View my original, complete first-round mock HERE.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas, Fr.
The Cavs have young players with, at the very least, handfuls of talent at every position other than small forward. Luol Deng is likely to opt out, making Wiggins the logical option.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker, F, Duke, Fr.
Parker is the most NBA-ready prospect in this draft. And after a paltry 17 wins this past season, many may say the Bucks are sorely lacking in that area.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Julius Randle, F, Kentucky, Fr.
Nerlens Noel plays most naturally at center. With questions about Joel Embiid’s health, Randle holds the most attractive combination of polish and upside left on the board. All respect to Thaddeus Young, but inserting Randle at power forward next to Noel would solidify the Sixers’ front court for the foreseeable future.
4. Orlando Magic
Dante Exum, G, Australia
As I originally projected, running a two-point guard look with Exum and Victor Oladipo (both of whom can also play the two-guard spot) alongside a healthy Nikola Vucevic will persuade the Magic to pass on Embiid.
5. Utah Jazz
Joel Embiid, F/C, Kansas, Fr.
The Jazz are already heavily talented in the frontcourt. Utah’s depth at center will allow the franchise to give Embiid more time to rest his troublesome back, if need be, before easing him into NBA action. How long will it take? No clue, but the Jazz should be actively looking to trade at least one big man shortly afterward. Enes Kanter, who spent much of the season coming off the bench, is the most likely candidate.
6. Boston Celtics
Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana, Fr.
With the more hyped bigs off the board, Boston gambles on upside while keeping last year’s pick, Kelly Olynyk, in the pocket.
7. Los Angeles Lakers
Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State, Soph.
The Lakers are still looking for a long-term point guard; Smart still has more experience than most of the draft pack and brings a tough, defensive-minded demeanor to the league’s third-worst defensive team last season.
8. Sacramento Kings
Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona, Soph.
Gordon is the kind of athlete that could find a role on any team. Mixing him into the Kings’ youth movement makes sense and immediately upgrades the power forward position.
9. Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (from DET)
James Young, G, Kentucky, Fr.
A three-point threat, Young fills a need for Charlotte and will find plenty of opportunities to clean up broken plays, a knack he exhibited in his lone collegiate season.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from NO)
Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA, Soph.
With soft spots in the roster at the two- and three-positions, the Sixers could oscillate Anderson between them both without worry as he is a versatile player on both ends of the court.
11. Denver Nuggets (from NYK)
Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
He’s a scorer, plain and simple. His lack of athleticism could be a weak spot if/when he plays at small forward, but his contributions at the wing would be welcomed as soon as he touches down in Denver.
12. Orlando Magic (from DEN)
Dario Saric, F, Croatia
Saric is solid on the boards and the putting-the-ball-in-the-hoop aspect of the game. Sidle him next to Oladipo and Tobias Harris, watch things click, repeat.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
Rodney Hood, G/F, Duke, Soph.
I initially guessed the Wolves would laud his high three-point percentage, length and athleticism. This becomes doubly true as rumors of a Kevin Love trade or free agency heat up.
14. Phoenix Suns
Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan, Soph.
Stauskas is a sneaky-good passer in addition to his penchant for hitting from long-range. He’s a perfect fit for the Phoenix system.