Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 NBA Lottery Mock Draft

The most exciting draft in recent memory is almost upon us, so it's time to lay out my best guess at how the lottery is going to play out (there will be so many trades that trying to predict the rest is a crap shoot). The picks are how I think the draft actually will play out, but I make sure to specify how the teams should pick. Player details (age on draft night, height in shoes, weight, wingspan) are courtesy of and

1. Cleveland: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas SG/SF. 19, 6' 8.75", 197, 7'0"
Wiggins caught scouts' attention in 2012
What the pick should be: Wiggins. Longtime followers know that I've been a fan since he dominated the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit as the youngest player there, and he topped my draft board even before Embiid broke his foot. He has the second highest ceiling while also maintaining a high floor; at the very least I expect a 3-and-D wing similar to Trevor Ariza, which isn't bad at all considering Ariza is about to get another large free agent contract. I can see the comparisons to Tracy McGrady due to his size and fluid athleticism, but for now, he reminds me most of a young Paul George (it's no coincidence that I compared PG to T-Mac before the 2010 draft). He'll provide lock-down perimeter defense right away while his ability to create remains a work in progress. His jumper was streaky, but his form looks improved in his workouts in Santa Barbara (catch UCSB's Thunderdome make an appearance near the end).
Why this is the pick: The Cavs were ready to take Embiid after he impressed them in workouts, but that is when the stress fracture in his foot was discovered. They could trade down to a team that is in love with Wiggins like Philly and pick up Thaddeus Young and one or two of the Sixers' five 2nd round picks while still getting the other Jayhawk at #3. A young veteran like Young would fulfill ownership's mandate to add an impact player to compete now. If they keep the pick, Parker may be the choice because he is the most NBA-ready prospect on offense while bringing the least risk, but I believe Wiggins will help this team the most since he'll fit in at both the 2 and the 3, he'll provide defense for a team that badly needs it, and he won't need to fight for shots with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, or Anthony Bennett. He should benefit from the spacing of the NBA game, and I'm intrigued by the system new coach David Blatt will bring from Europe.