Mock Draft 11 (and last): A Smart pick for Celtics

Mock Draft 11 (and last): A Smart pick for Celtics
June 26, 2014, 9:00 am
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BOSTON — The draft is finally here, and you know what that means.


Okay, maybe one more. But this will be it!

Now that workouts are done and teams have had a chance to access and re-access all the potential prospects, one thing is abundantly clear: there's very little separation among players in this draft once you get past the first handful of selections.

And Joel Embiid's foot injury only added to the convoluted state of the 2014 NBA draft.

But all the double-talk, smoke screens and overall confusion from league executives (and us in the media, of course) that you've heard for weeks, comes to an end tonight.

Teams that were reportedly "interested" in getting deals done will have to show their hands now if they want to make something happen. That includes the Boston Celtics, who are among the teams that have tried to move up and land the No. 1 overall pick from Cleveland, in addition to their pursuit of Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberpuppies.

Or were those "efforts" just for show, with the plan being to make a bigger splash this summer during free agency? And the teams that have been relatively quiet. . . could they prepping for some "fireworks" today?

It'll all come to light today.

And with that, here's's Final Mock Draft 11.

on the rise  ---> (+)

no change  ---> (=)

on the decline  ---> (-)

1. Cleveland: Andrew Wiggins (=) Regardless of who has this pick, look for Wiggins to be the first off the draft board.

2. Milwaukee: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke (=) Wiggins would be the preferred player, but Parker isn't too shabby a consolation prize.

3. Philadelphia: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas (+)  Philly has been sending out feelers that Embiid is an option here. For once, there's fire behind this smoke screen.

4. Orlando: Dante Exum, G, Australia (=) He has the size of a wing player, but he will be a point guard in the NBA which fills a major void on the Magic roster.

5. Utah: Julius Randle, F, Kentucky (+) They love Noah Vonleh's upside. But Randle can literally hit the ground running. He's their guy.

6. Boston: Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State (+) Adding Smart gives the Celtics flexibility in case they get a serious offer to trade Rajon Rondo this summer.

7.  Los Angeles Lakers: Noah Vonleh, F/C, Indiana (-) Ginormous hands, even bigger potential. Adds quality depth to a team with lots of needs all over the floor.

8. Sacramento: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona (=) If the Kings have their way, this pick will not belong to them much longer.

9. Charlotte: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State (+) Doesn't have great 2-guard size, but more than makes up for it with toughness on both sides of the ball. Should fit in nicely with the Hornet's style of play.

10. Philadelphia (via New Orleans): Doug McDermott, F, Creighton (-) With young rim-protectors in Nerlens Noel and Embiid, McDermott could not be in a better spot to take full advantage of what he does best, which is making shots.

11. Denver (via New York): James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky (=) Teams love his shot-making skills and length.

12. Orlando: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia (-) Here's hoping the Magic don't have Fran Vazquez 2.0 with this pick.

13. Minnesota: Adreian Payne, F/C, Michigan State (+) Head coach/GM Flip Saunders adds a stretch big/insurance policy in case he trades Kevin Love.

14. Phoenix: Zach LaVine, G, UCLA (+) One of the few potential superstars in this draft, LaVine's athleticism is perfect for the Suns' uptempo brand of basketball.

15. Atlanta: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia (+) This draft is short on true centers, but Nurkic has nice touch offensively, physical body built to bang.

16. Chicago (via Charlotte): Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn (+) Tough, gritty, under-sized point guard who does nothing but make big shots and win. He gives the Bulls a nice, confident backup to Derrick Rose.

17. Boston (via Brooklyn): T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State (-) One of the few "professional scorers" in this draft, Warren is a safe pick-up for the Celtics.

18. Phoenix (via Washington): Rodney Hood, SF, Duke (-) He goes a few spots later than expected, but lands in a good spot for his particular skills.

19. Chicago: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan (-) Proved to scouts that he was more than just a "shooter" this past season, has the potential to play both backcourt positions.

20. Toronto: Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Fayette (+) Canadian native Tyler Ennis is the popular pick here, but the Raptors take the best point guard available.

21. Oklahoma City (from Dallas): Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA (=) Celtics will think long and hard about taking Anderson at No. 17.

22. Memphis: Clint Capela, F, France (=)  Not ready to be an impact player, but his athleticism gives him a shot at helping the Grizzlies sooner rather than later.

23. Utah (from Golden State): Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State (=)  One of the older players in this draft, Early can score and is under-rated defensively.

24. Charlotte (via Portland):  Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse (-) Someone has to turn out the lights in the Green Room. Ennis? Yeah. You're probably that guy!

25. Houston: P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends (=)  Rockets could use a legit perimeter scorer coming off the bench.

26. Miami: Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA (+) Not necessarily an upgrade to the roster, but Adams is a scorer who adds some much-needed depth to the Heat bench.

27. Phoenix (via Indiana): K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson (=)  Suns will look to trade this pick. Regardless, this is about where McDaniels should be selected.

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse (-) Shows great promise as a defender in the NBA, but lots of questions remain about his game.

29. Oklahoma City: Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia (+) The Thunder would love to trade this pick. If not, they'll select one of the more talented overseas players in this draft.

30. San Antonio: Walter Taveres, C, Gran Canaria (=) Nice pick-up here, Spurs in no rush to get Taveres state-side.




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