The draft order is now set following the completion of the NBA Draft Lottery yesterday. Despite having a mere 1.7 percent chance of winning the number 1 overall pick the Cleveland Cavaliers jumped over 8 teams to nab the top pick, the 3rd time that they will pick 1st in the last 4 years.
Now that we know each team’s slot in the draft we’ve gathered together and made our predictions as to where each of the prospects will land. The information we have at the current moment is the prospect’s college career (expect those that played overseas) and the results of the combine. This draft order will surely change once information starts leaking out about how players performed during private workouts with NBA teams.
Raining3s.Com 2014 NBA Mock Draft 1.0
1. Cleveland Cavaliers ( 33-49 )
Andrew Wiggins – Kansas – Guard /Forward
- While it might be hard to pass up on a 7 footer with the set of skills and upside of a Joel Embiid, also taking into consideration that the Cavs have the possibility of bringing back free agent small forward Luol Deng and currently have another small forward Anthony Bennett on the roster who they selected with their 1st overall pick last year, Andrew Wiggins is too tempting not to take with the pick. History is not favorable to those teams that have passed up the dynamic perimeter player for a big man in the draft: Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Cavs take Wiggins, let Deng walk (which he was probably doing anyway) and see if Bennett can develop into a stretch 4.
2. Milwaukee Bucks ( 15-67 )
Jabari Parker – Duke – Guard/Forward
- Bucks will be tempted to forming a modern day twin towers with Larry Sanders and Joel Embiid, but pass and go for the NBA ready scorer of Parker. Bucks handed Sanders a massive 4 year, 44 million dollar contract extension which is on the books until the end of the 2017-18 season. Sanders regressed in his first season of the extension but is still only 25 years old and it was just 1 year ago where he showed the potential to be an All-NBA defensive big man. The front court combination of Sanders, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker would be formidable.
3. Philadelphia 76ers ( 19-63 )
Dante Exum- Australia – Guard
- The 76ers just went an entire season without their 6th overall pick from a year ago, big man Nerlens Noel, due to him recovering from a knee injury. It would be difficult to see the 76ers take another roll of the dice with Joel Embiid and his questionable back at this spot and opt instead for the 6’6 guard from Australia with the lightening quick first step. While it might seem like they’ll have redundancy at the position with having Michael Carter-Williams, the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year, Exum at his size and skill set will likely develop into an off guard. A combo of Exum and MCW would become a nice long, quick back court that can both handle point guard duties.
- There is still a lot that we do not know about Exum and while we rank him this high in the draft now he is a player that can drop considerably once he goes through a few workouts with teams and impressions of teams begin to leak out. If he does not impress in those personal workouts he can drop.
4. Orlando Magic ( 23-59 )
Joel Embiid- Kansas – Center
- A great guard-center, inside-outside combination is ideal and pairing Embiid with Victor Oladipo has the potential to be one of the best in the league. Embiid has all the physical tools that you want in a center and then some. What prevents him from not being the consensus number 1 pick in every mock draft is the questions surrounding his health. If Embiid does not go first we can realistically see him dropping to the Magic at 4.
5. Utah Jazz ( 25-57 )
Noah Vonleh – Indiana – Forward/Center
- After Noah Vonleh’s impressive showing at the combine in Chicago a week ago he has shot up the draft board. Vonleh measured the biggest hands at the combine and the 2nd biggest wingspan at 7 feet, 4.25 inches. Combine Vonleh’s freakish measurables with this shooting touch and high basketball IQ, you have the potential for a star big man that the Jazz can pair with their promising point guard, Trey Burke.
6. Boston Celtics ( 25-57 )
Julius Randle- Kentucky – Forward
- The Celtics are just in the beginning of their rebuilding phase so they can go in pretty much any direction. While they have more need at the guard position at the moment with veteran forwards Jeff Green and Brandon Bass, along with young big guys Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk still on the roster, Randle is simply too good to pass up for any of the other guards that are still available. Randle is a little undersized for the power forward position in the NBA, but is strong and skilled. Randle is a player that can immediately contribute at the NBA level, but doesn’t possess the ceiling of either Vonleh or Embiid.
- The Celtics can change direction depending on their plans with Rajon Rondo. If they still are not including Rondo as part of their future the Celts can opt for a guard in this slot.
7. Los Angeles Lakers ( 27-55 )
Marcus Smart- Oklahoma State – Guard
- Lakers, like the Celtics, have numerous holes and can take any position at this point. The Lakers will opt for the best available and that is point guard Marcus Smart. Smart is built like a tank, is aggressive and able to contribute immediately. At worst, Smart is able to defend both guard positions well and score at a decent clip by his ability to get to the line and score on the break. At best, if he develops just a decent outside shot, he’s a perennial All-Star.
8. Sacramento Kings ( 28-54 )
Aaron Gordon- Arizona – Forward
- The Kings have a nice collection of young talent with DeMarcus Cousins as the headliner, but for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to put together a winning season. Kings will look to place a nice compliment to Cousins in the front court and go with the high flying, high energy forward Aaron Gordon. While Gordon is not the ideal fit next to Cousin due to his lack of an outside shot, he is an explosive athlete that would be fun to watch in the Kings’ potent, up and down offense.
9. Charlotte Hornets ( 43-39 )
Zach LaVine – UCLA – Guard
- Charlotte is finally on the upswing, having just completed a season where they qualified for the playoffs and having player that actually received MVP consideration (Al Jefferson). Michael Jordan is at the helm and he rarely opts for foreign players. While Kemba Walker has been solid, they wont be able to pass up on LaVine’s crazy atletcism and size for the point guard position. Because LaVine does posses good size for a point guard (6-4) he can play off the ball alongside Kemba as well.
10. Philadelphia ( 19-63 )
Dario Saric – Croatia – Forward
- Being that this is the 76ers second pick in the lottery they’ll be able to take more of gamble with this pick and opt for the highly skilled big man from Croatia. Saric stands at 6-10 but possess point guard skills so he will be able to play multiple positions.
11. Denver Nuggets ( 36-46)
Rodney Hood- Duke – Guard/Forward
- The Nuggets have a talented roster but lack a star to take them to the next level. Unfortunately there won’t be any players with star potential at the 11th pick and opt for Hood who had a good showing at the NBA combine. Hood has the perfect NBA swing-man body with his 6 foot 8.5 height (measurements at the combine). Hood is also one of the best shooters coming out of the draft.
12. Orlando Magic ( 23-59)
Doug McDermott- Creighton – Forward
- Same as with the 76ers, the Magic will have the chance to be bold with their 2nd lottery pick and opt for college scoring machine, Doug McDermott. There are a lot of questions if McDermott has the size and athleticism to be successful at the NBA level, but there is no question the guy can shoot and from any spot on the court. If McDermott is able to develop some moves to free himself from defenders and have time to get up his prized outside shot, he can become a very capable scorer. If not, he will relegated to a career as a specialty player that is brought in to space the floor and camp out at the 3 point line for spot up jumpers, which is still a valuable asset especially if they in fact take center Embiid with their first pick.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves ( 40-42)
Nik Stauskas- Michigan – Guard
- The Wolves will have uncertainty with their roster at the time that they’ll have to select a player in the draft. Reports are that Kevin Love has made it known that he will leave following this season so he could be dealt. The safe pick at this position would be Nik Stauskas from Michigan; a guard with nice size (6 feet, 5.5 inches) , enthusiasm (some say crazy), athleticism and a great shooting touch.
14. Phoenix Suns (48-34)
James Young – Kentucky – Guard
- The Suns are a winningest team in the lottery by far and would have qualified for the playoffs if not for playing in the highly competitive Western Conference. This will be 1 of 3 first round picks for the Suns and will go for the best available player. Taking James Young from Kentucky adds a guard with good size and athleticism to the duel point guard starting line up of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.