People studying the NBA odds should mark their calendars for the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25, as some teams will start rebuilding with the right picks in the two rounds.
One day you’re a Senior in High School. A year later you’re a Freshman in College. And the year after that you’re in the NBA Draft. That’s the Modern Basketball Factory Mentality and American Dream that’s been created and perpetuated by the United States these strange days in an almost downright ugly intersection between Amateur and Professional sports. Going to college to get an education, and, hopefully a College Degree, is not even a question for the vast majority of these young American ballers, and the schools have simply become willing Middlemen of sorts for these kids dreaming of playing in the NBA next to Kobe and LeBron. And nobody does it better than John Calipari and the University of Kentucky.
In the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 25 at the New York Barclays Center (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT), expect Freshmen to again be the dominant story with some big-name guys like Duke’s Jahil Okafor and Justise Winslow and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Canadian Trey Lyles likely to be among the top picks in the Big Apple in early June. With some trades potentially happening between now and draft day along with the NBA Draft Combines and individual team workouts, expect some slight changes in perceptions of certain players, but for now, here is a quick mock look-for-now at how things may play out when the National Basketball Association gets together for the coolest and shortest draft in professional sports. Note that this is just a rough order up top—with teams with the highest percentage of winning and in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 19 in order—but with certain team’s needs, the actual players (currently or who are expected to be) in this coming NBA Draft and the percentages on these teams, not that much should drastically change except some flickering at the top. Should some team(s) be lucky enough to jump into one on the Top 3 spots in the draft, teams now 1-2-3 can only fall three spots, so the now #1-picking Minnesota Timberwolves can finish no lower than the #4 spot. And you say you need a pick for the NBA Draft? The NBA Draft? Very well Mad Punter. Take the Over 11½ on the Ugly Suits and lay the -135 NBA odds.
2015 Mock NBA Draft Order
1 Minnesota Timberwolves—Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
2 New York Knicks—Jahil Okafor, C, Duke
3 Philadelphia 76ers—D’Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State
4 Los Angeles Lakers—Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Congo
5 Orlando Magic—Justise Winslow, SF, Duke
6 Sacramento Kings—Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
7 Denver Nuggets—Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
8 Detroit Pistons—Mario Hezonja, SF, Croatia
9 Charlotte Hornets—Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
10 Miami Heat—Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas
11 Indiana Pacers—Frank Kaminsky, C/F, Wisconsin
12 Utah Jazz—Myles Turner, PF, Texas
13 Phoenix Suns—Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
14 Oklahoma City Thunder—Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
15 Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets)—Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
16 Boston Celtics—Delon Wright, SG, Utah
17 Milwaukee Bucks—Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA
18 Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans)—Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
19 Washington Wizards—Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
20 Toronto Raptors—Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
21 Dallas Mavericks—Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
22 Chicago Bulls—Bobby Portis, PF Arkansas
23 Portland Trail Blazers—Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State
24 Cleveland Cavaliers—RJ Hunter, SG, Georgia State
25 Memphis Grizzlies—Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
26 San Antonio Spurs—Caris LeVert, SG. Michigan State
27 Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston Rockets)—Christian Wood, SF, UNLV
28 Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)—Jarrell Martin, PF, LSU
29 Brooklyn Nets (via Atlanta Hawks)—Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas
30 Golden State Warriors—Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky
As you will see, as of right now, there are two teams—the historic Boston Celtics (#16 and #28) and Los Angeles Lakers (#4 and #27)—who actually have two First Round Draft Picks. And, there are a handful of underclassmen in the Mock Draft above who have yet to officially declare for the 2015 NBA Draft (they have until April 26), including highly-touted PGs D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Kriss Dunn (Providence), current University of Arizona and former Mater Dei High School (California) standout Stanley Johnson and current UNLV SF and former Findlay Prep (Las Vegas) star Christian Wood. Earlier this week, highly-regarded University of Utah C Jakob Poeltl announced that he will be returning to the Runnin’ Utes next season, and maybe one or two more players will (wisely) decide to head back to school for another year and not to New York City. The NBA can wait brother.
Besides the aforementioned Lakers and Celtics—who are currently facing the Cavaliers in Round 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs (Cleveland up 1-0, Game 3 Thursday night; TNT, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)—the Washington Wizards (#19 pick, projected pick Sam Dekker, Wisconsin) and the Memphis Grizzlies (#25 pick, projected Montrezl Harrell of Louisville)—who are playing the Portland Trail Blazers in Round 1 of their Western Conference NBA Playoffs series (Memphis up 1-0, Game 2 Wednesday night; TNT, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; Odds: Grizzlies -6, 189, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)—also both look to be in decent positions to make quick improvements in 2015/2016 NBA season, especially with what the Celtics (500/1 to win 2015 NBA championship, Ladbrokes), Wizards (50/1, Betfred) and Grizzlies (20/1, Betfred) have done and are still doing this season. We’ll have more NBA picks and predictions for the NBA Draft here at Sportsbook Review in the coming weeks leading up to it.
NBA ROUND 1 GAME PICK (Thursday): Bulls -2½ over Bucks (Pinnacle)
NBA FUTURES BET PICK: Chicago Bulls to win NBA championship 12/1 (Betfred)