On Thursday, June 26 the Cavs will have the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. This is the third time in four drafts that the Cavs have been gifted the number one overall pick, and this time, it seems like even they can’t mess it up.

In this mock draft, I’ll give a rough outline of the first round and will produce more versions as the weeks go on. Let’s get into it.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Joel Embiid, Center, Kansas

A no-brainer as long as the Cavs personal doctor passes Embiid on his back problems. Rim protector, nice touch offensively, sky high potential.

2. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas

Perhaps the highest potential for a wing in recent drafts, Wiggins is superbly athletic and has all the ball skills to be an offensive juggernaut in the NBA. Needs to bulk up a little bit.

3. Philadelphia 76ers – Jabari Parker, F, Duke

Parker may be the best player in the draft “right now,” so he falls into the what-you-see-is-what-you-get category. Parker is a very polished player at all aspects of the game, and could go to any of these three teams. Philly has an affection for Dante Exum as well, but until they move Michael Carter-Williams, this is where I see them going.

4. Orlando Magic – Dante Exum, G, Australia

Speaking of Exum, the Magic would love to add a guard to their already potential stacked young team. Exum is a scoring guard, draws similarities to Kyrie Irving.

5. Utah Jazz – Julius Randle, F, Kentucky

I could easily see Parker falling to the Jazz here if things work out that way, but if they go this way, I think the Jazz have an easy time pulling the trigger on the strong Randle. What the Jazz really need is a wing player, though.

6. Boston Celtics – Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana

Vonleh could definitely go higher than this, but I feel the Celtics would love to lock in the freakish athleticism that Vonleh provides. Perfect rebuild project.

7. Los Angeles Lakers – Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State

What more could the Lakers ask for than a solid point guard prospect to land in their laps? Actually, the Lakers are at the point where they could really use anything, but Smart seems like a perfect fit for the point guard-less Lakers. Smart is like a linebacker at point guard. The “Lake-show” mentality may have them trying to get Blake Griffin 2.0, Aaron Gordon.

8. Sacramento Kings – Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

Gordon is another athletic big that a lot of teams would love to have. There’s no denying the Blake Griffin comparison, but we’ll have to wait and see on that. Huge impact player to help a team.

9. Charlotte Hornets – Doug McDermott, F, Creighton

McDermott is another one of those NBA-ready studs that will easily translate his game into the association. McDermott is like a more athletic Dirk Nowitzki, but that’s a ceiling comparison. The basement isn’t too low, however. I’d give him a worst case scenario of a shooter like Kyle Korver. He’s had as high praise as any prospect, getting comparisons to Larry Bird and if he becomes an improved rebounder, Kevin Love.

10. Philadelphia 76ers – Dario Saric, F, International

Saric is said to be one of the most talented international players to come out for a draft in a long time. He has an overall game that has a lot of GM’s drooling, but of course remain cautious because of the translation to the NBA.

11. Denver Nuggets – James Young, G/F, Kentucky

Young is a very nice scorer from the wing, and that is something that the Nuggets will love to add to their team. Consistency was so-so for Young at Kentucky, but the upside is there.

12. Orlando Magic – T.J. Warren, F, N.C. State

Some may have him a little lower, but Warren can fill it up and he can do so against talented players. The Magic will look to fill different positions, and another guard just wouldn’t make sense. Maybe a reach, but the mid-1st round talent is very even.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves – Gary Harris, G, Michigan State

Minnesota may jump the gun here and get a solid scorer and defender at the guard position. There are teams behind them that are going to want Harris, so we may see a trade here as well. Harris should develop into a nice pro.

14. Phoenix Suns – Rodney Hood, G/F, Duke

Hood has potential to be a top 10 pick in this draft, but for now, we’re just squeezing him into the lottery. A dynamic lefty that can score from beyond the arc and attack the rim. Defense is a question, but the runnin’ Suns can develop him into a better defender.

15. Atlanta Hawks – Zach Levine, G/F, UCLA

Levine is another sleeper in this draft that I think could be worth a much higher pick. This draft is so deep with talent, and between picks 10-25 can be argued to be very similar in talent level.

16. Chicago Bulls – Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse

As far as pure point guards come, nothing is better in this draft than Ennis. The Bulls will be lucky to lock down a point guard of this level, especially with all the fear or Derrick Rose injuries. Ennis could turn into an Eric Bledsoe, or Darren Collison, as far as becoming a backup point guard that works his way to a starter.

17. Boston Celtics – Nick Stauskas, G, Michigan

Some would make the argument that Stauskas played a better point guard position than Ennis, but I think of Stauskas as more of a shooting guard that can make plays for teammates. Putting him alongside Rajon Rondo will be a nice addition for the Celtics and help with the rebuilding effort.

18. Phoenix Suns – Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA

Another talented and diverse player from UCLA. Anderson played as a point forward (see, LeBron) at UCLA, and can make all the plays offensively and defensively. Another guy I think could go higher than this.

19. Chicago Bulls – Jusuf Nurkic, C, International

Sort of an unknown to most, Nurkic is a young, gifted big man. He’s projected higher than this, and could see a move up in the next version of my mock draft.

20. Toronto Raptors – Shabazz Napier, G, Connecticut 

So maybe the Raptors don’t really need a point guard, but Napier is the type of player you take because of what he brings you. We all saw it in the NCAA Tournament, he’s a fierce leader and can really bring it every single night. Napier could become something of a Steph Curry perhaps. A true Cinderella story.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Adreian Payne, F, Michigan State

Payne is another versatile big that can shoot it from the outside and has great touch inside. Payne dominated in the NCAA Tournament, and helped carry Michigan State to yet another Elite Eight appearance.

22. Memphis Grizzlies – K.J. McDaniels, G/F, Clemson

McDaniels had a very nice season for the Tigers. McDaniels averaged 17ppg and 7rpg at the forward position. Yet again, another solid wing player.

23. Utah Jazz – P.J. Hairston, G, D-League

Hairston spent time in the D-League last season and will be draft eligible. He played some solid ball at North Carolina, and is even more NBA-ready because of the D-League experience he got.

24. Charlotte Hornets – Jordan Adams, G, UCLA

Yes, another Bruin off the board. Had the talented Bruins not run into a great Florida team, all of these kids would’ve had the opportunity to shine even further. Adams was another great scorer, rebounder (for his size), and defender for UCLA. A steal, perhaps, this late.

25. Houston Rockets – Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse

What a perfect fit to add to the Rockets depth. Grant is a lengthy forward who can score and rebound, as well as provide nice defense because of that length. Seems like a great fit to give Chandler Parsons some breathers throughout the season and really contribute to a playoff team.

26. Miami Heat – Glenn Robinson, F, Michigan

This is a tough one to predict, because we really have no idea what this team will look like after this summer. Robinson provides many tools that can immediately help a team, and could develop into something special as well.

27. Phoenix Suns – Kristaps Porzingis, F/C, International

A very dynamic body to work with, Porzingis is a seven-footer, but only weighs in at 220 lbs. Runs the floor very well for a big, and could fit in nicely with Jeff Hornacek’s scheme.

28. Los Angeles Clippers – Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana Lafayette

Payton could end up being the best point guard in this draft because his game seems to have the potential to translate very well. He can score it, pass it, defend and run the floor. He’ll most likely be moving up in the next mock.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, International

Finally, an international guard comes off the board. Think of Bogdanovic like a better version of Marco Bellinelli. A solid overall player with a knack for scoring.

30. San Antonio Spurs – Walter Tavares, C, International

Seems like the last pick would’ve been something the Spurs would do. But no, we all know Tim Duncan is going to be gone and it’s time to try and fill that void. Tavares is 7’3″, 265 lbs. A modern giant that could perhaps bring back a bit of old school ball. We know he could protect the paint, that’s for sure. He’s obviously not just a load out there, either. Tavares is very athletic for his size and could definitely be a Spurs’ type project.

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