Analyzing the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft
Our staff of NBA correspondents — Jovan Buha, Michael Pina, Andrew Lynch, Fred Katz, John Wilmes and D.J. Foster — reviews the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, 19, F/C, 7-0, 250 lbs., Kentucky
Best available or best fit (or both)?
Most definitely, the answer is yes. Any other choice would have been cause for major concern and small riots in downtown Minneapolis. Towns is a generational talent, the type of player who can alter the history of the franchise. This is one of those years when winning the lottery really pays off. — Michael Pina
2. Los Angeles Lakers: D’Angelo Russell, 19, PG, 6-5, 193 lbs., Ohio St.
Best fit, at least, and possibly best available. With all of the potential big men interested in Los Angeles, it makes sense for the Lakers to go with a point guard — and Russell well could be the second-best (or best) player in the draft.
Scoring, passing, defense that’s excellent when he’s locked in, toughness, fearlessness — all of the stuff you want in a point guard and that Kobe Bryant will love, Russell brings.
Right away. He’ll have a learning curve to deal with, but the Lakers should let him take his bumps and bruises.
That depends on how you feel about Okafor, but it certainly wasn’t the wrong choice. Russell is going to be good in a league that’s increasingly driven by guards. And if the Lakers can acquire a Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge — not to mention DeMarcus Cousins — then this pick becomes even better. — Andrew Lynch
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jahlil Okafor, 19, C, 6-11, 272 lbs., Duke
Best available. The Sixers don’t need someone in the frontcourt, as they’ve spent three lottery picks over the past three years on big guys (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric).
He’ll be the low-post scoring presence Noel isn’t, and Embiid hasn’t been healthy enough to be. The frontcourt is loaded, though, and it feels a trade is on the horizon.
He’ll start on opening night and be among the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year.
Philadelphia doesn’t “need” a big man, but it got one who’s totally dominant on the offensive end. And healthy! Okafor was the best player available, and he’s insurance in case Embiid never reaches his potential. — Pina
4. New York Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis, 19, PF, 7-1, 230 lbs., Latvia
This pick is certainly on talent, not fit. Porzingis is a tremendous athlete and has plenty of NBA-ready skills, but if the Knicks want to be good immediately he may not see enough playing time until his second or third season. One can hope New York fans don’t get too impatient along the way.
Athleticism and shooting. There aren’t many 7-footers out there who can shoot 3-pointers, run the floor and jump out of the gym. He’s an athletic specimen. The question is, when will be be ready to make a legitimate impact?
Probably not until a little down the line. His ability to stretch the floor can help right away, but he’s still an extremely raw defender, which could stunt his playing time early in his career.
Was this the right choice?
Sure. Porzingis has an incredibly high ceiling and is super fun to watch. If he reaches his potential, the New York fans could love him. If he doesn’t though, things could get ugly. — Fred Katz
5. Orlando Magic: Mario Hezonja, 20, SG/SF, 6-8, 200 lbs., Croatia
Both. Hezeonja can shoot a bit and can play both the 2 and 3, meaning he can work next to Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo moving forward.
What does he bring to the team?
Shooting and versatility on the wing. Orlando has a bunch of guys who can play multiple positions. Oladipo can switch between the 1 and 2. Aaron Gordon can guard three or four positions. They’re molding a potentially nice defense.
Give it a year or two. Hezonja didn’t play much in Europe, but he’s a talent worth honing who could turn into a contributor down the line.
Yes. Orlando has a bunch of young players to make up a solid core for the future, but it desperately needs shooting on the wings. It got some with this selection. — Katz
6. Sacramento Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein, 21, C, 7-1, 242 lbs., Kentucky
Athleticism and defense. You basically know what you’re getting with Cauley-Stein, who can become a Tyson Chandler- or DeAndre Jordan-type . . . if all goes well. He can set hard screens, finish around the rim and become a dominant rim-protector, but he’s probably never going to be a dominant offensive force.
Right away. He played three years in a pro-style defense at Kentucky while becoming arguably the best defensive player in the country. He’s got the body, the athleticism and the defensive smarts.
Was this the right choice?
Maybe. It depends on what the Kings have in store for Cousins. If he’s out of town, this pick makes a lot more sense. If he’s not, and the organization is planning on moving Cousins to power forward, then this becomes a little weirder. — Katz
7. Denver Nuggets: Emmanuel Mudiay, 19, PG, 6-5, 200 lbs., China
Both. The Nuggets don’t have a glaring positional need, as their roster is comprised of mediocre-to-good role players, each of whom is tradeable. They need a star. With news that Ty Lawson is on the trading block, it makes sense that the Nuggets would go with the best player available, even if he’s a point guard.
Mudiay is an explosive scoring point guard with elite size and athleticism for his position — the type of player that thrives in the NBA, where he has more space to use pick-and-rolls and isos to knife into the paint. He’s pretty raw, but he has superstar potential.
It depends. If the Nuggets move Lawson, Mudiay will be the starter from Day 1. If Lawson remains with the team, though, Mudiay will likely play 20-25 minutes as a reserve combo guard.
Yes. The Nuggets desperately need a franchise cornerstone, and Lawson, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari just aren’t those guys. If Mudiay develops into a perennial All-Star or franchise building block, he’s the steal of the draft. — Jovan Buha
8. Detroit Pistons: Stanley Johnson, 19, SF, 6-7, 242 lbs., Arizona
Neither. The Pistons passed on the shockingly available Justise Winslow, a multi-purpose player who will likely be an All-Star. Johnson can do most of what Winslow does . . . but just not as well.
Johnson is a lengthy wingman who will help spread the Pistons offense with his shooting and can break down defenses off the dribble. An exceptional leaper and athlete, his ceiling is extremely high as a defender under coach Stan Van Gundy, and he’s a marvel in the open court.
Johnson will probably get big minutes right away, joining the Pistons’ young starting lineup.
Was this the right choice?
No. They should’ve taken Winslow. Johnson has prior relationships with Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, so this could have been a chemistry choice, but that still doesn’t explain passing on Winslow. He is a better shooter and defender, and his toughness and defensive versatility would have fit perfectly in Van Gundy’s schemes.
— John Wilmes
9. Charlotte Hornets: Frank Kaminsky, 22, PF, 7-1, 231 lbs., Wisconsin
Neither. The best available player was Winslow, who was projected to go as high as No. 4 to New York, and is also the better fit. That said, if the Hornets preferred a stretch big man, they should’ve gone with Myles Turner, who is more versatile and athletic than Kaminsky and can actually protect the rim.
Kaminsky has the rare combination of size, shooting and skill that modern offenses covet. He projects as a stretch 4 who can matchup with either big man spot.
When can he contribute?
Right away. Kaminsky is one of the draft’s more NBA-ready prospects, but it’s unclear how he’ll find minutes in such a crowded frontcourt (the Hornets already have Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller, Spencer Hawes and Marvin Williams).
No. Not only is Winslow better, but he also fills a glaring need — the Hornets have a dearth of talent on the wing. Though Kaminsky has the potential to become a solid rotation big, this is probably too high to select a player with such limited upside. — Buha
10. Miami Heat: Justise Winslow, 19, SF, 6-7, 222 lbs., Duke
Both, easily. For Winslow to have fallen to No. 10 must have been a dream scenario for the Heat, as he makes for a potential Luol Deng replacement with a higher ceiling.
Defense, defense, defense. Winslow shot the 3-pointer decently last year in college, and he’ll keep working on his shooting and scoring. But he’ll hang his hat on his defense.
Winslow’s a cerebral guy, which could backfire — it might take him half a season to get used to the speed of the NBA game. But he’ll be ready to make big defensive plays right away.
Without question. Winslow was the most talented player left. Perhaps Miami hoped that Porzingis or Hezonja might fall to 10, but neither of those was happening. And maybe Devin Booker would have made sense. But when a player like Winslow is available in the latter half of the lottery, you don’t hesitate. — Lynch
11. Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner, 19, C, 7-0, 239 lbs., Texas
A little bit of both, although arguably neither. There were more talented players on the board, and players who could help the Pacers more immediately. But Turner’s potential combination of rim protection and outside shooting was too intriguing to pass up.
Rim protection as a potential Roy Hibbert replacement and a unique ability to space the floor as a big man.
When can he contribute?
Turner is going to be a year or two away from learning the intricacies of NBA defense, and his offensive game could take more work than that.
Yes. At the least, Indiana found itself some Hibbert insurance, as the team is reportedly looking to trade its star center after he opted into his contract for next season. And if the Pacers can help Turner become an elite shot-blocker and 3-point shooter, Indiana will have struck gold. — Lynch
12. Utah Jazz: Trey Lyles, 19, PF, 6-10, 241 lbs., Kentucky
Best available. If the Jazz hold on to Lyles, he’ll be fighting for time with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, who both improved a lot in the frontcourt last season. And Utah is rumored to be in pursuit of free-agent power forward Paul Millsap, to boot.
Lyles mostly brings what Utah already has: length, skill and mobility down low. He’s projected to be a terrific passer for a big man, though, which could add a new wrinkle to their rotations and schemes.
Lyles has some adjusting to do. He played out of position on a loaded Kentucky team and while he has the tools to succeed, he needs a lot more reps.
Maybe. The Jazz aren’t dying for much player-wise as they’ve already got a loaded young core, and Lyles had arguably more potential than anyone available. They can either use him as a trade asset or develop him into a gravy role player going forward, but maybe they would have been best suited by taking Devin Booker, who could’ve provided shooting and depth at their relatively weak shooting guard spot. — Wilmes
13. Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, SG, 18, 6-6, 206 lbs., Kentucky
Both. Booker was a projected lottery pick, so this is in line with where he should’ve been taken. The Suns have a slew of backcourt free agents, so Booker is nice insurance in case Brandon Knight, Gerald Green and/or Marcus Thornton leave. Also, you can never have enough shooting.
Shooting, shooting and more shooting. Booker may be the best shooter in the draft — he’s most dangerous spotting up or running off screens — with the size and basketball IQ to potentially expand his game, much like Klay Thompson (his most common comparison).
At least one-to-two years. Booker can theoretically contribute from opening night because he has an elite skill that is valuable in today’s game, but with the Suns hoping to fight for one of the West’s final playoff spots, he could get buried on the bench. Given his age (he’s the youngest player in the draft), Phoenix will bring him along slowly.
Yes. Booker could’ve gone as high as No. 9, so getting him at No. 13 is good value, especially if he can grow into even 75 percent of the player Thompson is. Booker won’t be a star, but he’s probably a top-12 player in this draft when all is said and done. — Buha
14. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Payne, 20, PG, 6-2, 183 lbs., Murray St.
Best fit. With the loss of Reggie Jackson at the trade deadline, the Thunder needed a young point guard to command the offense when Russell Westbrook sits. Payne fits the mold, and might be a better fit than Jackson ever was.
Payne is a "pure" point guard. He has elite court vision and a high basketball IQ, which, combined with his speed and length, makes him a dangerous offensive threat. However, he needs to get stronger, as he lacks the strength and athleticism to keep up with physical point guards.
Right away. We don’t know how new head coach Billy Donovan will handle rookies, but Payne should win the Thunder’s backup point guard spot, averaging about 15 minutes per game.
Was this the right choice?
Yes. The Thunder, as always, draft well. Now they just have to stay healthy and actually pay their restricted free agents. — Buha
15. Washington Wizards (via Atlanta Hawks): Kelly Oubre, 19, SF, 6-7, 203 lbs., Kansas
Both. Oubre is a fantastic scorer, and he has the base for a workable 3-point jump shot, too. He’ll need to keep working on his shooting, particularly with the deeper 3-point line in the NBA, but this was a solid pick.
Oubre is a project. He has all of the tools to be a fantastic two-way player, but he hasn’t quite brought everything together yet. But with the right coaching, he can be anything a team needs, which should scare the rest of the NBA.
That depends. If he can pick up Washington’s defensive schemes quickly, he could bring enough to grab real minutes as a rookie. More likely, however, he’ll need to develop in practice before he’s truly ready to contribute this season.
Yes. The Wizards don’t exactly have a great track record working with projects like Oubre, but his upside is too high to pass up. If Oubre becomes the player Washington hopes, he’s a more-than-capable replacement for Paul Pierce, if The Truth should decide to take his services elsewhere — or if he remains a Wizard and Oubre fills in after he retires. — Lynch
16. Boston Celtics: Terry Rozier, 21, G, 6-2, 190 lbs., Louisville
Neither. The Celtics already have multiple guards on the roster (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart) and Terry Rozier wasn’t thought to be the best point guard available.
He’s an undersized combo guard who can defend, but shot only 30.6 percent from deep last season. He brings exactly what Smart already provides. A true head scratcher.
He’ll struggle to find playing time with all those aforementioned ball-handlers already on the roster. A trade feels imminent.
This was probably the most puzzling selection of the first round. Most mock drafts had Rozier going in the high 20s or early second round, and if Danny Ainge doesn’t have a trade up his sleeve then Boston’s backcourt will be a jumbled mess. Boston also left several athletic wings on the board, like Sam Dekker, Justin Anderson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. — Pina
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Rashad Vaughn, 18, SG, 6-5, 199 lbs., UNLV
Best fit. Shooting off the bench is a big need down the line with Jerryd Bayless, Jared Dudley and O.J. Mayo entering free agency after the 2015-16 season.
Vaughn can provide the kind of floor spacing and efficient scoring that’s necessary next to Michael Carter-Williams, and he can score in isolation with the second unit as well.
At just 18 years old, Vaughn may be a year away from being a regular member of the rotation given Milwaukee’s depth and acquisition of Greivis Vasquez, who should steal time at the 2.
Yes. Although there were plenty of attractive big men still on the board, the Bucks were starved for 3-point shooting. Vaughn will provide that, and could eventually surpass Vasquez and Mayo as the team’s sixth man of the future. — D.J. Foster
18. Houston Rockets: Sam Dekker, 21, SF, 6-9, 219 lbs., Wisconsin
Possibly both. The Rockets need a scorer beside James Harden, and Sam Dekker was probably the best wing scorer still on the board.
Dekker can provide a bit of a spark for an offense that was one-dimensional — and on a death bed when Harden hit the bench — last season.
Well, the Rockets certainly hope he can contribute right away, hopefully as an effective scorer and floor-spacing presence behind Trevor Ariza.
Most mock drafts had Houston selecting a point guard, but Dekker is the wing they really need. If he can defend multiple positions, it’ll make things easier for GM Daryl Morey to possibly trade Trevor Ariza and create more cap space to chase a third star. — Pina
19. New York Knicks (via the Washington Wizards): Jerian Grant, 22, PG, 6-5, 198 lbs, Notre Dame
Best fit. Jose Calderon will be 34 years old when the season starts, so the Knicks needed a point guard for the future.
Grant is a distributing point guard with size, which falls in line with the type of player we’ve seen have success in Phil Jackson’s triangle offenses. Grant can definitely score, but his natural passing skills should keep Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis well fed.
He’ll instantly earn plenty of minutes backing up Calderon in Year 1, and he could spend time playing next to Calderon thanks to his ability to cover both guard spots defensively.
There are obviously plenty of needs in New York, but the Knicks had to find a young point guard to mold. Grant is a mature player who can slot in right away and offer more balanced production than Tim Hardaway Jr., who was traded for this pick. — Foster
20. Toronto Raptors: Delon Wright, 23, PG, 6-6, 181 lbs., Utah
Neither. Though the Raptors needed a point guard after trading Vasquez to the Bucks, positions 2 through 5 are of greater importance. Amir Johnson and Lou Williams — two key contributors from last season — are free agents, and the Raptors need insurance.
Ironically, Wright is a similar prospect to Vasquez. He’s not a good athlete or shooter, but his size and instincts make him a crafty scorer and scrappy defender — the ideal candidate to become a good backup point guard.
Right away. At 23 years old, Wright is as NBA ready as he’s going to be. He’s a smart player, so he should adjust to the pace of the game fairly quickly. It’s just a matter of if he can find ways to produce.
Was this the right choice?
Maybe. If Wright finds his way into the rotation and thrives in his role, the Raptors made the right decision. But if they lose Johnson and/or Williams and can’t find a solid replacement, they may regret not drafting Bobby Portis or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. — Buha
21. Dallas Mavericks: Justin Anderson, 21, SF, 6-6, 231 lbs., Virginia
Best available. With two exciting point guard prospects (Grant, Wright) taken right before this pick, the Mavericks neglected their need for a PG and went for a wing with role-player potential.
3-and-D. The Mavericks desperately needed to add toughness after finishing 20th in defensive efficiency last season, and Anderson’s ability to cover multiple positions and spread the floor offensively gives Rick Carlisle another versatile weapon to utilize.
With Monta Ellis opting out and Al Farouq-Aminu headed to free agency, Anderson could realistically be the first wing off the bench for Dallas at some point this season.
Yes. A point guard can be found on the cheap in free agency, and Anderson fills both positional and productivity needs, especially if his 3-point shooting is for real. — Foster
22. Chicago Bulls: Bobby Portis, 20, PF, 6-11, 246 lbs., Arkansas
Best available. Rumors have the Bulls shopping Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson on the trade market, but until either of those guys is gone, they have a crowded situation down low. With Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic also on the roster, there simply aren’t enough minutes for Portis.
Portis is a high-energy, high-motor player who would have fit well in Tom Thibodeau’s intense locker room. Chicago fans will love his sweaty ethos on the block, and new coach Fred Hoiberg may test him out as a stretch four, as Portis did well from the 3-point line in limited attempts last season.
Hard to say. He may be buried down the bench if the Bulls don’t make a trade involving any of the aforementioned players, but then again Hoiberg may not be as stringent as Thibodeau with rookie minutes, and could afford him an earlier chance to prove himself valuable.
Yes. Portis was a projected lottery pick in a number of simulations, and him falling to No. 22 was a stroke of good luck for the Bulls. Chicago can make the fit work later, as they don’t exactly need anything out of a youngster in the short term. — Wilmes
23. Brooklyn Nets (via the Portland Trail Blazers): Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 20, SF, 6-7, 211 lbs., Arizona
Best available. There were players available with more star potential, but Hollis-Jefferson is an elite athlete and defender who doesn’t need a lot of touches to contribute.
Everything except for shooting and scoring. Hollis-Jefferson can take the toughest defensive assignment from Day 1 and hold his own, which is something Brooklyn needs given the tired legs of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
For now, he should have a spot in the rotation backing up Bojan Bogdanvoic. If his jumper develops quicker than expected , it’s possible he supplants Bogdanovic in the starting lineup at some point.
Yes. Although it cost Mason Plumlee and another athletic prospect in Pat Connaughton, Hollis-Jefferson can fit in with Brooklyn’s current core and guarantee at least one strong defender to eventually rebuild with. — Foster
24. Minnesota Timberwolves (via the Cleveland Cavaliers): Tyus Jones, 19, PG, 6-2, 185 lbs., Duke
Both. Jones should be a serviceable backup to Ricky Rubio, if he’s to remain with the Timberwolves. He’s a better fit than another big man, and they were lucky to get him late in the draft via trade.
Jones is a classically inclined point guard with speed and pick-and-roll smarts. He can bring balance and calm to the Wolves’ offense when Rubio isn’t on the floor.
As Rubio’s backup, he’ll probably get a dozen or so minutes per game right off the bat, and allow Zach LaVine to play at shooting guard more often.
Yes. Jones will be quick to conform to the pass-first mentality that’s needed alongside a budding Wiggins and Towns duo. — Wilmes
25. Memphis Grizzlies: Jarell Martin, 21, PF, 6-9, 239 lbs., LSU
Both or neither: Martin is a fairly high risk-versus-reward choice, albeit at a low-risk position late in the first round. The pool of big men was mostly dry by No. 25, and the Grizzlies are looking for more depth there in the future behind Marc Gasol, who will use up most of their cap space, and Zach Randolph, who’s 33 years old.
Martin is a sort of insurance policy for Kostas Koufos, Memphis’ terrific Greek big man who’s likely to leave for richer pastures in free agency this summer. Martin is a work in progress, though, and more of a long-term asset who won’t immediately look like a functioning cog of the grit-and-grind Grizzlies defense.
When can he contribute?
Probably not too soon, although he may see the minutes early on assuming Koufos is gone.
A big man was the right choice. Time will tell us if Martin was better than Dakari Johnson, Larry Nance Jr., Kevon Looney, Montrezl Harrell or Nikola Milutinov here. The front office must have seen something they particularly liked if they passed on all those guys for Martin. — Wilmes
26. San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Milutinov, 20, C, 7-0, 220 lbs., Serbia
Best fit, but who knows? The Spurs took a Serbian 7-footer whose name didn’t pop up at all in several mock drafts, let alone the first round. If any other team made this pick it’d raise eyebrows, but the Spurs deserve the benefit of the doubt.
He plays a position currently filled by a 38-year-old Tim Duncan and a 30-year-old Tiago Splitter. Reinforcements will eventually be necessary in San Antonio’s frontcourt.
When can he contribute?
Milutinov won’t join the NBA for at least one year. Typical draft-and-stash genius by the Spurs.
It’s the Spurs, so how can anybody say no? San Antonio knows how to play this game, and grabbing a giant to fill in the frontcourt. — Pina
27. Los Angeles Lakers: Larry Nance Jr., 22, PF, 6-9, 227 lbs., Wyoming
Best fit. At this point in the draft, it’s hard to pinpoint who might be the best available. But Nance’s skill set makes him a good fit off the bench for any team.
Nance is mostly known for his defensive skill set; he’s not spectacular on that end, but he works well within a defensive system. He knows where to be, and he’ll be at his spot when he’s supposed to be there.
He can give the Lakers a warm body this year, and depending on how L.A.’s offseason shakes out, the Lakers might need that. For Nance to earn real minutes, however, he’ll need to work on his 3-point shot, which could take a while. Don’t expect much from him this season.
Probably. The Lakers could have gone with a big man here, but Nance’s versatility is promising. There are few skill sets more valuable in the modern NBA than the 3-and-D guy. Nance already brings the defense part. If he can get his 3-pointer to a level where defenders at least have to respect his shot, then he could end up being a nice complement to Russell moving forward. — Lynch
28. Boston Celtics: R.J. Hunter, 21, SG, 6-6, 185 lbs., Georgia St.
Best available. As one of the most dangerous shooters in this draft, R.J. Hunter could easily have been selected in the middle of the first round.
Hunter’s game is comparable to Boston’s 2014 first-round pick James Young. Both are wings who can play multiple positions and knock down shots.
When can he contribute?
The backcourt is currently loaded, but Hunter’s size and 3-point shot should afford him some playing time as a rookie — especially if Brad Stevens plays small ball more this season.
Yes. Boston adds a versatile wing to a roster that’s slowly but surely loading up on them. The Celtics still need a big man, but Hunter’s scoring ability was rightfully too hard to pass up. — Pina
29. Brooklyn Nets: Chris McCullough, 20, PF, 6-9, 199 lbs., Syracuse
Best available, for sure. How do we know? Because there’s a good chance McCullough, who tore his ACL midway through his sole season at Syracuse, won’t be healthy by the start of the season. Down the line, though, he could turn into a real player.
Athleticism and positional versatility. He may have strictly been a power forward at ‘Cuse, but his body and skill set mean he could develop into a capable 3 and stretch 4 at the next level, which is actually a nice complement to the inside game of Brook Lopez moving forward.
Certainly not by the start of next year, since he likely won’t return to full basketball activities by then. If he ends up coming back midseason, it would be unfair to expect him to turn into a real player inside Lionel Hollins’ rotation. So, let’s say the start date on his true contributions is the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
Yes. The Nets have been thinking long-term for a little while now. It doesn’t matter who they would’ve drafted at No. 29. No one was going to turn this team into anything close to a contender. So, you might as well draft the best overall talent, regardless of how long it’ll take to show on the court. — Katz
30. Golden State Warriors: Kevon Looney, 19, PF, 6-9, 222 lbs., UCLA
Both. The Warriors needed some additional frontcourt help with David Lee likely getting dumped, and Looney was projected as a lottery pick earlier this year.
Looney can play small-ball 5 for the Warriors, as he’s a good defensive rebounder who can space the floor with his jumper. He’ll provide frontcourt insurance behind both Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut, as he can reasonably play either spot.
At the least, Looney should see lots of garbage-time minutes with potential for more if injury strikes.
Yes. Looney has the potential to be a useful two-way player, as he can protect the rim and force defenses to guard him on the other end. He should fit well within Golden State’s pace-and-space offensive system down the line. — Foster
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Indiana Pacers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards