With the 2014 NBA Draft tonight at 7:30 ET, ISH writers Mark Shutley (MS), Hank Stichter (HS), and Mitchell Koch (MK) go head to head in this mock draft. Hank Stichter gives his insight on each of the lottery picks in the upcoming draft.
1. Mark Shutley: Cleveland Caviliers- Jabari Parker SF/PF Duke
1. Hank Stichter: Cleveland Cavaliers- Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
1. Mitchell Koch: Cleveland Cavaliers- Jabari Parker SF/PF, Duke
I am the lone Wiggins pick in this mock, really only to give the draft some more diversity. I have heard that the Cavaliers’ front office is still torn on whether to draft Wiggins, Parker, or even potentially trade down. Neither Parker or Wiggins, is a bad pick; most likely either one will turn into a potential star in the league. Personally I think that Parker will be better right away, but I think that Wiggins will be better in the long run. No one really knows what the Cavs will do with this pick, but one thing is for sure… it wont be an Anthony Bennett repeat.
2. MS: Milwaukee Bucks- Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas
2. HS: Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke
2. MK: Milwaukee Bucks- Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
Like the Cavaliers, it is going to be hard to go wrong here for the Bucks. They will have their choice between 2 out of the 3 between Exum, Wiggins, and Parker, all of which have potential to be superstars in the league. Any of them will have significant effect right away, but I would say that Parker is the most likely candidate at this spot. I have heard that his workout in Milwaukee was outstanding, while just ok in Cleveland. With Wiggins off the board here already, the Bucks are still perfectly happy with Parker, whom I believe to be the number one guy on the Bucks big board. While the Bucks are still eagerly trying to hop up to the number one spot to grab Parker most likely, I think they will be able to draft their guy here at two.
3. MS: Philadelphia 76ers- Dante Exum PG Australia
3. HS: Philadelphia 76ers- Dante Exum, PG, Australia
3. MK: Philadelphia 76ers- Dante Exum, PG, Australia
The first pick all three analysts agree on comes here at pick three, with Exum and the Sixers. Exum, along with Parker and Wiggins, is one of the top three players that could achieve stardom from day one in the league. The Sixers have said that they believe that reigning rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams, and Exum will be able to play together in the same back court. In this circumstance however, I have Philly trading MCW to the Lakers for Steve Nash and another top 10 pick; I will include further details in pick seven. The Aussie would play shooting guard most likely in this lineup, as well as provide depth behind Carter-Williams, and give the 76ers one of the best young backcourts in the country.
4. MS: Orlando Magic- Joel Embiid C Kansas
4. HS: Orlando Magic- Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
4. MK: Orlando Magic- Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
The three biggest needs for the Magic right now are a point guard, a stretch 4, and a shot blocker; with Vonleh they would have solved the ladder two of those needs. Since Exum is off the board here they pretty much have three options, Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid, or Noah Vonleh. Although Embiid has the potential to be the best player from this draft, Vonleh will be able to play right away, and solve more needs for the Magic than Embiid could once he is healthy. Vonleh is still slightly on the raw side talent wise, but he wont have to worry as much since Nikola Vucevic is still the king in the paint for Orlando.
5. MS: Utah Jazz- Aaron Gordon SF/PF Arizona
5. HS: Sacramento Kings (via Jazz)- Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
5. MK: Utah Jazz- Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
I have the first trade of the draft coming here at 5, with the Kings trading Ben McLemore, Jason Terry, and the number eight pick in the draft, to the Jazz for the number 5 pick. There have been talks about the Kings potentially moving up to draft the 7 footer out of Kansas, and I think they will personally. But if they don’t then both Gordon and Embiid are terrific options for the Jazz, even if their top guy, Vonleh, is off the board. The Kings would want to move up ahead of the Celtics if they were to draft Embiid, because the way it sounds now is that Danny Ainge will not allow for Embiid to slip past number six on his watch.
6. MS: Boston Celtics- Noah Vonleh PF Indiana
6. HS: Boston Celtics- Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Arizona
6. MK: Boston Celtics- Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
Now is where things become very interesting with the Celtics, a team that seems to have interest in just about any possibility thrown their way. I have heard everything from trade Rondo, acquire Kevin Love, or try to get the 1st overall pick, but in reality they will probably just have to draft where they currently sit at six. Embiid, Vonleh, or Gordon, is the pick here for the Celtics, and none of them are a bad option. I say Gordon just because both Vonleh and Embiid are off the board at this point. Besides shooting, Gordon is pretty much everything else you could want in an NBA player. Mitchell Koch has the Celtics taking Smart here, which is definitely the SMART move if they are planning on going into total rebuilding mode, which would mean shipping off Rondo. But there have not been any sure signs of that so far so Mark and I are saying that they stay where they are.
7. MS: Los Angeles Lakers- Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma State
7. HS: Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers)- Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
7. MK: Los Angeles Lakers- Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
As I said earlier, I had the 76ers trading Michael Carter-Williams for the 7th pick in the draft and Steve Nash. This trade would allow the freedom of cap room for the Lakers with the release of Nash, and this would give them potentially the room required to sign a big name free agent this upcoming summer. Los Angeles would also acquire the up and coming Carter-Williams, who would hopefully serve as a foundation for the post Kobe era coming in the near future. Philly would luck out and be able to start Exum at point, where he will most likely excel the most, and also get Julius Randle to accommodate Nerlens Noel in the paint. If this plays out then it is the best of both worlds, and if it doesn’t then the Lakers would most likely draft either Randle or Smart at this spot, but I would say Smart has the edge in this one.
8. MS: Sacramento Kings- Dario Saric SF/PF Croatia
8. HS: Utah Jazz (via Kings)- Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
8. MK: Sacramento Kings- Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Now after the Jazz have traded down and acquired some role players along the way, they should select one of the top remaining wings on the board, whether it is McDermott, Saric, or Gordon. With Gordon already gone and Saric staying in Europe for two more years, I believe that McDermott has the edge at this pick. All three wings here are totally different players, Gordon is the top athlete in the group, Saric is a floor general in a power forward body, and McDermott is a knock down shooter with an exceptionally high basketball IQ. If all three are available then the Jazz get to pick which player fits their style the best, but if not then it will come down to process of elimination for the Jazz. The Kings pretty much have the same needs and options if they stay and pick here at eight.
9. MS: Charlotte Hornets- Doug McDermott SF Creighton
9. HS: Charlotte Hornets: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
9. MK: Charlotte Hornets: Nick Stauskas, SG, Michigan
This one is pretty much a race between Stauskas and McDermott for the Hornets, formerly the Bobcats. With McDermott already off the board for me, I have Stauskas going to Buzz City. Stauskas in my opinion is the better player anyway, he learned last year how to play the point after the departure of Trey Burke, and could also provide depth behind Kemba Walker as well as being a knock down shooter, both of which Charlotte is in need of. McDermott would provide the shooting they need, but it would be harder to make time for him in the rotation and still have Michael Kidd-Gilchrest playing a significant role as well. Even though I have heard rumors that McDermott is the favorite in Charlotte by a hair right now, Stauskas is the better fit.
10. MS: Philadelphia 76ers- Julius Randle PF Kentucky
10. HS: Philadelphia 76ers- James Young, SF, Kentucky
10. MK: Philadelphia 76ers- Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
Now that they have spent one of their top ten picks on a point guard, and the other on a post playmaker, it is time to draft a wing for the Sixers. Young is the best one still on the board, and he also has the diversity of being able to play the role of a lengthy shooting guard, which would allow Thaddeus Young to start at small forward. Both McDermott and Randle would probably be better picks here than Young, but with both of them off the board, Young is the next best option. Not only would this Sixer scenario create the roster with the most Youngs in the starting rotation (Thaddeus and James), but it would also create the best young team in the league.
11. MS: Denver Nuggets- Nik Stauskas SG Michigan
11. HS: Denver Nuggets- Dario Saric, SF/PF Croatia
11. MK: Denver Nuggets- Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia
If Stauskas falls here then the Nuggets will have a field day, but in the likely event of that happening the Nuggets could potentially have another star in Dario Saric. Saric has announced he will still stay over seas for another two years. With this being so, how come he has still been invited to the green room of the NBA Draft? Probably because he had a promise made by a lottery team, the Nuggets being the most likely contenders. The Nuggets are really the only team so far that doesn’t need help right away, which means they can afford to wait a couple years to get their guy, just as the Raptors did with Jonas Valanciunas, and the Timberwolves with Ricky Rubio. Both situations played out well for the NBA party, and I don’t see why it wont happen again. The Nuggets will be happy campers in 2 years if this scenario comes true.
12. MS: Orlando Magic- Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse
12. HS: Orlando Magic- Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
12. MK: Orlando Magic- Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette
No doubt here that Orlando is looking for a point guard here if they go post play at pick 4. Only issue is which one will they choose? If Smart falls here then he is the obvious choice, which is what I have, but Payton and Ennis are two other good options here at 12 for Orlando. Payton I would say, has the edge over Ennis at the moment if all goes as planned, due to Payton performing better in workouts than Ennis and the other point guards he was up against. Payton showed the biggest rise in draft boards, something that has proved to be a good omen going into rookie seasons for past players fitting this mold; Damian Lillard being the prime example. Any three of the guards above should have an immediate impact on Orlando’s program in their first season in the league.
13. MS: Minnesota Timberwolves- James Young SF Kentucky
13. HS: Minnesota Timberwolves- Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
13. MK: Minnesota Timberwolves- Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Minnesota needs three things at the moment, a landing spot for Love, shooters, and post players to replace Love. Payne solves two out of those three issues for the Timberwolves. As the next best stretch 4 after Vonleh, Payne can be a knock down 3 point shooter at times, but is also a dominating post presence with his length and athleticism. Young is also a terrific option for Minnesota if he is available here, and in the end if he is then it will be a toss up between the two players. Minnesota can’t go wrong with either guy here.
14. MS: Phoenix Suns-Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana Lafayette
14. HS: Phoenix Suns- Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
14. MK: Phoenix Suns- James Young, SF, Kentucky
Phoenix is the only team with three first round picks as of now, so don’t be surprised if they deal a couple for veterans or to move up in the draft. I think that Harris is the best fit for the Suns here, even if Payton and Young are still on the board. Harris is a very versatile player, who does just about everything well. He doesn’t have the shooting that Young has, or the aggressiveness Payton has, but he is a better all around player than the two of them. Only if Phoenix was looking to trade Goran Dragic, or not resign Eric Bledsoe, would I recommend them taking a point guard. Other than that Young and Harris are both good options, but I like the fit of Harris better.
15. MS: Atlanta Hawks- Gary Harris SG Michigan State
15. HS: Atlanta Hawks- Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette
15. MK: Atlanta Hawks- Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
16. MS: Chicago Bulls- Rodney Hood SG Duke
16. HS: Chicago Bulls- Rodney Hood, SG, Duke
16. MK: Chiacago Bulls- Rodney Hood, SG Duke
17. MS: Boston Celtics- Zach LaVine PG UCLA
17. HS: Boston Celtics- Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
17. MK: Boston Celtics- Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
18. MS: Phoenix Suns- Adrian Payne PF Michigan State
18. HS: Phoenix Suns- Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
18. MK: Phoenix Suns- Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
19. MS: Chicago Bulls- Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia
19. HS: Miami Heat (via Bulls)- Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn
19. Chicago Bulls- P.J. Hairston, SG, UNC
20. MS: Toronto Raptors- TJ Warren SF NC State
20. HS: Toronto Raptors- Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
20. MK: Toronta Raptors- Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
21. MS: Oklahoma City Thunder-PJ Hairston SG North Carolina
21. HS: Oklahoma City Thunder- Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
21. MK: Oklahoma City Thunder- Clint Capela, PF/C, Switzerland
22. MS: Memphis Grizzlies- CJ Wilcox SG Washington
22. HS: Memphis Grizzlies- KJ McDaniels, SF, Clemson
22. MK: Memphis Grizzlies- Kyle Anderson, PG/SF, UCLA
23. MS: New York Knicks- Mitch McGary PF Michigan
23. HS: New York Knicks (via Jazz)- TJ Warren, SF, NC State
23. MK: Miami Heat (Via Jazz)- Shabazz Napier, PG, Uconn
24. MS: Charlotte Hornets- Shabazz Napier PG UConn
24. HS: Charlotte Hornets- Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan
24. MK: Charlotte Hornets- Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan
25. MS: Houston Rockets- KJ McDaniels SF Clemson
25. HS: Brooklyn Nets (via Rockets)- Kyle Anderson, SF/PF, UCLA
25. MK: Houston Rockets- TJ Warren, SF, NC State
26. MS: Miami Heat- Patric Young C Florida
26. HS: Chicago Bulls (via Heat)- PJ Hairston, SG, North Carolina
26. MK: Utah Jazz (via Heat)- Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
27. MS: Phoenix Suns- Bogdan Bogdanović, SG/SF, Serbia
27. HS: Phoenix Suns- Walter Tavares, C, Spain
28. MK: Phoenix Suns- Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
28. MS: Los Angeles Clippers- Clint Capela PF Switzerland
28. HS: Los Angeles Clippers- Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
28. MK: Los Angeles Clippers- Walter Tavares, C, Spain
29. MS: Oklahoma City Thunder- Jarnell Stokes PF Tennessee
29. HS: Oklahoma City Thunder- Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
29. MK: Oklahoma City Thunder- Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee
30. MS: San Antonio Spurs- Cleanthony Early SF Wichita State
30. HS: San Antonio Spurs- Artem Klimenko, C, Russia
30. MK: San Antonio Spurs- K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
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