Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 NBA Draft: A Running Diary

It has become a tradition, and one that has quickly turned into our favorite offseason post every year.

For the fourth consecutive season, the NBA Draft will be chronicled in the form of a running diary, which was inspired in an effort to avoid one writer after the other scooping picks on Twitter before they were announced by then-commissioner David Stern. As the years passed, the entertainment grew, the creativity blossomed, and our love for Fran Fraschilla still knows no bounds.

The actual proceedings may be just 20 minutes away from Daly Dose headquarters at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but allow us to bring the draft to you for the next several hours:

7:00 - ESPN opens the gates for its pregame show after jumping the shark on SportsCenter with rapper Wiz Khalifa performing live. Musical guests? Since when did Bristol's flagship program morph into Saturday Night Live?

7:01 - Rant over. Before we officially begin, let's pour one out for Bill Simmons, whose own diaries on his popular ESPN column helped bring this baby to life. Bill is not a part of this year's festivities, at least on the air, and while that may be a good thing for most; including this writer, he at least deserves the respect for serving as the impetus for this idea.

7:03 - Rece Davis shown on camera for the first time, introducing the panel. Jalen Rose returns, as does Jay Bilas. Jay Williams replaces Simmons on set.

7:04 - Two Duke alumni as analysts is never good for the soul.

7:04 - Bilas opens his mouth for the first time. Draft night may be the only day out of the year in which he is not insufferable. Yes, our opinions of Jay have taken a drastic turn since last year, because quite frankly, his act and status as a Duke homer/shill has grown old and stale.

7:06 - No Fran Fraschilla yet. C'mon, guys!

7:07 - Brian Windhorst, reporting live from Minnesota, says the Timberwolves are locked in on Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky in the top spot. This is only a stunning development in that Windhorst is actually talking about a person not named LeBron James. No word on whether this is a first-time occurrence, however.

7:12 - I'll admit that I don't know much about Tom Penn other than his being the salary cap guy, but he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. Sign me up.

7:13 - Shannon Spake, best known on ESPN for her pit road reporting on NASCAR coverage, and Heather Cox are now handling player interviews as opposed to Shane Battier. BEST UPGRADE THE NETWORK HAS EVER MADE.

7:17 - ESPN rejoins with the lottery footage announcing the Knicks would pick fourth overall.

7:18 - Dejected Knick fans for the win!!!

7:18 - Chris Broussard reporting live from Knick headquarters at SUNY Purchase.

7:19 - Broussard's "LeBRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN" count: 0

7:19 - Broussard reporting the Knicks will take Emmanuel Mudiay if he is there at No. 4 overall. Fully expecting friend of the site J.P. Pelzman, who does an outstanding job with the Bergen Record, to mention "Da Kid From Chinar;" which is how my former colleague Mike Francesa referred to Mudiay on the air, if this does happen.

7:26 - Friend of the site, and one of our former writers Jason Schott, covering the draft live from Barclays Center, sends along this shot of the one and only cult legend Robert Elkin:




7:27 - FRAN FRASCHILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7:27 - The reaction to Fraschilla's appearance, from Daly Dose headquarters:



7:32 - Officially underway as ESPN returns from the final pre-show commercial.

7:32 - Adam Silver makes his second entrance as master of ceremonies for the first round. I think I speak for everyone when I say I miss David Stern.

7:33 - Silver gets booed, predictably, for mentioning the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA championship.

7:33 - Obligatory jokes about Silver's ears acquiring satellite television signals.

7:34 - The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock.

7:36 - Moment of truth: Somebody's life's about to change. Fabrizio?



7:36 - This one is for all my fellow children of the '80s:



7:37 - With the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Karl-Anthony Towns, forward from the University of Kentucky, and previously, St. Joseph's High School in Metuchen, New Jersey.

7:38 - Obligatory reminder that friend of the site Jon Alba called Towns' game versus East Brunswick High School last year.

7:39 - Bilas "wingspan" count: 1. Start the drinking game.

7:41 - This year's draft hats actually don't look all that bad. It's about time.

7:43 - Karl-Anthony Towns is officially off to Minnesota. As Edith Bunker once said, "isn't that the place where Mary Tyler Moore keeps losing her hat?"

7:43 - Hey Karl, you're going to make it after all.



7:44 - Personally, I prefer the Joan Jett version.

7:44 - Shock number one, sending our mock draft into the dumpster: The Los Angeles Lakers pass on Jahlil Okafor, taking Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell second overall.

7:45 - Rumors of a trade for DeMarcus Cousins penetrated the landscape yesterday, but if Russell stays in Los Angeles, he and Kobe Bryant are one heck of a backcourt. Remember, trades cannot be announced until all respective picks involved have been made.

7:48 - D'Angelo Russell sounds very humble in his post-selection interview. Already a great player in college, and now he will become an even better one if he can learn from Kobe.

7:49 - The Philadelphia 76ers are now on the clock, with Jahlil Okafor having fallen into their laps unless Sam Hinkie, no stranger to shaking it up on draft night, opts for Kristaps Porzingis, the Latvian phenom.

7:53 - Before announcing the Sixers' pick, Adam Silver pays tribute to longtime NBA stat pioneer Harvey Pollack, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 93.

7:54 - No surprise here, as Philadelphia takes advantage of having Jahlil Okafor gift-wrapped for them after the Lakers opted for D'Angelo Russell.

7:54 - Not even one second after the pick comes in, and here's Jay Bilas gushing over Okafor. This is worse than listening to an endless loop of "Glory Days."

7:55 - Team needs graphic for the New York Knicks, now on the clock, reads as follows: "Everything." So apropos.

7:57 - That is one sweet 76ers logo.

7:58 - Andy Katz makes his first appearance of the night, informing a worldwide audience that the Sixers intend to keep Jahlil Okafor.

7:59 - If the Knicks take Porzingis, Barclays Center may explode. Selfishly, I hope they do.

8:01 - PORZINGIS TO THE KNICKS!!!!!!!!!

8:02 - Fran Fraschilla compares Porzingis to an extra in a Dolph Lundgren movie. Outstanding.

8:03 - The reaction from Daly Dose headquarters as the Knicks take Porzingis:



8:04 - Hey Knick fans, remember Frederic Weis?

8:06 - Can the Magic somehow, stunningly, not overthink this pick? Stay tuned.


8:08 - Jalen Rose suggesting Orlando will take Mario Hezonja, the Croatian sharpshooter. Justise Winslow or Emmanuel Mudiay would be the better choice.

8:09 - And here it is: The Orlando Magic select Mario Hezonja.

8:10 - Did the ghosts of Fran Vazquez and Evan Fournier make this pick? Jeez.

8:12 - Mudiay and Winslow still on the board for the Sacramento Kings, who are on the clock at No. 6.

8:15 - Recovering from the kick to the gut, we return from a commercial break to another shock, as Willie Cauley-Stein goes to Sacramento sixth overall. A defensive stud and athletic freak, the seven-footer instantly upgrades the Kings even if he probably will not score much.

8:19 - Way to spoil it, ESPN. A graphic popped up stating that their own Jeff Goodman was informed that the Denver Nuggets would take Emmanuel Mudiay seventh overall, which puts one-time North Carolina national champion point guard Ty Lawson on the block.

8:21 - Obligatory reminder of the last time the national title went to Chapel Hill:



8:22 - Bilas downplaying Willie Cauley-Stein's rebounding ability. If the kid went to Duke, Jay would be singing a different tune.

8:22 - Adam Silver confirms the Jeff Goodman scoop. Emmanuel Mudiay heads to Denver at No. 7.

8:24 - Fran Fraschilla for the third time in the first seven picks, to provide a scouting report on Mudiay.

8:28 - Not for nothing, Simmons would have been an entertainment upgrade on the studio set this year.

8:28 - Justise Winslow is STILL on the board after the Detroit Pistons select Stanley Johnson at the No. 8 spot. This is a great pick here, as Johnson was one of the best freshmen in the nation for Sean Miller last season at Arizona.

8:29 - Bilas "wingspan" count: 2

8:29 - Now on the clock at No. 9 for the second consecutive year are the Charlotte Hornets, who may now be looking for help up front after trading for Nicolas Batum yesterday.

8:33 - The minions from the "Despicable Me" movies, who now have a film of their own whose trailer just aired, could probably be competent NBA general managers in the minds of more than a few fans tonight.

8:35 - No mentions of offensive efficiency or points per possession from anyone yet. That's a shame.

8:36 - Charlotte takes Frank Kaminsky ninth overall. That can only mean one thing:

8:37 - 

8:37 - Charlotte fans right about now: "WE'RE GOING STREAKING!!!"

8:38 - Everybody's doing it!



8:39 - "Talk about" from Shannon Spake as she interviews Kaminsky. Josh Newman, that one was for you.

8:41 - The Miami Heat make a rare appearance in the lottery, picking tenth overall and perhaps landing Justise Winslow, who remains available.

8:41 - Not anymore. Winslow off the board to the Heat, and he will immediately contribute alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

8:42 - This is eerily similar to how Matt Leinart fell in 2006, also to tenth, where he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals. Hopefully Winslow has a longer career.

8:42 - Bilas "wingspan" count: 3

8:43 - Not gonna lie, the first time I heard of Justise Winslow, I immediately thought of Carl Winslow. With that said...



8:46 - College basketball insider Jon Rothstein with the line of the night thus far:



8:49 - With the eleventh pick, the Indiana Pacers reach a little bit to select Texas freshman Myles Turner, a burgeoning 6-11 shot blocker with mounds of potential.

8:50 - Wingspan count: 4

8:52 - Utah on the clock at No. 12 as ESPN heads to break. The Jazz could go in a few different directions here, and my pick of Frank Kaminsky is good for toilet paper right about now.

8:55 - Jay Williams really looks out of his element on the studio set. As a broadcaster, I've learned to read body language as I've grown in the business, and he's 50 shades of uncomfortable right now.

8:56 - Trey Lyles becomes the third Kentucky lottery pick, as the Jazz take him at No. 12.

8:56 - You learn something new every day: Trey Lyles is Canadian?

8:57 - Both national anthems, courtesy of the great John Amirante:



9:00 - Death. Taxes. John Calipari posturing to remind people he's a righteous dude.

9:01 - They all adore him!



9:03 - Devin Booker, who kind of looks like Mario Lopez, is the fourth Wildcat off the board, taken at No. 13 by the Phoenix Suns. Mike Ferraro just picked up a new player to root for.

9:05 - The lottery is about to conclude with the Seattle SuperSonics...I mean, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

9:07 - Since I mentioned Seattle, and this is still fresh in everyone's minds...



9:10 - Billy Donovan's first draft pick as head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder is Cameron Payne, the point guard from Murray State. This kid is good enough to where he can free Russell Westbrook up to play off the ball, or vice versa. Solid pick by Sam Presti.

9:13 - Cameron Payne speaks of himself in the third person during his interview, mentioning he's coming in to do the dirty work.

9:14 - Instead of going with the obvious Norm Macdonald "Dirty Work" reference, allow me to go with Donald Fagen instead:



9:15 - Gary Moore and Walter Barrett would disown me if I didn't immediately double down on Steely Dan references with this former Iona pep band standard:

  

9:17 - The post-lottery portion of the night begins with Kelly Oubre going to the Atlanta Hawks at the No. 15 spot.

9:18 - Wingspan count: 5

9:19 - We have our first trade of the night. Jeff Goodman is first on the scene, reporting that Oubre is going to the Washington Wizards. The former Bullets will, in turn, draft for the Hawks at No. 19.

9:21 - Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics are next up to begin the second half of the first round, potentially for a rim protector or a scoring combo guard.

9:22 - "This isn't about me, but it should be about me." If you needed a reason as to why Jay Bilas is insufferable, you just got one.

9:23 - Tom Penn returns to explain the Celtics' salary cap situation. Where was he in 2010 when Frank Qasim and I were trying to figure out the difference between Bird rights and early Bird rights?

9:25 - Brad Stevens gets a typical Brad Stevens player in Terry Rozier of Louisville, a late-round projection who goes at No. 16, but fits the Celtics' system more than you may think.

9:30 - Milwaukee on the clock at No. 17, and the Bucks use the pick on UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn, whose near-18 points per game were third-best in the nation among freshmen.

9:32 - Mountain West guru Andy Glockner is well represented with this selection.

9:34 - What is this all about? This is the NBA Draft, not the red carpet at the Academy Awards.

9:36 - "Dance To The Music" plays at Barclays Center, audible enough to be heard through the TV. Everyone could use a little more Sly & The Family Stone in their lives.

9:38 - NCAA Tournament darling Sam Dekker is finally off the board, as the Wisconsin swingman goes to the Houston Rockets at No. 18 overall. Dekker could push James Harden into the backcourt, and take a load off of Josh Smith and Dwight Howard up front.

9:44 - Jerian Grant becomes Mike Brey's latest draft pick, as the Notre Dame combo guard gets selected by the Wizards at No. 19, but is likely headed to Atlanta in exchange for the rights to Kelly Oubre.

9:45 - Jalen Rose compares Grant to Greivis Vasquez, one of my favorite college players of all time. Not a bad choice.

9:46 - Jeff Goodman reporting Jerian Grant is on his way to New York, as the Knicks will acquire him and send Tim Hardaway Jr. to Atlanta.

9:51 - Toronto gets a steal and an underrated guard, taking Delon Wright of Utah at No. 20. John Fanta of WSOU sold me on Wright midway through the year, and the kid has the goods. Looking forward to watching him and Vasquez in the same backcourt if the latter returns.

9:52 - We need a stash pick here. Fran Fraschilla has been gone too long.

9:56 - Phil Jackson trying to put a positive spin on the Porzingis pick. Come on, Phil, just admit that Dolan forced the pick on you.

9:57 - I've been off Twitter, so I haven't seen how Frank Isola is trolling the Knicks. Any updates?

9:58 - Justin Anderson, the rugged Virginia forward, goes to the Dallas Mavericks at 21. Solid pick with one of the best players available.

9:59 - Wingspan count: 6

10:00 - Tom Penn and Fran Fraschilla attempting to make sense of the next several picks. Pat Connaughton to the Bulls, although unorthodox, would be a typical Fred Hoiberg player. Bobby Portis to Portland makes sense with LaMarcus Aldridge potentially on his way out, as does R.J. Hunter to Cleveland.

10:04 - Bobby Portis goes one spot earlier than the ESPN projection, landing at No. 22 to the Chicago Bulls.

10:05 - Wingspan count: 7

10:05 - For those playing the Bilas drinking game, how are y'all feeling so far?

10:12 - Portland breaks the silence with the 23rd pick, and the Blazers take Arizona swingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the second Wildcat drafted in the first round.

10:14 - Cleveland now on the clock. Let's see what LeBron James gets as a reinforcement for next season.

10:20 - Adam Silver announces the Kelly Oubre and Jerian Grant trades, the latter of which gets a substantial pop from Knick fans in attendance.

10:21 - David Stern's replacement, a Duke alumnus, smirks as he announces Tyus Jones to Cleveland at No. 24.

10:21 - Among people named Adam, Adam Duritz is higher on the popularity list than Adam Silver. Speaking of which, didn't Cleveland just draft a Mr. Jones?



10:23 - Tom Penn with the Cavaliers' salary cap scenario. Excellent job by ESPN's other analyst providing useful information while Fran Fraschilla waits for an international pick.

10:25 - Tyus Jones is going home to Minnesota, with the Timberwolves sending Cleveland both of their second-round picks.

10:26 - Tyus Jones, for those of you scoring at home, is a native of Apple Valley, Minnesota, not St. Olaf:



10:27 - Hey, I got one right on the mock draft! Jarell Martin to the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 25 overall.

10:28 - San Antonio on the clock, with presumably another typical Spurs pick on the way.

10:31 - Nikola Milutinov of Serbia. Yup, typical Spurs pick.

10:32 - FRAN FRASCHILLA RETURNS!!!

10:33 - The Lakers are back on the clock after shaking up the draft three hours ago with the selection of D'Angelo Russell in the No. 2 hole. Gotta think they take a big man at No. 27, maybe Montrezl Harrell of Louisville, who is still out there.

10:35 - Byron Scott on Russell: "I think Kobe will love him." I concur.

10:37 - Mountain West Player of the Year Larry Nance Jr., son of the Cleveland Cavaliers legend, is a surprise pick at No. 27 for the Lakers.

10:40 - Pick number two for the Celtics comes at No. 28 overall, with this selection serving as their compensation for the Doc Rivers deal with the Clippers.

10:44 - R.J. Hunter augments the Celtics' backcourt, joining Terry Rozier as Brad Stevens' newcomers.

10:46 - Obligatory Hunter highlight:



10:46 - When Jerry Beach presented Ron Hunter Sr. with an award for meritorious service against Hofstra:



10:49 - The Brooklyn Nets on the clock in their own building. Whoever they take, Jason Schott will have a recap soon.

10:49 - Bronx native Chris McCullough, who turned down St. John's for Syracuse, goes to the Nets at No. 29, and is a shot blocking sensation who made a huge impact in the 2-3 zone defense before tearing his ACL.

10:53 - The token tribute to David Stern, with the 30th pick on the way:



10:55 - Kevon Looney of UCLA stays in California to end the first round, going 30th overall to the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.

10:56 - Adam Silver misspeaks, referring to Barclays Center as "Barclays Arena."

10:58 - Rod Thorn gets a slight chorus of boos as he is honored at the end of the first round.

10:59 - Minnesota is back on the clock, drafting at No. 31 for the Cavaliers with the first pick of the second round.

10:59 - Deputy commissioner Mark Tatum is on his way out to begin the final round. No Russ, no thanks.

11:00 - #WeWantGranik

11:04 - Minnesota starts the second round by selecting Turkish guard Cedi Osman for the Cavaliers.

11:04 - Welcome back, Fran Fraschilla.

11:07 - Moving right along, as Houston takes Montrezl Harrell at No. 32 overall.

11:12 - Boston's third pick goes on a big man, as LSU's Jordan Mickey is the choice for the Celtics at No. 33.

11:14 - Pick number three for the Lakers, and No. 34 overall, goes to two-time NIT champion Anthony Brown of Stanford.

11:16 - Philadelphia back on the clock at No. 35, but not before an assessment of the Sixers' roster and cap situation, compliments of Tom Penn.

11:18 - The second of what should be many stash picks in the second round sees Guillermo Hernangomez taken by the Sixers, which cues a Fran Fraschilla scouting report.

11:19 - Syracuse gets their second draft pick, as Rakeem Christmas is taken by Minnesota, but will be traded to Cleveland as part of the Tyus Jones trade.

11:20 - Wingspan count: 8

11:23 - While away at commercial break, ESPN keeps their bottom line crawling across the screen to allow everyone to see Bowling Green's Richaun Holmes taken by the 76ers at No. 37.

11:26 - A Big East player goes, as the Pistons get themselves a major steal in Villanova's Darrun Hilliard at No. 38.

11:26 - Wingspan count: 9

11:28 - Cue the celebration for friend of the site David Freeman, who has known Hilliard and his father for many years as both grew up in the Lehigh Valley.

11:29 - Juan Vaulet of Argentina goes to the Hornets at No. 39, while Tennessee's Josh Richardson lands in the No. 40 spot with the Heat. At least we get Fraschilla on the way back from the break.

11:31 - Wingspan count: 10, or more than any Branden Frazier bad shot count we did for four years at Fordham.

11:32 - At No. 41, the Nets take Notre Dame swingman Pat Connaughton. OUTSTANDING SELECTION.

11:33 - Wingspan count: 11

11:35 - The Tyus Jones trade is formally announced before Mark Tatum announces the 42nd pick, which the Utah Jazz use on Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan, who is a first-round talent that becomes a gold mine in this spot.

11:37 - Joseph Young goes to the Pacers at No. 43, continuing the run on steals in the middle of the second round. Indiana gets their replacement for Lance Stephenson, as Young can; and will, score in bunches and rack up mounds of points.

11:38 - Phoenix takes one of the Harrison twins, with Andrew going to the Suns at No. 44 to mark the fifth Kentucky player off the board.

11:38 - The NBA is really showing baseball a thing or two when it comes to pace of game.

11:40 - #CAAHoops gets a draft pick! Marcus Thornton of William & Mary to the Celtics at No. 45.

11:43 - Norman Powell is the second UCLA Bruin off the board, heading to Milwaukee with the 46th overall selection.

11:45 - "YMCA" blasts through the speakers at Barclays Center. Robert Elkin's national anthem!

11:46 - Fran Fraschilla gets to tell us about Arturas Gudaitis, who the 76ers will stash with the 47th pick.

11:47 - Andy Katz is back for the first time in what seems like an eternity, as Barclays Center plays "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" on the six-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death.

11:48 - The Nets have traded Mason Plumlee and Pat Connaughton to Portland for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Steve Blake, while Norman Powell appears headed to Toronto.

11:49 - At No. 48, Oklahoma City takes the sixth Kentucky Wildcat, drafting seven-footer Dakari Johnson, who played for former St. Patrick's head coach Kevin Boyle at Montverde Academy in Florida.

11:50 - We only need Aaron Harrison for Kentucky draft night bingo.

11:51 - Iowa forward Aaron White goes to the Wizards at No. 49, with the Atlanta Hawks next up on the clock.

11:54 - Ten picks to go as Swedish guard Marcus Eriksson is the 50th choice, going to Atlanta as a stash pick.

11:55 - ESPN needs to cut away from this kid talking about bow ties and throw it to Fran Fraschilla already.

11:57 - The Magic go with an underrated scorer in the second round, taking the nation leader at No. 51, Tyler Harvey of Eastern Washington.

11:58 - Satnam Singh of India will be stashed after Dallas takes him 52nd. Here's Fran Fraschilla.

11:59 - Dallas just drafted The Great Khali.



12:01 - During the break, Sir'Dominic Pointer of St. John's goes 53rd to the Cavaliers. Score one for the alma mater.

12:04 - Fran Fraschilla breaks down Daniel Diez, the 54th overall pick, stashed by the Utah Jazz.

12:05 - Excellent pick by the Spurs at No. 55, taking UMass' double-double machine Cady Lalanne.

12:05 - Wingspan count: 12

12:06 - Five more to go, with Cliff Alexander and Christian Wood, both of whom were projected as early as the end of the first round, among those still available.

12:07 - Another stellar pick, as the New Orleans Pelicans grab Michigan State forward Branden Dawson at No. 56.

12:10 - Fran Fraschilla gets at least one more pick to extol the virtues of, as Nikola Radicevic of Serbia gets stashed at No. 57 by the Denver Nuggets.


12:13 - Greivis Vasquez goes to Milwaukee in exchange for the rights to Norman Powell.

12:15 - North Carolina is on the board, as J.P. Tokoto is the choice at No. 58 for the 76ers.

12:16 - One more Fran Fraschilla breakdown, as Dimitrios Agravanis is the penultimate selection for the Atlanta Hawks, who stash him at No. 59.

12:17 - Who will be this year's Mr. Irrelevant?

12:17 - For the last time, the Philadelphia 76ers are on the clock.

12:18 - Still an Aaron Harrison away from Kentucky draft night bingo. Will the Sixers grab the final member of the Magnificent Seven?

12:19 - Here we go.

12:20 - Fran Fraschilla brings down the curtain with Serbia's Luka Mitrovic. Aaron Harrison goes from lottery pick had he come out last year to undrafted free agent.

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