NBA Mock Draft

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.comJune 25, 2014 

NBA writer Rick Bonnell’s mock first round for Thursday’s NBA draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, small forward. Comment: This is a coin-flip with Duke’s Jabari Parker. Parker is more ready now, but Wiggins has more potential.

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, Duke, small forward. Comment: He’s a skilled addition to a team that needs just about everything. Might have a weight problem.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, Kansas, center. Comment: The team drafting him has to wait several months for his foot to heal. Sixers know that drill from Nerlens Noel in 2013.

4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, Australia, guard. Comment: He and Victor Oladipo would form a backcourt of combo guards that bothcould create shots.

5. Utah Jazz: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, guard. Comment: Yes, the Jazz already has Trey Burke, but Smart will play both guard spots.

6. Boston Celtics: Noah Vonleh, Indiana, power forward. Comment: A young, skilled power forward who can stretch the floor with his long-range shooting.

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, Kentucky, power forward. Comment: Considering these are the Lakers, it wouldn’t be a shock if this pick is traded.

8. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon, Arizona, power forward. Comment: He’s a fine athlete whose energy would complement center DeMarcus Cousins.

9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, Creighton, small forward. Comment: There’s a crying need for shooting on this team. McDermott was 45 percent from 3-point range as a senior.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Nik Stauskas, Michigan, shooting guard. Comment: He’s right there with McDermott among elite perimeter scorers.

11. Denver Nuggets: Rodney Hood, Duke, small forward. Comment: A left-handed 3-point shooter who can also score off the dribble and in the post.

12. Orlando Magic: Dario Saric, Croatia, small forward. Comment: His contract could keep him in Europe this season and beyond.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette, point guard. Comment: He can’t shoot, but he is a great on-the-ball defender.

14. Phoenix Suns: Zach LaVine, UCLA, guard. Comment: He doesn’t have a definite position, so he’s a bit of a risk. Suns have multiple first-rounders.

15. Atlanta Hawks: Gary Harris, Michigan State, shooting guard. Comment: He’s a little undersized, but a tough defender along the perimeter.

16. Chicago Bulls: Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, center. Comment: Bulls conserving cap space for run at Carmelo Anthony, so a Euro they can stash?

17. Boston Celtics: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, point guard. Comment: He’s from Boston and he would be insurance if Rajon Rondo is traded.

18. Phoenix Suns: Adreian Payne, Michigan State, power forward. Comment: Goran Dragic would love playing with a pick-and-pop shooter like Payne.

19. Chicago Bulls: T.J. Warren, N.C. State, small forward. Comment: Warren is a scorer, and the Bulls sure need help in that area.

20. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse, point guard. Comment: An Ontario native gets to play for his hometown team. He’s quite a passer.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: James Young, Kentucky, shooting guard. Comment: They still need scoring at that spot, well after James Harden trade.

22. Memphis Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson, UCLA, small forward. Comment: A sophisticated offensive player, but he’ll struggle to guard NBA players.

23. Utah Jazz: Walter Tavares, Spain, center. Comment: Utah loves to stock up on big-man depth.

24. Charlotte Hornets: P.J. Hairston, Development League, shooting guard. Comment: Hopefully he leaves past troubles back in Greensboro.

25. Houston Rockets: Clint Capela, Switzerland, power forward. Comment: Houston might want to avoid a salary by leaving Capela overseas next season.

26. Miami Heat: K.J. McDaniels, Clemson, small forward. Comment: His ticket into the NBA will be intense defense and offensive rebounding.

27. Phoenix Suns: Jerami Grant, Syracuse, small forward. Comment: His wingspan and athleticism could get him by until he develops perimeter skills.

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Jordan Adams, UCLA, shooting guard. Comment: A high-energy scorer who also gives his all on defense.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia, shooting guard. Comment: The Thunder, with multiple first-round picks, could leave him overseas for now.

30. San Antonio Spurs: Vasilije Micic, Serbia, point guard. Comment: A real shocker if the Spurs choose to draft an International player, huh?

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