NBA Draft 2015: Ell’s Top 25 Prospects

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May 12, 2015 by Ell and Mike Sports

NBA Draft 2015: Top 25 Prospects


  1. C Jahlil Okafor, Duke, 6’11 270lbs

Coming off a championship, Okafor is the most NBA ready prospect with the body to bang in the paint and become a legit scorer with an array of post moves. Okafor is a double-double waiting to happen with his rebounding ability, but he must learn to stay out of foul trouble. His main struggles will come on the defensive end and he doesn’t fit well in an up-tempo system.

  1. PF Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky, 6’11 255lbs

Towns is considered the best talent in the draft because of his potential as a two way big man, but he is definitely a force on the defensive end. Towns has the ability to block shots in volumes and even grab a steal or two. He mostly uses his athleticism on the offensive end, but once he learns some post moves he could really cause problems.

  1. PG D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State, 6’5 180lbs

Russell is not a typical PG and is more of a scoring combo guard with the ability to pass so he will have to learn the position like many before him. He has a long wingspan which allows him to rack-up steals. Russell is a volume scorer and can put up large numbers and fill up a stat sheet, but he needs to work on his consistency and limit his turnovers. He needs to continue to put on bulk, because he seems destined to eventually become a SG if the PG experiment fails.

  1. SF Justise Winslow, Duke, 6’6 225lbs

Winslow is an athletic wing who can defend and rebound with an improving offensive game. Winslow is a good athlete who can instantly become one of the better perimeter defenders at the SG or SF position. He mostly uses his athleticism to score while driving to the basket and drawing fouls, but he needs to continue to work on his shooting consistency. Winslow has good size and seems to be one the most pro ready prospects in the draft.


  1. PG Emmanuel Mudiay, China, 6’5 200lbs

Mudiay has good size for a PG and all the skills to be a top tier PG in the league, but he needs to work on his consistency and free throw shooting. He has good offensive awareness and the ability to create his own shot. Mudiay has a good drive game and can penetrate and dish or make plays with his dribbling and quickness in the low post. He has good range, but must work on the consistency of his shooting. With the right coaching, Mudiay could be star, but it will take some time to polish his game.

  1. PF/C Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, 7’0 242lbs

Cauley-Stein is a beast on the defensive side of the ball blocking shots at a high volume and even racking up steals. He is a good energy guy with a high motor who is the ideal dirty work guy in the NBA with his ability to rebound and make a difference without the ball. He could add some bulk to his frame and continue to develop his offensive game, or worst case, improve his free throw shooting. Cauley-Stein can be a difference maker on defense from day 1.

  1. SF Stanley Johnson, Arizona, 6’7 245lbs

Johnson is one of the best perimeter defenders in the draft with the ability to also play solid defense in the paint. Johnson has an NBA ready body, but does need a bit more polish on his game. He is a bit inconsistent offensively, but can only get better as he returns to his more natural position SF where he should be stronger than his defenders. Johnson has the potential to develop into a solid 2 way player he could be a defensive stopper if used correctly.

  1. SG/SF Mario Hezonja, Croatia, 6’7 195lbs

Hezonja is a solid scoring prospect with the athleticism to throw down oops, shoot the three, find the open man, or just create his own shot off the dribble. He fits best at SG right now with his abilities, but once he puts on some bulk for the NBA he will be a good point-forward. When committed, Hezonja can also play solid defense with his long wingspan generating steals and blocks. He must continue to grow on the defensive end and work on his consistency, but his game should transition over well; he is only 20 years old.

  1. PF Kristaps Porzingis, Croatia, 6’11 220lbs

Porzingis is an athletic prospect with moves inside the post and the ability to catch high alley-oops with his long wingspan and leaping ability. He is a decent rebounder with a developing 3-point game making him more of stretch 4 in the NBA. Porzingis needs to continue to develop on the develop on the defensive end where at times he can become a shot blocking machine and he does possess the footwork, but is still pretty raw on both ends of the floor. At only 20, he can continue to work on his craft for a year or two overseas.


  1. C/PF Myles Turner, Texas, 6’11 240lbs

Turner is an athletic prospect with the ability to block shots at a high volume while also knocking down jumpers on the other end; mostly from midrange while knocking down the occasional three. He is a solid rebounder on both ends of the floor and plays with a high motor, but he lacks quickness and explosiveness. Turner should be a solid big man in the right system and should find time in the game thanks to his defensive presence alone.

  1. PF Trey Lyles, Kentucky, 6’10 235lbs

Lyles is an athletic prospect who could be a nice double-double machine if he continues to work on his craft. His playing time was blocked by Cauley-Stein and Towns, but he has the potential to be a solid offensive big man with a good passing game. Lyles needs to work on his defensive game where he can be a shot blocking presence at times, but most scouts question his defensive awareness.  He should also add some bulk to his frame, but the potential is there for Lyles to eventually be a starter if he can develop some consistency.

  1. SG Devin Booker, Kentucky, 6’6 206lbs

Booker is a shooter with the ability to score inside and outside while showing a knack for racking up steals on the defensive end. He is a decent passer who could improve in that area, but overall consistency is his biggest flaw. Booker has the size and skill to be a solid SG who can space the floor while playing decent defense on the other end. His ability as a two way player makes him a good fit for any team in need of help at the wing, but he must continue to get better.

  1. SF Kelly Oubre Jr., Kansas, 6’7 200lbs

Oubre Jr. is the perfect example of what the NBA calls a 3 and D player who can knock down the 3 ball and get back and provide solid perimeter defense. He got off to a slow start at Kansas getting into foul trouble, but he can score when called upon and rack up steals while getting the occasional block or 2. Oubre Jr. should be able to contribute on the defensive end immediately and score by getting to the free throw line, but once he puts on some bulk and finds some offensive consistency he will be a starter in the league.

  1. PF Bobby Portis, Arkansas, 6’11 242lbs

Portis is a solid big man with a NBA ready body and the ability to contribute on both ends of the floor, but mostly the offensive end. Portis was the go to guy on his team and can score in bunches with his jumper while bringing more efficient 3-point shooting to his game this season. He is a solid rebounder with the ability to block shots and rack up steals, but playing against bigger and better competition in the league he is considered more of a perimeter defender than post defender. Despite being a solid two way big man, Portis must continue to polish his game and work on his post play. However, Portis should make it on the floor early with his skill set.


  1. PG Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, 6’5 204lbs

Grant is a solid PG with good size and good pedigree who can contribute on both sides of the floor. He is a good scorer who must improve on his 3-pt consistency, but he is also a good passer and rebounder. Grant doesn’t commit turnovers often and knows how to stay out of foul trouble while racking up steals and getting the occasional block. Grant must work on his consistency if he wants to become a starter in the league, but he has all of the tools.

  1. C Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin, 7’0 242lbs
  2. SF Sam Dekker, Wisconsin, 6’9 230lbs
  3. PF Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, 6’8 240lbs
  4. PG Tyus Jones, Duke, 6’1 190lbs
  5. PF Kevin Looney, UCLA, 6’9 220lbs
  6. PG Delon Wright, Utah, 6’5 190lbs
  7. PG Cameron Payne, Murray State, 6’2 180lbs
  8. SF Justin Anderson, Virginia, 6’6 228lbs
  9. SG R.J. Hunter, Georgia State, 6’6 190lbs
  10. SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona, 6’7 200lbs


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