The 2014 Hardwood Paroxym NBA Mock Draft: 100% Original and Official

Flickr | Owl's Flight

Flickr | Owl’s Flight

It’s now June, which means it is officially Mock Draft season. Now, as I’m sure you are aware, there are several weaknesses inherent in every mock, chief among them that only one set of reasoning and logic is used for 30 teams instead of 30 sets of reasoning and logic. What I think is a great idea for a team to do could be the exact opposite of what they think they should do. What I perceive as a weakness could be seen as a strength in the respective front offices. Surely, they have a better handle on their personnel than I do, and they’ve done exponentially more scouting. I am just one person, who, in an endeavor to learn who every prospect was, starting doing a mock draft and decided to post it on the internet.

With that done, let’s mock this joint.


Round 1

1- Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins. SF, Kansas. 19 years old.

While there’s certainly more than one way to go with this pick, the word on the street is that the Cavs aren’t comfortable with Embiid’s back issues in the long term, which would seem to leave this pick between Wiggins and Parker. For a team like Cleveland, with a ball-dominant, high-volume guy at point, Wiggins almost has to be the pick. What he could be is tantalizing. What he is right now should be good enough to get out on the break and defend his position at a high level from day one.

Alternate Pick: Joel Embiid

2- Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid. C, Kansas. 20 years old.

If the Cavs took Wiggins, I have to imagine the Bucks would jump all over Embiid. Sure, they have Larry Sanders, but he’s not nearly the player Embiid could be, and he’s had his problems. Besides, when you’re as bad as the Bucks were last year, there shouldn’t really be anyone set in stone for the future. Except Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Alternate Pick: Dante Exum

3- Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker. F, Duke, 19 years old.
Taking Parker at the three would do several things for Philly. First, it would allow Thaddeus Young to play off ball more than he did last season, where he remains an often lethal cutter and finisher. Secondly, it gives them a player to build an offense more advanced than “Michael Carter-Williams dribble a bunch” around a player they should be able to count on for an extended period.

Alternate Pick: Dante Exum

4- Orlando Magic: Dante Exum. PG, Australian Institute of Sport, 18 years old.
This would be, in my opinion, the easiest pick in the draft aside from Embiid at #2. The Magic have the makings of a solid core with Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and the like, but what they don’t have is a point guard. Jameer Nelson isn’t what he once was, and what he once was wasn’t close to what Exum could be. In many ways, he remains a mystery, and what would the Magic Kingdom be without mystery? (throw tomatoes here)

Alternate Pick: Marcus Smart

5- Utah Jazz: Aaron Gordon. F, Arizona. 18 years old.
Truth be told, this is one of the harder picks to make in this entire draft. Utah has its share of needs (small forwards, mainly), but none of the forwards at this point in the draft seem to be likely. Another power forward probably isn’t what the Jazz would want here, but luckily, Aaron Gordon is a tweener. He could, conceivably, play both positions. It’s entirely possible that I’m merely making up a reason not to take Vonleh or Randle here and the Jazz’ll just take the best player on their board.

Alternate Pick: Marcus Smart

6- Boston Celtics: Noah Vonleh. PF, Indiana. 18 years old.
The Celtics, despite what their fans might tell you, need help up front. Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass remain replacement-level at best, while Kelly Olynyk remains almost hilariously bad at times. Jared Sullinger proved to be pretty good, but I don’t think he’s going to be good enough to win with as your lead guy in the frontcourt, even in the Eastern Conference. Vonleh should be solid defensively from the get-go, and his physical profile is the sort that teams often gamble on. He’s drawn comparisons to Chris Bosh, but he’s a lot bigger than Bosh was at this stage.

Alternate Pick: Julius Randle

7- Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle. PF, Kentucky. 19 years old.
It’s reasonable to assume that the Lakers would opt to draft a point guard in this draft, especially if one like Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart is available. However, the Lakers have never existed in the same reality as the rest of us, the reality where reason works and everything doesn’t fall your way through sheer popularity and dogged richness. So the Lakers will likely pick the “biggest” name left, a guy who should be able to bully his way to a respectable career as a 15-18 point per game scorer. With how thin the Lakers’ frontcourt was this season (and with Pau Gasol likely gone), this is hardly a silly pick. Just a very Lakers one.

Alternate Pick: Marcus Smart

8- Sacramento Kings: Marcus Smart. G, Oklahoma State. 20 years old.
As of this writings, reports have the Kings looking to trade this pick for a “veteran,” so it’s unlikely that this will even happen. If I were to factor trades into this, it’d be essentially impossible to do anything, so I’ll just operate under the assumption that everyone will pick in order. It would be a very boring draft, but it would be a fast one. That being said, Marcus Smart would easily be the #1 guy on the board at this point, and the Kings will likely need a new point guard once Isaiah Thomas signs a larger deal somewhere else. Even if he doesn’t, Smart could play next to him.

Alternate Pick: Nik Stauskas

9- Charlotte Hornets: James Young. SG, Kentucky. 18 years old.
This would be the first real reach in my mock draft, as Young, ranked #15 on DraftExpress’ board, becomes the first shooting guard off the board despite being ranked below both Gary Harris and Nik Stauskas. However, he is a superior athlete and likely has a higher ceiling than either of those players. He’s a gifted scorer and will immediately help improve what was among the worst offenses in the league this season. It just feels likely.

Alternate Pick: Zach LaVine

10- Philadelphia 76ers: Zach LaVine. G, UCLA. 19 years old.
Another pick, another reach. LaVine is one of the more polarizing prospects in what is a fairly polarizing class, and there would surely be some who call his being taken at #10 a huge reach. If any team is going to take a shot on him, why not the one with seven draft picks? What the 76ers need, besides everything, is solid rotation players. You can find those in the second round. What you can’t find is a player with the upside LaVine represents. He’s a fantastic athlete and profiles to eventually be a decent defender. He’s got a workable jumpshot and could be a terror in the open court. If he’s bad, he’s bad. If he’s great, he, Parker and Noel could form one of the best cores in the NBA.

Alternate Pick: Dario Saric

11- Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris. SG, Michigan State. 19 years old.
Speaking of “safe picks,” Gary Harris is a prospect who has perhaps been hamstrung a bit by that label. Touted as a shooter, Harris is another wing prospect in this draft who should be able to defend at a decent level right away. If his shot translates to the NBA game, and the rest of his game fills out, he could be an Arron Afflalo-type, which is what the Nuggets haven’t had since they traded Arron Afflalo.

Alternate Pick: Jusuf Nurkic

12- Orlando Magic: Doug McDermott. F, Creighton. 22 years old.
Truth be told, the Magic probably don’t need another forward. What they need is more shooting, and no one offers more shooting in this draft than the NCAA’s 5th all-time leading scorer. McDermott’s performance at the combine shows that he might be more viable at the 3 than initially thought, and while the Magic have Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris, they’ve never shown a reluctance to play tweeners before and they won’t now if they get a shooter the caliber of Doug McDermott.

Alternate Pick: Adriean Payne

13- Minnesota Timberwolves: Dario Saric. F, Cibona Zagreb. 20 years old.
Here’s another “Timberwolves pick a white guy” joke, for free. With that over, Dario Saric is another interesting lottery-level guy in this draft. Some see him as the evolutionary Hedo Turkoglu. Some see him as a young Boris Diaw. Some see him as an athletically overmatched, poor-shooting point forward with a very low ceiling. Regardless, he’s the sort of thing the Wolves need: a forward with a defined skillset.

Alternate Pick: Nik Stauskas

14- Phoenix Suns: Jusuf Nurkic. C, Cedevita. 19 years old.
Jusuf Nurkic is a giant person. He isn’t a great athlete, but he isn’t a bad one, and he projects to be a high-level finisher and point-scorer for his position whenever it is he decides to come to the NBA. The Suns have the luxury of both several first round picks and roster flexibility for miles if they want to take him. He could end up being very good in this league.

Alternate Pick: Adriean Payne

15- Atlanta Hawks: Nik Stauskas. SG, Michigan. 20 years old.
If Doug McDermott is the best shooter in this draft, no one told Nik Stauskas. While the Hawks already have Kyle Korver, their defeat at the hands of the Pacers proved that there’s no reason that the Hawks can’t have two three-point shooters. Or four. Or twelve. There are enough shots for everyone. Stauskas figures to be fairly effective off the dribble as well, and especially coming off screens. He fits right in.

Alternate Pick: TJ Warren

16- Chicago Bulls: Adriean Payne. PF, Michigan State. 23 years old.
It’s looking more and more likely that Payne will be gone by the time this pick comes around, but if he’s not, the Bulls should be all over him. He’s got good size, can stretch the floor, is a better athlete than he seems and just projects as an all-around force for 15-20 minutes per game. With Carlos Boozer likely amnestied and Nikola Mirotic likely arriving, the Bulls don’t need impact players in the frontcourt. They need depth. And hey, he’s already old enough to be the veteran presence they seem to desire.

Alternate Pick: TJ Warren

17- Boston Celtics: Tyler Ennis. PG, Syracuse. 19 years old.
This is a pick that, in all honesty, I don’t have much justification for. The Celtics have two first rounders, and they were bad, so I suppose taking the best player available isn’t the worst idea. Plus, if Ennis ends up being good, it might soften the blow of the eventual Rondo trade.

Alternate Pick: Rodney Hood

18-Phoenix Suns: TJ Warren. SF, North Carolina State. 20 years old.
The Suns would jump all over Warren if he made it this far. He’s a deccent athlete and an absolute terror in the open court. He can’t shoot, but neither could PJ Tucker when he arrived in Phoenix two years ago. Warren might be a decent defender, but he might not. That’s not what the Suns would draft him for. He’s a scorer, in the classic Paul Pierce sense. He doesn’t blow you away, but he just gets buckets.

Alternate Pick: Jerami Grant

19- Chicago Bulls: Elfrid Payton. PG, Louisiana Lafayette. 20 years old.
Another guy who likely won’t be here at this spot, Payton is arguably the best perimeter defender in this draft, a Patrick Beverley type who not so much can’t shoot as doesn’t. He should be able to carve out a nice career as a disruptor off the bench who can get to the rim and use his well above average size to bully sparkplug types right back onto the bench. He could step right into Kirk Hinrich’s minutes.

Alternate Pick: Rodney Hood

20- Toronto Raptors: Jerami Grant. F, Syracuse. 20 years old.
If there’s anything the Nets series showed us, it’s that the Raptors need more depth. They played John Salmons heavy minutes, so, using my advanced “Where Did John Salmons Play Heavy Minutes” formula, I have determined that the Raptors need more wings. Jerami Grant is one of those! And he won’t shoot very much, so DeMar DeRozan likes him already!

Alternate Pick: Kyle Anderson

21- Oklahoma City Thunder: Rodney Hood. SF, Duke. 21 years old.
In all honesty, Rodney Hood should and will go earlier than this. He’s a classic 3&D guy in today’s NBA, a good, fluid athlete who shouldered a large role with Duke and generally acquitted himself well. A team like OKC, who always seems to be looking for a good wing to pair with Kevin Durant, could do a lot worse than Hood when replacing Thabo Sefolosha’s minutes this offseason.

Alternate Pick: Cleanthony Early

22- Memphis Grizzlies: K.J. McDaniels. SF, Clemson.  20 years old.
At this point in the draft, picking for need is usually a better idea than picking whoever the “best player available” is (even if the best player available for most teams is whoever fits their needs). For the Grizzlies, that’s less apparent. Theirs is an uncertain future, what with the front office turmoil and the Zach Randolph uncertainty. So the question remains: what is their best need? If they still think they’re contenders, it has to be depth at the wings. Tayshaun Prince is bad (and should feel bad). KJ McDaniels is a good enough defender to satisfy the Grizzlies’ percieved desire for everyone except Zeebo to be a great defender, and he could develop into an interesting offensive prospect in the future. Safe pick in a very unsafe time for Memphis.

Alternate Pick: Kyle Anderson

23- Utah Jazz: Kyle Anderson. SF, UCLA. 20 years old.
Kyle Anderson is another of these guys who may or may not be polarizing to scouts in this draft. Some guys see him as the next great point forward in the NBA, some see him as a potential bust (even in the late first round, which I think is technically impossible). He was a point guard at UCLA, but if he’s athletically limited against NBA 3s, imagine how badly he’d be outclassed by the likes of Eric Bledsoe and Russell Westbrook. All things being said, he’s a clever player, and clever players will always find ways to contribute in this league. Word to Shane Battier.

Alternate Pick: Clint Capela

24- Charlotte Hornets: Mitch McGary. C, Michigan. 21 years old.
McGary is highly skilled, and will look to blaze every team who passes on hi- wait, we did this one already. He might be good. He might not. He’s had enough injury and, ahem, “off-court” issues to validate a late first round selection. Potentially, he could help replace the weirdness of Josh McRoberts for the Hornets.

Alternate Pick: Jordan Adams

25- Houston Rockets: Kristaps Porzingis. C, Sevilla. 18 years old.
No one’s really sure what to make of Porzingis or if he’ll ever come to the NBA, but he’s already a very good athlete with a good looking shot and a staggering 6.6 blocks per 40 minutes. Rim protection and floor-stretching are the way of the future in the NBA big man. Just ask Serge Ibaka.

Alternate Pick: Clint Capela

26- Miami Heat: Cleanthony Early. F, Wichita State. 23 years old.
The Heat are going to need as many surplus wings as they can with Shane Battier almost certainly retiring, Michael Beasley being awful and James Jones apparently having died at some point in 2012. Early is a fierce competitor, a good athlete and a burgeoning shooter. He should be able to grab a few spot minutes right away.

Alternate Pick: PJ Hairston

27- Phoenix Suns: Clint Capela. PF, Chalon. 20 years old.
Capela has, like most draft-and-stash project bigs, seen his draft stock vary wildly. Earlier this season, he was a potential lottery pick, even slipping into the top 10. Now, he’s a late-first rounder. None of that should change who he is, which is a great athlete and potential game-changing shot blocker. The Ibaka type most teams would do well to look for. Phoenix has a veritable army of first-rounders, so why not swing for the fences here?

Alternate Pick: Glenn Robinson

28- Los Angeles Clippers: Glenn Robinson III. SF, Michigan. 20 years old.
While most mocks would have the Clippers taking whatever big man is highest on the remaining board, and for good reason, I have them getting more athletic on the wings, a deficiency that was sorely abused by the Thunder in the playoffs. At this point in this draft, you’d be lucky to find a real contributing big man. So the Clippers snag another potential lob target for Chris Paul a few years from now.

Alternate Pick: Patric Young

29- Oklahoma City Thunder: P.J. Hairston. SG, Texas Legends. 21 years old.
If there’s any team who should understand the value of a good 3 and D guy, it’s these Thunder after the things Danny Green has done to them this postseason. Hairston had some…issues at North Carolina, but buy all accounts his stint with the D-League’s Texas Legends helped get his head on straight, so to speak. He’s an NBA player, so there’s not much else to say. Assuredly worth a pick at this stage. Probably earlier.

Alternate Pick: Shabazz Napier

30- San Antonio Spurs: Damien Inglis. SF, Roanne. 19 years old.
We all know how much the Spurs love their draft-and-stash Euros you’ve never heard of. Here’s why you should remember him: he’s 19 years old, a great athlete, and has a 7-3 wingspan at 6-8. That’s stupendous, and if he ever comes over, he could be the Kawhi Leonard to Kawhi’s Leonard’s Tim Duncan in the future.

Alternate Pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic


Second Round

31- Milwaukee Bucks: Shabazz Napier. PG, UCONN. 22 years old.
The NCAA Tournament shouldn’t be as big a factor in draft stock as it is. That being said, Napier is a benificiary of it. The Bucks need guards.

32- Philadelphia 76ers:  Jordan Adams. SG, UCLA. 19 years old.
Smooth scorer, limited athlete. One of those “rotation players” I was talking about before.

33- Cleveland Cavaliers: CJ Wilcox. SG, Washington. 23 years old.
Will probably go earlier than this, but I’m not sure if his skillset will be unique, even on the Cavs, even among Cavs named C.J.

34- Dallas Mavericks: Patric Young. C, Florida. 22 years old.
Patric Young is a very strong and will play good defense, thereby being the one thing Brandan Wright isn’t and the one thing Samuel Dalembert can’t do. Problem…alleviated.

35- Utah Jazz: Vasilije Micic. PG, Mega Vizura. 21 years old.
The Jazz probably shouldn’t be playing some of the point guards they’ve employed the last few years. Hopefully by the time Micic comes to the NBA, they’ll realize that, too.

36- Milwaukee Bucks: Deonte Burton. PG, Nevada. 22 years old.
Deonte Burton is a point guard. The Bucks need point guards. They also need shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards, and centers.

37- Toronto Raptors: Bogdan Bogdanvoic. SG, Partizan. 21 years old.
The owner of one of the great names since Magnus Ver Magnusson, Bogdan Squared is something of an unknown prospect, even at this advanced stage. He might be great whenever he comes over. He might not. For a second rounder, what else would you want?

38- Detroit Pistons: Jarnell Stokes. PF, Tennessee. 20 years old.
Stokes is a large human who plays hard on the glass. He’s probably better than Jason Maxiell, who famously played a lot of minutes for this team once upon a time.

39- Philadelphia 76ers: Isaiah Austin. C, Baylor.  20 years old.
He could go a lot earlier, he could go undrafted, but his potential, frame, and athletic profile will lead someone to take a shot on him. Why not the team with seven picks?

40- Minnesota Timberwolves: Nick Johnson. SG, Arizona. 21 years old.
Very small, very limited, very good athlete. That last one is what the Wolves are interested in.

41- Denver Nuggets: Spencer Dinwiddie. G, Colorado. 21 years old.
Dinwiddie would almost certainly go higher had he not torn his ACL last season. As it stands, he maintains that he’s a point guard. The Nuggets certainly wouldn’t mind playing him as one.

42- Houston Rockets: DeAndre Daniels. SF, UCONN. 22 years old.
Another guy who might sneak into the late-first fringe, Daniels is a big kid with a lot of potential. He’d be in RGV faster than you can say his name. He’d probably help a lot.

43- Atlanta Hawks: Jordan Clarkson. G, Missouri. 21 years old.
An interesting combo-sort with some good skills and size. Should probably go earlier than this.

44- Minnesota Timberwolves: Artem Klimenko. C, Saratov. 20 years old.
Large, relatively mysterious human who might never come over. Potentially useful trade chip.

45- Charlotte Hornets: Walter Tavares. C, Gran Canaro. 20 years old.
I feel silly for having Tavares this low when he has a 7-9 wingspan. Someone will take a flyer on him. I mean, look at Rudy Gobert.

46- Washington Wizards: Nikola Jokic. C, Mega Vizura. 19 years old.
Another Nikola. Probably should have sent him to Minnesota so he could become a part of the Pekovic collective.

47- Philadelphia 76ers: Thanasis Antetokounmpo. SF, Delaware 87ers. 21 years old.
THANASIIIIISSSSSS will probably not be a great NBA player, but he’s going to play his ass off and will endear himself to whatever fanbase he ends up with.

48- Milwaukee Bucks: Moussa Diagne. C, Fuenlabrada. 20 years old.
An intriguing athlete who hasn’t been playing the sport all that long, Diagne’s rebounding numbers are more than enough to justify his selection.

49- Chicago Bulls: Semaj Christon. PG, Xavier. 21 years old.
Honestly, I don’t think he’ll be drafted, and I don’t think the Bulls will take a point, because they’re obviously signing Kirk Hinrich to the full Mid-Level Exception, but this wouldn’t be the worst thing (that Hinrich thing would be the worst thing).

50- Phoenix Suns: Jabari Brown. SG, Missouri. 21 years old.
Good athlete. Depth pick.

51- Dallas Mavericks: Dwight Powell. PF, Stanford. 22 years old.
One of the older prospects in the draft but not without intrigue. Long and lean, with some floor-stretching ability.

52- Philadelphia 76ers. Devyn Marble. SG, Iowa. 21 years old.
High-level college scorer with a low-level professional ceiling. Would probably light the D-League on fire, though, and Philly would be wise to put some real talent down there to get things going. Hard to farm with no crops, or something. That’s the first farming metaphor I’ve ever made, and I was born and raised in Indiana.

53- Minnesota Timberwolves: Cory Jefferson. PF, Baylor. 23 years old.
Could very easily go much, much, earlier. Has a nice set of skills but a very low ceiling. Will probably stick on whatever roster he ends up on.

54- Philadelphia 76ers: Russ Smith. PG, Louisville. 21 years old.
Very much the sort of guy who plays just well enough to hold your interest long enough to ignore how bad he is the rest of the time. Also very much the sort of guy who goes to the D-League and stays there. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, and he’d be great fun there.

55- Miami Heat: Jahii Carson. PG, Arizona State. 21 years old.
I’m starting to think Jahii won’t be drafted, because he is bad AND tiny, not the most advantageous combination.

56- Denver Nuggets: LaQuinton Ross. SF, Ohio State. 21 years old.
Probably a better talent than this spot, just too spotty. See spot run. See spot dunk. See spot fail to shoot consistently at the NBA level.

57- Indiana Pacers: Joe Harris. SF, Virginia. 22 years old.
This is the most Pacers pick I can imagine because it basically ensures Rasual Butler’s continued employment. They’d probably play Harris over Chris Copeland too, though.

58- San Antonio Spurs: Ioannis Papapetrou. SF, Olympiakos. 20 years old.
Awesomely-named guy who we might never see. Oh, Spurs.

59- Toronto Raptors: Johnny O’Bryant. C, LSU. 22 years old.
I’m fairly confident he’ll go earlier than this, but he would help bring some size to a fairly thin frontcourt, both in depth and physical stature. Amir Johnson’s a bad dude but he gets hammered sometimes, and Jonas isn’t good enough to help him yet.

60- San Antonio Spurs: Rasmus Larsen. PF, Manresa. 19 years old.
Rasmus Larsen is a mystery to me. I desire more Rasmus Larsen in my life.


Potential Undrafted Contributors: Khem Birch, PF. Markel Brown, G. C.J. Fair, F. Keith Appling, PG. DeAndre Kane, SG. Jordan McRae, SG. Melvin Ejim, SF. Josh Huestis, SF. Aaron Craft, G. Lamar Patterson, SF. Juvonte Reddic, PF. Jordan Bachynski, C. Alec Brown, C.

Brian Schroeder

Brian Schroeder is first and foremost a student, hoping to finish his studies at IPFW within the next solar decade. He enjoys pontificating almost as much as he enjoys using the word "pontificating." He plays more video games than you, and his work can be found at Bulls101.com, The Basketball Post, and Digital Refrain, alongside his personal blog, which you probably don't want to read.