After all three debates, see who our analysts say emerged victorious

NBA draft winners and losers

The 2015 NBA draft has come and gone, the surprises shocking to some because of the unexpected that took place Thursday night.

Here is a look at some winners and losers in the draft.


1. The Lakers taking Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell with the second overall pick was a surprise to many, especially to their fans who wanted them to select center Jahlil Okafor.

But Russell was the right choice for the Lakers for several reasons.

The NBA has become a guard-oriented league and the 6-5 Russell has the talents to join the group of guards like Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

He has some skills that have been compared to Golden State’s Curry, the NBA’s most valuable player who just lead his team to the championship.

And there are those in the NBA who think Russell will become a star on the court and off, something that the Lakers’ Hollywood fans yearn for in their players.

2. Minnesota did the right thing by taking Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns with the first pick overall.

Most NBA experts viewed the 6-11 Towns as the best player in the draft who has a chance to improve a lot.

He can play offense and defense, making him the sort of versatile player that has become commonplace in the new NBA.

3. When Duke swingman Justise Winslow "slipped" to 10th in the draft, the Miami Heat came up big.

Winslow, 19, is the sort of young and athletic player the Heat needs. Winslow can defend, run the floor and make plays.

It won't hurt him that he came from a winning program at Duke that just won the NCAA Championship.

He'll join a Miami team that has a winning culture, something Winslow is accustomed to.


1. It has been easy to pick on the Philadelphia 76er over the years, and for good reason.

Well, after they drafted center Jahlil Okafor with the third overall pick, it was a good choice.

But now the 76ers have three centers on their team.

Of course center Joel Embiid, whom the 76ers drafted last season, sat out the entire 2014-15 season with a foot injury and may not play this season because of the same right foot injury.

The 76ers also have center/power forward Nerlens Noel, who just finished his rookie season.

So the question becomes, where does Okafor fit into whatever the 76ers are doing.

Can the 76ers play Okafor and Noel together?

Okafor does have the low-post skills to be successful in the NBA, but he is going to a 76ers team that is always rebuilding.

2. Just hearing the New York fans boo the Knicks for taking Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick made this a bad decision as far as the entitled New Yorkers were concerned.

But Porzingis showed during his workouts that he has the talent to play in the NBA.

New York really had no choice but to take the seven-foot forward from Europe.

Porzingis has been compared to Dallas All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

It just that Knicks fans want to win right away, and it may take a while for Porzingis to develop into the star New York fans want.

3. The Sacramento Kings are a total mess and it wouldn’t have mattered who they drafted.

Willie Cauley-Stein was taken sixth overall pick by a Kings team that is in disarray.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and President Vlade Divac are in a tug-of-war with Coach George Karl over trading All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.

Ranadive and Divac have both said Cousins will not be traded. Reports have said that Karl wants Cousins gone.

Cauley-Stein, who by the way is a 7-1 center, has to step into this mess.

That’s not the kind of environment for a rookie to develop into a good player.

Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner

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