2015 EP Series – 2015 Big Board

That’s right, it’s the DuckyNinja Big Board! You will disagree with most of these rankings! All I can do is explain them to the best of my ability. Remember, it’s basically impossible to project these guys anyway, so declaring with any kind of certainty where a player should be ranked is a fool’s exercise. These rankings are how I feel, and nothing more. They’re based on a number of statistical formulas I put together, then subjectively ranked based on my personal scouting and feelings. Statements here are all my opinions. This is not a mock draft, I am aware that many of these players will not be taken anywhere near where I have them ranked. Just a note, other than Porzingis, Hezonja, and Mudiay, I did not evaluate any non-D-1 college players. And without further ado!

Tier 1:

1. Karl Towns: The player most likely to become a star, Towns can play both PF and C, can protect the rim, can score down low and on jumpers. Only weak spot is BBIQ, which should improve with time.

2. D’Angelo Russell: Great shooter, amazingly creative passer. Needs to work on his defense, but should be fine as long as he puts in the effort. Should be a quality starting PG from day 1 and could be a superstar.

Tier 2:

3. Myles Turner: He’s young, already a fantastic shot blocker, and shows the potential to hit from deep. Has true superstar potential.

4. Justise Winslow: Came on strong against strong competition. If he can learn to make even the corner 3 consistently at the next level, he’ll be a star. It’s always hard to find great wings.

5. Kristaps Porzingis: He’s shown the ability to hit from deep on a longer 3P line than the college prospects, and his block and steal numbers show that he has the athleticism to cut it at the NBA level.

Tier 3:

6. Robert Upshaw: In the wrong organization, he’ll flame out quick. In the right one, he’ll be an athletic rim stopper in the mold of DeAndre Jordan. As I wrote last week, I think concerns about giving him a guaranteed contract are misguided.

7. Emmanuel Mudiay: He was a top prospect coming in to the season and didn’t do enough to change minds about anything due to injury. Still, the body and the tools are there.

8. Mario Hezonja: Forever range. Good enough handles and vision. Really really needs to improve his defensive awareness, but for a shooter like him, you try to make it work.

9. Bobby Portis: He’s just good at everything. He’s not great at anything. He’s not bad at anything. As we just saw in the NBA finals, that player is valuable indeed.

Tier 4:

10. Tyus Jones: High ceiling, but probably won’t be ready to start for a year or two. A team willing to be patient could be very happy.

11. Frank Kaminsky: He’s an oversized stretch 4, but he can shoot, pass, and should have enough athleticism to guard the lesser big on the floor.

12. Stanley Johnson: It’s tough to get a good read on Johnson. If he has the quickness to stay with wings at the next level and his 3P shot continue to improve, he could be the quintessential 3-and-D guy.

13. Willie Cauley-Stein: His numbers this year weren’t as good as last year, but he was the same player, just with less opportunities. Should be the classic defensive center.

14. Kevon Looney: Looney is a fantastic offensive rebounder with a bunch of average skills to go along with it. Needs to develop a lot, but at only 19, he has time.

15. Cameron Payne: It’s always toughest to project small school players. Payne is a fantastic shooter, but it remains to be seen if he can get it off at the next level.

16. Jahlil Okafor: Read why I am concerned about Okafor here.

Tier 5a:

17. Pat Connaughton: Potential 3-and-D guy.

18. Anthony Brown: Potential 3-and-D guy.

19. Derrick Marks: Combo guard could be a great 6th man.

20. Devin Booker: Not NBA ready and may not be for a few years, but he can shoot and shoot well.

21: Rashad Vaughn: Not NBA ready and may not be for a few years, but he can shoot and shoot well.

22: Kelly Oubre: Bill Self is not good at showing off wing prospects. Wasn’t particularly good, but has the tools.

Tier 5b:

23. Jordan Mickey: Shotblocking PF could be nice 3rd big.

24. Christian Wood: Shotblocking PF could be nice 3rd big. More valuable if his 3P shot improves.

25. Cliff Alexander: Shotblocking PF could be nice 3rd big.

26. Dakari Johnson: Could be nice backup center.

27. Ousmane Drame: Small-school PF who has improved significantly in the past few years. Some upside.

Tier 6a:

28. Sir’Dominic Pointer: Not many guys put up the steal and block numbers he does. If somebody can teach him how to shoot, he could be a steal.

29. Jerian Grant: Like Pointer, could be a steal if he can improve his shooting.

30. Delon Wright: Like Grant, could be a steal if he can improve his shooting.

31. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: Like Wright, could be a steal if he can improve his shooting.

Tier 6b:

32. Tyler Harvey: Could be a good backup guard if he can do things other than shoot.

33. Corey Hawkins: Could be a good backup guard if he can do things other than shoot.

34. Tyler Kalinoski: Could be a good backup guard if he can do things other than shoot.

35. Justin Anderson: Could be a 3-and-D guy.

36. Quinn Cook: Could be a backup PG.

37. Travis Trice: Could be a backup PG.

38. Andrew Harrison: Could be a backup PG.

Best of the Rest (ordered in their positional groups):

Bigs:

Trey Lyles, Montrezl Harrell, Vince Hunter, Jarrell Martin, Chris McCullough, Brandon Dawson, Rakeem Christmas

Wings:

Darrun Hilliard, Royce O’Neale, RJ Hunter, Sam Dekker, Rayvonte Rice, Javonte Green, Michael Frazier

Guards:

Terry Rozier, Chasson Randle, Kevin Pangos, Joseph Young, Briante Weber

Well, that’s it for my 2015 NBA Draft coverage. Thursday can’t get here soon enough.

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