Nat: Canada College: Kansas HT: 6’8″ WT: 200 POS: Small Forward/Shooting Guard
Wiggins has to be the choice here, he makes the most sense long term for the Cavaliers. While others may have better rookie years, Wiggins projects to be a multiple all-star down the line. What Wiggins shouldn’t struggle with is his defence, exactly what the Cavs are in desperate need of, especially at the 2/3 position. Where Wiggins will be helped most is new Cleveland coach David Blatt is considered a offensive mind, and should really help Wiggins offensive game quite well. Add in the combination that he is very familiar with other Canadians on the roster in Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett, making for a very easy transition.
Nat: USA College: Duke HT: 6’8″ WT: 255 POS: Small forward
Most would consider Parker the front runner already for rookie of the year. His offensive game should translate quickly to the NBA game. Parker was said to have “tanked” his workout with Cleveland in the hopes of landing with the Bucks. Parker, a Chicago resident, playing in Milwaukee would make he would be a hour away from home, and be the face of the franchise. His defensive game needs a lot of work, there were times a Duke, where coach K would play him at centre to protect him against one on one match ups.
Nat: Cameroon College: Kansas HT: 7’0″ WT: 250 POS: Centre
For the past year most considered the 76ers were trying to tank to draft Andrew Wiggins, after the NBA draft lottery occurred the Philadelphia management has been making all kinds of efforts to get the number one selection to pick Wiggins. To this point, they have been unsuccessful. In the end, the Sixers should gamble on Embiid, like they did last season with Noel. Assuming Embiid missing the entire season after his foot surgery, the Sixers would be in line to draft high again next season as well. After which, a healthy Embiid, Noel, Carter-Williams (2013 ROY), the number 10 pick in this draft, and their 2015 draft selection should make for a very bright future in Philly.
Nat: Australia College: Australia HT: 6’6″ WT: 196 POS: Point Guard
Most consider Exum a player who could either end up being the best player in the draft, or a complete flop. Due to the fact Exum hasn’t played against top line talent in Australia, and therefore most don’t know exactly what to think of his game to this point. What is not question, from what we have seen in international competition is outstanding (averaged 18.2 PPG, and 3.8 APG in the FIBA Under 19 tournament last year in 9 games) He is still very young, entering the draft at 18 years old. But a back court of Exum and last years number one selection Victor Oladipo could be dominate for years to come and a real force in the Eastern conference.
Nat: USA College: Indiana HT: 6’10” WT: 247 POS: Power Forward
I really think if the Utah Jazz could get into the first two selections of the draft they would, but so far giving up the fifth pick and Derrick Favors doesn’t seem to be enough. As the Jazz roster is currently constructed, they are in need of a small forward. But none are really available or worthy of a top five selection. Meaning the Jazz could look to move down the draft and look at the 9th or 10th selection where the two skilled shooters of the draft are available in Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Creighton’s Doug McDermott. In saying that, if they stay exactly where they are, Vonleh will be the selection. While at Indiana Vonleh would wow, and disappear, he hasn’t disappointed in draft workouts, quickly raising to within the top five of the draft. A front court of Favors, Kanter, and Vonleh should be very difficult to handle for most teams, but without a presence at small forward, the Jazz will be hard press not to find themselves back here next season looking for that small forward they desperately need.
Nat: USA College: Kentucky HT: 6’9″ WT: 234 POS: Power Forward
Even though many people are hearing a lot of “negative” talk about Randle from the Celtics camp, but I just don’t buy it, even with the foot injury. Randle was the second ranked player heading into the 2013-14 NCAA season behind Wiggins. Randle had an outstanding year, averaging a double double for a star sudden Wildcat roster, and led them to a final four appearance, almost winning it all, losing out to UConn in the championship came. Randle adds a new presence up front for the Celtics who are not built to be competitive for a few seasons, adding a piece like Randle is just the first step in making the Celtics relevant again in the future.
Nat: USA College: Oklahoma State HT: 6’3″ WT: 227 POS: Point Guard
Had smart entered the 2013 NBA draft, he was probably the first overall selection. Smart is a beast, a very solid point guard, and a big body. While no player here truly makes the Lakers a contender, a point guard of the future, who can add some meaningful minutes this season. Could the pick be moved, certainly, but Smart helps now and down the line for the Lakers, while Aaron Gordon is intriguing, Smart has a year to grow under Steve Nash, and/or Kendall Marshall, and then fully take over next season, when the Lakers hope to land some big names on the free agent market, none of who are point guards, making the Smart selection well smart.
Nat: USA College: Arizona HT: 6’9″ WT: 220 POS: Power Forward
The Kings are an intriguing teams, this past season Thomas took a step forward, the team has veterans in Terry and Gay, and good pieces in Cousins and McLemore to build around. Bringing in an explosive players like Gordon helps in the growth of the franchise, especially with most mock draft having Gordon sitting a little higher then 8th to the Kings. While Gordon is not a very good shooter, if Gordon can figure that part of his game out, his energy, and basketball IQ could make him a multiple all-star during his career.
Nat: Canada College: Michigan HT: 6’7″ WT: 207 POS: Shooting Guard
While Stauskas projects to be a shooting guard, at 6’7″ he does have the height to guard small forwards. In his first NCAA season, Stauskas was a beast from behind the three point line, in his second he turned into an all around player. Stauskas a gym rat, continues to improve his game, a while McDermott had a wonderful career at Creighton, the younger Stauskas makes more sense for his overall game. He is a better play maker and on defence. His shot is on par with McDermott, and played within a much tougher Big 10 conference, where he was named the player of the year last season in his sophomore season.
Nat: USA: College: Michigan State HT: 6’5″ WT: 205 POS: Shooting Guard
As I talked about earlier the Sixers should take a gamble on Embiid at number 3. With their second selection, picking a player who can slide in beside Carter-Williams on the back court, gives the Sixers an immediate partner in crime for years to come. Harris will have the year to grow after his 2014 Big Ten Rookie of the year season. The Sixers have time to wait on Harris if needed.Embiid would be missing the entire season anyways, and Noel would be entering his first season after missing last season. Both would have room to grow, and allow the Sixers another high selection next season. Future is bright in Philly.
Nat: USA College: Louisana of Lafayette HT: 6’3″ WT: 185 POS: Point Guard
When you are a team like the Nuggets, and nothing looks wonderful, a quick fix is a wonderful point guard. That could be exactly what they are getting in Payton with the 11th overall selection. While Payton is not a shooter, he is a wonderful play maker and quick point. Some consider him the Damien Lillard of this years draft. If the Nuggets are able to get a player like that at 11, that’s a wonderful start to a team that is in need of an identity.
Nat: USA College: Creighton HT: 6’8″ WT: 218 POS: Small Forward
In the Magic’s wildest imagination, they would expect to see McDermott on the board at 12, but taking Exum at 4 and McDermott. Combining both of them with Oladipo gives the Magic a solid back court to build a future on. McDermott could certainly be selected higher than 12, but he doesn’t really fill the need for those teams in front of the Magic other than the Hornets who I have selection Stauskas over McDermott. An outsider sharp shooter opens up the floor for play makers like Exum and Oladipo, coming that with the inside presence of Vucevic, makes the Magic an intriguing team in the upcoming and near future.
Nat: Bosnia College: Bosnia HT: 6’11” WT: 280 POS: Centre
With Kevin Love looking at the door, and awaiting for it to open to head off to another team, the T-Wolves will be in need of another big man to replace his numbers. While Nurkic doesn’t translate to be another Kevin Love, he does look to resemble his “new” team mate in Nikola Pekovic, and what a way to improve your game then play with the guy, that you are most compared to. And if Nurkvic can average close to Pekovic 17 and 9 stats, that’s a hell of a front court for Rubio to find.
Nat: USA College: Duke HT: 6’9″ WT: 208 POS: Shooting Guard/small forward
The surprise of the West last season, the Suns will look for another piece with the 14th overall selection. In Hood, the shooting guard would provide good competition against Gerald Green and Eric Bledsoe for playing time. His ability to play either shooting guard or small forward will really help him for playing time on the Suns. Hood’s shooting ability will really help the Suns playing style and should space the floor as well. As a shooting guard, he would be quite different a handle, as Hood is listed at 6 feet 9 inches tall.
Nat: USA College: Kentucky HT: 6’8″ WT: 213 POS: Small forward
There is a report that Young was involved in a small fender bender which caused him to miss five NBA workouts leading up to the draft. In the end, Young is too talent, and the Hawks are in need of a small forward presence that Young makes sense with the 15th selection. The Hawks will hope for a healthy return from Horford next season, and an improved second season from 2013 NBA selection Dennis Schroder would help as well.
Nat: Canada College: Syracuse HT: 6’3″ WT: 182 POS: Point Guard
I just don’t buy Ennis sliding on all of these draft boards. At first Ennis was a lock in the top 10, and now he slides all the way to 20. Nope, don’t buy it. The Bulls need a backup plan in case Rose can’t return to form from years past. Ennis led the Orange to a 25 and 0 mark to start the NCAA season, and sees the floor very, very well. In a team based defensive system like Chicago, he fits ideally after playing for the Orange last season.
Nat: USA College: UCLA HT: 6’5″ WT: 181 POS: Point Guard
After Exum, Payton and Ennis off the board, the Celtics look for a replacement for Rondo, who is suspected to be on the trading block. Lavine has been compared to Russell Westbrook, while I find it hard for the possible 17th overall selection to be Russell Westbrook, the young point guard, does have good size and court vision to help the young Celtics move forward, especially adding Randle with the 6th overall selection earlier in this draft.
Nat: USA College: Michigan State HT: 6’10” WT: 239 POS: Power Forward
You take the best player, no matter the position. Payne was beast in college, and helps the Suns front court big time. With the teams second overall selection in the draft, the Suns build on a season that surprised most. The addition of Payne to the front court and Hood to the back court gives the Suns two more rotation players heading into next season.
Nat: USA College: NC State HT: 6’8: WT: 220 POS: Small Forward
After the Bulls traded away Deng last year to the Cavaliers, it left a hole at the small forward position on the roster. With the return of Rose, the back court should be set, but you need a player to fill the small forward position if you are unable to convince Carmelo to sign with you. While Warren doesn’t project to be a big name out of this draft, he is a scorer and capable of spreading the floor for the rest of his team mates. A pretty good pick up at the 19th pick.
Nat: Croatia College: Croatia HT: 6’10” WT: 223 POS: Power Forward
Had Saric not signed a three year contract to stay in Europe, he would be off the board well ahead of 20. But like the Raptors did with Valancunias, the team waits for their player to arrive in the NBA by trying to buy out his contract next season. Saric would fit the Raptors style perfectly, and while an additional player would be great for this up and coming franchise, choosing to select a player with the most upside, should help the future greatly, rather than being concerned with the now. But lots of teams with multiple selections above the Raptors, who will most likely pick Saric, willing to wait out the process.
Nat: USA College: UConn HT: 6’1″ WT: 175 POS: Point Guard
By selecting Napier, it could ideally allow Westbrook to run the floor. Napier is fully capable of breaking down the opposing team, as we saw during the NCAA tournament. Napier really helped his case for the NBA with his performance in the tournament, but as we have seen before, the tournament is such a small sample of the players actual ability, so buyer beware.
Nat: USA College: UCLA HT: 6’9″ WT: 230 POS: Power forward/small forward
Anderson plays like a power forward point. Capable of seeing over small guards, and savy enough to beat bigger players. He is not a wildly great athlete, causing him to slide in the draft. But Anderson is a good fit in Memphis, where they could try to play him at the 3, however, with his lack of speed being an issue at the marquee position in the league.
Nat: USA College: Missouri HT: 6’5″ WT: 186 POS: Point Guard
With the Jazz in need of a back up point guard Adams fits that bill. Adams has impressed most teams with his workouts, he is capable of sliding over to the shooting guard position as well. That makes him an ideal draft selection at the 23rd selection in the draft.
Nat: Switzerland College: Switzerland HT: 6’11” WT: 222 POS: Power forward
Even though Capela is a very raw talent, but a really good place to pick your second selection for the Hornets. Capela is capable of bringing energy, and rebounding right off the hop, and should find minutes with any team that drafts him. While it may take a few seasons to fulfil his projection, he is absolutely worth selecting him with the 24th selection.
Nat: USA College: Tennessee HT: 6’9″ WT: 262 POS: Power forward
Stokes averaged a double double last season for Tennessee. He provides a different look than what Terrence Jones gives the Rockets, which makes the selection a good one. He should be able to play along side Howard, which is important as well.
Nat: USA College: Syracuse HT: 6’8″ WT: 214 POS: Small Forward
If James leaves, the Heat will need a small forward, but if he stay, Grant should help with the Heat depth. Some mock drafts have him higher, but his jump shot lacks that touch, and in the end could cause him to slide right out of the first round entirely. But he’s the best player available here, and that’s exactly what the Heat needs.
Nat: USA College: D-League HT: 6’5″ WT: 229 POS: Shooting guard
After playing in the D-league last season, Hairston should be ready to go right off the get go. He was an over 21 a point game player this past season. With the Suns having three selections in the first round this year, look for the Suns to move one or two of their picks.
Nat: USA College: Clemson HT: 6’6″ WT: 195 POS: Small Forward
Daniels is the best player available at this spot in the draft. Very athletic, Daniels should be able to join right into the Clippers style, giving coach Doc Rivers a great option to play along side Chris Paul and Blake Griffin assuming LBJ or Melo don’t sign with the Clips.
Nat: USA College: Florida HT: 6’10” WT: 247 POS: Centre
A glaring need when Ibaka went down, was the lack of depth on the interior. Young won’t blow you away with his skills, but he is capable of doing the little things. Young could be the ideal player to help with the interior needs of the Thunder, and give the Thunder another piece from this 2014 draft to play along with their other selection of Napier, giving OKC more depth, something they are in desperate need of.
Nat: France College: France HT: 6’8″ WT: 240 POS: Small Forward
What do you do after you win the NBA Championship, you add another frenchman to your team, that was helped greatly by two others to your title (Parker, and Diaw) Inglis is an excellent young player, at 6’8″ and a wingspan of 7-3, Inglis is very capable of playing small forward, and backing up finals MVP Kawaii Leonard. His ability to communicate with Parker should help him develop quicker coming over from France.
37th. Toronto Raptors – Khem Birch
Nat: Canada College: UNLV HT: 6’9″ WT: 209 POS: Power Forward/Centre
The Raptors are in need of front court depth. While Birch is not a “scorer” he is a terrific defensive player, winning back to back defensive player of the year in his conference. His ability to block shots, and rebound could be an intriguing choice at 37 for the Raptors.
52. Philadelphia 76ers – Dwight Powell
Nat: Canada College: Stanford HT: 6’10” WT: 234 POS: Power forward/centre
Powell is the least spoken about Canadian, but his four years at Stanford were all productive. His skill set translates well to the NBA, and his size also doesn’t hurt.
56. Denver Nuggets – Melvin Ejim
Nat: Canada College: Iowa State HT: 6’6″ WT: 220 POS: Shooting guard/small forward
Most NBA drafts don’t have Ejim being drafted, but I really think they are mistaken. Ejim is fully capable of playing in the league, and should be select, even though late in the second round of the draft.
58. San Antonio Spurs – Jordan Bachynski
Nat: Canada College: Arizona State HT: 7’2″ WT: 254 POS: Centre
At some point Duncan will retire, and while Bachynski won’t replace the best power forward of all time in the game, he is great on the defensive end, and should help fill in from time to time off the bench when needed.
60. San Antonio Spurs – Sim Bhullar
Nat: Canada College: New Mexico State HT: 7’5″ WT: 360 POS: Centre
If you are going to make sure your front court is stacked, why not take the biggest player in the draft. The 7 foot 5 inch centre, would be the first Indian decent drafted in the NBA. We will see if that happens.