2014 NBA Mock Draft, Version 1.0
This is the first in a series of mock drafts leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26. This mock draft will be updated regularly leading up to draft day. It does not take into account any potential trades.
Here's the first edition of Philly.com's 2014 NBA mock draft:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas: Cleveland's lottery luck continues, as they snagged their third top pick in four years. There are conflicting reports about who they want with the top pick, and it could change several times before draft day. Just remember last year, they surprised everyone by taking Anthony Bennett first overall. For now though it seems likely that the Cavs will go with the unlimited athleticism and upside of Andrew Wiggins, who has the potential to be one of the league's next premier perimeter players. The addition of Wiggins could help convince Kyrie Irving to stick around, and the two could form something special in Cleveland.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas: If Milwaukee determines that Embiid's back isn't a serious issue, there's a good chance they will take the center out of Kansas as a franchise building block. With Giannis Antetokounmpo already in tow on the wing, adding Embiid would continue to round the team out nicely, as he could serve as the frontcourt foundation of the future.
With the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, which player should the Sixers select?
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3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke: In Parker, the Sixers may finally get the legitimate perimeter player they have been searching for. Although there are concerns about his defense, Parker is one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft, especially on the offensive end, where he could be immediately effective. Parker would pair nicely on the perimeter with Noel in the post and Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams running the point.
4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia: Jameer Nelson is 32, and his days as a premier point are behind him. Victor Oladipo did a solid job at the point guard spot this season, but he is probably better suited as an off-guard. Exum didn't get the same exposure as the other top prospects, but his potential has him high on a lot of draft boards, including Orlando's. They will use their top five pick on the 18-year-old Australian.
5. Utah Jazz: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana: The Jazz will go with the long, multi-faceted forward out of Indiana. The Jazz need an upgrade at the power forward spot, and someone to play alongside Derrick Favors. Vonleh has the ability to stretch the defense, and will work to open up the court for Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward.
6. Boston Celtics: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky: Randle isn't a bad consolation pick for falling just out of the top five. Boston could be a very solid situation for Randle; paired with a solid small forward in Jeff Green, and a point guard that can get him open opportunities in Rajon Rondo. Randle was very consistent during his single season at Kentucky, and has a chance to be a very productive pro.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, SG, Oklahoma State: With Smart, the Lakers will be selecting a player that can both complement Kobe Bryant in the short term, and potentially replace him in the long term. Although he may be slightly undersized for the shooting guard spot, Smart is extremely athletic and could develop into the Lakers' point guard of the future.
8. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona: The Kings have a promising young player in every starting spot except at power forward, where Aaron Gordon could come in and contribute immediately. Gordon is extremely active and energetic, and alongside the bruising DeMarcus Cousins would form a formidable frontcourt.
9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton: One thing the Bobcats-turned-Hornets lacked last season was consistent outside shooting. McDermott brings that, if not much else. While there are concerns about his defense and speed, McDermott was an elite offensive player in college, and if some of that offensive ability can transfer to the pro game, he can be an extremely productive player.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: James Young, SG, Kentucky: The Sixers will fill their perimeter positions with their two top 10 picks. Young, who left Kentucky after only a single season, is a very talented scorer, who is adept at putting the ball in the basket. His jump shot is solid and he could play very well off of Carter-Williams and Parker, or whoever the Sixers add at three. At 6'6'', Young has good size for a perimeter player, something that Brett Brown loves, and he could be a great fit for the franchise.
11. Denver Nuggets: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan: The Nuggets need some consistent perimeter scoring, and Stauskas delivers that. He might not be the most complete player, but at only 20 years old he has room to expand. He would benefit from Ty Lawson's ability to collapse the defense and could immediately improve Denver's offense.
12. Orlando Magic: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia: Saric is a multi-faceted offensive player, and his abilities could help Orlando immensely. After securing Exum with the fourth overall pick, Orlando will look to sure up the perimeter, and Saric gives them versatility as he could play either forward spot.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Adreian Payne: PF, Michigan St: It seems unlikely that the Timberwolves will be able to keep Kevin Love long-term, and they will therefore need some depth at the forward spot, and a potential replacement. While it may be a slight reach to take Payne this early, he would be able to step in and contribute immediately. He is an excellent offensive player, and can stretch the floor impressively well for his position, a la Kevin Love. Inserting him into the lineup would allow Minnesota to continue to do many of the same things that they do with Love.
14. Phoenix Suns: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke: The Suns have decent depth in the backcourt, and could use some increased perimeter play and depth. At 6'8'', Hood has great size for an NBA wing. He has an excellent shot, all the way out to the arc, and he should be a solid fit in an exciting Phoenix offense.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan St: Although slightly undersized, Harris is a smooth offensive player who can shoot from the outside and take it to the hoop. He could help the emerging Jeff Teague with some of the guard and scoring duties, and would give them another knockdown shooter alongside Kyle Korver.
16. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse: Derrick Rose is great, when he's on the court. After missing the vast majority of two consecutive seasons, the Bulls will need a reliable backup option for the returning Rose. Ennis is probably the draft's best point guard prospect, and at only 19 he has a lot of room to grow.
17. Boston Celtics: Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA: LaVine has a ton of upside, and will immediately provide the Celtics with some much-needed shooting. Outside of Rondo the Celtics backcourt is extremely thin, and LaVine would provide them with some flexibility.
18. Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State: The Suns will continue to add to one of their greatest advantages this past season: their depth. Warren can play at each forward spot, and allows for flexibility within Phoenix's offense. He is a very opportunistic scorer who can flat-out put the ball in the basket. Warren possess a solid shot, and can get to the rim. He should fit in nicely in the Suns' offense.
19. Chicago Bulls: Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State: The Bulls need depth almost everywhere, and with a solid frontcourt of Noah and Gibson, they likely may look to bulk up on perimeter players. Early is a bit of a tweener at the pro level, but he certainly can score. He is a good spot-up shooter, and should benefit from playing with a healthy Derrick Rose.
20. Toronto Raptors: Elfred Payton, PG, Louisiana- Lafayette: Both Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez are free agents this summer, and it is unclear whether Toronto will be able to bring them both back. Payton would provide them with some added depth at the point guard spot, and could serve as a solid reserve to begin with. Although, he may have the talent of a starter. He has good size and speed for his position, and he is a promising passer.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA: It is no secret that when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook aren't on, the Thunder often struggle to score. The team would greatly benefit from adding offensive options, especially guys that can spot up and play off of Durant and Westbrook. Anderson is a versatile player who can shoot, pass, rebound and defend. He has great size for a perimeter player, and could be used as a power forward in a small-ball lineup. Oklahoma City would be a good fit for him.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse: The Grizzlies need to improve their perimeter play, and Grant could be a solid start. Grant is the son of former NBA player Harvey Grant and has been around basketball his whole life. He is an extremely athletic wing player who can get it done on both ends of the floor. He needs to improve upon his shot, and add some size to his frame, but he has a chance to be a very productive player for the Grizzlies.
23. Utah Jazz: C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington: In Wilcox, the Jazz get a knockdown shooter that can help to space the floor and keep the lane open. Trey Burke took solid strides as a starting point last season, and he needs players around him that can contribute. While he likely won't find superstar status, Wilcox could be a solid rotation player for Utah.
24. Charlotte Hornets: Glen Robinson III, SF, Michigan: The Hornets are building a solid squad in Charlotte, and adding offensive options should be a priority for them this offseason. Robinson III is an extremely athletic strong forward who can finish at the rim, and he also has a solid stroke. Robinson remains raw, but has tons of potential as an offensive option.
25. Houston Rockets: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson: The Rockets need some depth at the wing spot, and if Chandler Parsons signs elsewhere, then they will really need some depth at the wing spot. McDaniels is an athletic forward who can rebound the ball and bring energy off of the bench.
26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn: Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole will both be hitting free agency this summer, and considering Miami doesn't know who will be returning to the roster next season, they could use some insurance at the point guard position. As a senior and a National Champion, Napier could come in and contribute immediately without the same lengthy learning curve that some young players need.
27. Phoenix Suns: P.J. Hairston: A year in the D-League seems to have matured Hairston, who has the skills to be an extremely effective NBA scorer. He was a scoring machine in the D-League, and he appears as though he could come in and contribute right away to an NBA team.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland: The Clippers could use some size and athleticism behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Capela is extremely athletic around the rim, and is cited as "as good as any athlete ever coming from Europe" on NBADraft.net. While he may be a couple years away from truly contributing, he could be a good grab for the Clippers.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri: Clarkson has great size for a point guard, and without a glaring need at this pick, the Thunder can afford to take talent. He has good handle, vision, and scoring ability. His shot needs to continue to improve, and that would allow him to play some off-guard, adding to his value and versatility.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee: Throughout their string of success, the Spurs have always had a deep rotation of post players. Stokes would fit in nicely with San Antonio, as a strong forward who could bring some energy and effort off the bench. Stokes is slightly undersized for an NBA four, but the Spurs would be able to find a role for him, much like they did with DeJuan Blair.