2014 SpreeGoogs Fan-Sourced Mock NBA Draft Picks 25-30
Here’s a summary of where we’ve been so far:
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
17. Boston Celtics: T.J. Warren, F, North Carolina State
18. Phoenix Suns: Elfrid Payton, PG, Ragin Cajuns
19. Chicago Bulls: Shabazz Napier, PG, UCONN
20. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Cleanthony Early, PF, Wichita State
23. Utah Jazz: James Young, SF, Kentucky
24. Charlotte Hornets: Jordan Clarkson, PG, Missouri
If you’re ready for the final set of picks, proceed:
2014 SpreeGoogs Fan-Sourced NBA Mock Draft Part 4
25. Houston Rockets (pick made by Michael McAfee) Jusuf Nurkić, C, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I’ll be honest: I have no idea who the Rockets will draft this year. I doubt Daryl Morey does either. But, Houston should be looking for two things: defensive depth and cap space. Jusuf Nurkić is a Bosnian center playing in Croatia, a projected mid- to late-first rounder and an old-school paint presence. He’s also very raw and probably not ready for the NBA yet. However, the Rockets are desperately trying to unload both Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in pursuit of the cap space required for either Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love. Nurkić is a player who won’t immediately count against the Rockets’ salary cap if he stays in Europe and could eventually come over as the backup big man to Dwight Howard. However, nobody holds their cards closer to the vest than Houston and nothing will be apparent until their pursuits of Anthony and Love settle this summer. Drafting a European player is a pick for flexibility, which is Houston’s most desired asset.
26. Miami Heat (pick made by Kevin Ringel): K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
Full disclosure: While I am a diehard Heat fan, I do not pay much attention to college basketball, so most of my draft knowledge comes second-hand. However, I do know that with Shane Battier retiring and with an increased need to reduce LeBron’s regular season minutes, the Heat will need another athletic wing who can serve as a defensive stopper when needed. All indications are that high-flying 6-6 K.J. McDaniels could be a great injection of energy into an up-tempo offense, which is when the Heat truly thrive. More importantly, however, is McDaniels’s 6-11 ¼ wingspan and his talent as a lockdown defender, which will help give LeBron a breather and fill a void that Battier leaves behind. When making this pick, I was initially looking for a PG upgrade (Napier) as Chalmers further regresses, and I would not be upset if they go that route as it is clearly a need.
27. Phoenix Suns (from Indiana) (pick made by Michael Ziman): Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
This pick is superfluous. There’s no more room on the roster. So the Suns will take a Euro and stash him, which has worked out well exactly zero times in NBA history (a poor limo driver has been waiting for Fran Vazquez at the Orlando airport for nine years). Might as well grab what appears to be a fundamentally delinquent, mostly lazy, freakishly athletic big guy named freaking CLINT from a country that doesn’t know what a basketball is. The only way I’ll lose sleep over this pick is if I hear Mark Stein say “Phoenix has traded the draft rights to Clint Capela to San Antonio for cash considerations,” because then I’ll know he’s a 14/8 guy.
28. Los Angeles Clippers (pick made by Allie Prater): Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
The Clippers know their strengths. As the top scoring team in the league last year, they know how important it is to continue recruiting young talent and point-producers. With a solid 3-point shot and an overall shooting percentage improvement of .038 in a brief two-year stint at UCLA, 19 year-old Jordan Adams could turn into the Clipper’s sixth man and has a more robust defensive approach than most shooters off their bench (i.e., Jamal Crawford).
Keeping collegiate talent local has also benefitted many players’ careers – Exhibit A: Darren Collison, a fellow Bruin. Despite being a PG by choice, Collison stepped up to play a critical role as an SG to compensate for an injury-laden season, with Chris Paul out 20 games. On top of this, three key players chose to test the free agent market, freeing almost $5 million of cap space. This allows the Clippers to sign younger, long-term players like Adams, solidifying greater depth within the organization.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder (pick made by Luke Thompson) Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier
I wanted to take a point guard with OKC’s first pick, but then all three guys worth taking at that spot were drafted consecutively right before the Thunder’s selection came up. Thanks a lot. If that happens in real life, chances are I will do a lot of cursing. Or, I would if I actually watched the draft, which I don’t, but I digress.
Derek Fisher is gone (this is a good thing for everyone) and Reggie Jackson is probably leaving after this season (this is a less good thing for Thunder fans) so clearly, a point guard is needed. Much like Westbrook and Jackson, Christon shows plenty of athleticism, loves to attack the basket, and can certainly put up points, as evidenced by his 17 ppg for the season and 28 vs. Marquette, then 27 at Creighton in back-to-back games. There’s lot of potential for growth, but for now his biggest weaknesses are consistency, jump shooting and turnovers, so again, he’ll fit right in.
30. San Antonio Spurs (pick made by Austin DeArman): Walter Taveres, C, Capa Verde
Most importantly, Tim Duncan is coming back to go for the back-to-back championship. The Spurs clearly want to keep their roster as intact as possible.
Taveres would be a great pick to draft and stash. At 7’3″ with a 7’9″ wingspan, he is someone the spurs could develop and build into a major talent. The kid is 22 but didn’t start playing basketball until 17. Apparently he was discovered by a tourist and then recruited in total Air Up There style. He has tremendous potential for growth. The Spurs are the best at finding and developing international talent. Taveres needs to be a better defender and foul less, he also should be a better rebounder. But you can coach that, and you can’t coach height.
Thanks again to all of the fans/authors who made this draft happen