2014 NBA Mock Draft (new, updated June 16 version)
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas – A wild scenario that could play out: the Cavs trade the No. 1 pick and Dion Waiters for Kevin Love. The move would then entice LeBron to return home. Crazier things have happened in this league … OK, not really. This would be the craziest, and Brian Windhorst wouldn’t even get to show off his “Summer of 2014″ body on South Beach on Fourth of July weekend. Back to the lake!
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke – There’s just too much smoke coming out of Philly right now that they want Andrew Wiggins. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Wiggins is equally excited about becoming a Sixer.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas - The question is, just how far would the Sixers go to nab Wiggins over Parker? Trading third AND 10th pick would likely be too much, but who’s to say the Bucks (or Cavs) won’t be stubborn if they see little-to-no difference between the two players?
4. Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia – This pick is becoming close to a lock on a lot of mock boards (including this one the past few weeks), which means it probably won’t happen in the end. For now, we’re gutless and sticking with Exum to Orlando.
5. Utah Jazz: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky – It seems as though the Internet was running a smear campaign against Randle from early May through last week. We’re about to get the backlash to the backlash out of the way. Randle swore to the good Lord above last week when working out for the Celtics that his foot was “fine” and that surgery has “never been considered.” We’ll take him at his word.
6. Boston Celtics: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona – The Celtics could probably still get Gordon at pick 8, 9 or 10 – which means there may be some swapping going on around here. Hard to think the 1-10 draft order remains exactly the same come draft night.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State – If the C’s trade out of the 6 spot, the mystery team picking there would likely take Noah Vonleh. If Vonleh slides to the Lakers, it’d be really hard for Mitch Kupchak to pass him up considering it would be deemed something of a steal.
8. Sacramento Kings: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana – Maybe the C’s and Kings work out a deal involving Vonleh and Gordon. So, what if their owners have a school-girl feud going on?
9. Charlotte Hornets: Doug McDermott, PF, Creighton – Here is what McDermott looks like in a Hornets practice T.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Dario Saric, F, Croatia – Nerlens Noel in the paint. Saric extending the floor. Carter-Williams on the break. Andrew Wiggins the finisher. A playoff team next season in the horrid East.
11. Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State – The casual sports fan likely forgets that Denver has a team, but the Nuggets shouldn’t overextend themselves here for a name. Take a solid player named “Gary.” Not sexy, but a good pick.
12. Orlando Magic: T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State – This is the area where a bunch of guards will go. But if the Magic do pair Exum with Victor Oladipo they will likely be tempted to go with a player over 6-foot-6.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State – We all need some Love insurance.
14. Phoenix Suns: James Young, SG, Kentucky – Young was a classic John Calipari one and done-er, but most think he should have stayed put with the Wildcats for another year.
15. Atlanta Hawks: Nik Stauskas, SG/SF, Michigan – The Hawks could shoot their way out of plenty of problems with Stauskas and Kyle Korver on the floor.
16. Chicago Bulls: Cleanthony Early, SF/PF, Wichita State – The Bulls will likely pick up a point guard and a small forward with the two mid-to-late first round picks they have. Here’s the 3 they need …
17. Boston Celtics: Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA – Still holding firm with this prediction.
18. Phoenix Suns: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke – Unfortunately for the Suns, they’re drafting (a lot) in a draft where there are a lot of capable guards. For now, it looks as though Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are both staying put, so the Suns go for a 3.
19. Chicago Bulls: Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn – … And here’s our 1 for Chicago.
20. Toronto Raptors: Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA – Remember that experiment in Toronto in 2013 with Rudy Gay? Anderson won’t be as expensive, but could help in the scoring department.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA – This is shaping up to be a very important pick for the Thunder. San Antonio hits on picks in this range. The Thunder are not nearly as efficient.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland – The Grizzlies with either go south in a hurry or land that one final piece to the puzzle. The former is more likely.
23. Utah Jazz: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia – So much upside for the 19-year-old. Your classic boom-or-bust pick.
24. Charlotte Hornets: C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington – Standing pat here from the last mock.
25. Houston Rockets: Elfrid, Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette – Wonder if Houston would move up to get a LaVine or Napier? They’re probably just hoping one of the two falls.
26. Miami Heat: Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia – Dwyane Wade looked like Robert Parish in the open floor in that last NBA Finals game.
27. Phoenix Suns: Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse - Syracuse currently has nine players in the NBA or NBDL. Michael Carter-Williams is the only one who is universally adored as a person and player.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Patric Young, PF/C – Seems like a Doc Rivers kinda guy.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson – McDaniels is known for his powerful tip dunks. Won’t be as easy to pull off in the NBA for a 6-6 guy who weighs under 200 pounds.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse – Best player available, because it’s San Antonio. And it’s what they do.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS