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The Tribune's NBA Mock Draft

Published June 26, 2014 3:25 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.