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- How Theo Epstein Built A New Cubs Era
2014 NBA Mock Draft
- Updated: June 26, 2014
IT’S DRAFT DAY! We here at the Runner Sports are so excited for the draft tonight at 7:30/6:30 CST, so let me give you my final picks for the 2014 NBA draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Kansas, Freshman.
Measurements: 6’8, 200 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 17.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 45% shooting.
Wiggins benefits the most in draft stock from the Joel Embiid injury as he jumps from 3 to 1 for me. Wiggins has a super-high ceiling, and has been the talk of the 2014 NBA draft since before he graduated high school. Wiggins has concerns about how passive he can be, but if he can take on the persona of a number one option, he could grow to be unstoppable in the NBA. Wiggins is incredibly athletic, can attack the rim relentlessly, and has the tools to develop into a plus defender. Wiggins has decent shooting form, and can develop into a great NBA shooter. Wiggins can contribute now as an athlete and defender, and grow into an offensive superstar–hopefully capable enough to convince Kyrie Irving to stick around Cleveland.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke, Freshman.
Measurements: 6’8, 241 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 19.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 47% shooting.
The Bucks would be foolish to pass on Parker if he falls to them here. Parker is a highly intelligent basketball player, using his elite instincts to make an impact everywhere on the floor. He can score from literally anywhere, and will rebound and set up his teammates with ease. The only thing that makes Andrew Wiggins the more intriguing wing prospect is the athleticism. Parker is a solid athlete, but he doesn’t have the huge vertical or elite quickness of Wiggins. In my opinion, Parker will end up being the better pro player when it’s all said and done. Parker could step right in and play for the Bucks, who could also be looking at Dante Exum here.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Dante Exum, PG, Australia, 18 Years Old (Age when 2014 draft happens.)
Measurements: 6’6, 196 pounds, 6’9.5 wingspan.
The 76ers are a joke of an NBA team right now with about one bright spot–Michael Carter-Williams. Exum happens to play the exact same position as Carter-Williams, but Exum has a much higher ceiling. Exum is long and athletic, showing quickness with the ball and the ability to finish incredibly well around the hoop. He needs to add strength, but that should come naturally. He needs to improve his jumper from deep, but the Australian is a great passer, and pushes the break very well. Give Exum time, and he will blossom into a star guard in this league. The 76ers have two options if they go with Exum–play him side by side with Carter-Williams, or trade last year’s Rookie of the Year away. Don’t expect a trade into the top ten tonight involving Carter-Williams. I expect the 76ers to hold onto both players.
4. Orlando Magic: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana, Freshman.
Measurements: 6’10, 240 pounds, 7-4 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 11.3 PPG, 9 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 52% shooting.
Vonleh has been a fast riser as the college basketball season has started. Almost averaging a double double in just 26 MPG will have that effect. Vonleh is a long power forward who is raw, but he’s another guy with a lot of potential. He works hard, fights for rebounds, and has pretty solid ball handling skills, as well as range on his jumper out to 3 point land. His massive wingspan will help him be effective for a Magic team in need of a power forward. Vonleh will be able to contribute right away, and join Nikola Vucevic for a pretty solid front court.
5. Utah Jazz: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona, Freshman
Measurements: 6’9, 220 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 12.4 PPG, 8 RPG, 1 BPG, 50% shooting.
The Jazz need front court depth, and Gordon is the best player available on my board here. Gordon’s a tweener, as he’s not strong enough to bang with the big power forwards in the NBA, and he’s not a good enough shooter to survive as a traditional small forward either. Despite this, Gordon is 6’9, one of the best athletes in this draft and will provide highlight reel fast break dunks for the Jazz. Gordon can also play well within a team scheme, and play terrific defense, as his athleticism allows him to keep in front of his man, and contest shots at the rim. He has been compared to Blake Griffin, which is an exciting comparison for Jazz fans, especially considering he plays more defense than the Clippers star.
6. Boston Celtics: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas, Freshman.
Measurements: 7′, 250 pounds, 7’5 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 11.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 63% shooting.
Joel Embiid could even slide further than this, though I don’t see him dropping out of the top 10, even with the injuries. The big man hasn’t been playing the game for a very long time, but he has athleticism and surprising range on his jump shot. He’s also coordinated and pretty quick, which shows he has all the tools to become a great, dynamic center in the NBA. Embiid showed the ability to score in the post, play great defense, and block shots. Embiid’s potential and upside make him a great pick, and his injury concerns make him a scary one. The Celtics could use a franchise player up front, and while some fans would be upset with Danny Ainge if he makes this pick–it’s Danny Ainge, and I don’t expect anything less from him.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky, Freshman.
Measurements: 6’9, 234 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 15 PPG, 10.4 RPG, .8 BPG, 50% shooting.
The Lakers could really use a power forward for the future as Pau Gasol likely will not be back in L.A. Randle is in the competition for the best power forward in the draft, offensively, he’s capable hitting jump shots from all over the floor, and does well on the low block. He also has a great handle of the ball, and can play some point forward or bang down low. He needs to improve conditioning and defense, but his upside is extraordinary, and he would be a great fit in Los Angeles as the Lakers are–whether they want to acknowledge it or not–about to start rebuilding.
8. Sacramento Kings: Marcus Smart, PG/SG, Oklahoma State, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’3, 227 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 18 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 42% shooting.
Smart could go to the Magic at 4 or the Lakers at 7, but if he’s available here, look for the Kings to go with him. Smart is sort of a tweener, and possibly more meant to play the 2 in the NBA–but the Kings would see him as a big point guard, something they are looking for. Smart’s been working on his perimeter game, he’s physical, penetrates well, and finishes above and around the rim. He also plays quick, tenacious defense as he racked up 3 steals per game last season. Smart could contribute immediately for the Kings.
9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton, Senior.
Measurements: 6’8, 218 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 26.7 PPG, 7 RPG, 53% shooting, 45% 3 point shooting.
The Charlotte Hornets need a shooter on the wing: enter Doug McDermott. McDermott is a guy that is as NBA ready as any other player in the draft. He has improved consistently every year of college, and his scoring ability would be welcome for the Hornets. While he has always been a big fish in a small pond, McDermott can hold his own against better competition, and his shooting and high basketball IQ combine to make him a pretty safe pick. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but McDermott could come in and contribute immediately for the Hornets.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (From New Orleans Pelicans): Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia, 19 Years Old.
Measurements: 6’11, 280 pounds, N/A.
The 76ers will have Michael Carter-Williams and Dante Exum if my mock goes according to plan, so don’t expect another guard to be picked up here. The Sixers could, however use front court depth in the future. One way to get that is to pick a player with loads of potential and keep him stashed in Europe for a little while. Nurkic is big, and has soft touch in the paint. Nurkic isn’t super athletic, but he can eat up space in the paint. He’s been productive in Europe, and can come over as an impact player in a few years. Since the 76ers will not be competitive for a while, so they can afford to wait for an international prospect.
11. Denver Nuggets (From New York Knicks): Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA, Freshman.
Measurements: 6’6, 181 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 9.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 44% shooting.
LaVine has a lot of draft hype for a player who came off the bench and scored under 10 PPG in college, but that will happen when you sport a 46″ vertical and a smooth shooting stroke. LaVine is a little bit like Eric Bledsoe-a point guard more focused on scoring. Because of this, LaVine would probably be better suited as a shooting guard in the NBA, but he would offer crazy size and upside as a point guard as well. He’s a great shooter, and can penetrate well on the offensive end. The Nuggets have Afflalo back now and do not have an immediate need at guard, so they can afford to take LaVine and let him possibly develop into a star.
12. Orlando Magic (From Denver Nuggets): Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette, Junior.
Measurements: 6’4, 185 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 19.2 PPG, 5.9 APG, 6 RPG, 51% shooting.
Here’s a player screaming up the draft board–so much so that he will possibly go in the top ten. The Magic need a point guard to upgrade from Jameer Nelson, and Payton screams potential franchise point guard. Payton needs to improve his outside shot drastically, but the point guard can do everything on the court. Payton scores well on the floor, and shares the ball well with his teammates–something Orlando needs. The point guard is also a tenacious defender who will be able to guard both guard positions in the NBA.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’7, 207 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 17.5 PPG, 3.3 APG, 47% shooting, 44% 3 point shooting.
Nik Stauskas is one of my favorite players in this draft after he took the Big Ten by storm in his sophomore season. Stauskas showed he is more than just a shooter, as he handles the ball well and can score from anywhere on the floor. The shooting guard needs to improve defensively, but he is a hard worker and that helps to make up for his lack of quickness. The Timberwolves desperately need outside shooting, and Stauskas provides this and so much more. If he is on the board at 13, the Timberwolves should snatch him up.
14. Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warrren, SF, NC State, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’8, 22o pounds, 6’10 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 24.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 53% shooting.
I have the Suns going small forward–they really need help at wing, and I can’t stress that enough. Here the Suns go with a less exciting player, but a proven scorer. Perhaps Warren is not the quickest player, and he will have his deficiencies on defense, but the man can put the ball into the hoop. Warren averaged a hair under 25 PPG in his sophomore season, and has creative ways of scoring. Warren needs to improve his outside shooting, but Phoenix would welcome another scorer.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’5, 205 pounds, 6’7 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 16.7 PPG, 4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 43% shooting.
If Harris falls here, the Hawks shouldn’t hesitate to grab him. Though a little undersized to play the shooting guard position in the NBA, Gary Harris has a game to love. He’s a little bit of a streaky shooter, but the guy’s shooting stroke is very smooth, so he has the potential to become a dynamite shooter from everywhere on the floor. However shooting isn’t really Harris’ game, as he is a dynamic slasher, and attacks the basket relentlessly. He can handle the ball well, and he never gives up on a play offensively or defensively. Harris would fit well on the court with Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, giving the Hawks another intriguing guard option.
16. Chicago Bulls (From Charlotte Bobcats): Dario Saric, PF, Croatia, 20 Years Old.
Measurements: 6’10, 223 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.
Saric withdrew from the 2013 draft despite being widely regarded as a lottery pick. He came into the 2014 draft with the same range, but recently signed in Europe for the next couple years. The Bulls will almost certainly not bring two rookie contracts onto the roster for next year, instead wanting to use the cap space for veterans that can contribute immediately, and will have no problem waiting for a player who should be a top ten pick. Saric is a smart player, who has court vision and will set up his teammates well. He’s tall, but he can handle the ball very well and thrives cutting to the basket and finishing around the hoop. He’s very much a complimentary player who fits in well with teammates and does what is needed of him. He needs to improve his shot and put on some strength, but after a couple more years in Europe, he will be that much more improved because he still has so much potential.
17. Boston Celtics (From Brooklyn Nets [From Atlanta Hawks]): James Young, SF, Kentucky, Freshman
Measurements: 6’8, 213 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 14.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 41% shooting.
The Celtics have Jeff Green as the only potential building block for the future at Small Forward, and James Young is an exciting small forward for Boston to pick up here. I’ve had Young going earlier, but a minor car crash has caused him to miss some workouts, and could cause a minor fall. Young needs to get better as a shooter, but he is a natural slasher. He gets to the basket, scores at will, and uses his length and athleticism to get up above the rim consistently. On the defensive end, he is more than capable of locking down his man and pulling down rebounds. He’s also a surprisingly good passer from the wing. If Young can improve the consistency on his jumper, he will be a steal for the Celtics at 17.
18. Phoenix Suns (From Washington Wizards): Rodney Hood, SG, Duke, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’9, 208 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 16.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 46% shooting, 42% 3 point shooting.
This pick is all about 3 point shooting. Hood is a stud from deep, and while the Suns have some capable shooters, they shouldn’t pass up another. He also averaged a hair over 16 points per game, making Hood a legitimate scoring option. Hood needs to improve as a distributor, and as a defender. The defense isn’t bad enough for the Suns to pass on him though, as the benefits outweigh the negatives. Hood would fit in as a role player, and if he’s available here, I don’t see the Suns passing.
19. Chicago Bulls: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State, Senior.
Measurements: 6’10, 239 pounds, 7’4 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 16.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 50% shooting, 42% 3 point shooting.
Adreian Payne is a great player, and a better person. He’s a great guy to have in a locker room. Outside of his leadership and character, Payne is a big man with athleticism and range on his jump shot. He can also bring down rebounds, and play very good defender. His leaping ability makes him a threat around the rim, but defenders need to respect his jumper and cannot play back on him. There is no guarantee Nikola Mirotic comes over next year for the Bulls, and if Boozer is amnestied, the Bulls will need a stretch 4 to back up Taj Gibson. Payne is NBA ready, and a great fit for the Bulls.
20. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse, Freshman.
Measurements: 6’3, 182 pounds, 6’7 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 12.9 PPG, 5.5 APG, 3.4 RPG, 41% shooting.
I don’t think the Raptors hold on to Kyle Lowry, as he will command a lot of money in free agency. A possible solution for the Raptors, however, is drafting Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis at pick 20. The Raptors may retain Greivis Vasquez in RFA, and can have Ennis learn behind a veteran for a little while before taking over as a starter. Ennis showcased great leadership ability, an ability to really see the floor and move the ball, and a decent jumper during his one year at Syracuse. I don’t think Ennis will ever really be a star in the NBA, but he has the makings of an above-average point guard for years.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder(From Houston Rockets (From Los Angeles Lakers (From Dallas Mavericks))): K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson, Junior.
Measurements: 6’6, 195 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 17.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 46% shooting.
A 6’6 guy blocking 2.8 shots per game should jump off the page for two reasons. 1 is because it’s an incredibly high amount of blocks per game for a player standing 6’6–which is a good thing–and 2 is because it makes him sort of scream “tweener”–is he a small forward, or a power forward trapped in a small forward’s body. Well, from watching tape it is evident that as long as McDaniels improves his handle, he can make it as a small forward in the NBA. McDaniels is going to contribute as a slasher, and occasionally in catch and shoot opportunities on offense. Defensively, McDaniels stays in front of his man and brings intensity. McDaniels can develop into a perfect role player for OKC, and serve the team well off the bench.
22. Memphis Grizzles: P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends, 21 Years Old.
Measurements: 6’5, 229 pounds, 6’9 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 21.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 45% shooting.
When it comes to shooting guard, the Grizzles don’t have much of an answer outside of Tony Allen. P.J. Hairston could change that immediately. After playing in the D-League for a year, Hairston is eligible for the draft, and Memphis would be lucky to grab him here. Hairston is a scorer, and though he lacks much of a midrange game, and a super efficient 3 point shot, he can put the ball in the hoop. The Grizzles could use some depth at the shooting guard position, and Hairston is ready to contribute right away.
23. Utah Jazz (From Golden State Warriors): Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri, Junior.
Measurements: 6’5, 186 pounds, 6’8 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 17.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 45% shooting.
Clarkson has entered the first round discussion by shooting the ball well in his workouts–he shot a disappointing 28% from 3 in his junior season after shooting 37% from deep as a sophomore–and the Jazz could use a big point guard on their roster. Trey Burke was reasonably successful at times during his rookie year, but the former Michigan point guard stands at only 6’1, so Clarkson’s size should intrigue the Jazz. Clarkson is athletic and has a good handle, so the Jazz should be looking at him if he falls to pick 23.
24. Charlotte Hornets (From Portland Trailblazers): Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee, Junior.
Measurements: 6’9, 262 pounds, 7’1 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 15.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2 APG, 53% shooting.
The Hornets took a shooter in Doug McDermott earlier in the draft, the next need for me is depth in the front court. Jarnell Stokes has a knock on him for being undersized, but his 7’1 wingspan helps him there–plus he has proven he can rebound like a mad man. Stokes is strong and really takes up space in the paint. He has range out to about 15 feet, and has nice touch around the basket. His 36″ vertical is impressive for a power forward, and should help him protect the rim a little better in the NBA. His rim protecting is a concern, but Stokes is a solid role player who will play tough defense, grab a ton of rebounds, and score around the basket.
25. Houston Rockets: Kyle Anderson, SF/PF, UCLA, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’9, 230 pounds, 7’3 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 14.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 6.5 APG, 48% shooting.
I love Kyle Anderson, and I think he’ll do special things in the NBA, but teams remain split on the do-it-all forward. Anderson moves slowly, that is clear, but he controls pace and can really run a team with the ball in his hand–which you can’t say about many 6’9 players. I think Chandler Parsons is gone, and if the Rockets find a way to land another star to pair with James Harden and Dwight Howard, they will be strapped for cash to fill up their bench. Anderson is a utility player; he can do everything on the court. The Rockets will have to mask him defensively, but if James Harden can be successful in Houston without playing defense all the time (Harden does play defense, he just gets caught fairly often not doing so) Anderson can have a place on the team. Anderson has been compared to Boris Diaw, and as big as Diaw was for the Spurs this year, that’s a comparison to like for Houston.
26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, PG, UCONN, Senior.
Measurements: 6’1, 175 pounds, 6’3 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 18 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.9 APG, 43% shooting.
This pick really depends on the Big Three. If the Big Three leave, or say LeBron leaves, the Heat might go for a best player available scenario–and my board has Cleanthony Early, the small forward from Wichita State, higher than Napier. If the Big Three stay, the Heat really only have a need at point guard and center. There really are not first round worth centers available at this time, so Napier seems like the right pick for the Heat. Mario Chalmers may be back if he signs for the minimum, but the Heat need better production and leadership skills. Napier is a natural leader who defends, shoots the ball well, and can score from anywhere on the court. Napier is undersized, but if you place a winner into a winning system–like the Heat would be doing by drafting Napier–good things are bound to come from it.
27. Phoenix Suns (From Indiana Pacers): Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland, 20 Years Old.
Measurements: 6’11, 222 pounds, 7’5 wingspan.
There’s no way the Suns take three rookies on their roster next year–not while they are trying to compete for a playoff spot. Therefore, I have the Suns going after a draft-and-stash player in Capela. Capela has tremendous upside, as a large, athletic big man. Capela blocks shots, grabs rebounds, and plays above the rim–all of which make him a very attractive prospect. However, Capela is not NBA ready yet. The power forward is raw and needs to bulk up before seeing an NBA floor. The Suns can take Capela here in hopes of getting a star player a few years down the road when Capela is more refined.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State, Senior.
Measurements: 6’7, 210 pounds, 6’11 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 16.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, .8 APG, 49% shooting.
The Clippers are trying to win now, and Early is versatile enough to have an immediate impact in the NBA as a role player. Early is still developing–which is not a great trait for a 23 year old–but his 3 point shot is almost there, and he can still score from everywhere on the floor. Anthony is tough, grabs rebounds, and plays team basketball–all things that will make him great off the bench for L.A. The Clippers do not have a lot at small forward outside of Matt Barnes. Early could come in and make an immediate impact for the Clippers as they chase a championship.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’10, 250 pounds, 7′ wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 9.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG, .8 BPG, 55% shooting.
McGary’s game is one that, if I were to write out a play by play of what he does on the court, it would come out in caps lock. MCGARY BOXES OUT TWO MEN, GRABS THE REBOUND AND PASSES IT OUT, SPRINTS DOWN THE FLOOR, GETS THE BALL BACK ON THE RUN AND THROWS DOWN A FEROCIOUS DUNK. That’s exactly how he plays: high energy, great motor, big time rebounder and dunker. He can also block shots fairly easily, and hit a midrange jumper. He took off in the tournament in 2013, making fans everywhere fall in love with his Joakim Noah like energy and heart. He’s limited in terms of post moves, but it is easy to tell he wants to work on his game until he’s great. As long as McGary’s injury issues check out okay he would be a steal for OKC here to provide big man depth.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan, Sophomore.
Measurements: 6’7, 211 pounds, 6’10 wingspan.
2013-2014 Statistics: 13.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 49% shooting.
Robinson has had some health issues this year (back) and that has hurt his draft stock, but he did very well at the combine showcasing his athleticism, and if the Spurs could pick him up at 30 they would be happy. While Robinson doesn’t go 100% all of the time, he has a very smooth game. He needs to add a 3 point shot, but he shot almost 50% from the field during his sophomore year and is a great leaper capable of throwing down some big dunks. He’ll need to get bigger, but his athletic ability will serve him well, and his smooth scoring ability will give the Spurs another offensive option on the bench behind Kawhi Leonard.
Well there’s my fourth and final 2014 NBA mock draft. I threw in some curveballs, but the players fit their draft slots. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll respond! Also, like us on Facebook for more articles and news!
Author: Rob Wegley
Co-Owner of The Runner Sports, Senior Editor for The Runner Sports, Writer for The Runner Sports focused on the NFL and the NBA. Located in the Chicago area. Professional journalist since 2012.