clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ten SEC Players Taken in 2015 NBA Draft

New, 2 comments

More than half were Wildcats.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC came in on the low end of its potential range of draftees, but it still hit double digits and provided a full sixth of the players taken in the 2015 NBA Draft. It could have been higher if Arkansas's Michael Qualls, Florida's Michael Frazier II, and Kentucky's Aaron Harrison had been taken, but they're all likely to get UDFA deals and play in the summer league.

1. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

Kentucky reaction |  Minnesota reaction

As expected, the Wildcat big man was the first overall pick in the draft. He's joining the 2014 draft's top pick Andrew Wiggins and the 2013 draft's top pick Anthony Bennett on a team that won a league-low 16 games last year. That may not last, though, as Minny is looking to trade Bennett. It's unclear at the moment whether any other teams want him.

6. Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings

Kentucky reaction |  Sacramento reaction

The Kings got a boost to their defense with this pick, and they need it. Sacramento was tied for third worst in the NBA in allowing 105 points per game a year ago. It's a messy situation out there right now with George Karl wanting to unload DeMarcus Cousins against the owner's wishes, but Stein and Boogie would make for a nice frontcourt pairing.

12. Trey Lyles, Utah Jazz

Kentucky reaction |  Utah reaction

The other Wildcat big man in the first round is headed out to Salt Lake. The Jazz weren't a disaster like the Timberwolves were, so he's going to a better situation. It also means he's going to a situation where he's unlikely to do more than provide depth for at least a little while.

13. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

Kentucky reaction |  Phoenix reaction

The sweet shooting guard made the fourth Wildcat taken in the lottery, tying North Carolina's national champion 2005 team for the most ever. If Booker's college percentage carries forward to the pros, he'll immediately become the Suns' best outside shooter.

22. Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls

Arkansas reaction |  Chicago reaction

Ports fell below the teens, where most draft predictions had him going. The upshot of that pay cut is that he's going to the Eastern Conference's No. 3 playoff seed from this past season. New Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg saw Portis up close last December when Iowa State defeated Arkansas in Ames.

26. Jarell Martin, Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis reaction

The pick is something of a head scratcher, as Martin is headed to a team that is not hurting for frontcourt depth. At least he won't have to move very far to get to his new team.

33. Jordan Mickey, Boston Celtics

The prolific shot blocker was the first SEC guy to go in the second round, and he gets to go to a playoff team to boot.

40. Josh Richardson, Miami Heat

Tennessee reaction |  Miami reaction

It's hard to say what the team Richardson is going to will look like with the futures of both Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng up in the air.

44. Andrew Harrison, Memphis Grizzlies

Kentucky reaction

The Suns officially drafted him, but he ended up in Memphis after a trade.

48. Dakari Johnson, Oklahoma City Thunder

Kentucky reaction

The new coach of the Thunder Billy Donovan knows a thing or two after sparring with Johnson several times over the past two seasons.