2014 NBA Mock Draft: Preview, Predictions, Analysis
NBA Draft: June 26, 2014
The Line: See the Latest Odds
The 2014 NBA draft is a week away, which means it’s time to throw out a mock draft for the first 10 picks.
Who will the Cavs select first overall? Will there be any surprises? Here is how the first 10 picks of the draft should play out.
USA TODAY Sports
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – It seems more and more that the Cavs are falling in love with Joel Embiid. The former Kansas center has star potential and the skill set to be a rare dominant big man in the NBA. After the Cavaliers blew last year’s top pick, they have to go with the player with the highest ceiling.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks are despite for a star player who can make their franchise relevant. Andrew Wiggins can not only be that guy, but he can also carry the Bucks offensively and eventually lead them back to the playoffs. Wiggins is another player with high upside and is somebody who can help turn this team around immediately.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Jabari Parker to me is the best player in this draft when you look strictly at what he can do for a team right this second. Parker can be thrown into a starting lineup right away and give the 76ers a much needed scoring boost they didn’t have last season. There’s no way the 76ers pass on Parker if he’s still on the board at three.
4. Orlando Magic – The Magic need a lot, but a point guard especially. Dante Exum seems to be a good fit in this spot. Exum is more of a two-guard than a true point, but he’s somebody who can take over a game with the way he wills his way to the basket and gets to the line. The Magic need a go-to guy like Exum. This is their guy at the four spot.
5. Utah Jazz – The Jazz were 29th in the league in scoring last season and 23rd in rebounds. Noah Vonleh is a player who helps in both of those categories, as he’s a more physical version of Chris Bosh. Vonleh can crash the glass, but can also shoot the ball from just about anywhere on the court. With the solid backcourt the Jazz are building, Vonleh will fit right in.
6. Boston Celtics – The Celtics need a fresh face and a possible star they can build around. Aaron Gordon is the most athletic player in the NBA draft since Blake Griffin and will bring life back into Boston by putting butts in seats. Gordon is a strong defender, and has a flashy offensive game that will only improve. The Celtics can’t go wrong by selecting the former Arizona Wildcat in this spot.
7. Los Angeles Lakers – The rumors have been flying around for months that the Lakers would take Julius Randle if he’s on the board. Well, here you are. Randle is a physical body who can be a dominant big man in the paint for the Lakers for the foreseeable future. He’d be a pretty good piece to build around long after Kobe Bryant is no longer on the team. Randle doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he’s somebody who will contribute at a high level at both ends of the court.
8. Sacramento Kings – Rudy Gay is likely gone, Derrick Williams was a bust, the Kings need scoring and Doug McDermott could provide it in truckloads. McDermott is a smart player who can get this young Kings squad playing organized basketball, and he can provide a much needed offensive spark. McDermott and Isiah Thomas will thrive playing together.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson can’t do everything for a Hornets team that was 23rd in the league in scoring. Somebody has to help out. That’s why I like Marcus Smart in this spot. While most consider Smart a point guard, he’s actually built to be a two-guard at the NBA level. He’s big, physical and likes to drive to the rim. Smart is like a young Dwyane Wade and isn’t great at getting his teammates involved. I think the Hornets would benefit greatly by drafting Smart and turning him into a shooting guard alongside a blossoming Walker.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – The 76ers have been eyeing Nik Stauskas for quite some time and it makes too much sense to take him with their second first round pick. Players with Stauskas’ shooting ability are hard to come by, and he’d help improve a 76ers team that shot just 31.2 percent from beyond the arc last season. Stauskas is a playmaker and somebody who can fill up the stat sheet all while helping Philly improve in the win department.