|Weekly NBA Draft Watch: Mock draft v3.0||06.12.14 at 9:50 am ET|
2014 has brought us one of the most unpredictable NBA drafts in years. The only guarantee that we have just two weeks out from draft day (June 26) is that there are no sure things.
If we know one thing, it’s this: Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins will be the first three names called (in no particular order). But all three still have as legitimate a shot to go No. 1 as they do No. 2 or 3.
This is going to be the type of draft where mocks will be changing all the way up until draft night when we find out what actually happens. Here is my latest crack at trying to break it down in my mock draft 3.0, picks 1-17 pick as usual.
1. Cavaliers, Joel Embiid (Kansas, freshman) – No changes here. Embiid is going to work out for the Cavs and show them what he can do on the court. But more importantly, he will have a physical done on his back to make sure it is healthy. With Embiid’s NBA potential, it feels like only a poor medical report can keep him from being the top selection.
2. Bucks, Jabari Parker (Duke, freshman) – I don’t see there being a debate as to whom to take between Parker and Wiggins, but many teams do. In this scenario, the Bucks make the right call. Parker is going to be a star, and could be just the building block the Bucks need to rebuild. Parker is the best player in this draft right now. He should have the inside track at Rookie of the Year no matter where he lands.
3. 76ers, Andrew Wiggins (Kansas, freshman) – The 76ers have the easiest pick in the draft. Simply take the leftover top-three pick that Cleveland and Milwaukee pass on. Although I don’t see Wiggins reaching his ceiling, he is going to be a solid player. Michael Carter-Williams and Wiggins would create one of the biggest, fastest and most athletic backcourts in the game.
4. Magic, Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State, sophomore) – Last mock I wrote that Exum going fourth to the Magic was about as sure a thing as we had in this draft. Well, over the last couple of weeks Smart has been climbing and Exum has been slipping, combining to change this pick to one of the least certain picks in the draft. Exum could still be the pick, but the Magic are just much more familiar with Smart right now. So let’s try this again. The most certain pick in the 2014 draft will be that the Magic take either Smart or Exum. There, that works.
5. Jazz, Dante Exum (Australia) – Exum falls into Utah’s lap here, and the Jazz get a great fit. With their frontcourt in place, the Jazz get a dynamic guard to put next to Trey Burke. The real question would be if Exum goes to Orlando. Would the Magic go big with Vonleh? Or stick with a guard in Smart?
6. Celtics, Aaron Gordon (Airzona, freshman) – Sorry to be boring, but reports that Danny Ainge is locked in on Gordon make it tough to go with someone else here. However, nothing is written in stone. Gordon would immediately become the Celtics‘ best athlete if he were the pick. He is not the only guy who will be working out in Waltham before the draft, though. Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle, Doug McDermott and Smart either have worked out or are scheduled to pay a visit so the Celtics can get a closer look at them.
|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: N.C. State F T.J. Warren||06.02.14 at 9:00 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.
School: N.C. State
Weight: 220 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats: 24.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 31.3 PER
Scouting report: It’s a shame that T.J. Warren has one of the most broken jump shots of all potential first-round picks, because he’d have superstar potential if he was reliable from the perimeter. Unfortunately, Warren is a 26.7 percent 3-point shooter and needs loads of work to fix his slow, clunky and inconsistent release.
However, Warren has excellent instincts and knows how to score from mid-range and near the rim like a classic scorer. The 20-year-old is able to create space off the ball by utilizing intelligent cuts, and he’s able to score with the ball because of his ability to ram his way to the rim with both strength and finesse.
Warren isn’t much of a defender, athlete or defensive rebounder, which regrettably lowers his stock. He’s a ‘tweener, but doesn’t appear to have the skills to defend either forward position at a high level, since he lacks the lateral quickness necessary to defend 3′s and the power and length to defend 4′s. His average vertical also hurts his rebounding, though it’s his unwillingness to box out that hurts him more than anything else.
How he fits: Warren is certainly worth a look with a mid-first-rounder because of his high upside on the offensive end. If he’s able to add a solid perimeter jumper to his arsenal, he could turn into a lethal scorer, and the Celtics won’t find many of those outside of the lottery.
ESPN: C’s schedule wing workout
WRAL: Why T.J. Warren should be ACC Player of the Year
Video: Here is a video of T.J. Warren’s pre-draft workout.