With the NBA Draft hours away, New York City is jamming with photographers, limos and young men in suits waiting to hear their name called and their lives change forever. Good luck and best wishes to them all. Back in 1993 after winning the 9-10 year old championship I just knew this would be me one day but then I saw Arthur Agee and William Gates and thought nah they can have the hoop dreams, I’ll just play football or become a genius. Fast forward 21 years later we are almost ready for the 2014 NBA Draft. As in my previous mock drafts, I will only be doing the lottery picks so why not one more mock before we hear commentators and fans cheering for their favorite teams.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
I think Dan Gilbert will pull a Jerry Jones and go with his guy Andrew Wiggins even though his management team wants Parker. Either way you will get a centerpiece for your organization. I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade this pick but if they don’t, Andrew Wiggins’ upside on both ends of the floor may be too good to pass up. Furthermore if Anthony Bennett comes back in better shape and not as nervous he could be another addition because let’s be real he still a rookie.
2. Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, Duke
Jabari has already stated that he would love to play for the Bucks which probably made the owner’s ears ring like the Liberty Bell. He wouldn’t be far from home which is Chicago and he will be teamed up with the Greek Freak which could become a nice frontcourt with a healthy Larry Sanders.
3. Philadelphia 76ers- Dante Exum, Australia
Philly gets their 1B prospect in Exum. Pairing him up with Michael Carter-Williams will provide tremendous amounts of length on the wing and can give backcourts nightmares. However, this could be the pick that seals the fate for Michael Carter-Williams. I wouldn’t trade him at all. I would keep him and build a backcourt teams should be afraid of.
4. Orlando Magic- Noah Vunleh, Indiana
Now that the first three picks are over let’s begin with the other prospects. What’s interesting is that if Noah stayed in school and Exum went to college they could have been teammates. But that was then and this now and Orlando adds a big man to help out Vucevic. Affalo has been traded so they could in other directions such as Marcus Smart or Joel Embiid. This pick could cause a domino effect that only the sugar company can package up. Other options could be Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid, Elfrid Payton or trade.
5. Utah Jazz- Joel Embiid, Kansas
What was once the potential number one pick has slipped in the draft and maybe even further after reports from Chad Ford of ESPN stating that there may be more problems with Embiid besides his back and foot. Is this just a stunt to push teams away or is this facts only? We don’t know as of right now but when healthy he can be one of the better rim protector and can create a formidable frontcourt with Kanter and Favors. Other options could be Vunleh and Julius Randle.
6. Boston Celtics- Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
I know they said there were in love with Aaron Gordon but Danny Ainge was a point guard who loves point guards so why not draft a point guard. He could play alongside Rondo now or he can be the insurance policy in the event that Rondo leaves next year. Nevertheless you are getting a combo guard that can play both ends of the floor and has the tenacity of a bull chasing a matador. Other options are Aaron Gordon, Joel Embiid, Noah Vunleh or trade.
7. Los Angeles Lakers- Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette
This will be the first of many shockers in this draft, I presume but Elfrid Payton has skyrocketed up the charts like a female pockets after she wins a child support case with a rich person. He has impressed in all of his workouts. He was third in NCAA in free throws attempts so he gets to the basket. At 6’4 with excellent hands, acceleration, quickness and athleticism he could be a great pick and cheap replacement for Steve Nash who is stealing by the way. Other options are Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Joel Embiid or trade.
8. Sacramento Kings- Julius Randle, Kentucky
Julius has had the NBA body since high school and now he will get the chance to show it as he joins a frontcourt of Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. He provides a low post presence and can create offense for others. Sure his foot may have caused him to drop a couple of spots but Sacramento with good coaching and a cohesive environment can shock the NBA this year. Elfrid Payton would be an awesome pick here as well but with resigning Isaiah Thomas maybe they go in other directions like a trade.
9. Charlotte Hornets- Doug McDermott, Creighton
Dougie McBuckets gets his chance to continue his reign of a wicked jumpshot that only Biggie could imagine with young talent such as Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Al Jefferson. If McDermott can teach Michael how to shoot, holy toledo. He’s a great 2 guard that can shoot from anywhere in the gym and can create instant offense in the event they try to double team Al Jefferson.
10. Philadelphia 76ers- Aaron Gordon, Arizona
With the second pick in the 1st round, Philly selects versatile big man in Gordon. He fills the need at 4 and can pose a defensive force with Nerlens Noel. He may be 6’9 but he has excellent foot speed and ability of a wing player. In my personal opinion if Philly messes this trade everyone should be fired. 7 picks in total now I know they won’t use them off they can easily be put as trade bait for future 1st rounders in the years to come but the addition of Exum, Gordon and Noel could be the jumpstart that Philly fans need to see.
11. Denver Nuggets- Zach Levine, UCLA
This may be the second shocker of the first round but Zach Levine has seen his portfolio rise in the past couple of weeks. He’s 6’6 with handles and has crazy bounce. He could even come off the bench as a 6th man playing PG. With the recent trade for Arron Affalo, Levine might be able to see time quicker than anticipated. Other options could be Dario Saric, Adrien Payne, Nik Stauskas or another trade.
12. Orlando Magic- Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
After bypassing a PG with the 4th pick, they couldn’t afford to do that with the 12th pick so they select freshman sensation Tyler Ennis. Tyler Ennis may not be the fastest guy on the court but he possesses intangibles that are essential for the development of a point guard. This could very well change if Orlando goes with a PG like Smart or Exum with the 4th pick in the event that happens look for names like Adrien Payne and Dario Saric, Rodney Hood or James Young.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves- Dario Saric, Croatia
We all know Minnesota loves to draft international prospects such as Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and others so why not add another one in Dario Saric. He just signed a new deal with his team overseas which will prohibit from playing in the NBA for at least 2 years but at 6’10 with a jumpshot and handles he could be another Danilo Ganillari or Tskitivili(what a mistake Denver made that year). Nevertheless he provides great upside to a team that will need all the help it can get once Kevin Love is gone.
14. Phoenix Suns- Nik Stauskas, Michigan
What does a young team like Phoenix need? Point Guards.. Check. Big men that can shoot..check how about a shooting guard that can shoot. Enter door number one we have Nik Stausakas, 6’6 sniper that hails from Michigan but is ready to shoot the lights out of the gym. I can envision a young Petrovic (RIP) with this guy and if that happens lock up the women and children because Phoenix is making a run for it. Other options could be James Young, Zach Levine, trade or Gary Harris.
For the last pick of the draft, whoever that team is shall select Isaiah Austin. I know he can’t play competitive basketball anymore but what a gut-wrenching story. I know it’s not the end because it is the beginning of something new. We see this happen all the time like Eric LeGrand getting drafted and many others so why not end the night with a moral boost.
On that note, Cleveland Cavs you are on the clock….