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NBA Draft 2014: Complete Post-Lottery Projections for 1st-Round Prospects

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 18:  Joel Embiid #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts after scoring during the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Allen Fieldhouse on January 18, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 24, 2014

Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers struck gold and were awarded the first selection of a highly talented 2014 NBA draft class. This marks the second consecutive year—and third of the last four—in which Cleveland will select first.

After the Cavaliers' surprising leap to the top of the draft order, the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers were shifted down to picks No. 2 and 3, respectively. This forced the Detroit Pistons out of the top eight, and the team subsequently conveyed its No. 9 pick to the Charlotte Hornets.

Needless to say, June's impending draft figures to be shaken up in a big way. Based on team needs at the top of the draft, we may see prospects come off the board sooner—or later—than originally anticipated.

Let's take a glance at the full outlook for the draft's first round and highlight a few of the more intriguing selections.

 

2014 NBA Mock Draft

2014 NBA Mock Draft
PickTeamSelection
1Cleveland CavaliersJoel Embiid, C, Kansas
2Milwaukee BucksAndrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
3Philadelphia 76ersJabari Parker, SF, Duke
4Orlando MagicDante Exum, PG, Australia
5Utah JazzJulius Randle, PF, Kentucky
6Boston CelticsNoah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
7Los Angeles LakersMarcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
8Sacramento KingsAaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
9Charlotte Hornets (via Detroit)Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
10Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans)Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
11Denver NuggetsRodney Hood, SF, Duke
12Orlando Magic (via New York)Dario Saric, SF, Croatia
13Minnesota TimberwolvesJusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
14Phoenix SunsNik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
15Atlanta HawksAdreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
16Chicago Bulls (via Charlotte)Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
17Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)Gary Harris, PG, Michigan State
18Phoenix Suns (via Washington)Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
19Chicago BullsKyle Anderson, SF, UCLA
20Toronto RaptorsP.J. Hairston, SG, NBDL
21Oklahoma City Thunder (via Dallas)T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State
22Memphis GrizzliesK.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
23Utah Jazz (via Golden State)Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
24Charlotte Hornets (via Portland)Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette
25Houston RocketsJames Young, SF, Kentucky
26Miami HeatShabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
27Phoenix Suns (via Indiana)Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri
28Los Angeles ClippersGlenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan
29Oklahoma City ThunderVasilije Micic, PG, Serbia
30San Antonio SpursKristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

 

Analysis

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

It may come as a surprise to see Embiid come of the board at No. 1 overall; however, it makes complete sense.

Taking a glance at the Cavaliers' center situation, it's easy to see it is far from settled. Anderson Varejao is getting a bit long in the tooth, Spencer Hawes is heading to free agency and Tyler Zeller isn't the answer.

Embiid has a great deal of potential and plenty of upside. He's shown flashes of his elite post play and athleticism, which will allow him to thrive in the NBA as a long-term starter. Sure, his injury history is a bit concerning; however, early reports indicate he's doing just fine. Adam Zagoria of NBA.com tweeted his impression following Embiid's workout Friday:

Plenty can change in the days leading up to the draft, but for now, it appears Embiid is poised to go No. 1 overall.

 

9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

The Hornets were one of the few teams that came away as winners following the lottery. Charlotte now gets a top-10 pick in a very talented draft class.

Selecting McDermott at No. 9 overall gives the team a bona fide weapon it would not have dreamed of receiving prior to the lottery. Charlotte could use an outside shooting threat on the wing. McDermott fits the bill nicely, as his ability to create shots and score from all over the court will be highly coveted attributes in this year's draft.

One knock on McDermott has been his lack of athleticism; however, according to a tweet from Adam Levitan of Rotoworld, that's simply not the case:

McDermott's 26.7 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, .526 field-goal percentage and .449 three-point percentage in his senior season will make him a very welcomed addition in Charlotte.

 

16. Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA

It should be pretty fair to say that Chicago desperately needs a shooter. Outside of the oft-injured Derrick Rose, this team really doesn't have a serious threat from all over the court. Despite earning a playoff bid this past season, the Bulls ranked just 30th in the league in points per game.

Without legitimate firepower, it's easy to see why they were dismantled by the Washington Wizards in Round 1.

LaVine simply knows how to shoot the ball—he's a natural. He impressed in a big way during the combine's on-court drills. Here's a quick glance at his shooting prowess, courtesy of NBA draft's Vine account:

Not only is his shot-making ability apparent, but his freakish athleticism gives him an incredibly high ceiling in the NBA. His measurements are also phenomenal for a guard. Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead tweeted his reaction:

LaVine used his length and athleticism to record a top-tier vertical as well, according to a tweet from Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

A backcourt featuring a healthy Rose and LaVine? That's just unfair.

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