2015 NBA Draft: Pre-Sweet 16 Mock Draft

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With the first weekend of the NBA Draft done and dusted, we’ve seen some of the premier players play one another in the NCAA tournament. The top of the draft remains virtually unchanged, but there’s a lot of movement in the middle of the first round and later on into the draft.

To spice things up, we ran the simulator once (I promise) over at Tankathon. We’ll base the draft order of the order we got there. Hold your breath Lakers fans. Did we land outside of the top five?

1. player. 86. Nikola Pekovic is the reason the Timberwolves don’t go with Jahlil Okafor at the top of this draft. While some may argue to take the best player available, Pekovic and Okafor would clash and you’d have to choose one over the other. Considering Pekovic would have three more seasons under contract with right at $35 million committed to him, I can’t see them taking Okafor and benching Pekovic. Instead, they take Karl-Anthony Towns, who can play as PF.. Center. Kentucky. Karl-Anthony Towns

player. 38. I know this pick doesn’t make great sense with the personnel you have, but you can’t pass on Okafor. He’s too good. The reason Minny passes on him is you can’t move Pekovic’s contract. If you’re Orlando, you take Okafor and figure out what to do with Nikola Vucevic later, who is much easier to trade. You don’t pass on someone with the talent of Okafor and not regret it for many years to come. He’s the closest we’ll find to Tim Duncan for years to come.. Center. Duke. Jahlil Okafor. 2

Point Guard. Ohio State. D'Angelo Russell. 3. player. 20. Breathe easy Lakers fans, you’re in this draft. And with this pick, you get your point guard of the future in D’Angelo Russell. Russell has wowed college basketball fans with his dazzling passing, filthy crosses, and silky jumper. Jump for joy, Lakers fans.

27. Terrible luck for the Knicks, who benched Carmelo Anthony half the season, put out a terrible team on a nightly basis, and fall three spots in the draft. Still, in the draft, they’re in “best player available” mode and their is a growing gap among the experts between these top four and everyone else, so Emmanuel Mudiay seems like the pick, even if Willie Cauley-Stein might be the better prospect, in my opinion.. Point Guard. China. Emmanuel Mudiay. 4. player

Arizona. Stanley Johnson. 5. player. 93. In this mock, the 76ers fall back two spots in the draft (as of Monday night’s order) and there’s a noticeable step down in prospects for the most part. While Cauley-Stein is the best player available, they already have Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid on the roster, so another center makes no sense. Instead, they can replace K.J. McDaniels and draft Stanley Johnson. Johnson could provide another great defensive forward with either Noel or Embiid, whichever is on the court.. Small Forward

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