Looking Beyond the Obvious
Reflecting on the NBA 2015 Draft many cited the Lakers selection of D’Angelo Russell as the factor which led to the shake-up that followed. From my perspective this wasn’t the case as virtually every mock draft had the same 14 players tagged for their lottery picks.
In fact, I had 9 of the top 10 players in my mock (Frank Kaminsky being the lone miss) and every player through to Kelly Oubre at 15 was correct albeit not in the exact order. Although the shuffled order likely threw some teams off, the reality of where the draft changed had much more to do with picks 16 through 21.
More specifically the domino effect began with the back to back seemingly arbitrary picks by Boston (16) and Milwaukee (17) which reverberated down the line into the early second round. The major benefactors were the teams immediately following as roster fits they never expected to be available fell into their laps.
The one lottery team who took proactive action to capitalize on the opportunity was Minnesota. Houston also profited when two prospects tailor made to the Rockets identity became available.
And the trade between Toronto and the Milwaukee may have been the catalyst which set everything in motion.
Next: Placing the first stone