Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft

NBA Draft night is looming and prospects from all over the globe will be tuning in to hear their name called and their dreams come true.

Here is my take on this years crop of talent and where I feel they will ultimately land.

1.  Cleveland Caveliers:  Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
The Cavs once agian find themselves picking from the top of the draft.  They have found plenty of luck to win the lottery and need to add some potential explosiveness to their young core of players.  With Kyrie Irving running the show and dishing off to this uber athletic forward should prove to be a winning combination for a franchise still seeking that magic once seen when a particular forward was roaming the court.  Who was that masked man anyway??? 

2.  Milwaukee Bucks:  Jabari Parker, PF, Duke
The semi local product from Chicago will make the short trip to Milwaukee and set up nicely as the marquee player for this once proud franchise.  Parker is NBA ready and is the most likely candidate to be Rookie of the Year.  Should be a nice fit for this super talented player.

3.  Philadelphia 76ers:  Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
The 76ers will contemplate taking the best center prospect in the draft, Joel Embiid, but with the season injury to his back and now a foot injury they will pass and gamble on the raw talent out of Bloomington, IN.  Vonleh showed in his one season in the Big Ten he has star potential.  Couple him with Thaddeous Young down low and their terrific draft pick last year Michael Carter-Williams and they have a nice core for the future. 

4.  Orlando Magic:  Dante Exum, PG, Australia
Magic take their point guard of the future in 6'6'' Exum.  He has a great handle and his length at the PG position will make him an intriguing pick for this Magic team.  Adding Exum with Olidipo from last year sets up their back court for years to come. 

5.  Utah Jazz:  Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
High risk and even higher reward for the Jazz.  Embiid was mentioned as the possible first pick in this years draft until he suffered a foot injury.  Picking at 5 gives them the ability to take a chance on him and if he becomes fully healthy will be the steal of the draft.  Has been compared to Hakeem Olajuwon.  Nice!

6.  Boston Celtics:  Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
The Celts could be looking at their leader going into their future.  He has extreme talent and this past year his character has been in question.  The fans in Boston won't care if he can lead them to the playoffs and beyond.  Rajon Rondo will be a nice act to follow as he transitions to the NBA.  Brad Stevens also will have a great influence upon his development. 

7.  L.A. Lakers:  Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette
The rising prospect may have small school written on his jersey but he has big school game in the gym.  He has shown his ability to break down defenders with a devastating crossover.  Will be able to learn more murderous moves from one of the best "killers" in the NBA, Kobe Bryant. 

8.  Sacramento Kings:  Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
The first Wildcat to come off the board and what a better place than Sacramento.  They have three 20point scorers and adding Randle to their front court with fellow Wildcat Demarcus Cousins will be a very formidable group. 

9.  Charlotte Hornets:  Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
The 6'6'' ball handler will add length to off set their current point guard, Kemba Walker.  He has multiple skill sets that will translate nicely to the NBA.  Good to see the Hornets are back and the Bobcats when into hibernation.

10.  Philadelphia 76ers:  Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
The four year wonder is a great pick for the 76ers as they use their second top ten pick.  With him roaming for open shots, which he hits at an alarming rate, will be deadly for opposing teams to deal with.  Great get for a second pick. 

11.  Denver Nuggets:  Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
The forward slips a bit in my draft as his shot isn't what you would want from a top 5 or so pick.  Denver taking him at 11 is safe and his potential on rebounding and physically is a plus.  Athletically he is a top talent.

12.  Orlando Magic:  Dario Saric, PF, Croatia
Selecting their second of two picks within the first 12 the Magic take the talented Croatian.  I will not make up anything regarding international players.  I will say this.  International players are usually fundamentally sound and make shots.  They do need some beef up front and they will get it internationally. 

13.  Minnesota Timberwolves:  Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
Needing scoring and potentially a replacement for Kevin Love they go for the scoring forward from Dick Vitale's favorite team. 

14.  Phoenix Suns:  T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State
The leading scorer in the ACC goes to a young core of players needing a small forward who can fill it up.  What better pick than this one man wolfpack.

15.  Atlanta Hawks:  Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Do everything guard from Mr. Izzo's camp will be a great get for this young Hawks team.  After stretching the Pacers in the playoffs to the brink they will need some added shooting and defense to build on an already solid foundation.

16.  Chicago Bulls:  Nick Stauskus, SG, Michigan
The Bulls have a defensive minded coach and some extremely tough individuals but in order to win games you need to put the ball in the hole.  Stauskus can do that and has an eagle eye from deep to stretch the defense allowing, if healthy, Derrick Rose to attack the lane. 

17.  Boston Celtics:  Adreian Payne, PF, Michgan State
The run of Big Ten products out of the state of Michigan continues.  Payne is the best shooting big in the draft.  He will be a nice compliment to their earlier pick and should excell in the pick and roll. 

18.  Phoenix Suns:  Shabazz Napier, PG, UCONN
Newly crowned NCAA champion will use his clutch ability and winning attitude to try and bring back the Suns to the days of Sir Charles and the NBA royalty. 

19.  Chicago Bulls:  Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
Best player off one of the best teams in recent memory showed his worth all year and in the tournament the past two years.  He exploded in the best game of the tournament, against Kentucky, and made himself millions. 

20.  Toronto Raptors:  Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA
Has the skills of a point guard and size of a small forward.  Should fit in nicely with DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry. 

21.  Oklahoma City Thunder:  Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
The thought process here is having Ennis run the point and move Westbrook to his more natural scoring guard role.  Let Ennis run the offense and find the other worldly scorers they have in Durant and Westbrook.  Just a thought.

22.  Memphis Grizzlies:  Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
They need help down low back up to Marc Gasol.  Big Bosnian Bruiser the best answer at this point.

23.  Utah Jazz:  James Young, SG, Kentucky
Lefty shooter just what the Jazz need to spot up for Gordon Haywood and Trey Burke.  Adding him to roster and if they land Embiid will be start of something special in Utah.

24.  Charlotte Hornets:  P.J. Hairston, SG, USA
The former Carolina Tar Heel can score in bunches and has been doing so in the D-League since leaving school.  He stays home and builds himself back up in familier territory. 

25.  Houston Rockets:  Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri
The multi talented guard with good size and quickness.  One year is plenty for him to showcase his potential at Missouri.

26.  Miami Heat:  Glen  Robinson III
G.R.III has great size and athleticism to couple with his genes being the son of "Big Dog" Glen Robinson.  NBA body and should love, potentially, playing along side LeBron.  If he stays in South Beach.

27.  Phoenix Suns:  C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
Their third pick can shoot it from deep.  He has range, size, and experience.  All three attributes make him a great pick and solid group for team.

28.  L.A. Clippers:  Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Long and athletic wing player has all the characteristics of a great pro.  Just what they need another guy to lob dunks too.

29.  Oklahoma City Thunder:  K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
The defenisve minded stalwart has quick hands and an even greater leaping ability.  With all those scorers they need someone to come in and concentrate on defense.  K.J. will clamp down whild K.D. lights up the scoreboard.

30.  San Antonio Spurs:  Clint Capela, PF/C, Switzerland
The newly crowned NBA champs use their pick on a international project.  They have struck gold in past drafts late with picks like Tony Parker and Manu Ganobili.  They hope this big man is also a diamond in the rough. 

See you Thursday and pick a winner!