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2015 draft revisited: Richardson could have been a top-5 pick in 2015

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Two years later, the results from the 2015 draft are starting to separate the winners from the losers.

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game Two Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The hype surrounding teenage AAU players in the 2015 draft promised instant success and All-Star status for the top picks. They were sure-fire franchise cornerstones, or so it seemed.

After two seasons the millions invested in them have yielded uneven results so far. Despite the fanfare on draft night, none of them actually became an All-Star out of the gate, or carried their teams to the playoffs.

The SB Nation blog, Denver Stiffs, published a long article, “Emmanuel Mudiay’s dud against the San Antonio Spurs may be the writing on the wall,” detailing Mudiay's woes in his first two NBA seasons, which leads to this question: how did the top picks pan out with two seasons in the NBA under their belts?

The preliminary assessment of Emmanuel Mudiay paints a picture of promise unfulfilled, as shown by stats provided by basketball-reference.com.

2015 NBA Draft

NOW PICK PLAYER G WS BPM VORP
NOW PICK PLAYER G WS BPM VORP
1 1 Karl-Anthony Towns 164 20.9 3.9 8.4
2 11 Myles Turner 141 11.1 0.7 2.7
3 4 Kristaps Porzingis 138 8.9 0.2 2.3
4 27 Larry Nance Jr. 126 5.7 0.4 1.6
5 40 Josh Richardson 105 4.7 0.3 1.6
6 37 Richaun Holmes 108 5.3 0.7 1.3
7 6 Willie Cauley-Stein 141 6.8 -0.3 1.2
8 23 R. Hollis-Jefferson 107 3.8 -0.5 0.9
9 32 Montrezl Harrell 97 5.0 0.2 0.8
10 2 D'Angelo Russell 143 1.3 -1.2 0.8
11 35 W. Hernangomez 72 3.4 0.0 0.7
12 10 Justise Winslow 96 2.4 -1.1 0.6
13 9 Frank Kaminsky 156 5.6 -1.4 0.6
14 46 Norman Powell 125 4.4 -1.1 0.5
15 20 Delon Wright 54 1.7 0.5 0.4
16 18 Sam Dekker 80 3.1 -1.0 0.3
17 21 Justin Anderson 130 3.0 -1.4 0.3
18 30 Kevon Looney 58 1.5 0.0 0.2
19 29 Chris McCullough 40 0.4 -1.6 0.0
20 19 Jerian Grant 139 3.3 -2.0 0.0
21 28 R.J. Hunter 39 0.3 -3.7 -0.1
22 36 Rakeem Christmas 30 0.5 -4.0 -0.1
23 33 Jordan Mickey 41 0.2 -4.4 -0.1
24 8 Stanley Johnson 150 1.0 -2.3 -0.2
25 44 Andrew Harrison 72 1.6 -2.4 -0.2
26 24 Tyus Jones 97 1.9 -2.6 -0.2
27 41 Pat Connaughton 73 0.4 -4.3 -0.3
28 16 Terry Rozier 113 1.1 -3.4 -0.5
29 14 Cameron Payne 88 1.0 -3.6 -0.5
30 34 Anthony Brown 40 -0.3 -4.8 -0.5
31 43 Joseph Young 74 -0.1 -5.9 -0.5
32 12 Trey Lyles 151 3.0 -2.9 -0.6
33 22 Bobby Portis 126 3.9 -3.2 -0.6
34 38 Darrun Hilliard 77 0.3 -4.9 -0.6
35 25 Jarell Martin 69 1.4 -5.1 -0.7
36 13 Devin Booker 154 3.9 -2.6 -0.8
37 15 Kelly Oubre 142 2.5 -3.3 -0.8
38 3 Jahlil Okafor 103 2.4 -3.8 -1.2
39 5 Mario Hezonja 144 0.2 -4.0 -1.2
40 17 Rashad Vaughn 111 -0.8 -5.7 -1.4
41 7 Emmanuel Mudiay 123 -1.9 -4.1 -1.8

In the case of the Miami Heat, today Josh Richardson would be picked as high as 5th, Justise Winslow 12th, Jordan Mickey 23rd, using the Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) model. Box Plus Minus (BPM) puts them at 6th, 15th and 36th. Win Shares (WS) has them at the 9th, 20thth and 37th picks, respectively.

Paying millions of dollars for one-and-done teenagers doesn't guarantee the draft will deliver a player who a billion dollar franchise can count on as money in the bank. The Heat had success in selecting a four-year player, who gave a better read on future performance, and was mature enough to deliver results earlier than most one-hit wonders from 2015.