NBA Mock Draft 2014: Breaking Down Every 1st-Round Selection

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NBA Mock Draft 2014: Breaking Down Every 1st-Round Selection
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The lottery order is all set, which means the teams atop the 2014 NBA draft know where they will be picking and are starting to have an idea of who will be available when their team name is called.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were a big surprise in nabbing the top overall pick, but every team in the top five has major areas of need that it will look to address with some of the elite players in the class. As the first round carries on, teams with more roster stability will have the chance to add contributors in order to bolster a postseason run. 

Here's a look at every first-round pick and the selection that should follow.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

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The Cavaliers may end up going with the shot-blocking big man or the NBA-ready offensive stud, but picking Andrew Wiggins would give Cleveland the best overall bang for its buck.

Let's get this straight: Wiggins wasn't college basketball's best player last season, and it wasn't really all that close. But as tough as it is sometimes to draft based on potential, there hasn't been a player in years with as much as Wiggins, and he did show enough in his one season at Kansas to prove he could become a star with a few more years of development.

After opting not to participate in the draft combine, Wiggins dazzled at a workout Sunday, per ESPN's Chad Ford:

With Kyrie Irving developing into a star, Wiggins would allow the Cavs to form a dynamic backcourt and make Dion Waiters available on the trade block, further helping their chances of signing Tristan Thompson to a long-term deal and keeping Anderson Varejao. Throw in Luol Deng, and Cleveland could have the perfect blend of versatility, experience and scoring on the roster. 

 

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, Kansas 

Joel Embiid is far and away the best big man in the draft, so much so that he could very well go No. 1 overall. But with the Cavs having more of a need at the wing than down low, Embiid will fall to Milwaukee.

The lack of an able frontcourt has held the Bucks back, but now they can shape it around a dominant shot-blocker and rim protector. 

 

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, Duke

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This scenario works out perfectly for the top three teams in the draft. Cleveland gets its high-potential winger, Milwaukee gets its big man and the 76ers get their scorer. Jabari Parker tore up college basketball offensively as a freshman, and with so many ways to put the ball in the basket, he will have an instant impact on a Philadelphia team that doesn't have many, if any, go-to scorers.

 

4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, Australia

Dante Exum is the mystery man of the draft, but his showing at the combine helped to solidify what was already apparent: He's a top-five pick. In this case, the Magic can grab him to work under, and eventually replace, Jameer Nelson while combining with Victor Oladipo for a young, exciting backcourt. 

 

5. Utah Jazz: Julius Randle, Kentucky

The Jazz have two formidable big men who improved in 2013-14—Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. But both equivocally play the center position, meaning Utah could draft Julius Randle to inject some serious offense into the frontcourt and decide over time who's best to put alongside him. 

 

6. Boston Celtics: Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Boston definitely could have used a top-five pick after the tough rebuilding season it had, but the team will have to settle for a second-tier player who could become a star. Arizona's Aaron Gordon has the chance to be a future All-Star, and on a Celtics team that lacks players who can go above the rim, he'll be a hot commodity.

 

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Marcus Smart is a high-risk, high-reward pick in the top 10, but the reward goes without saying. He was the nation's best player at times last season, and having to mesh in a backcourt that includes one of the greatest players ever should only help to bring out the star in Smart—which the Lakers will soon need desperately when Kobe Bryant hangs it up. 

 

8. Sacramento Kings: Noah Vonleh, Indiana

Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay should all control the backcourt for years to come, but it's downright scary to look at the Kings' frontcourt roster—especially looking into the distant future. Noah Vonleh didn't dominate in his one season at Indiana, but he has the size and intangibles to be crafted into a future impact forward. 

 

9. Charlotte Hornets: P.J. Hairston, North Carolina/Texas Legends

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The Charlotte Hornets—formerly known as the Bobcats—proved in 2013-14 that they're on the up. Now they just need to add a few more pieces to make everything come together, and P.J. Hairston—who dominated at times with North Carolina and dazzled in the D-League—could play some big minutes off the bench as well as score at will. 

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Adreian Payne, Michigan State

With two lottery picks, the Sixers will be able to address two serious needs. After grabbing Parker at No. 3, getting Adreian Payne out of Michigan State will allow Philadelphia to play the rookie big minutes as it looks for frontcourt options to help out Nerlens Noel. 

 

11. Denver Nuggets: Doug McDermott, Creighton

When they're clicking, the Nuggets can light it up offensively with hot shooting and take over games with 120-point outings regularly. Inserting Doug McDermott—the best shooter in the draft, hands down—would take it to the next level. 

 

12. Orlando Magic: Gary Harris, Michigan State

If the Magic draft Dante Exum, they won't be expecting too much from him early on as he looks to improve his game and adjust to the level of play. Gary Harris has been there, done that with Michigan State, and despite him only having two years of college under his belt, his experience with the Spartans will help him to fill the void right away. 

 

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Young, Kentucky

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One of the worst defensive teams in the league, the T-Wolves can still catch fire offensively, ranking third in the league in scoring. James Young knows a thing or two about putting the ball in the basket, and one of the draft's best pure shooters will find plenty of looks in a strong Minnesota offense. 

 

14. Phoenix Suns: Nik Stauskas, Michigan 

After making a considerable step forward last season when even they were expecting to tank, the Phoenix Suns need to add a guard who can come off the bench and score. Nik Stauskas is more of a pure shooter, but he's also quite fast and has a quick trigger, so Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic should have no problem getting him open looks. 

 

15. Atlanta Hawks: Dario Saric, Croatia

Dario Saric probably won't be the next Dirk Nowitzki, but his style of play reflects that of the German star. Atlanta will be excited to add him to a team that already has a strong international presence and see if his game translates to the next level. 

 

16. Chicago Bulls: Rodney Hood, Duke

Chicago desperately needs young guards who can defend and play at a high level, and Rodney Hood would be just that. He's still young and has some untapped potential, but he can light it up on offense and has the length to impact plays on the defensive end. 

 

17. Boston Celtics: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

After adding Gordon in the lottery, the Celtics will be in serious need of a young point guard to play behind Rajon Rondo. Syracuse's Tyler Ennis took over games late in his short-lived college career, and his offensive potency will be welcomed in Boston. 

 

18. Phoenix Suns: Zach LaVine, UCLA

Zach LaVine out of UCLA has all of the physical tools to be a strong shooting guard in the NBA, and he'll get his chance in Phoenix. The Suns are looking to add more young talent to a roster that improved beyond anyone's expectations in 2013-14, and LaVine would be yet another high-potential player to develop.

 

19. Chicago Bulls: T.J. Warren, N.C. State

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As stated three picks ago, the Bulls need young talent on the wing and in the backcourt—preferably those with length who bring instant offense. T.J. Warren is a sure thing in both of those categories, and Chicago could certainly use his scoring touch. 

 

20. Toronto Raptors: Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Kyle Anderson can do it all—score, dish out assists, grab rebounds and defend. Toronto improved in a huge way in 2013-14 and needs more players like Anderson to plug in and play in order to keep climbing the ranks. 

 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Clint Capela, France

With two late first-round picks, Oklahoma City will be looking to gamble on one of the most promising international players in the class. Clint Capela, at a massive 6'11", would help to bring more size to a Thunder frontcourt that can be inconsistent after Serge Ibaka

 

22. Memphis Grizzlies: K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

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K.J. McDaniels took ACC opponents to the woodshed regularly in 2013-14 with big-time scoring performances, and it didn't go unnoticed. With the Grizzlies, McDaniels would be a much-needed spark off of the bench to help improve a team that was lifeless on offense during moments. 

 

23. Utah Jazz: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia

The Jazz nabbed Randle early in the first round to make for a formidable young frontcourt, but they still need to address the bench as far as guards go. Bogdanovic is big for a guard and can also stroke it from outside, making him out to be a mismatch for certain guards in the league. 

 

24. Charlotte Hornets: Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafeyette

Needing more young potential players to throw into the backcourt, Charlotte won't be able to pass up on landing Elfrid Payton. He was an absolute star in college, focusing on the defensive end first and having the athleticism to put the ball in the hoop. 

 

25. Houston Rockets: Jordan Adams, UCLA

The UCLA Bruins are loaded with NBA draft talent, and they'll see a third come off the board in Round 1. Jordan Adams can already contribute enough offensively to fit in with Houston, and his defensive potential could turn him into one of the team's lockdown defenders. 

 

26. Miami Heat: Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

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They might be the two-time defending champs, but the Heat sorely need help on the glass. There are few players in the class better at hauling in boards than Jarnell Stokes, who finished second in the nation in double-doubles and also showed offensive dominance, as he was the go-to guy for isolation in the Vols' system. 

 

27. Phoenix Suns: Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

With a whopping three first-round picks, Phoenix addressed the backcourt with its first two selections but won't be able to pass up a big man at No. 27. Jusuf Nurkic has enough size to impact games at the next level, but his selection is certainly a gamble, as it is with virtually any international standout. Don't expect that to hold the Suns back, though. 

 

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

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It remains to be seen whether the Clippers will need Shabazz Napier with Chris Paul and Darren Collison already on the roster. But considering the way he took over the NCAA tournament and the Clippers' virtual lack of needs otherwise, it's worth rolling the dice to see if Napier is anywhere near as effective in the pros as he was in the college ranks.

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mitch McGary, Michigan

Serge Ibaka is a stud, and Steven Adams is turning into an impact player, but there's little consistency across the board in OKC's frontcourt. Mitch McGary hardly played last season at Michigan after back surgery, but when he's healthy, he impacts the game in so many ways that the Thunder will find use for him. 

 

30. San Antonio Spurs: C.J. Wilcox, Washington

Ever since drafting Tim Duncan, the Spurs haven't had to pick anywhere other than the back of the draft order in most years. In this pick, they'll hope to replace aging veteran Manu Ginobili in the long term with C.J. Wilcox, who has a refined offensive game. 

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