NBA Pre-Lottery Mock Draft


USA Today Sports

The NBA Draft is still over a month away, but speculation is heating up as the offseason has now arrived for 26 of the league’s 30 teams. Last week’s draft combine in Chicago shed light on a number of key prospects, and evaluations will continue as teams begin to hold individual workouts and meetings.

The Bucks held the first of such workouts last week, featuring four likely second-round prospects. In the coming weeks, a number of big-name prospects will make their way to Milwaukee looking to prove their worth as a potential franchise cornerstone.

With the NBA Draft Lottery approaching Tuesday, Milwaukee will finally find out where, exactly, its first-round pick falls. Holding the greatest chance (25%) of winning the top pick, the Bucks can fall no lower than number four overall.

For this initial mock draft, we’ll assume the order will remain as it stands, pre-lottery. Of course, that will almost certainly change come Tuesday night, at which point an updated mock draft will be released.

*Click HERE for a list of draft pick trade scenarios.

1. Milwaukee Bucks

Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas, Fr.

Jabari Parker may be more polished, but Wiggins’ freakish athleticism is too tantalizing to pass up.

2. Philadelphia 76ers

Jabari Parker, F, Duke, Fr.

The safest of the elite prospects, Parker would join Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and high-upside Nerlens Noel on an up-and-coming Sixers team.

3. Orlando Magic

Dante Exum, G, Australia

The 6-6 combo guard would be an ideal long-term running mate for Victor Oladipo.

4. Utah Jazz

Julius Randle, F, Kentucky, Fr.

The Jazz already have Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, but Kanter disappointed last season and spent much of the year coming off the bench. Randle is slightly undersized, but his aggression and strength more than compensate.

5. Boston Celtics

Joel Embiid, F/C, Kansas, Fr.

Injury concerns could cause Embiid to slip, but grabbing him at No. 5 is well worth the risk.

6. Los Angeles Lakers

Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State, Soph.

The Lakers want to win now, and Smart is the most experienced of the top-tier prospects.

7. Sacramento Kings

Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana, Fr.

Raw, but ultra-talented big man could be what the Kings hoped Thomas Robinson would be two drafts ago.

8. Detroit Pistons

James Young, G, Kentucky, Fr.

The Pistons took a shooting guard in the first round last year, but the Detroit-bred Young is too tantalizing a prospect to pass up. If this pick ends up falling outside of the top eight, it goes to Charlotte.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA, Soph.

My favorite prospect in the draft, Anderson can play and defend three positions. He’d fill a major hole if Luol Deng doesn’t return.

10. Philadelphia (from NO)

Gary Harris, G, Michigan State, Soph.

Slightly undersized shooting guard is an upgrade over Tony Wroten and James Anderson.

11. Denver Nuggets (from NY)

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona, Soph.

Up there with Wiggins as one of the best pure athletes in the draft, Gordon would provide much-needed interior help to the NBA’s third-worst defensive team a year ago.

12. Orlando Magic (from DEN)

Dario Saric, F, Croatia

Orlando is already flush with young frontcourt talent, and the versatile European could step in and contribute immediately.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves

Rodney Hood, G/F, Duke, Soph.

Long, athletic lefty would be a nice complement to Corey Brewer at small forward.

14. Phoenix Suns

Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan, Soph.

More than just a three-point marksman, the 2013-14 Big Ten Player of the Year would add even more intriguing young talent to one of the league’s up-and-coming teams.

15. Atlanta Hawks

Doug McDermott, F, Creighton, Sr.

Teams will question his athleticism and size (McDermott measured in at just over 6-6 at the combine), but there’s no doubt he can score and rebound. How he’s utilized will determine NBA success.

16. Chicago Bulls (from CHA)

Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse, Fr.

Derrick Rose is returning next season, but at what point do the Bulls plan for the future?

17. Boston Celtics

Shabazz Napier, G, UConn, Sr.

The potential heir-apparent to Rajon Rondo, Napier is a proven winner, albeit an undersized one.

18. Phoenix Suns (from WAS)

Zach LaVine, G, UCLA, Fr.

The Suns will probably look to trade this pick unless someone they really want is available. LaVine’s elite athleticism and potential may be tantalizing enough to hold onto.

19. Chicago Bulls

T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State, Soph.

Beat out Jabari Parker for ACC Player of the Year honors. Versatile scorer could step into the rotation right away.

20 Toronto Raptors

Adreian Payne, F/C, Michigan State, Sr.

High-character big man can bang inside and shoot the three.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse, Soph.

Already deep at nearly every position, the Thunder grab the raw, but bouncy Grant.

22. Memphis Grizzlies

Glenn Robinson III, F, Michigan, Soph.

Big Dog’s son was overshadowed by Stauskas this season. He fills a glaring need at small forward.

23. Utah Jazz (from GS)

Markel Brown, G, Oklahoma State, Sr.

Experienced, uber-athletic senior guard would team with Trey Burke and Alec Burks to form solid, young backcourt trio. Tied for highest vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine (43.5 inches)

24. Charlotte Bobcats (from POR)

P.J. Hairston, G, D-League

Former North Carolina star has great size and athletic ability. An elite three-point shooter, Hairston would help offset Gerald Henderson’s pedestrian numbers from beyond the arc.

25. Houston Rockets

Jordan Adams, G, UCLA, Soph.

Needing to add backcourt depth, Adams would be an excellent fit.

26. Miami Heat

Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr.

Toughest pick to predict given how drastically differently the roster could look next season, but Miami found luck with a small-school guard, Norris Cole, in the past.

27. Phoenix Suns (from IND)

Vasilje Micic, G, Serbia

The Suns could also look to trade here, but stashing Micic overseas for a year or two would be fine.

28. Los Angeles Clippers

DeAndre Daniels, F, UConn, Jr.

Slim forward is an excellent rebounder but likely wouldn’t crack rotation.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder

Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State, Sr.

Slightly undersized mid-major star showcased impressive athleticism at the NBA Draft Combine.

30. San Antonio Spurs

Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland

It’s the Spurs.

Who do you think the Bucks should select in the first round? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @BehindTheBucks.