With the draft order in place, Isportsweb is proud to present the 2014 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cavaliers- Jabari Parker SF Duke
The Cavs have hit the jackpot with the #1 pick for the second year in a row. They fill needs by picking Parker, Wiggins, or Embiid.
In their case, Parker or Wiggins allows the Cavs to not have to resign unrestricted free agent Luol Deng for big money. In my eyes, Parker gets the nod before Wiggins because he is more NBA ready at this point of his progression. Drafting Parker means that they will have to re-sign Center Spencer Hawes or another big man in free agency. Maybe they will chase Chris Bosh, Greg Monroe, or Marcin Gortat. Any of these moves combined with their #1 pick will give the Cavs a promising lineup for 2015.
2. Bucks- Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas
With Embiid’s back issues, Wiggins or Parker would be too good to pass up at the #2 slot. Wiggins’ potential as a primary scorer is enticing to say the least, and he will get thrown straight into the ring of fire in Milwaukee. The Bucks will put Wiggins directly into the starting lineup as a 3, and will rely on him to score. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single pick in this draft that can save the Bucks from playing the lottery again in 2015.
3. 76ers- Dante Exum G Australia
The Sixers lose out big by not getting Wiggins or Parker here. I’m assuming that they will do everything within their power to steal Wiggins or Parker from the first two teams, but in this scenario, it just doesn’t work out. While they have needs at essentially every position, drafting Joel Embiid could turn out to be a Nerlens Noel repeat.
So why test it with the biggest boom-or-bust pick in the draft? They don’t. Instead, they pick a talented young Australian guard in Exum. Many have Exum listed as a point guard, but time will show that his skill set fits much better at the two. Pairing up Michael Carter-Williams and Exum in the backcourt will give the Sixers a strong base to build around on the wing.
4. Magic- Joel Embiid C Kansas
As a perennial lottery contestant, the Magic are forced to take the best player available in Embiid. This will allow Orlando to play two versatile bigs in the middle, Vucevic and Embiid. The Magic are also in definite need of a shooter, and unfortunately there aren’t any hot hands that present value at the fourth pick. This pick may ultimately depend on whether they decide to trade Arron Afflalo during the draft.
5. Jazz- Julius Randle PF Kentucky
Utah will be ice fishing for a forward with the #5 pick, and all the best available forwards play the four. So this pick is really between Randle, Vonleh, and Gordon. Randle gives the Jazz more depth in the post, an area which is definitely lacking at the moment. Utah ranked at the bottom half of the NBA in rebounds per game, and Randle is the draft’s best offensive rebounder at Power Forward.
6. Celtics- Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma St
The Celtics have been trying to move Rajon Rondo for years, and this is the year for them to do it. Smart has the competitive nature that Boston needs to get back in the game, and should fit into Coach Brad Stevens’ scheme. If Rondo is not traded this season, Smart will have at least a year to develop behind one of the game’s best playmakers.
7. Lakers- Noah Vonleh PF Indiana
Word around the league is that Vonleh has been jumping everyone’s draft boards, and could be the best power forward in the draft. If Vonleh is still available at this point, the Lakers will have to take him. Unless Embiid’s back issues cause him to fall to the Lakers, Vonleh is the best case scenario for the seventh pick.
8. Kings- Aaron Gordon PF Arizona
GM Pete D’Alessandro has been quoted saying that the Kings are prepared to take the best player available. That is surely the case here with Gordon. Not only is Gordon the best player available, but he also fills a need at power forward. There is a lot of speculation around Gordon’s potential to develop on offense, but his defensive ability, athleticism, and motor are just what the doctor ordered for Sacramento. If the Kings don’t trade their pick, Gordon is their man.
9. Hornets- Zach Lavine G UCLA
The Hornets are finally back in Charlotte, and are ready to make a splash with Lavine. The former UCLA combo guard is a very raw talent. Five years from now, he’ll probably be redrafted in the top-5. Lavine shows a lot of promise in the shooting sense, a major need for Charlotte, as he was nearly perfect at the draft combine. The tools and potential are there, and Lavine will flourish under the mentorship of Michael Jordan.
10. 76ers-Doug McDermott F Creighton
The Sixers have an amazing opportunity to rebuild with 2 lottery picks, and will complete their attempt with a lethal scorer in McDermott. It’s obviously still unclear whether or not McDermott’s game will translate to the NBA, but after seeing what he has done the past four year at Creighton, it is surely a chance worth taking. Adding McDermott will give the Sixers a potential lineup of MCW, Exum, McDermott, Thadeus Young, Nerlens Noel.
11. Nuggets- Gary Harris SG Michigan St
Denver is in dire need for a shooting guard, and there are a few they can choose from, but Harris presents the most optimal fit. He is a solid all-around athlete who still needs to find consistency in his shot, but ultimately should provide an immediate upgrade from Randy Foye.
12. Magic- Nik Stauskas SG Michigan
The Magic need a shooter and Stauskas is the best shooter left on the board. Stauskas has a quick release and has NBA range, making him the perfect shooting replacement for Arron Afflalo.
13. Timberwolves- Adreian Payne PF Michigan St
Whether the Wolves decide to trade Kevin Love or not, he won’t be back in 2015-2016. Payne is a versatile four who combines athleticism and 3-point shooting.
14. Suns- James Young SG Kentucky
Young fills a need for the Suns at the three. He is an elite athlete and penetrator, which will help the Suns create space for their 3-point shooters.
15. Hawks- Dario Saric F Croatia
The fact that it is still unknown whether or not Saric will play in the NBA next year may force him to fall on draft day. If he drops this far, the Hawks should most certainly take a chance on the best player available. Saric is a point-forward with great court vision. Pairing him up with another fluid passer in Jeff Teague would help Atlanta create more scoring opportunities. I could also see the Hawks trading up for more value.
16. Bulls- Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse
It’s time for the Bulls to bring in a Plan B for Derrick Rose if he never fully recovers. Even if Rose does overcome adversity to reinvent the D Rose of old, Ennis will still find minutes on the court as his playmaking abilities will prove valuable.
17. Celtics-Rodney Hood SG Duke
Hood provides the Celtics with the shooting prowess they desperately need. At 6’9, he is a bit of a tweener for the two-guard and may be able to become a small forward if he gets stronger.
18. Suns- Kyle Anderson F UCLA
Anderson is one of the most versatile prospects. He is a point-forward who can shoot the ball and plays three positions. His 7’3 wingspan allows him to do this. He will learn have to play more off the ball in order to fit into the Suns system with two possession heavy guards, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.
19. Bulls- Jerami Grant SF Syracuse
The Bulls could use some depth at the three, and Grant gives them a solid all-around forward with a developing jump shot. His athleticism will surely bring some excitement to Chicago.
20.Raptors- Elfrid Payton PG Lousiana Lafayette
Toronto needs to prepare to lose either Kyle Lowry or Vasquez to free agency, and Payton is the perfect replacement. He has an uncanny knack for unselfish play, which will help the Raptors immensely as they were ranked in the bottom half of the league in assists per game.
21. Thunder- Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia
OKC needs depth in the post, and they wish they had Nurkic in the playoffs now after suffering the loss of Serge Ibaka.The 6’11 280-pound Bosnian plays big and is a load inside.
22. Grizzles- Cleanthony Early SF Witchita St
The Grizz need a half-court scorer who can shoot the ball, but will settle for Early’s physicality and athleticism if available here.
23. Jazz- K.J. McDaniels SF Clemson
With all of their small forwards’ contracts expiring this season, Utah will need to target a three. McDaniels is the best three available on my big board.
24. Hornets- T.J. Warren SF NC State
These former Bobcats need scoring and Warren is the best scoring forward available.
25. Rockets- Clint Capela PF Switzerland
Capela will give Houston a backup at forward after they trade Omer Asik.
26. Heat- Shabazz Napier PG Connecticut
The Heat have a good history with clutch shooting point guards that win their school’s national championships.Napier will be the perfect replacement for former Kansas Jayhawk Mario Chalmers.
27. Suns- Kristaps Porzingis PF Latvia
28. Clippers- Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan
29. Thunder- P.J. Hairston SG North Carolina
30. Spurs- Patric Young C Florida