1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas. Kyrie, Waiters, Thompson and hey, how about adding LeBron in free agency if the Heat flame out in this round against Indiana or in the finals? Get ready for a month full of fun leading up to free agency. If I’m the GM here, there’s zero debate. It’s Wiggins. I don’t trade the pick.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker, F, Duke. It’s a wing league, the Bucks already have rim protectors in Henson and Sanders, Embiid’s back could be a question, his agent may not want his client on what is annually one of the worst teams … Parker starts from Day 1 and leads this team in scoring. In two years, when the Greek Freak is 21 and they add another lottery pick in 2015 … look out?
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas. If Embiid doesn’t land in Milwaukee, what does Philly do? They “redshirted” Nerlens Noel, and he’s a shot-blocking stick figure on the backline. They don’t necessarily need a PG. Exum remains a question-mark – can he play 1/2? Can he shoot? Philly should make a play for Kevin Love, but would he want to go to a rebuilding team? Does Boston offer 6 & 17 to grab Embiid?
4. Orlando Magic – Dante Exum, G, Australia. Last year’s top pick, Victor Oladipo, actually played more PG than SG, but a backcourt of the two is versatile. Will it be a good enough shooting team? The Magic ranked 21st in the NBA in field goal shooting; tied for 19th on 3-pointers. Perhaps that’s something they can address with the 12th pick.
5. Utah Jazz – Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona. No man’s land in the lottery. Vonleh wins the measurements, Gordon wins the upside, Randle wins the “ready now.” Have to assume they’ll dangle this pick, because Utah needs a lot.
6. Boston Celtics – Julius Randle, F, Kentucky. Bummer for Boston, as there’s just no ideal player for them here. Randle would be going from John Calipari to Brad Stevens. The Celtics also pick at 17, so I’d have to assume they dangle both of those picks for Kevin Love. Minnesota doesn’t need cap room – who is signing a huge money deal there, anyway?
7. LA Lakers – Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State. Do the Lakers go with a big forward, or their point guard for the future? I think long term, Smart has tremendous upside. Kobe would be a terrific tutor for Smart, who is a sponge. Hey, Minnesota, how about Gasol and this pick and something else – anything – for Kevin Love? Wonder if LA gives a long look to raw Zach LaVine (or trades down to take him).
8. Sacramento Kings – Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana. This would be an ideal scenario for the Kings, who haven’t been able to find a compliment to Cousins. I bash the Kings often, but in terms of individual talent, Cow-town has plenty: Cousins, Gay, McLemore and Vonleh. Too bad they’re in the West and won’t sniff the playoffs again.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan. Huge draft lottery winners, stealing this pick from Detroit (poor Stan Van Gundy). The Bobcats will want to improve on being ranked 23rd on 3-pointers. Stauskas, a tremendous shooter (44 percent on 3’s), can create his own shot (got to the line 11 times vs. Kentucky in Elite 8) and Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson should mean lots of open looks.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – James Young, SG, Kentucky. Should they go with a Euro? I think Young is an immediate impact guy to go with Michael Carter-Williams, Noel, and Embiid (assuming they keep him, although today, it feels like they won’t). No, the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA doesn’t consider Doug McDermott here.
11. Denver Nuggets – Gary Harris, G, Michigan State. I like Rodney Hood (SF, Duke) more, and wanted to put him here, but the need for the Nuggets is at shooting guard.
12. Orlando Magic – Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State. Too early? He’s 23, has had some injuries, but is the ideal Stretch 4 for the Magic. Lots of the freshman and sophomores entering the NBA may not be contributors immediately, but Payne will.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves – Zach LaVine, G, UCLA. This is a complete shot-in-the-dark. Could be a Euro stash; could be a high-upside guy who is quiet for a year or two, then explodes.
14. Phoenix Suns – Rodney Hood, SF, Duke. Have to figure the Suns are in play for Kevin Love, given their surfeit of picks and some young talent. I’m bullish on Hood, who starred in Jabari Parker’s shadow (46/42/80, 16.1 ppg).
15. Atlanta Hawks – TJ Warren, F, NC State
16. Chicago Bulls – Dario Saric, F, Croatia
17. Boston Celtics – Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
18. Phoenix Suns – Jusuf Nurkic, C, Crotia
19. Chicago Bulls – Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn
20. Toronto Raptors – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
21. Oklahoma City Thunder -PJ Hairston, G, UNC
22. Memphis Grizzlies – Jordan Adams, G, UCLA
23 Utah Jazz – Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State
24 Charlotte Bobcats – Kyle Anderson, PG, UCLA
25 Houston Rockets – KJ McDaniels, F, Clemson
26 Miami Heat – Nick Johnson, PG, Arizona
27 Phoenix Suns – Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri
28 Los Angeles Clippers – Mitch McGary, F, Michigan
29 Oklahoma City Thunder – Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan
30 San Antonio Spurs – Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette