Now that 256 NFL prospects have found new homes, the 2014 NBA draft is next on the slate.
Acquiring the right prospects in the early rounds of the NBA draft may even be more pivotal than in the NFL. After all, with smaller roster sizes and fewer starting positions, it's imperative for each NBA franchise to get it right.
Even though the NBA playoffs continue to roll along, most teams have already been eliminated from championship contention and are now solely focused on the offseason.
With the list of available prospects set and team needs taking shape, let's take a look how the impending draft's first round could potentially shake out.
1. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas
The Bucks need a spark, and the athleticism and tremendous upside of Wiggins will provide just that. He may take a little bit of time to dominate the professional ranks, but once he gets going, selecting him at No. 1 overall will pay huge dividends.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Parker is very polished and ready to step up in the NBA immediately. The 76ers have a solid young core of players with Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. Parker will be the shooter this team needs to complement the others perfectly.
3. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
The Magic could stand to upgrade the point guard position. Luckily, the draft's most talented point man is ripe for the picking at No. 3 overall. Pairing Exum with Victor Oladipo in the backcourt makes this unit an immediate strength.
4. Utah Jazz: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Embiid's injury concerns cause him to slip out of the top three. That's all right for the Jazz—a team that could use plenty of help on the boards. Embiid is a well-rounded player and can help the team improve on both ends of the court.
5. Boston Celtics: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Boston needs a boost on its frontcourt and won't hesitate to grab Randle here. He was a double-double machine in college, and given his aggressive playing style, he shouldn't need much time to duplicate that production in the NBA.
6. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
Steve Nash is certainly in the twilight of his career, and Kobe Bryant won't be around forever. The Lakers could stand to upgrade their backcourt in this draft, and Smart would be a wise choice. Smart's combination of quickness, strength and intelligence will serve him well on the next level.
7. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Aaron Gordon: (UA) is going to be successful at the highest level next year. That's just the nature of the program. http://t.co/Esx2rmGz8X— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) April 16, 2014
The Kings can improve in a big way by selecting the energetic Gordon here. He plays with a high motor and a great amount of enthusiasm. Defensively stout, quick in transition and solid on the boards, he'll contribute immediately in Sacramento.
8. Detroit Pistons: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Detroit has a huge hole to fill in terms of outside shooting. Luckily, that's Stauskas' forte. Sure, No. 8 overall could be a bit early for the Michigan product, but his NBA-ready skill set and ability to create shots for himself and his teammates may be too much for the Pistons to pass up.
9. Cleveland Cavaliers: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
Vonleh is easily the best player remaining on the board here. Not only does Cleveland get the best player available, but it fills a need at the same time. Vonleh is a powerful player who is a great rebounder and solid in the post.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
After selecting Parker earlier in the draft, the Sixers can now look to improve their backcourt. Ennis is a great fit due to his ball-handling and distribution skills. His vision on the floor will allow the rest of the team to find a great deal of open looks.
11. Denver Nuggets: Dario Saric, PF, Croatia
.@DraftExpress says that Dario Saric will enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Smart move. Executives say he'll be a top 10 pick in this year's draft.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) March 29, 2014
Saric would be a wise investment for the Nuggets. Even though he's a big, physical presence, Saric has a great stroke from outside. The upside here is tremendous and worth giving him the time to develop before taking the court in the NBA.
12. Orlando Magic (via New York): Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
McDermott may not have the abundance of athleticism like some other prospects at this point of the draft; however, he is possibly the most polished shooter of any prospect. His ability to drain buckets from anywhere will go a long way in Orlando.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
The Timberwolves lack an outside shooting threat, and although Harris' production dropped off slightly last season, he'll still provide a great offensive rotational spark. His presence will take some of the burden off Kevin Love as well.
14. Phoenix Suns: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
Hood would simply be a great fit in the Suns' offensive scheme. His versatility and size at 6'8" give him the potential to play shooting guard and at the 3 spot. His great range and solid stroke will help him become an instant contributor.
15. Atlanta Hawks: James Young, SF, Kentucky
The Hawks relied on the long ball way too much in this year's postseason. Adding a player who can penetrate from the perimeter will help rectify that problem. Enter Young. Athletic and aggressive, he can attack the rim to bring some balance to this offense.
16. Chicago Bulls (via Charlotte): P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina/NBDL
Hairston is a great shooter but also has the drive to get to the rim. He's already got his feet wet against NBA-type competition in the D-League, and his experience there will help him make a smooth transition to the NBA.
17. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn): Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA
Drafting LaVine here provides insurance to Rajon Rondo. LaVine has great length and a good amount of upside. He may need a little time to develop his skill set, but if he can reach his full potential, he'll become a very solid starter.
18. Phoenix Suns (via Washington): Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Adreian Payne is going to get biblical on somebody in the NBA with a dunk. 6’10” with an ridiculous wingspan and a 38-inch vert. Absurd.— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) April 4, 2014
Payne would only continue to solidify an improving frontcourt in Phoenix. Coming from Tom Izzo's system at Michigan State, Payne is aggressive on both ends of the court, attacking the glass on offense and coming away with plenty of boards on defense.
19. Chicago Bulls: T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State
The Bulls could use a gritty player like Warren. He's aggressive all over the court and attacks the glass with authority. He'll become an instant inside threat and take plenty of the scoring burden off the oft-injured Derrick Rose.
20. Toronto Raptors: Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Toronto could stand to add some depth. Grant fits the bill perfectly. He plays with a high level of energy and has a great deal of athleticism. Although he has a tendency to struggle with his jumper, he'll make a great role player for the Raptors.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Dallas): Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Oklahoma City would do well to stash Capela on its roster here. This team is an offensive juggernaut but lacks on the defensive end of the court. The 6'11" Capela is a stout defender and rebounder. Those traits will go a long way for the Thunder.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
The defensive-minded Grizzlies add another top-notch defender here in McDaniels. A natural shot-blocker, he has tremendous length and can be a huge factor defending on the perimeter.
23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Kyle Anderson, PG/PF, UCLA
Anderson has good upside and tremendous versatility for any prospect at this point in the draft. At 6'9", he is extremely difficult to defend on the perimeter. A great outside shooter, Anderson will bring a big boost to Utah's offense.
24. Charlotte Bobcats (via Portland): Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
Cleanthony Early, Doug McDermott Lead Impact Seniors In 2014 NBA Draft http://t.co/1SdYejRwBF— NESN (@NESN) April 30, 2014
The Bobcats need scoring, and Early is just the guy to provide them with it. Early was fantastic during the NCAA tournament and saw his draft stock rise in its aftermath. He's a natural scorer who can attack the glass and complements that with a solid jumper.
25. Houston Rockets: Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette
Payton was phenomenal for the Ragin' Cajuns last season. He was productive all over the court, averaging 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. That level of effectiveness would be a welcomed addition in Houston.
26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
The Heat are in a win-now mode, and adding Napier adds to that mentality. Napier has the ability to contribute immediately off the bench. His prowess during the NCAA tournament was undeniable, and although he may not put up the same gaudy numbers in the NBA, his presence will certainly be felt.
27. Phoenix Suns (via Indiana): Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
The Suns continue to add big bodies to their frontcourt. The 19-year-old Nurkic will need some time to continue his development overseas; however, at 6'11" and 280 pounds, he will become a strong interior presence with a surprisingly soft touch around the basket.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia
Micic has all the makings of becoming a star at the point guard position in the NBA. At just 20 years of age, he'll continue to develop before joining the Clippers. That's all right, as Chris Paul will continue to handle the reins in the immediate future.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
Wilcox is a well-rounded player. He's a stout defender on the perimeter and can score from anywhere on the offensive side of the court. This skill set makes him a great candidate to log time off the bench in the Thunder's rotation.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, Serbia
We all know the Spurs are no strangers to acquiring talent from overseas. They'll do it again here by selecting Bogdanovic. A lights-out shooter, he'll continue to develop across the pond. When he's ready to come over, he'll become a tremendous offensive weapon for San Antonio.