2014 NBA Draft: Final First Round Mock
Predicting the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft is probably fruitless. The Cleveland Cavaliers still don’t know what they’re doing with the #1 overall pick and might even trade it. So, quite literally, this year’s draft is going to be fairly unpredictable from top to bottom.
And that’s not even counting all the potential trade possibilities.
Still, based on needs and talent, we’re giving this whole mock thing a go. Here’s how the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft could play out (not trades included):
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas
Jabari Parker had a bad workout and Wiggins arguably has more upside, so Wiggins could be the guy. That or it’s Parker or trade down.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Parker isn’t a bad consolation prize and the Bucks will gladly build their future around him. Joel Embiid also might be worth the gamble here.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Dante Exum, G, Australia
Philly has seemingly soured on Michael Carter-Williams and his bad knees, so they could grab a near identical player who might have more upside in Exum. If they do that, cue the MCW trade talk.
4. Orlando Magic – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Embiid could fall a lot further due to back and foot woes, but if healthy he’s a beast in the middle to build around. Orlando takes a chance that they’re getting the next Dwight Howard.
5. Utah Jazz – Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Utah has Derrick Favors on the trade block so the athletic Gordon could make sense as a suitable long-term replacement at the four spot.
6. Boston Celtics – Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
Rajon Rondo is on the way out most likely, so Smart can be his replacement or he could even try to man the two guard spot.
7. Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Randle feels like a lazy pick, but if L.A. does stay here at seven, it’s probably the most logical one.
8. Sacramento Kings – Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
The Kings are engulfed in trade rumors right now but if they stick here and Vonleh is still on the board, he’s got to be the pick. The only real hole they have resides at power forward.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
This might be a tad early for Stauskas, but he’s a lights out shooter with upside as a complete scorer and Charlotte badly needs help in both departments.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
Philly could do anything right about now, as it’s unclear if they even have a distinct plan. Landing a beastly center might be an option worth considering, though.
11. Denver Nuggets – Rodney Hood, F, Duke
Denver can go just about anywhere other than point guard in this draft, while they’re probably jammed up at center. That likely leaves guard or forward available, where the talented Hood could be ripe for the plucking.
12. Orlando Magic – Zach Lavine, SG, UCLA
Lavine is an explosive and versatile talent that could easily go much earlier. Orlando will gladly snatch him up and use him as a combo guard.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves – Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
Kevin Love is on his way out, so why not replace him with another forward who does nothing but score the basketball? McDermott is a tad undersized but he can score in bunches.
14. Phoenix Suns – Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Harris is a good athlete with solid size and elite shooting ability. He’ll fit right in with what the Suns do on offense.
15. Atlanta Hawks – James Young, SG, Kentucky
Atlanta has some shooters but few with the upside of Young. Young needs to improve his efficiency but offers major potential and is good value here.
16. Chicago Bulls – Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Chicago wants to get rid of Carlos Boozer and may need to drop Taj Gibson in order to land a big name free agent. Getting the athletic Payne could help ease those losses.
17. Boston Celtics – Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse
Boston was decent on defense last year despite being very young. Grant helps them get even better and offers some upside at the three spot.
18. Phoenix Suns – Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
Channing Frye is leaving and the Suns could use some extra versatility. Cue the 6’9” Anderson, who isn’t an elite athlete but can do everything at a pretty high level.
19. Chicago Bulls – Dario Saric, F, Croatia
Saric just signed a three-year deal overseas, so his stock is clearly dipping a bit. With a second first rounder, the Bulls can snatch him up and see if they can get a buyout in a year or two.
20. Toronto Raptors – Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette
Payton has soared up draft boards lately, but necessity could drop him back down a bit. He could be insurance in case the Raptors can’t secure Kyle Lowry to a long-term deal and at the worst is fantastic depth.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State
Warren isn’t the best outside shooter but he has a knack for scoring and the Thunder could use more of a spark off the bench.
22. Memphis Grizzlies – Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State
Possible the best overall athlete in this draft class, Early can help stretch the floor and should be able to defend at the next level. That’s the type of player the Grizz covet.
23. Utah Jazz – Nick Johnson, G, Arizona
Johnson is a combo guard who can help backup Trey Burke and/or provide a scoring punch off the bench. The Jazz could really use that kind of offensive versatility.
24. Charlotte Hornets – Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan
The Hornets are collecting offensive fire power and GR3 fits the bill. He has good size and is an elite athlete and should provide a nice spark as a rookie.
25. Houston Rockets – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
Patrick Beverly is defensive-minded and Jeremy Lin is offensive-minded. Houston is lucky to snatch up Ennis here, who is hopefully a blend of both at the next level.
26. Miami Heat – Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn
The Heat have stated they want someone who can help right away. Napier can do that, fresh off of winning the national title with the Huskies.
27. Phoenix Suns – Joe Harris, SG, West Virginia
Harris is an elite outside shooter who also looks to have the frame and versatility to be a decent scorer and defender. Phoenix adds another outside threat to get even more dangerous.
28. Los Angeles Clippers – Mitch McGary, F/C, Michigan
McGary is a fairly agile and fluid big man with a nice balance to his game. Considering the Clips have next to nothing down low beyond Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, he’d be a steal.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder – P.J. Hairston, SG, D-League
OKC needs scoring and Hairston showed he can score plenty while with the NBA’s D-League last year.
30. San Antonio Spurs – Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia
When don’t the Spurs grab a talented foreign player? It wouldn’t be right to skip out on Bogdanovic, who could be the next Manu Ginobili if coached up enough.
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