These five players, are who I think will be the biggest steals of the 2015 NBA draft.
I know Winslow is a projected top ten pick, with a lot of people penciling him in at the fourth or fifth selection. Even with that being said, I think Winslow has the talent to be the best player from this draft class, so getting him outside the top three is a big steal in my opinion. Winslow has elite defensive skills, matched with a rising confidence in his offensive game. With these two things, Winslow should be in no time terrifying opposing coaches in how to gameplan for him. Here is a link to a scouting report I have done on WInslow.
Portis is one of my favorite players coming into the draft. Most people have him being selected in the 15-25 range, which is a fair guess for his skill set. Portis does everything well, but nothing excellent, and this causes people to slide him down their boards as he lacks high potential. Portis’s skill set could be used by any team, and that is why whoever selects Portis, will be getting a player that knows his strength’s, sticks to them, and will work his tail off, both on and off the court to improve. Here is a scouting report of Portis, to get more details on his strength’s and weaknesses’.
Upshaw has some character issues, which concern a lot of teams. Talent wise, Upshaw could go top ten, but getting kicked out of two schools has led to a few teams taking him off their boards with an early selection. With his selection more than likely coming in the 20-35 range, Upshaw will need to prove to these teams he has changed. Recently Upshaw was interviewed and embraced the media on questions on his problematic past, and said he needed to acknowledge it and solve it. These are steps in the right direction. If Upshaw has no character issues once he hits the professional level, he will dominate the defensive end. Upshaw is an elite shot blocker, better than Cauley-Stein, who is mentioned as a top ten pick. As long as whatever team selects Upshaw can keep him under control, he will be able to anchor their defense for a long time. I do not currently have a scouting report on Upshaw, but I am working on getting it down as soon as possible.
Christmas is an interesting player. He put up outstanding numbers, but is highly overlooked by a lot of people. With a selection in the late twenties to early second round, Christmas will be out to prove people they missed out on him. He has a good offensive game combined with a high motor. His physical intangibles make him a great defender, whether it be man-to-man or his shot blocking ability. Christmas has a ton of upside for being the late round selection he will be. I would not be surprised to see him pull a KJ McDaniels, if he gets selected in the second round, in order to prove people his skills are worth more. Although Christmas is one of the oldest players in the draft field, he still offers teams a lot of potential to work with.
Wright is in a logjam of equally talented point guards, such as Cameron Payne and Jerian Grant. Wright is often looked as the odd man out and often projected to slide into the late twenties. Having the opportunity to leave for the draft last season, Wright decided to come back and finish his degree. Had he left last season, Wright would have been one of the top rookies, as he offers the skill set to step in right away and not miss a beat. Wright offers a skill set of great leadership, a good offensive skill set, and defensive potential. Although, Wright does not have a good jumper, with NBA coaching that could be an easy fix, and is no reason to let him fall down boards as much as he has. I rank him higher than Payne, whose stock has risen drastically the past few weeks.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17