With the NBA Draft just two days away, here is my final mock draft (with trades once again). Be sure to let me know what you think by commenting below or tweeting at me. And I hope you are not looking for mock drafts 1-81 because you will be looking for a long time (they do not exist).
*NY/OKC Trade: Thunder get Iman Shumpert, Knicks get No. 21 pick
OTHER MOVES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
-Phoenix has three first round picks (14, 18, 27) and does not want to add three rookies to an already young roster. Either a trade or the Suns will draft a player and stash them overseas.
-Sacramento is now actively shopping the No. 8 pick. Bleacher Report talked about a trade sending to Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson to Detroit for Josh Smith. This might then line up a trade involving Rajon Rondo (Smith’s close friend) for Sacramento’s No. 8 pick and other pieces.
-There is so many solid players in this draft that even as I was doing this mock draft Marcus Smart started to fall simply because of the team picking did not need a point guard. Look for teams to move up if a player like this actually does fall out of the top ten.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
Now with the injury to Joel Embiid everything gets shaken up. The Cavs could still trade the pick here, but right now they are not getting good enough offers to make a trade worth it. I am starting to think they stay put, take a player in Wiggins who owner Dan Gilbert likes, and go from there in trying to make the playoffs this season.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
The Bucks are still in a spot where they just take whichever of the top 2 players in this draft falls to them. I could see Milwaukee trading this pick to Utah for their No. 5 pick and Derrick Favors, or two Philly for No. 3 and Thaddeus Young. The Bucks need a lot and it comes down to how much they like Parker or Wiggins.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
So the 76ers lose on their man Wiggins unless they are willing to give the Cavs more than just this pick and Thaddeus Young to move up. If they stay here they will take the best player not injured and that’s Exum. They drafted a big man last year by the name of Nerlens Noel who was also injured so I do not think they do that again.
4. Orlando Magic: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
It is so hard for me to see Embiid fall any farther than this even if he is currently injured. His upside is too high for Orlando to pass on when the Magic could use a rim protector. A lot of teams could use what Embiid brings and I think Orlando takes him if he is here at No. 4 knowing that this draft is particularly deep at their main need: point guard.
5. Utah Jazz: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
I think Utah takes the best available prospect which to them is Vonleh, but I do not know if he will be the fifth best player out of this draft. Utah could use a wing but it would be a reach for them to go Nik Stauskus or Gary Harris here. I could see Utah trying to move up to No. 2 or 3 and if that fails I could see them trading with Denver at No. 11, for example, and moving back to the teens.
6. Boston Celtics: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Gordan is a freak athlete that the Celtics could use right away. He has also been linked to the Celtics for a while now as they player they like at No. 6. Boston is trying to move this pick, but I think they end up staying put and taking Gordon who will make an immediate impact on the floor.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Even with the foot concerns the Lakers have a lot of needs and Randle would fit nicely. I could see Randle being a more athletic Zach Randolph which would be a great pick at No. 7. The Lakers could also go Marcus Smart here and I think either player makes sense.
8. Sacramento Kings: Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette
A lot of team like Payton, a player who could come in a defend right away. He needs help with his jump shot and that could come with time. I think this fits in Sacramento even when the Kings re-sign Isaiah Thomas. But then again there have been rumors and I think the Kings will move this pick and not be on the clock at No. 8.
9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
McBuckets makes sense for Charlotte here and they would get someone who at worst will be just a great shooter in this league. I think McDermott will be a solid stretch four and next to Jefferson that could work out really well for a Hornets team that needs offense.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Nik Stauskus, SG, Michigan
The Sixers second pick of this draft is used on an athletic wing who can really shoot it. This may cause a jam in the young backcourt in Philly, but it is not worth reaching for a big man here. Could that mean Michael Carter-Williams is on the move if this is how the draft goes? Maybe. Or they find a way to use all three as they rebuild through the draft.
11. Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
This pick just makes sense for a Denver team that has a lot of young pieces already. Harris could come in a fill a need on the wing. I could see Harris being one of the top 5 best players out of this draft and is also NBA ready. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes higher than No. 11.
12. Orlando Magic: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
Well this worked out well for Orlando. If Smart falls to No. 12 it would be a home run draft for this franchise. They take Embiid at No. 4, who may be the best player out of this draft in a couple years, and get the point guard they wanted if he had come out last year here at No. 12. The Magic couldn’t plan this out any better. I am not sure Smart falls this far though, but it would have to be a team trading up to get him because I could not find a team currently slated in picks 5-11 that would take him.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Young, SF, Kentucky
Minnesota may have a lot of needs very soon if and when Kevin Love gets traded. I think Love gets traded on draft night so get ready. If Minnesota still has this pick Young makes sense: an athletic wing who could turn into a good shooter and will be able to defend his position right away.
14. Phoenix Suns: Dario Saric, PF, Croatia
Even though Saric has said he isn’t coming over to the NBA right away anymore that is okay for Phoenix who has three first round picks. If they do not trade some or all of the picks they will look to draft talent and stash the players overseas for a couple seasons. This works out perfect, but I think the Suns move at least one pick.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
16. Chicago Bulls: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
The Bulls may not have either pick they currently hold in this draft as they may look to acquire Arron Afflalo from the Magic or they will trade these picks along with a player in order to clear cap space to get Melo or LeBron.
17. Boston Celtics: T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State
The comparisons to Paul Pierce start with the mention of this name, so why not. One thing is for sure: this kid can score with the best of them in this draft.
18. Phoenix Suns: Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA
19. Chicago Bulls: Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
The Bulls are trying to get a point guard out of this draft if they keep the picks and now rumors are the Bulls favor Napier over Tyler Ennis.
20. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
Wouldn’t it be great to see the Canadian Ennis fall to the Raports and give that city and team even more of a reason to be excited? They already have a young core and bringing point guard Kyle Lowry back is an important signing I believe they will get done, but drafting Ennis to back up and even sometimes play next to Lowry could make this team even more dangerous.
*21. New York Knicks (from Oklahoma City): P.J. Hairston, SG, UNC
The Knicks and Phil Jackson have said they like Hairston and at No. 21 its a good pick. I just do not like the Knicks taking another shooting guard if they make a move to get into the draft. I would like to see the Knicks use Shumpert to get a pick in this draft to get a point guard or big man.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Rodney Hood, SG, Duke
The Grizz seem to always need a shooter and if Hood falls this fall it would be a great pick for them here. For some reason I think a team takes Hood in the teens.
23. Utah Jazz: Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri
24. Charlotte Hornets: Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
25. Houston Rockets: Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee
26: Miami Heat: Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan
Kyle Anderson, a stretch four out of UCLA who can handle the ball is also an option for Miami here.
27. Phoenix Suns: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Yes, another European guy if the Suns keep this pick. Phoenix does not want to keep adding youth to an already really young and growing roster.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State
30. San Antonio Spurs: Damien Ingles, SF, France -OR- Nikola Jokic, PF, Serbia
Surprise, surprise. The Spurs go with an overseas player. At this point it should be expected for them to take a player like this and to also hit on that player.