The NBA Draft 2015 happened a few days ago at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and as always, there was no shortage of excitement! The Barclays Center was filled with lots of cheering and some noticeable questioning looks throughout the night. Like most drafts, the picks have an enormous impact on not only the players, but the teams, the organizations and of course, the fans!
A lot went down during the NBA Draft; here’s a rundown of the 5 biggest moments from the night!
Timberwolves Come Through
When the Timberwolves won the No. 1 overall pick, there was some concerns as Timberwolves’ head coach Flip Saunders is notorious for playing it “safe” and discouraging his players from taking risky shots or shrugging off the idea that resting players might be a good idea. It was thought they would be selecting Okafor, a low-post scorer with impressive NBA-ready moves.
However, Saunders surprised some and selected the best all-around prospect in Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns, should be a game-changer on both ends once he fully blossoms: He’s a player whose inside-outside offensive game will cause problems for opposing defenders from the rim to the arc, and the advanced numbers suggest he will be strong post defender too.
Sixers Head-Scratching Move
Philadelphia incited some guffaws, again, after taking Okafor at No. 3, marking once again another lottery pick the franchise has used on a big man. Luckily with the Sixers’ 2013 lottery pick, Nerlens Noel, the Sixers should be able to cover up some of Okafor’s defensive shortcomings. Although Okafor and Noel aren’t a perfect pair on offense, given their shared paint-bound approaches, this is as good at it gets for the Sixers.
Lakers Living for Now
One major grievance that the Lakers have had is the perception that they’re living in the past. Well on Thursday the franchised deviated from the perception with the selection of Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell.
By taking Russell, the Lakers avoid making the easy choice. In Russell, the Lakers appear to have a talented play-maker with the ability to create for himself and others. His passing ability should bring a little excitement back to a drab Lakers product, and he has a superstar’s ceiling.
No International Love
In what was the most predictable, and possibly the angriest reaction came when the Knicks selected Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick. Knicks fans in attendance eagerly booed the pick and were visibly upset. There are fears that he’ll be another international bust. Porzingis is taking the high road and offered a thoughtful and calm defense of himself.
“I have to do everything that’s in my hands to turn those booing fans into clapping fans,” he told reporters. “I was happy about [being taken by the Knicks]. I know the fans are a little harsh sometimes, but that’s hot it is here in New York, and I’m ready for it.”
Denver Moving on Up
Looks like things are on the up and up for the nuggets, as Emmanuel Mudiay was selected at the No. 7 pick. Not only does Mudiay represent great value, as he is arguably a top-four talent in this class, but he looks like a perfect fit on paper for a Nuggets team that has pledged to get back to running.
Mudiay should plug in nicely as a starter from day one, assuming incumbent starter Ty Lawson is traded out as expected. It’s hard to envision a better night for the Nuggets.
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