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College, Mock Draft, NBA, NBA Draft / Jan 27, 2014 / 1:00 pm

Dime Mock Draft 1.0: Andrew Wiggins Or Joel Embiid?

Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid

Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid (photo. Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

Okay, so maybe this year’s NBA Draft class isn’t quite as good as we thought. There are no LeBrons. No KDs. There might not even be a D-Wade in here. The class from 2003 is much better, and let’s not even go into discussions concerning the ’96 class or 1984. With that being said, there is a ton of talent, and we also have to remember: it’s not even February yet. With so many young players coming out, we can guarantee your opinion of them will be drastically different once we get closer to the summer.

Because of the heightened anticipation for the draft this year, we’re releasing an early look at our first mock draft.

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1. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Wiggins
6-8, 197 lbs. SF
Kansas, Fr.

No one prospect or talent can save the Bucks in one year, that much is most definitely for certain. The team needs a draw, someone who in the future can be an All-Star caliber player, and at the very least hope. With Wiggins you can create an elite athletic core with unmatched length with Wiggins, Larry Sanders and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The excitement for Wiggins has died down a little, but he has shown flashes of being a versatile scorer and an elite defender at the NBA level.

2. Orlando Magic – Joel Embiid
7-0, 240 lbs. C
Kansas, Fr.

The Magic already have Nikola Vucevic as a double-double machine in the paint and could use help at other positions, but this is a draft where in the top 4-5 picks you take the best available prospect. That is Joel Embiid. Over the years the Magic have built themselves around great big men with Shaq and Dwight Howard, territory that Embiid could reach at his full potential. After just three years of basketball Embiid has already shown some of the best footwork and skill inside of any big man in years.

3. Philadelphia 76ers – Jabari Parker
6-8, 241 lbs. F
Duke, Fr.

Last summer the 76ers drafted the athletes in Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel to get the rebuilding process started. Now they get a chance to add a potential 20-plus point scorer in-between those two that is efficient and versatile. Parker could be the No. 1 overall pick in any other draft with his size, shooting ability, and overall package. He is not the athlete that his peers are, but Parker has a smooth, smart way to his game that allows him to be effective no matter the athletic competition.

4. Boston Celtics – Julius Randle
6-9, 248 lbs. PF
Kentucky, Fr.

The final shoe to drop in the “potential franchise player pool” lands here with the Celtics, who could use Randle right now. Over the years the team has drafted a handful of big men already making Randle a less obvious choice here despite his ability to be a double-double machine and one of the best athletic scorers at the four at the next level. Randle is one of those prospects where the ball just finds him on the glass because he is active and always in a good position. A Rajon Rondo and Julius Randle duo could be very formidable, if they keep the All-Star point guard.

5. Utah Jazz – Dante Exum
6-6, 188 lbs. G
Australia, 1994

If the Jazz could get a little higher and nab Embiid this would be a homerun past 3-4 years in the draft for them. They already have a nice core with Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke with other complementing pieces. Adding another dynamic playmaker like Exum really could elevate the team in a few years with his ability to play both the one and the two. Playing in Australia does not help Exum with NBA fans because he is out of sight, but he has impressed every NBA decision-maker when he has been in front of them against the top talents, including most of the prospects in this top 10 over the summer.

6. Sacramento Kings – Aaron Gordon
6-9, 225 lbs. PF
Arizona, Fr.

This is a perfect marriage for the Kings. Let me explain. They have the potential star center in DeMarcus Cousins and the perimeter scorers to be a good team. What they lack is an athlete that is as unselfish as Gordon, who is willing to do all the little things that makes a team good. He is also dynamic enough to become an All-Star down the road.

7. Los Angeles Lakers – Marcus Smart
6-4, 225 lbs. PG
Oklahoma State, So.

Falling from potential No. 1 overall pick in 2013 to the franchise with 16 championships is not a bad consolation prize. Smart is everything the Lakers do not have in terms of intangibles, defensive ability, and versatility. He could also add a few years to Kobe Bryant‘s legs.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Gary Harris
6-4, 205 lbs. SG
Michigan State, So.

Eventually they have to get one of these picks right, right? Outside of Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson the draft has not been good for the Cavaliers, who have tried to be the smartest team in the room consistently with little to show for it. Harris is a combo guard that can make plays with the ball and shoot the ball to stretch the floor. His biggest asset might be his defense, which is not talked about enough.

9. Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks) – Noah Vonleh
6-9.75, 242 lbs. PF
Indiana, Fr.

The Nuggets want to play a more traditional lineup and still get up and down the floor, which is why Kenneth Faried has taken a step back this year. Vonleh is a traditional power forward that rebounds, plays his position, and can play in a fast pace offense if needed.

10. Charlotte Bobcats (via Detroit Pistons) – Jerami Grant
6-9, 215 lbs. F
Syracuse, So.

Well, the Bobcats are usually the team that makes the wildcard picks like Bismack Biyombo, Cody Zeller and even Kemba Walker. Some have paid off and at this point in the draft there are no more certainties so a roll of the dice on Grant who could be a playmaker at the forward position, rebound at a high rate, and contribute as a quality defender is worth the risk. After all, it is the Bobcats.

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  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    No Nick Johnson? Best player on the best team.

  • LMAO YOU MAD

    Marcus Smart would perfect for the Magic. Imagine a backcourt of Smart and Oladipo, how many turnovers they could force. They can keep Afflalo at the 3 if they don’t trade him, and move Tobias at the 4. That would force defenders away from the basket and give Vucevic more room for post position and offensive rebounds

  • 2cents

    Lets just wait til after the draft before we compare any kids to the ’03 class, let alone the ’84 class.

  • Matt Schneller

    He’ll have a nice, long career in Spain, not bad money, as long as you’re being paid on time, he’s too small, he’s athletic, but not an elite athlete, name other undersized SGs that have succeeded in the NBA that aren’t elite athletes?

  • JAY

    So was Sean May

  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    who went top 15

  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    avery bradley, jodie meeks, ben gordon

  • JAY

    Fair enough.

    Scottie Thurman? Ed Cota? Lou Roe? Miles Simon?

    I’m not saying I disagree w/ you. My point is collegiate success doesn’t always translate to success at the next level. Nick Johnson will probably go 2nd round, where he has to earn his contract.

  • JAY

    Johnson isn’t any of those guys. 2 of those guys you listed are specialists. Bradley is an all world defender. Meeks is a lights out shooter (drafted 41st). Ben Gordon was unstoppable at UConn. He wasn’t only the best player on the best team… everything they did offensively revolved around him. I think Arizona’s team oriented system might actually hurt his stock a bit.

    Again, I’m not disagreeing with you, but it’s understandable why he isn’t on a Mock draft of the top 30 picks. IMO, he’ll get drafted, but in the 2nd round.

  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    not saying Johnson is similar to three aforementioned players. Simply examples of undersized yet successful shooting guards. I dont expect Johnson to be a star n the NBA but he certainly has the makings of a valuable bench player, which is often what teams in the late first round are looking for.

  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    Simon and Stoudamire went 31st I believe. And Simon would probably have gone first round had he left the previous year. But simply put often the best player on the best on one of the best teams go first round especially with tournament success.

  • JAY

    Right. Simon and Stoudamire were taken in the 2nd round. Miles Simon was MOP of the tourney, yet he was not in the top 30 picks. This is a Mock draft of the 1st round. So I’m assuming that now you do understand how Nick Johnson can be left off this list.

  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    Which I read and am voicing my disagreement with. Or are you not supposed to voice disagreements?

  • JAY

    Sure you are. I’ve stating twice that I’m not disagreeing with you. I was simply explaining why it’s reasonable why he was left off. You seemed receptive to my comments. Why the defensive stance 4-5 posts later?

  • Timothy Marshall Payne

    not defensive, simply replying to the piece on opinion

  • Cal

    Why would the Celtics draft T-Rex arm Randle who can/will only be able to play PF in the NBA if they have Sullingerand could take Smart/Exum/Harris? And wouldn’t Smart be better for Utah as a SG alongside Burke?