Not since 2003 have NBA mock drafts been loaded with as much talent as they are in 2014.
As a result, first-round teams have no excuse not to fill one or—if you're the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls or Oklahoma City Thunder—more needs in their rotation on draft night.
Here's a first-round mock draft with the best solutions to every team's needs.
|NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft|
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers||C Joel Embiid, Kansas|
|2||Milwaukee Bucks||SF Jabari Parker, Duke|
|3||Philadelphia 76ers||SG Andrew Wiggins, Kansas|
|4||Orlando Magic||PG Dante Exum, Australia|
|5||Utah Jazz||PF Noah Vonleh, Indiana|
|6||Boston Celtics||PF Aaron Gordon, Arizona|
|7||Los Angeles Lakers||PG Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State|
|8||Sacramento Kings||PF Julius Randle, Kentucky|
|9||Charlotte Hornets||SG Nik Stauskas, Michigan|
|10||Philadelphia 76ers||PF Dario Saric, Croatia|
|11||Denver Nuggets||SG Gary Harris, Michigan State|
|12||Orlando Magic||SF Doug McDermott, Creighton|
|13||Minnesota Timberwolves||PF Adreian Payne, Michigan State|
|14||Phoenix Suns||PG Zach Lavine, UCLA|
|15||Atlanta Hawks||PF Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia|
|16||Chicago Bulls||PG Elfrid Payton, Louisiana Lafayette|
|17||Boston Celtics||PG Tyler Ennis, Syracuse|
|18||Phoenix Suns||SF James Young, Kentucky|
|19||Chicago Bulls||SG Rodney Hood, Duke|
|20||Toronto Raptors||PG Shabazz Napier, Connecticut|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder||C Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia|
|22||Memphis Grizzlies||SF Cleanthony Early, Wichita State|
|23||Utah Jazz||SF T.J. Warren, NC State|
|24||Charlotte Hornets||PF Kyle Anderson, UCLA|
|25||Houston Rockets||SG P.J. Hairston, North Carolina|
|26||Miami Heat||PG Jordan Clarkson, Missouri|
|27||Phoenix Suns||PF Clint Capela, Switzerland|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers||PF Mitch McGary, Michigan|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder||SF Jerami Grant, Syracuse|
|30||San Antonio Spurs||PF Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee|
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: 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.
Cleveland shouldn't still need a center. It could've draft Jonas Valanciunas fourth overall in 2011, Andre Drummond fourth overall in 2012 and Nerlens Noel first overall in 2013. Instead, it opted for undersized power forwards two out of those three years, selecting 6'9" Tristan Thompson and 6'8" Anthony Bennett.
The Cavaliers can't play two undersized power forwards without a rim-protector at center. Spencer Hawes isn't a rim-protector. And he'll be a free agent this summer anyway, as will 31-year-old, injury-prone Anderson Varejao if they decline his team option.
An NBA general manager told Forbes' Mark Heisler that, worst-case scenario, Embiid will develop into the next Serge Ibaka—worst-case scenario. Cleveland can't pass that up. And if it does for Jabari Parker, he'd form one of the worst perimeter defensive trios in the league with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: 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.
Parker may be a poor fit on the Cavaliers, but he wouldn't be on the Bucks. They're stacked with three players with unlimited defensive potential: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Sanders and John Henson. They'll be able to hide Parker's defensive deficiencies.
On offense, Parker will instantly become Milwaukee's go-to scorer on the wing. He's the most pro-ready player in the draft and has a superior skill set and basketball IQ to Andrew Wiggins. No one (in their right mind) is comparing Parker to LeBron James anymore, but the Carmelo Anthony comparisons persist.
Brandon Knight and Ramon Sessions were the only Bucks who scored more than 12.1 points per game last season. They need scoring now. That's something Parker, not Wiggins, would provide.
3. 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.
Wiggins won't be able to take a team to the next level right away, but he doesn't need to on the 76ers. Their farm sale at the trade deadline, dealing Hawes and Evan Turner, is proof that they're looking years into the future—if trading Jrue Holiday wasn't enough proof.
Philadelphia showed enough patience to acquire Nerlens Noel coming off a torn ACL. If it shows the same patience with Wiggins, it'll be rewarded for it.
Michael Carter-Williams is the 76ers' only perimeter player who averaged more than 13.0 points per game this season. They're desperate for an upgrade on the outside, and Wiggins has the highest ceiling in the draft outside of Embiid. ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) reported that Wiggins recorded a 44-inch vertical this summer.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.
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