Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft #5: Trades Edition

Our Previous Mocks:

6/21/2014 - 2014 NBA Mock Draft #4 (Final Mock Without Trades)
3/28/2014 - 2014 NBA Mock Draft #3: March Madness
1/21/2014 - 2014 NBA Mock Draft #2
12/23/2013 - 2014 NBA Mock Draft #1

With the 2014 NBA Draft now only two days away, it is time for our final mock draft of the year, and this one is extra-special because it includes mock trades!

1.   Philadelphia 76ers (Projected Trade from Cavaliers) – Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas

Projected Trade: 

76ers Get: #1 Pick
Cavaliers Get: #3 Pick, Thaddeus Young

The 76ers have wanted Wiggins all along, and since Embiid's injury, he has become the favorite for the #1 overall pick and therefore has fallen out of the 76ers' grasp.  In order to assure that they get their guy, Philadelphia will offer up Thaddeus Young and the #3 pick for the #1.  They get the most athletic prospect in the draft with the highest ceiling to be added to a very young and talented Philadelphia core.  Wiggins could be the face of their franchise for years to come.

2.  Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker, SF, Duke

The Bucks probably would have preferred Wiggins, but since Philly swooped in and stole him then they will have to "settle" for the most pro-ready prospect in the draft in Parker.  Embiid's health risks are just too much to gamble on with the #2 pick, and Parker will add much needed talent to a very lackluster roster.  Parker is a refined scorer who can play a fast-paced transition game, so hopefully he can be the go-to guy on the Bucks for a long time.

3.  Cleveland Cavaliers (Projected Trade from 76ers) – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

Projected Trade: 

76ers Get: #1 Pick
Cavaliers Get: #3 Pick, Thaddeus Young

The Cavaliers make this trade because they can pick up a 26-year-old power forward in Young who is very underrated but very talented and only move back two spots.  Young can average a double-double, and on a team trying to entice LeBron James to return, a strong front-court would be a real asset.  Also, they can pick up the guy whom they wanted all along in Embiid, for even though he may miss next season with a foot injury (which is why he fell to #3 in the first place), the Cavs already have Anderson Varejao and were extremely lucky to land the #1 pick in the first place.  They can take a chance on Embiid and hope he becomes the next great center while still managing to acquire proven talent in Young.

4.  Orlando Magic – Dante Exum, PG/SG, Australia

The Magic need a point guard. Exum is a tall, athletic point guard with scoring ability, plus a bit of added mystery and intrigue since he played in Australia. Its perfect for both sides, as Exum will be thrust into a very young and talented lineup that includes Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, and Mo Harkless which is still very raw but full of potential. A backcourt of Oladipo and Exum will cause problems for every defense they play against and should carry the Magic to a much better season next year, and potentially the playoffs in a few if their players progress as planned.

5.  Utah Jazz – Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana

The Jazz have no true positional needs so they have the luxury of taking the best player on the board. Vonleh has great physical attributes for a power forward and is pretty good technically too. If he works on his shot he could be a truly dominant force, but right away he would provide as an efficient rebounder and a good low-post scorer. Eventually, the Jazz could have a fairly formidable front court unit of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Vonleh.

6.  Minnesota Timberwolves (Projected Trade from Celtics) – Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona 

Projected Trade: 

Timberwolves Get: #6 Pick, #17 Pick, 2015 76ers Lottery-Protected1st Round Pick, 2015 Clippers 1st Round Pick, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Keith Bogans
Celtics Get: Kevin Love, Kevin Martin

The Timberwolves know that they will probably lose Kevin Love for nothing in free agency after this season, so they will do the smart thing and trade him for the best offer available.  While there has been much debate over what the best offer is, no team offers more in potential through draft picks than the Celtics, and with this trade the T-wolves get two first round picks this year and next year while also adding a promising young player in Olynyk.  With the first pick they acquire they will select Gordon, who is athletic enough to be the replacement for Love for a long time.  He can defend and run the floor and his shooting will improve with time, but he is exactly the type of player that GM/Coach Flip Saunders would love to coach up to become a star (he is only 18 years old).

7.  Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

The Lakers and their fanbase will certainly be enticed by the “big-name” commodity that Julius Randle is, regardless of his injury status and pro potential. If the Lakers want a quick, one year rebuild, Randle might be the man, because he has the technical ability to contribute right away unlike some other players in this draft. However, his potential is also much lower than many players in this draft, as his physical skills and build are not quite as impressive as others. The Lakers are certainly pretty high on Randle, but if he slips past them it could be a fairly long fall for him.

8.  Chicago Bulls (Projected Trade from Sacramento Kings) - Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State

Projected Trade:

Bulls Get: #8 Pick, Jason Terry
Kings Get: Taj Gibson, #16 Pick, #19 Pick 

The Bulls are attempting to attract Carmelo Anthony this free agency, but they will need cap-space to do so.  They also have a problem surrounding Derrick Rose's injury issues that seem to impede their playoff chances every year.  This trade solves both of those problems, as they can unload a very good but expensive player in Gibson while acquiring the #8 pick, with which they can draft Derrick Rose's insurance policy.  Marcus Smart is an athletic, tall point guard who makes the players around him better.  Even if Rose is healthy, he could play along side Rose and Jimmy Butler could come off the bench, as the Phoenix Suns have shown the two point-guards can be effective (Eric Bledsoe & Goran Dragic).  This trade and this pick seem like no-brainers for the Bulls considering their situation.

9.   Phoenix Suns (from Pistons via Projected Trade from Hornets) – Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

Projected Trade: 

Suns Get: #9 Pick
Hornets Get: #14 Pick, #18 Pick

The Suns have three first-round picks, and have made it clear that they are looking to unload one of them.  This trade accomplishes that by packaging their first two picks in order to move up into the #9 spot, acquiring it from a team in the Hornets who already have two first-round picks themselves.  The Suns get the best player off the board in McDermott, who could potentially replace Gerald Green in the starting lineup and become the Sun's go-to scorer, as that is what he does the best.  McDermott can certainly fill up the bucket but there are serious questions about his potential, as it is possible that he only becomes a solid role-player or a below-average starter, which is slightly underwhelming for a lottery pick.  The thing about McDermott, though, is that he does have the maturity to provide right away, which might make him appealing to the Suns front office.

10.  Philadelphia 76ers (from Pelicans) – Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

The Sixers already grabbed Wiggins with their first pick and now add a two-guard to complement Michael Carter-Williams. Harris can shoot and is tall, giving him a matchup advantage against many shooting guards throughout the league. He consistently made big plays for Michigan State and would add a lot to a young and talented lineup that could seriously make a run at a playoff berth next season. That trade with the Pelicans that set away Jrue Holliday is looking incredible now as the Sixers have effectively created a whole new talented (and young!) starting five in only two years.

11.  Denver Nuggets – Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan

Stauskas shot up the draft board as a result of his heroic performances in the NCAA tournament. He is a knock down shooter on the perimeter and his knack for producing in big moments will help his draft stock but there are questions about other parts of his game. His defensive ability is suspect and it is unclear whether he will be able to run a pro offense.

12.  Orlando Magic (from Knicks via Nuggets) – James Young, SF, Kentucky

Young was an extremely inconsistant player throughout his college career, but at times we got to see what a special player he can be. When at his best, he is a dynamic three-point shooter with slashing ability and more than enough athleticism. Unfortunately, he is not always at his best, although teams will likely let him off the hook a bit because he is also the youngest player in the entire class. The Magic could really use an explosive scorer, and, even if they should’t expect Young to be that guy right away, he eventually could be.

13.  Minnesota Timberwolves – T.J. Warren, SF, NC State

After taking Gordon with their first pick, the Timberwolves aim to get another athletic player with their original first-round pick, although this time they get a true scorer.  In drafting Warren they get a guy who can defend well, score, and is never shy to run the floor.  He will fit perfectly in with Aaron Gordon and complement him well, so that these two can form the core, along with Ricky Rubio, for Minnesota to build around for a long time.

14.  Charlotte Hornets (Projected Trade from Suns) – Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA

Projected Trade: 

Suns Get: #9 Pick
Hornets Get: #14 Pick, #18 Pick

The Hornets complete this trade with the Suns because they have so many needs to fill, one player at #9 was not going to cut it.  They get two mid-round picks out of this trade, and with their first one they get perhaps the most athletic player in the draft, and that’s saying something in a draft class that includes players like Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum. His technical skills aren’t bad either, as he is a better-than-average three point shooter, a great dribbler, and an impressive passer. All of the questions about LaVine will be about his brain. However, the reality is, you can teach a player some things but many of LaVine’s qualities are unteachable, which is why he is so valuable.  There is added value in that he can play both point guard and shooting guard, and could either complement Kemba Walker or eventually replace him if all goes well.  No matter what the Hornets are getting a ton more athletic with this pick.

15.   Atlanta Hawks – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse

Ennis is probably the most NBA-ready point guard in the draft, as he is a smart player who can distribute the ball while shoot when necessary, and doesn’t make too many mistakes.  The Hawks have a talented roster but have a lot of holes, one of which is at the point-guard position, where they have been looking to get younger for a long time.  With Ennis, the Hawks get a guy who can come up big with clutch shots in big moments, and would love to have a player who could potentially become the leader and captain of this team that is searching for its identity at the bottom of the playoff standings every year.

16.  Sacramento Kings (from Hornets via Projected Trade from Bulls) – Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette

Projected Trade: 

Bulls Get: #8 Pick, Jason Terry
Kings Get: Taj Gibson, #16 Pick, #19 Pick

Payton has shot up draft boards from nowhere to become the 5th point guard taken, and falls right in the thankful hands of the kings who snatch up this potential superstar with the first draft pick they will have received from the Bulls by trading down.  Payton is an incredibly fast, penetrating point guard who could be a real asset to a Kings team that has so much talent but is struggling to harness it.  With Isiah Thomas’s future in question, the Kings would be glad to have a young and talented point guard who can get the ball to Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins while still score on his own, as well as a proven commodity in the big-man Gibson.  These two factors, plus the final pick they will receive, make this trade a no-brainer for the Kings.

17.   Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets via Projected Trade from Celtics) – Rodney Hood, SG/SF, Duke

Projected Trade:

Timberwolves Get: #6 Pick, #17 Pick, 2015 76ers 1st Round Pick, 2015 Clippers 1st Round Pick, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Keith Bogans
Celtics Get: Kevin Love, Kevin Martin

Hood is an extremely unique player, but he won’t necessarily benefit from this uniqueness in the NBA. He has the height of a small forward but the shooting ability and body build of a shooting guard. On offense, this creates a nice matchup situation, but on defense, he will likely struggle to guard either position at the NBA level.  The Timberwolves survived last season with Kevin Martin who is a very similar player, and it is safe to say that they T-Wolves would be happy to grab someone hear who is similar to Martin as he can be a dynamic role-player but with a higher ceiling, as he has age on his side.  He would add that offensive dynamic to pair with Warren that Minnesota will need as the rebuild.

18.   Charlotte Hornets (from Wizards via Projected Trade from Suns) – Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia 

Projected Trade: 

Suns Get: #9 Pick
Hornets Get: #14 Pick, #18 Pick

With the second pick they receive from the Suns, the Hornets take a chance on the second-best center prospect in the draft (which is not saying much as behind Embiid this is a very weak center class).  However, Nurkic has the height and size (6’11”, 280 lbs) to be considered by any team high in the draft who needs a center.  His stock does take a hit though, as he playd in Bosnia and it is unclear how his game will relate to the NBA. But the potential benefits will outweigh the potential risks in this case because, even though Nurkic is not the most athletic, the Hornets could surely benefit from a huge force in the middle of the paint who could end up playing much better than his draft position.  Players like Nurkic are why teams trade back as the Hornets do in this scenario, and it could really pay off for them.

19.  Sacramento Kings (Projected Trade from Chicago Bulls) – Dario Saric, PF, Croatia

Projected Trade: 

Bulls Get: #8 Pick, Jason Terry
Kings Get: Taj Gibson, #16 Pick, #19 Pick

With the Kings' final draft pick from Chicago, they also take a chance on an international prospect, although this one is quite bait different as Saric just signed a deal with a Turkish team that will likely leave him unable to play in the NBA for at least two years.  However, before that news broke, Saric was considered a Top-10 pick and to possibly have a better career than anyone who was available when the Kings would have picked at #8.  Saric is as intriguing as international prospects are, and would add a great scoring dynamic to a team that already has a talented lineup.  If Saric comes over in a few years and plays up to his potential, the Kings would have an absolute steal with this pick, as well as Payton at #16 and Gibson from the Bulls, making that trade one of their best ever.

20.  Toronto Raptors – Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri

With Kyle Lowry most likely gone in free-agency, the Raptors desperately need a point guard who can make the players around him better, and Clarkson certainly fits the bill.  He could use a little work on his shooting, but he is a great passer, leader, and ball handler, who could step in right away and give the Raptors quality minutes. This pick certainly isn’t an attempt to hit a home run but there’s no doubting that Clarkson would make an immediate impact on the Raptors backcourt.  The Raptors are looking to stay atop the standings and hope to be getting a player who will mesh well with their core of DeMar Derozan, Greivis Vasquez, Jonas Valanciunas, and Terrence Ross, giving them a very good chance at competing in the East again next season.

21.  New York Knicks (from Rockets via Mavericks & Lakers & Projected Trade from Thunder) – P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends (D-League)

Projected Trade:

Knicks Get: #21 Pick
Thunder Get: Iman Shumpert, Cash

The Knicks have been targeting Hairston for a while, as Phil Jackson seems to really like him, the only problem is that they have no first round pick as they traded it away for Carmelo Anthony (who might not even be on the team next year).  They can get rid of an overrated player in Shumpert to a team who would be willing to trade one of their two first round picks in the Thunder, plus adding in some money that the Knicks are always willing to spend to make sure the Thunder will make the trade.  The Thunder can get a proven defender in Shumpert while the Knicks take the more offensive approach, as Hairston is an extremely talented scorer.  Before leaving North Carolina, Hairston was on course to being a definite lottery pick. A year later, now in the NBA D League, Hairston’s stock has dropped a bit. However, his stock has not dropped because he has played poorly, in fact, he has absolutely dominated the D League. The reason his stock has dropped is because he is because he is playing in the D League itself.  But there is no denying Hairston's scoring ability, something that the Knicks so desperately covet.

22.  Memphis Grizzlies – Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan

The future of Zach Randolph and the rest of the Grizzlies' aging front court is in question, so they would be smart to take an NBA-ready player who might even propel them back into the playoffs.  Payne is about as NBA-ready as they come, having dominated as a veteran player for Michigan State this past season.  He would provide them with some immediate front court depth, and although he doesn’t have huge amounts of potential,  Payne could come in right away and help both on the boards and on offense.

23.  Utah Jazz (from Warriors) – Kyle Anderson, SF/PF, UCLA

Anderson was one of the players that I was most impressed with during March Madness this past year. Despite not leading UCLA too deep into the tournament, Anderson’s incredible skills were on display for every single minute. He played every position except for center for UCLA and honestly has the physical and technical tools to play the same amount of positions in the NBA. At 6’9” he certainly is sizable enough to play at SF and PF but he proved all season that he also has immaculate dribbling and passing skills that allow him to play PG or SG too. The Jazz don’t have any dire needs so taking a chance on a unique talent like Anderson makes a lot of sense here.

24.  Brooklyn Nets (from Trail Blazers via Projected Trade from Hornets) – Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland

Projected Trade:

Nets Get: #24 Pick (from Hornets)
Hornets Get: Marcus Thornton (from Nets), #39 Pick (from 76ers), #54 Pick (from 76ers)
76ers Get: Marquis Teague (from Nets)

The Nets are another team with no first round pick (and not very many picks in general for the next several years), but with such a talented roster will be looking to get back into the first round.  In order to do so they will need to give Marcus Thornton to the Hornets (who are willing to because they already had two first rounders and Thornton is young with potential), whom they acquired mid-season last year, as well as backup point guard Marquis Teague to bring in the 76ers who have the second-round picks to give the Hornets enough to make the trade.  With the pick they receive, the Nets take an insanely athletic but somewhat unknown foreign prospect in Clint Cappella.  He has seen his stock fall recently as he has shown in workouts to be a little raw. He is tall and lanky for his position (6’11”, 222 lbs) and a supreme rim-protector and overall defender as well as a rebounder. However, his size and athleticism are extremely rare intriguing to many teams, and he is in a similar situation to Giannis Antetokounmpo last year: an overseas prospect who is athletic but hard to project.  Capela could potentially play well above his draft position and make this trade look like a steal for the Nets who really could use one.

25.  Houston Rockets – K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson

The future of Chandler Parsons is in question as the Rockets may not have enough money to keep him, so they take his potential backup or replacement with their first-round pick in K.J. McDaniels.  McDaniels could take some time to develop his overall game and shooting ability, but he has a lot of potential, and if he refines his skills he could become something special.  The Rockets don't have many needs so they aren't under much pressure, and this seems like the safe pick for them here.

26.   Miami Heat – Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut

After dreadful play from their point guards in the NBA Finals and Mario Chalmers entering free agency, this would be the perfect opportunity for the Heat to take a big name player late in the draft who could dish the ball to Miami’s stars while score a little when needed. Taking Napier would keep Norris Cole on the bench, a role in which he thrived last year, and would also prevent LeBron James or Dwayne Wade from having to play point guard while they should be getting open to score. Napier would be a perfect pick this late in the draft and would add much needed defense, ball handling, and a scoring punch from the point guard position. He has made a career of defying his disbelievers, and on a team like Miami the sky would be the limit for Napier.

27.  Phoenix Suns (from Pacers) – Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee

Stokes is a very capable defender and rebounder, which is pretty much what team’s are going to get this late in the draft. He can play in the low post, and would be a good developmental piece to put next to Miles Plumlee and the Morris brothers who could hopefully become more than that.  Although Stokes is a little small for a power forward (6’9”), he has extremely long arms (7’1”) and those could well make up for it. For a team like the Suns who are comprised of many young, athletic players, adding a guy like Stokes to fill in the holes and help out in the non-flashy aspects of the game will really benefit their team.

28.  Los Angeles Clippers – Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse

Grant has all the athleticism and physical attributes that you want to see in a small forward, but because his technical ability is lacking a bit, he may project as more of a long-term selection.  The Clippers have a very deep and talented roster, so Grant would have time to develop his skills. Additionally, Grant can play at both the small forward and power forward positions, and the Clippers are in need of some depth at those two positions.

29.  Oklahoma City Thunder – Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State

Cleanthony Early has the talent alone to be a lottery pick in this draft, however, at the age of 23, the general consensus is that he may not have as much potential as other players in the class. The good news for Early is that the Thunder are in win-now mode, and a rookie that can come in and immediately add something to the team is extremely valuable. The Thunder are packed at the small forward position, but that shouldn’t be a problem for Early either, as he has the ability to play power forward too, and would be a nice offensive big-man to contrast Serge Ibaka’s defensive tendencies.

30.   San Antonio Spurs – Artem Klimenko, C, Russia

As previously noted, this year’s center crop is extremely weak as only three are projected to be taken in the first round, but they are all full of potential. The second of two international center prospects is Klimenko, who is a HUGE (pun intended) unknown because of the league in which he played in Russia. However, at 7’1” he is the tallest player in the draft and is a very good defender, two qualities which are very important in centers. He is small for his size (228 lbs) and therefore may not be strong enough to guard some of the bigger centers in the league, but all of his upside is exactly the reason why the Spurs would take a chance on him. Gregg Popovich has made a name for more international players than one can count, and this could be his next great accomplishment. The defending champions have such a deep roster that they can afford to take a developmental player with the last pick in the first round, and perhaps he will learn from Duncan and Popovich and realize his insane potential.


  1. The Cavs have no need for Thad Young or his large contract, Philly won't get up to #1 without giving up 3 & 10.

  2. Thad Young and the #3 for Andrew Wiggins? Wow. No chance they give up the #1 for that.