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Winners and Losers of the 2015 NBA Draft

By Manny Geraldo, 06/26/15, 1:45PM EDT

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THE WINNERS

University of Kentucky/Coach Calipari: UK had four players drafted in the first round (including number one overall Karl-Anthony Towns) and two in the second round, totaling an impressive six overall selections in the 2015 draft. Kentucky coach John Calipari has never had a problem recruiting top players and it will only get easier.

There is no better recruiting pitch to 17 year blue chip players than seeing Coach Cal posing with his posse of freshly minted millionaires in tailored suits.

Miami Heat: The Heat got away with highway robbery by snagging Duke forward Justise Winslow with the 10th overall pick. Winslow was expected to be among the first five or seven players chosen and was considered by many the best small forward in the draft.

Winslow is extremely versatile, with the ability to cover the floor on defense and score points. He's drawn comparisons to both Kawhi Leonard and James Harden, and that must make Pat Riley feel very lucky.

With uncertainty concerning the futures of star Dwayne Wade, Goran Dragic, and Loul Deng, the Heat drafted a player that is ready to start immediately and didn't have to trade up to select him.

Philadelphia 76ers: Sam Hinkie played it safe and grabbed arguably the top player in the draft at number three, Duke center Jahlil Okafor. The 76ers drafted center Joel Embiid with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft but he missed his rookie season with injury. Reports earlier this month indicated that Embiid might have suffered a setback with his recovery. Hinkie made the right move. Smart money is that Okafor is the team's starting center on opening night.Teams can't go wrong with two talented centers and if Embiid is ready to go, he'll provide depth for Okafor or vice versa.

Early in the second round the 76ers grabbed Bowling Green's Richaun Holmes. Holmes was one of the sleepers in the draft, and the versatile forward will provide relief for Nerlens Noel. Late in the second round the 76ers picked UNC's J.P. Tokoto, an athletically gifted versatile wing that with some improvement on his shooting could be a quality reserve for the team.

After another moribund season, Sixers fans have to be enthusiastic about the young crop of players they have.

THE LOSERS

Boston Celtics: The Celtics had four picks in the draft and were unable to strike any deals and package those picks to move up in the first round. That was a mistake. With the 16th overall, the Celtics selected Louisville point guard Terry Rozier. Why? The Celtics traded for point guard Isaiah Thomas before the All-Star break last season and have point guard Marcus Smart, the sixth overall pick from the 2014 draft. The point guard position was not a weakness.

The Celtics really need to upgrade both forward positions. They could've grabbed Wisconsin's Sam Dekker or Virginia's Justin Anderson. Both forwards would have pushed for Evan Turner's starting role.

With the 28th overall pick, the Celtics selected Georgia State's R.J. Hunter. Syracuse's Chris McCullough and UCLA's Kevin Looney ( who led Division I freshmen in double doubles) were drafted in the two spots after and both would have been good picks for Boston given that their starting power forward Brandon Bass is a free agent and just turned 30. The Celtics got a steal in the 2nd round with William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton, but drafting three guards in one draft just causes a logjam. Danny Ainge didn't do his best work.

Washington Wizards: The Wiz moved up from the 19th pick to the 16th pick to grab Kansas small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. Nothing against Oubre but the Wizards already have Otto Porter, Jr., ("OP") the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

OP was strong in the playoffs, averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds per game. With Paul Pierce expected to opt-out and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, it was OP's chance to start. If Pierce does return to Washington, then Oubre is stuck behind Pierce and Porter.

The Wizards should've drafted a power forward. Nene will be 33 at the start of next season. Kris Humphries will turn 31 during the season. Drew Gooden will be 34 at the start of next season. A young power forward would have been the right move. Arkansas' Bobby Portis and LSU's Jarell Martin were both available. Another head scratching draft from Ernie Grunfeld whom has often misfired on draft day.

New York Knicks: Life does not get any easier for Knicks fans. With the fourth overall pick, the Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis, a 7-foot-1 forward from Latvia. Who? Exactly. He's an unknown and by all reports a project. Is he the next Dirk or the next Darko?

For a franchise that lost 65 games last season, the prudent move would  have been to draft a player capable of contributing immediately and provide some support for Carmelo Anthony. Emmanuel Mudiay could've been the Knicks starting point guard for years to come. Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky, the NCAA Player of the Year last season, is a 6'11 forward/center whom can nail the 3 pointer and is likely a better fit for the triangle offense.

Phil Jackson really whiffed with the fourth overall. The Knicks traded later in the night to acquire Notre Dame combo guard Jerian Grant. Grant is very athletic and should provide some offense off the bench next season.

 

For the entire 2015 NBA Draft results, check out http://www.sbnation.com/a/nba-draft-2015-live.

 

 

Photos courtesy of nypost.com, newsday.com, latimes.com.