|Cleveland Cavs with the 1st overall pick, once again|
1. Cleveland Cavaliers, Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas-no matter how much people say that Embiid’s knee is a-ok, I am taking Wiggins first overall. Cavs also finished in the bottom half when it comes to scoring, something Wiggins can help them with right away. If the Cavs decide to keep Irving (which is sort of 50/50 right now), then maybe you do take Embiid because then you do have an inside-outside presence that other teams have to respect.
2. Milwaukee Bucks, Jabari Parker, SF, Duke-Bucks only averaged 95.5 points per game in 2013/2014 which ranked them third last in the league. Adding Parker, similar to Wiggins, would add some much needed scoring to any team. Taking Embiid here would not be the best option, in my opinion, because then you have two very young players that you would need to be very patient with (Embiid & Antetokounmpo).
3. Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid, C, Kansas-getting Noel back next year and pairing him with Embiid, could potential give the 76ers one of the best frontcourts in the NBA in a couple of years. Add on rookie point guard, Michael Carter-Williams, and all of a sudden the 76ers future could be very bright. Adding a veteran presence to mentor these youngsters could help immensely.
4. Orlando Magic, Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky-pairing Randle and Vucevic would be a smart move for the Magic organization, especially with Oladipo developing into a solid a player. Randle averaged an impressed 15 and 10 in his only year at Kentucky, where he took his Wildcats to the final.
5. Utah Jazz, Dante Exum, PG/SG, Australia-outstanding size for either the point guard, or shooting guard position at 6’6. I potentially see him as a shooting guard with Burke running the point for the Jazz. Only thing that worries me about Exum is the lack of competition. The NBA will be a totally new experience for him.
6. Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State-Smart could potentially be replacing Rondo, whether that is prior to the start of the season, or during the season. It is important to look past Smart’s “flopping” propaganda and his altercation with a fan this past season. Marcus Smart is one of the most talented players in this draft, and probably the most talented point guard.
7. Los Angeles Lakers, Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona-with Gasol potentially leaving, I can see the Lakers taking their power forward of the future with this pick here. Gordon is a remarkable athlete with good size for an NBA power forward. I could also see the Lakers maybe going off the board a bit and maybe taking Stauskas, or McDermott.
8. Sacramento Kings, Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA-the Kings are prepared to throw everything, including the kitchen sink at Rudy Gay, in order to get him to stay. With that being said, the point guard position is still up in the air with Thomas possibly leaving Sacramento. LaVine is a tremendous athlete with wonderful quickness and he possesses a pretty good jump shot. If he truly is a going guard at the NBA level, he will need to further develop his ball-handling ability. Mr. LaVine will also need to bulk up…a lot.
9. Charlotte Hornets, Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton-Hornets ranked 22nd in points per game in the 2013/2014 NBA season. They have a chance to pick up the leading scorer in the 2013/2014 NCAA season. It is only fitting they take McDermott here.
10. Philadelphia 76ers, Dario Saric, SF, Croatia-Noel, Embiid, Carter-Williams and now Saric. The 76ers could be well on their way to building a very good foundation for a team that will contend in the near future. Saric is SF, but if he puts on some weight/muscle, he could possibly slide into PF, as well. 76ers could also look to trade this pick and get a much needed veteran presence on the team.
11. Denver Nuggets, Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State-the Nuggets were third last in opponents points per game and Harris could help them immensely on the defensive side of the ball. Harris is not a great ball handler, but he could probably run the point at times.
12. Orlando Magic, Rodney Hood, SF, Duke-Magic were 24th in scoring last year and Hood would no doubt help them out in that aspect of their game. Hood is also 22 years old, which makes him a lot older and more mature than some of the other players in this draft.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves, Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana-with Kevin Love all but gone, taking Vonleh here would be a wise choice for the T-Wolves. Vonleh averaged a very respectable 11 and nine in his only year at Indiana, while shooting 52% from the field.
14. Phoenix Suns, Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan-with the possible departure of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic would slide to the point once again, and Stauskas could potentially start at shooting guard. Suns were a team that loved taking the three last year; however, they did not shoot a good percentage. Stauskas can help them with that.
15. Atlanta Hawks, Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA-Anderson resembles a player that was in the ATL not too long ago, that player being Josh Smith. Both of these players are similar in the sense that they do a bit of everything, when they are on the court. Anderson improved in almost every offensive category from his freshman to sophomore season and was the main player on a very good UCLA team.
16. Chicago Bulls, Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State-the Bulls are a bit weak at the small forward position, after the departure of Luol Deng. I can see the Bulls taking Early here and developing him into a very good replacement for Deng. Early has a great jump shot and is fairly quick for a small forward. He is also a respectable defender and comes with a ton of experience having played at Wichita State for four years.
17. Boston Celtics, Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan-Jeff Green is the current small forward for the Celtics, but the bench is rather thin. Adding Robinson would help them in the scoring the department and he could bring some much needed energy with his athleticism.
18. Phoenix Suns, Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse-Ennis had a great freshman season at Syracuse, playing a focal role for the team. Once again, if Eric Bledsoe does leave, this could mean a back-up role for Ennis in his first year. This could only make him grow as a point guard, as opposed to sitting on the bench.
19. Chicago Bulls, Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia & Herzegovina-if there are two things that Nurkic possesses, it is size and strength. He could learn a lot about the NBA and how to play centre, behind a guy like Noah, who is a tremendous defender and passer. Some say he is very similar to Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic.
20. Toronto Raptors, Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse-Raptors are short on depth at the 3 and adding Grant would help the team immensely. Grant has great size for a small forward (6’8) and he possesses pretty good defense, something that the Raptors need out of that position.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder, T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State-third leading scorer in the NCAA, at 25 points per game and more importantly he has size, plays good defense and has very good strength for a small forward. If Butler is not back with the Thunder, I see OKC taking Warren; however, if Butler is back, then Payne could be a serious option (if he is available) at 21.
22. Memphis Grizzlies, DeAndre Daniels, SF, UConn-a lot of mature (I do not want to say old) talent at the 3 for the Grizzlies, so it would only make sense that they take a small forward with the 22nd pick. Daniels has championship experience playing on UConn’s team last year. Daniels has great size, but will need to bulk up, if he has any chance at being successful at the NBA level.
23. Utah Jazz, Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State-big body with four years of experience at Michigan State. Payne has incredible athleticism for a player who stands at 6’10. In his final year at Michigan State, Payne added the three point shot to his arsenal of weapons, in which he can hurt the opposing team.
24. Charlotte Hornets, Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland-taking McDermott earlier in the draft, addresses their need at the small forward position and taking Capela her, would address some questions they have at power forward. Capela has great size (6’11) at the power forward position, along with great athleticism. Hornets are no strangers in taking international big men. A few years back they traded for Biyombo.
25. Houston Rockets, Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette-outstanding size for a point guard with great quickness and ball handling. Payton could potentially see a lot of playing, depending on what happens with Lin. Elfrid will need to work on his jump shot, which is fairly average at best, if he wants to be an effect point guard and keep the defense honest.
26. Miami Heat, Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn-anything to keep LeBron around, right?
27. Phoenix Suns, Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee-undersized power forward at only 6’8, but he is a good rebounder (averaged 10 a game last year). He has some post skills, but they will need to improve at the next level.
28. Los Angeles Clippers, James Young, SG, Kentucky-he can really get after it on the defensive side of the ball, something the Clippers need dearly from that shooting guard position. Sometimes Young can also slide into the 3 position with his 6’6 frame, but I do not see this happening too often, unless the match-up is favourable.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder, Dwight Powell, PF, Stanford-excellent size for a power forward, but his rebounding numbers from last worry me a little bit (only 6.9 a game, as opposed to 8.4 the year prior). Powell is also a pretty good athlete, despite his big size.
30. San Antonio Spurs, Mitch McGary, C, Michigan-he just seems like someone the Spurs would draft, doesn’t he?