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Early Look at the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery

While NFL Draft season is in full swing and the Combine is happening as I write this, June will arrive quicker than expected and Adam Silver will be calling out the No. 1 pick. While it is still very early in the process, expect this to be how the NBA Draft lottery 2015 to shake out:

Jahlil Okafor
1. New York Knicks Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
The Knicks are absolutely terrible, no other way to put it. They need help everywhere, so why not start with the best player in this year's class? Okafor has only impressed in his short time with Duke, showing a wide range of post moves, an ability to crash the boards extremely well and the ability to hurt defenses in a variety of ways. New York needs a center desperately, and Okafor would be a perfect solution.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
Nikola Pekovic is a solid center, but can he lead a championship team? Maybe that is premature to think about in Minnesota, but a long term upgrade needs to be a thought. Towns has had some superb moments in Lexington this year and while he lacks overall consistency, the raw tools are there for him to grow into a dominant big man for years to come for the T-Wolves.

3. Philadelphia Sixers Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, International
Just this past deadline, the Sixers decided it was time to change things up even more. Less than a year after winning Rookie of the Year honors, Philly shipped off their starting point guard, Michael Carter-Williams. Mudiay can be the starter right away, as he has already played pro ball, opting to skip college to play in China.

4. Orlando Magic D'Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State
Although Orlando has spent lottery picks on both Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton the past two years, not selecting Russell, easily the best player available here would be tough. The Ohio State stud continues to dazzle offensively and while he has some defensive holes, he could be the consistent wing scorer the Magic have lacked for some time.

5. Los Angeles Lakers Stanley Johnson, G/F, Arizona
Much like New York, Los Angeles should be in best player available mode here, as they need help in so many areas. Johnson is still raw in some areas, especially shooting the ball, but he has the natural athleticism to turn into a stud at the NBA level. And who knows, maybe long term, he could be Kobe's replacement?

6. Sacramento Kings Justise Winslow, G/F, Duke
The Kings' last couple picks, Nik Stauskas and Ben McLemore, have not a lot, although it is early, to warrant thinking about them as cornerstones for the future. Winslow is raw but much like Johnson, he has outstanding athleticism and extreme versatility and new coach George Karl could plug him in wherever he pleases.

7. Denver Nuggets Mario Hezonja, G, International
After just a couple months in the organization, Denver shipped off Aaron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler's future in the franchise is uncertain. It would be the perfect time for Denver to look for a replacement, by selecting the smooth Croatian guard, who has a polished jumper.

8. Utah Jazz Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
Already equipped with one of the NBA's best rim protectors, in Rudy Gobert, the Jazz could continue to solidify their frontcourt by bringing in the lengthy Cauley-Stein. Although Cauley-Stein's offensive game is a work in progress, he has the size and defensive skills needed in order to become an impact player in the league.

9. Boston Celtics Myles Turner, F/C, Texas
Turner's season in Texas has been full of ups-and-downs, but he still has established himself as a lottery-caliber player. With a strong, NBA frame and the ability to stretch the floor, the still improving Turner could become an important piece to the puzzle in the long term for Brad Stevens and Boston.

10. Indiana Pacers Kevon Looney, F, UCLA
To nobody's surprise, the Pacers have missed Paul George and Lance Stephenson and have gotten absolutely no answer to their problems on the wing. Even with George likely coming back next season, selecting Looney, a great athlete with exceptional versatility could add some much needed depth to the equation in Indiana.

11. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn) Cliff Alexander, F/C, Kansas
Even with a career year from Paul Millsap, Atlanta must still keep an eye towards the future. Millsap is aging and center Al Horford isn't getting any younger. Alexander, who has shown signs of becoming a dominant big man despite not a lot of minutes at Kansas, could learn and grow under Millsap and Horford before becoming an important contributor in Atlanta.

12. Detroit Pistons Kelly Oubre, G/F, Kansas
The Pistons certainly made the right move by getting rid of Josh Smith, who was playing completely out of position at small forward, but Kyle Singler is not the future at the position. Oubre has also had some major ups-and-downs but is growing more reliable by the passing day. Already gifted with outstanding athleticism, Oubre can grow into a stronger rebounder and better shooter.

13. Houston Rockets (from New Orleans) Bobby Portis, F, Arkansas
While the Rockets have added some pieces this season, they still have some major depth issues. The good news is that they secured this pick from New Orleans in the Omer Asik swap and could add a talented young piece in Portis, from Arkansas. Portis has a strong body and can work well in the paint, but also shown exceptional range for the Razorbacks.

14. Philadelphia Sixers (from Miami) Kristaps Porzingis, F/C, International
The Sixers really have nothing to lose with his selection, so selecting Porzingis, a high-risk, high-reward prospect wouldn't be a terrible move. The Latvian forward would bring size (7'1") and immediate shot-blocking and would further solidify a frontcourt that could be truly nasty in a few years, if Embiid and Noel develop and Dario Saric comes over from Europe.

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