The 2015 NBA Draft is one day away, and there are very few certainties of how the order will shape out. One of the lone "sure things" is that Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns will be selected No. 1 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Where the draft gets interesting is at No. 2. The Los Angeles Lakers may be interested in shopping the pick to acquire an established star. Sources claim that the Sacramento Kings may consider dealing star big man DeMarcus Cousins, and that the Lakers, who have plenty of salary-cap space, are top suitors.
Whether Cousins gets dealt to the Lakers or not, it may mean little to who gets chosen at No. 2. Duke big man Jahlil Okafor was at one point considered the probable top pick, and now many experts believe he will be taken second overall. The Lakers have a history of focusing on prolific centers, and Okafor may fit that bill. Should the Lakers pass on Okafor, they might consider one of the two exciting point guards in the draft, D'Angelo Russell of Ohio State and Emmanuel Mudiay, who spent the past season in China. Russell, who received rave reviews for his passing by Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, is considered the safer pick, while Mudiay may have higher overall potential. Mudiay may go as high as No. 2 or as low as No. 6, despite huge praise from former NBA head coach Larry Brown.
The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to go after one of the two guards with the No. 3 pick, but could also opt for Latvian Kristap Porzingis. The lanky big man has reminded some of sharpshooter Kevin Durant, but like Mudiay, there are questions that surround how well he can play in the more physically demanding NBA. Philadelphia has spent the past few years sweating out increasingly frustrating seasons, and may finally be piecing together a more competitive team.
The New York Knicks pick fourth, and are also expected to choose a guard, unless they are willing to take a chance on Porzingis. There are also rumblings that they make take Kentucky forward Trey Lyles. It would be an unexpected move for team president Phil Jackson, but he has a history of favoring more physically polished players than taking a chance with projects.
There are also some interesting late-round picks. Kevon Looney of UCLA is a highly talented, but raw player. Georgia State guard RJ Hunter has shown flashes of star potential with his ability to knock down outside shots and create scoring opportunities.
How the draft ultimately works out is open for much debate. It's all a rough guess because teams can make deals between now and draft time, and there are multiple variables that go into how some teams plan to handle free agency.
Here is our final 2015 Mock Draft.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
3. Philadelphia 76ers - D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State
4. New York Knicks - Emmanuel Mudiay, G, China
5. Orlando Magic - Kristap Porzingis, F, Latvia
6. Sacramento Kings - Justise Winslow, F, Duke
7. Denver Nuggets - Mario Hezonja, F, Croatia
8. Detroit Pistons - Trey Lyles, F, Kentucky
9. Charlotte Hornets - Myles Turner, C, Texas
10. Miami Heat - Stanley Johnson, F, Arizona
11. Indiana Pacers - Devin Booker, G, Kentucky
12. Utah Jazz - Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
13. Phoenix Suns - Bobby Portis, F, Arkansas
14. Oklahoma City Thunder - Cameron Payne, G, Murray State
15. Atlanta Hawks - Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville
16. Boston Celtics - Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin
17. Milwaukee Bucks - Rashad Vaughn, G, UNLV
18. Houston Rockets - Kevon Looney, F, UCLA
19. Washington Wizards - Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame
20. Toronto Raptors - Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin
21. Dallas Mavericks - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, F, Arizona
22. Chicago Bulls - Kelly Oubre, F, Kansas
23. Portland Trail Blazers - RJ Hunter, G, Georgia State
24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Terry Rozier, G, Louisville
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Justin Anderson, G, Virginia
26. San Antonio Spurs - Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain
27. Los Angeles Lakers - Jarrell Martin, F, LSU
28. Boston Celtics - Delon Wright, G, Utah
29. Brooklyn Nets - Tyus Jones, G, Duke
30. Golden State Warriors - Jordan Mickey, F, LSU