Mocking the Top 10 Picks of the 2014 NBA Draft
Mocking the First 10 Picks
Believe it or not, the 2014 NBA Draft is only a few short months away. That means it’s the perfect time to start putting together some mock drafts in preparation for the big event.
There’s still plenty of basketball left to be played this season, both in the NBA and the college ranks. The top prospects are still prepping for upcoming conference tournaments as well as the Big Dance, and still have another month to raise their draft stock or watch it drop. Meanwhile, NBA teams are still jockeying for playoff (or lottery) positioning.
The biggest goal of this mock draft is to gauge where certain players’ stocks currently sit at and what positions certain teams will be looking to address when the draft arrives. It’s a peak into what could happen when the real deal begins, and helps us picture what could play out. The added bonus is imagining some of college basketball’s top prospects playing for your favorite NBA team.
There are still three and a half months until the 2014 NBA Draft tips off, but the speculation on what will happen is sure to run rampant in between now and then. Especially with a 2014 class that’s sure to be loaded with top-tier talent and plenty of playmakers, the mock drafts are sure to come early and often leading up to that Thursday night.
With that in mind, here’s an early look at what the first ten picks of the 2014 NBA Draft could look like when June 26 rolls around.
1. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
This is a no-brainer. With the Bucks playing miserable basketball, they need to go with the top prospect on the board. Embiid is coming into his own down the stretch, and there’s no player better at dominating the paint in college basketball.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
It took a while, but Wiggins is finally getting into a groove and proving himself to be one of the most exciting prospects in college basketball. Moving forward, the 76ers need offensive weapons who can keep them competitive, and Wiggins seems to fit the bill.
3. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
It’s time for the Magic to move on from Jameer Nelson as their starting point guard. That’s where an explosive player like Exum comes in. It won’t be long before the entire NBA is aware of just how dynamic Exum is, and the Magic will be ecstatic to see him fall to No. 3.
4. Boston Celtics: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
The Celtics appear to be keeping Rajon Rondo for now, so the point guard becomes less of a concern. So they go for a big man here, bringing aboard the versatile Vonleh. Not only does he have the size and physical tools to dominate in the paint, but he’s a tremendous offensive weapon who can score at will.
5. Denver Nuggets: Marcus Smart, PG, Michigan State
While Ty Lawson is an outstanding point guard, the Nuggets could use another option with tougher defense. Smart brings a well-rounded game to the court, and has the versatility to play both the 1 and 2. Having a talent like Smart coming off the bench or starting at the shooting guard seems logical for Denver.
6. Los Angeles Lakers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Arguably the most NBA-ready player of the 2014 class, Parker is another no-brainer at No. 6. The Lakers will be in full-on rebuild mode this offseason, and adding a consistent player like Parker to the mix will certainly help solidify their future moving forward.
7. Utah Jazz: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Marvin Williams isn’t exactly a long-term answer at power forward. And with Randle available at No. 7, the Jazz would be stupid to pass up on drafting arguably the most NBA-ready big man of the 2014 class. He dominates the glass, has a well-rounded offensive game and still has plenty of room to develop.
8. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon, SF, Arizona
An elite athlete with a non-stop motor, Gordon brings the tenacity and electricity to the floor that the Kings have been missing for some time. His offensive game is still a work in progress, but he’s a great fit for Sacramento and fills a glaring void.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
With Luol Deng unlikely to return this offseason, the Cavaliers must address the small forward spot. Given his length, athleticism and versatility, Grant makes a ton of sense at No. 9. The Syracuse star definitely has work to do as a shooter, but the potential is there for him to develop into a great starter.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
James Anderson has held down the shooting guard spot this season, but an upgrade is definitely needed moving forward. With the small forward spot locked down, the 76ers go for Harris. While he’s had his fair share of struggles this season, the Spartan is a stud on both sides of the court who brings too much versatility to ignore.
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