively, he shouldn't have any trouble guarding small forwards. But his skill level makes him a tweener as he is very raw in terms of passing and ballhandling. He's a high-level athlete with great length and quickness. His offensive game showed solid development in his sophomore season at Syracuse. He shows a lot of potential but whether he has given scouts enough to work with and can overcome the tweener label to be a Top 20 pick is the question. The team was not as effective when he went down to injury, but he bounced back quickly and is one of the draft's top overall athletes.
17. Elfrid Payton BOS Point Guard / 6-3 / Louisiana-Lafayette / Junior 19.1 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.9 rpg
Payton made a name for himself by being a valuable contributor to the Under 19 USA team that won gold in Prague at the World Championships, where he received high praise from all of the coaches. He followed up a tremendous summer by leading the Raging Cajuns into the Big Dance. He is an elite-level athlete for a PG with great length and quickness, and although his shot remains a work in progress, it showed signs of improvement towards the end of the year. Payton has a chance to be a standout starter in the league, which is something that cannot be said about many PGs on the college level. He's still got a long ways to go, but being the age of a sophomore gives him added intrigue. Look for Payton to get looks beginning at the end of the lottery and find a spot in the mid-first round. He has even drawn some comparisons from scouts to another former Payton (Gary) due to his defensive prowess.
18. Kyle Anderson PHX Point Guard / 6-9 / UCLA / Sophomore 14.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.6 apg
Anderson had among the greatest impacts to their respective team in college this season. His ability to set up teammates and handle the ball at 6-foot-9 is extremely rare. Slow Mo showed excellent improvement between his freshman and sophomore seasons, cutting down on his turnovers and improving upon his assists-per-turnover ratio. He looks much more comfortable creating offense for himself and others and his once inconsistent jumpshot has become much more reliable. He's even became effective from college three-point line. While there is still concern about his lack of speed and quickness, his skill level and length makes him a very intriguing prospect. Becoming a lottery selection now looks well within his grasp.
19. Shabazz Napier CHI Point Guard / 6-1 / Connecticut / Senior 17.4 ppg, 4.9 apg
Nobody's stock improved more with their tourney performance than Napier's, leading the Huskies to their (and his) second national championship in four seasons. Napier went from a player who some criticized for lack of chemistry in past years to the ultimate leader. He refused to allow his team to lose, repeatedly putting the Huskies on his back to "survive and advance". Though he's not an explosive athlete, his talent has never been in question as he shows great quickness and belief in his abilities. His tournament performance has made him a lock for the first round and a player that could challenge to be one of the top point guards selected.
20. Cleanthony Early TOR Power Forward / 6-8 / Wichita State / Senior 15.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Early impressed scouts all season with his energy level and outside shooting ability. His excellent tourney performance against Kentucky sealed the deal for him as a likely first rounder. He's without question a tweener for the next level lacking great size to play in the post and skill level to play on the perimeter. But looking at his strengths, he's an above-average athlete who plays with good energy and has excellent touch from the perimeter. After a tremendous season and performance in the NCAA tournament, Early should find a spot in the mid to late first round.
21. TJ Warren OKC Small Forward / 6-8 / North Carolina State / Sophomore 24.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg
Warren is a talented forward with a nose for scoring. He spring boarded off of a solid freshman campaign to become one of the most prolific scorers in the country, third in the nation at over 24 per game. Though just an average NBA level athlete, Warren shows a knack for taking what the defense gives him and is one of those guys that makes the game look easy. He still needs to extend his range and add a three-point shot to his repertoire, but he shows good form on his shot and should be able to improve that over time. Warren's incredible season taking home ACC POY honors virtually locks up a first round selection, and he could even get looks in the late lottery.
22. Glenn Robinson III MEM Small Forward / 6-6 / Michigan / Sophomore 11.0 ppg, 3.8 apg
Probably the biggest head scratcher among the early entrants. GRIII really had a disappointing season, struggling to live up to preseason first team All-American hype. He often found himself as the third option with more assertive teammates Nik Stauskus and Caris LeVert taking over games late. His tourney performance was solid, but he had far too many ups and downs for scouts. Regardless, he should make an excellent role player and could be underrated due to a down sophomore season. He's a player who some thought could be a mid-lottery pick coming into the season, so he might be viewed as one of those "inefficiency in the market" type of prospects.
23. CJ Wilcox UTA Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Washington / Senior 18.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.5 apg
Wilcox isn't flashy but has a solid all around game and underrated athleticism, as his combine numbers reinforced. He's got solid length with a 6-foot-8 wingspan and can fill it up from outside with one of the purest strokes in the draft. Wilcox flew under the radar throughout his college career, but could end up hearing his name called in the first round. He is well liked by scouts due to his composed, mature game and outside shooting ability. While not great at creating offense for himself, if he's put next to a quality point guard, he could become an excellent catch-and-shoot scorer. Wilcox grew up in Utah, with his father having played at Brigham Young, so he would be a good fit for the Jazz. So if he exceeds expectations and becomes a star, Utah would likely have an easier time resigning him than other players.
24. Adreian Payne CHA Power Forward / 6-9 / Michigan State / Senior 15.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Payne has proven to be a clutch performer and a true weapon as a three-point shooter. While he still has some work to do as a post threat, his potential to be an inside-outside big forward with high-level athleticism gives him real intrigue. He was a top recruit and stayed four years, developing a once questionable work ethic under Coach Izzo. His jump shot has become extremely accurate with excellent form and rotation. His tournament performance helped him and snagging a late lottery pick is a possibility.
25. Tyler Ennis HOU Point Guard / 6-2 / Syracuse / Freshman 12.7 ppg, 5.6 apg
Ennis turned into one of the most consistent and valuable freshmen in the country, leading the Orange to an undefeated record through more than half the season. Although he lacks elite-level athleticism, he does a good job of changing speeds and getting by defenders into the paint. He's very good at finding teammates for baskets while on the move. His command of the PG position and decision-making were advanced for a college freshman. Ennis' game likely would have benefited from another season or two in college, but as a possible lottery pick, he probably made the right decision from a financial standpoint.
Ryan Wolstat @WolstatSun 19h
Some of the players Raptors have or plan to interview: Stauskas, Ennis, McDermott, Payton, McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, Smart, possibly Hood
Its only a tweet rumour but Wolstat is no dummy.
Right now based on a variety of consensus I suspect best available talent:
1) Shooting forward / Shooting Guard / Point Guard
2) Anderson, McDermott, McDaniels, Hood if he drops that low.
I dont think I like McDermott despite his shooting prowess. Scares me a bit. Reminds me too much of the Charolotte pick a couple years ago - guy with diabeties. Cant recall his name but a pure shooter 1 and done in the NBA.
It doesnt sound like Warren will interview ?? If so indication he knows where he is going (above the Raptors) AND / OR wont play for Toronto ??
I see Capella dropping. I suspect Capella is a late 1st round pick likely to Thunder / Heat / San An or some (cap strapped) team that is looking to stash a "pontential" talent on some Euro team for a year or two.
No rumors around PF Early even though a number of drafts have him ranked as best "available" PF around 20 spot.
The thing is on draft day it seems to me that big men tend to rise generally while small forwards / shooting guards tend to drop expect where a team makes a surprise "reach" for the guy they want ala Cavs ala Colangelo's Raptors.