Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 NBA Mock Draft, 2.0

Last year's NBA draft class was one of the most lackluster classes in recent memory. Based on the group of draft-eligible prospects this year, however, the 2014 draft class has the potential to develop into one of the greatest ever.

While some in the group may never live up to their potential at the next level, this year's class certainly does not lack hype.

From now until the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26th, my mock will be updated frequently and we will have other mocks from our other contributors as well.

[Follow our basketball updates on Twitter via @HitTheBoards.]

The NBA Draft lottery will take place on May 20th and that could alter the draft order for the first 14 picks, but the order of the non-lottery picks has already been determined.

If you would like to view other opinions, check out our 2014 NBA mock draft database for more mocks.

Otherwise, here is my updated 2014 NBA Mock Draft:

1. Milwaukee Bucks - Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas

Entering college with lofty and perhaps unfair expectations, Wiggins received as much hype and buzz as any prep phenom since LeBron James. Before arriving in Lawrence, Wiggins was widely viewed as the consensus top prospect in the draft even if he did not occupy that spot throughout the entire college season.

While Duke's Jabari Parker may be more NBA-ready today, no prospect has as much upside as Wiggins. And while his Jayhawks teammate Joel Embiid was viewed as the top prospect in the draft for much of the college season, there are some concerns about the back injury that sidelined him down the stretch.

Exceptionally quick and explosive, Wiggins has great length (6-foot-8 with a 7-foot wingspan) as a two guard with the versatility to play either forward spot as well. In addition, he's an excellent shooter with good range. If there's a knock on Wiggins, however, it's that he's not as aggressive on the offensive end as he should be at times.

2. Philadelphia 76ers - Jabari Parker, SF, Duke

Although the Sixers miss out on the son of former Sixer Mitchell Wiggins, Parker is an outstanding consolation prize. There was initially some uncertainty about whether he would declare or return to Duke, but Parker is the most NBA-ready prospect in this year's draft class.

While Parker lacks the elite athleticism that Wiggins possesses and his defense is a weakness, Parker can take over a game offensively and score in a variety of ways. Parker will be the odds-on favorite to lead all rookies in scoring next season.

3. Orlando Magic - Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

The most important thing with Embiid will be the medical report(s) about his back. Certainly unfair from a comparison standpoint, the name you most often hear is Hakeem Olajuwon when it comes to Embiid, who has only played basketball for about four years.

A very athletic seven-footer, Embiid runs the floor well, can shoot well for his size and has a nice low-post game in addition to being a great rebounder and shot blocker. With Nikola Vucevic already on the roster, Australia's Dante Exum may better fit the team's needs, but I can't see Embiid slipping past this spot (depending on his back, of course).

With a second lottery pick, the Magic can add a point guard like Syracuse's Tyler Ennis (spoiler alert) like I project.

4. Utah Jazz - Dante Exum, PG, Australia

The Australian point guard has outstanding size and length for a point guard with excellent quickness and the ability to get to the rim. While he needs to improve his outside shot, Exum will be the first guard prospect off the board and could even be a top-three pick.

5. Boston Celtics - Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

Averaging a double-double (15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game) this season, Randle is the best player available here. This coast-to-coast dunk for the 6-foot-9 250-pounder shows his unique skill set for his size:

- View my full 2014 NBA mock draft here

For more mock drafts, view our NBA Mock Draft Database here.

2014 NFL Draft: 2014 NFL mock draft - NFL draft big board - NFL mock draft database

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