Mocks of the 2014 NBA draft have zero hope of being perfect if they don't include trades because trades always happen.
Of course, trades are even more difficult to predict than the picks themselves. But some swaps you can see coming.
Here's a full first-round mock with hypothetical trades.
Trade: The Cleveland Cavaliers swap pick No. 1 for the Philadelphia 76ers' No. 3 pick and Thaddeus Young.
Cleveland seems to care less about who it lands out of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid than Philadelphia does. Fox Sports' Sam Amico reported that the Cavaliers remain undecided about who they'd take first overall. Every source close to the 76ers and Andrew Wiggins, though, is telling reporters like ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) that the 76ers and Wiggins love each other.
Ford also reported that they've reached out to Cleveland about trading for the first overall pick. Philadelphia is probably terrified that the player it tanked this year to draft (see: Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes trades) may be gone by third overall.
According to NBC Sports' Dan Feldman, Young requested a trade last December. And next summer he can opt out of his contract. The Cavaliers would get a player who averaged 17.9 points and 6.0 boards per game this year and can help them win immediately while the 76ers would lock up their chosen one for someone who'd likely leave anyway.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: SG Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
19 years old, 6’8”, 200 pounds
Freshman stats: 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game
It makes sense that Philadelphia would adore Wiggins so much more than Parker. While Parker is far more pro-ready, the 76ers aren't ready to contend for the playoffs. But by the time they are, Wiggins could be one of the best wings in basketball.
According to Ford (subscription needed), Wiggins recorded a 44-inch vertical in this picture. If you think Dwyane Wade
can could fly, he recorded a max vertical leap of 35 inches at the 2003 combine. Wiggins is a freak athlete and, if he becomes assertive on the offense, could easily develop into the best player in the best class since Wade came out.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: C Joel Embiid, Kansas
20 years old, 7’0”, 250 pounds
Freshman stats: 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game
According to ESPN, Larry Sanders believes in marijuana.
After Amico reported at the trade deadline that Milwaukee was open to trading Sanders, his stock probably didn't skyrocket after his suspension for marijuana use. In the 23 games in which Sanders played last season, he averaged only 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks—all down from his previous campaign, which earned him a four-year, $44 million extension.
At second overall, the Bucks must ask themselves, "Should we pass on the prospect with the highest ceiling in the draft in hopes that a player we're drastically overpaying bounces back from an injury and off-the-court issues?" Their answer should be no. Embiid would solve Milwaukee's problems down low with superior versatility to Sanders.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Jabari Parker, Duke
19 years old, 6’8”, 241 pounds
Freshman stats: 19.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game
The Cavaliers leave Round 1 with Young, who could be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate behind Tristan Thompson, and the prospect most likely to help them win now. They've had worse draft outings.
Jabari Parker would start from Day 1 in Cleveland if it can't re-sign Luol Deng. After Deng shot only 31.5 percent from downtown there, though, it may be better off with Parker, at least offensively. With a skill set and basketball IQ superior to Wiggins, it'd be shocking if Parker didn't win Rookie of the Year.
4. Orlando Magic: PG Dante Exum, Australia
18 years old, 6’6”, 196 pounds
U-19 World Championships stats: 18.2 points, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game
When the best available player just so happens to fill a team's greatest need, it's beautiful enough to make even Kendrick Perkins smile. Exum to the Magic is one of those instances.
Jameer Nelson is 32 years old and has only a one-year team option left on his contract. Exum's ceiling rivals that of the previous three picks, and he's arguably the best perpetrator in the draft. He and Victor Oladipo would form one of the most promising young backcourts in the NBA.
5. Utah Jazz: PF Noah Vonleh, Indiana
18 years old, 6’10”, 247 pounds
Freshman stats: 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game
Derrick Favors is 6'10", 268 pounds and doesn't stretch the floor. Enes Kanter is 6'11", 247 pounds and doesn't stretch the floor. Smaller—or at least more athletic—lineups are becoming more prevalent, making it extremely difficult to play two centers alongside each other like Favors and Kanter.
To complete its frontcourt, Utah must find a true 4. Vonleh is still massive, but he's also athletic enough to keep up with smaller lineups. So is Gordon, but he's undersized and an incompetent outside shooter.
6. Boston Celtics: PF Aaron Gordon, Arizona
18 years old, 6’9”, 220 pounds
Freshman stats: 12.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that Boston is "locked in" to drafting Gordon. He isn't an ideal fit in its current rotation, though.
Center Jared Sullinger is better at the 4, which is where Brandon Bass starts. And starting at the 3 is Jeff Green, who, like Gordon, is a tweener between a small and power forward. Then again, every Celtic not named Gerald Wallace could come off the books next summer so Gordon could be an ideal fit soon enough.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: PF Julius Randle, Kentucky
19 years old, 6’9”, 234 pounds
Freshman stats: 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game
Grantland's Mark Titus described how Randle plays like "everyone in the world took his lunch money, and the only way to get vengeance is to grab boards and get buckets." That's exactly the opposite of how Pau Gasol has played the past couple of years against everyone not named Kevin Garnett.
Gasol is still one of the league's top 4s, but he's a free agent. By replacing Gasol with Randle, Los Angeles would become more athletic and intense—two characteristics it's severely lacked since its last title. Not only will Kobe Bryant love Randle's motor, but also that he's one of the most pro-ready players in the draft.
8. Sacramento Kings: PG Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
20 years old, 6’3”, 227 pounds
Sophomore stats: 18.0 points, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game
Once upon a time, the Kings acquired their new starting point guard and face of the franchise in Jimmer Fredette. This spring, though, they bought out Fredette's contract because he earned fewer minutes than the player they picked last in that same 2011 draft, Isaiah Thomas. Worst fairy tale ending ever.
However, Thomas turned out to be the steal of the draft and averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game this year. But he'll be a free agent this summer and, even if he re-signs, he's still 5'9", 185 pounds. Smart is gifted enough to be the face of the franchise that Fredette was supposed to be, and the starting 1 Thomas likely isn't large enough to be.
9. Charlotte Hornets: SG Nik Stauskas, Michigan
20 years old, 6’7”, 207 pounds
Sophomore stats: 17.5 points, 3.3 assists and 0.6 steals per game
This pick will come down to either Stauskas or Doug McDermott. Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist couldn't shoot their way out of a paper bag. But their shooting did help get Charlotte knocked out of the playoffs, going 0-for-10 from downtown.
Stauskas and McDermott are both elite shooters, but Stauskas makes more sense for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is six years younger than Henderson and Charlotte just spent a second overall pick on him, so he's more likely to hold onto his starting spot at the 3 than Henderson at the 2. Stauskas simply fits better alongside Kidd-Gilchrist than McDermott, who's also a 3.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: PF Dario Saric, Croatia
20 years old, 6’10”, 223 pounds
Croatian A-1 Liga 2013-14 stats: 16.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game
Philadelphia isn't one of the two teams that Eurobasket's David Pick reported Saric would leave Europe this year for:
But this shouldn't scare the 76ers away.
Saric never said he'd stay in Europe forever if a team other than the Celtics or Lakers drafted him. And, again, Philadelphia isn't ready to win now. Even if Saric waits until 2016 to join the 76ers, that's how long it'll likely take for Wiggins and Nerlens Noel to develop anyway.
Trade: The Denver Nuggets swap pick No. 11 for the Chicago Bulls' No. 16 and No. 19 picks.
Ford reported "serious discussions" between the two teams have gone on regarding this trade scenario. And the swap makes sense for both sides.
Chicago has a more glaring need than Denver, but Denver is in worse shape overall. The Bulls need something specific, which is available at 11 overall. And the Nuggets don't, so with no one that makes perfect sense, they'd jump at the opportunity to fix multiple kinks in their rotation.
11. Chicago Bulls: SG Gary Harris, Michigan State
19 years old, 6’5”, 205 pounds
Sophomore stats: 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game
The only way Harris could be a more perfect fit for the Bulls is if he was a world-renowned, knee-injury prevention specialist.
Chicago needs a competent outside shooter who isn't a one-trick pony. It shot just 33.3 percent from downtown in the postseason. Harris' three-point percentage fell from 41.1 to 35.2 percent this season, but he still converted 2.3 a game.
What makes him an almost flawless fit for the Bulls is that he's also arguably the best on-ball defender in the draft. And Tom Thibodeau emphasizes defense more than Chris Anderson emphasizes tattoos.
12. Orlando Magic: SF Doug McDermott, Creighton
22 years old, 6’8”, 218 pounds
Senior stats: 26.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 0.2 steals per game
Only one player averaged more than 15.0 points per game on the Magic and six more than 7.4. This is why, as a team, it scored the sixth-fewest points in the league this season.
Exum is a great first step to solving that problem, but he's raw. McDermott may be the least raw player in the draft. He's ready to make an instant impact scoring off the Magic's bench.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: PF Adreian Payne, Michigan State
23 years old, 6’10”, 239 pounds
Senior stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game
The Star Tribune's Sid Hartman reported that Love will opt out of his contract and test free agency next summer. With that news, Minnesota would be wise to trade Love so it isn't left empty-handed if he walks.
Saying Payne is a downgrade from Love is the understatement of the century. But Payne is also the best stretch 4 in the draft, having nailed 42.3 percent of his threes this year.
14. Phoenix Suns: PG Zach LaVine, UCLA
19 years old, 6’6”, 181 pounds
Freshman stats: 9.4 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals per game
This report by Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding suggests LaVine wasn't impressed by Wiggins' 44-inch vertical:
LaVine may be the best athlete in the draft. His explosiveness and subpar college numbers bear a striking resemblance to Russell Westbrook. He'd be perfect to back up Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe in Phoenix's run-and-gun offense.
15. Atlanta Hawks: SF James Young, Kentucky
18 years old, 6’8”, 213 pounds
Freshman stats: 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game
Kyle Korver is the only Atlanta wing who scored more than 8.9 points per game this postseason. Kyle Korver is 33 years old.
Unless Louis Williams reverts back to his Sixth Man of the Year candidate form, the Hawks will need more scoring on the wing in 2014. And even if Williams does, Kyle Korver is 33 years old.
16. Denver Nuggets: PF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia
18 years old, 6’11”, 220 pounds
Spanish ACB 2013-14 stats: 6.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game
Now with two first-round picks, Denver has flexibility to roll the dice on a high-upside prospect like Porzingis.
Near-seven-footers who are athletic freaks are rare. Near-sever-footers who are athletic freaks who can shoot threes are rarer. Porzingis is a project, but his potential makes him worth the time and effort.
Note: This was written prior to announcement Porzingis would not enter the draft.
17. Boston Celtics: SG Rodney Hood, Duke
21 years old, 6’9”, 208 pounds
Sophomore stats: 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game
Center Kelly Olynyk has the highest three-point shooting percentage out of all the Celtics on the books for next season at 35.1 percent. Even if Avery Bradley—who shot 39.5 percent from downtown—returns, they're still desperate for outside shooting.
Hood nailed 42.0 percent of his threes this year.
18. Phoenix Suns: SF T.J. Warren, NC State
20 years old, 6’8”, 220 pounds
Sophomore stats: 24.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game
Phoenix's starting small forward last season, P.J. Tucker, scored 9.4 points per game. He also only shot 43.1 percent from the field. He'll be a free agent this summer and should be replaced.
Warren may be a one-trick pony, but he thrives at that one trick, scoring, more than almost every player in the draft.
19. Denver Nuggets: PG Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
19 years old, 6’3”, 182 pounds
Freshman stats: 12.9 points, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game
Nate Robinson will be coming off ACL surgery next season and he's 30 years old. Aaron Brooks will also be a free agent this summer.
Ennis would be an upgrade over both of them as Ty Lawson's backup anyway.
20. Toronto Raptors: PG Elfrid Payton, Louisiana Lafayette
20 years old, 6’4”, 185 pounds
Junior stats: 19.2 points, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game
Toronto's strongest position this season was at point guard, but it could be its weakest next season if it doesn't draft one here. Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez will each be free agents this summer.
The Raptors should be able to retain one, but re-signing both is unlikely.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: C Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia
19 years old, 6’11”, 280 pounds
Croatian A-1 Liga 2013-14 stats: 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game
Next summer, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison's contracts will expire. This would supplant Steven Adams in the starting lineup if he wasn't already, but Perry Jones would be the only big left on the bench.
Nurkic won't be needed right away, but in a year his size should be an asset to Oklahoma City.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: SF Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
23 years old, 6’7”, 210 pounds
Sophomore stats: 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game
Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen played a total of 49.0 minutes a game this postseason. They nailed a total of one three-pointer.
Early shot 37.5 percent from downtown this year, which isn't elite, but he improved from 31.8 percent the season before. He should continue to make strides and fill a need for the Grizzlies.
23. Utah Jazz: SF Jerami Grant, Syracuse
20 years old, 6’8”, 214 pounds
Sophomore stats: 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game
Utah couldn't get much thinner on the wings. Both its starters, Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson, will be free agents this summer. Brandon Rush and Mike Harris will be, too.
Grant is a project, but Utah isn't ready to win now. By the time that it is, Grant could develop into one of the best wings taken outside the lottery.
24. Charlotte Hornets: PG Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
22 years old, 6’1”, 175 pounds
Senior stats: 18.0 points, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game
Luke Ridnour backed up Kemba Walker this season after Charlotte traded Ramon Sessions, and Ridnour could earn only 9.0 minutes per game in the postseason.
Napier would be able to step in and be an instant upgrade from Day 1.
25. Houston Rockets: SG P.J. Hairston, North Carolina
21 years old, 6’5”, 229 pounds
Sophomore stats: 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game
Hairston would be the best pure shooter to hear his name called after the lottery outside of Hood. He shot 39.6 percent from downtown at UNC in 2012-13.
This is all music to the Rockets' ears. They shot just 31.8 percent from three-point land in the playoffs.
26. Miami Heat: PG Jordan Clarkson, Missouri
21 years old, 6’5”, 186 pounds
Junior stats: 17.5 points, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game
Mario Chalmers didn't prove this postseason that Miami needs him back. He'll be a free agent this summer and can be replaced by Norris Cole, who can be replaced by the best point guard available at 26th overall.
That would be Clarkson, who's more than explosive enough to run the Heat's fast-paced offense.
27. Phoenix Suns: PF Clint Capela, Switzerland
20 years old, 6’11”, 222 pounds
French LNB Pro A 2013-14 stats: 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game
Phoenix has four draft picks. Four rookies aren't cracking its rotation, let alone three.
Capela may not even be able to make the Suns' active roster this season, but two or three years from now he could be the next Serge Ibaka.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: PF Mitch McGary, Michigan
21 years old, 6’10”, 250 pounds
Sophomore stats: 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game
If Glen Davis and Ryan Hollins sign elsewhere this summer, Los Angeles will have nothing behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
McGary is raw, but he has the size and motor to make an immediate impact on the Clippers off the bench.
Trade: The Oklahoma City Thunder swap pick No. 29 for the New York Knicks' Iman Shumpert.
The New York Post's Marc Berman reported that the Knicks, who are trying to trade back into Round 1, could reconsider the Thunder's offer of the 29th overall pick for Iman Shumpert that it sent at the trade deadline. Shumpert shot an abysmal 37.8 percent from the field this season and averaged only 0.6 more assists per game than turnovers. He's still a top-notch athlete and defender, though, which is more valuable to Oklahoma City than New York.
Shumpert's poor shooting and passing make him a poor fit in the triangle offense. But on the Thunder he could step right into Thabo Sefolosha's role as a defensive specialist as his contact expires. There are plenty of better shooters than Shumpert available at No. 29 for the Knicks, but no better athletes for the Thunder.
29. New York Knicks: PG Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado
23 years old, 6'5", 201 pounds
Senior stats: 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game
Despite still playing 31.0 minutes a game, Raymond Felton averaged a career-low 9.7 points per game and shot 31.8 percent from downtown. He needs to be replaced this offseason almost as badly as Carmelo Anthony needs to be brought back.
Dinwiddie is a combo guard who shot 41.3 percent from downtown this season. He, unlike Felton and Shumpert, would fit in the triangle offense.
30. San Antonio Spurs: PF Kyle Anderson, UCLA
20 years old, 6’9”, 230 pounds
Sophomore stats: 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game
Anderson also averaged 6.5 assists per game and shot 48.3 percent from downtown. He's a defensive liability, but if the right team drafts him he'll change games on offense.
It just so happens that the Spurs' point forward, Boris Diaw, will be a free agent this summer.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.
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