NBA Draft. Who’s #1?

By on June 24, 2015

 

 Karl-Anthony Towns (12) powers the ball up against Wisconsin Badger Frank Kaminsky during the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Championship semi-final game at Lucas Oil Stadium. (USA TODAY Sports / Robert Deutsch)

Karl-Anthony Towns (12) powers the ball up against Wisconsin Badger Frank Kaminsky during the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship semi-final game at Lucas Oil Stadium. (USA TODAY Sports / Robert Deutsch)

The NBA draft is Thursday June 25 and much like the NFL draft, there is a lot of debate about who will be the first player taken in the draft.  The debate centers on two players Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns.  Most people think, myself included, that Karl-Anthony Towns will be the first player taken but what if there was a third player that could jump both Towns and Okafor to become the first pick.  Let’s take a look at three potential candidates whose name could be called first.

Karl-Anthony Towns-The proverbial first player taken in the upcoming draft, Towns is by far the best player in the game.  He has a good inside-outside game, is a good offensive and defensive rebounder as well as shot blocker.  One knock against him is his lack of consistency on offense.  There were games this past season where towns was nowhere to be found and then were games like the Notre Dame game in the Elite 8, where Towns dominated scoring 25 points.  Pairing Towns and last year’s first round pick, Andrew Wiggins, could make for an interesting duo for years to come.

Jahlil Okafor-Last year’s consensus Freshman All-American (ACC Freshman of the Year, National Freshman of the Year), would be a good offensive addition to the Timberwolves line up of Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio.  Between Towns and Okafor, Okafor is considered the player who can contribute immediately to an NBA team.  Okafor has a good low post presence and is an excellent rebounder, having grabbed 134 offensive rebounds last year, but his biggest improvement needs to come on defense.  The Timberwolves have defensive issues as well, giving up a league worse 108.8 points per game last year.  Because of this, the Timberwolves might decline the opportunity to draft Okafor and go for a player who can contribute defensively.

D’Angelo Russell-Russell has seemingly come out of nowhere and moved up draft boards quickly.  A good 3 point shooter, having shot 41% from beyond the arc last year, Russell is also a good rebounder and passer.  He has the height that NBA scouts drool over (6’5”) but he needs to put on muscle and weight to withstand the rigors of an 82 game NBA season.  With Ricky Rubio being injury prone and having only played 1 full season in his 4 years with the Timberwolves, Minnesota could look to the future and draft Russell to pair him with Wiggins and give the Timberwolves the outside presence they have missed.

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