The 2014 NBA draft order is finally set following Tuesday's lottery.
Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers emerged as the lucky winners, earning the top overall selection in a very strong draft class. Despite only having a 1.7 percent chance to earn the pick, the Cavaliers have now won two consecutive No. 1 overall picks and three in the last four years.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers dropped to the No. 2 and 3 picks, respectively, and the Detroit Pistons fell to No. 9, forcing them to convey their top-eight-protected selection to the Charlotte Hornets.
With all of the lottery's madness behind us, we can finally paint a vivid picture of how the draft could potentially unfold.
Let's take a look at where this year's top prospects are likely to wind up.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Cleveland's center position is very unsettled at the moment. Anderson Varejao is getting up there in years, Spencer Hawes is headed to free agency and Tyler Zeller isn't the answer. Embiid has a tremendous amount of upside and can dominate the interior on both ends of the court.
Embiid's medical records will play a part in the decision to select him with the No. 1 overall pick, but judging from his recent workouts his back injury appears to be well behind him. Here's a look courtesy of a tweet from Bleacher Report NBA:
Yep, his back looks just fine right now.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
The Bucks need a surge of energy and athleticism. Wiggins projects to give them that and plenty more. With possibly the biggest upside in this draft class, Wiggins' raw athleticism and budding skill set could allow him to become the cornerstone of this franchise for years to come.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Parker may be one of the most reliable shooters from the wing in this year's draft. The 76ers already have a handful of promising young players in Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. Adding Parker to the mix gives this team plenty of hope for the future.
4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
Exum remains a bit of a mystery, but he impressed at the draft combine in a big way. His maturity was outstanding, and his on-court drills reaffirmed what we saw on his tape from Australia. Pairing him with Victor Oladipo gives Orlando a very scary backcourt.
5. Utah Jazz: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Randle immediately improves the Jazz on both ends of the court. He may not have the upside like some other prospects early in the draft, but he's solid and reliable—Utah knows exactly what it's getting. A double-double machine in college, there's no reason to think Randle won't keep up that same kind of production in the NBA.
6. Boston Celtics: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
Vonleh projects to fit nicely on a young Celtics team. He's long and athletic with a reliable jumper. If he can attack the rim with more authority, he'll become a star in the NBA and help the Celtics get back to their winning ways.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
Smart is a player who has the skill set to come in and contribute on an immediate basis with the Lakers. He's a great ball-handler, is intelligent and sees the court very well. He may not be a great shooter, but he'll generate scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
8. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
The Kings need another presence in the frontcourt, and Gordon has the tools to be that guy. Gordon plays with a high motor and flies around on both ends of the court. His length and athleticism should allow him to become a solid defender and inside option in the NBA.
This tweet from Jeff Goodman of ESPN really sums up this portion of the draft:
9. Charlotte Hornets (via Detroit): Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
The beautiful thing about drafting McDermott is you know exactly why you're going to get. Through four seasons at Creighton, McDermott proved he's a natural and reliable shooter who can stretch the floor. His ceiling may not be huge, but he may be one of the draft's safest picks.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
The knock on Ennis coming into the draft was his lack of athleticism. This caused his draft stock to dip despite his offensive prowess. During the draft combine, Ennis proved he has more than meets the eye during on-court drills.
ESPN's Chad Ford gave his take on Ennis while at the combine:
With Parker and Ennis in the fold, the future looks very bright for Philadelphia.
11. Denver Nuggets: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
If the Nuggets are to take the next step and find their way into the playoffs, they'll need another legitimate scoring threat up front. Hood is exactly that. He has versatile scoring ability and a great deal of range. He's polished enough to contribute right away in Denver's rotation.
12. Orlando Magic (via New York): Dario Saric, SF, Croatia
With a solid backcourt in place after selecting Exum at No. 4, Orlando's focus shifts to the front. Saric is one of the most talented prospects in the draft. He has great length, is a reliable shooter and can distribute the ball nicely. Had he played stronger competition to this point in his career, he very well may have been considered even earlier in the draft.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
It appears as though Kevin Love is on his way out. The Timberwolves need a new presence in the frontcourt, and Nurkic will fit nicely. He's solid in the post and can contribute defensively. He can be a rotational player initially but has the upside to become a solid starter.
14. Phoenix Suns: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
If Phoenix is to find its way into the playoffs, adding another legitimate scoring threat in its backcourt should be a priority. Stauskas is an absolute weapon on the offensive end of the court and can create shots for himself and help do the same for his teammates.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
The Hawks can gain a great deal of stability on their roster by selecting Payne here. Coming from Tom Izzo's system at Michigan State, Payne is well-versed on both ends of the court. He's a solid defender and versatile offensive threat inside.
16. Chicago Bulls (via Charlotte): Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
The Bulls clearly need a scoring option. Aside from the oft-injured Derrick Rose, this team simply struggles to get points on the board. LaVine is a tremendous outside shooter who has freakish athleticism. He may need to develop a bit, but he has all the makings of becoming a future star in Chicago's backcourt.
Just how athletic is LaVine? Here's a look, courtesy of a tweet from BallIsLife.com:
17. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn): Gary Harris, PG, Michigan State
Harris is a solid 2-guard and should be able to contribute right away in the NBA. The Celtics could use him alongside Rajon Rondo in the backcourt or as Rondo's replacement. Either way, he'll be a solid addition to a team looking to make a big rebound.
18. Phoenix Suns (via Washington): Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Capela could be an immediate threat on the defensive end of the court. His size and length allows him to produce as a rebounder and shot-blocker. He may need to develop slightly on the offensive side, but if he can improve in that regard, Phoenix may get the steal of the draft here.
19. Chicago Bulls: Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA
Anderson is a smart player who can not only create shots for himself and his teammates but handle and distribute the ball nicely as well. His abilities on the offensive end of the court will be a breath of fresh air for what's been a very stagnant offense.
20. Toronto Raptors: P.J. Hairston, SG, NBDL
The Raptors have a talented roster but could benefit from an additional scoring threat. Hairston has already proven himself against near-NBA-caliber opponents. His ability to score from outside and drive inside will make him an enticing option at this point in the draft.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Dallas): T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State
Warren is a legitimate scoring threat due to his solid jumper. He'll provide yet another dangerous option on the Thunder's high-octane offense and take plenty of pressure off Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
Memphis had one of the league's best defenses last season. McDaniels would only further improve that unit. He plays much larger than his actual size indicates, as he served as one of the nation's best shot-blockers on the perimeter last season.
23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State): Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Having added Randle early in the draft, Utah's frontcourt continues to get more physical here with the addition of Grant. He may not be a solid outside shooter, but he's a great rebounder and isn't afraid to aggressively drive into the lane.
24. Charlotte Hornets (via Portland): Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette
The Hornets added a great scoring threat in McDermott earlier in the draft, and they'll add another here in Payton. With great athleticism and range, Payton can score from anywhere and adds nice speed to the Hornets' offense.
Payton really impressed ESPN's Chad Ford, according to the latter's tweet:
25. Houston Rockets: James Young, SG, Kentucky
Young had a great run in the NCAA tournament with Kentucky and finished the season second on the team in scoring behind Randle. He's polished enough to contribute right away in a rotation but will need to work on his consistency before becoming a full-time starter.
26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
Napier and Connecticut stunned the nation after improbably winning the NCAA tournament. His skill set will benefit a team in several ways. Whether he's needed to distribute, shoot or rebound, he can do it all. He'll be a great rotational piece on a Heat team in win-now mode.
27. Phoenix Suns (via Indiana): Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri
The Suns added Stauskas earlier in the draft to be an outside threat. Clarkson could potentially pair with him in the backcourt as a distributor and playmaker on the inside. Clarkson has a very reliable mid-range jumper and has enough moves to create space for himself in scoring situations.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan
Robinson improved his draft stock in a big way at the combine. He looked great during on-court drills, finishing as one of the top small forwards in spot-up shooting. Robinson has tremendous athleticism, and if he can keep developing he can turn into a reliable long-term starter.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia
Despite his young age, Micic has a great deal of experience under his belt after representing Serbia's national team as a youth. He's not much of a perimeter shooter but has a solid jumper. His strength is his ability to pick apart a defense and distribute the ball to playmakers.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
Yes, we all know the Spurs aren't afraid to go after prospects from overseas. Should the team do the same this year, they'll get a quality player in Porzingis. The 7'0" forward already has a nice outside shot but will need to add weight to play in the post. He's a developmental player but could be very much worth the wait.
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