You made it, basketball fans. Your week away from the NBA is already almost over. The Golden State Warriors may be world champions, but for the other 29 teams in the league, the "second season" is just beginning.
While draft coverage may just be ramping up now, front office scouts have been studying this class for over a year, debating each player's potential, skillset, fit and, in the case of the New York Knicks, their, um, other "assets". This year's crop starts with a position battle at the top, with most members of the NBA community predicting that the battle for the No. 1 pick will come down to Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke center Jahlil Okafor. There's a lot to love with this group, and there's also a lot riding on this draft for most of the teams at the top.
With Providence's Kris Dunn returning to school for another year (seriously, this kid might be the first guard off the board in the 2016 draft), I'll preface things by saying that you'll be hard-pressed to find a Big East player who will land anywhere in the first (or second) round on Thursday. However, most of the guys in this draft class are players that came into contact with Big East squads throughout the season, so let's have some fun here. There will surely be a multitude of deals made between teams on draft day, but for simplicity's sake, we'll keep the order as it stands today. Let's give it a whirl.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns, PF/C (Kentucky)
For the Minnesota front office, the end of the Kevin Love era has gone about as well as possible, nabbing the Timberwolves an extremely promising two-way future star in Andrew Wiggins and a No. 1 pick to pair with him. Playing to the strengths of both the draft pool and the holes in their current roster, the Wolves will turn their attention to a big man at the top of the draft. While most draft pundits spent the season singing the praises of Duke's Okafor (more on him in a bit), I'm not sure there's really a competition at this point between Towns and his Blue Devil counterpart.
While Towns lacks Okafor's polish offensively, he projects as a more versatile long-term scorer, flashing a growing post-game and shooting range that occasionally reaches all the way out to the three-point line. His motor makes him a wrecking ball in transition, and teams will be able to run their offense through Towns in some sets due to his smart passing instincts. Defensively, he needs to turn up the effort and intensity on a more consistent basis, but that's normal for most players coming out of college. He's a talented shot-blocker, and while he's not an explosive athlete, the fundamentals are there for Towns to develop into a talented rim protector. He'll be a great long-term fit next to Wiggins, and gives the Wolves some lineup versatility at both the power forward and center positions. I'll be shocked if any other player's name is called first on Thursday.
2. Los Angeles Lakers - Jahlil Okafor, C (Duke)
While Towns has leapfrogged him in the last few weeks, it's important to remember why Okafor sat atop the draft throne for so much of the college basketball season. Many writers, myself included, drooled over Joel Embiid's footwork coming out of Kansas last year at this time, but Okafor projects as the most polished offensive center prospective in the last decade. He's already developed an advanced arsenal of moves in the post, and his ability to score off of the glass has allowed him to move out to the elbows with the ball in his hand. Okafor, like Towns, is a savvy passer, and defenses will have their hands full with him from the first day he sets foot on an NBA floor.
However, the reasons for Okafor's (short) slide down the draft board are mostly due to his ugly tendencies on the defensive end. At this time, he offers no rim protection whatsoever, despite a 6'11", 272 pound frame. He plays low to the ground defensively, with little to no bounce in his game, and it's hard to tell if his knack for losing his man is due more to a lack of instincts or just shear laziness. It may have something to do with conditioning, which will improve at the next level, but for now, Okafor's stock is solely based on his offensive skills. If the Lakers are serious about chasing Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo in free agency this summer, the addition of Okafor and return of Kobe Bryant will make them one of the most dangerous scoring teams the NBA has to offer. They'll just, you know, finish with one of the lowest defensive efficiency ratings in the league.
3. Philadelphia 76ers - D'Angelo Russell, PG/SG (Ohio State)
This is a massively important draft in Tankadelphia, as two years into the mega-rebuild, the Sixers still have only Nerlens Noel, a reportedly ailing Joel Embiid and draft-and-stash pick Dario Saric to show for it. They cashed out on Michael Carter-Williams at the trade deadline, leaving the team without a primary ballhandler or scorer (which Carter-Williams was never able to be). They can swing for the fences here on a high-ceiling/high-risk guy like Porzingis or Mudiay, but the Sixers badly need an instant-impact star to really get things moving.
Enter Russell, who might be my favorite perimeter player in this entire draft. He's a terrific scorer, bending entire defenses at the collegiate level with tremendous outside shooting, intelligent passing and a finesse-based approach of getting to the basket in the lane. Russell is drawing a lot of James Harden comparisons due to his lack of athleticism, and while he doesn't have Harden's strength yet, he should be just as dominant as a scorer with a few years of seasoning. He's not an elite defender, but is quick enough laterally to still make a difference, and if he lands in Philadelphia, he should be an early favorite for Rookie of the Year based solely on the number of shots he'll get up every game. The Sixers are reportedly falling in love with Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis, but Russell makes the most sense from a team-building standpoint.
4. New York Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis, PF (Latvia)
If I'm being completely honest, I, like many others, have absolutely no idea what to make of Porzingis, who dropped out of last year's draft just a week before to try to raise his stock for this year. It's safe to say that gamble paid off, as he seems to be the fastest riser heading into draft day, but there's a lot of uncertainty around the Latvian big man. At 7'0", Porzingis looks like a shooting guard that woke up one morning in a seven-footer's body and is still adjusting to his newfound size. He'll fill it up from just about anywhere on the floor, and Porzingis' quick release is unparalleled by his peers at the power forward position. He boasts tremendous length, which helps him make up for a severe lack of strength as a shot-blocker and post defender.
Porzingis might have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft, and he's surprisingly springy for a guy his size. If he pans out, he'll be unlike any player we've ever seen, but the bust potential here is real, too. He badly needs to fill out his frame, and he'll get tossed around inside by larger power forwards until any progress is made in the gym. He's a project, so fit is going to be really important, and he could excel in the triangle offense in New York. The Knicks appear to be mortgaging a lot of their future on luring in marquee players in free agency, but with a rare high pick, their best bet is to aim high. If Russell (who might be the best fit for the Knicks) is gone, Porzingis should be the guy.
5. Orlando Magic - Justise Winslow, SF (Duke)
If Porzingis somehow slides out of the top four picks, look for Orlando, who badly needs a versatile scorer, to snatch him up here. Hell, they might even move up to get him. However, if Porzingis is off the board, the Magic will snatch up Winslow, who is a perfect fit on the wing in Orlando's defense-first approach to building in the draft. With Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton locked in at both guard spots, the roster needs some floor-spacing to open up the lane for their ball-handlers. Winslow appeared to have discovered his shot at Duke this past season, and he's physical enough to body up defenders on his way to the basket. He's not as fluid, but at first glance, Winslow looks a lot like Rudy Gay, with better defense and more consistent shooting.
Winslow's going to be a nice wing stopper on the defensive end, using his size and length to his advantage on the perimeter. When he does get pushed into the paint, Winslow fights back with brute strength, and even at his young age, he's already filled out an NBA-ready body. With Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic in place as Orlando's big men of the future, Winslow appears to be the final piece in Orlando's multi-year overhaul.
6. Sacramento Kings - Emmanuel Mudiay, PG (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Rumor has it that the Kings are looking to move this pick for an established point guard, but if Mudiay slides out of the top five, their best bet is to wager on the younger guy. Mudiay could still land in Los Angeles, Philadelphia or New York, but at this time, most signs point to him being the odd man out at the top of the draft. Sacramento would be getting a real steal here, as Mudiay project as a nice team fit - and a much better long-term option than incumbent points guard Darren Collison and Ray McCallum.
Most of Mudiay's stock is reliant on his exponentially high ceiling, and his physical tools are drawing Russell Westbrook-like comparisons already. He's got a devastatingly quick first step, and while his jump shot needs some serious work (he shot 30 percent from deep and 58 percent from the line in the Chinese Basketball Association last season), Mudiay should be a dangerous attacker and distributor from day one. Using his massive frame (6'5", 220 pounds, 6'8" wingspan), Mudiay has the physical tools to score in a variety of ways and defend both guard spots at the next level. There is some concern about the competition level he saw last year in China after electing to skip college before jumping to the league, but that should come in time. As long as his shot comes around, Mudiay could be really special.
7. Denver Nuggets - Mario Hezonja, SG (Croatia)
Hezonja is another boom-or-bust prospect, and his shooting is his most translatable skill at this point. At worst, he'll end up being a three-point specialist, but Hezonja boasts the rare blend of fluidity and athleticism to become a well-rounded scoring specialist. He needs to get stronger to be able to compete at the NBA level, but has the quicks and length to be dangerous on both ends of the floor. Hezonja is extremely raw, and there are some reported concerns abut his attitude and willingness to play team basketball, so fit and coaching are going to be massively important in his development. Denver appears to be going into full fire-sale mode to rebuild around last year's promising first-round center Jusuf Nurkic, so Hezonja would most definitely get his looks if the Nuggets move Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried before the season. He appears to be extremely confident, so forcing Hezonja to be an offensive centerpiece right away could be a good thing.
8. Detroit Pistons - Stanley Johnson, SF (Arizona)
The Pistons have reached an important point in their ongoing retooling project, with Andre Drummond cemented as the team's future centerpiece and Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looking like a formidable long-term backcourt duo going forward. They're probably going to lose Greg Monroe this summer in free agency (Phil Jackson basically has Monroe written into his Knicks roster for next year already), but they're going to need better spacing everywhere on the roster to fully maximize Drummond's potential.
Johnson is a perfect fit for Detroit, giving the team a much-needed option on the wing and physical scorer that can get to the basket for easy looks. Like Winslow, Johnson looks to have already filled out his body, and he uses his strength to his advantage on defense against both wing positions. He's aggressive, with a nice shooting stroke, and doesn't carry a lot of risk. Which might be exactly what the Pistons need right now.
*Note: If we're talking purely about fit, I can't think of a better situation for Porzingis than Stan Van Gundy's system in Detroit. There's no way he'll be available with the eighth pick, but imagine Porzingis spreading the floor for Drummond offensively while also using the big man as his failsafe on the defensive end. That's an unbelievably dangerous one-two punch. I guess we can dream, right?
9. Charlotte Hornets - Willie Cauley-Stein, C (Kentucky)
Cauley-Stein's slide down to No. 9 here has more to do with team fit than anything else, as Orlando and Sacramento are the only teams above that could use his length and shot-blocking prowess on the defensive end. However, with higher-ceiling players still on the board, Cauley-Stein may end up being the odd man out in the top eight picks. His rim protection abilities have been well-documented over his three years at Kentucky, and he's started to show flashes of offensive output in the midrange. However, this may be a "what you see is what you get" situation, and whichever team selects Cauley-Stein is going to have to live with his lack of offensive production when he's going to be able to guard all five positions on the other end. Charlotte, with Al Jefferson at center, is badly in need of post defense, which makes Cauley-Stein a logical target for head coach Steve Clifford's defensive system. His upside may be limited, but defense-first guys like this will always have a role in the league.
10. Miami Heat - Kelly Oubre, SF (Kansas)
Regardless of whether the Heat are able to re-sign point guard Goran Dragic and retain Dwyane Wade in free agency, the Heat are the rare late-lottery team that may need to focus on drafting the best player available over trying to fill a team need. With an aging core, the Heat need a player of the future, and Oubre is the type of upside guy that could be viewed as a steal in a few years. In reality, Oubre probably needed one more year at the college level, so there's going to be a bit of a learning curve, but I'm confident that he could have been a top five pick next year had he returned to Kansas for his sophomore year.
He's got prototypical length for an NBA wing, and while he's extremely raw offensively in terms of consistency, Oubre has shown a wide variety of offensive moves in his arsenal already. His shooting stroke is smooth, with a slippery attacking style at the rim that could give defenses fits if he puts it all together. Right now, his skill on defense is due more to his long arms, but he showed the instincts to jump passing lanes and make plays in transition as a freshman. Give him a couple of years, but Oubre just might be this draft's best-kept secret.
11. Indiana Pacers - Cameron Payne, PG (Murray State)
It goes without saying that Paul George's return from injury is the most important addition the Pacers will make this summer, and with their eyes set on returning to the playoffs next postseason, this lottery pick is key to the team's future outlook. Indiana hasn't exactly been quiet about their desire to add a true point guard over the last few years due to George Hill's ability to play both guard positions, and Payne is just the latest in a chain of small-school point guards (Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Elfrid Payton) climbing up draft boards in the midnight hour these last few years. The Thunder have reportedly promised to take Payne at No. 14, but I'm not confident he's going to last that far.
Payne's an extremely fun guard, able to make just about any pass and score from just about anywhere on the floor. He's got a lightning fast release, and while he struggled with his efficiency at Murray State, that may have had something to do with the lack of talent around him. He's smart on both end of the floor, he's savvy and he's a fiery competitor who's always looking for the ball in clutch situations. With George as a running mate and David West as a pick-and-pop partner, Payne may just be the point guard the Pacers have been waiting for. Honestly, he might go even higher than No. 11.
12. Utah Jazz - Frank Kaminsky, PF/C (Wisconsin)
While the Jazz have put together an intriguing young core over the last few years in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Alec Burks, Trey Burke and Dante Exum, it wasn't until the end of last season that the team appeared to be finally putting it together. Part of this is due to Enes Kanter's trade deadline departure and Gobert's defensive emergence in his place, but they still need another piece or two if they want to push for the playoffs next season. Due to their overall youth, the leadership and discipline aren't really there in Utah yet, and the team needs a more versatile bench big to make up for Gobert's raw offensive game. Kaminsky projects as a quick solution to both needs, as he brings experience and maturity to the locker room, and should be a talented scorer at the next level. The ceiling isn't very high for Kaminsky, but he'll be able to play both positions down low and will stretch the floor a bit when playing next to either Favors or Gobert. That offensive versatility might just be what it takes to help the Jazz make the next step.
13. Phoenix Suns - Myles Turner, C (Texas)
Turner's extremely raw, but his shot-blocking, mobility and deep-threat shooting should be able to translate almost immediately in the right system. He's surprisingly quick in transition, and can put the ball on the floor to score some face-up buckets. With Phoenix's fast-paced gameplan, Turner will be able to get out and run in the fast break, but also provide the team with more spacing from the power forward spot when Markieff Morris goes to the bench. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight are this team's stars, but Turner and former lottery pick Alex Len are the type of long-term mainstays to potentially give the Suns a formidable frontcourt duo down the road.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder - Devin Booker, SG (Kentucky)
With Payne off the board (he'll be an amazing fit in Oklahoma City if he makes it to No. 14), the Thunder will look to serve an immediate need with Booker, who gives them the elite shooter the roster currently lacks. Minutes are going to be sparse for the Thunder next year with a crowded roster, but Booker provides the scoring consistency the team isn't going to be able to guarantee from Dion Waiters on a consistent basis. Squaring up his shoulders regardless of where he pulls up from, Booker might be the best three-point shooter in this draft class, and even shows flashes of slashing potential when he chooses to be more aggressive. He'll have to earn his minutes in a backcourt that already features Russell Westbrook, Waiters, defensive specialist Andre Roberson and most likely D.J. Augustin, but Booker is tough to pass up for a team looking to make up for last year's lost season.
15. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn) - Sam Dekker, SF (Wisconsin)
In this year's edition of "Look How Dumb the Brooklyn Front Office Is", the Nets were forced to swap picks with the Hawks, giving Atlanta a rare mid-round pick even after finishing as the top seed in the Eastern Conference last season. Look for Atlanta to take an NBA-ready player to come in and play right away, shoring up the bench unit for another postseason run next year (assuming the team retains Paul Millsap in free agency this summer). Head coach Mike Budenholzer dreams of a lineup in which all players can shoot threes, making Dekker a natural fit on the wing when Kyle Korver goes to the bench. Dekker also contrasts well with bench wing Kent Bazemore, and what he lacks in pure athleticism, he makes up for with experience and a smooth offensive game. He can fill it up in a wide variety of scenarios, which will help the Hawks find another gear when the core scorers are off the floor.
16. Boston Celtics - Justin Anderson, SF (Virginia)
Anderson has been project more in the 20's range in most mock drafts, but I'm predicting a late rise from one of the most well-rounded prospects in this draft pool. He's the kind of wing you would throw into the "sure thing" category, and while he probably won't ever become a top ten player at his position, Anderson's three-point shooting and defense should earn him big minutes on a winning team's bench. Boston seems like a great fit, especially considering head coach Brad Stevens' love for team-oriented guys with a history of success and coachability. Anderson basically re-worked his entire jumpshot before last season, shooting 45 percent from deep after connecting on a measly 29 percent of his attempts the year before. Of the Celtics players who shot at least two three-point attempts per game last season, not a single one shot above 33 percent behind the line, and Jae Crowder is the closest thing to a wing stopper the team has at this time. Anderson's stock may not be as high in the public eye, but he has the chance to make a legitimate difference in Boston.
17. Milwaukee Bucks - Trey Lyles, SF/PF (Kentucky)
In one of last year's greatest surprises, the rebuild in Milwaukee appeared to be ahead of schedule as Jason Kidd's squad made the playoffs even with last year's No. 2 pick Jabari Parker on the sidelines with a torn ACL. The front office flipped Brandon Knight, who was having a bit of a breakout year, for Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee at the trade deadline, and the offense never really recovered without Knight at the helm. This will get better with Parker's return, but the Bucks are in need of some offense to go along with their promising defensive core. Lyles could land in the lottery, but doesn't have the upside of most of those players, even with the ability to shoot from almost anywhere on the floor and get to the basket with ease. Milwaukee would be ecstatic to see him still on the board at No. 17, and he's consistent enough already to help mitigate Giannis Antetokounmpo's still-developing offensive game.
18. Houston Rockets (from New Orleans) - Tyus Jones, PG (Duke)
If the Rockets learned anything this postseason, it's that you probably aren't going to win a title with Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni as your team's point guards. Patrick Beverley will most likely be back next season, but is a restricted free agent this summer, and the Rockets have shown the willingness to let players walk if they command too high of a salary (ahem, Chandler Parsons). Regardless, Houston needs a younger point guard to develop in their system, and Jones projects to be the ballhandler that can relieve some of the offensive pressure from star guard James Harden. As he showed in the NCAA tournament in March, Jones doesn't exactly shy away from high-impact situations, and also boasts the three-point shooting to space around Harden when he does bring the ball up. Defensively, he still has work to do due to his lack of size (he's listed at 6'2", but c'mon), but he won't get killed, which is more than Terry can say right now.
19. Washington Wizards - Bobby Portis, PF (Arkansas)
The Wizards are in a bit of a weird situation, as they're having lots of postseason success for such a young team, but their future outlook pretty much rests on the continued development of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, who showed up at the perfect time in this year's playoffs. Those three should be a great young core, especially Wall, but the complimentary pieces are starting to show signs of age, especially power forward Nene Hilario, who's already 32 and is entering the last year of his contract. With a pretty crowded group of power forwards in this year's draft, the Wizards need to look to shore up for the future, and Portis will bring the same wrecking-ball intensity Nene has for the last few years. Portis might have the highest motor of any player in the draft, and while his defense needs some refining, he stretches the floor all the way out to the three-point line with his shooting. If he can get his game under control, Portis could end up as a starting power forward in a few years.
20. Toronto Raptors - R.J. Hunter, SG (Georgia State)
All signs point to reigning sixth man award winner Lou Williams being a hot ticket in free agency this summer, and the Raptors may lose their best bench scorer to a team with a more promising future outlook. Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross and Williams served as the team's primary three-point shooters last season, but none of that trio give the Raptors a truly elite threat from behind the three-point line. Hunter's ceiling is higher than he gets credit for, and while he's most known right now as a potentially dominant shooter, he has a sneaky ability to get the ball on the floor and attack the rim. His frame should fill out in time, and with his long arms (6'6", 6'11" wingspan), he'll have a size advantage over a lot of other guards at the NBA level. Watch out for this kid.
21. Dallas Mavericks - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF (Arizona)
Hollis-Jefferson was the first truly frustrating fit of this mock draft, since almost every single team in the league could use a guy with his defensive skillset. Seriously, Hollis-Jefferson is the best wing defender in this draft, and it's really not all that close. He can guard everyone from point guards to power forwards, and while he's listed at 6'7", it's his 7'2" wingspan that should have scouts drooling over him. He reminds me a lot of K.J. McDaniels in last year's class, a player I was extremely high on then and still am today, with dominant defensive instincts and ridiculous athleticism on the other end of the floor. Teams won't be able to count on Hollis-Jefferson to shoot at all, and for right now, his offensive game is mostly geared around dunks and put-backs. Teams will be drafting him for his defense, and I think he could go as high as No. 12 to Utah if a team falls in love with him. Dallas might be a little late in the end, but for now, this is probably Hollis-Jefferson's most realistic fit.
22. Chicago Bulls - Jerian Grant, PG (Notre Dame)
Add Aaron Brooks to the ever-growing list of former Chicago guards who enjoyed a renaissance year with the Bulls before cashing out in free agency. After missing on Marquis Teague a few years ago, Chicago has shied away drafting a new backup point guard, but with Tyus Jones, Grant and Delon Wright all available in the back half of the draft, this might be the year for the Bulls to make their move. Grant is probably the best fit of the three in Fred Hoiberg's new system, as he's just as good off the ball as he is with it in his hands. He's a creative passer thanks to his height and ability to see over the defense, and he can create points for himself and teammates in difficult situations, which the Bulls struggled with mightily in the playoffs. Grant is a good enough shooter to play alongside Derrick Rose at both guard positions, and should bring another gear of athleticism to the backcourt off the bench. Even if Jones slides, Grant makes the most sense for Chicago if they decide to grab another guard.
23. Portland Trail Blazers - Christian Wood, PF (UNLV)
Wheel out the doomsday clock in Portland, folks. Okay, that's probably an exaggeration, but the Blazers are going to face the real possibility of losing LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Arron Afflalo this summer just months after looking like a potential sleeper title contender. Matthews' achilles injury in March changed that outlook, and Aldridge might cash out in a bigger market if he starts seeing dollar signs (Houston, anybody?) in free agency. I'm basing this pick on the assumption that Aldridge leaves, and the Blazers may need to swing high to find a player to replace him, especially since most of the power forwards available at this late stage have pretty drastic limitations. Wood, on the other hand, may not be as big of a name, but probably has the highest ceiling of that group. DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony calls Wood a "lottery-level talent with rare tools and impressive two-way potential", and he's not wrong. At 6'11" with a 7'3" wingspan and lanky frame, he's got prototypical size and promising defensive instincts, and while he hasn't really developed a post game yet offensively, Wood can shoot out of the mid-range and blow by slower bigs when he plays face-up. Sure, he's risky, and supposedly carries some attitude and work ethic issues, but Portland needs to get risky if they want to keep Damian Lillard happy in the event the aforementioned trio leaves.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kevon Looney, PF (UCLA)
Remember that one time James Jones played, like, actual minutes in the NBA Finals? James Jones. JAMES JONES. The guy can shoot, but it's not going to work for Cleveland in the long-term if Jones is forced to play extended stretches as a small-ball power forward. The Cavs are reportedly trying to move this pick and Brendan Haywood's contract for a more established player, but if they keep it, Looney presents an upgrade over Jones with a substantially higher ceiling. Looney floated around the lottery discussion throughout the season, and while offensive concerns have caused him to slide a bit, he'll be able to step in as a stretch four while he develops into whatever he's going to be. He's a tremendous rebounder, thanks in part to his 7'4" wingspan, and is a 41 percent three-point shooter even with odd mechanics. If he improves his athleticism and quits turning the ball over, he could be a surprise for LeBron's squad as they gear up for a healthy run at the title.
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Montrezl Harrell, PF (Louisville)
Harrell is sitting pretty much in the same range he was last season at this time, and even after returning to school, most teams have figured out who he is by now. He's a freak athlete with really limited offensive potential beyond dunks and the occasional 15-footer, but defensively, Harrell's a horse in the paint. You're not going to bully Harrell around inside, and even at 6'8", he can guard centers thanks to his muscular frame. The guy goes 100 miles per hour every time he's on the floor, and looks to be a hard worker, but in the end, his offensive game just really doesn't look to be a factor after three years at the college level. If Memphis loses Marc Gasol in free agency this summer, they're going to need a defensive replacement, and Harrell will be able to help pick up some of that lost production. And hey, if he can keep working on his jumper, he might even be Zach Randolph's eventual replacement down the road.
26. San Antonio Spurs - Delon Wright, PG (Utah)
Another year, another potential late-round breakout falls to the Spurs. Wright's stock doesn't appear to be as high as his positional counterparts, but he's probably the most well-rounded of the late-round crop - and with the best size to boot. At 6'6", Wright is an extremely unique point guard, and after four years at Utah, he has the experience to come into a playoff team and make an impact right away. He's not a very consistent shooter, but in San Antonio, he'll be able to dish it out to the roster's bevy of three-point specialists while barreling to the basket. He probably will struggle to break into the rotation as a rookie, but with Manu Ginobili approaching retirement and Tony Parker showing signs of decline, Wright might be the two-way guard to pick up some of that production going forward.
27. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston) - Rashad Vaughn, SG (UNLV)
Still reaping the benefits from Houston's ill-advised Jeremy Lin panic trade last summer, the Lakers pick up another first-rounder to add to a young group that already includes Julius Randle, last year's breakout guard Jordan Clarkson and now Okafor. Vaughn, who is recovering from a late-season meniscus tear, is one of the youngest players in this draft (he'll still be 18 on draft day), but probably needed another year of college ball to work on his consistency. At this point, Vaughn's biggest allure is in his shotmaking, but he's all over of the place from an efficiency perspective. He's best suited for a year in the D-League, but with enough coaching, Vaughn can be a dangerous scorer with the ball in his hands.
28. Boston Celtics (from L.A. Clippers) - Chris McCullough, PF (Syracuse)
Another player coming off a mid-season injury, McCullough tore his ACL midway through his freshman year, and after skating around the lottery early on, he's slid to the bottom of the first round. In a lot of ways, McCullough is very similar to Christian Wood, with a long frame for shot-blocking and a nice shooting touch that helps space the floor. He's extremely athletic, which allows him to guard bigs and wings thanks to his lateral quickness. A good coach will be able to pull the potential out of McCullough, making fit very important, and if he's fully recovered from his knee injury, it might be worth it for Boston to take a flier on a guy after drafting a more sure-thing prospect earlier on.
29. Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta) - Anthony Brown, SF (Stanford)
I promise, I won't just use this space to rag on the Nets even more, but wow, did they screw this one up. They're stuck in NBA purgatory, with a core that isn't good enough to contend for a title and no picks coming in 2016 and 2018 (Boston has the option to swap picks with the Nets in 2017). Because of this, the Nets have no incentive to blow things up, and they'll most likely try to re-sign Brook Lopez this summer just to try to keep the roster competitive. Their best bet is to grab a guy that can make an impact right away, and with Brown shooting up draft boards over the last week, this could be a mutually beneficial landing spot. Brown projects as a "3 and D" role player, without much of a learning curve and a team-oriented mentality. Brooklyn needs more guys like that, even if his ceiling probably isn't much higher than where he's at now. If he knocks down his looks off the ball, he could be invaluable to an ailing offense.
30. Golden State Warriors - Jonathan Holmes, SF/PF (Texas)
It's odd thinking about ways that the Warriors can improve their depth, considering that that was one of this team's greatest assets this season, but Golden State may have some cap issues in their future to consider. Draymond Green is going to get maxed out this summer, Klay Thompson's new contract kicks in next season, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala are both making north of $11 million each and Harrison Barnes will be a restricted free agent next summer. Trading David Lee's contract off the books will help, but it's also important to consider that Steph Curry will get a huge payout in the summer of 2017 after playing these last few years on an extremely team-friendly deal. One of either Bogut or Iguodala will have to go eventually, even after Iggy's Finals MVP campaign this summer, and Bogut may be easier to keep on a cheaper deal. Holmes could be Iguodala's eventual replacement, bringing the same Swiss Army knife-type versatility to the lineup, as well as a lot of potential on the defensive end. He's not a consistent scorer, but has a nice shooting stroke when he gets open looks. In the end, Holmes is pretty much good at everything, but isn't great at any one thing. Guys like that will always have a spot on someone's roster.
This year's draft will take place on Thursday, June 25 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Special thanks to the guys over at DraftExpress for speeding up this process with their video breakdowns and player data. Tell us your picks in the comments section below, we'll have more Big East draft analysis all week long.