Once again the ACC represented nicely in the annual NBA Draft Thursday night, as a grand total of 12 former league standouts were selected. That’s 20 percent of the 60 overall selections taken by the various NBA franchises.
Two franchises, the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, each selected two ACC players, as the 76ers took Duke’s ACC Player of the Year big man Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 overall pick, and then selected wing J.P. Tokoto of North Carolina with the No. 58 selection of the second round. Tokoto was the last ACC player selected on the night. Brooklyn took former Syracuse power forward Chris McCullough with the No. 29 overall pick near the end of the first round, and then snagged Notre Dame sharpshooter Pat Connaughton with the No. 41 pick in the second round.
Duke had two players taken in the lottery, as Justise Winslow was taken with the No. 10 overall pick by the Miami Heat. The Boston Celtics soon followed with former Louisville star Terry Rozier at No. 16, and then three picks later, the Washington Wizards took All-ACC standout Jerian Grant of Notre Dame with the No. 19 pick. Washington subsequently traded Grant to the New York Knicks.
Rounding out the ACC’s first round selections was Virginia shooting guard Justin Anderson, who the Dallas Mavericks took at No. 21, Duke point guard Tyus Jones, taken by the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 24 pick before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Syracuse’s McCullough, who went to Brooklyn.
The Houston Rockets took Louisville power forward Montrezl Harrell with the No. 32 pick early in the second round, while the Utah Jazz took Boston College All-ACC guard Olivier Hanlan with the No. 41 selection. Minnesota took Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas with the No. 36 selection, but wound up trading Christmas to Cleveland as part of the Tyus Jones deal. Jones, a native of Minnesota, will wind up starting his pro career near his hometown.
In all, nine of the 12 players taken from ACC schools — Okafor, Winslow, Rozier, Anderson, Jones, McCullough, Harrell, Hanlan, and Tokoto — left college with remaining eligibility. Notre Dame’s Grant and Connaughton, as well as Syracuse’s Christmas, were the only ACC seniors selected.
2015 NBA DRAFT ACC SELECTIONS
No. 3 (Philadelphia 76ers) Jahlil Okafor, Duke
No. 10 (Miami Heat) Justise Winslow, Duke
No. 16 (Boston Celtics) Terry Rozier, Louisville
No. 19 (Washington Wizards) Jerian Grant, Notre Dame (traded to New York Knicks)
No. 21 (Dallas Mavericks) Justin Anderson, Virginia
No. 24 (Cleveland Cavaliers) Tyus Jones, Duke (traded to Minnesota Timberwolves)
No. 29 (New Jersey Nets) Chris McCullough, Syracuse
No. 32 (Houston Rockets) Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
No. 36 (Minnesota Timberwolves) Rakeem Christmas (traded to Cleveland Cavaliers)
No. 41 (New Jersey Nets) Pat Connaughton, Notre Dame
No. 42 (Utah Jazz) Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
No. 58 (Philadelphia 76ers) J.P. Tokoto, North Carolina