2014 NBA Mock Draft: Best Possible Selections for Round 1 Teams

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2014 NBA Mock Draft: Best Possible Selections for Round 1 Teams
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The 2014 NBA draft has long been pointed to as an event that will alter much of the league's landscape. While that may or may not be the case still, there are plenty of top-tier talents to choose from.

The destinations of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and other elite prospects will dominate the headlines at the June 26 draft. But just as intriguing, if not more, is how all of the teams selecting in the first round have a chance to use a noticeably deep 2014 class to their advantage and add one—or three, if you're the Phoenix Suns—key piece to the fold in 2014-15. 

Let's break down a fresh mock.

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Let's face it—there are question marks surrounding everyone in this class. But none have more room to grow and, in turn, completely squash those questions than Andrew Wiggins.

The 6'8" shooting guard has yet to tap much of his potential but still took over a couple of games at Kansas in a system that was far from suited for his offensive dominance. With every physical and athletic tool you could want and then some, Wiggins won't be 20 until near the end of his rookie season—imagine him at 24 after nearly half a decade of fine-tuning his offense to match his already stout defense and aerial ability. 

Pairing Wiggins alongside Kyrie Irving is scary, and if both players reach their full potential, they just might forget about LeBron James in Cleveland after all—or have a better shot at getting him back, either way.

 

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, Kansas

Embiid could very well go No. 1 if Cleveland doesn't find any problems with his back, but the Bucks won't be able to pass up on the Kansas big man. Milwaukee could use some star power at the guard position or on the wing, but Embiid's long-term potential for a team that is a few years away from contending makes more sense than Jabari Parker.

 

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, Duke

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The 76ers are starving for a franchise player on the wing, so much so that they might trade up to get Andrew Wiggins, per ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required). In the likely event that doesn't come to fruition, Philly won't be upset sticking with Jabari Parker. Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel could both boom over the coming years, and if Parker does so with them, the tanking could end up paying off.

 

4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, Australia

Jameer Nelson has been more than serviceable in his 10 years with the Magic, but a change is needed to pair another star alongside Victor Oladipo. Dante Exum could be the facilitator in the offense, and his athleticism would blend quite nicely with Oladipo's.

 

5. Utah Jazz: Aaron Gordon, Arizona

The Jazz have two solid players in the frontcourt, but neither are versatile enough to handle today's best players at the 4 position. Utah should draft Aaron Gordon to fill that void and allow Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to compete for the center position with Gordon as the star in the frontcourt. 

 

6. Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Rajon Rondo has stuck it out through a mass exodus in Boston, but he'll be rewarded with the Celtics' sixth pick. Marcus Smart will be a perfect match alongside the facilitating Rondo, as the Oklahoma State youngster will be able to take on a dominant scoring role on a team without any dominant scorers. 

 

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, Kentucky

The Lakers weren't happy to see their worst-ever season result in just the No. 7 pick, but they'll be ecstatic to see a top-five player fall in their laps. Julius Randle's athleticism and size translate well to the next level, and he's physical enough to be an impact player on the boards early on in his career. 

 

8. Sacramento Kings: Noah Vonleh, Indiana

Noah Vonleh is one of the trendier names as of late in the draft class, and Sacramento won't argue with him falling to the Kings at No. 8. He's a multiyear project but has potential through the roof, and if he's quick to make the jump, he and DeMarcus Cousins will be a scary duo. 

 

9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, Creighton

The Hornets are a couple of integral pieces away from being a team that is truly capable of making a deep playoff run, and Doug McDermott would be a huge piece. One of the nation's best shooters in college, McDermott is an underrated athlete with the size and tool of offensive skills to become a standout performer at the next level. 

 

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Philadelphia is putting an awful lot on Nerlens Noel's plate in his rookie season, and to remedy that, the Sixers will look for a big man with selection No. 10. Jusuf Nurkic has the size to clear space in the low post and won't take long to make his presence felt on defense. 

 

11. Denver Nuggets: James Young, Kentucky

The Nuggets are fielding calls for their 11th pick, per Denver Post's Christopher Dempsey, but should they hold onto it, they will be hungry to add a shooter. James Young can light up the nets with the best of them in this year's class, as told by his ability to take over games in the NCAA tournament from beyond the arc as well as athleticism to get to the hoop. 

 

12. Orlando Magic: Dario Saric, Croatia

The addition of Tobias Harris has helped, but the Magic need more skill in the frontcourt, and Dario Saric is as skilled as they come. The 6'10", 225-pounder out of Croatia has drawn comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki with a formidable mid-range game and versatility at the 4 spot. 

 

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

There's no doubt that in a perfect world, the T-Wolves would look for a top power forward to deal with the inevitable departure of Kevin Love. There's no sensible pick at No. 13, so Minnesota will add a point guard to compete with Ricky Rubio. Tyler Ennis came on quickly in his short stint with Syracuse, and after playing championship-level basketball late in the season for the Orange, he just might steal Rubio's job within a few seasons. 

 

14. Phoenix Suns: Nik Stauskas, Michigan 

Well, things changed awfully quick in a year for the Suns. Once doomed for the top of the lottery, Phoenix now is searching for a few pieces to complete the playoff puzzle, and Nik Stauskas could be just that. Alongside Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, Stauskas could be the spot-up shooter off the bench and camp out on the perimeter while Bledsoe and Dragic do their thing. 

 

15. Atlanta Hawks: Adreian Payne, Michigan State

The 2013-14 season was a glimpse of life without Al Horford, and although much of Atlanta's system is centered around Horford, the Hawks could at least use a young stud beneath him on the depth chart. Adreian Payne has a similar ability to stretch the floor with his scoring range and can also do the dirty work in the low post. 

 

16. Chicago Bulls: Rodney Hood, Duke

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The Bulls need scorers in the backcourt like nobody's business, and Rodney Hood would bring that and then some. The former Duke standout carried the team on offense at times, all while having the versatility to guard almost any spot on the floor and the speed to make opponents pay in the open court.

 

17. Boston Celtics: Clint Capela, Switzerland

Other than Jared Sullinger, the Celtics don't have much young budding talent in the frontcourt. Clint Capela would give Boston one of the top international players in the class and a player who could emerge as the top international big man in the draft.

 

18. Phoenix Suns: P.J. Hairston, NBDL

Even with Dragic, Bledsoe and the aforementioned Stauskas, the Suns will need more scoring punch on the bench to truly compete in the West next season. P.J. Hairston was a featured part of North Carolina's offense, and his quick transition to the NBA D-League proves that he'll handle the next level quite fine.

 

19. Chicago Bulls: Jerami Grant, Syracuse

Carlos Boozer is heading toward the exit in Chicago, and the Bulls will need a tough-nosed player to fill his spot in the trenches. Jerami Grant may not be able to do so right away, but his rebounding will make his impact felt as he gets accustomed to the NBA. 

 

20. Toronto Raptors: Zach LaVine, UCLA

Zach LaVine has been turning heads in his predraft workouts with his sheer athleticism, and that along with his ability on the wing will earn him a first-round selection. The Raptors could certainly use his abilities off the bench as they look to build off last year's playoff season.

 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: T.J. Warren, North Carolina State

The Thunder have a number of high-potential youngsters at the small forward position already, but T.J. Warren would emerge as one of the best. His size and athleticism pair up to make him an elusive scorer on the wing, and his length also poses as a mismatch for many offensive players who will match up against him.

 

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

The Grizzlies were downright terrible on offense throughout stretches of last season, and K.J. McDaniels would help in that regard. Memphis needs that Jerryd Bayless-esque scoring punch off the bench, and McDaniels has the experience at Clemson of being the guy on offense. 

 

23. Utah Jazz: Gary Harris, Michigan State

After falling way out of the lottery, Gary Harris won't fall past Utah. The Jazz could use someone other than Alec Burks to develop alongside Trey Burke, and Burke staying home at point guard will allow Harris to branch out as a scorer.

 

24. Charlotte Hornets: Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette

Even after adding McDermott, Charlotte is still a few steps away from reaching that next level. Elfrid Payton may not get them there, but at the least, his ability to come off the bench and impact games will be utilized behind starter Kemba Walker.

 

25. Houston Rockets: Jordan Adams, UCLA

Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Houston needs more impact players on the wing to help out James Harden in scoring, and Jordan Adams could be that guy. He took over games on offense at UCLA, and that ability will translate well to the next level.

 

26. Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Mario Chalmers was playing his way out of Miami in the 2014 NBA Finals, and with little cap room, expect the Heat to look to the draft for their next young point guard. Shabazz Napier led Connecticut to an improbable championship, and if LeBron James is a fan, expect Miami to be as well. 

 

27. Phoenix Suns: Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

Adding Stauskas and Hairston will undoubtedly help Phoenix, but the Suns will be cognizant on adding a big man to fill out their trio of first-round picks. Jarnell Stokes is only 6'8", but his 260-pound frame carves out room for him to gobble up boards, and he will make his impact felt in that regard right off the bat. 

 

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Mitch McGary, Michigan

The Clippers don't need much in terms of immediate help, but some solid bench players to back up Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would be nice. Mitch McGary didn't play much last season at Michigan as he recovered from back surgery, but his energy and athleticism will get him on the court early on.

 

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia

The Thunder have Serge Ibaka and youngster Steven Adams, but there are plenty of question marks otherwise in the frontcourt. Adding Latvian Kristaps Porzingis would give OKC another option as it looks to find some production where Kendrick Perkins isn't providing much.

 

30. San Antonio Spurs: Isaiah Austin, Baylor

Soon, the post-Tim Duncan era will begin, and the Spurs will have to accept reality without The Big Fundamental. Isaiah Austin won't be the next Duncan, but his rebounding prowess and ability to play big minutes down low will be welcomed. 

 

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