2014 NBA Mock Draft: Picks 1-10
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jabari Parker (Duke)
With the first pick, the Cavaliers will select Jabari Parker, arguably the most talented player in the draft. Cleveland was looking for a center, but with Joel Embiid’s surgery, the pick will not be spent on a big man. When compared to Andrew Wiggins, Parker is physically more prepared for the NBA. Not only does he possess great size but a high basketball IQ as well.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Wiggins (Kansas)
Similarly, the Bucks will draft the other most talented player in this year’s class, Andrew Wiggins. The Bucks lack players in almost every position. At six feet eight inches tall, Wiggins is able to get to the basket and is an outstanding defender. If Wiggins were to put on some size, he would become a bigger threat on both sides of the ball.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Dante Exum (Australia)
Philadelphia may attempt to trade 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to create room for Dante Exum. The 76ers would then trade for a much needed perimeter player to play alongside the new point guard. At six feet six inches, Exum is the same height as Carter-Williams. The 76ers hope the Australian is an upgraded version of Carter-Williams.
4. Orlando Magic – Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
The Magic must consider finding a replacement for the aging Jameer Nelson. Marcus Smart is one likely candidate for the job. Smart has excellent size for a point guard at six feet four inches tall and approximately 225 pounds. He uses his body well when making his way to the rim. With Victor Oladipo at shooting guard and Smart at the point, the Magic may have their backcourt of the future.
5. Utah Jazz – Joel Embiid (Kansas)
Before his recent surgery, Embiid looked like the first pick in the draft. Regardless, he won’t fall out of the top five. Utah’s lineup calls for a player who can command the key. Embiid has tremendous upside for a seven footer. Although his foot will be a concern, Utah will not pass on Embiid in the draft.
6. Boston Celtics – Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
The Boston Celtics want to develop their frontcourt. Noah Vonleh can be the right fit. The big man from Indiana is an excellent rebounder and shooter from beyond the arc. He would become an important target for Rajon Rondo around the basket with a more developed inside game. Shooting ability makes Vonleh a more dangerous target for the veteran point guard.
7. Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle (Kentucky)
Aside from Kobe Bryant at shooting guard, the Lakers are struggling in every position. With Kobe on the perimeter, Julius Randle might help solidify their post play. Randle can rebound and finish in the key. Although some view Randle as an undersized power forward, he can physically match taller players.
8. Sacramento Kings – Gary Harris (Michigan State)
The Kings will add depth in the backcourt with this pick. Garry Harris has excellent shot-making ability and is not afraid of shooting with a hand in his face. The Kings already have Ben McLemore, so Harris will begin playing off the bench. Harris should add some weight to compete with other NBA shooting guards.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Doug McDermott (Creighton)
After adding Al Jefferson last year to man the paint, Charlotte is in need of a player who can stretch the floor. Doug McDermott’s three-point shooting should be enough. In his senior year at Creighton, McDermott shot approximate 45 percent from beyond the arc. Charlotte will want to see similar production.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
The 76ers have a second pick to round out the first 10 picks of the draft. Aaron Gordon will be asked to patrol the rim in Philadelphia with Nerlens Noel. Gordon’s tremendous leaping ability may be the 76ers key to a dominant rebounding duo. An improved offensive game will make Gordon a regular player.