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2014 NBA Mock Drafts: Matt Moore

Matt Moore
By Matt Moore
CBSSports.com NBA writer


My last mock of the year is an amalgamation. There's intuition based on what I've been told and read, some projection based on what I think the talent level is, and some creativity off of what happens if things go a little haywire.

Here's what I know about this draft. I know it's deep, not exceptionally top-heavy, and has been more closely dissected than any I can remember. There are very few players who are mysteries in this draft outside of Dante Exum, the ultimate mystery. Everyone else has had every basketball moment of their lives over the past four years poured over. That's going to lead to some criticism. And I've been on a rollercoaster with the talent in this one all week. The shooters don't look as good, the athletes look better. The tweeners look more versatile, the role players look more mediocre.

But we're primed for big things. A few guys from this draft will be special, and a few trades from this night will be memorable. How's it going to unfold?

That's one thing I'm certain no one knows.

NBA Mock Draft - 06/26/2014
Round 1
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas: I think there's a great chance that Parker's the guy, that the workout disenchantment is a smokescreen. But I think it's neck and neck, and I think that's become the hardest part of doing this mock in the last week. If the Cavaliers don't have a clear cut No.1, like they did with Kyrie Irving, anything can be on the table. Nothing would surprise me here. Nothing. But Wiggins has been the guy to consistently chase Joel Embiid for the top spot, and he has the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. There is as reasonable a chance of this happening as there is of Cleveland trading it. (Previous: 3)
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker, SF, Duke: No-brainer for Milwaukee. They can make this more complicated than it needs to be with Exum, but Parker, really, should be the guy. They need a rock, a guy to put the franchise in the hands of, and he's the most NBA-ready prospect. Postion problems, defensive problems, conditioning issues, the guy is flat-out talented. He's what will make Milwaukee famous. (Previous: 1)
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Dante Exum, SG, Australia: Lot of noise about them taking Embiid here. And that's great that they're so bold and everything. But let's put two pieces of news together. One, Embiid has a serious foot injury on top of a serious back injury while the Sixers drafted Nerlens Noel last year. Two, rumors came out two months ago that they were shopping rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams. Taking Exum as the super-athletic, upside pick and then cashing in on MCW's value is a very Sam-Hinkie move. If nothing else they can pair them together and see what happens. (Spoiler alert: No one hits threes is what happens.) (Previous: 2)
4. Orlando Magic
Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky: Exum is their guy, and there's speculation that they would take Embiid. But is Orlando looking to put so many eggs in a broken basket? Meanwhile, Randle has slipped, nearly inexplicably, down past so many other less accomplished forwards. The reality is that Randle fits the Magic's profile of athleticism and aggressiveness, and can be paired with Nikola Vucevic. He makes the most sense by far. (Previous: 7)
5. Utah Jazz
Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana: It's a good environment for him. I tend to overlook this possibility because the Jazz have so many frontcourt guys but then, hasn't that been the case for a decade? They double-up on guys all the time. Vonleh gives them skill and length to work with Favors' raw muscle. (Previous: 8)
6. Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State: The perimeter shooting (29 percent from three last year) is a concern for them. But he's strong as an ox and is still going to find ways to score. His tenacity fits their team identity profile. (Previous: 4)
7. Los Angeles Lakers
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas: Yeah, I still can see him falling here. I don't think the Lakers blink at taking him and knowing their historic luck, he'll turn out great. He can go at any spot between No. 4 and No. 7 but no higher and no lower. (Previous: 6)
8. Sacramento Kings
Zach LaVine, SG, UCLA: They probably won't be here. But if they are here, this is a swing for the fences. He can play either guard position, he has transcendent athleticism and his real "raw" gap is in "feel for the game" which is teachable. This is a bold pick. That's what the Kings want to do. (Previous: 11)
9. Charlotte Hornets
Doug McDermott, PF, Creighton: Sorry, Hornets fans, you're not getting away from this one. He's on their board, he fits the profile, and two different front office people have proclaimed very emphatically that McDermott's not getting out of the top ten. They need points, he's a scorer, let's wrap this up. (Previous: 13)
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans)
Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona: Unbelievable drop here for such a talented guy, but here's the thing. If you're reaching for a star, you don't take Gordon. If you're going with the safe pick, you don't take Gordon. You have to be in a very specific set of circumstances to take Gordon. Philadelphia is in that set of circumstances and if he drops, they will fly papers off desks trying to get to the phone to call this one in. (Previous: 5)
11. Denver Nuggets
Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan: Denver's gone dead quiet, but the last thing I heard was that they liked what they saw out of Stauskas at a Chicago workout. He fills a need. There's a spectacular chance they're not at this pick. (Previous: 16)
12. Orlando Magic (from New York via Denver)
Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette: Let's get crazy! Payton has set the workouts on fire the last few weeks. I'm not sold on him based on the fact he can't hit the broad side of a barn from beyond five feet. But he's a pure point, the only one in this draft, and while they like Oladipo with the ball, they'll like him next to Payton even more. (Previous: 21)
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State: Can knock down all of the lights, but at 6-4 he's just not big enough, so he slips a bit. The Wolves happily snatch a player who can hit water falling out of a boat. (Previous: 12)
14. Phoenix Suns
James Young, SF, Kentucky: This isn't rocket science. He fits their profiles, skillset, and need. There's no downside to taking Young here. (Previous: 14)
15. Atlanta Hawks
Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland: The Hawks' starting frontcourt isn't crazy big, but their second unit with Lucas Bebe Noguiera and Capela would be insane. Totally insane. (Previous: 15)
16. Chicago Bulls (via Charlotte)
Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State: The one knock I've heard about Payne is that he could struggle with adapting to new systems. Luckily the Bulls don't have one on offense. (Previous: 9)
17. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn)
Rodney Hood, SF, Duke: A smart player. The defensive questions are legit but so is his athletic talent. If Brad Stevens can reach him, he makes Jeff Green expendable. (Previous: 17)
18. Phoenix Suns (from Washington)
Dario Saric, SF, Croatia: They can grab-and-stash here with great value after Saric signed a three-year deal overseas. (Previous: 10)
19. Chicago Bulls
Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA: Jack of all trades, master of none, which makes sense for the Bulls. They need someone with multiple threats on the wing, and his two-dribble jumper could spread the floor a bit for them. (Previous: 18)
20. Toronto Raptors
Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn: They could use some insurance for Kyle Lowry and Napier can run an offense and score. (Previous: 26)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Dallas)
P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina: Might be a little redundant with Jeremy Lamb, but he's also a lights-out shooter, which they need off the bench. (Previous: 23)
22. Memphis Grizzlies
Cleanthony Early, PF, Wichita State: GM Chris Wallace loves Kansas guys. OK, so it's not KU, but it's close! (Previous: 20)
23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State)
T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State: An odd fit, but I think he could legitimately help them at the three and they have the versatility to find ways to get him on the floor and hide him defensively. (Previous: 22)
24. Charlotte Hornets (via Portland)
Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia: If they have a promise out to Mitch McGary why not take the dude who doesn't have the health issue and is the size of a house? (Previous: 25)
25. Houston Rockets
Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan: They can afford to develop him in Rio Grande Valley behind Howard. (Previous: 29)
26. Miami Heat
Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse: I'm a little shocked I've got him falling this far, don't be surprised if he leaps into 14-plus. But he'd a tremendous fit with Miami. Smart and able to run offense. (Previous: 19)
27. Phoenix Suns (via Indiana)
Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee: 260 lbs. of go-to-hell muscle. Stokes would give a fun, light team some real attitude. He and P.J. Tucker could get along. (Previous: 28)
28. Los Angeles Clippers
Jordan Clarkson, SG, Missouri: They need someone nasty who can come off the bench and make an impact physically. Stokes is perfect here. Doc Rivers would do wonders. (Previous: 33)
29. Oklahoma City Thunder
K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson: I love his athleticism, especially for an OKC team that needs it, but the jumper's going to need some major rehab. (Previous: 24)
30. San Antonio Spurs
C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington: It's not fair that they get a guy this good. You know, because what they really need is another crack shooter. (Previous: 31)
Round 2
31. Milwaukee Bucks
Jerami Grant, PF, Syracuse: They're reportedly thinking about trading all of their forwards, so he could be useful if so. (Previous: 27)
32. Philadelphia 76ers
Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA: They could use some offensive polish and Adams has quite a bit of it, just in terms of scoring and nothing else. (Previous: 38)
33. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Orlando)
Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan: A quality backup big man which is something they've been short on over the years.
34. New York Knicks (via Dallas from Boston)
Patric Young, PF/C, Florida: Phil Jackson would like his mobility and fluidity on the court.
35. Utah Jazz
Johnny O'Bryant III, PF, LSU: A bruiser inside which they could use, without some of the baggage of free agents.
36. Milwaukee Bucks (via Minnesota from Phoenix from L.A. Lakers)
Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia: They could use a creator shooting guard and Bogdanovic is that. (Previous: 34)
37. Toronto Raptors (via Sacramento)
DeAndre Daniels, SF, Connecticut: Does a number of things and his aggressiveness would be useful off the bench.
38. Detroit Pistons
LaQuinton Ross, SF, Ohio State: I don't know why but I just like the idea of SVG working to make Ross into something. (Previous: 43)
39. Philadelphia 76ers (via Cleveland)
Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia: Grab-and-stash with a point guard who can run the pick and roll, something they're short on. (Previous: 39)
40. Minnesota Timberwolves (via New Orleans)
Deonte Burton, PG, Nevada: What can he do? Well, no one really knows. What position will he play? No one's really sure. Is he ready? No idea! But hey, the Wolves have nothing better to do! (Previous: 51)
41. Denver Nuggets
Walter Tavares, C, Cape Verde: They like international guys, and they're short on roster spots, so a grab-and-stash with Tavares who just re-signed with Gran Canaria makes sense. (Previous: 44)
42. Houston Rockets
Dwight Powell, PF, Stanford: They're a smart team. He's a smart guy. They might have to trade some power forwards. The math works. (Previous: 41)
43. Atlanta Hawks
Thanasis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece: Giannis' brother gives them a big powerful guy who is a terror when he gets out in open court.(Previous: 42)
44. Minnesota Timberwolves
Nick Johnson, SG, Arizona: Fits Flip Saunders' second-round draft profile.
45. Charlotte Hornets
Roy Devyn Marble, SG, Iowa: The kind of shooter/scorer that the Hornets have traditionally liked... you know, when they were the Bobcats. (Previous: 45)
46. Washington Wizards
Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona State: They could use some depth here, and he's worth a look in Summer League. (Previous: 50)
47. Philadelphia 76ers (via Dallas from Brooklyn)
Spencer Dinwiddie, SG, Colorado: They can afford to take a risk on the kid coming off the ACL injury. Since, you know, they have half the second round. (Previous: 57)
48. Milwaukee Bucks (via Phoenix from Toronto)
Nikola Jokic, C, Serbia: Grab-and-stash for depth. (Previous: NR)
49. Chicago Bulls
James Michael McAdoo, PF, North Carolina: I like the idea of Tom Thibodeau molding McAdoo's physical gifts. (Previous: 49)
50. Phoenix Suns
Melvin Ejim, SF, Iowa State: Very much fits their profile. (Previous: 52)
51. New York Knicks
Cory Jefferson, PF, Baylor: Unbelievable athleticism for a pick this low.
52. Philadelphia 76ers (via Cleveland from Memphis)
Markel Brown, SG, Oklahoma State: Obscene athleticism and scoring ability? Sign the Sixers up! (Previous: 46)
53. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Golden State)
Jabari Brown, SG, Missouri: If you can hit the backboard, you get a look from the Wolves. (Previous: 55)
54. Philadelphia 76ers (via Milwaukee from Houston)
Artem Klimenko, C, Russia: He's big enough to consider moving over early or waiting with the grab-and-stash. (Previous: 58)
55. Miami Heat
DeAndre Kane, PG, Iowa State: That's how much they need point guards. Another one! (Previous: 47)
56. Denver Nuggets
Damien Inglis, SF, French Guiana: Has a great bodytype for his position and Denver's willing to wait. (Previous: 54)
57. Indiana Pacers
Khem Birch, PF, UNLV: He could shine on their summer league squad.
58. San Antonio Spurs (via New Orleans from LA Clippers)
Keith Appling, PG, Michigan State: So much savvy. Very Spurs. (Previous: NR)
59. Toronto Raptors
Russ Smith, PG, Louisville: Has an establihed game they could use for value at this pick. (Previous: 56)
60. San Antonio Spurs
Joe Harris, SF, Virginia: He's got some buzz in workouts, I'm just not sure what he'll be in the NBA. But if anyone can figure it out, it's San Antonio. (Previous: NR)
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