The NBA Draft is closing in, and mock drafts have been taking over sports feeds almost as much as the anger people still have over the lottery system.
Sports analysts create mock drafts to show what needs each team has, and what draft-eligible players can help fill those needs. For the 2015 NBA Draft, we have created the exact opposite: the worst possible picks in the first round for each and every team that actually has a pick (sorry, Clippers and Pelicans fans.) Some of these are bad picks. Some of these are ridiculous picks. Some of these are impossible picks. But all of these mock picks have one thing in common: they should not be followed by any NBA team.
Pick #1: Minnesota Timberwolves take PF Kevon Looney, UCLA
It’s not a Minnesota Timberwolves draft unless they take a power forward that can be slotted at center with a name similar to Kevin who they can trade later on. See: Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love. Look for Kevon Looney to make it to the NBA Finals in three years… on another team.
Pick #2: Los Angeles Lakers take PG Cameron Payne, Murray State
What’s more important to the Lakers, picking up a big man to improve their presence in the paint or thumbing their nose at a trade to get Boston leftover Rajon Rondo by picking up another guard? With the second pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Lakers select the latter with Cameron Payne from Murray State.
Pick #3: Philadelphia 76ers take PG Allen Iverson, Retired
The Sixers have a lot of work to do talent-wise. Picking up Allen Iverson for pre-practice pep talks would at least put the Sixers back in the news again. If that means wasting a draft pick for Iverson’s ego, so be it.
Pick #4: New York Knicks trade pick to San Antonio for Tim Duncan
It’s been a while since the New York Knicks even had a draft pick in the first round. Why start now when you can trade the pick away to get a 39 year-old big man who will probably retire next year?
Pick #5: Orlando Magic take PG Kris Dunn, Providence
With the success of Golden State, the Magic may just keep on building their backcourt and beyond until their entire roster is under 6’7″ in height. Taking the 6’3″ Dunn would help with that goal.
Pick #6: Sacramento Kings trade pick to Memphis Grizzlies for a different team name and location
The Sacramento Kings, with a home city that some people think is in Texas and a name and logo that remind people more of hockey, need a makeover. Even their own dance team doesn’t know how to support their team. Why not trade places with the Grizzlies and move to Memphis? At least Graceland can play into the team’s identity.
Pick #7: Denver Nuggets take C Jahlil Okafor, Duke
As if Denver isn’t high up enough, the Nuggets keep on grabbing bigs to fill up the paint. After trading away Timofey Mozgov this year, the Nuggets should probably look to fix their perimeter shooting, but its easier to just pick up another big man like Jahlil Okafor.
Pick #8: Detroit Pistons trade pick to Southern Methodist University for Larry Brown
The Detroit Pistons have had more turnovers than J.R. Smith at the coaching position. Bring back what worked. Go get Larry Brown and whatever players you have will magically turn into defensive machines that smother offenses.
Pick #9: Charlotte Hornets take PG Ryan Boatright, Connecticut
He’s no Muggsy Bogues, but, at 5’11” Ryan Boatright is as close as the Hornets can get. They already have Hugo back. Might as well try to get as small as possible in the backcourt.
Pick #10: Miami Heat take SF Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State
If you look at the first name, position, height and weight of Le’Bryan really, really fast, you can almost pretend that LeBron James never left. At least, on paper.
Pick #11: Indiana Pacers take SF Darion Atkins, Virginia
After Paul George getting injured 1-1/2 years into a max contract, the Indiana Pacers should probably start looking for his replacement now before Larry Bird starts up an “I told you so” chant. Darion Atkins could be that guy.
Pick #12: Utah Jazz take SG Devin Booker, Kentucky
The Utah Jazz already have teammates with close last names in Burke and Berks. Devin Booker could join Trevor Booker to make the roster look even tighter. Add that to the knowledge of a jazz musician named James Booker and you have a team with meaning!
Pick #13: Phoenix Suns take SG Mario Hezonja, FC Barcelona
The backcourt of the Phoenix Suns is progressing nicely. what better way to improve a team than to drown it in what it does well? The Suns grab another shooting guard in Mario Hezonja while somehow over-watering plants in Arizona.
Pick #14: Oklahoma City Thunder take SF Justise Winslow, Duke
Sound the alarm! The Thunder missed the playoffs! Women and children first! Replace Kevin Durant! He’s hurt and elderly at 26 years old!
Pick #15 (from Brooklyn Nets): Atlanta Hawks take Travis Trice, PG, Michigan State
It just makes sense that a player coming from a Cinderella-esque school in March Madness join a Cinderella-esque team in the last NBA season. Maybe with their powers combined, they can win without the need of size in the frontcourt.
Pick #16: Boston Celtics trade pick to Washington Wizards for SF Paul Pierce
Things haven’t been right since the Boston Celtics jettisoned their “aging stars,” who have had more success with other teams than with the Celtics. We were wrong, Paul! Come back!
Pick #17: Milwaukee Bucks take C Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
The idea is that the Bucks put so many big men on the court that there’s literally no room closer than half court for the other team.
Pick #18 (from New Orleans Pelicans): Houston Rockets take coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
The Houston Rockets, on paper, seem to have everything to win, but it just doesn’t happen. It’s a lot like Duke in recent years until this past March Madness, so who better to right the ship, even if he isn’t available to draft?
Pick #19: Washington Wizards take SG D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
The Wizards need to protect themselves just in case this whole John Wall situation is all just a dream, like Michael Jordan deciding to play for your team just because he’s a part owner.
Pick #20: Toronto Raptors take SG Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
It’s about time the Toronto Raptors strove to get some countrymen onto their team. Maybe the addition of Olivier Hanlan will make basketball as big as hockey in Canada.
Pick #21: Dallas Mavericks take PF Trey Lyles, Kentucky
The Mavericks are going to have to replace Dirk Nowitzki eventually. They might as well do it now. If they really need a point guard, they can always call up Rajon Rondo again.
Pick #22: Chicago Bulls take PF Cliff Alexander, Kansas
Pairing the underachieving Chicago Bulls with a player from underachieving Kansas just makes sense. Both the Bulls and Cliff Alexander should be hungry after each were knocked out of their previous playoff runs early.
Pick #23: Portland Trail Blazers take PF Kristaps Porzingis, Baloncesta Sevilla
The Blazers need a backup plan in case LaMarcus Aldridge walks. If that backup plan is needed, you can probably kiss the playoffs goodbye next year.
Pick #24: Cleveland Cavaliers take whoever LeBron James says they should take
LeBron James seems to be calling more shots than owner Dan Gilbert. Whoever LeBron wants, LeBron gets. It doesn’t matter if it’s a player on another team, a coach or an arena food vendor. If LeBron goes up to the podium to announce the pick at the draft, it’s all over.
Pick #25: Memphis Grizzlies take C Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
The Grizzlies need more perimeter shooting. Look for them to take another big man. It’s doubtful that Willie Cauley-Stein will still be available, but who really knows, especially if teams follow my mock draft?
Pick #26: San Antonio Spurs use “Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Moe” tactic to select draft pick
With Gregg Popovich coaching, it doesn’t really matter what the Spurs do because, at the end of the day, they’ll win. Tim Duncan will be playing at 60 years old and still winning.
Pick #27 (from Houston Rockets): Los Angeles Lakers take PG Emmanuel Mudiay, China
This pick stays in line with the “guard barrage” that the Lakers probably shouldn’t try to keep up with the Warriors. Mudiay is also the sort of player who will make Kobe Bryant still feel like a contender. At least, in Mudiay’s early years.
Pick #28 (from Los Angeles Clippers): Boston Celtics take PG Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
After trading away their first pick for Paul Pierce, the Celtics continue their rebuild by finding a Rajon Rondo replacement, even if Rondo himself may be available this offseason.
Pick #29 (from Atlanta Hawks): Brooklyn Nets trade pick to Charlotte for Hugo the Hornet
The Brooklyn Knight is gone. Before that it was a dragon, and then a fox. A person covered in netting or a giant, plush basketball hoop may be too obvious, so the other option is to trade for a beloved mascot. Hugo the Hornet could be that mascot.
Pick #30: Golden State Warriors pick San Francisco as their new home
The hiring of Steve Kerr as coach; the records; the dominance; the championship. Was it all just a business ploy so that Joe Lacob could entice San Francisco to take on the team?
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.