Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (2024)

Highlights

  • Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, Myles Turner, and D'Angelo Russell would be the top five picks in a re-draft of the 2015 NBA Draft.
  • Booker has been a great player but underperformed expectations, while Towns has been a productive star and Porzingis showcased great talent.
  • Turner represents the desirable modern center, and Russell has had a solid career, making him a part of

The 2015 class had a tough act to follow after the 2014 NBA Draft. It was not known at the time, but the 2014 class produced two of the top five players in the world today, with Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid both being members of that class.

By comparison, the best talents available in the 2015 NBA Draft were no slouches, but they just do not hold up against that type of quality. Make no mistake about it though, 2015 certainly produced some stars.

It is hard to determine at this point whether any of these players will eventually be included into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. There are certainly a few people here who may have a solid chance, but unlike previous years like 2014 and 2013, no one has made a definitive open-and-shut case just yet.

To be fair to these players, they have had less time. However, nine seasons of play have passed for these players to make their case. Hall of Fame careers have been made in less time than that.

Ultimately, when approaching the idea of re-drafting a new top five, the talent was certainly there. The class produced multiple-time All-Stars, high-end starters, and some role players. However, the players at the very top may still need a little bit more time to truly etch their names into NBA history.

1 Minnesota Timberwolves – Devin Booker

Original Pick – Karl-Anthony Towns

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (1)

Devin Booker being the top selection in a re-draft encapsulates the 2015 draft class perfectly. Booker has been a great player in his career. At his best, one could make the argument that he was on the borderline of being among the ten best players in the league. Overall, he has always left one wanting a little bit more than what they actually got.

Devin Booker's Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

24.3

RPG

4.0

APG

5.0

SPG

0.9

FG%

46.4

3P%

35.7

All-Star Selections

4

All-NBA Selections

2

Booker has always been an incredibly productive player. His talent as a scorer and overall offensive weapon is quite evident to anyone watching him. He has even had stretches in his career where Booker showed himself capable of being a quality defender.

Once the Phoenix Suns managed to surround Booker with enough talent, the team success followed suit as well. The Suns turned into a perennial playoff team and even made a trip to the NBA Finals.

Despite losing the championship to the Milwaukee Bucks , Booker performed admirably as the team's top offensive option. He averaged 28.2 points at 45.5 percent from the field, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. However, when Giannis Antetokounmpo took over that series, it was clear the Suns had no hope of stopping the inevitable.

That is just the thing here. Giannis displayed the game-changing ability that a superstar player has. Booker, as great as he is, does not meet the distinction of being a superstar. The Suns confirmed just that when they went all-in, trading for Kevin Durant. Booker was now a running mate. He is as good of a second option as anyone could ask for, but he is still the second option.

As things stand, Booker is certainly more than qualified enough to be dubbed the best player from this draft class. If the Suns can ever manage to piece things together and win a championship with their current core, Booker would only have a stronger case for the top spot.

However, his grasp on this position is not set in stone. Booker has the edge on the second player in this re-draft right now, but the gap is not a massive one by any means. If this conversation were to be revisited in about five years or so, depending on what transpires in the careers of Booker and the next player, there could be enough justification to have the two swapped.

2 Los Angeles Lakers – Karl-Anthony Towns

Original Pick – D'Angelo Russell

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (4)

Unlike other draft classes where the original number one pick can tumble considerably in this kind of experiment, Karl-Anthony Towns holds up pretty well in a re-draft. Towns may have never lived up to the superstar billing that many thought he could aspire to but, much like Booker, he has been a very productive star throughout his career.

Karl-Anthony Towns' Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

22.9

RPG

10.8

APG

3.2

SPG

0.8

BPG

1.3

FG%

52.4

3P%

39.8

All-Star Selections

4

All-NBA Selections

2

ROY

Yes

The two former teammates for the Kentucky Wildcats will likely be jostling for position in any re-draft scenario moving forward. The key thing that could eventually separate the two is which one of them, if either, wins a championship as the second option for their respective teams.

Right now, Towns is much better positioned to do that as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves . The arrival of Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert elevated the Timberwolves to serious title contenders. They even made a great move in this year's 2024 NBA Draft by trading up to select Rob Dillingham. It is clear that the Timberwolves want to maximize this window.

The biggest question will be whether Towns will be around to enjoy that potential success. If the team falls short on multiple occasions, it should not be a surprise to see the Timberwolves make some sort of big change to the roster construction. The likelihood of that overhaul involving Towns would theoretically be quite high.

If Towns can add an NBA championship to his list of career accolades, it would certainly go a long way for anyone looking back at the 2015 NBA Draft. However, if he is the casualty of the Timberwolves' pursuit of one, that would be a poor indictment of how he holds up here, in comparison to his peers.

3 Philadelphia 76ers – Kristaps Porziņģis

Original Pick – Jahlil Okafor

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (6)

Jahlil Okafor came into the league at as poor of a time as he could for a player of his skill set. His brand of center was starting to fade into NBA obscurity as the league modernized into the version of itself that we see today. It also did not help that he was selected during the 'Trust The Process' era of the Philadelphia 76ers , where they were just throwing everything they could at the wall to see what stuck.

Unfortunately for him, Okafor was not going to be one of the success stories of that portion in the Sixers' franchise history. A potential twin towers duo between him and Embiid was never going to work. Oddly enough though, if anyone in this draft could have made that work, it might have been Kristaps Porzingis .

Of course, who could forget the hilarious NSFW reaction that one New York Knicks fan had to the team selecting the international big man. Knicks fans even booed him on draft night. What they would all come to realize is that 'Tingus Pingus' was actually a really talented basketball player.

Kristaps Porziņģis' Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

19.7

RPG

7.9

SPG

0.7

BPG

1.8

FG%

45.9

3P%

36.1

All-Star Selections

1

NBA Titles

1

The biggest problem that has plagued Porziņģis throughout his career has been injuries. When Porziņģis is playing, there is little doubt about the quality of player that he is. The problem is he has only played 65 or more games in three seasons of his career. When stacked up against his peers here, it still remains tough not to place him this high.

4 New York Knicks – Myles Turner

Original Pick – Kristaps Porziņģis

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (9)

What one sees is what one gets with Myles Turner , and that is not a bad thing. Turner might be the best representation of the type of center that is desirable in modern basketball.

Myles Turner's Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

13.9

RPG

6.8

SPG

0.7

BPG

2.2

FG%

50.2

3P%

35.4

Turner is near the top of the list of great rim protectors in the league. He has led the NBA twice in blocks per game. Turner provides a solid option for a player that one can build a defense around.

Offensively, he does everything to make himself a perfect complimentary piece. He effectively operates as a pick-and-roll partner, rim-runner, and overall finisher. On top of that, he can stretch the court with his shooting, something that is worth its weight in gold at the center position. Turner is the type of center that any team in the NBA would love to have.

5 Orlando Magic – D'Angelo Russell

Original Pick – Mario Hezonja

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (10)

Norman Powell deserves a very honorable mention for the fifth spot. The former NBA champion has been very productive throughout his career and his selection at the 46th overall pick is one of the better steals of the decade. However, D'Angelo Russell could not slide further down in this re-draft than this.

D'Angelo Russell's Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

17.8

RPG

3.4

APG

5.8

SPG

1.1

FG%

43.0

3P%

36.9

All-Star Selections

1

Russell's career has been a bit odd. He has bounced around a fair bit despite being a quality producer at every spot of his career. He even made an All-Star game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets . Russell may not be good enough to stay at number two in this re-draft, but he has certainly had a solid enough career to remain in a top five that lacks the elite high-end talent that other classes have produced.

Stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

Related

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2012 NBA Draft

The 2012 NBA Draft lacks depth, but has a few notable names leading the way for the entire class.

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2015 NBA Draft (2024)
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