2015 Draft Class, it's time
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back on the 2015 NBA draft class, that year was god damn stacked!
The top 15 in the draft of 2015 were all drafted by teams either rebuilding or those in a small market without the assets to challenge and then of course there were those few that just weren't up to the challenge of NBA basketball.
The stars of this class have been given the best opportunity to develop into the league and at 24/25 years old it is now time for them to put their teams on their backs and make a statement in the NBA.
No.1 Pick- Karl Anthony Towns:
KAT was the no.1 pick of the 2015 draft, selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves and after a hugely promising rookie season, he was selected to be an All-Star in both 2018 & 2019 while also being selected to an All-NBA third team in 2018. Not a bad resume for the big man but his Timberwolves have managed just five post season games in his five years in the league, disappointing to say the least.
There has been a lot of shake up with the roster around him but this guy should already be a superstar. He's a seven foot offensive beast who can score on multiple levels, while also being a talented defender capable of reaching an all-defensive berth.
Minnesota have once again reconstructed their roster over the past 12 months and with his buddy D'lo by his side and 2020 no.1 pick, Anthony Edwards there is now excuses for KAT, his time is now and he must deliver.
KAT's 2020/21 ceiling: Leads his team in PPG, RPG & BPG while clinching them a playoff spot
No.2 Pick- D'Angelo Russell:
Russell was selected with the no.2 pick in the draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, who were desperately looking for a new linchpin pin for their organisation but after two seasons in LA the Lakers decided that D'Lo was not their man and moved him on despite two promising years.
After struggling in his first season with Brooklyn, Russell really came out of his shell during the 2018/19 season as he earned his first all-star selection and reached his first post-season. It seemed like he was in the perfect situation before being traded to Golden State for Kevin Durant. Russell picked up where he left off with the Warriors but that didn't stop them from trading him to Minnesota at the 2020 trade deadline.
Russell had a difficult start to his NBA career but he has now proven that he can run an offence and step up in clutch moments, he now once again has a settled home in Minnesota and he must deliver what he is capable of, he's paired up with his buddy Towns and its time for the top two picks of the 2015 draft to take the West by storm.
Russell's 2020/21 ceiling: Lead the team in APG while hitting over 20 PPG
No.4 Pick- Kristaps Porzingis:
'The Unicorn' was selected no.4 by the New York Knicks and after a solid first two seasons in the league, the Latvian big man had his break through year in 2018/19. The Power Forward was averaging 23 PPG, 2.5 blocks and shooting 40% from three point land before a torn ACL cut his season short and ended his Knicks career really.
During his recovery Porzingis realised that the Knicks were going nowhere and he was subsequently traded to Dallas where he has continued to show why a basketball player would be nicknamed 'the Unicorn', despite some injury struggles.
KP is teamed up with Luka Doncic in Dallas and this duo haven't even scraped the ceiling of what they could do together. Porzingis and Luka both made their playoff debuts last season and after knee surgery in the off season Porzingis has to be ready and able to kick on and improve on their first round exit this season.
Porzingis' 2020/21 ceiling: Return to being a blocking machine & be the Scottie Pippen to Luka's 'MJ'
No.11 Pick- Myles Turner:
If you ask the Indiana Pacers the 2015 draft class had two unicorns, KP and their guy Myles Turner but so far Turner has failed to show the output to be deserving of the name. The Texas big man has had a mixed time since being drafted, he has reached the playoffs every year of his career without making it past the first round but the Pacers have kept their faith in him and still believe he is an all star caliber player.
Turner lead the league in blocks in 2019 and once again averaged over two a game in 2020 but the center has yet to get close to averaging double digits in blocks and is supposed to be this dynamic big that can spread the floor and hit the three.
The Pacers seem to be the ideal home for Turner to develop into the star he was projected to be but it is time to show, if the Pacers are to cause an upset in the East, they need Turner to become a 'Unicorn', hit the three regularly and become a 20/10 big man.
Turner's 2020/21 ceiling: Become a 20 PPG 10 RPG player while remaining at the top of the block charts
No.13 Pick- Devin Booker:
When Devin Booker entered the 2015 draft there were questions over his ability to compete physically and score in the NBA, the Suns took a shot with the thirteenth pick and five years later it looks like it may just pay off.
In 2020, Booker was selected to his first All-Star game while turning into prime MJ for his short stint in the Orlando bubble. The Suns guard has improved year on year since entering the league and is now considered one of the elite scorers in the NBA. At 6'5, he has great size for a guard and after making solid improvements in his scoring efficiency in 2019/20, the new season is Bookers time.
This off-season the Suns have added Chris Paul to play in the backcourt with Booker, DeAndre Ayton is improving at a rapid rate and it's time for Booker to lead the Suns back to the post season for the first time since 2010.
Bookers 2020/21 ceiling: Scoring Champion, 50-40-90 club and a playoff berth
No.15 Pick- Kelly Oubre Jr:
Kelly Oubre has struggled in his first few seasons in the NBA, the small forward only become a regular starter last season but after two solid years in Phoenix he is now a Warrior and the pressure is on him to deliver.
Oubre was selected by Washington with the 15th overall pick of the 2015 draft but started just 32 games in four seasons in the capital but the Louisiana native found a home in Phoenix and began to show his talent in 2019 before breaking into a starting role in 2019/20. Oubre averaged 18.7 PPG 6.4 RPG & 1.3 steals while shooting over 45% from the field as the the Suns just missed out on playoff spot in the Orlando bubble.
Things have changed again for Oubre however and during the off season he was traded to the Thunder and then onto the Warriors, seemingly a replacement for Klay Thompson. The Warriors are a win now team and Oubre will have to take another huge step forward to meet the demands of Golden State.