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No matter what sport it is, die-hard sports fans get excited for the draft. That excitement especially translates over to the NBA as we are vastly approaching the 2014 NBA Draft. Somehow the Cleveland Cavaliers will have the #1 Overall Pick for the third time in four years with a crop of potential superstars waiting to be chosen. Each team is hoping to draft the next LeBron James or Tim Duncan and if you ask me, that is what makes it so exciting. With the help of Curt Ashcraft and resident fan favorite, Neil Brown, ‘Our Sports Report’ decided to put together our own NBA Mock Draft. We don’t claim to be experts, but we sure know how to have a good time.
And now without further ado, we present to you the 1st Round of the 2014 ‘Our Sports Report’ NBA Mock Draft!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Ashcraft: Andrew Wiggins Kansas Pos: SG/SF HT: 6-8 WT: 200
- Ever since Embiid’s foot surgery, the attention has focused on Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins at #1, and rightly so. As much as I like Parker, I can’t help but fall in love with Wiggins. In only one year at Kansas, his raw offensive talent and supreme defensive skill should have the Cavs licking their chops. Plus, he wants to be in Cleveland and Parker made it clear that he doesn’t.
Brown: Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas
- A crazy athlete that can jump out of the gym and a really strong defender. Wiggins has the best upside in the draft and can score from anywhere on the floor. If Dan Gilbert passes on Wiggins and makes another Anthony Bennett-like pick, expect for Cleveland to be calling for his head.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Ashcraft: Jabari Parker Duke Pos: SF HT: 6-8 WT: 241
- If they can’t have Wiggins, Parker is the obvious next selection. Parker really rubbed me the wrong way when reports came out that he “tanked” his workout with Cleveland, but there is still no doubting his talent. Parker is the most NBA ready prospect in the draft and with as much help as Milwaukee needs, this pick makes too much sense.
Brown: Jabari Parker SF Duke
- The youngster will provide an immediate scoring threat and spark to a franchise that could really use it. He should mesh well with Brandon Knight.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Ashcraft: Aaron Gordon Arizona Pos: PF HT: 6-9 WT: 220
- I understand that the 76ers need scorers, but Gordon is just too hard to pass up. His insane athleticism is something that Philly is hurting for and if he can develop a stronger ability to score, his other intangibles will make this young man a superstar.
Brown: Noah Vonleh PF Indiana
- The big man has strength and skill to help a team in need of a spark. Could pair well underneath with Thaddeus Young and help Michael Carter-Williams find more shooting space.
4. Orlando Magic
Ashcraft: Dante Exum Australia Pos: PG HT: 6-6 WT: 196
- Exum started out as a mystery, but he is now a guaranteed Top 5 pick. His ability to control the ball at the point and drive the lane with the best makes him a solid choice. If Orlando can get him at #4, the combo of Exum & Oladipo in the Orlando back-court could be one of the league’s best for years to come.
Brown: Dante Exum PG Australia
- The 6’6” floor general is a great athlete, passer, and ball-handler. Exum could compliment Victor Oladipo really well in the back-court, making them one of the best young duos.
5. Utah Jazz
Ashcraft: Noah Vonleh Indiana Pos: PF HT: 6-10 WT: 247
- Ever since Al Jefferson left town, the Jazz have needed a real big man. Vonleh may fit in as a PF, but his ability to finish at the rim and his low-post defensive skill makes him the real deal.
Brown: Joel Embiid C Kansas
- Embiid could miss the entire 2014-15 season depending on how his recovery goes. But for a Jazz roster in flux, that won’t be a huge factor. His healthy upside and potential in impossible to deny. Could be the next big thing in Salt Lake City.
6. Boston Celtics
Ashcraft: Joel Embiid Kansas Pos: C HT: 7-0 WT: 250
- Embiid’s foot surgery is a potential career ender, but the skill he showed at Kansas will keep him in the Top 10. His ability to block shots, score down low and control the paint is enough for the Celtics to roll the dice. Kelly Olynyk is a serviceable big man, but if Embiid recovers nicely, he could be there franchise of the future. Embiid is worth the risk.
Brown: Aaron Gordon PF Arizona
- Easily one of, if not the best athletes in the draft. Will bring a lot to the Celtics defensively and on the glass. Gordon is also able to create scoring with his athleticism.
7. Los Angeles Lakers
Ashcraft: Marcus Smart Oklahoma State Pos: PG HT: 6-3 WT: 227
- The Lakers were awful last year and most importantly, they need to get younger. I love Steve Nash, but Smart is a offensive minded and aggressive court general. Giving him time to learn the NBA game from Nash and Kobe will only make Smart as good as he can be.
Brown: Marcus Smart PG/SG Oklahoma State
- The fiery guard could learn a lot from another fiery player, Kobe Bryant. Obviously not the scorer and “team on my back” kind of player like the Black Mamba, but Smart could really bolster the Lakers back-court.
8. Sacramento Kings
Ashcraft: Julius Randle Kentucky Pos: PF HT: 6-9 WT: 227
- The Kings need all the help they can get, but help in the low post with DeMarcus Cousins is a top priority. Randle is a solid forward with quick feet and a strong finish at the rim. The former Wildcats will make a perfect combo in Sacramento.
Brown: Julius Randle PF Kentucky
- Another Kentucky one-and-done, Randle brings stability, aggression, and young energy. Matched with fellow Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins underneath and Isaiah Thomas at point, the youngsters could save the franchise.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Ashcraft: Gary Harris Michigan State Pos: SG HT: 6-5 WT: 205
- I know the Hornets are looking for a shooter, but for an all-around quality selection, Harris is the guy. With his ability to defend and take over a game at any moment, placing him in the back-court with Kemba Walker is a possible dream scenario.
Brown: Gary Harris SG Michigan State
- As Charlotte gets its proper NBA identity back, Harris could be a fresh face at shooting guard. An immediate upgrade from Gerald Henderson, Harris offers a lot of upside, with very little risk.
10. Philadelphia 76ers
Ashcraft: Doug McDermott Creighton Pos: SF HT: 6-8 WT: 218
- I have the 76ers adding Gordon with their 3rd pick, so now it is time for the shooter they so desperately need. McDermott was one of the best shooters/scorers that college basketball ever saw, so spotting his solid frame on the perimeter is a perfect situation. Teams are always looking for shooters, especially Philadelphia.
Brown: Doug McDermott SF Creighton
- Some might question Dougie McBuckets’ NBA ability, but I see a league that is driven by scorers that can create opportunities and aren’t afraid to pull the trigger. Two things the mid-major Prince Charming can and will do.
11. Denver Nuggets
Ashcraft: Dario Saric Croatia Pos: PF HT: 6-10 WT: 223
- I understand that Saric is staying in Europe for two more years, but being able to stash him away in Europe only to improve is a positive for the Nuggets. Denver would like someone to help now, but I believe his intensity and ability to score is worth the risk.
Brown: Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia & Herzegovina
- The European giant has just recently started gaining hype and according to scouts he has surprisingly quick feet and a natural feel under the bucket. Two things that the Nuggets will need for the future.
12. Orlando Magic
Ashcraft: Adreian Payne Michigan State Pos: PF HT: 6-10 WT: 239
- Since I have Orlando taking Exum with their first pick, Payne is a solid choice at #12. After 4 years at Michigan State, Payne has become a premiere defender, quality NBA build and an immediate help for the struggling low-post in Orlando.
Brown: Dario Saric PF Croatia
- The Magic go 2-for-2 on the foreigners, going with another guy that could start from day one. At 20 years old, Saric has been tested and is rather polished from his days overseas.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
Ashcraft: Nik Stauskas Michigan Pos: SG HT: 6-7 WT: 207
- Whether or not Kevin Love stays, the Timberwolves need someone that can shoot the ball. Stauskas is an incredible perimeter shooter and Minnesota has coveted him for a long time. I see Stauskas having a J.J. Redick kind of career, which is not a bad thing.
Brown: Nik Stauskas SG Michigan
14. Phoenix Suns
Ashcraft: T.J. Warren North Carolina State Pos: SF HT: 6-8 WT: 220
- The first time I saw T.J. Warren play, I was in awe. Even though his Wolf Pack were never anything to howl about, Warren’s work ethic and incredible scoring ability made me excited for his NBA career. You heard it here folks, Warren deserves more hype.
Brown: Rodney Hood SF Duke
15. Atlanta Hawks
Ashcraft: Jusuf Nurkic Bosnia Pos: C HT: 6-11 WT: 280
- Atlanta is in need of good, young size and they get it with Nurkic. He is a great finisher at the rim and most importantly, this dude is huge! I always worry about foreign bigs making it in the league, but my gut is telling me that this pick will pay off.
Brown: Kyle Anderson SF UCLA
- Great passer, help spread the floor for Jeff Teague
16. Chicago Bulls
Ashcraft: Elfrid Payton Louisiana Lafayette Pos: PG HT: 6-4 WT: 185
- I think it is time to admit that Derrick Rose may never be the same player again, so why not draft his future replacement? Payton is a pure scoring PG that is tough as nails. His quickness and smart defense make him a logical PG of the future for any organization.
Brown: T.J. Warren SF North Carolina State
- One of the best scorers in the draft, will pair great with Jimmy Butler on the wing
17. Boston Celtics
Ashcraft: Zach LaVine UCLA Pos: PG/SG HT: 6-6 WT: 181
- I love making bold predictions and my latest one is that Zach LaVine will be a future NBA superstar. I love this kid’s moxie and pure athleticism. He can score with anyone and I think his blue-collar attitude is a perfect fit in Boston.
Brown: Zach LaVine SG UCLA
- LaVine has really climbed the boards over the past few months with his freakish athletic abilities. But during his one year with the Bruins, he didn’t do much of anything, which is why I could see him falling this far to a team that could use help once Rondo leaves after the season.
18. Phoenix Suns
Ashcraft: Rodney Hood Duke Pos: SG HT: 6-9 WT: 208
- With the Suns adding their pure scorer in Warren, it is time to add a pure shooter in Hood. I believe that Hood still has a lot of work to do on his game, but his defense is spot on and his shooting is already quality. I like Hood at #18.
Brown: Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana-Lafayette
- While the Suns two best players are point guards (Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe), this pick will help with depth in case Bledsoe goes down with injury again. Don’t be surprised to see the Suns trying to shop Bledsoe also because of the log jam at point.
19. Chicago Bulls
Ashcraft: Kyle Anderson UCLA Pos: PF HT: 6-9 WT: 230
- Boozer may not have much left in the tank, so insert Kyle Anderson. I know Anderson isn’t a true PF like Boozer, but his size and ability to shoot from anywhere on the court makes him an intriguing selection.
Brown: Jordan Clarkson PG/SG Missouri
- A better backup than Kirk Hinrich, Clarkson could play well alongside Rose and would fit naturally in Thibodeau’s defensive schemes. The guard also provides good shooting from all over the floor.
20. Toronto Raptors
Ashcraft: Shabazz Napier Connecticut Pos: PG HT: 6-1 WT: 175
- Kyle Lowry looks to be on his way out and Toronto needs a true PG. Shabazz may not be the best at everything, but he still does it all so well. I really fell in love with the Raptors this year and think they have a bright future. If they add Napier, not only do they get one hell of a player, they get an incredible leader.
Brown: Clint Capela C Switzerland
- Has good upside and could really solidify the Raptors roster with size and strength to become an enforcer down low.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Ashcraft: Cleanthony Early Wichita State Pos: SF HT: 6-7 WT: 210
- Some may call this a reach, but I don’t. I am a huge fan of Early and think that he can score with the best of them and is a game changing defender. He is still a little raw with his intangibles, but I think the tutelage of Kevin Durant will help him progress.
Brown: Adreian Payne PF Michigan State
- The Spartan is NBA ready and could compliment Durant and Westbrook well when scoring is needed. The rare four-year college player can also spread the floor a little with a good mid-range jumper
22. Memphis Grizzlies
Ashcraft: P.J. Hairston North Carolina Pos: SG HT: 6-5 WT: 229
- The Grizzles need some serious help from the perimeter and I think Hairston is the guy. He may have some question marks about his attitude and what not, but regardless this guy can score. He can spot up from anywhere on the floor and believe he is a nice fit in Memphis
Brown: James Young SG/SF Kentucky
- The youngster has a high upside and could help the Grizzlies become deeper for a better playoff run.
23. Utah Jazz
Ashcraft: Jordan Clarkson Missouri Pos: PG/SG HT: 6-5 WT: 186
- I don’t want to clog up the guard position with Burke & Burks already there, but Clarkson’s value is just too good. He is a stellar athlete with the ability to play many positions on the floor. His name has been shooting up draft boards lately and I think Utah gets a steal at #23.
Brown: P.J. Hairston SG
- A proven scorer could provide just that immediately to a desperate Jazz team. But of course with Hairston comes the baggage and troubles. Here’s hoping he learned a thing or two this past year in the D-League.
24. Charlotte Hornets
Ashcraft: Jarnell Stokes Tennessee Pos: PF HT: 6-9 WT: 262
- It was evident in the Miami series that Jefferson can’t do it all and he needs some help. I like Stokes’ size and potential, especially with a young and talented roster in Charlotte.
Brown: Shabazz Napier PG Connecticut
- As the Hornets really revamp and look to get immediately better with the new image, the national champion could really provide a spark and depth at the guard spots.
25. Houston Rockets
Ashcraft: Clint Capela Switzerland Pos: PF HT: 6-11 WT: 222
- The Rockets have a lot of little things to do with their roster, but most importantly is helping Howard down low. Capela is a project, but I like his ceiling. With his defense at the rim and shot blocking ability already in place, his scoring will come. I am willing to take the risk on this one.
Brown: Cleanthony Early SF/PF Wichita State
- A personal favorite of mine (and not just because of his kick-ass name), Early has a really high ceiling and the potential to be a star. He can score from anywhere, rebound, and will serve as a role player to Harden and Howard in the Houston high-tempo offense.
26. Miami Heat
Ashcraft: Mitch McGary Michigan Pos: PF HT: 6-10 WT: 250
- It is amazing how one player can change one team’s draft. After LeBron James opted out of his contract with Miami on Tuesday, nobody really knows where he is going to go. If LeBron stays, Miami will take Mitch McGary. Even though he is recovering from a back injury, Miami needs a post presence with attitude and nobody is better at that than McGary. If LeBron goes, I like Miami to take K.J. McDaniels.
Brown: Jarnell Stokes PF Tennessee
- The big man showed some touch making some jump shots last year, but is much better underneath, where the Heat could use dome depth. Has physical gifts as good as anyone else in this class.
27. Phoenix Suns
Ashcraft: Tyler Ennis Syracuse Pos: PG HT: 6-3 WT: 182
- With rumors out that the Suns may trade Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix will need another PG waiting in the wings. Ennis is a raw defender and driver to the bucket, but his claim to fame is that he can shoot the lights out. He has struggled in his workouts so I feel the Suns will get amazing value with this pick.
Brown: Jerami Grant SF/PF Syracuse
- A good athlete who comes from an NBA pedigree, Grant has the opportunity to make an immediate impact in the right situation, which could very well be the Arizona desert.
28. Los Angeles Clippers
Ashcraft: K.J. McDaniels Clemson Pos: SF HT: 6-6 WT: 195
- The Clippers should already be renamed Team Athlete, which makes McDaniels a perfect fit. He needs to work on his shot, but luckily Chris Paul is the only one that shoots for LA. McDaniels can get up at the rim with the best and if he can lock down on his defense, McDaniels couldn’t go to a better place.
Brown: Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse
- Could prove a vital backup behind Paul and learn a lot from the aging star. The Orange freshman shined in the spotlight last season, but whether that will transfer to the bigger, faster, stronger NBA is another question.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder
Ashcraft: Patric Young Florida Pos: C HT: 6-10 WT: 247
- The Spurs really showed us how weak the Thunder truly are down low. I like Ibaka, but can’t stand Steven Adams, so insert Patric Young. Young proved to everyone that he is as tough and dedicated as they come. I love his hustle and believe that he is the right man for the job in OKC.
Brown: Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan
- A great athlete with good wingspan, not quite the scorer his dad was, but that can still come around. A once top-10 prospect, could be a real sleeper from this draft
30. San Antonio Spurs
Ashcraft: Walter Tavares Spain Pos: C HT: 7-3 WT: 265
- The Spurs have gambled and won on international players that stay in Europe before heading to the NBA. With Duncan opting in to the final year of his contract, Tavares makes for a great “stash & save” kind of guy for the future. He is a giant at 7’3” with soft hands and can rebound darn near anything. It may be a stretch, but I think San Antonio would make it work. They always do.
Brown: Vasilje Micic PG Serbia
- No better organization for an international point guard to fall to than the Spurs. Arguable the best passer in the draft, he could easily learn more under Tony Parker, or spend a few more years overseas crafting his game.
Just like that, ‘Our Sports Report’ has completed it’s second ever NBA Mock Draft! Feel free to leave us your comments below to let us know your thoughts on the draft or just to tell Curt and Neil that they are idiots. The NBA Draft is always a good time and full of excitement so be ready for Thursday night, because it looks to be one for the ages.
Also, a friendly reminder to join us on July 5th for the 2014 ‘Our Sports Report’ Wiffle Ball Summer Classic in lovely Fredericktown, Ohio. For more information on playing in or sponsoring the tournament, PLEASE CLICK HERE! Hope to see you on July 5th!