Yes ladies and gents, ANOTHER NBA mock draft! Feast your eyes, or moan in agony but be sure to check out this collaborative work your favourite #TeamPnR stalwarts have put together for those fellows who just can’t get enough of the coming 2014 NBA lottery draft.
In our universe, Cleveland doesn’t pull a Bennett, but eschews Embiid (WHAT!) and the collective jaws of NBA Nation drop to the floor simultaneously because no surprise trades happen. Ten million brains just exploded in outrage and indignance at this single injustice – damn you imaginary team GMs!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (CLE) – Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins has been the presumptive number one pick since before the season started and the Cavs should go with the athletic wing from Kansas. With Luol Deng unlikely to resign and the odds of LeBron James walking back into the Q astronomical, Wiggins will be the perfect complement to Kyrie Irving at the two or three. Cleveland’s lottery luck can’t possibly keep going (can it?), so they’ll need to make the right pick here and they’ll double up with their second consecutive Canadian number one and Cavs fans will be thrilled when they do.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (MIL) – Joel Embiid
The Bucks will go with the highest upside available on the board, the center from Cameroon. The way Embiid was able to control both ends of the floor throughout his sole collegiate season is unmatched by anybody else in the draft class, and has drawn comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon. The potential of an Embiid-Sanders frontcourt would be terrifying for the rest of the league. As long as the doctors pass Joel’s back, the Bucks will be counting their lucky stars that Embiid falls to them at pick number two.
3. Philadelphia 76ers (PHI) – Jabari Parker
Considering the fact that Wiggins is beyond reach, and with 2013/14 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams already anchoring the point, Parker is the next logical choice in terms of talent and need. The offensive-minded forward had 19.1 PPG at 47.3% in his season at Duke, provides a surefire scoring threat alongside The Hyphen, and is a late-game option who’s not afraid to take the big shots when push comes to shove. Bad defense? We’ll worry about that later.
Jabari Parker is athletically talented. http://t.co/hsOI0BAkpY
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) March 15, 2014
4. Orlando Magic (ORL) – Dante Exum
Sorry Laker fans, but Australia’s own Dante Exum won’t be falling to you. Instead, he’ll be forming a lethal backcourt in Orlando with Victor Oladipo. Exum will bring back memories of Penny Hardaway for Orlando fans, Much like Hardaway, Exum will devastate opposing teams with his long hands, quick first step and insane ability to score the basketball. Not much is known of him now amongst fans in the NBA, but after being inserted as Orlando’s point guard of the future, he’ll have the league talking about him, and the Orlando Magic.
5. Utah Jazz (UTA) – Noah Vonleh
The easiest way to describe Vonleh’s game is through comparisons to Chris Bosh. They’re both lengthy bigs that can stretch the floor and make the three, while still being able to do everything else a good big should be able to do. Throughout his time in the NBA Vonleh will hopefully improve upon his three point making ability which should lead to a long career. The Jazz are in a tough position here because they already have Favors and Kanter but at this stage of the draft the only other player left at a position that isn’t PF/C that wouldn’t be reaching would be Marcus Smart. Given the fact the Jazz only drafted Trey Burke last year it would not be wise to draft Smart.
6. Boston Celtics (BOS) – Julius Randle
Randle is listed at 6’9″ and has a solid skill set for his size, he was a beast for Kentucky on the boards in his freshman year and could have an immediate impact at NBA level. The Celtics have plenty of draft picks coming up in the next few years and getting Randle with the sixth pick in 2014 would be a great way to start the rebuild. This pick may not end up with Boston though, as they are willing to part with it for an established star. I’m sure most Celtics fans would be happy to let this pick go if they are able to get Kevin Love in return.
7. Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) – Aaron Gordon
He’s arguably the best athlete in the draft, something the Lakers desperately need with a declining Kobe Bryant on the court. His vertical is the third best ever recorded for any player his size in the NBA combine, and his shuttle drill ranks the best among all players in this year’s draft . His defensive skill set should place him immediately in the Lakers’ starting lineup at either forward position. He has a game that is similar to that of Shawn Marion when he first entered the league and by the same token he’s a bit raw on the offensive end. However, should they choose not to go with athleticism, Dario Saric would make an excellent choice.
8. Sacramento Kings (SAC) – Marcus Smart
The Sacramento Kings are looking to deal this pick for something bigger and better, in particular, recent rumours have them happy to trade for Kevin Love without any assurance that he’ll re-sign long term.
While the franchise were in the same position last year; signalling an aggressive stance to spice up the team before new owners were introduced to literally blow up the roster thanks to the inclusion of star Rudy Gay from Toronto. Vivek Ranadive (new owner) and Pete D’Alessandro (GM) will obviously be looking to strike the same kind of gold this season by trying to lure Love via trade.
However, Marcus Smart comes into consideration as the most likely pick at this spot if the Kings hold on to the draft rights for pick #8, as Smart will become insurance in case Isaiah Thomas (restricted free agent) no longer plays in Sac-town.
Smart fills the needs of the Kings- that being an upgrade on the defensive end and a play-making point guard. Smart being a two-way player can add upside to the deplorable Kings defence, while his strong size will do wonders for him on the offensive end.
He has a knack of finishing around the basket, however needs serious attention in his early NBA days to work on his jump shot as he struggles as an outside shooter. An excellent passer and decision maker on the floor, Smart could easily find a career in the NBA starting out in Sacramento.
— Ty Kish (@CityLeagueHoops) May 28, 2014
9. Charlotte Bobcats (CHA) – Doug McDermott
Not that I agree with McDermott as a lottery pick, let alone top 10 or even first round pick but, someone is going to take him early. Sure he had good numbers in college but so did Jimmer and that hasn’t worked out so well. When was the last time we saw an undersized , athletically challenged player succeed in the NBA? I can’t recall one.
Welcome to the bench in Charlotte Doug, maybe you and Cody could remove the splinters from each other’s bums 🙂
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 19, 2014
10. Philadelphia 76ers (PHI) – Dario Saric
The perfect selection for both the team and player. It is likely that Saric won’t come over to the NBA this season because he wants to continue working on his game with minutes on the court in Euroleague action. The Sixers already have this season’s Rookie of the Year -MCW, Nerlens Noel who sat out last season, and whoever they decide with the #3 pick in this years draft. There won’t be a need to try to depend on another rookie to contribute for them right away.
The Croation Saric is a highly skilled and versatile offensive player who reminds me of Toni Kukoc. He has a high basketball IQ and is more experienced than any other player in this draft as he is an important player on his national team.
11. Denver Nuggets (DEN) – Nik Stauskas
While the Nuggets already have some solid three-point shooters on the wing in Randy Foye and Evan Fournier, Nik Stauskas possesses the potential to out-do both of them with his wetness from beyond the arc. In the two seasons he spent at Michigan, Stauskas produced a three-point percentage of 44.1 percent, hitting 172 treys out of the 390 he chucked up during his time at the collegiate level. Place this outside accuracy into a high-speed, transition offense as well as alongside a lighting-quick point guard in Ty Lawson, and the shooter should fit in with Denver nicely.
12. Orlando Magic (ORL) – Rodney Hood
With every rumour appearing to send Arron Afflalo out of the Magic Kingdom, the likelihood of Orlando grabbing a wing player in the draft increases. Hood’s dismal tournament will sour some teams on him, but his ability to score will be needed with both Oladipo and Exum not expected to be dominant scorers early on in their career. The Magic are truly building an impressive core of young pieces.
(via Bleacher Report)
13. Minnesota Timberwolves (MIN) – Adreian Payne
With Kevin Love likely on his way out of Minnesota, the Wolves can begin to look for his successor, and there is no better place to start than with Payne. Payne is a classic stretch four that can both shoot the three as well as rebound, although one knock on him is his average defense. (remind you of anyone, Wolves fans?) Payne’s ability to make an instant impact in the NBA makes him a perfect fit for the Timberwolves.
14. Phoenix Suns (PHO) – James Young
With Bledsoe and Dragic cemented as the starting backcourt in the near future, it makes sense for the Suns to look at James Young. The 6’6 lefty swingman has good wingspan, is a knock-down jumpshooter from deep, and a decent rebounder to boot. While not an excellent dribbler, Young has excellent body control and finishes well at the rim – you could easily visualise the energetic youngster coming off the Phoenix bench and contributing to their uptempo offense with transition points.
JAMES YOUNG SMASH http://t.co/vIiF4rjg7I
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) April 8, 2014