2014 NBA Mock Draft with twist

This mock draft is going to be a little different than most.  I’m going to pick the player who I think the team WILL draft in addition to the player I think the team SHOULD draft.  This year’s draft has so many possibilities with trades, injuries, potential superstars, etc. that it should make for a very entertaining night and upcoming season.  Not to mention the fact that some of these teams are trying to draft players who could potentially bring in a LeBron or Carmelo.  I’ve been waiting a long time for this draft.

A quick note before I start.  I’m not going to even begin to predict trades.  I have absolutely no doubt that there will be multiple trades tonight.  However, trying to predict who’s going to get picked is hard enough.

 

#1. Cleveland Cavaliers:

They WILL draft Andrew Wiggins F Kansas.

They SHOULD draft Andrew Wiggins F Kansas.

The why: I believe Wiggins is the best player in the draft.  He has shown a lack of aggression at times.  That’s about the only real red flag to me.  His outside shot isn’t there yet.  That’s not surprising or concerning.  He could drive all he wanted in high school and, for the most part, at Kansas.  He’s never had the need to really develop his outside shot.  As long as he puts in the work, his shot will come around.  He’s a freak athletically.  The main thing that separates Wiggins for me is his ability to play defense.  He’s the only player in the draft that has been dominant on offense and defense in college.  Parker and Randle don’t have the defense (at least not yet).  And Embiid showed some flashed on offense, but certainly was never dominant on offense.  Wiggins also appears to be very humble and reserved.  That could mean he’s not ever going to be a franchise player, but it certainly should prevent him from getting into trouble or making waves.

#2. Milwaukee Bucks:

They WILL draft Jabari Parker F Duke.

They SHOULD draft Jabari Parker F Duke.

The why: The biggest reason they should take Parker is because he actually WANTS to play for Milwaukee.  All kidding aside, Parker is an elite talent on offense.  He’s a decent shooter who is devastating down low.  He’s also solid at rebounding.  He is not a good defensive player and that could hurt his long term value if he doesn’t get better.  However, he’s NBA-ready and too talented to pass up at #2.  He also played for a great school and a great coach and that should help his development.

#3. Philadelphia 76ers:

They WILL draft Dante Exum G Australia.

They SHOULD draft Joel Embiid C Kansas.

The why: I get the idea of liking Exum.  He’s a big PG who looks to be very athletic.  I think he’ll actually end up as a 2 guard and not a PG.  Exum is a bit of a mystery because he didn’t play college ball and many people haven’t seem him play against elite talent.  With that being said, I would take Embiid if I had the pick.  I know Embiid has some injury concerns.  I’m not privy to his medical records (nor am I a doctor), so I don’t know how bad it really might be.  But I keep hearing comparisons to guys like Hakeem.  Embiid can help right away (as soon as he’s healthy) on defense.  As long as his offensive game turns into 10-12 points, he can be a top 5 starting center pretty quickly.  Obviously, the big concern is the injury history.

#4. Orlando Magic:

They WILL draft Aaron Gordon F Arizona.

They SHOULD draft Julius Randle F Kentucky.

The why: Gordon is an elite defensive player.  He is young and very athletic.  However, the Magic need some offense.  I seem to like Randle a lot more than other people.  Randle might not be an elite talent, but he can rebound and he can score.  He showed a great motor at Kentucky and I don’t see how he doesn’t end up being a 15 and 10 guy.  He reminds me a lot of Zach Randolph.  He’s not quite as tall, but he’s thick and he’s a great low post guy.  I know he has a red flag because of his foot, but I’d rather take him than take a guy who was so inconsistent in college.

#5. Utah Jazz:

They WILL draft Noah Vonleh F Indiana.

They SHOULD draft Noah Vonleh F Indiana.

The why: There’s a good chance Vonleh gets scooped up before this pick.  However, he’s a bit too raw to me.  Yes, he’s tall and athletic.  He shot the ball very well for a big man.  He just didn’t put up enough numbers for my liking.  He only averaged 11.3 points per game.  I know he was a Freshman and he only played 26.5 minutes per game.  I just wanted to see more out of him.  I’ve seen too many 6’9″-6’10″ athletic wings not pan out in the NBA (Anthony Bennett ring a bell?).  Vonleh could end up being the best player in this draft or he could be out of the league in 3 years.  One thing he has going for him is that he has a great motor.  This should keep him on the court some.

#6. Boston Celtics:

They WILL draft Joel Embiid C Kansas.

They SHOULD draft Joel Embiid C Kansas.

The why: In case you didn’t notice, that’s now two teams that SHOULD draft Embiid.  The SHOULD draft section is a bit different because it can be the same player over and over again.  With that being said, I’m not going to say the Celtics SHOULD draft Wiggins because there’s no way he’ll be available at #6.  I’m also not going to say every team SHOULD draft Embiid until he actually goes because that becomes obvious.  Embiid fits perfectly with the Celtics.  He would play great with Rondo because Rondo would be able to get him the ball in ideal scoring situations.

#7. Los Angeles Lakers:

They WILL draft Julius Randle F Kentucky.

They SHOULD draft Marcus Smart G Oklahoma State.

The why: The Lakers haven’t had a lot of luck at PG lately.  Steve Nash has been out of the lineup way too much.  Kendall Marshall isn’t the long term answer.  And before that it seemed to always be a mix of guys like Steve Blake, Derek Fisher etc.  Smart has had some behavior issues, but what better way to kick that to the curb than by playing with Kobe and Nash?  Randle isn’t a bad pick at all though.  As mentioned before, I love the upside with him.

#8. Sacramento Kings:

They WILL draft Elfrid Payton G Louisiana Lafayette.

They SHOULD draft Marcus Smart G Oklahoma State.

The why: Sacramento needs a PG.  Sadly I think think that Smart’s behavior might sway them away from him.  He’s similar to DeMarcus Cousins in that regard and I doubt the Kings want two guys like that.  Payton is a solid option at PG, but probably doesn’t have as much upside as Smart.  Payton isn’t nearly as thick as Smart, but is probably more athletic.  Payton is definitely not as NBA ready though.

#9. Charlotte Hornets:

They WILL draft Marcus Smart G Oklahoma State.

They SHOULD draft Nik Stauskas G Michigan.

The why: If Smart does indeed drop this low, it’d be hard to pass up.  However, the Hornets need shooting.  This doomed them last year.  They play great D and have low post scoring with Big Al.  But they need more shooting.  McDermott is also an option here, but I actually like Stauskas more as a shooter.

#10. Philadelphia 76ers:

They WILL draft Doug McDermott F Creighton.

They SHOULD draft T.J. Warren F NC State.

The why:  Philly is in a tough spot here honestly.  There are a ton of guards available here who are solid.  However, they already have Carter-Williams and I have them taking Exum with the 3rd pick.  Unless they want to be like the Timberwolves a few years ago, they can’t just keep drafting guards.  Warren was a prolific scorer at NC State and he can play right away.  Anyone who can average almost 25 points per game in the ACC should be able to contribute on offense.

#11. Denver Nuggets:

They WILL draft Nik Stauskas G Michigan.

They SHOULD draft Nik Stauskas G Michigan.

The why: I’ve seen mock draft that have the Nuggets taking one of the PGs here.  I don’t understand that.  Ty Lawson is the best player they have.  Why would they draft someone who plays the same position as their best player?  Denver, like many other teams, needs shooters.  The NBA has become a 3-point shooting league.  Denver was middle of the road last year in 3-point shooting.  Stauskas would help with that immediately.

#12. Orlando Magic:

They WILL draft Zach LaVine G UCLA.

They SHOULD draft Zach LaVine G UCLA.

The why: LaVine has a ton of upside.  He’s a super tall PG who reminds me of Shaun Livingston.  LaVine is raw and probably not ready to play a lot right away.  However, he could end up being a superstar.  The Magic need talent and can’t worry about positions right now.

#13. Minnesota Timberwolves:

They WILL draft T.J. Warren F NC State.

They SHOULD draft T.J. Warren F NC State.

The why: The Timberwolves are going to need guys who can score after they trade Love.  Warren can do that.  I actually expect the Wolves to trade this pick to try and move up.  However, if they stay here they need someone who can play right away.  I don’t believe they want to go into full rebuild mode.  There’s no way to do that when you trade Love unless you get NBA ready guys in the draft.  If they do decide to go into full rebuild mode, I wouldn’t be surprised if they drafted Dario Saric.

#14. Phoenix Suns:

They WILL draft Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia.

They SHOULD draft Dario Saric F Croatia.

The why: The Suns need help up front.  They have Bledsoe, Dragic and Green at G.  Alex Len could turn into something, but they just don’t have enough big man depth.  However, I think they should go the route of Saric.  The Suns are good enough to compete now.  They had a great season and have a young team to build around.  Saric won’t be coming to the NBA for at least 2 years.  But he has a ton of talent and could be a huge difference maker once he arrives.

#15. Atlanta Hawks:

They WILL draft Gary Harris G Michigan State.

They SHOULD draft Gary Harris G Michigan State.

The why: Korver had a great season for the Hawks this year.  However, he’s best suited to come off the bench and provide shooting for the 2nd unit.  The Hawks also have Louis Williams, but he’s more of a bench player as well.  The thing that sets Harris apart is that he’s good on defense.  Both Williams and Korver are liabilities on that end of the court.  Harris could step right in and help on D.  If he struggles on offense the Hawks would be able to play Korver or Williams when they need scoring.

#16. Chicago Bulls:

They WILL draft Dario Saric F Croatia.

They SHOULD draft Shabazz Napier G Connecticut.

The why: The Bulls are a good team now and could be a great team depending on free agency.  Drafting Saric would give them a chance to reload in a few years if they stumble.  However, they (and everyone else) wants a real shot at LeBron.  So why not draft a guy he’s known to like in Napier?  Yes they have Derrick Rose, but he’s not exactly dependable at this point.  Plus, Napier could be a bench guy who provides a HUGE spike to the 2nd unit.  If nothing else, it might slightly increase the Bulls’ chances of getting the thing they really want.

#17. Boston Celtics:

They WILL draft Rodney Hood G Duke.

They SHOULD draft Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia.

The why: The Celtics need big time help at C.  They can’t expect to start Kelly Olynyk or Kris Humphries and be a Playoff team.  I have them drafting Embiid with their 6th pick, but they still need more help down low.  I actually think Embiid might end up playing more PF than C at the NBA level.  Nurkic is a true C who is a monster of a man.  I like Hood, but he’s not as big of a need for the C’s.

#18. Phoenix Suns:

They WILL draft Adreian Payne F Michigan State.

They SHOULD draft Kyle Anderson F UCLA.

The why: As stated earlier, the Suns need help at F and C.  Both of these players could help there.  I just like Anderson’s upside more.  Payne can do some amazing things for a big man.  I’m just not sure he translates to the NBA quite as well.  Anderson is a PG in a PF body.  He could end up being one of the top 3-4 players from this draft.  I don’t think the same can be said about Payne.

#19. Chicago Bulls:

They WILL draft Kyle Anderson F UCLA.

They SHOULD draft Kyle Anderson F UCLA.

The why: The Bulls need help at F.  Boozer and Dunleavy just don’t really cut it.  Gibson is solid, but really don’t provide a lot of offense.  Anderson is a guy who could be another play maker for Chicago.  Their lineup would be scary if they started Noah, Gibson, Anderson Butler and Rose.  That would be one heck of a defensive team.  Plus they’d have three guys in Noah, Anderson and Rose who are true facilitators.  That’s not a bad team if they miss out on Carmelo and LeBron.

#20. Toronto Raptors:

They WILL draft Tyler Ennis G Syracuse.

They SHOULD draft Tyler Ennis G Syracuse.

The why: Of all the later picks in the first round, this one makes the most sense to me.  Ennis is Canadian.  The Raptors have a strong possibility of losing Kyle Lowry to free agency.  And Ennis should a ton of potential as a Freshmen.  There were times when scouts had him in the top 10.  There’s still a possibility he doesn’t make it to #20, but if he does and the Raptors are still picking here, I’d be more than shocked if they don’t take Ennis.

#21. Oklahoma City Thunder:

They WILL draft P.J. Hairston G UNC.

They SHOULD draft James Young F Kentucky.

The why: OKC is still looking for a replacement for Harden.  Sadly, I don’t think Hairston is it.  I prefer James Young to Hairston.  Young has a ton of upside and could end up being a great 4th or 5th option for OKC.  I also think it helps that Young played on Kentucky and is more used to not being the man.  A lot of college guys who were the man for their team might struggle to be on a team with Westbrook and Durant.

#22. Memphis Grizzlies:

They WILL draft James Young F Kentucky.

They SHOULD draft Joe Harris G Virginia.

The why: Young is too good to pass up if he falls to 22.  However, Harris is a great shooter and the Grizzlies need that more than anything.  There aren’t a ton of great shooters this late in the draft.  The Grizzlies are still so close to making a Finals and a great shooter could, possibly, put them over the hump.

#23. Utah Jazz:

They WILL draft Mitch McGary F Michigan.

They SHOULD draft Clint Capela F Switzerland.

The why: McGary could provide depth at the forward position.  I simply don’t like McGary all that much.  He remind me of Tyler Hansbrough, who has been a decent pro but not a great one.  Capela has a lot more upside.  Capela is all over draft boards.  If he ends up being as good as he can, he’ll be a top 10 player from this draft.  If not, it’s worth the gamble with the 23rd pick.

#24. Charlotte Hornets:

They WILL draft K.J. McDaniels F Clemson.

They SHOULD draft Jordan Clarkson G Missouri.

The why: McDaniels is a super freak athlete.  I could see the Hornets taking him to try and improve their overall talent.  Clarkson can be a good back-up to Kemba.  Plus they can play Kemba at the same time since Kemba is a big time scoring threat.

#25. Houston Rockets:

They WILL draft Jarnell Stokes F Tennessee.

They should draft Jarnell Stokes F Tennessee.

The why: Stokes is a great value at this point.  And the Rockets love value.

 

SORRY!  I meant to get this finished, but just got home.  Anyway, figured I’d post it regardless.

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