The KnickerBlogger staff has decided to spend the 8 days prior to the draft discussing the upcoming event. Each day will feature a different question that we will attempt to answer. Feel free to join us in the comment section!
Predict the top 3 picks
Kurylo: Towns, Russell, Okafor. I think the Lakers pass on Okafor. He’s no Shaq defensively, and Russell has the higher ceiling. But I don’t see Okafor dropping to 4. Philly takes the BPA, which will make things interesting for the Knicks at #4.
Silverman: Towns, Russell, Porzingis. I agree with Mikey, but given Philly’s sudden Embiid-sized hole in the middle, I think Hinkie rolls the dice on the International 7-1 Man of Mystery. And yes, you’re perfectly within your rights to giggle till you turn beet red about the rumors that Kristaps might not make it to the States till 2016 or even 2017, but if he’s more Dirk than Bargs–and the CBA stipulates that all Euro power forward/center-types can only be one of the two–he’d make a dynamite frontcourt partner for Noel.
Gibberman: Towns, Okafor and not D’Angelo Russell for the Sixers. Russell does not fit the profile of how Hinkie has drafted since he’s taken over the team. He drafts raw, athletic with huge upside. I’m guessing he goes with Mudiay, Porzingis or Hezonja.
Fisher-Cohen: Towns, Okafor, Porzingis. LA hasn’t done anything over the last couple years to suggest they care to gamble or get creative in their process. They’ll pick the guy who seems like the surest thing, and Okafor is that guy. Hinkie is the opposite of that. He comes from the Morey school, where “smart risk” is the key to success. Porzingis has possibly the highest ceiling the draft, and that’s what Hinkie will focus on.
Topaz: Towns, Okafor, Russell: The Sixers seem to be the real mystery here, and I won’t even try to guess what they’re thinking behind mad genius Sam “Dexter’s Laboratory” Hinkie. But the front office clearly A) cares about analytics/offensive efficiency and B) didn’t like a very inefficient and poor-shooting floor general in Michael Carter-Williams. Russell may not have the biggest upside in the draft, but he certainly has tremendous potential, and pairing him with their two bigs makes all kind of sense.
Cronin: Towns, Okafor, Russell. I don’t think the Lakers are thrilled with Okafor, but I don’t think they’d be willing to pass on him and see him become a star. Russell over Porzingis is a close call. I could be absolutely wrong, but I think that’s likely where they currently stand, even if rumors say otherwise (and oh boy would I love to believe those rumors!)