The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock!
Tonight marks the beginning of the 2015 NBA Draft. Draft day usually begins with high hopes for franchises looking for a fresh start. There are some familiar faces in the lottery this year, like the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have not made the playoffs in eleven years. There are also some teams we are not used to seeing in the lottery, like the Los Angeles Lakers, who have the second pick, their highest pick since 1982 when they drafter “Big Game” James Worthy.
There are some players that are garnering attention in this draft. Over the last few weeks, many players have seen their stock rise or drop dramatically. But the players expected to be at the top have pretty much stayed constant. Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns is regarded as the best player in the draft. Another standout is Duke Blue Devils power forward Jahlil Okafor, who may be the best low post scorer in the draft. Ohio State Buckeyes star point guard D’Angelo Russell is widely regarded as the best point guard in this class. Some even call him the best passer to enter the NBA since Magic Johnson.
A couple of foreign-born players have shot up draft boards. The first is Kristaps Porzingis, the 6’11” 19-year-old forward from Latvia. He is drawing Dirk Nowitzki comparisons because of the ability to score from the outside at his size. Critics say he is still too young and slender, and that he needs a few years in the weight room before he is a real contributor. Another foreign-born player that is expected to be a lottery pick is Emmanuel Mudiay, the 19-year-old guard from China. The knock on him is his poor shooting ability, causing his stock to drop slightly.
There will be sixty picks in this years draft, and odds are that maybe one or two of these picks may change the fortune of their franchise. That is why, around draft day, expectations are so high and almost every team’s fans can be optimistic. Well, unless you are a Philadelphia 76ers fan.