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NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Jahlil Okafor or D'Angelo Russell?


NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Jahlil Okafor or D'Angelo Russell?

The 2015 NBA Draft takes place two weeks from Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Perhaps by then we'll have a better sense of the Wizards thinking, not to mention the selections from the fourth pick on. While Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns, Duke big man Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell are seemingly set for the top three selections in some order, chaos reigns from there. 

Based on various levels of homework including speaking with folks around the league, boning up on team needs and watching video on the international prospects, here's my stab at ranking the top 30 prospects. More thoughts on most of these players occurs inside Mock Draft 5.0. But first:

  • One month ago I narrowed down the Wizards' options at No. 19 to eight players. Overall, those choices remain strong, though it might be time to consider dropping UNLV forward Christian Wood, who was the longest shot on the board. The athletic but raw big man's value appears to be trending the wrong way. Regardless, Washington needs immediate help for a shot at the Eastern Conference Finals. If we take out Wood, we need to add another name and just one because eight is enough (Thanks, I'll be here all week). Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker, Kansas freshman wing Kelly Oubre Jr., Utah point guard Delon Wright, UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn and Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are in consideration. Update to follow. 

[CLICK HERE: To view the full Mock Draft, click here]

Top 30 2015 NBA Draft prospects (CSNwashington.com links added)

1. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky

2. D'Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State

3. Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

4. Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China

5. Justise Winslow, SF, Duke

6. Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia

7. Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

8. Mario Hezonja, SF, Croatia

9. Myles Turner, C, Texas

10. Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona

11. Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky

12. R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State

13. Frank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin

14. Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas

15. Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State

16. Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame

17. Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky

18. Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville

19. Tyus Jones, PG, Duke

20. Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas

21. Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin

22. Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA

23. Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV

24. Justin Anderson, SG, Virginia

25. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona

26. Robert Upshaw, C, Washington

27. Delon Wright, PG, Utah

28. Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville

29. Christian Wood, PF, UNLV

30. Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas

[CLICK HERE: To view the full Mock Draft, click here]

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Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

Wizards bringing in UNC teammates Coby White and Nassir Little for pre-draft workout

The Wizards are holding their highest-profile pre-draft workout yet on Monday, hosting UNC teammates and projected lottery picks Coby White and Nassir Little. 

White earned All-ACC and All-Freshman honors during his lone season in Chapel Hill, averaging 16.1 points and 4.1 assists per game. Little's season with the Tar Heels did not go as smoothly as White's, but he is an NBA-ready athlete with tons of upside. 

Both White and Little could be options for the Wizards at No. 9 and would provide solutions to some of Washington's major needs. White would give the Wizards a primary play-maker while John Wall recovers from his Achilles injury, while Little would fill Washington's hole at small forward and bring some much-needed defense and rebounding to the team.

Before White and Little, the Wizards had brought in very few projected lottery picks during their pre-draft process, outside of Kentucky forward Keldon Johnson and French prospect Sekou Doumbouya. But with the 2019 NBA Draft looming on Thursday, the Wizards are ramping up their search for the player they'll pick at No. 9. 


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Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

The Anthony Davis trade will have ripple effects across the NBA, not only on teams, but also on the players involved.

Josh Hart, who was traded from the Lakers to the Pelicans as part of the package for Davis on Saturday, could stand to benefit from the move.

First, here's a look at all of the assets reportedly swapped in the deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Now, where does the Silver Spring, Md., native figure in the proceedings?

Hart spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 7.9 points in 24.4 minutes per game in his two years in Los Angeles. 

Still, Hart was often the Lakers' third or fourth option at shooting guard behind starter Brandon Ingram and shared minutes with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock and Lance Stephenson. 

LeBron James and the Lakers' win-now strategy left little room to develop Hart last season.

Now in New Orleans, he is part of a franchise rebuilding around presumptive No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. The trade gave the Pelicans both a younger roster and a long enough timeline for success to develop players.

That can only be good news for Hart, giving him the chance to start fresh and impress Pelicans general manager David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry with his potential. 

Where the Sidwell Friends alum fits into the lineup depends on several factors.

At first glance, the new-look Pelicans could start Lonzo Ball at point guard, move Jrue Holiday to shooting guard, then complete the lineup with Ingram at small forward, Williamson at power forward and Julius Randle at center. 

If both Ingram and Holiday remain healthy, Hart would compete with Stanley Johnson to be the first wing off the bench for New Orleans.

But if Ingram does suffer recurring issues related to blood clots, Hart could press his case to start. 

The only issue complicating his place in New Orleans' plans is the No. 4 pick that was traded from the Lakers.

If the Pelicans keep that pick and draft a wing player like Jarrett Culver, Hart could find himself on the outside looking in again.