The NBA regular season is over. The college basketball season is done.
That means it's time to roll out Mock Draft 4.0.
However, this Mock Draft is far from set in stone. We are still awaiting the NBA Draft Combine in mid May. Followed by the Draft Lottery that will determine the final draft order for the draft. From there, individual and group workouts, including interviews, psychological evaluations and medical reports can all still shake this Mock up a lot.
Still, our Top 8 has held steady really all year. The exact order isn't really set yet, but it looks like, barring some last minute revelation, they'll all be locks for a top 10 pick.
Remember our Mock Draft is not a ranking of who we think the top players are. Instead it's a reporting tool to convey our latest intel from NBA scouts and GMs on what each time might do in the draft.
Here we go:
Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas
Odds of winning lottery: 25 percent
Analysis: Now that the Bucks are for sale, everything about their future is a little up in the air. It's unclear whether the new owners will keep John Hammond and David Morway on. They have two years left on their contract and were actually fighting their owner Herb Kohl the past few years. They wanted to rebuild, Kohl didn't. Injuries forced the issue this year, it would be ironic if they lost their jobs after delivering the Bucks their first real chance at landing a superstar. Either way, I don't think there's a clear cut favorite right now. They were leaning Joel Embiid before his back injury and could still end up going that way if Embiid comes out with a clean bill of health at the combine. Jabari Parker is the choice if they want someone who can help them win now. But I think the spot is still Wiggins to lose. He's not the most NBA ready, nor does he have the size or sex appeal of Embiid. But he's got the highest upside of any of the Bucks and could be a monster on the floor next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
2. Philadelphia 76ers Jabari Parker, F, Duke
Odds of winning lottery: 19.9 percent Analysis: Sixers ownership deemed this season a success after finishing the season with the second worst record in the league. That should be all you need to know about whether they were really tanking. However, if they land at number two, they'll be a little bummed if Wiggins isn't on the board. But Jabari would be a nice consolations prize. He'd give the Sixers a guy who could score 20 a night coming out of the gate and who would largely be protected defensively by Michael Carter Williams in the backcourt and Nerlens Noel in the middle. In other words, the Sixers have the length and athleticism to protect Parker on defense. Embiid is a dark horse here. He's not a perfect fit up front with Noel (they are different players, but both pretty raw) but it would be intriguing nonetheless.
3. Orlando Magic Dante Exum, PG, Australia
Odds of winning lottery: 15.6 percent Analysis: The Magic will surely be tempted with Embiid on the board, but they really need a point guard and there are many scouts who believe Exum might be the best prospect in the draft. We will never know for sure because Exum hasn't and won't be able to play against the other top talents in the draft. But his size, quickness, basketball IQ and ability to play both the one and the two should make him an excellent fit in the backcourt next to Victor Oladipo.
4. Utah Jazz Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Odds of winning lottery: 10.4 percent Analysis: Jazz fans want Jabari in the worst way. But they'll have to likely win one of the top two spots in the lottery to get their hands on him. With the players left on the board, the Jazz face a quandry. They can go with the guy with the most upside (Embidd) or they can go with a player who can help them right away (Julius Randle). Assuming Embiid is healthy, I think he's the pick here. Pairing him on the floor every night with Derrick Favors would give the Jazz an unbelievable defensive front line. Landing him may also free the team up to explore Enes Kanter trades over the summer. While the Jazz love Kanter, if they have to pay big dollars to Gordon Hayward this summer in free agency, they might not be able to afford to pay him what he wants next summer.
5. Boston Celtics Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona
Odds of winning lottery: 10.3 percent Analysis: The Celtics could go a lot of ways here. But most of those ways duplicate something they already have. The team would love to get their hands on Embiid as he would help them with one of their biggest needs. But Gordon is intriguing here. He's a hybrid forward, but his athleticism and motor, allow him to thrive at both the three and the four defensively. He adds toughness and does all the little things that coaches love. I think he'd be a great fit on this Celtics squad.
Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Odds of winning lottery: 6.3 percent Analysis: The Lakers have been eyeing Dante Exum and would be thrilled if he fell here. If he doesn't, they will have a tough decision to make here between Randle and Noah Vonleh. Vonleh might be a better fit in Mike D'Antonio's system. His Chris Bosh-like ability to spread the floor fits well with D'Antoni's preference for bigs who can shoot. But he's raw and probably not ready right now. Randle is ready to come in and beast from day one. With the Lakers' entire front line heading into free agency this summer (including Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill), the Lakers are going to have a lot of needs up front.
Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
Odds of winning lottery: 4.3 percent Analysis: The Kings would ideally love a shot blocker here, but after Embiid, the pickings are pretty slim this year. They also could use a big point guard. Isaiah Thomas was terrific for the Kings this year, but Smart's size, toughness and leadership at the position are all major upgrades. This team desperately needs team players who care first and foremost about winning. I can't think of a better fit for Smart than the Kings. Mike Malone will love him immediately.
Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
Odds of winning lottery: 2.8 percent Analysis: This Pistons are another team that are up in the air as far as management goes. It's unclear exactly what they are going to do now that Joe Dumars has left. Yes, the Pistons are strong up front, but I think Vonleh makes sense for three reasons. One, Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent and given the Pistons salary structure going forward, they may not want to pay him. Two, the Pistons really need a big man who can stretch the floor. Josh Smith thinks he's that guy, but his 26 percent shooting from three this season tells a different story. Three, Vonleh is, in my opinion, clearly the best player left on the board. You take him and figure things out later.
Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
Odds of winning lottery: 1.7 percent Analysis: If you though owner Dan Gilbert was impatient last year, wait until this year. It's Playoff or Bust, part II, for the Cavs and you can make sure after last year's draft debacle that the Cavs are going to try to bring in a high quality player who can contribute right now. McDermott may not be the sexiest prospect in the draft, but he's a four year senior who can really shoot the basketball. He'll be a great fit in Cleveland, especially if Luol Deng decides to bolt this summer.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans)
Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State Odds of winning lottery: 1.1 percent Analysis: If the Sixers can land their forward of the future in Parker, they can turn to adding another piece in the backcourt to play alongside Carter-Williams. The biggest knock on Harris is that he's undersized for his position, but playing next to Carter-Williams, that shouldn't be an issue. Harris is a terrific defender who can guard both backcourt spots. Harris (assuming he reverts back to his freshman year form) also provides shooting and character on a young team. Put him and Parker on the floor with MCW and Nerlens Noel and you have a very bright future in Philly.
11. Denver Nuggets (via NY Knicks)
Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
Odds of winning lottery: 0.8 percent Analysis: With Andre Miller gone, the Nuggets could use a full-time back-up for Ty Lawson. Ennis would be a terrific fit. He gives the Nuggets a completely different pace, plays, for the most part, mistake free basketball and has terrific poise for a player his age.
12. Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets)
Dario Saric, F, Croatia Odds of winning lottery: 0.7 percent Analysis: It looks unlikely that Saric will actually be able to come and play next year in the NBA. His father has been vocal that he doesn't believe Saric is ready and they have, according to sources, a deal in principle with a team in Europe next year. But, Saric's agent says that he's declaring for the draft and if he decides to stay in, someone will grab him in the teens much like the Bulls did with Nikola Mirotic in 2011. He's one of the two or three most skilled forwards in the draft and represents great value here if a team is willing to be patient and wait a couple of seasons before he comes. The Magic already have a Top 3 pick and could afford to wait. The question is whether Saric will be happier going in the late lottery or whether he'd like to pull out of the draft and try to be a Top 10 pick in 2015.
Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan Odds of winning lottery: 0.6 percent Analysis: The Wolves biggest need right now continues to be shooting. Stauskas is one of the true elite shooters in the draft. He has unlimited range, a super quick release and as a bonus, he can play some point guard in a pinch.
14. Phoenix Suns
Zach LaVine, G, UCLA Odds of winning lottery: 0.5 percent Analysis: LaVine is a swing for the fences type of pick. He has the chance to be a home run down the road. He's blessed with both elite athleticism and a awesome jump shot. His decision making skills and his body aren't ready for the NBA yet, but he's got tremendous upside for a player drafted this low.
15. Atlanta Hawks
James Young, G/F, Kentucky Analysis: The Hawks have been looking for another wing man and Young has tremendous upside here. If he had shot the ball more consistently as a freshman, he would have been gone six to eight spots higher. Still scouts are convinced there's nothing wrong with his stroke and given a little more time, he could be a very effective defense stretcher.
P.J. Hairston, G/F, Texas Legends
Analysis: The Bulls continue to search for some perimeter shooting. Jimmy Butler shot just 28 percent from three this year. Tony Snell shot just 32 percent. Derrick Rose, when he comes back, isn't going to light it up either. Mike Dunleavy mad shots for them, but given his age, he's not a long term solution. The good news is that Hairston can play either wing position, already has a NBA body and can be a very good shooter.
17. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets)
Clint Capela, F/C, Switzerland
Analysis: The Celtics could make a long-term move with their second pick. Capela has NBA length and athleticism (think Serge Ibaka) but he's pretty far away from being a NBA player right now. Whether he sticks in Europe for a year or two or comes over now and learns the hard way, getting someone with athletic tools at this point in the draft is worth the gamble.
18. Phoenix Suns (via Washington Wizards)
Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State
Analysis: If the Suns swing for the fences with their first pick, I could see them playing it safe with their second one. Early is the second oldest player in our Mock, but his play at Wichita State this year opened eyes. He's a prototypical NBA small forward with size, athleticism and the ability to shoot the ball and could make a terrific back-up for Gerald Green.
19. Chicago Bulls
Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Analysis: I said the Bulls needed shooting and this pick is about that as well. Payne is one of the few stretch fours in the draft. He has the size and strength to play in the interior, but shot a very impressive 42 percent from beyond the arc this year. His upside might be limited but on a team that will try to compete for a title next year, Payne could be an excellent fit.
20. Toronto Raptors
Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Analysis: Grant is another upside pick. Blessed with elite length and athletic ability and a motor that always keeps him in plays, Grant was a jump shot away from being a lottery pick. The Raptors could use the help behind DerMar DeRozan at the three.
21. OKC Thunder (via Dallas Mavericks)
Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
Analysis: Nurkic has NBA size and soft hands to play the center position and let's face it, in a draft devoid of bigs, that's a commodity. His lack of elite athleticism and some conditioning issues probably keep him from going higher, but this is a nice draft and stash candidate for the Thunder.
K.J. McDaniels, F, Clemson
Analysis: McDaniels brings crazy athleticism, defense and motor to the table. Several GMs feel he's one of the more underrated players in the draft. Like Grant, his lack of a real jump shot keeps him from going higher, but the defensive toughness he brings to the table should really help the Grizzlies.
23. Utah Jazz (via Golden State Warriors)
Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette
Analysis: The Jazz drafted a pretty small point guard in Trey Burke last year. Now they add a player who has size and length and the explosive athletic ability that Burke lacks to back him up. Payton isn't a great shooter and he needs to add strength, but he's my sleeper of the draft and a great get for the Jazz at 23.
24. Charlotte Bobcats (via Portland Trailblazers)
T.J. Warren, F, North Carolina State
Analysis: The Bobcats rely an awful lot on Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker to do the bulk of their scoring. As such they ranked 24th in the league in offensive efficiency. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh McRoberts and to a lesser extent, Gerald Henderson, just aren't great at putting the ball in the basket. Enter Warren, one of the best scorers in college basketball. While he lacks elite athletic ability and isn't really a shooter, Warren has a scorers mentality and should be able to get some badly needed buckets for the Bobcats.
25. Houston Rockets
Rodney Hood, SG, Duke
Analysis: This is a steal for the Rockets if Hood lasts this line. He has both size and the ability to shoot the ball from his position. He can be a little one-dimensional, but at 25, and on a team like the Rockets, all they'll ask him to do is shoot the ball.
26. Miami Heat
Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
Analysis: Anderson is the hardest player in this mock to place. Teams tend to either love him or hate him. He has a very unique skill set for a player his size as a point power forward and is best when the ball is in his hands. I think he's a great fit for the Heat because he's unselfish, makes others around him better and has drastically improved his jump shot this year. Just don't expect him to defend anyone.
27. Phoenix Suns (via Indiana Pacers)
Mario Hezonja, F, Croatia
Analysis: It's unclear whether Hezonja will even be in the draft. He's a terrific prospect that's sliding because he just doesn't get significant minutes right now in Europe. If he stays in the draft, someone will try to steal him in the first round and with three first round picks, the Suns are in a prime position to do it.
28. LA Clippers
Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn
Analysis: Darren Collision has been great as Chris Paul's back-up this year, but given the pittance he's making in LA, it's likely he's going to opt out and try to find a more lucrative deal somewhere else. Enter Napier. He's coming off a NCAA championship, can be a terrific defender and can hit big shots. It would be great for him to mentor under Chris Paul and Doc Rivers. I think this would be a good fit for both team and player.
29. OKC Thunder
C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
Analysis: The Thunder could always use more shooting and Wilcox is another lights out shooter. He's got the size and athleticism to play the two, but his age causes him to fall. I think this would be a nice late pickup for the Thunder.
30. San Antonio Spurs Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee
Stokes might be undersized, but he's a great rebounder and has the strength to create space. The Spurs have found places for players like him in the past. And, don't forget, he may be a junior, but he's just 20 years old.
*The Pistons must send their first round pick to Charlotte if, because of the lottery order, it falls below 8.
*The Pelicans must send their first round pick to Philadelphia if they don't win one of the top three spots in the lottery.