The 2015 NBA Draft is set to begin on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the intrigue will really start after the first pick. Karl-Anthony Towns appears to be a lock with the first overall selection, but the rest of the lottery can go any number of ways.
Jahlil Okafor was the favorite to be taken at No.2 by the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Duke standout could be available at No.3 overall. L.A. is reportedly considering taking D’Angelo Russell with their first selection. Whether it’s Okafor or Russell whom the Lakers select, there’s a chance neither one plays for the team next year, since there are rumors that Los Angeles has explored making a trade with the Sacramento Kings for DeMarcus Cousins.
The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly been eyeing Russell with the No.3 overall pick, but they could make a deal if the Ohio State guard isn’t available. The Boston Celtics have been linked to a potential trade with the 76ers, in hopes that they might be able to draft Okafor.
After missing out on the top selection and falling to No.4 in the lottery, the New York Knicks have much of the NBA waiting to see who they will select. New York hasn’t had much success in the draft since they took Patrick Ewing in the first ever lottery, and they’ll have plenty of options with their top selection.
While some fans might be hoping for Russell, Justise Winslow, or another college basketball star, the Knicks could target a foreign player. They’ve been linked to Latvia’s Kristaps Porzingis and Croatia’s Mario Hezonja. New York could also take Emmanuel Mudiay, who is an American, but didn’t go to college and played in China last year.
After Towns is selected, a few other Kentucky players are expected to be taken in the lottery. Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles all have a chance to be selected within the first 14 picks. Dakari Johnson and Andrew Harrison are two other Wildcat players expected to be drafted, but both are projected in the second round.
The lottery is likely to be dominated by freshmen, but a few upperclassmen could be taken in the first half of the first round. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky might be a top-10 pick. His teammate, Sam Dekker, is projected to be a mid-first round selection.
ESPN’s draft coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, but the actual draft doesn’t start until a half hour later. Teams will have five minutes to make their first-round pick.
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPN