Top Ten NBA Mock Draft
- Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
Now, just because I think Wiggins is the pick, doesn’t mean that I think he will be playing in Cleveland come next season. I still think that if the Cavs do in fact pull the trigger on the 6’8 forward, it is because there is so much interest in him around the league. Teams *Cough* Sixers *Cough* could give up an arm and a leg to land this kid. But the fact remains, Wiggins oozes athleticism and has by far the highest ceiling of any prospect in this draft class. Sure his offensive game is raw, but he has the ability and length to be one of the best defenders and transition scorers this league has seen in a while. While I can still see Duke’s Jabari Parker going #1, I think that Wiggins could be too enticing to pass up.
2. Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
The NBA is slowly but surely becoming a league dominated by slashing athletic forwards and this draft is backing that notion. Jabari Parker is by far the most gifted scorer in this draft and the more I watch him, the more he reminds me of Carmelo Anthony. Now, that’s a pretty bold comparison for the Chicago product and in any other draft, he probably goes number 1. There has been knocks on him about his quickness and defensive play but the bottom line is that the Bucks need a go- to scoring threat and Parker is the best on the board. They found a gem late in last year’s draft, drafting “The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo and adding Jabari to the mix is moving this franchise into the right direction.
3. Philadelphia 76ers- Dante Exum, G, Australia
By far, the team that took the biggest hit with the news that Joel Embiid will undergo foot surgery before the 2014 NBA draft was the Sixers. News got around that they were in love with Andrew Wiggins and they probably could have landed the Kansas product if Embiid had stayed healthy. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, the top two prizes in this draft are off the board by three and the Sixers are stuck with deciding between some of the less- than- guaranteed prospects still left on the board. One of those would definitely be Australian guard Dante Exum. Exum is one of those boom- or- bust guys that no one can really get a handle on. He’s extremely long at 6’6, can get to the rim or create his own shot on the perimeter. Although he’s used to playing the point, he will probably have to move to the shooting guard position with Michael Carter- Williams emerging as a budding young star in the league. Exum could be dealt but if he stays, Philly could be putting together one of the better young back courts in the NBA.
4. Orlando Magic- Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
The Magic hold an option for the final year of Jameer Nelson’s contract and the point guard is certainly getting up there in age. Point is, they need some help in the backcourt and I think they make the first big surprise of the 2014 NBA Draft and take Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. Smart could have been the top pick in last year’s draft and despite some of the controversy that followed him this past season, I think that his play will overcome the character questions. The Magic would have liked for Exum to be here but they get a pretty nice consolation prize.
5. Utah Jazz- Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
I think that this is a great fit for the Jazz especially with the prospects still on the board at this point in the draft. They got a nice young guard in Trey Burke last year so now its time to add some more talent to pair with Enes Kanter in the front court. Vonleh is a gifted defender who is developing his offensive game and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty on the glass. Utah is in the fortunate position to draft the best player available and Vonleh is just that.
6. Boston Celtics- Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
The free fall ends at six for the Kansas seven footer. Just a few weeks ago Embiid was the consensus number one pick but a fracture in his foot will certainly make his wait a little longer Thursday night. I doubt Boston will hesitate to take Embiid if he’s sitting here at six. He has an incredibly high upside and if he could show that his injury history is behind him, he could present incredible value at this spot.
7. Los Angeles Lakers- Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
This is another pick that could be on the block come Thursday but if the Lakers stand pat, I think they go with the Arizona forward. He is freakishly athletic and I believe to be one of the more underrated players coming out this year. He has the potential to become a lockdown defender and if his offensive game comes along, the league better watch out.
8. Sacramento Kings- Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Another freshman big man that could see his stock take a tumble due to injury. Julius Randle was an extremely high touted prospect coming out of high school and he didn’t disappoint, averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds for Kentucky on their way to a national championship birth. He is incredibly thick and has an unstoppable motor. Obtaining him at eight would be a huge win for the Kings and a front- court with him and Boogie Cousins could spell disaster for the west.
9. Charlotte Hornets- Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
If I’m confident about one thing, it’s that Dougie Buckets will be a top 10 draft pick. He was the nations top scorer this past season and could really give the Hornets a much-needed boost offensively. They broke through this season and made the playoffs but despite the early exit, you have to like where this team is heading if you’re a Charlotte fan.
10. Philadelphia 76ers- Dario Saric, F, Croatia
With the Sixer’s second first round pick, they can afford to roll the dice a little on a player who might not be coming to the USA for a few years. They are in no rush to win and Saric could turn into a stud once he makes his way over to the states. He can handle the ball, is a gifted passer, and could stretch the floor with his jump shot. The Sixers add another international talent to their already young promising roster.
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