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Fantasy Basketball: 2014 NBA Draft Lottery Mock
Is it me or does it seem as if the Cleveland Cavaliers win more NBA draft lotteries then the do games? The Cavs were the lucky winners of the number one overall pick in Tuesday night’s draft lottery marking the second consecutive season they won the lotto and the third time since LeBron James headed off to South Beach. I’m sure NBA conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this as the Cavs had just a 1.7% chance of winning the lotto this year. I can hear the them now, “How many lottos will the NBA let Cleveland win to make it even for the King hanging them out to dry?” Or, this one that was sent to me on twitter from @jcraig24, “NBA is fixed. Cavs trade pick and players for (Kevin) Love.. Sign Lebron and they will have the new Big 3.” Little tongue in cheek there by JCraig, but hey maybe the Cavs should really consider trading the top pick to save themselves from picking another Anthony Bennett type player. Seriously, what the hell were they thinking when they chose Bennett? But, as Cavs fans will be the first to tell you, it should not have been a surprise that the organization found a way to screw something up.
Speaking of screwing up, anyone else wondering if The Hedgehog Stan Van Gundy is kicking himself for taking the Pistons job now? He and the Pistons were the biggest losers Tuesday night. To sum it up, the Pistons organization decided not to amnesty Ben Gordon and instead included a first round draft pick to get the Bobcats, now the Hornets (which is almost as dumb of a name switch as this trade by Detroit was), to take Gordon and his fat contract off their hands back in the summer of 2012. The pick to Charlotte was top-eight protected, but of course as fate would have it, Cleveland, who was slotted to get the ninth pick and Detroit the eighth, vaulted ahead of the Pistons (and everyone else) thus Detroit dropped down to the ninth spot which means the pick is now Charlotte’s to make. The Pistons were not the only losers, just the biggest one. Here are a few more of the winners and losers, post-lotto drawing, then myself and the DaTrue Guru Mark Kaplan deliver to you our first NBA Draft Lottery Mock ripe with some additional draft-eligible player insight.
Charlotte Hornets- for reasons laid out above
Boston Celtics-although the luck of the draw did not go their way as they did not move up from the six slot they were slotted in, they still have the highest draft pick to offer the Twolves among those teams who seem to be the most aggressive in trying to trade for Kevin Love this off-season, teams that include the Lakers (7th pick), Suns, among others
Detroit Pistons-no 1st rd pick for the only team in the Eastern Conference to have been in the draft lottery each of the last five years.
New York Knicks-their pick was sent off in the Carmelo Anthony deal (now owned by Orlando), which isn’t all bad if the Knicks can find a way to add another piece or two via trade or free-agency, but then again their track record of poor decision making in that regard is well documented cough, cough JR Smith.
Orlando Magic-they do have two first round draft picks, their own and as mentioned above the own the Knicks pick which they acquired from Denver in via the Dwight Howard trade, but they missed out on a top three pick even though they had the third highest probability of landing there.
NBA Draft Mock
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins||Kaplan: Highest upside player|
|Andrew Wiggins||Pichan: Don't think the Cavs can afford to take any risk here after last year's debacle, so I believe they go with Wiggins over Joel Embiid|
|2||Milwaukee Bucks||Jabari Parker||Kaplan: Bucks desperately need a SF|
|Jabari Parker||Pichan: Agree with Kaplan|
|3||Philadelphia 76ers||Julius Randle||Kaplan: Ditto with 76ers and already have Noerlens Noel at center|
|Dante Exum||Pichan: I don't necessary think Exum is what the Sixers need the most, but this is where I believe the 18-year old Australian will land due to the fact Sixers coach Brett Brown has coached Dante's father and Brown, when he was the coach of the Australian National team, had Dante in for training camp when he was only 15-years old.|
|4||Orlando Magic||Joel Embiid||Kaplan: Orlando will take the risk with Embiid|
|Joel Embiid||Pichan: Magic need a point guard but they can land on with their 12th pick. Joel Embiid is just too good of a talent to pass up. Embiid recently told NBA Insider's Chad Ford that his back is 100 percent and he's been working out hard for last three weeks, which should give the Magic enough confidence to take him here if he is still on the board.|
|5||Utah Jazz||Dante Exum||Kaplan: Versatile player that fills some holes for the Jazz|
|Aaron Gordon||Pichan: I wonder if the Jazz would consider trading down if the opportunity presented itself and nab NC State SF T.J. Warren. The offer would need to blow the doors off the Jazz though if Gordon is still on the board. Replace an aging former Arizona Wildcat with a newer version in Gordon, who oozes with athleticism. It may take time for Gordon's overall offensive game to develop, but in the meantime his high-energy, hustle, ability to finish on the break and guard multiple position is more then enough to warrant the pick here.|
|6||Boston Celtics||Noah Vonleh||Kaplan: budding star that needs time to develop|
|Noah Vonleh||Pichan: If the hype train isn't already in full motion with this 6'9", 247 pound 18-year old power forward it has definitely left the station and will continue to pick up steam the closer we get to draft night. Vonleh has the potential to be a rebounding machine and has the offensive versatility to be a dominating force, especially in pick-and-roll situations, as he can score inside but is also a dangerous threat from the outside as he displayed in his lone season at Indiana by knocking down over 48% of his triple tries (16-for-33).|
|7||L.A. Lakers||Marcus Smart||Kaplan: Will be the franchise player the Lakers desperately need.|
|Marcus Smart||Pichan: Lakers would be so lucky to land Marcus Smart as they are in dire need of a young point guard, and he should be a great fit with Kobe.|
|8||Sacramento Kings||Aaron Gordon||Kaplan: Athletic power forward to pair with Boogie|
|Julius Randle||Pichan: May be the lowest you find Randle going. The Kings would be more than pleased if this prediction holds true as their main need is at the power forward position.|
|9||Charlotte Hornets||Zach Lavine||Kaplan: Is a tall PG that can shoot, would let Kemba play more of SG roll|
|Gary Harris||Pichan: I'm a big fan of Lavine and I like Kaplan's reasoning, but I'm not sure Charlotte is about moving Kemba off the point. Harris has a ton of offensive potential and the pro game is a better fit to tap into it. He will be an immediate threat from the outside and the kid is a solid defender who is coming from a great program in Michigan State. (A possible dark horse pick here, and this may be a stretch but the kid has Carolina ties, could be former Tar Heel P.J. Hairston who spent most of last year playing in the D-League).|
|10||Philadelphia 76ers||Doug McDermott||Kaplan: Give the Sixers some shooting they desperately need|
|Dario Saric||Pichan: If the Sixers take Dante Exum with the 3rd overall pick they would not be looking for a guard at this spot and instead will be looking to fill arguably their biggest need, a small forward. The 20-year old 6'10" 220-plus pound kid from Croatia led the Adriatic League in scoring with 16.7 points and rebounding with 9.7 per game earning him league MVP honors as well as having been named that league's Finals MVP and like another former star from Croatia, Saric is also possesses very adept passing skills.
|11||Denver Nuggets||Gary Harris||(Looks like Garry Harris is just so damn good in Kaplan's eyes that it left him speechless here)|
Pichan: Anderson is an attractive prospect based on his size, 6' 7.5" (6'9" with shoes on) and a 7' 2" wingspan, his ability to handle the ball and play multiple positions, as well as rebound.
|12||Orlando Magic||Kyle Anderson||Kaplan: A 6'9 PG that can play multiple positions|
|Nik Stauskas||Pichan: Toughest team to predict as I am not high on Doug McDermott at the next level, but doesn't mean a team like the Magic isn't. Also, do they still see Oladipo as their point guard of the future or could that change based on who the land here. All this said, they need a guard, one who can shoot from the outside and likely be capable of at least sharing point guard duties so to me the player still on the board that best fits these needs is former UofM guard Nik Stauskas.|
|13||Minnesota T-Wolves||Dario Saric||Kaplan: Wolves will continue their quest to become a euro league team|
|Adreian Payne||Pichan: Anything can happen here depending on what goes down with Kevin Love, but with the chance the team moves him or not they will likely target a power forward for insurance purposes.|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Rodney Hood||Kaplan: Gives the Suns an athletic small forward that can shoot|
|T.J. Warren||Pichan: A lot of talented, offensive minded small forwards still on the board at this point but none as versatile of a scorer as last year's ACC Player of the Year in T.J. Warren (who will be one of my top fantasy targets later in my dynasty rookie drafts this year).|
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions on our selections as well as who you think will land where. In the meantime, Mark Kaplan and I will continue to churn out off-season Fantasy Basketball content starting with our series of comparing two Draft Day prospects and who we feel has the higher fantasy value. The first in that series, which will come out on Thursday, pits our consensus number one pick Andrew Wiggins against our consensus number two pick in Jabari Parker. In the meantime, enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend and be safe.