2014 NBA Draft: CBS Sports Draft Machine mock draft

CBS Sports Draft Machine (CBS Sports Network)
The updated first round of the CBS Draft Machine mock draft. (CBS Sports Network)

NOTE: To get your ready for next week's NBA Draft, here is a look at the CBS Sports Draft Machine mock draft to be featured on Inside College Basketball Draft Special: Beyond the Lottery on CBS Sports Network at 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 25. What do you think of the CBS Sports Draft Machine? Join the conversation on Twitter using #CBSDraftMachine

As the NBA Draft approaches, we’re setting our sights on new ways to predict the outcome. So it’s time to unveil our CBS Draft Machine. The Machine combines the knowledge of our experts with advanced statistics to create a mock draft of the first round. There are 3 major factors:

Player value: The Machine assigns a value to each player based on his average draft position in our mock drafts. There are countless ways to determine the best prospects but to a large degree it comes down to a player’s stock. There could be a team that considers Shabazz Napier the best prospect in the draft but he’s not going No. 1 overall.

Team needs: These are determined by Positional Net Player Efficiency Ratings, courtesy of 82games.com. It shows how each NBA team fared at each position last year and thus provides some direction as to where teams need help. This helps keep teams from drafting players who are redundant to the existing roster.

Previous draft picks within the mock: Every time a pick is made, the Machine factors in the projected value of that pick as well as the drafted player’s position. This means that if the Sixers fill a need by drafting Jabari Parker at No. 3, they’re less likely to take a small forward at No. 10. At the same time, the Thunder’s decision at No. 29 won’t be as drastically impacted by their pick at No. 21 because that 21st pick projects to be significantly less valuable than the 3rd pick.

The final piece of the puzzle is the human element. The Machine doesn’t account for potential free agents, the return of injured players, or long-term investments in younger players. From a statistical standpoint the Jazz have enough of a need at point guard to make a case for taking Marcus Smart with the No. 5 pick. But seeing as they invested a top 10 pick on Trey Burke last year, it’s more likely they’d opt for a big man, hence the Noah Vonleh selection.

All in all, this provides a unique perspective on the NBA Draft as a blend of insider information and statistical analysis.

CBS Sports Network has NBA Draft preview shows Monday, June 23 at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 at 9 p.m. and Wednesday, June 25 at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network or click here for a daily schedule of shows leading up to the NBA Draft on June 26. (All times Eastern)

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