Live 2014 NBA Draft Grades

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Live 2014 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 16-30 | Grades for Round 2

2014 NBA Mock Draft | 2015 NBA Mock Draft
Updated: June 26, 2014.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas – A Grade
    I’ve said all along that Wiggins is the best fit in Cleveland since they need a versatile, defensive-minded small forward, not another scorer like Jabari Parker. If they weren’t going to swing this pick for a veteran, all-star caliber player, this was the best choice… unlike the Anthony Bennett selection last year.

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  2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke – A+ Grade
    Milwaukee was taking either Wiggins or Parker and because of their need for a scorer, Parker was actually the better fit for them. He will be a 20+ point per game scorer in the NBA and may immediately be the Bucks go-to scorer as a rookie.

  3. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas – B- Grade
    The injury is obviously a massive concern but if you are the Sixers and a rebuilding franchise… why not? Yes, they just took an injured big man last year in Nerlens Noel and pairing him with Embiid is a major risk. However, if the reward pays off in a couple of years, Embiid/Noel could be a terrorizing frontline. If Embiid ends up being Greg Oden-like, this could be a crippling gamble for the team.

  4. Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona – B Grade
    Did not see that one coming. Maybe Gordon did since he was rocking that blue suit. I like Gordon a lot and think he is going to be a terrific all-around player at the next level. He is between positions offensively and not a great shooter but should be a terror on the defensive end. I don’t love the fit in Orlando but think Gordon will be a very good pro for a long time.

  5. Utah Jazz: Dante Exum, G, Australia – A- Grade
    Utah needed a guard to pair with Trey Burke and Exum definitely fits that need. They are both more “ball in their hands” type of playmakers but Burke could play off the ball. He could be a franchise player so when you grab a guy like that with the fifth pick, it’s a great value.

  6. Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State – B+ Grade
    Of the available players, this was the right pick for Boston. Smart could play in the same backcourt as Rajon Rondo (although neither guys shoots it that well from the outside) or his be his replacement if the Celtics decide to deal Rondo prior to the start of the season.

  7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, F, Kentucky – A- Grade
    The Lakers need help all across the board so were taking the best available player. Randle is NBA-ready in terms of his physicality and athleticism but his foot injury knocked his stock down a little bit. He should be an immediate contributor for the Lakers.

  8. Sacramento Kings: Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan – C+ Grade
    The Kings did just take a shooting guard with their first round pick last year in Ben McLemore so this pick doesn’t necessarily add for me. Yes, they need a shooter but do the Kings really think Stauskas is a better fit and prospect then say a Noah Vonleh who could be the front court mate of the future that the Kings need alongside DeMarcus Cousins?

  9. Charlotte Hornets: Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana – B+ Grade
    The Bobcats, er… Hornets (okay, last time I’ll use that joke, promise) get a great value here and fits a need at power forward since Josh McRoberts opted out of his contract. I don’t see Noah being an immediate factor but his ability to stretch defenses with his perimeter shooting is a good fit alongside Al Jefferson inside. Charlotte must love Indiana big men… Zeller last year, Vonleh this year.

  10. Orlando Magic: Elfrid Payton, G, Lousiana-Lafayette – C Grade
    Orlando needed guard depth since Jameer Nelson is a free agent and they just traded Aaron Afflalo earlier on draft day. Payton and Victor Oladipo form an athletic backcourt and will be defensively destructive. This definitely fills a void.

  11. Chicago Bulls: Doug McDermott, F, Creighton – B Grade
    Denver dealt McDermott to Chicago for the 16th and 19th picks which makes a ton of sense for the Bulls. They need a perimeter scoring threat and that’s what McDermott does. He will be a Mike Dunleavy replacement though I’m not sure how he fits defensively with Tom Thibodeau. I really wanted Shabazz Napier to the Bulls though so don’t love them giving up 16 and 19 for 11.

  12. Philadelphia 76ers: Dario Saric, F, Croatia – A- Grade
    So Philly drafts an injured big man and trades for a foreign dude who won’t be coming over to the NBA for at least two years. Let the tanking continue. Assuming Saric does come to Philly in a couple of years, he should step in right away and be an immediate factor.

  13. Minnesota T-Wolves: Zach LaVine, G, UCLA – D- Grade
    The T-Wolves just drafted a D-League All-Star over a guy who could have been an immediate role player like Gary Harris or James Young? I think LaVine is going to be a bust. I don’t like this pick at all. He should have went back to school. In a few years, he might be a good player but I doubt it. The end.

  14. Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren, F, N.C. State – C+ Grade
    A scoring wing is what Phoenix needed and Warren definitely fills that void. I had guys like James Young, Rodney Hood, and Gary Harris all ranked above him so I think this is a bit of a stretch.

  15. Atlanta Hawks: Adreian Payne, F, Michigan State – B- Grade
    Add Payne to a front court of Al Horford and Paul Millsap and that’s some solid depth. Again, I think there were some wing players available and that is what Atlanta really needs. Plus, Payne isn’t that defensive rim protector that the Hawks really need.

  16. Go to Live 2014 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1 – Picks 16-30
    Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I’ve received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.

    Go to Live 2014 NBA Draft Grades: Round 2

    Go to 2014 NBA Draft Grades: Trades

    Go to 2014 NBA Mock Draft
    Go to 2015 NBA Mock Draft

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: [email protected].
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

2015 NBA Mock Draft

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2014 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings: C | PF | COMBO-F | SF | COMBO-G | SG | PG

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