By: Patrick Waring
The 2015 NBA Draft is in the books and there is a lot to be discussed after two rounds of selections. There were your usual expected moves, trades and surprises. I’m guessing the Washington Wizards did not get my memo because Bobby Portis was still on the board and available when the team would have used their #19 pick. By that time, as many of you know, the Wizards had reportedly agreed to a trade that would send their selection to Atlanta for 6’7’’ SF Kelly Oubre. Oubre was selected 15th and spent one year at Kansas. He is considered to be a project that could eventually help out at SG and SF. The Wizards selected Notre Dame PG Jerian Grant with the 19th pick, sent him to Atlanta with some future 2nd round picks and then he was dealt to the New York Knicks for Tim Hardaway Jr. I don’t agree with the move, but I’m trusting that Ernie Grunfeld knows a whole lot more about basketball than I do.
Speaking of the Knicks, Phil Jackson surprised many and selected 7’1” Kristaps Porzingis from Latvia with the 4th pick. Porzingis is mainly unknown, but the consensus is that he will need time to adjust and develop before he can contribute. Possibly a few years of adjustment and development. The question is, does Carmelo Anthony have that much time? Heck, does Phil Jackson have that much time? I know the New York fans don’t and the many that were on hand wasted none in expressing their displeasure of the selection. Each year teams are looking overseas to find the next Dirk Nowitzki. A combination of height and skill that can run the floor, shoot the lights out and play team basketball. I’m not sure if Porzingis will totally fit that bill, but there have been more misses than makes from highly touted players from overseas. Then again, there are plenty of American busts too, right?
Karl-Anthony Towns was predictably selected 1st by Minnesota. That pick was followed by the Lakers selecting PG D’Angelo Russell. I really liked this pick. It was rumored that the Lake Show would take Duke Big Man Jahlil Okafor or even get into the DeMarcus Cousin trade talk, but they went with the Ohio State standout that doesn’t lack confidence. The Lakers can make some moves in free agency and I think this will be a pick that they will be happy with for a long time. Okafor ended up going 3rd to Philly and Orlando rounded out the Top 5 with SF Mario Herzonja.
Virginia’s Justin Anderson went 21st to the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics took William & Mary’s Marcus Thornton with the 45th pick of the night. Thornton played High School Basketball at Bishop McNamara in Forestville, MD.
Let me know your thoughts on the draft.