5 December 2020

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Redrafting the 2015 NBA Lottery

The 2015 NBA Draft is another of the most stacked of the decade. This class brought four all-stars and countless great role players in the league. There are a lot of teams that wish they could’ve gone back and picked a better player. Hindsight always makes it easy, and in this article, every team is getting the chance to get the player they need. Without further ado: Here is the redraft of the 2015 NBA Draft.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

With the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select: Karl Anthony-Towns

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Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Like in the original draft, the Timberwolves take Towns with the first overall pick. Towns has shown that he is nothing less than a superstar. He was the Rookie of the Year and a two-time all-star in the league. He is still on the Timberwolves today where he is going to miss the playoffs again, but he has now been paired up with D’Angelo Russell.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

With the second pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select: D’Angelo Russell

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers also select their original player. The only difference this time, though, is that they keep the all-star Point Guard. D’Lo is one of the best scorers in the league who is currently in Minnesota with Karl Anthony-Towns as they hope to make a difference in the Western Conference next season.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

With the third pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select: Devin Booker

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 25:  Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 25, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Devin Booker was originally selected 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns. That selection was likely the steal of that draft. Booker has established himself as one of the most dangerous scorers in NBA history, even having a 70-point game. Booker is a one-time all-star on the struggling Suns where he is one of the many young players that are working on building their young core into something special.

The 76ers had originally selected Jahlil Okafor with the third pick. After he had a monster rookie season, injuries began to take its toll. He has yet to play 60 games in a season but has proven to be one of the better backup Centers in the league. He is currently a role player for the ever-exciting New Orleans Pelicans.

If Booker was taken by the Sixers, then their infamous ‘Process’ would’ve been nearing its end. They would’ve had a core of Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, and Robert Covington. Embiid would’ve been playing the next season and the three of them would’ve been a dangerous force in the east. The Sixers would’ve been finished tanking as their team would be ready to compete.

4. New York Knicks

With the fourth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select: Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis.
David Zalubowski / AP

Once again, it’s the original draft pick, one fo the few the Knicks have ever gotten right. The only difference for this would be that he wouldn’t be booed by Knicks fans and Stephen A. Smith when he is drafted since they’ll know what they’re in for. Porzingis is a one-time all-star that the Knicks would love to have back right now instead of Julius Randle

5. Orlando Magic

With the fifth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select: Montrezl Harrell

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Harrell was originally drafted 32nd overall by the Houston Rockets, the other big steal in this draft. Harrell showed steady improvement throughout his first two seasons in Houston and then got traded to the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. He is now a Sixth Man of the Year candidate while contending for the NBA Championship.

The Magic originally selected Mario Hezonja with this pick. Hezonja is arguably the biggest bust of this class as Okafor is not exactly considered a bust. He spent three disappointing seasons with the Magic before being traded to the Knicks and is now on the Trail Blazers which may be the last team he ever plays for.

Had the Magic selected Harrell, they would’ve been in a great position both then and now to really make a playoff run in the East. Both of their backup bigs, Jason Smith and Andrew Nicholson, are nothing compared to Harrell as neither of them ever hit that 10.0 points per game mark. Harrell would immediately become the key backup big for the team and be a great piece behind Vucevic and Gordon where his role would be the same as it is in Los Angeles right now.

6. Sacramento Kings

With the sixth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select: Myles Turner

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 28:  Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers reacts after a loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on October 28, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 96-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Turner was originally selected 11th overall by the Indiana Pacers. Although he’s regressed a bit this year, he is a defensive force and is still capable of stretching the floor. Turner has had five solid seasons not ever averaging less than 10.3 points per game. He is currently still with the Pacers as a dark-horse contending team in the East.

The Kings had originally selected Willy Cauley-Stein with this pick. Cauley-Stein was a solid role player for the Kings, but not quite what one would hope for with the sixth-overall pick. Cauley-Stein averaged around 12 points and 7.5 rebounds during his best two seasons with the Kings. He is currently on the Mavericks as the starting Center after Dwight Powell tore his Achilles.

Had Turner been drafted by the Kings, they would’ve been in great shape to contend for the playoffs. A Turner-Cousins backcourt would be a fantastic one-two punch on both ends of the floor. It would open a new chapter for the Kings who would attempt to finally get Cousins to the playoffs.

7. Denver Nuggets

With the seventh pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets select: Terry Rozier

Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Terry Rozier was originally selected 16th overall by the Boston Celtics. He was the backup to Kyrie Irving where he showed promise in the 2018 playoffs when Kyrie was injured. He was the backup for four years in Boston and is currently the starting Point Guard in Charlotte where he is in the midst of a breakout season.

The Nuggets originally selected Emmanual Mudiay with this pick. Mudiay is a good player, but not quite as good as Rozier. He was inconsistent with the Nuggets and after a brief stint with the Knicks, he is backing up Mike Conley on the Jazz where he could get himself a championship ring.

Seven may be a bit high for Rozier to go, but the Nuggets desperately needed a young Point Guard (they hadn’t gotten Jamal Murray yet) and Rozier is the best available option. This draft class was not the best for Point Guards. Rozier would’ve been with the Nuggets and when he broke out, the Nuggets would be an exciting team.

8. Detroit Pistons

With the seventh pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select: Kelly Oubre Jr

Torrel Harris, father of Sixer Tobias Harris, signs Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. to management contract
BRANDON DILL / AP

Kelly Oubre was originally selected 15th overall by the Washington Wizards. Despite a disappointing first two seasons with the Wizards, he grew into one of the better wings in the league. He is currently the hype-beast on the Suns who was having the best season of his career.

The Pistons originally selected Stanley Johnson (ugh) with this pick. He has an underwhelming, but okay, rookie season, and that would be the best season of his career. The only thing that Johnson had going for himself was his defense. In his last half-season with the Pistons, he became known as the Kawhi Stopper after helping the Pistons beat the eventual champions twice in 2018-19. Despite his defense, he still just didn’t have enough to be drafted at this spot. He is currently on the Raptors where his career is about to end.

Oubre would give the Pistons a much more exciting outlook. He’d be huge most notably in the 2018-19 season where a healthy Blaker Griffin and on-fire Andre Drummond were leading the Pistons to the #8 seed. The one thing they were missing was a Small Forward as they had the 6’5 Wayne Ellington and the 6’5 Luke Kennard holding down the fort there. Had they had Oubre, they could’ve gotten a #7 or #6 seed and actually gotten a few games in the playoffs. He’d also be starting now even though they’re a dumpster fire, but he’d be a beacon of hope for the Pistons.

9. Charlotte Hornets

With the ninth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets select: Bobby Portis

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 10:  Bobby Portis #5 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 10, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

Bobby Portis was originally selected 22nd overall by the Chicago Bulls. Although Portis has struggled with injuries, he is a great player for any team to have. Portis spent 3.5 seasons with the Bulls before being traded to the Wizards and then signed with the Knicks where he was having a solidly healthy season with some solid production.

The Hornets had originally selected Frank Kaminsky with this pick. Kaminsky has also had his share of injuries and his production is slightly under Portis’s. He spent four years on the Hornets putting up solid stats and was a nice piece. He is currently on the Suns where a knee injury has had him sitting for a while.

Had the Hornets selected Portis, not much would have changed, but they would’ve pulled in a few more wins here and there, but it wouldn’t have been spectacular. He just would have been slightly better than Kaminsky.

10. Miami Heat

With the tenth pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Miami Heat select: Justise Winslow

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17:  Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat brings the ball up court against the Houston Rockets on October 17, 2015 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

Winslow was originally selected by the Heat with this pick. Although he’s had his share on injuries, he fit what Miami needed perfectly. They needed a wing who was a solid ball-handler and that’s exactly what he is. The Heat made the right selection with this pick.

11. Indiana Pacers

With the 11th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers select: Willy Cauley-Stein

Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 96-83. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Willy Cauley-Stein was originally selected sixth overall by the Sacramento Kings. The Kings instead took Myles Turner with that pick and Cauley-Stein continued to drop.

The Pacers had originally selected Myles Turner with this pick, but he’s on the Kings now.

Cauley-Stein would be a serviceable player for the Pacers. He’d join Ian Mahinmi in the frontcourt as a solid role player. Cauley-Stein would be a nice, consistent presence for the Pacers, the exact opposite of Myles Turner. He’d be a much better fit today with the Pacers than back in 2015, but at 11th overall, his value is raised significantly.

12. Utah Jazz

With the 12th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select: Emmanual Mudiay

Clippers Jazz Basketball
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Emmanual Mudiay was originally selected seventh overall by the Denver Nuggets, but he was replaced by Terry Rozier.

The Jazz had originally selected Trey Lyles with this pick. It was a curious option since they were already pretty stacked in the frontcourt and did not have an effective Point Guard since Trey Burke seemed like he wasn’t going to progress anymore. Lyles has been a role player for the entirety of his career and is currently backing up Rudy Gay on the Spurs.

Mudiay isn’t that much better than Burke, but it still gives the Jazz a Point Guard to play with Hayward and Gobert. Mudiay would help the Jazz until Donovan Mitchell would (probably) arrive in Utah soon.

13. Phoenix Suns

With the 13th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns select: Josh Richardson

Philadelphia 76ers' Josh Richardson plays during an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Richardson was originally selected 40th overall by the Miami Heat. Richardson turned himself into a great 3-and-D player for the Heat during his four seasons there. He was a huge help to the struggling franchise, but became the biggest help to them when he was the return piece in the sign-and-trade that landed the Heat Jimmy Butler. Richardson is now on the 76ers where he’s been a bit disappointing, but a serviceable starter nonetheless.

The Suns originally selected Devin Booker with this pick, but he was picked up by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Richardson is no replacement for Booker, but he’s still a good player. The Suns would need to get a superstar soon, but Richardson would be a great complimentary piece for them for years to come.  

14. Oklahoma City Thunder

With the 14th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select: Delon Wright

Delon Wright (@delonwright) | Twitter
Via: Twitter

Delon Wright was originally selected 20th overall by the Toronto Raptors. Wright has been a great backup Point Guard for his career and is one of the better perimeter defenders. He can do a bit of everything and is a great addition to any bench. He has his share of injuries, but his production makes it worth it. He’s currently having arguably his best season with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Thunder originally selected Cameron Payne with this pick. If you think Wright has injury problems, well, you haven’t seen anything. Payne played 57 games in his rookie season and that was his healthiest season. He is currently out of the league.

Wright would help with the Thunder’s depth. He wouldn’t be game changing, but he’d help the Thunder get an extra win or two. He’d be great when Westbrook would get ejected or foul out.

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