Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lottery Mock Draft

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Embiid's upside here is just too much to pass up. He moves like a guard and has been called a seven foot Serge Ibaka. Also, he's only been playing since he was about 17 so he'll be improving for a long time.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas
I could genuinely see Wiggins becoming Tracey McGrady 2.0 in a few years. Both are oversized shooting guards with explosive leaping ability and a smooth defender. Wiggins rode the gamut of projections this season, going from the next Lebron, to overrated disappointment to still going to be a solid player to crunch time choker and back to another solid player.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
You can't read anything about Parker without reading about how he's "the safe pick" and that's right. He doesn't have the upside of Wiggins or Embiid, but you know what you're getting with him. A pretty good 3 and possible stretch 4 with a great feel for the game. The future can be really bright for the Sixers, more on this in a few picks.

4. Orlando Magic
Dante Exum, PG, Australia
I have no doubt that if Exum played in the US he would be right up there with the Wiggins-Embiid-Parker trio in the discussion for the number one pick. Much like Embiid, he plays smaller than he his. That way he can abuse bigger guys off the dribble and post up smaller guys.
5. Utah Jazz
Noah Vonleh, C, Indiana
I might be a little biased here, because I saw him play in person this year, but Vonleh is a beast. I'd take him over Randle any day. Sure Randle can bruise in the paint better, but no center, not even Embiid can claim to be the kind of shooter than Vonleh. The biggest thing that sticks out to me is how casual he looks while shooting. Most of the time when a center makes a three it still looks awkward, not him. He's really underrated from playing on a crappy Indiana team this year.
6. Boston Celtics
Julius Randle, C, Kentucky
Lots of talk have been made about Randle and Parker about their conditioning but people seem to forget this: All this year, they were going to a college.* Next year, they'll be professional athletes going up against much stronger competition. That itself will put them into shape. They'll be getting paid to be athletic and have a lot more motivation than they do in the NCAA.
*I'm avoiding using the word students for obvious reasons
7. Los Angeles Lakers
Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma St
He fits the Lakers need at point guard. Now all they're missing is shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. Anyway, Smart is a strong, athletic point guard who got an unfair rap after the Texas Tech incident last year.
8. Sacramento Kings
Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Lots of people have Ennis going here, but I'm a big Isiaih Thomas fan. He's got a great feel for the game. Anyway, back to Gordon. He's a terrific finisher and makes at least one "Holy crap" play every game. The Kings need an exciting, marketable star (sorry, DeMarcus Cousins doesn't count) and Gordon fits all of those categories.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
Ennis's great start spurred a bunch of "I'd take him ahead of Smart! Smart's a head case who can't shoot and Ennis has the best feel for the game since Steve Nash!" nonsense. But Ennis is a solid player who can definitely be the starting point guard on a contender someday.
10. Philadelphia 76ers
Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Will be a great role player to go with Parker, that's a pretty good lineup down the road with MC-Dub, Stauskas, Young, Parker and Nerlens Noel. If all of those guys live up to their potential that's a really good team.
11. Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
This would be a great pick by the Nuggets. The biggest knock on Harris is his size, but he's pretty good in every other area. He's a career 37% three point shooter, good at creating his own shot, and occasionally a lockdown defender.
12. Orlando Magic
Dario Saric, C, Croatia
If we knew for sure Saric were coming to America this year, he would go higher. He's a good rebounding center with three point range. This could be a steal for the Magic.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
I haven't had a lot of time to think about the Wolves pick because my only thoughts have been about trade scenarios with Love and a lottery pick. But if McDermott is here they should take him. He's a great three point shooter which is something the T-Wolves were missing last year, along with being the only white guy in the history of the game to be described as someone who "gets buckets."
14. Phoenix Suns
Jusuf Nurkic
Another mystery man. He was great in Europe last season but only played in 12 games. He's a solid, athletic defender who's great at the rim.

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