We're on the cusp of the 2015 NBA Draft. We bet you're as excited as we are to find out what cities this year's top basketball prospects will call home.
Around 7 a.m. tomorrow, June 26, (Manila Time), Brooklyn's Barclays Center will transform into a basketball Wall Street as NBA general managers work their magic to find basketball sureshots.
This year's class is not as illustrated as the legendary 1984 Draft Class which gave us Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and some guy named Michael Jordan. It's also not as star-studded as the 2003 NBA Draft, which showcased present NBA superstars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. But don't get us wrong, there's talent here. Heck, some say there are potential franchise-changers in this draft.
Who are these young men? And why should you pray to the heavens that the Los Angeles Lakers your favorite team get them all? We introduce 'em future superstars below!
Height: 7'0" Position: Center/Forward Collage: University Of Kentucky Stats: 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 blks Projected NBA Player Comparison: A more agressive Al Horford
Don't let those mediocre numbers fool you, because that's only his projected stats for every 20 minutes of play. Now, imagine if he's going to put in at least 30-40 minutes, then those digits could spike to 20-plus points, over 12 boards, and almost five blocks. Yes, Coach John Calipari's latest one-and-done wonder is this good. No wonder he's being largely considered as this year's number one pick.
So what makes Towns a one-of-a-kind talent? He's an agile seven-footer who has been blessed with superb skills on both ends.
Making most of his size, Towns can score in the paint with accuracy. His go-to move: A quick right hook which has been near-unstoppable in the NCAA.
And it doesn't stop there. Just like any other talented big, he also excels as a great pick-and-roll partner. But what really makes the former Wildcat scary is that he can step out and drain a basket from the perimeter. He can catch the ball, fake a drive, stepback, pull-up, and drain a freakin' three. Sounds like an average big man move? Nah.
On the defensive end, Towns has already established himself as legitimate blocker. He averaged almost three swats a game during his lone season in Kentucky.
His defensive prowess extends away from the paint, as he's also capable of defending guards with his quick lateral footwork.
Overall, Towns can definitely make an impact on the court as soon as he puts on an NBA uniform. If ever Minnesota takes him as the number one pick (which they will), his size will be a much-needed boost for the T'-Wolves' frontcourt and is likely to complete the franchise's young core together with the springy Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. He'll also be a great complement to Ricky Rubio's passing game—if the latter can finally become injury-free in the upcoming season.
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Height: 6'11" Position: Center/Forward Collage: Duke University Stats: 17.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.4 blk Projected NBA Player Comparison: A more emotional Tim Duncan
This year's undoubtedly a big man's draft as both projected first and second picks are skilled bigs. At a young age, Okafor has already established his name as a talented and decorated high school baller from Chicago, but it was his one season with Duke that became the solid proof that he can be a rare basketball commodity worth building a franchise around.
Video via NBALakersNation
With his combination of size, elite footwork, and a feathery touch, Okafor led the Duke Daredevils to its fifth National Championship, which resulted to him winning this year's USBWA Freshman of the Year honors. The Dukie is deemed as a matchup nightmare offensively as he can easily rack up the points using his excellent old-school back-to-the-basket game that draws comparison to Tim Duncan's skills.
Our favorite, however, is his quick scoop-dribble which enables him to score an easy layup or pull off a "Dream Shake" to confuse his defender.
He also knows how to utilize proper spacing and angles to take advantage of the low block. He'll post you up, ask for the ball, and seal you off. Instant buckets.
He's no liability on the defensive side either. Just like his rival Towns, he is also a one-mean swatting-machine.
This is where things get complicated. Okafor is no doubt an A-class talent, the question here is where the hell will he play? Days ago, the answer was either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Philidelphia 76ers (should LA pick D'Angelo Russel for the second pick overall, more on the kid in a bit). Now, with all the DeMarcus Cousins-George Carl drama in Sacramento, Okafor is getting a taste of the NBA's business side prematurely as his name (or pick position) is getting dragged in the middle of the rumored trade talks between the Lakers and the Sacramento Kings.
There are reports that in exchange for the Cousins, the Lakers are willing to offer Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and this year's overall second pick, which is projected to be Okafor.
Draft Day's bringing the excitement early!
D' ANGELO RUSSELL
Height: 6'5" Position: Point guard College: Ohio State University Stats: 19.3 ppg, 5 apg, 5.7 rpg Projected NBA Player Comparison: Damian Lillard
With his swag and bold remarks, you'll sometimes see flashes of Swaggy P on him. His on-court play, however, is totally different. The former Buckeye floor general has exceptional basketball vision that he can instantly see a play even before it develops. This enables him to control the flow of the offense and make highlight-worthy plays to his teammates
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Video via Lorenzo Neri
Or, using his superior handles, he can take it off-the-dribble via a series of killer crossovers and nasty stepback Js. His signature behind-the-back dribble stop and pop is sick!
His 6'5" and NBA-ready frame gives him an advantage over the league's other ones and twos. Russell is undoubtedly the best guard in his draft class by a mile. The problem? If the Lakers won't pick him, he'll end up as Sixer which is good since the 76ers need all the talent they can get. The bad? It's the Sixers. Even now, we don't have a clue on what Sam Hinkie and co. are thinking. There's a 50-50 chance that he'll get traded. Soon.
Height: 6'5" Position: Point guard CBA Stats: 18 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.0 apg Projected NBA Player Comparison: Brandon Jennings
Born in the troubled land of Zaire, Emmanuel's family escaped and took refuge in the United States on 2001. During his high school senior year in Texas, he was rated as a five-star baller and favored as the Class of 2015's best player, making him the consensus number one NBA draft pick during that time.