With the draft order in place, we are proud to present the 2014 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cavaliers- Jabari Parker
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
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 save the Bucks from playing the lottery again in 2015.
3. 76ers- Dante Exum
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 talent 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
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
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 will bring polish post play to Utah’s youthful dynamic, an area which is definitely lacked at the moment.
6. Celtics- Marcus Smart
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
World 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
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.
9.Hornets- Zach Lavine
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
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
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
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
Whether the Wolves decide to trade Kevin Love or not, he wont be back in 2015-2016. Payne is a versatile four who combines athleticism and 3-point shooting.
14. Suns- James Young
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.
Be sure to check out other great articles at isportsweb.