HEADLINE

2014 NBA Draft: Mock Draft 1.0

Sports Xchange

May 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Joel Embiid, C, freshman, Kansas. With the dynamic and athletic Kyrie Irving already in the fold in Cleveland, look for the Cavs to go with the Jayhawks big man to bolster their front line.

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, freshman, Kansas. Bucks fans should be excited about the possibility of having Wiggins paired with the “Greek Freak,” Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both young and athletic wings should give Milwaukee plenty to cheer about for years to come.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, SF, freshman, Duke. Parker’s game has been compared to Carmelo Anthony. He will be a welcome addition to a young 76ers squad in need of a dynamic scorer to team up with Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.

4. Orlando Magic: Julius Randle, PF, freshman, Kentucky. Randle’s combination of physical and finesse play will mix nicely with emerging big man Nikola Vucevic and last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Victor Oladipo.

5. Utah Jazz: Dante Exum, PG, Australia. Utah already has Trey Burke running the show at point guard, but Exum’s skill set might be too much for the Jazz to pass up with the fifth pick. Exum’s athleticism and all-around game could be a nice complement to Burke in the Jazz’s backcourt.

6. Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart, SG, sophomore, Oklahoma State. Smart didn’t have the kind of sophomore year he envisioned when he decided to return to school last year, but the talent and natural ability to score are two things that can’t be questioned. He potentially could make a nice backcourt mate to Rajon Rondo in Boston.

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Noah Vonleh, PF, freshman, Indiana. Vonleh’s freakishly long 7-foot-4 wingspan and his willingness to chase down rebounds and loose balls are characteristics that would make him a favorite teammate of Kobe Bryant. With Pau Gasol likely done in Los Angeles, the Lakers need Vonleh’s length.

8. Sacramento Kings: Doug McDermott, SF/PF, senior, Creighton. With Isaiah Thomas’ future in Sacramento looking murky, the Kings could go for Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, but the potential of matching McDermott with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay might be too much for the Kings to pass up.

9. Charlotte Hornets: Aaron Gordon, PF, freshman, Arizona. Gordon’s athletic game has drawn comparisons to that of Blake Griffin. Pair Gordon with Al Jefferson in Charlotte, and look for an already improving Hornets team to get even better.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia. The 76ers love to play up-tempo, and the 6-foot-10 Croatian can play pretty much any position on the floor. Saric’s skill set and Philadelphia’s style of play could be a match made in heaven.

11. Denver Nuggets: Kyle Anderson, SF, sophomore, UCLA. Another talented jack-of-all-trades big man who would fit into Brian Shaw’s philosophy of playing up-tempo with interchangeable positions. Anderson might be the best non-guard passer in this year’s draft.

12. Orlando Magic: Tyler Ennis, PG, freshman, Syracuse. The adjectives used to describe the young point guard are mature, wise beyond his years, and intelligent. The Magic can use Ennis to back up Jameer Nelson or have him take over should they end up trading Nelson.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gary Harris, SG, sophomore, Michigan State. With Kevin Love announcing he won’t sign a contract extension in Minnesota, it will be interesting to see the direction the Timberwolves take. Harris is a tough all-around player who could team up with Ricky Rubio quite nicely.

14. Phoenix Suns: Nik Stauskas, SG, sophomore, Michigan. The sharpshooting Stauskas saw his scoring average take a big jump this year with his increased role in Michigan’s offense. The NBA loves shooters who can space the floor, and Phoenix, with point guard Goran Dragic, could be a good home for him.

15. Atlanta Hawks: T.J. Warren, SG, sophomore, North Carolina State. Look for the Hawks to go after someone who can help Jeff Teague in the backcourt. Warren is a scoring machine who potentially could become a dangerous weapon at the shooting guard position.

16. Chicago Bulls: Rodney Hood, SF, sophomore, Duke. Hood possesses the physical characteristics and athleticism to fit right into Tom Thibodeau’s system. He can bring some much needed help offensively on the wing and play the type of defense Thibodeau demands.

17. Boston Celtics: Zach LaVine, PG/SG, freshman, UCLA. The athletic LaVine had a very good pre-draft combine and is rising up everyone’s draft boards. He is still raw but is capable of playing both guard positions and is easily one of the best athletes in the draft.

18. Phoenix Suns: Jerami Grant, SF, sophomore, Syracuse. Grant is explosive around the basketm, and his athleticism would fit in nicely in Jeff Hornacek’s system.

19. Chicago Bulls: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia. The bruiser from Bosnia has soft hands and a nice touch around the basket to go along with a 6-foot-11, 280-pound frame that could bolster Chicago’s already very good front line.

20. Toronto Raptors: Adreian Payne, SF, senior, Michigan State. Payne’s ability to shoot from deep makes him dangerous against other big guys. Pairing him with DeMar DeRozan and an emerging Terrence Ross could make the Raptors’ offense even more formidable.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: James Young, SG/SF, freshman, Kentucky. The athletic freshman could be a lottery pick. However, should he slide, look for the Thunder to add another dangerous athlete alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

22. Memphis Grizzlies: Elfrid Payton, PG, junior, Louisiana-Lafayette. The relatively unknown Payton would help provide some depth behind Mike Conley and help make Memphis’ backcourt more dangerous.

23. Utah Jazz: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland. Utah already has a raw, European big man in Rudy Gobert, but the athletic Capela is intriguing enough for the Jazz to take a chance on.

24. Charlotte Hornets: Spencer Dinwiddie, SG, junior, Colorado. Had Dinwiddie not torn his ACL halfway through last year, he probably would have been picked higher. If his knee is healthy, he can be a dangerous wing scorer.

25. Houston Rockets: C.J. Wilcox, SG, senior, Washington. One of the best spot-up shooters in the draft. Wilcox’s dangerous shooting touch could be a valuable floor-spacer to help free up room down low for Dwight Howard.

26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, PG, senior, Connecticut. The breakout star of the NCAA Tournament could bring some dangerous offense to Miami’s backcourt and give Mario Chalmers some competition for the point guard position.

27. Phoenix Suns: P.J. Hairston, SG, junior, NBDL Texas Legends. The former Tar Heel was dismissed earlier in the year by North Carolina coach Roy Williams, but he showed off an ability to shoot the NBA 3-pointer and score in bunches in the NBDL.

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Deonte Burton, PG, senior, Nevada. Burton is an athletic, dangerous scorer that could provide depth behind Chris Paul at the point or play alongside him as a scorer.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: K.J. McDaniels, SF, junior, Clemson. Another great athlete who could do some damage paired with Durant and Westbrook. McDaniels’ willingness to crash the offensive glass would be particularly dangerous to Thunder opponents.

30. San Antonio Spurs: Isaiah Austin, C, sophomore, Baylor. With Tim Duncan not getting any younger, the offensive minded 7-foot-1 Austin could be a good choice for the Spurs to add depth on their front line.

Tyler Jamieson (@ty3jamieson) is a former NBA scout and the Senior NBA Draft Analyst for The Sports Xchange.

 

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