The consensus seems to be that Kentucky's Towns has surpassed Jahlil Okafor as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and that's because he's just oozing with potential on both sides of the floor. He may not be Anthony Davis, but there hasn't been a recent college basketball prospect with the combination of rim protection and touch near the basket that Towns has. His per-game numbers aren't nearly as high as some of the other projected lottery picks, but his per-40 numbers rank up there with just about anyone.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Heading into the season, Okafor seemed like a lock to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. But then Karl-Anthony Towns happened, and Okafor slid down a slot or two. Still, he's been as good as advertised at Duke. He's a wizard with an endless bag of tricks in the post, which should translate into multiple All-Star Game appearances. Okafor projects to be more of an Al Jefferson-type than an Anthony Davis, but with slightly better defense than Big Al. With all factors considered, any NBA franchise would be lucky to have this interior beast.
Getty ImagesBob Leverone
Kawhi Leonard 2.0, anyone? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been the popular name to throw around when discussing Winslow's chops at the next level, but this Duke freshman's a far better shooter than MKG. Winslow is simply a winning basketball player, and one could make the argument that he's even more important to the Dukies' success than Okafor. He's likely to jet to the NBA after this weekend, so college hoops fans better take in the Winslow experience for all it's worth.
Getty ImagesLance King
Cauley-Stein was supposed to be a one-and-done at Kentucky, but he realized he had some deficiencies in his game and returned for his sophomore and junior seasons. This lanky athletic freak is a lock to leave after this season, and he may very well be a top-five selection. Cauley-Stein may be the best rim-protector in the draft, and NBA teams are starving for interior defense. Oh, and he can guard pretty much every other position too. Think DeAndre Jordan with a more polished offensive game. He shot just 37 percent from the line his freshman year, and that number has risen to a respectable 61 percent.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAndrew Weber
Most agree that Kaminsky is the best player in college basketball, and this Wisconsin 7-footer should land somewhere near the end of the lottery this June. The Badger big man has a nice 3-point stroke and can bang inside with the best of the Big 10, but he may not be strong enough to battle some of the NBA's behemoths. Kaminsky is tough to project at the next level, as college greatness doesn't always translate into being a dynamic player in the NBA.
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Why hello, Mr. Dekker. It's about time folks finally noticed you. The Wisconsin junior burst onto the scene (and perhaps the lottery) with his Elite Eight performance against Arizona, and by the looks of things, Dekker should be a solid NBA wing. He can shoot, has size, can handle the rock and can defend. The jury seemed to still be out on Dekker heading into March, and scouts should be cautious to put too much stock into one NCAA tournament. Still, it's hard not to love watching Dekker play for the Badgers.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Outside of the Harrison twins, Booker is the one guy that can consistently stretch the defense for Kentucky — something that could come in handy this weekend in Indianapolis. And if there's one thing the freshman has learned from John Calipari, it's how to play perimeter defense. 3-and-D wings are in massive demand in the NBA, and Booker projects as just that. He will likely be an NBA first-round pick in a few short months.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsRick Osentoski
Like Booker, it's easy to forget just how dynamic of a player Lyles can be because he plays for the loaded Wildcats. He's also been miscast playing as a wing along side Towns and Cauley-Stein; Lyles projects as a power forward in the NBA. But in an NBA environment where being able to defend multiple positions is of paramount importance, Lyles' Kentucky experience should serve him well, and he's an extremely gifted offensive player. Of all the Wilcats mentioned, however, the freshman's decision to stay in school for another year would probably be the least surprising.