2014 SpreeGoogs Fan-Sourced Mock NBA Draft Picks 17-24
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Joel Embiid, C, kansas
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, kansas
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
5. Utah Jazz: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
6. Boston Celtics:Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
7. LA Lakers:Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
8. Sacramento Kings: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma St.
9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Zach LaVine, SG, UCLA
11. Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
12. Orlando Magic: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
14. Phoenix Suns: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
15. Atlanta Hawks:Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia
16. Chicago Bulls: Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA
Here’s the future:
2014 SpreeGoogs Fan-Sourced NBA Mock Draft Part 3
17. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn) (pick made by Ben Ashbrook): T.J. Warren, F, North Carolina State
Jeff Green might not be the scorer we all hoped he was becoming. We’ve had glimpses of it, but the consistency just isn’t there. We need players that can put the ball in the damn hoop. Warren can do just that. We’ll play him at the SF position and just like Randle, he’ll have an immediate impact. I’m actually surprised he dropped to 17. This caliber of scorer with size and efficiency is a steal this late. Like Randle, he’s got the potential to be an integral piece of a trade for big name talent. But even if that doesn’t come, he’ll be a great scoring role player with very legitimate upside. Both scenarios sound good to me.
18. Phoenix Suns (from Washington) (pick made by Michael Ziman): Elfrid Payton, PG, Ragin Cajuns
Kevin Durant called Ish Smith the fastest player in the league. That’s high praise. Michael Ziman called Ish Smith the worst dude at layups he’s ever seen. That’s accurate assessment. The Suns played with a clean slate of expectations last year, a fact no more evident than the tolerated play of the third-string point guard, who was often thrust into big-time minutes during Eric Bledsoe’s injury. And Ish was great for what he was: a Caron Butler trade throw-in who busted it every night, caused some ruckus on defense and was so woefully inept offensively that it bordered on cute, like a kitten repeatedly scaling and then falling off an ottoman.
Enter Elfrid Payton, or as I’m nicknaming him right now, “Kid Gloves.” At 6’3″ with a 6’7″ wingspan, a so-so jumper, a knack for steals and a proclivity for turnovers, what the Suns have here is the best Bledsoe insurance of all: another Bledsoe. If the actual draft plays out the way I think it will, and Stauskas is off the board for the Suns at 14, I would take a serious look at Payton there. We all love you Ish “Dish” “Swish” Smith, and we promise it’s not you, it’s us – trying to win a championship in 2016.
19. Chicago Bulls (pick made by Dan Bruhl): Shabazz Napier, PG, UCONN
Did I mention grit?? The Bulls LOVE grit! Napier is a proven winner with the type of leadership and balls that the Bulls always target in the draft. His diminutive size and lack of defensive potential are non-starters: look at what Thibs and his staff did with DJ Augustin. The Bulls have arguably been the best defensive team in the league the last four years, so our whole team defensive philosophy and acuity isn’t at risk with one less-than-average defender. As I mentioned before – Shabazz provides scoring, leadership, GRIT (!), 3-point shooting (57% last year!), and (sadly) insurance in case Rose’s knees give out again. Look for the Bulls to replace Augustin or Hinrich with a PG in this draft.
20. Toronto Raptors (pick made by Adam Bonefeste): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
The biggest part of the Raptors offseason isn’t this pick, it’s figuring out what’s going to happen with Kyle Lowry. Statistically, Lowry had an All-Star worthy season, and the Raptors will be a lot better if they can re-sign him for a long time. Despite being the Raptors, the Raptors have managed to hit on a couple of good draft picks and trades recently and have actually built a core of good, young talent at 2, 3 and 4. Lowry and backup Greivis Vasquez are still question marks for next season and the Raptors might as well take the BPA and develop him before the hole at the 1 appears, if it does. Ideally, Lowry signs a big deal, Ennis backs him up and plays rotation minutes as the first 1/2 off the bench and Vasquez stands underneath the basket with a Swiffer pad and wipes the sweat up when someone falls down.
Other blogs are big on Ennis’s Toronto connection (he’s from there), but relying on that as information kind of undermines how good of an actual basketball fit he is. I really don’t see too many scenarios that have Ennis falling out of the lottery, but if he’s there at 20, the Raptors should be drooling about picking him.
Editor’s Note: It took me writing this post to realize that I am, in fact, a Raptors fan
21. Oklahoma City (pick made by Luke Thompson): P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina
Oklahoma City would already have a solid shooting guard if it could only find a way to combine the scoring ability of Caron Butler with the defensive ability of Thabo Sefalosha. Sadly, this is yet another thing Scott Brooks can’t do, so he spent this year’s playoffs trying to find a way to use them both effectively and even played Jeremy Lamb some out of frustration before realizing that was a terrible idea. The two-headed attack worked for a little bit, but in the end we all saw the need for someone capable of performing on both ends. Enter P.J. Hairston.
He’s a 6’3” shooting guard with all sorts of athletic potential, and I’d like to think he’ll put more of an emphasis on defense when he’s no longer playing for Roy Williams. The ability to get to the rim makes Hairston a more valuable distraction for defenses locked in on Westbrook and Durant than even Butler was before he forgot how to shoot following the first round. Speaking of shooting, OKC ranked 8th in the Western Conference in 3-point percentage at 36% and got a lesson in the value of the trey-ball from San Antonio in the Western Conference finals. Hairston shot 38% from beyond the arc last season and seems capable of at least matching that, something that will be even more sorely needed with Derek Fisher departing.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (pick made by Scott Tommela): Cleanthony Early, PF, Wichita State
The Grizzlies find themselves in a bit of a tough situation since they already have decent depth on the bench, but the Grizz should definitely grab Cleanthony Early with their pick if he’s still on the board. Teams can always use more “big” men and depth on the block is never a bad thing. At 6’8” he has good size, a powerful frame that can only be strengthened, and he could act as sufficient support for Z-Bo and Gasol should he continue to hone his skills once in the Association. Throw in his ability to shoot the 3 ball and his flexibility to play the 3 or the 4 and Memphis has a diamond in the rough with the Wichita State standout. Early’s consistency will be key for the Grizzlies. He was a huge part of the Shocker’s 34-0 regular season and that shows he has the drive and dedication that Memphis needs to get back to the Western Conference Finals and ultimately challenge for a title in the next few years.
Originally, I said that I liked the spot the Jazz were in because they had two first round pickzz and could afford to take the best playerzz available. That was a bit of a lie, because they have a hole at the 3. Actually, it’s worse than that, they spent all of last season starting Richard Jefferzzon at the 3. Unfortunately, their first pick will come just after Wigginzz and Parker are off the board so they’ll have to settle for one of the secondary SFs. If Young fallzz to them at 23, it’s an automatic pick. He can defend inside and outside and if they take Gordon at with the fifth pick, Young’s outside shooting doezz enough to offset Gordon’s lack of it and create some space for him to slash.
A Gordon/Young combination gives the Jazz two long, athletic wing defenders with offensive upside who are both 18. That seemzz like a dream scenario for a team that doesn’t have a lot of other building blockzz in place.
Editor’zz Note: Adam wasn’t a Jazz fan 18 pickzz ago and nothing has changed
24. Charlotte Hornets (from Portland) (pick made by Frank Bauch): Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri
Having picked up a solid perimeter shooter with their first pick at No. 9 (In this mock, that’s Douggie Fresh, but if not him, I see them interested in Stauskas or another shooter), I think it’s time to take the best player available with their second pick. And ideally for Charlotte, they grab someone who is NBA-ready. With the roster as currently constructed, you’d have to think the Hornets are “going for it,” meaning they can’t afford to draft someone as a project while trying to win now. They’ve already got plenty of projects as is with Zeller and Biyombo. Clarkson is likely a backup point guard with the ability to take over a game at times and lead the second unit. I see him as a score-first point guard a la Jarrett Jack, which would be a great addition to this team. I also can’t believe Mr. SpreeGoogs himself Adam Bonefeste passed on a Mizzou prospect one pick earlier! That’s the biggest headline of all with this pick.
Editor’s Note: Frank wasn’t a Hornets fan 15 picks ago and nothing has changed
Come back tomorrow when we bring it all home in Part 4.