We’re only a week away from the NBA draft, so it must be time for my last mock draft, and here it is:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: F Jabari Parker, Duke
At first, I thought the Cavs believed that Andrew Wiggins was the best prospect in this draft. It’s pretty much a toss up between the two of them in terms of who has a bigger upside. Wiggins had a much better workout, is more athletic, and has a very high ceiling. However, Parker is the best player in this draft to make an impact right away. If the Cavs are looking at trying to get Lebron, who wants to win a championship this year, they would want to draft someone who can make an immediate impact.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: F Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
The Bucks don’t really care which position the person they draft is because they have every possible positional need. They will just go with the best possible player on the board. That would be Andrew Wiggins. If Wiggins gets drafted 1st by the Cavs, the Bucks will draft Jabari Parker. Wiggins has an insane vertical and has very high potential. He is definitely at least the second best prospect in this draft.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: C Joel Embiid, Kansas
Once again, it’s another situation in which they want to go with the best player on the board because the best player on the board is so much more valuable than the next best player on the board. Sure, he’s had injury problems in the past, but his ceiling is very high, and it’s not like the 76ers are trying to win the championship next year. There might not even be a ceiling for this Cameroonian center. Though the 76ers have a young center that they think is bound for great things in Nerlens Noel, but the twin towers strategy could work very well.
4. Orlando Magic: G Dante Exum, Australian Institute of Sport
The Magic have a solid starting lineup that can soon contribute. The lone flaw of the lineup is the point guard position, where Jameer Nelson has played since 2005. He has put up above average numbers since he came into the league and has even made an all-star game. However, though it would be nice to have a veteran leader of the squad in Jameer Nelson. A 32 year old point guard is not what you want on a young up and coming team. You would want all of the young players to play with each other for years. That is why they need the 18 year old point guard from Australia.
5. Utah Jazz: F Julius Randle, Kentucky
The Jazz are officially in a state of rebuilding. The Jazz are hoping to build around a core of Trey Burke and whoever they draft with this 5th pick. They would be elated if a talent like Julius Randle fell to them, and they’re lucky there are so many other top class talents. Now, it is likely that he will fall to Utah. If he was in last years draft, he may have even gone first overall. He could be a star some day in this league, and, as he showed during March Madness, he can enjoy success in the big tournaments.
6. Boston Celtics: F Noah Vonleh, Indiana
7. Los Angeles Lakers: G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
8. Sacramento Kings: F Aaron Gordon, Arizona
9. Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit Pistons): G Nik Stauskas, Michigan
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans Pelicans): F Doug McDermott, Creighton
11. Denver Nuggets: G Gary Harris, Michigan State
12. Orlando Magic (from New York Knicks): F Adreian Payne, Michigan State
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: F Rodney Hood, Duke
14. Phoenix Suns: C Jusuf Nurkic, Cedevita Zagreb
15. Atlanta Hawks: F James Young, Kentucky
16. Chicago Bulls (from Charlotte Hornets): F Dario Saric, Cibona Zagreb
17. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets): G Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette
18. Phoenix Suns (from Washington Wizards): F T.J. Warren, N.C. State
19. Chicago Bulls: F Clint Capela, Élan Chalon
20. Toronto Raptors: G Zach LaVine, UCLA
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dallas Mavericks): G P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends
22. Memphis Grizzlies: F Kyle Anderson, UCLA
23. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): F K.J. McDaniels, Clemson
24. Charlotte Hornets (from Portland Trail Blazers): G Shabazz Napier, UConn
25. Houston Rockets: G Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
26. Miami Heat: C Mitch McGary, Michigan
27. Phoenix Suns (from Indiana Pacers): F Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
28. Los Angeles Clippers: G Jordan Clarkson, Missouri
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: F Jerami Grant, Syracuse
30. San Antonio Spurs: F Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee