Monday, ESPN NBA Draft Expert Jay Bilas took the time to participate in a conference call to share his insights on the 2015 class. Fortunately for front office execs, Bilas had positive words for the group as a whole. This is an “unbelievably high character draft,” said Bilas, with “good guy, after good guy, after good guy.” Character is an attribute that should never be overlooked, as it often influences the length and overall success of one’s career. Bilas also praised the depth, potential and talent level of the group, stating that this is “one of the most fun drafts I can remember to talk about.”
Speaking specifically about some of the top-level prospects in this year’s Draft, Bilas pegs Devin Booker, the 6-6 guard out of Kentucky, as “the top shooter in the draft,” and Frank Kaminsky as the top shooting big man, although he also made a point of mentioning Kristaps Porzingis—the 7-1 Latvian who has taken scouts by surprise. Still, Bilas claimed he remains somewhat on an island due to his belief that Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell are both stronger prospects than Porzingis.
The free-wheeling discussion with the ESPN analyst also addressed the one-and-done college basketball policy. “Having a kid in school longer is better for the NBA,” said Bilas. As many agree, those who stay longer develop into more mature men and more talented all-around players. Bilas referred to Kaminsky, a guy who played all four years at Wisconsin, as a prospect who “has blossomed,” comparing him favorably to some of the one-and-done guys with whom teams are banking on being “late bloomers.” While many worry that some of the young talent will not reach its full potential, Bilas believes Kaminsky has already reached “a very good level of potential,” which can surely be attributed to his long college career.