With the 2014 NBA Finals having come to a close, the league now turns its attention to the draft. And while every NBA draft class has its coveted prospects, 2014's class features a handful of future superstars.
With the draft still over a week away, the debate rages on as to which player will go No. 1 overall on June 26. Many feel that Duke's Jabari Parker can provide a team with immediate help on offense, while others believe Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins' potential is too good to pass up.
And then there's Wiggins' former teammate Joel Embiid. The 7'1" center showed glimpses of greatness when healthy last season with the Kansas Jayhawks and projects to be a game-changing big at the next level, as hinted at by Milwaukee Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney, per Fox Sports' Andrew Gruman:
Any of the three guys could be the No. 1 pick. You go back to the draft last year, I don't think anybody would have anticipated that Anthony Bennett would be the No. 1 pick. We don't know. The other aspect of this is, will Cleveland make a trade? That would change the landscape of who goes first.
While the conversation continues, here's a look at my latest first-round NBA mock draft.
2014 NBA draft order via NBA.com.
When: Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
Live Stream: WatchESPN
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Jabari Parker can provide an instant spark offensively for the Cleveland Cavaliers and has very few weaknesses in his game. Seeing as the Cavaliers ranked 22nd in the league in scoring last season and the fact they haven't won more than 33 games in a season since LeBron James left four years ago, Parker makes a ton of sense for Cleveland at No. 1 overall.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas
Although Andrew Wiggins has more developing to do than Parker, the Milwaukee Bucks certainly won't be disappointed to see the high-flying shooting guard fall to them at No. 2.
Wiggins would excite a fanbase with little to believe in at the moment and has superstar potential down the road.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Joel Embiid has legitimate No. 1 overall pick aspirations. However, the question marks about his health could cause him to slip a few spots. But unless Parker or Wiggins is available, there's no doubt Embiid is worth the risk for the 76ers.
4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
By adding Australian floor general Dante Exum, the Orlando Magic would be setting themselves up for the future with one of the league's most promising backcourts. Remember, they drafted shooting guard Victor Oladipo in the first round a year ago.
5. Utah Jazz: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
Indiana's Noah Vonleh has top-five potential, and for good reason. At 6'10", 247 pounds, the 18-year-old power forward is not only long and athletic, but he defends, rebounds and shoots the ball exceptionally well.
After the dismal season the Utah Jazz had in 2013-14, Vonleh would be a tremendous addition.
6. Boston Celtics: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
The Boston Celtics could benefit from getting more athletic and explosive. And if you're looking for a superb athlete in this year's class, look no further than Arizona's Aaron Gordon, who makes his presence felt on defense and on the glass despite being somewhat raw on the offensive end.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Another power forward with immense potential, Kentucky's Julius Randle is a good fit for the Los Angeles Lakers as a player who can step in and contribute immediately. With an aging roster in L.A., the goal appears to be win now.
8. Sacramento Kings: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
A versatile point guard out of Oklahoma State, Marcus Smart is likely to hear his name called in the top 10 on draft night. Smart's energy and ability to penetrate stand out, but it's unclear as to where he fits on the floor.
Nonetheless, the Sacramento Kings would be willing to figure that out.
9. Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit Pistons): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Former Michigan State shooting guard Gary Harris is an excellent shooter and slasher who could help the Charlotte Hornets score points in 2014-15. Harris plays with physicality and tons of energy, making him a nice piece for Charlotte off the bench.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans Pelicans): Dario Saric, PF, Croatia
As one of only two teams with two lottery picks this year, the Sixers can afford to take a risk at No. 10. Croatia's Dario Saric isn't a phenomenal athlete, but he brings tremendous skill to the table and would add a new and much-needed dimension in Philadelphia.
11. Denver Nuggets: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Former Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas certainly has top-10 potential. Although his biggest strength is his shooting and range, he can put the ball on the floor and create for himself as well.
12. Orlando Magic (from New York Knicks): Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
After snaring Exum early, don't be surprised if the Magic take a chance on Doug McDermott with their second lottery selection. McDermott can flat-out score and possesses deceiving athleticism, as pointed out by Rotoworld NBA writer Adam Levitan:
Keep in mind that he averaged 22.9 or more points in each of his last three seasons at Creighton.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Young, SF, Kentucky
Whether he's attacking the rim or knocking down shots from outside, James Young is one of the top scoring wings in this year's draft and could provide a much-needed lift for the Minnesota Timberwolves on the perimeter.
14. Phoenix Suns: Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA
Unrivaled athleticism is Zach LaVine's biggest asset at this point, as noted by Lakers.com's Mike Trudell:
But with good coaching, the former UCLA point guard can become a matchup nightmare for an offensive-minded team like the Phoenix Suns.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette
Although the Atlanta Hawks don't have a pressing need at point guard, Elfrid Payton brings a lot to the table as a prospect, perhaps too much to pass up. He isn't the greatest shooter or the most physical backcourt player available, but his length, athleticism and unselfishness are huge positives.
Payton averaged 19 points and six assists per game last season with Louisiana Lafayette.
16. Chicago Bulls (from Charlotte Hornets): Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Interior scoring has been a glaring weakness for the Chicago Bulls of late, and Adreian Payne would be a welcome sight in the Windy City for that reason. Payne has range out to the three-point line, and at 6'10", he is an excellent defender and rebounder.
There's no doubt Tom Thibodeau would love to get his hands on him in the middle of Round 1.
17. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Rajon Rondo in Boston, but even if he sticks around for the long haul, Syracuse's Tyler Ennis would be an excellent backup option for the Celtics.
18. Phoenix Suns (from Washington Wizards): T.J. Warren, SF, NC State
Phoenix is an excellent shooting team, so if the Suns are looking to add scoring with their second first-round pick, NC State's T.J. Warren would be an ideal fit. The 6'8" small forward averaged nearly 25 points per game last season and loves to operate around the rim.
19. Chicago Bulls: Rodney Hood, SG, Duke
Duke's Rodney Hood is a stellar shooter with excellent range. For a team that struggles to score the basketball, the 6'9" sharpshooter makes plenty of sense at No. 19.
20. Toronto Raptors: Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
European prospect Kristaps Porzingis is gaining significant momentum ahead of this month's draft and would be a great fit for the Toronto Raptors, as he can stretch the floor with outside shooting and also utilize his size on defense.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dallas Mavericks): P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina
It couldn't hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder to add more shooting in the back court. Landing a shooting guard with deep range like former North Carolina star P.J. Hairston would be a good move at this stage.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
K.J. McDaniels is exactly the kind of defensive-minded player the Memphis Grizzlies should look to add this summer. The former Clemson star won't be under pressure to make an impact right away and could eventually take over for Tayshaun Prince.
23. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): Kyle Anderson, PG/PF, UCLA
Point forward prospect Kyle Anderson isn't as highly touted as former teammate Zach LaVine, but his intelligence, court vision and size (6'9", 230 pounds) make him an intriguing first-round talent, per Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, via the team's official Twitter account:
He's likely to go somewhere late in Round 1, and could turn out to be a matchup nightmare for the Jazz in the years to come.
24. Charlotte Hornets (from Portland Trail Blazers): C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
The Hornets could use some additional shooting on the perimeter, and that just so happens to be C.J. Wilcox's specialty. The former Washington shooting guard boasts sensational range on his jump shot and shot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc during his first two seasons with the Huskies.
Wilcox averaged 18.3 points per game on 39.1 percent shooting from deep as a senior in 2013-14.
25. Houston Rockets: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
The analytics-driven Houston Rockets are sure to like Cleanthony Early's ability to knock down the three. In addition to his shooting, Early brings toughness and versatility to the small forward position.
26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
Mario Chalmers will become a free agent this summer, and if the Miami Heat decide to let him go and replace him in the draft, they won't find a better point guard available at No. 26 than former UConn star Shabazz Napier.
A two-time national champion in college, Napier may be undersized, but he's a lights-out shooter and an exceptional leader.
27. Phoenix Suns (from Indiana Pacers): Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
If the Suns hold on to each of their three first-round picks, they could use one for a project player like Bosnia's Jusuf Nurkic. The 6'11" center is strong, skilled and boasts great potential. He wouldn't be able to help out right away, but with so many picks, Phoenix has options.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri
Jordan Clarkson's stock is on the rise ahead of the draft, and if the Los Angeles Clippers decide to address Darren Collison's impending free agency with their opening-round selection, the Missouri point guard makes a lot of sense.
In addition to his size, the 6'5" floor general is quick and able to get to the rim.
"The ability to do a little bit of everything is what makes him good." - McDonough on Jordan Clarkson #SunsDraft Workout— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 11, 2014
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Swiss prospect Clint Capela could potentially become a game-changing interior defender in the NBA. And seeing as the Thunder are a championship-caliber team with two first-round picks in 2014, they could take a gamble on the 20-year-old.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Although Jerami Grant's inconsistent shooting is a big weakness, his length, athleticism and motor are all key assets that are sure to make him a first-round selection in 2014.
It's no secret that the San Antonio Spurs are getting old, and in order to remain in the championship race, they'll need to get slightly younger and more explosive.
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