2014 NBA Mock Draft: Mapping out Entire Talent-Laden First Round

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMarch 5, 2014

Feb 22, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) and guard Andrew Wiggins (22) speak with media after the game against the Texas Longhorns at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 85-54. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NBA draft is loaded with talent throughout the first round. 

It all starts at the top, where there is no clear-cut answer for the No. 1 pick, but rather three exciting prospects who will all be in consideration for the spot should they decide to declare. 

Although Andrew Wiggins' lackluster freshman year at Kansas has dulled a bit of the hype surrounding the phenomenal athlete, there is still no denying that he is a rare talent. In fact, if this class weren't so loaded, he would be a no-brainer as the top selection in the draft. 

However, with his college teammate Joel Embiid and Duke's Jabari Parker also likely entering the draft, there are numerous ways it could go. 

Here's a look at how I see it all playing out. 

1. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

Forced to predict which player will go No. 1, I'm siding with the tall guy. Joel Embiid is 7'0", and he can move. He also has solid hands.

The Cameroon native has only been playing basketball for three years, so he has a lot of developing to do, but he's shown that he has enough tools to make an immediate impact while he learns the finer points of the game. 

Teams have a hard time passing on a big man with with athleticism, and I don't expect any team to pass on Embiid. 

As for his fit in Milwaukee, he is not the best piece, as pointed out by Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy:

When drafting No. 1, however, fit is not as big a concern as grabbing the best player.  

2. Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas

Andrew Wiggins has had an inconsistent freshman year at Kansas, as he's prone to mental lapses on offense and defense.

He is, however, also prone to dominating on offense and defense.

With a refined offensive game and more discipline on defense, Wiggins will be dominant on both sides of the ball at the next level.

The 76ers would have an athletic, young and exciting nucleus with the addition of Wiggins. 

3. Orlando Magic: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke

Jabari Parker is the most pro-ready prospect of the big three in this class. He has a refined offensive game and a strong shooting stroke. 

His game draws comparisons to Carmelo Anthony, and he also has the kind of potential to be just as effective on offense as Anthony. 

He would pair well with the athletic Victor Oladipo on the wing for the Magic. 

4. Boston Celtics: Noah Vonleh, PF/C, Indiana 

Noah Vonleh has great length and athleticism, and the Boston Celtics can certainly use the help in the frontcourt. 

Vonleh stands just 6'8", but he has a 7'4" wingspan. This will help propel him to be the first power forward off the board. 

5. Los Angeles Lakers: Dante Exum, PG, Australia

Dante Exum is an exciting point guard prospect. There are some concerns about how his draft process will play out, however. 

Sean Deveney of the Sporting News helps point that out:

Would Exum go so far as to try to angle his way onto the Lakers, who currently have the fifth-worst record in the NBA? That’s the concern among some front-office executives around the league.

In the end, Exum may not have to do much angling. Without taking into consideration his desire, I have him mocked to the Lakers at No. 5.

6. Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks): Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State

The Denver Nuggets need help in the backcourt, and they won't find a more exciting prospect available than Smart.

Smart's draft stock has taken a bit of a hit this season, but he's still a natural leader and a dynamic playmaker. 

7. Sacramento Kings: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

A potential pairing of DeMarcus Cousins and Julius Randle in the frontcourt is downright frightening. This would give the Kings a strong and menacing interior presence. 

Randle was once considered a candidate to go No. 1 overall, but his lack of length has raised some questions about his ability to transition to the NBA. At 6'9" and with relatively short arms, his lack of length won't be as concerning next to Cousins. 

8. Utah Jazz: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse

The Utah Jazz must improve at point guard, and that is why Tyler Ennis would be a wise selection. 

Ennis' draft stock has been on the rise. He is a heady player with good size. He is also selfless and will look to get his teammates involved before getting off his own shot. 

9. Cleveland Cavalliers: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

With Luol Deng likely heading toward free agency after the season, the Cavs could wind up being on the lookout for a small forward.

Rodney Hood is a strong option, even though he has a far different game than Deng. Hood's value comes mostly on the offensive end, as he has a nice outside stroke and can handle the ball. 

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans): Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA

If the draft plays out like this, the Philadelphia 76ers may emerge with the most athletic team in the NBA.

Zach LaVine is explosive and has jaw-dropping hops. He also has a solid outside shot. He does need to work on his ball-handling and decision-making, however, to be a full-time point guard. Even if that doesn't materialize, he will be an exciting option to bring off the bench. 

11. Charlotte Bobcats (via Detroit Pistons): Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona

Aaron Gordon would bring needed athleticism to a burgeoning frontcourt in Charlotte.

He will need to refine his offensive game to be a consistent force, but he has all the tools to be a huge factor on both ends of the court. 

12. Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

Gary Harris has a solid shooting touch and a phylsical presence.

He will fit right in with the Orlando Magic during their current rebuilding process. His physicality would pair well on the wing with Parker, who I have the Magic taking at No. 3. 

13. Boston Celtics (via Atlanta Hawks): Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Doug McDermott is a natural scorer, and he would be an exciting option for the Celtics at No. 13.

McDermott could back up Jeff Green. The two could also function in the lineup together to form a formidable offensive combo. 

14. Chicago Bulls (via Charlotte Bobcats): Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State

The Chicago Bulls always seem to need more shooting. Adreian Payne would give them a strong shooting option from the frontcourt.

He's shooting over 40 percent from three-point land at Michigan State. 

15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets): Jerami Grant, SF/PF, Syracuse

Jerami Grant is going to have to refine his shooting stroke and and ball-handling to excel in the NBA.

He is an intriguing prospect, however. At 6'8" and 210 pounds, he has ample athleticism for his size, and that athleticism will be a welcome addition to Atlanta's frontcourt.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves: Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia

At 6'10", Dario Saric has a good shooting touch and is decent with the ball. Like many international players, he needs to bulk up in order to handle the physicality of the NBA.

Saric is a decent value here, and he would give the Timberwolves increased depth in the frontcourt. He would also provide an insurance policy should Kevin Love leave for greener pastures after next season. 

17. Phoenix Suns (via Washington Wizards): P.J. Hairston, SG/SF, D-League

Playing in the NBA D-League, Hairston has posted two 40-point contests this season. Needless to say, he is a natural scorer. 

His overall game needs refinement, but the Suns could use his ability to create buckets. 

18. Chicago Bulls: James Young, SF/SG, Kentucky

LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 15:  James Young #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the game against the Florida Gators  at Rupp Arena on February 15, 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

James Young is an athletic wing player. He has the ability to take defenders off the dribble and play solid defense on the perimeter.

He certainly fits the mold of a Tom Thibodeau player, and he will be able to provide solid minutes off the bench. 

19. Toronto Raptors: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland

Coming out of Switzerland, there hasn't been a lot of buzz on Clint Capela. However, at  6'10.5" and with a 7'3" wingspan, per DraftExpress.com, he is going to grab scouts' attention. 

He is definitely a project pick, but he would bring a huge upside to Toronto. 

20. Memphis Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson, SF/PG, UCLA

Kyle Anderson has a very unique skill set. He has the size to play small forward but the ball skills to play point guard.

He is not ripe with athleticism, however, which will see him last on the board until pick No. 20.

He is a good fit in Memphis. His skills balance out with the defensive-minded Tony Allen.

21. Phoenix Suns: Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville

Montrezl Harrell isn't going to blow anyone away with his offensive game, but he is a strong player and solid interior presence. 

The Suns could use increased depth in the frontcourt, and his physicality would be a welcome addition. 

22. Dallas Mavericks: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

Willie Cauley-Stein has a strong defensive presence down low. The Mavericks have needed this kind of presence since Tyson Chandler left. 

Cauley-Stein isn't going to dominate on offense, but playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas won't need him to. 

23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors): Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan

Tony Ding/Associated Press

Nik Stauskas is a good shooter with enough athleticism to create his own shot.

With the Jazz in jeopardy of losing Gordon Hayward as a restricted free agent this summer, Stauskas would help fill the void that loss would create. 

24. Los Angeles Clippers: Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette 

Elfrid Payton has great athleticism and solid height at 6'3". He badly needs to improve his jumper, but he can do that with hard work.

With the Clippers, he will be able to work on that while playing light minutes behind Chris Paul

25. Charlotte Bobcats (via Portland Trail Blazers): Wayne Selden Jr., SG, Kansas

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Bobcats have to increase their offensive efficiency to go with their strong defense.

Wayne Selden Jr. is a natural scorer from the backcourt and could provide an offensive spark off of the Bobcats bench. 

26. Houston Rockets: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia

The Houston Rockets are loaded at center, but it's been no secret that Omer Asik is less than thrilled with his backup role. 

Nurkic has to add bulk to be a true center, but he has the length. His addition to the Rockets would help free Houston from their dependence upon Asik.

27. San Antonio Spurs: Terran Petteway, SG/SF, Nebraska 

Terran Petteway is not the typical Spurs player. He is explosive, athletic, unpredictable and unrefined on the offensive end.

That's what makes this such an intriguing pick. If Gregg Popovich can instill a disciplined offensive approach in Petteway, he has a chance to be a force. 

28. Miami Heat: K.J. McDaniels, SF/SG, Clemson

K.J. McDaniels is a good athlete and a strong defensive player.

If the Miami Heat keep their current core in tact, his defense on the wing would be a strong fit, and it would also help take some of the defensive pressure off of stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Markel Brown, SG, Oklahoma State

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Markel Brown is a tremendous athlete. He could add depth to Oklahoma City's backcourt while giving them a solid defensive option off the bench. He would also be a boost to their transition game. 

30. Phoenix Suns (via Indiana Pacers): Nick Johnson, PG, Arizona

Nick Johnson is a heady guard with strong athleticism. Of course, we shouldn't have to tell the Phoenix Suns this, as he is playing his college ball in their backyard.

The Suns would welcome the depth he'd bring to their backcourt. 


    Full 1st Round Results, Big Board 👀

    NBA logo

    Full 1st Round Results, Big Board 👀

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Grading Every Pick in the Draft

    NBA logo

    Grading Every Pick in the Draft

    Adam Fromal
    via Bleacher Report

    Embiid Shades Deandre Ayton

    NBA logo

    Embiid Shades Deandre Ayton

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Knox Greeted with Boos After Knicks Pick Him 😬

    NBA logo

    Knox Greeted with Boos After Knicks Pick Him 😬

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report