It's so close you can taste it. For prospects, franchises, scouts, general managers and fans, the 2014 NBA draft is just hours away from finally getting underway.
Players at the top of the draft like Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are already prevalent, but several others have hopes of seeing their NBA dream come true as well. In a class loaded with top prospects, much of the second-round talent has a chance to emerge in the coming years.
With the draft nearing, here's a look at a full two-round mock draft and a breakdown of the picks.
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins|
|2||Milwaukee Bucks||Jabari Parker|
|3||Philadelphia 76ers||Dante Exum|
|4||Orlando Magic||Noah Vonleh|
|5||Utah Jazz||Aaron Gordon|
|6||Boston Celtics||Joel Embiid|
|7||Los Angeles Lakers||Marcus Smart|
|8||Sacramento Kings||Elfrid Payton|
|9||Charlotte Hornets (From Detroit)||Doug McDermott|
|10||Philadelphia 76ers (From New Orleans)||Julius Randle|
|11||Denver Nuggets||Nik Stauskas|
|12||Orlando Magic (From New York via Denver)||Rodney Hood|
|13||Minnesota Timberwolves||Dario Saric|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Tyler Ennis|
|15||Atlanta Hawks||Gary Harris|
|16||Chicago Bulls (From Charlotte)||Adreian Payne|
|17||Boston Celtics (From Brooklyn)||T.J. Warren|
|18||Phoenix Suns (From Washington)||James Young|
|19||Chicago Bulls||Zach LaVine|
|20||Toronto Raptors||Jerami Grant|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder (From Dallas via Houston and L.A. Lakers)||P.J. Hairston|
|22||Memphis Grizzlies||Jusuf Nurkic|
|23||Utah Jazz (From Golden State)||K.J. McDaniels|
|24||Charlotte Hornets (From Portland)||Kyle Anderson|
|25||Houston Rockets||Jordan Adams|
|26||Miami Heat||Shabazz Napier|
|27||Phoenix Suns (From Indiana)||Clint Capela|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers||Cleanthony Early|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder||Mitch McGary|
|30||San Antonio Spurs||Jordan Clarkson|
|31||Milwaukee Bucks||C.J. Wilcox|
|32||Philadelphia 76ers||Nick Johnson|
|33||Cleveland Cavaliers (From Orlando)||DeAndre Daniels|
|34||New York Knicks (From Dallas via Boston)||Jarnell Stokes|
|35||Utah Jazz||Bogdan Bogdanovic|
|36||Milwaukee Bucks (From L.A. Lakers via Minnesota and Phoenix)||Spencer Dinwiddie|
|37||Toronto Raptors (From Sacramento)||Jabari Brown|
|38||Detroit Pistons||Glenn Robinson III|
|39||Philadelphia 76ers (From Cleveland)||Johnny O'Bryant III|
|40||Minnesota Timberwolves (From New Orleans)||Jahii Carson|
|41||Denver Nuggets||Russ Smith|
|42||Houston Rockets (From New York)||Vasilije Micic|
|43||Atlanta Hawks||Patric Young|
|44||Minnesota Timberwolves||James Michael McAdoo|
|45||Charlotte Hornets||Cory Jefferson|
|46||Washington Wizards||Keith Appling|
|47||Philadelphia 76ers (From Brooklyn via Dallas and Boston)||Artem Klimenko|
|48||Milwaukee Bucks (From Toronto via Phoenix)||Deonte Burton|
|49||Chicago Bulls||Jordan McRae|
|50||Phoenix Suns||Thanasis Antetokounmpo|
|51||New York Knicks (from Dallas)||Walter Tavares|
|52||Philadelphia 76ers (From Memphis via Cleveland)||C.J. Fair|
|53||Minnesota Timberwolves (From Golden State)||Joe Harris|
|54||Philadelphia 76ers (From Houston via Milwaukee)||Josh Huestis|
|55||Miami Heat||Melvin Ejim|
|56||Denver Nuggets (From Portland)||Dwight Powell|
|57||Indiana Pacers||Bryce Cotton|
|58||San Antonio Spurs (From L.A. Clippers via New Orleans)||Moussa Diagne|
|59||Toronto Raptors (From Oklahoma City via New York)||Markel Brown|
|60||San Antonio Spurs||Jordan Bachynski|
R. Cory Smith's Mock Predictions
Andrew Wiggins, No. 1 overall pick
It kind of has a ring to it.
While some still believe Embiid might have the most upside in this class, all signs now point toward the Cleveland Cavaliers taking either Wiggins or Parker with the first selection. Chad Ford of ESPN (subscription needed) notes that the foot surgery Embiid underwent drastically hurt his stock:
Embiid was the heavy favorite to be the top pick before Thursday's news of the stress fracture in his foot, which will require surgery. Sources in Cleveland say it is now very unlikely the Cavaliers would take him No. 1. Like any team, they will want to see the medical report after the surgery, but this has seriously dampened their enthusiasm for Embiid.
That leaves two prospects -- Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Wiggins worked out for the Cavs on Wednesday and was impressive, according to sources. Although he didn't shoot the ball well, he has improved his ballhandling and showed off his explosive athleticism.
Though the Cavaliers typically keep their decisions pretty close to the vest, there have been rumors coming out of their camp leading up to Thursday. After what appears to be a questionable selection of Anthony Bennett last season, it's hard to think they will pick any other player except for Wiggins or Parker.
Ford explains the tumult taking place in the organization:
Gilbert let Cavs front office + Mike Brown select Anthony Bennett. Gilbert was an Oladipo fan. He'll have a stronger voice this year.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 25, 2014
Sources: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wants Wiggins at No. 1. Cavs front office wants Parker. Link coming ...— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 25, 2014
Whether it's ultimately Wiggins or Parker, both have promise in the NBA and look to be potential All-Stars in just a few seasons. As for Wiggins, the Canadian forward doesn't lack any confidence, per Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"I think I'll be a star wherever I go," Wiggins said. "That's just how confident I am in my ability."
With all three players primed to be superstars at the next level, landing any one of them should be a franchise-changing selection. But teams know what they want, and it will ultimately be Wiggins going No. 1 overall.
Talent in the Second Round
What do Isaiah Thomas, Lance Stephenson and Danny Green all have in common? All three notable players were selected in the second round in the last five drafts.
While second-round gems are typically rare, this year's class presents a few players who have a chance to shine. One of those players is Jarnell Stokes, who has seen his stock rise and fall throughout the draft process.
Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun provides his thoughts on the power forward:
Raptors workout today highlighted by Adraein Payne, Jarnell Stokes, Jordan Adams. Stokes is a sleeper big man in this draft— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 17, 2014
The former Tennessee big man clogged up the paint for the Volunteers last season, finishing with 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. That type of production translates well to the NBA regardless of what team eventually picks him.
Some predictions have Stokes in the first round, which is where he believes he will be selected, per Ben Frederickson of the Knoxville News Sentinel:
Jarnell Stokes: "Teams are looking at me from the 20 to 35 range. I worked out with Chicago today. They liked me at 19."— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) June 13, 2014
Outside of Stokes, another player to watch is a young guard who emerged early last year before his season was derailed by injury.
Spencer Dinwiddie was the lead man for Colorado last season, scoring 14.7 points with 3.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Had he finished out the season, we might be talking about a potential first-round lock with Dinwiddie's talent.
Eric Sondheimer, who covered Dinwiddie in high school with the Los Angeles Times, offered his take on the young man moving forward:
If anyone wants a recommendation on former Taft guard Spencer Dinwiddie for NBA draft, I say take him and you'll be forever pleased.— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) June 17, 2014
After great college careers, both players have a chance to make a difference in the NBA. While either could potentially rise into the first round, they will both be prospects to watch at the next level.
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