A lot has changed in the past four to five months when it comes to NBA draft prospects rising and falling on draft boards.
Now that we have a better idea of what each prospect is all about with more than half of the college season complete, here is my 2014 NBA Mock Draft Version 1.0.
There are several conditional picks in the first round, but I have the order set as if the Draft were today.
1. Milwaukee Bucks- SF: Andrew Wiggins- Kansas
The Bucks need to strike gold with their first rounder this year. You can make an argument for any of Embiid, Wiggins or Parker as the number 1 pick, but I think Wiggins has the most potential to turn this franchise around.
Adding Wiggins to a young group built around Larry Sanders, John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo would give Milwaukee a nice, athletic core for years to come.
2. Philadelphia 76ers- C: Joel Embiid- Kansas
The 76ers will most likely have two first rounders this year. Parker could make some sense here, but passing up on someone with as much potential as Embiid is a little risky. A starting frontline of Embiid and Noel could really cause some matchup nightmares for the foreseeable future.
3. Orlando Magic- SF: Jabari Parker- Duke
The Magic have some nice young players to build around and adding an NBA ready prospect like Parker would further help speed up their rebuilding process. A core of Oladipo, Parker, Vucevic and Harris with other solid role players on the team could help secure them a playoff berth in the near future.
4. Sacramento Kings- PF: Julius Randle- Kentucky
Sacramento would love the opportunity to pair up DeMarcus Cousins with Julius Randle down low. Both players are former Kentucky Wildcats, and their games compliment each other. Randle has shown that he is a very good rebounder and can find ways to score from the perimeter or on the low block.
5. Boston Celtics- PG/SG- Dante Exum- Australia
The Celtics will be looking to add someone with a ton of upside if they miss out of one of Wiggins, Embiid or Parker and Exum could be that guy. The Australian is oozing with potential and has very good size and athleticism. Boston already has a solid backcourt with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley in the mix, but I don’t see them passing up on Exum at this point.
Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon could also be a fits for Boston at this point of the draft, but they already possess a similar player in Jared Sullinger.
6. Los Angeles Lakers- PF: Aaron Gordon- Arizona
The Lakers are desperate for young talent and need to add another inside presence with Pau Gasol’s future in Los Angeles uncertain as he enters free agency this summer. Gordon has put together a solid freshman season at Arizona, although he has struggled from the free throw line.
Gordon is an elite defender, leaper and if he improves his jumper, then he could be a potential All-Star at the next level. Tyler Ennis or Marcus Smart could also be good fits here.
7. Utah Jazz- SG/SF: James Young- Kentucky
This may be a reach here, but the Jazz have a terrific young core built around Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. With all of those pieces in place, James Young could be an ideal wing to help spread the floor out for the Jazz. Young is a terrific shooter with length and plenty of upside.
8. Denver Nuggets (via Knicks)- PG/SG: Zach LaVine- UCLA
LaVine is a freak athlete that has a very good touch from long range. Denver could use some depth at both guard positions and LaVine fits right in with their uptempo style. Adding LaVine to Lawson in the backcourt would give the Nuggets some tremendous speed.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers- SG: Nik Stauskus- Michigan
The Cavaliers are having trouble developing their 1st overall pick from last year’s draft, Anthony Bennett, but they do have a star in Kyrie Irving and could look to add a pure shooter to pair up with him on the perimeter.
Stauskus has been rising up the draft boards in recent months, as he’s shown that he isn’t just a shooter. He is athletic, has size, and isn’t a liability defensively and Cleveland isn’t afraid to reach for “their guy” on draft night.
10. Charlotte Bobcats (via Pistons)- PF: Noah Vonleh- Indiana
The Bobcats have Al Jefferson down low already, but could really use another quality big to pair up with him. They took an Indiana product (Cody Zeller) in the first round last year, and if Vonleh falls to them this year then they will have no problem adding another Hoosier.
11. Philadelphia 76ers (via Pelicans)- SF: Doug McDermott- Creighton
The 76ers could definitely use a shooter and at this point of the draft McDermott could be the perfect gamble. Some scouts don’t believe his game will translate well to the next level, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to pass up on someone that has dominated the college game the way he has.
Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Doug McDermott mixed in with their “veteran” Thaddeus Young could give Philly a playoff team for years to come.
12. Orlando Magic (via Nuggets)- PG: Marcus Smart- Oklahoma State
Sure, Smart has struggled this year offensively and had that incident with the Texas Tech fan, but the bottom line is he is still very talented and would be a steal at this point of the draft. The reason he slid in this mock was because of the teams picking before Orlando (with the exception of the Lakers) being set at the PG position.
Orlando already added Jabari Parker in this mock and pairing him up with Smart would make it quite a successful draft night for the Magic.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves- SF: Dario Saric- Croatia
Saric would be a nice fit for the Timberwolves at this point of the draft. Minnesota could really use a capable scorer on the wing and Dario could be that guy with a couple years of development. Minnesota is notorious for drafting foreign players, and with small forward being a position of need for the Wolves, Saric makes a ton of sense.
14. Memphis Grizzlies- SF: Rodney Hood- Duke
Rodney Hood would help add some much-needed offensive firepower to the Memphis Grizzlies. Hood would be an ideal fit not only because of how desperate Memphis is for offense, but also because they are very shallow on wing depth.
Outside the lottery
15. Atlanta Hawks- SG: Gary Harris- Michigan St.
16. Chicago Bulls (via Bobcats)- PG: Tyler Ennis- Syracuse
17. Boston Celtics (via Nets)- PF: Montrezl Harrell- Louisville
18. Phoenix Suns (via Wizards)- SF: Jerami Grant- Syracuse
19. Chicago Bulls- SF/PF: Chris Walker- Florida
20. Toronto Raptors- C: Willie Cauley-Stein- Kentucky
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Mavs)- PF: Kyle Anderson- UCLA
22. Utah Jazz (via Warriors)- SF: Sam Dekker- Wisconsin
23. Phoenix Suns- PF: Clint Capela- Switzerland
24. Los Angeles Clippers- SG: Jabari Bird- California
25. Houston Rockets- PG: Jahii Carson- Arizona State
26. Charlotte Bobcats (via Blazers)- SG: Wayne Seldon Jr.- Kansas
27. San Antonio Spurs- SF: Mario Hezonja- Croatia
28. Miami Heat- SG: CJ Wilcox- Washington
29. Phoenix Suns (via Pacers)- SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson- Arizona
30. Oklahoma City Thunder- SG: PJ Hairston- D-League
Here are some good sites to help you stay up to date on the latest in the draft world: