FanSided Editors NBA Mock Draft


Over the past several days, the FanSided NBA editors collaborated on a mock draft, with each team’s respective site contributing a pick coupled with brief analysis. Here’s how it went:

*Note: The mock draft took place prior to Thursday’s news regarding Joel Embiid.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Joel Embiid, Kansas

Picked by: Chris Manning at Right Down Euclid

I don’t think anyone  – from Dan Gilbert on down– knows who the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to take No. 1. With no coach in place, that makes sense. But at the end of the day, I think Joel Embiid will be the pick – provided his back checks out. It’s cliche, but big men who move like he does and can defend like he does kist don’t come around very often. Embiid kind of player you want to pair with Kyrie Irving long term, as he can serve as a pick and roll partner on offense and protect the rim behind him. Both Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are tempting and it wouldn’t shock me if the Cavs went in either of those directions. But Embiid is just too talented to pass up – provided his back is okay.

2. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker, Duke

Nick Whalen, Behind The Buck Pass

With Embiid off the board – though I’m not certain the Bucks want or need Embiid so long as Larry Sanders is on the roster – Milwaukee goes with who I believe to be the safest of the top-tier prospects. Parker can step in immediately and start at shooting guard or small forward, teaming with Giannis Antetokounmpo to comprise one of the league’s youngest and most intriguing wing combinations.

While Parker may not be an elite athlete, he’s certainly a very, very good athlete, and he dispelled any rumors of weight gain or lack of conditioning when the Bucks watched him work out in California a couple weeks ago. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, Parker is thought to be very open to the idea of playing in Milwaukee, which is, unfortunately, something the Bucks must take into consideration at No. 2.

3. Philadelphia 76ers – Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Drew Corrigan, The Sixer Sense

The 76ers have wanted Andrew Wiggins for a long time and are pleased that he fell to us at No. 3. We were willing to do whatever it takes to have Mr. Wiggins in a Sixers uniform, but we are elated to add him to our strong youthful core. We look for him to instantly bolster our defense and eventually develop into a Hall of Fame talent.

4. Orlando Magic – Dante Exum, Australia

Zach Oliver, Presto in the Paint

Selecting Dante here felt like a no-brainer for the Magic here. Pairing him with Victor Oladipo going forward will give the team their backcourt of the future for years to come. Dante brings forth an incredible level of playmaking ability, and will be able to step in and make his teammates better. Adding Dante to the already young and improving core could give the Magic the missing piece in their rebuild.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

5. Utah Jazz – Noah Vonleh, Indiana

Cody Powers, Purple and Blues

The Jazz are in an interesting spot. They would have loved to have been slotted in one of the top four spots and drafted a guy that can make a huge contribution to their rebuild process. Staying put at five will bet them a good player, but more than likely someone who will take time to develop. With the hire of new head coach Quin Snyder, they are looking for a big guy who can stretch the floor. Vonleh can do just that. He can step out and shoot, plus he can be a great rim protector to go down next to Derrick Favors in the post. He will take some time to develop, but Snyder and the Jazz will probably look in this area.

6. Boston Celtics – Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Rich Spalding, Hardwood Houdini

With the Jazz picking up Vonleh, and with Dante Exum already off the board, Boston has to choose between Julius Randle, who has a NBA-ready post game, or Aaron Gordon, an athletic freak who can defend virtually every position on the floor.  It’s a risk, but Gordon has a huge ceiling and too much potential on both sides of the floor to ignore.  His offense may be limited to put-back and alley oops, but with Rajon Rondo running the point Gordon could wind up becoming the East Coast version of Blake Griffin.  He’s a project, but one that should reap huge long-term dividends for the Celtics. 

7. Lakers – Julius Randle, F, Kentucky

Jacob Rude, Lake Show Life

Julius Randle is the best available player. He learned team concepts from John Calipari. He has a 7 foot wingspan and although his athleticism is not as explosive as other forwards in the draft- his standing vertical is 29″- he has a mature body and more importantly he knows how to use his body in the paint. He is a gifted rebounder who chases down misses and he has a nose for the ball and just plain hustle and aggressiveness. He can play right now. He has a good left hand and doesn’t hesitate when the ball is thrown to him in the paint. Similarly to Zach Randolph, he dominates in the post with an array of moves in his bully ball style. His motivation was evident when he lost 20 pounds in three weeks.

The Lakers need defense in the paint. They need a rebounder. They need someone they can dump the ball into in the post and who can either score or pass out of a double team. They need someone who does not give up on plays. Julius plays through traffic and the whistle. His development in the midrange will make him a complete player.

8. Kings – Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State

Bryan Rose, A Royal Pain

It’s a bit of an unknown as to what is going to happen with Isaiah Thomas in potential restricted free agency and if some team is to put forth an offer too rich for the Kings blood, they’d be without a point guard on the roster. Given that, Smart is a bit of an insurance pick but I also believe he’ll be able to give the Kings another solid backcourt option regardless if Thomas is re-signed or leaves in free agency.

In essentially a ‘best available’ scenario, Smart was too difficult to pass up given the remaining players on the board don’t exactly fill a need for the Kings. He should also be able to step in and play a bench role immediately and also provides the Kings a trade chip if they’re looking to acquire another veteran to expedite a return to the postseason.

9. Charlotte Hornets – Nik Stauskas, Michigan

Reece Helms, Swarm and Sting

With the 9th pick in the NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets (yes the Hornets!) select Nik Stauskas from Michigan. Stauskas is a deadly 3 point shooter, and that is almost guaranteed to translate to the NBA level. He has also improved his ability to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot, which he’ll have to do in the pros. Stauskas has been compared to Klay Thompson, which if he can live up to that hype, he is a steal at #9 for the Hornets.

10. Philadelphia 76ers – Dario Saric, Croatia

Drew Corrigan, The Sixer Sense

With our first selection of Andrew Wiggins, we believe we have the cornerstone of our franchise. The selection of Dario Saric gives us a dangerous combination on the court. Saric is an NBA ready prospect and has shown the ability to score in a multitude of ways on the court. Pairing him with Andrew Wiggins will help with his defensive shortcomings and we believe the pairing will develop into stardom. The 76ers have no doubt that we will be able to convince Dario Saric to come over to Philadelphia and join a team that is on the quick uprise.

11. Denver Nuggets- Garry Harris, Michigan State

Mike Catalino, Nugg Love

With the 11th overall pick in the draft, the Denver Nuggets select Garry Harris. The Nuggets desperately need scorers on their roster and Harris will be able to provide that. Harris will provide versatility for the Nuggets and he will be able to play both the 1 and 2. With Randy Foye currently being the Nuggets starting shooting guard, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Harris take over the job at some point this season. Although their has been some talk about Denver moving out of the #11 spot and trading it for a veteran, I see them taking Garry Harris.

12. Orlando Magic- Rodney Hood, Duke

Zach Oliver, Presto in the Paint

After selecting Dante Exum fourth, the Magic will undoubtedly be looking for a shooter. Draft Hood here fills a need, and gives them another scoring option off the bench, or that they could insert into the starting lineup. Hood has one of, if not the, smoothest offensive games in this draft. His ability to not only knock down shots spotting up, but also create is something that the Magic desperately need as well. He’s got questions defensively, but with some hard work, Hood can become more than serviceable on that end of the floor.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Ben Beecken, Dunking With Wolves

The Wolves are in a perpetual state of needing wings. Despite signing Chase Budinger, Kevin Martin, and Corey Brewer just last summer to multi-year deals, they don’t all fit the potentially new-look, Kevin Love-less roster. Martin and Budinger are good players that fit former coach Rick Adelman’s system, but the Wolves simply need bodies. Kyle Anderson’s length (6′ 8″) and college production will translate very well to the NBA. The Wolves will go about finding power forwards to fill the spot via trade, possibly even as pieces in exchange for Love himself.

Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

14. Phoenix Suns – Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

Eric Saar, Valley of the Suns

The situation in Phoenix is quite fluid, there is a very good chance that the Suns will only keep one of their first-rounders this year, as all they really need is a superstar and will have to trade for him. They could trade up in the draft, draft and stash a player or keep more than we think. Ennis would be perfect in the Suns system. Dragic is already a couple years from 30 and Ennis would definitely be an upgrade at point guard over Ish Smith. Ennis’ shooting and playmaking would be key in helping Archie Goodwin flourish off the bench. Together they would be a potent backcourt.

15. Atlanta Hawks – Doug McDermott, Creighton

David Menze, Soaring Down South

No analysis submitted.

16. Chicago Bulls – Jordan Clarkson, Missouri

*Chicago’s writer did not take part in the mock draft.

17. Boston Celtics – James Young, Kentucky

Rich Spalding, Hardwood Houdini

Young’s mix of size and athleticism will combine to make him a potent threat on offense, as he can shoot over smaller two-guards and finish at the rim in transition.  Defensively, he is a work in progress, but with the Celtics in rebuild mode and with Brad Stevens in charge, Boston has time to let this young stud cook.

18. Phoenix Suns – Adreian Payne, Michigan State

Eric Saar, Valley of the Suns

If the Suns are able to trade for a superstar and don’t use all their draft picks they will need to recover some depth. Payne would be key. A scorer is always useful. He has the toughness and scoring to replace Channing Frye eventually, who he is on the wrong side of 30. Payne will be able to contribute right away.

Since they still have Frye and Markieff Morris they don’t NEED someone. But people get hurt and in the event of a trade, they could need some depth here. Payne has everything they want. Someone who can score all over the floor, play some defense and get some rebounds. Rebounding was a pretty sore spot last year.

19 .Chicago Bulls – Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette

*Chicago’s writer did not take part in the mock draft.

20. Toronto Raptors – T.J. Warren, NC State

Brian Boake, Raptors Rapture

No analysis submitted.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Clint Capela, Switzerland

Mark Bruty, Thunderous Intentions

Big athletic front court guy who can play a valuable role. Will likely be a draft and stash at least for a year while he develops. Is very raw but will give the Thunder some much needed depth (we all saw what happened when Serge went down) and plays both sides of the ball. Still quite raw, but all the tools to be a great NBA player. With the uncertain futures surrounding Perk and Collison moving forward – it’s a smart move.

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

22. Memphis Grizzlies – Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

Xan Nikchevich, Beale Street Bears

Some might consider it a reach, but he could be a great fit in Memphis. His athleticism and ability to shoot the three while playing both small and power forward are things the Grizzlies would love to have. He will have to improve defensively a bit to defend star players at the NBA level, but all things considered Early is a really solid pickup.

23. Utah Jazz – Glenn Robinson III, Michigan

Cody Powers, Purple and Blues

The Jazz have a bit of a dilemma on their hands with the unknown status of restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward. From all the Jazz rumors thus far, it seems like the Jazz will do all they can to bring Hayward back. However, they need to be looking at a wing player here or in free agency. Robinson is a very athletic and explosive wing player who runs the court really well. He needs to improve his shot a little bit, but his chemistry with current Jazz point guard, and former Michigan standout, Trey Burke, could help elevate his game. Robinson could be a great role player off the bench for this young Jazz team.

24. Charlotte Hornets – P.J. Hairston, UNC/Texas Legends

Reece Helms, Swarm and Sting

I didn’t think PJ would fall to 24th overall, but he did. Despite picking another guard with the 9th overall pick (Nik Stauskas) the Hornets are in need of some wing players who can shoot, and PJ fits the bill. Shabazz Napier would be another option for Charlotte if PJ is unavailable at 24.

25. Houston Rockets – Shabazz Napier, UConn

Brett Roberts, Space City Scoop

While Patrick Beverley has been impressive defensively, the Rockets still have Jeremy Lin under contract for one more season.  Acquiring a third-string point like Shabazz Napier makes a lot of sense moving forward, especially since neither Beverley nor Lin have been overwhelmingly good.    Both are serviceable as starters, but neither offer the hope of becoming All-Star caliber.

Napier may be lacking defensively, but that only makes him a better fit in Houston, where he will be able to flourish in the high octane offense.  Adding a power forward makes a lot of sense, but there is a dearth of 4-men in this draft class, and none of the options available this late in the draft offer the hope of an immediate starter.  Napier, meanwhile, could eventually evolve into a starting NBA point guard.

26. Miami Heat – DeAndre Daniels, UConn

Wes Goldberg, All U Can Heat

With Shane Battier retiring and Ray Allen possibly joining him, as well as the contracts of Rashard Lewis, Michael Beasley and James Jones coming off the books, the Miami Heat will be looking to improve their depth at the wing this offseason. Daniels came up big for the Huskies in the tournament and projects as a 3-and-D guy in the NBA. Daniels shot better than 41 percent from three last season. His 6’8” frame and 7’2” wingspan combined with his athleticism and shooting ability make for a good fit in Miami’s scheme.

27. Phoenix Suns – Jerami Grant, Syracuse

Eric Saar, Valley of the Suns

No analysis submitted.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

28. Los Angeles Clippers – Zach LaVine, UCLA

Trisity Miller, Fully Clips

Didn’t think he’d be here, but the Clippers are taking Zach Lavine. Chris Paul would be the perfect target for the combo guard and he’d allow the Clips to save $$$ by cutting Crawford. He’s super athletic and a proven shooter. The clippers can afford to wait for the rest of his game to fill in.

29. Oklahoma City – Jordan Adams, UCLA

Mark Bruty, Thunderous Intentions

It’s no secret that we need some scoring from the 2 spot and while there is very likelihood it comes in the off season via a trade there is no harm grabbing Adams. He can take time to develop and by pushing Lamb a bit the Thunder could reap all sorts of rewards.

30. San Antonio Spurs – Mitch McGary, Michigan

San Antonio’s writer did not take part in the mock draft.