Biggest Surprises of the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft

By Jerry Landry
Biggest Surprises of the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft
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Biggest Surprises of the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft

Biggest Surprises of the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft Credit: Twitter
It's finally time to retire the swarm of browser tabs once devoted to NBA mock draft coverage and time to reflect on just what the heck happened during the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. We came, we saw, and now it's time for the reaction:

Biggest Surprises of the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft

It's finally time to retire the swarm of browser tabs once devoted to NBA mock draft coverage and time to reflect on just what the heck happened during the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. We came, we saw, and now it's time for the reaction:

7. The Los Angeles Lakers Select D'Angelo Russell

The Los Angeles Lakers Select D'Angelo Russell Credit: Twitter
The smart selection was still a surprising one. I believe the Lakers made the perfect pick in drafting D'Angelo Russell, but there were long-held suspicions that the No. 2 spot belonged to Jahlil Okafor.

7. The Los Angeles Lakers Select D'Angelo Russell

The smart selection was still a surprising one. I believe the Lakers made the perfect pick in drafting D'Angelo Russell, but there were long-held suspicions that the No. 2 spot belonged to Jahlil Okafor.

6. Jahlil Okafor Falls To No. 3

Jahlil Okafor Falls To No. 3 Credit: Getty Images
You can look at this half-full or half-empty. You could say Okafor fell twice as far in the draft as expected, or you could just say Okafor went down just two spots. Not long ago, Okafor was the overwhelming favorite to be picked first. But like a stretch-run at the Derby, Karl-Anthony Towns emerged from the pack -- possibly aided by a viral video of Towns nailing three-pointers -- and Okafor was soon pegged for No. 2. But as unraveled on Thursday, the dynamic Dukie finally settled to No. 3.

6. Jahlil Okafor Falls To No. 3

You can look at this half-full or half-empty. You could say Okafor fell twice as far in the draft as expected, or you could just say Okafor went down just two spots. Not long ago, Okafor was the overwhelming favorite to be picked first. But like a stretch-run at the Derby, Karl-Anthony Towns emerged from the pack -- possibly aided by a viral video of Towns nailing three-pointers -- and Okafor was soon pegged for No. 2. But as unraveled on Thursday, the dynamic Dukie finally settled to No. 3.

5. The Knicks Gamble on Kristaps Porzingis

The Knicks Gamble on Kristaps Porzingis Credit: Twitter
To the chagrin of grumpy New Yorkers -- at least while on camera -- Kristaps Porzingas was selected No. 4 as opposed to apparent fan-favorite Justise Winslow. Even if the Knicks are backed by James Dolan, you don't listen to the fans for draft-day feedback.

5. The Knicks Gamble on Kristaps Porzingis

To the chagrin of grumpy New Yorkers -- at least while on camera -- Kristaps Porzingas was selected No. 4 as opposed to apparent fan-favorite Justise Winslow. Even if the Knicks are backed by James Dolan, you don't listen to the fans for draft-day feedback.

4. The Orlando Magic Add To Their Backcourt

The Orlando Magic Add To Their Backcourt Credit: Twitter
The Croatian-born Mario Hezonja surged from Spain and into the No. 5 spot, and now the Magic have a loaded backcourt. The NBA is trending small and the Magic could be jumping the curve with future three-guard lineups.

4. The Orlando Magic Add To Their Backcourt

The Croatian-born Mario Hezonja surged from Spain and into the No. 5 spot, and now the Magic have a loaded backcourt. The NBA is trending small and the Magic could be jumping the curve with future three-guard lineups.

3. Stanley Johnson Was Drafted Ahead of Justise Winslow

Stanley Johnson Was Drafted Ahead of Justise Winslow Credit: Twitter
A few rogue, yet intelligent analysts believed Justise Winslow could've been a top-three pick. Zero outwardly believed Stanley Johnson would leapfrog the former Duke wing, let alone that Winslow would fall to No. 10.

3. Stanley Johnson Was Drafted Ahead of Justise Winslow

A few rogue, yet intelligent analysts believed Justise Winslow could've been a top-three pick. Zero outwardly believed Stanley Johnson would leapfrog the former Duke wing, let alone that Winslow would fall to No. 10.

2. Not One Trade Happened During The Lottery

Not One Trade Happened During The Lottery Credit: Twitter
Not one team preemptively moved their pick or traded out of their position within the first fourteen spots. This isn't just rare, it's ridiculous. Perhaps draft-day transactions are a thing of the past and maybe static slot selections are the way of the future.

2. Not One Trade Happened During The Lottery

Not one team preemptively moved their pick or traded out of their position within the first fourteen spots. This isn't just rare, it's ridiculous. Perhaps draft-day transactions are a thing of the past and maybe static slot selections are the way of the future.

1. The Knicks Make Two Bold Picks in the First Round

The Knicks Make Two Bold Picks in the First Round Credit: Twitter
With a No. 4 pick many believed the Knicks would trade, New York held the line and selected Kristaps Porzingis. Then 15 slots later, the Knicks pulled off a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, sending Tim Hardaway Jr. to receive the right to select Jerian Grant with the No. 19 pick. First-round trades aren't always finalized immediately, so the Washington Wizards' look will be a brief one for Grant.

1. The Knicks Make Two Bold Picks in the First Round

With a No. 4 pick many believed the Knicks would trade, New York held the line and selected Kristaps Porzingis. Then 15 slots later, the Knicks pulled off a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, sending Tim Hardaway Jr. to receive the right to select Jerian Grant with the No. 19 pick. First-round trades aren't always finalized immediately, so the Washington Wizards' look will be a brief one for Grant.

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