The 2014 NBA draft is tomorrow, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty at the top. Well, not for me. I’ve had Andrew Wiggins in the top spot since last June, as you can see below. Previous 2014 mock drafts:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas. All-Star by Year 3, and it wouldn’t shock me if he was All-NBA by Year 4.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker, F, Duke. Inside track on Rookie of the Year … on a 23-27 win team.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Dante Exum, G, Australia. Yes, MCW was the Rookie of the Year and plays point guard, and yes, Exum’s agent has done a good job of hiding him. What are they getting? Worth the risk, or trade the pick?
4. Orlando Magic – Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State. How soon will Smart and Oladipo be one of the best defensive backcourts in the East?
5. Utah Jazz – Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana. I’m not a big fan, but the Jazz are looking for a stretch 4 and apparently think that’s what he’ll eventually be. Measurements! I wouldn’t take Vonleh in the Top 10.
6. Boston Celtics – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas. Does he fall this far? Probably won’t suit up until December. Big risk if Ainge pulls the trigger and health dogs Embiid’s career.
7. LA Lakers – Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona. After Wiggins and Exum, I think he’s got the most upside in the draft. Many see a future Shawn Marion; I stand by my Blake Griffin call from last June. In five years, I can see him being a 22-10 guy.
8. Sacramento Kings – Julius Randle, F, Kentucky. Seems to be a lot of talk about trading this pick, so I’ll go with best-on-board. Despite the foot concerns, I see Randle as a 14-10 rock for a solid decade, a nice No. 3 guy on a playoff team.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan. Love him a lot more than others do. Can do it all, knows he can, and will do it all sooner than later. If he slips any further than this, he’ll be a major steal
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Rodney Hood, SF, Duke. Like him a lot more than many. Does everything well, nothing exceptionally. They’ll improve at both ends when he takes over for Thaddeus Young.
11. Denver Nuggets – Zach LaVine, G, UCLA. A bit high for a project, not sound defensively yet, but crazy athletic, as you know. A Lawson-LaVine backcourt in two years is a very active and athletic one.
12. Orlando Magic – Doug McDermott, F, Creighton. Moved him up from 17. Great college player, but I don’t see him being an NBA All-Star.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves – James Young, SG, Kentucky. After Parker, might be the best player in this draft at getting buckets. Loafs defensively (but has potential based on athletic ability), not enamored with passing. Should pass Shabazz Muhammad in the rotation by January or perhaps training camp.
14. Phoenix Suns – Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State. Insurance policy if Eric Bledsoe leaves this summer?
15. Atlanta Hawks – TJ Warren, F, NC State. No change. Could be instant impact 6th man.
16. Chicago Bulls – Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State. Tough player, but not very sound defensively, but he adds the stretch 4 factor. Rose/Butler/Melo/Payne/Noah late in games is a lot of offense.
17. Boston Celtics – Elfrid Payton, G, LaFayette. If/when they trade Rondo, Payton replaces him. Strong defensively, can’t shoot … so he’s the new Rondo.
18. Phoenix Suns – Jusuf Nurkic, C, Crotia. A couple years away, by which point they’ll know if Alex Len is a future player or bust.
19. Chicago Bulls – Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn. No change.
20. Toronto Raptors – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse. No change. Replacement for Kyle Lowry?
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Dario Saric, F, Croatia. See you in a couple years. Thunder can afford futures pick here with Adams, Lamb and Perry Jones expected to shoulder more minutes next season.
22. Memphis Grizzlies – Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee. Bit of an impulse move, with Zach Randolph perhaps moving on.
23. Utah Jazz – PJ Hairston, G, UNC. Makes trading Alec Burks easier, if they go that route. Have a feeling Hairston could sneak into the lottery.
24 Charlotte Bobcats – Kyle Anderson, PG, UCLA. No change.
25 Houston Rockets – Mitch McGary, F, Michigan. Ultra-talented. Big steal if he falls this far.
26 Miami Heat – Nick Johnson, PG, Arizona. LeBron, are you happy?
27 Phoenix Suns – Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State. Channing Frye is opting out, and Early is a solid stretch 4 replacement.
28 Los Angeles Clippers – Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri. If Darren Collison moves on, Clarkson could take his place.
29 Oklahoma City Thunder – Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan. Probably should have stayed in school.
30 San Antonio Spurs – Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Serbia. Only 21, arrives in two years, replaces Manu?