The Tribune’s NBA Mock Draft
Published: June 26, 2014 03:25PM
Updated: June 26, 2014 04:28PM
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Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie (25) puts a baseline pass by Washington's Darin Johnson in the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Andrew Wiggins, 6-8 200, small forward, Kansas

Strengths • May be the best athlete in the draft. Has a chance to be special as a defender and all-around scorer. Has emerged as the favorite in the past week.

History • Was considered one of the best high school players in the last decade. Has been compared to LeBron James, but reminds many of Tracy McGrady.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

Jabari Parker, 6-9, 240, small forward, Duke

Strengths • Is a supreme scorer in the mold of Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony. Has a refined offensive game that should allow him to instantly get buckets in the NBA.

History • Is the son of former NBA player Sonny Parker. Hails from Chicago, where he led famed Simeon High to multiple Illinois state titles.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

Noah Vonleh, 6-9, 247, power forward, Indiana

Strengths • Has huge upside and wingspan. Has a little Chris Bosh in him with his ability to stretch the floor. Could impact Philly right away.

History • Was one of the best freshmen in the Big Ten in his one year of college. Like the first two picks, was a McDonald’s All-American.

4. Orlando Magic

Dante Exum, 6-6, 196, point guard, Australia

Strengths • Is long and athletic and has big potential at the point guard position. Intrigued many scouts last season with his play in the Nike Hoop Summit.

History • Is the son of Cecil Exum, who played at North Carolina. Had he played collegiately, would’ve likely landed at Indiana.

5. Utah Jazz

Julius Randle, 6-9, 250, power forward, Kentucky

Strengths • His strength is his strength. Has one of the most NBA-ready frames in the draft. Left-hander who can score and rebound in traffic.

History • Had a great workout with Utah a few weeks ago, and refuted reports on impending foot surgery. Led Kentucky to the NCAA title game as a college freshman.

6. Boston Celtics

Joel Embiid, 7-0, 240, center, Kansas

Strengths • Could be a franchise center — if healthy. Embiid is uncommonly athletic for his size, is a great defender and has a fast-developing offensive game.

History • Had surgery for a broken foot last week, shaking up the order of the draft. His slide stops here, as Danny Ainge takes on the huge gamble.

7. Los Angeles Lakers

Elfrid Payton, 6-5, 185, point guard, Louisiana-Lafayette

Strengths • Reminds some of Gary Payton in that he’s athletic, a great defender and playmaker. Continues the recent trend of big point guards who can really get to the rim.

History • Is the biggest stock climber of the draft. Has had great workouts to go along with his size and length and athleticism.

8. Sacramento Kings

Marcus Smart, 6-3, 227, point guard, Oklahoma State

Strengths • This is a steal for the Kings, who get a great fit and a great leader for a talented but leaderless crew. Smart could be the best thing to happen to DeMarcus Cousins.

History • Smart famously declined to enter the 2013 draft, where he would’ve been a top-three pick. He’s a better player, but he slid down the board a bit.

9. Charlotte Hornets

Aaron Gordon, 6-9, 220, power forward, Arizona

Strengths • Is one of the best athletes in the draft, and would be the best player available with this pick. Gordon also could go to the Jazz at No. 5.

History • Gordon led the Wildcats to the Elite 8 in last year’s NCAA Tournament. He was one of the best freshmen in the country as well.

10. Philadelphia 76ers

Nik Stauskas, 6-6, 207, shooting guard, Michigan

Strengths • Is one of the best shooters in the draft. Also puts the ball on the floor and is a much better athlete than anyone gives him credit for.

History • Came on strong for the Wolverines during a standout sophomore season. Became one of the best players in the Big Ten.

11. Denver Nuggets

Gary Harris, 6-4, 205, shooting guard, Michigan State

Strengths • Smooth scorer, capable of filling it from deep, or getting to the basket. Was another Big Ten standout in a season where the Spartans almost made it to the Final Four.

History • Reminds many of another Bradley Beal. Maybe not as polished offensively, but is another slightly undersized shooting guard who can do some of everything.

12. Orlando Magic

Dario Saric, 6-10, 225, small forward, Croatia

Strengths • Can play both forward positions and is a bit of a point forward. Great passer and ball handler for his size. Can do a lot on a basketball court.

History • He’s locked in overseas for at least two years, but he’s still talented enough to be a lotto pick. Goes to a team that’s stocked at forward.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves

Rodney Hood, 6-8, 208, small forward, Duke

Strengths • Left-handed and explosive. Can really get to the paint and score. Is one of those guys who could be a better pro than college guy.

History • Played one season at Mississippi State before transferring to Duke. Played with Jabari Parker as a Blue Devil.

14. Phoenix Suns

Kyle Anderson, 6-9, 230 pounds, small forward, UCLA

Strengths • One of the best all-around players in the draft. Not a great athlete, but his size makes up for that. Can play up to four positions.

History • Was nicknamed “slo mo” as a youngster. Is from New Jersey, where he played at famed St. Anthony’s High.

15. Atlanta Hawks

TJ Warren, 6-8, 220, small forward, North Carolina State

Strengths • Just scores. Doesn’t matter how. He just puts the ball into the basket. Not as athletic as a Parker, or Wiggins, but is effective.

History • Played two years for the Wolfpack, and was probably the best scorer in the ACC. Could turn out to be similar to Paul Pierce.

16. Chicago Bulls

Doug McDermott, 6-7, 220, small forward, Creighton

Strengths • One of the best scorers in recent NCAA Tournament history. Would fit great with a Bulls team that sorely needs shooting.

History • McDermott played four years at Creighton and leaves college basketball as one of its most decorated players.

17. Boston Celtics

Shabazz Napier, 6-0, 175, point guard, Connecticut

Strengths • Is a winner, and is as crafty off the dribble as anyone in the draft. Lacks size, but has a lot of skill and a lot of guts.

History • Won a pair of NCAA titles as a Husky. Much like Kemba Walker before him, carried UConn to the 2013 NCAA championship.

18. Phoenix Suns

Adreian Payne, 6-10, 240, power forward, Michigan State

Strengths • Is an athletic power forward that can really shoot the ball. Fits in well with the Suns, who value shooting in their bigs.

History • Phoenix will likely lose Channing Frye to free agency, so this is a natural fit. Payne teamed with Harris to form a great duo with the Spartans.

19. Chicago Bulls

James Young, 6-6, 215, shooting guard, Kentucky

Strengths • Can really shoot it, and has proven to make big shots in big situations. Can put it on the floor and get to the basket as well.

History • Went to the NCAA Tournament title game as a freshman. Stock has dipped some, but still a solid first-rounder.

20. Toronto Raptors

Tyler Ennis, 6-2, 180, point guard, Syracuse

Strengths • Ennis isn’t athletic, but he is cerebral and crafty. Good passer, good shooter. Racked up a lot of steals in ’Cuse’s zone system.

History • The hooper from Canada returns home with this pick. With Kyle Lowry a free agent, this is a natural pick for the Raptors.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

Zach Lavine, 6-5, 195, shooting guard, UCLA

Strengths • Great athlete, one of the best in the draft. Good shooter as well and has a high ceiling.

History • Played one season for the Bruins, coming off the bench for a team that made the Sweet 16.

22. Memphis Grizzlies

Cleanthony Early, 6-7, 210, small forward, Wichita State

Strengths • Can shoot, is efficient and is more athletic than advertised. Early gives this team some sorely needed scoring on the wing.

History • Was once one of the best junior college players in the country. His game translated nicely to D-1 hoops, and will to the NBA.

23. Utah Jazz

C.J. Wilcox, 6-5, 201, shooting guard, Washington

Strengths • The former Pleasant Grove star returns home. Wilcox can really shoot the ball, and would be a welcome addition to a Jazz team that needs just that.

History • A former Class 5A First Team All-State selection, Wilcox became one of the best players in the Pac-12.

24. Charlotte Hornets

Jusuf Nurkic, 6-11, 280, center, Bosnia

Strengths • One of the few low-post scorers in the draft. Can get it done with his back to the basket, or facing up.

History • Could move Anthony Davis to his more natural power forward slot. May take some time to gel, but is good value here.

25. Houston Rockets

P.J. Hairston, 6-6, 225, shooting guard, D-League

Strengths • Is coveted by a number of teams late in the first round. Supreme scorer who gives Houston yet another shooter.

History • Played at North Carolina and was ruled ineligible so he went the D-League route.

26. Miami Heat

Jordan Clarkson, 6-4, 186, point guard, Missouri

Strengths • Has great size for his position and proved he could play in workouts. Could be a steal this late.

History • The Heat need a point guard upgrade in a big way. Clarkson is a huge need pick here.

27. Phoenix Suns

Mitch McGary, 6-10, 245, power forward, Michigan

Strengths • Adds power and rebounding in the paint. Can step out and shoot it, and adds depth to a frontcourt that needs it.

History • Entered the NBA Draft after facing a year suspension from the NCAA. Shut his workouts down early. Could have a first-round promise.

28. Los Angeles Clippers

Clint Capela, 6-11, 222, power forward, Switzerland

Strengths • Great athlete and shot-blocker. Very, very raw at this point and will need time to fulfill his upside.

History • Played in the Nike Hoop Summit with the World team. Is regarded as one of the top young big men in the world.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder

Jerami Grant, 6-8, 214, small forward, Syracuse

Strengths • Has expanding skill and is adding to it each day. Could be a very good player five years from now.

History • Is the son of former NBA forward Harvey Grant. Has a brother who plays at Notre Dame.

30. San Antonio Spurs

Spencer Dinwiddie, 6-6, 2-7, point guard, Colorado

Strengths • A smooth floor leader who shoots the ball well, gets to the free-throw line and gets the ball in the hands of the right people.

History • Tore his ACL in January and is still recovering.