HTW’s 2014 Mock Draft

Instead of pulling my hair out until draft night actually comes, I had this idea to do a live mock draft via Twitter. Well, it turns out that I was beaten to the punch by Chad Ford and Jeff Goodman but that’s alright. That didn’t mean we had to give up on the fun.

That’s why the gang at HTW got together and did a live mock draft to keep our brains sane until Thursday. Here’s how everything unfolded.

Wiggins

I surely thought I’d get an enticing trade for the first overall pick. That way, as the Cavs, I could shock the world two years in a row at the draft. Instead, logic ruled and we went with a player we feel has immense upside and will be able to contribute defensively right off the bat. With Irving, Wiggins and Waiters, we have a strong core to build from or to at least test the waters with one more season to see how things go.

Parker

There was a trade offer from the Utah Jazz to get into this pick. In fact, a #5/Derrick Favors swap for #2/Ersan Elyasova was really enticing. But we wanted Parker from the get-go because he gives us the chance to improve immediately. Last season wasn’t easy but now, with a true go-to scorer like Parker, we’re moving forward towards a brighter future.

Embiid

Yeah, we did it! We’ll probably get ripped for taking an injured center two drafts in a row but it’s all about assets and upside for us. We know we’re still not going to be good next year, so why wouldn’t we take the best player available and wait for him to get healthy? As for the Noel/Embiid logjam, why can’t they play together? If Embiid gets healthy and develops more of an offensive game, we’d look like geniuses because no one will score on his in the paint. To us, it was the right move.

exum

We were more than happy that the 76ers took Embiid, otherwise we’d have a very tough decision to make. Exum was our guy the whole way. We thought about making a move for the #1 pick to grab Wiggins but feel like Exum is the most gifted offensive player in the draft. He’ll play point guard alongside Victor Oladipo. Just wait, in 2-3 years, this will be one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Guaranteed.

vonleh

Soo, we’re kind of pissed. We didn’t want to do it but we dangled Derrick Favors in front of Milwaukee to ultimately get Parker. That was our guy this whole time because we thought we’d be a shoe-in to trade up. Once Milwaukee wavered and then said no, we were pretty down. Then we thought maybe Embiid would fall to us. Wrong again. We’re taking Vonleh, and we’re satisfied with it, but let it be known that this isn’t how it was supposed to go down.

gordon

The truth must come out and reveal the greedy Timberwolves for who they are. This was the trade proposal we offered them for Kevin Love:

Boston gets: Kevin Love and Kevin Martin
Timberwolves gets: Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk, Keith Bogans (non-guaranteed contract), Brandon Bass, #6 overall pick, 2015 first-round pick from Clippers and rights to swap first round picks with Brooklyn in 2016

Tell me you’re not pissed! Well, it’s their loss in the end because we did get the guy we really wanted, and supposedly the one they wanted as well. The problem now is we’re thinking more along the lines of rebuild since we couldn’t acquire Love. Does anyone have their eyes set on Rajon Rondo?

smart

Name the last great tenured starting point guard for us? With Kobe getting up there in age, we have to start thinking of the future now. Sure, we want to get better as soon as we can, and we will try through free agency, but we needed a player with great upside and a great determination to win at all costs. That guy was Smart to us. He’s the most competitive player we worked out, and fills a position of need for us. We think he’s a guy to grow a young nucleus around.

randle

We were looking to trade down with this pick because we rated Gordon and Smart higher but they were both gone. No one bit on any trades so we took the best player available. With Randle, our offense gets better right away. We may struggle a bit on defense when DeMarcus Cousins and him are paired together but I think we can work past that eventually. We’re happy to have Randle because of the upside he brings to our future.

stauskas

This pick came down to the two best shooters in the draft: Nik Stauskas and Doug McDermott. To be completely honest, it was a toss-up. We loved Stauskas’ ability to also play some point but we also liked McDermott’s ability to stretch the court at either forward position and cover Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s kryptonite. Ultimately, Stauskas’ size at his position won us over, so we went with him.

mcdermott

For all the fans that were upset by us taking Embiid earlier, here’s our redemption. We were looking at a “stash” kind of option with this pick (Either Dario Saric or Jusuf Nurkic) but we kinda did that before with Embiid. Now we grabbed a guy who will help us immediately this season and also be a clutch shooter for years to come.

payton

Payton doesn’t exactly fill a need here but we love his upside. We were considering a couple different trades, including one from the Hawks that included Denis Schroeder. But in the end, this was the best player we could get at the time. There will be times that Brian Shaw can play Payton and Ty Lawson together without losing anything on either side of the ball. He’s a versatile player, who can grow into his game in Denver because we’re not going to force him to play big minutes right away.

lavine

The Phoenix Suns traded the rights to picks #18 and #27 to the Magic for the rights to #12. The number one target on our board after the first two tiers of players were gone was Zach LaVine. We’re enamored with his literal upside. He has uber potential and is a freak athlete. What don’t we love about a player who can jump really high, run really fast and even shoot the outside shot with some confidence? It’s like Gerald Green 2.0! Color us pink, we’re ecstatic to get our guy.

wolves

It came down to three guys: Payne, Gary Harris and Rodney Hood. We weren’t actually expecting Harris to fall but we always had our eyes set on Payne. We’re losing some depth in the frontcourt this summer, so we felt it was necessary to fill that role right away. Also, our best player has already informed us he doesn’t entirely want to play here anymore and he plays power forward too. Did we just nail two birds with one stone? Potentially.

harris

After grabbing LaVine earlier, we didn’t necessarily want this pick. In fact, we shopped this pick around along with … (GULP) … Eric Bledsoe to see what the league would do. To our surprise, no one really jumped other than Houston. The problem with Houston was that we wanted Chandler Parsons, no questions asked. But since they declined his option, making him in RFA, the negotiations got sticky and then the final offer turned into Omer Asik, Terrence Jones and #25 for Bledsoe. We couldn’t do it. So now we have a backcourt full of players (Bledsoe, LaVine, Harris, Goran Dragic, Archie Goodwin) that we can’t all find minutes for. With that I must say Bledsoe’s still on the block!

hood

With this draft being as deep as it was, we were awfully content with staying at #15. It’s not like we had any offers to move up or down, which we would’ve considered, but we knew that a good player was going to be available no matter what happened ahead of us. Rodney Hood fell right into our laps, and now we have a legit 2 or 3 to pair next to Kyle Korver and/or Louis Williams as a starter. We think he’s going to be a serviceable starter for us for a long time.

warren

After trading away Luol Deng last season, we lacked some depth at the forward position. On top of that, no one really had a knack for scoring on the entire roster without Derrick Rose active. With Warren we grabbed one of the best pure scorers in the draft and, as a bonus, he’s a forward! We’re excited about Warren moving forward because he could take over the bench as a scoring spark plug. That definitely pushes us forward in the East.

saric

At #6 we already got the guy we wanted. And now that Dario Saric — who reportedly prefers Boston, L.A. or New York — was there for the taking, we had to take him and assume he won’t be in the NBA for 2-3 years. That’s okay with us. In fact, we now have a year or so to decide if we’re going to completely rebuild or not.

anderson

Did you see Boris Diaw during the NBA Finals this year? Because we did, and we liked it a lot. Too bad Diaw’s getting pretty old, and his better days are undoubtedly behind him. But since we loved his game so much, why not draft the one guy who is his best NBA comparison? Kyle Anderson is just a hooper. He has a great i.q. for the game and is a tremendous passer from everywhere on the court. Against the right team, he’s going to be a matchup nightmare.

ennis

We’ve been down this route before. We took Marquis Teague in 2012 hoping he’d be a great backup to Rose. Only problem was Rose wasn’t there and Teague still wasn’t ready for action. But now we really have to consider Kirk Hinrich’s age and look for a new replacement. Ennis is one of the most steady players in the draft. He didn’t wow us in any workouts but he’s a game-guy, ya know? He’s going to make an impact on the game itself, where he’ll be counted on to make that tough pass or hit a big three-pointer. He’s game for all that kind of stuff.

napier

To be honest, Napier wasn’t the guy. We really wanted Ennis to fall so we could reunite the Canadian back to the motherland. Even better we should’ve gotten Wiggins! But anyways, there’s no shame in taking Napier. He’s a born-leader, best showcased during UCONN’s magical run in the NCAA Tournament. He’s going to serve very nicely as Kyle Lowry’s backup.

mcdaniels

By watching the San Antonio Spurs dominate the Heat in the finals this season, we realized that we need to become more of a unit on both sides of the ball and not rely so much on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to carry the load. After all, look how good it did Miami. To play like a unified squad, we need some more depth everywhere. McDaniels gives us a top-notch option to give Durant a breather. He’s a solid defender and can guard anyone on the wing, which also gives us a tool to play alongside Durant in certain lineups.

hairston

We needed guys who could just flat-out shoot last year, especially from the 2-guard position. All we really had in terms of a shooter was Mike Conley. P.J. Hairston immediately helps us out with that. Then we also think he’s underrated as an athlete and defender. He has good size for the position, and although he’s had his fair share of troubles, we think a guy like Tony Allen can mentor him into the NBA.

young

Are you kidding me? James Young was supposed to go in the teens, maybe even a late lottery guy. And he falls to us at 23? Can you tell we’re happy?! We actually considered trading back up to get Young earlier but we were still looking at ways to get Parker. Instead, we’re very happy to have Vonleh and Young joining the squad. Young slides in perfect behind Hayward and Burks as a sharpshooter from the bench and a role scorer.

stokes

We had a feeling somebody below us was going to take Jarnell Stokes if he fell any further. He’s a one-of-a-kind rebounder, actually better than Randle, Vonleh and Gordon even. You can’t teach rebounding like that, especially at this level. Stokes strengthens are frontcourt that much more, so we’re happy finishing the round with Stauskas and Stokes.

grant

Terrence Jones is still a rocket but if Jerami Grant can prove that he can play a similar role, we may be inclined to move Jones out via trade. Still considering moving him for Bledsoe. Anyways, we think Grant, if developed, can be a nice piece off the bench. He brings athleticism and rebounding to our lineup, which you can never have too much of.

capela

We really wanted Stokes here because we’re looking for players to come in and help us now. Instead, we took Capela who was the best player available. If he’s not available to play right away, so be it. We’re going to look towards free agency to improve anyway … Once the Big Three sign back on board…

nurkic

I’m really not entirely sure how Nurkic was still here. On our board, he was top-15. I mean, we watched Nikola Pekovic abuse Dwight Howard in his Magic days, why wouldn’t we want the next version of that? Nurkic might not be ready to come over just yet but we’re willing to wait because we know we’re still a few years away from playing at a highly competitive level.

clarkson

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mcgary

We’re losing Darren Collison, so we need a true back up to Chris Paul. That’s why Clarkson was our favorite player left on the board. We would’ve been more than lucky to have Ennis or Napier fall but we’re more than happy with Clarkson because of his size at the position and ability to score the ball.

adams

Jordan Adams reminds us a little of a younger Anthony Morrow. And you know how much we love shooting the deep ball with accuracy!