Blakely's Mock Draft 1.0: A surprise for the Celtics?

Blakely's Mock Draft 1.0: A surprise for the Celtics?
April 21, 2014, 6:00 pm
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BOSTON — One of the perks of being one of the best in the NBA for years is the lottery isn't something you put a ton of energy, effort or thought into.

It's a spectator sport, kind of like what the playoffs are for perennial cellar-dwellers like Sacramento and Orlando.

But in this year's draft, there's no LeBron James walking to the podium to shake commissioner Adam Silver's hand, or a Tim Duncan, or a Dwight Howard, or any of the high-impact-from-Day-One rookies taken with the No. 1 overall pick in recent years. 

This draft consists of a Big Three at the top: Duke's Jabari Parker and Kansas' 1-2 punch of Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, with each having a relatively equal shot at the No. 1 spot.

But there's still talent beyond that, the kind that can bolster the rosters of many teams looking to improve upon their record this past season and give them a solid building block towards the future.

Between now and then, players will rise and fall in the eyes of many as they navigate their way through a series of individual workouts and next month's combine in Chicago.

Here is's Mock Draft 1.0, with current draft positions based on records as well as the results from last week's random drawings which broke four ties. The May 20 draft lottery will determine the order of the top three picks, with the remaining teams slotted based on their records.

1. Milwaukee: Andrew Wiggins, G, Kansas — A questionable motor aside, Wiggins has the greatest upside of anyone in this draft.

2. Philadelphia: Jabari Parker, F, Duke — The most NBA-ready player in the draft. The Sixers could use a player with Parker's ability to score in a variety of ways.

3. Orlando: Dante Exum, G, Australia — A need for an upgrade at the point-guard spot is long, long overdue for the Magic. They get it this year.

4. Utah: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas — They really like Julius Randle, but Embiid at No. 4 is too good to pass on.

5. Boston: Julius Randle, F, Kentucky — And this begins the "best player available" portion of the draft.

6. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State — Don't be shocked if the Lakers work out a deal sending Smart to Orlando for Exum.

7. Sacramento: Noah Vonleh, F/C, Indiana — Has great size, can score facing the basket or back-to-basket, good compliment to DeMarcus Cousins.

8. Detroit: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona — Offensive game needs work, but is a blue-collar, hard-nosed competitor . . . and the Pistons need plenty of them going forward.

9. Cleveland: Dario Saric, F, Croatia — With Luol Deng unlikely to return, a huge void will exist at SF and Saric is arguably the best available.

10. Philadelphia (via New Orleans): James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky — Shot selection questionable, but Young provides versatility at shooting guard/small forward spots.

11. Denver (via New York): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State — The Nuggets haven't had a defensive-minded, shot-maker at shooting guard since Aaron Afflalo.

12. Orlando: Rodney Hood, F, Duke — He had a horrible NCAA Tournament, but Hood is one of the best pure shooters in the draft.

13. Minnesota: Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan — Showcased some much-improved playmaking skills this season, which compliment an already strong perimeter game.

14. Phoenix: T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State — Warren doesn't have a defined position but he runs the floor well and can finish, which fits in well with the Suns' transition game.

15. Atlanta: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia — Good finisher on pick and rolls, reminds many of former Hawk Zaza Pachulia.

16. Chicago (via Charlotte): Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse — Taking Ennis would likely mean the Bulls won't be looking to re-sign Kirk Hinrich.

17. Boston (via Brooklyn):  P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends — If the poor decisions he made at UNC are truly behind him, this could be the steal of the draft.

18. Phoenix (via Washington): Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA — His athleticism is questionable, but Anderson has the ability to make those around him better.

19. Chicago: Doug McDermott, F, Creighton — With so many strong defenders already in place, McDermott provides some much-needed scoring punch for Tom Thibodeau's crew.

20. Toronto: Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn — No player's stock rose more through the tournament. He's rewarded by going to a team on the rise that needs depth at his position.

21. Oklahoma City (from Dallas): K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson — Off-the-charts athlete who will continue the O-K-C trend of getting great talent late in the first round.

22. Memphis: Mitch McGary, C, Michigan — Grizzlies invest in some much-needed bench support for an aging frontline.

23. Utah (from Golden State): Clint Capela, F, France — Extremely raw talent, but his athleticism gives the Jazz a potential high impact player at both ends of the floor.

24. Charlotte (via Portland): Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia — Best shooting guard still on the board for a team that desperately needs shot-makers.

25. Houston: Glenn Robinson III — Has go-to guy talent with a role player's mentality, which makes him a good fit with the Rockets.

26. Miami: Adreian Payne, F/C, Michigan State — High character guy who gives the Heat another big who can stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting.

27. Phoenix (via Indiana): Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse — Another position-less player who will take some time to develop, but has a great touch around the basket.

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette — Small school player with big-time talent. Some scouts see a lot of Rajon Rondo in him with a slightly better jumpshot.

29. Oklahoma City: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State — One of the mystery men of this draft. Strong workouts should boost his stock leading up to the draft.

30. San Antonio: Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia — Don't be surprised if we see this past-first, and second and . . . point guard spend at least another year or two overseas before coming to the NBA.