The 2014 NBA Draft is one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Not only does the top of the draft have a few potential franchise players, but the rest of draft could produce a number of All-Stars or at the very least, very good starters.
You have your opportunity to pick the lottery in our contest but this morning, the Lakers Nation office has decided to partake in a roundtable first-round mock draft.
With six people taking part, each person was able to make five selections to complete the round. One person was solely responsible for their selection as this was not a consensus. This is merely what we believe each team would do with their pick.
We also did not take into account any trade possibilities — assuming that each team keeps their pick and makes the selection. With that being said, here is the draft order:
With that out of the way, here are the results with explanations from our 2014 Mock Draft that took place in the Lakers Nation office:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (Moreno) – JOEL EMBIID, C, KANSAS
I understand that the logical thing to do here is to take either Parker or Wiggins, but this is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Doesn’t it just make sense that they do what no one is expecting? Embiid still fits a major need for the team and by just waiting a few months, they could still have the best player in the draft.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (Hansford) – JABARI PARKER, SF/PF, DUKE
The Bucks aren’t trading their pick and if it comes down to Parker or Wiggins, I think Wiggins makes the most sense for them given their need for a true #1 scorer. Adding him next to Antetokounmpo gives the Bucks their wing combination for years to come. The fact that Parker is a nearby Chicago kid just makes everything easier.
3. Philadelphia 76ers (Duangdao) – ANDREW WIGGINS, SG/SF, KANSAS
Dream scenario for the Sixers as they land their dream pick with no trade necessary. Wiggins, Carter-Williams, Noel, and whoever the Sixers take with the tenth pick give them one of the best young cores in the NBA.
4. Orlando Magic (Valenzuela) – DANTE EXUM, PG, AUSTRALIA
I give Orlando a perfect young guard to pair with Victor Oladipo for years to come. Exum has one of the highest ceilings of any draft prospect and he and Oladipo will wreck havoc on opposing guards, especially on the defensive end. This will also allow the team to let Jameer Nelson walk away in free agency.
5. Utah Jazz (Samperio) – MARCUS SMART, PG, OKLAHOMA STATE
Despite the fact that the Jazz drafted Trey Burke last year, Smart projects to be a much better pro than Burke, so I take him here with the Jazz set at the big man position with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Smart will bring toughness and leadership to this young.
6. Boston Celtics (Ward) – AARON GORDON, SF/PF, ARIZONA
The Celtics have their choice of forwards here between Gordon, Randle, and Vonleh, but I think they go with Gordon here. He brings so many intangibles to the table that he could fit in anywhere, and his work ethic gives you the idea that he will improve with time. Jeff Green could be out the door and Gordon gives them an easy replacement.
7. Los Angeles Lakers (Moreno) – JULIUS RANDLE, PF, KENTUCKY
The Lakers have holes everywhere, but especially in the front court. They need someone who can come in and contribute immediately, and Randle fits that need. He could start from day one, is an excellent post scorer, and grew up a Kobe fan, so he could take the tough love Bryant is likely to dish out.
8. Sacramento Kings (Hansford) – NOAH VONLEH, PF/C, INDIANA
The Kings could easily take a point guard like Elfrid Payton here, especially with Isaiah Thomas possibly leaving. With Vonleh, he has one of the highest ceilings in the draft and pairs well with DeMarcus Cousins providing rim protection, and giving the Kings a great high-low combination.
9. Charlotte Hornets (Duangdao) – DOUG MCDERMOTT, SF/PF, CREIGHTON
The Hornets need shooting plain and simple and there is no better shooter in the draft than McDermott. He can get baskets from anywhere on the floor, and will help spread the floor for Al Jefferson. Kemba Walker will be able to get him some easy shots and Kidd-Gilchrist could pick up the defensive slack.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (Valenzuela) – RODNEY HOOD, SG/SF, DUKE
At this point in the draft, there are a number of wings who are all grouped in together. This may be a little bit of a reach, but I like Hood here because of his shooting ability. He got lost in the shuffle behind Jabari Parker at Duke, but he can slide right in next to Wiggins and give this team the floor spacer they lack.
11. Denver Nuggets (Samperio) – ZACH LAVINE, PG/SG, UCLA
A backcourt with Ty Lawson and Zach LaVine? Yes, please. LaVine is one of the best athletes in the draft, and has NBA range. With Lawson, LaVine, Faried, and McGee, the Nuggets could outrun just about any team in the league. LaVine is a high-risk, high-reward choice but he fits a need and the style of the Nuggets.
12. Orlando Magic (Ward) – TJ WARREN SF, NC STATE
I may throw a wrench in some plans with this pick, but with Aaron Afflalo likely on his way out, the Magic have a need at the 3 and huge need for scoring. Warren led the ACC in scoring last season, and knows how to put the ball in the basket. Not the flashiest selection in the world, but not all great draft picks are.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves (Moreno) – ADREIAN PAYNE, PF, MICHIGAN STATE
Kevin Love is likely on his way out of Minnesota, either this year or next. Payne is no Love, but he does provide rebounding and shooting from the power forward position. He played four years under Tom Izzo, so you know he’s NBA ready.
14. Phoenix Suns (Hansford) – NIK STAUSKAS, PG/SG, MICHIGAN
I take Nik Stauskas and run if I’m Phoenix in this situation. He’s one of the best shooters in the draft, can play both guard positions, and is more athletic than you think. A perfect backup combo guard who could be a replacement if Bledsoe leaves in free agency.
15. Atlanta Hawks (Duangdao) – JAMES YOUNG, SF, KENTUCKY
I like Demarre Carroll, but he should not be your starting small forward. In Young, I get a good shooter who can spread the floor, and as one of the youngest prospects in this draft, could grow into one of the best players from this class. He played lights out during Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament run, showing he thrives under pressure.
16. Chicago Bulls (Valenzuela) – ELFRID PAYTON, PG, LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE
At this point in his career, you simply can’t count on Derrick Rose. Payton is a true point guard who is NBA-starter material if he can improve his jump shot. If Rose comes back healthy, he is big enough to pair with him, and his defensive mentality fits in with the culture in Chicago.
17. Boston Celtics (Samperio) – SHABAZZ NAPIER, PG, UCONN
Rajon Rondo is an unknown at this point. He could be traded, or he could walk away in free agency next summer. Either way, after adding an intangibles guy in Gordon, we go with another on in Napier. A pest on defense with great scoring ability, Napier showed his moxie by leading the Huskies to the National Championship last season.
18. Phoenix Suns (Ward) – GARY HARRIS, SG, MICHIGAN STATE
At this point, you just go best player available and Harris is a lottery talent who fell here in this scenario. A great shooter who can lock down on defense, Harris is one of the safer selections in this draft and could be a great trade chip for the Suns.
19. Chicago Bulls (Moreno) – DARIO SARIC, SF/PF, CROATIA
Saric would have gone in the lottery if he didn’t recently sign a new deal to keep him overseas for two more years. He is a 6’10 point forward who could be the Bulls’ new Toni Kukoc once he comes to the NBA. The Bulls already have a stash overseas in Nikola Mirotic, what’s one more?
20. Toronto Raptors (Hansford) – TYLER ENNIS, PG, SYRACUSE
Have to take advantage of an opportunity to keep a homegrown talent in Canada. Born in Ontario, Ennis serves as insurance for a team that has no point guard under contract for next season. Kyle Lowry has said he wants to stay, but with Greivis Vasquez also a free agent, Ennis provides a little stability at the position.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (Duangdao) – KYLE ANDERSON, SF/PF, UCLA
The Thunder are a perennial title contender that is only a couple of minor moves away from bringing home a championship. Anderson is one of the most unique players in the draft, but is a shot creator for a team that gets a lot of points off isolation. Anderson’s presence could open up new opportunities for Durant and Westbrook.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (Valenzuela) – JORDAN ADAMS, SG, UCLA
The Grizzlies are full of wings who can’t shoot and Adams would solve that problem immediately. He could spread the floor for Randolph and Gasol, but is also capable of getting his own shot off the dribble. Adams is one of the best pure scorers and his toughness fits right in with the Memphis ‘Grit and Grind’ philosophy.
23. Utah Jazz (Samperio) – CLEANTHONY EARLY, SF, WICHITA STATE
I love Early’s game. He is an excellent scorer with defensive potential. He was the best player on a Wichita St. team that finished the regular season undefeated. He stepped up in the team’s biggest games and can be plugged right into the starting lineup with the Jazz in need at the position.
24. Charlotte Hornets (Ward) – JARNELL STOKES, PF, TENNESSEE
Al Jefferson could be a free agent after next season and Stokes is a near carbon copy, albeit a little shorter. Stokes is an absolute bully on the block and an excellent rebounder. An opportunity to learn from one of the best post players in the league could benefit him greatly.
25. Houston Rockets (Moreno) – JUSUF NURKIC, C, BOSNIA
Nurkic has all the physical tools of an NBA center. Sure the Rockets have Dwight Howard, but they also just traded away Omer Asik and the need for skilled players with size is always there. If anything else he becomes a valuable trade chip for the team as they try to clear room to acquire Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James.
26. Miami Heat (Hansford) – JORDAN CLARKSON, PG/SG, MISSOURI
Mario Chalmers is a free agent, and Norris Cole is being dangled in trade talks. Clarkson is a fast-rising combo guard who can get to the basket at will. Point guard has long been a weak point for the Heat, and at some point they need to solve that problem. Clarkson could be that guy.
27. Phoenix Suns (Duangdao) – JERAMI GRANT, SF/PF, SYRACUSE
After going the safer route with their first two picks, the Suns can swing for the fences with their third selection. Grant is an excellent athlete, but doesn’t have a defined position. He lacks the perimeter skills of a 3, but doesn’t have the strength of a 4. With time he could develop into a destructive force.
28. Los Angeles Clippers (Valenzuela) – MITCH MCGARY, PF, MICHIGAN
The Clippers spent all of last season trying to find a backup big man to spell Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. McGary had an excellent run two years ago but struggled with injuries last season. He is a high energy big who is a beast on the boards.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder (Samperio) – ARTEM KLIMENKO, C, RUSSIA
The Thunder would have no issues stashing their second first-rounder in Europe for a couple of years to develop. Klimenko represents one of the more promising prospects. A legitimate seven footer with impressive athleticism, Klimenko lacks the skills right now, but has all of the tools you want in a European prospect.
30. San Antonio Spurs (Ward) – WALTER TAVARES, C, SPAIN
The Spurs have always been one of the best at scouting international prospects and Tavares has caught the eye of a few teams late in the draft process. He is already a good rebounder and shot blocker. With time, he can develop some low post skills, and the Spurs have a way with making people fit their system.
Lakers Most Likely Draft Candidates