The Daily Iowan’s NBA mock draft

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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DI staffers Charles Green, Will McDavid, and Kyle Mann predict the lottery selections of Thursday night’s NBA draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins (Swing, Kansas)

Mann: Wiggins is the most athletically gifted prospect in several years, and his scoring potential paired with his ability and willingness to play defense make him an exciting backcourt partner alongside Kyrie Irving.

2. Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker       (SF, Duke)

McDavid: After winning just 15 games last season, Milwaukee takes a player who will make an immediate contribution. Parker’s polished offensive game, NBA-ready physique, and high basketball IQ make him an obvious fit here.

3. Philadelphia 76ers: Dante Exum     (PG, Australia)

Green: Despite the presence of rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams, the Sixers take another point guard to create a formidable backcourt in Philadelphia. The 6-6 Exum is somewhat of a project, but he has a combination of size and skills that cannot be ignored.

4. Orlando Magic: Noah Vonleh                (F, Indiana)

Mann: Vonleh was underappreciated all year at Indiana. But at 6-10 and 250 pounds, with a 37-inch vertical, 7-4 wingspan, and impressive shooting range, Vonleh could quickly become one of the best power forwards in the league.

5. Utah Jazz: Marcus Smart                     (SG, Oklahoma State)

McDavid: Though a highly public misstep at Texas Tech and mediocre long-range shooting have given Smart his share of critics, his sheer size and skill make him an elite finisher at the rim and one of the draft’s peskiest perimeter defenders.

6. Boston Celtics: Joel Embiid                  (C, Kansas)

Green: Because of foot and back issues, Embiid slides out of the top five and into the open arms of general manager Danny Ainge, who is not afraid to gamble on talented but risky prospects. Embiid has the potential to be a dominant defensive force if his injuries heal properly.

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle      (PF, Kentucky)

Mann: The Lakers are going to be desperate for a star when Kobe leaves, and Randle has the most potential of the remaining players. Physically imposing, an expanded offensive game will make Randle a nightmare mismatch.

8. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon     (PF, Arizona)

McDavid: Drafting Gordon provides the Kings with the sort of low-usage, high-effort player necessary to complement center DeMarcus Cousins. Gordon’s elite athleticism and defensive awareness will allow him to guard numerous positions and compensate for Cousins’ shortcomings as a paint protector.

9. Charlotte Hornets: Nik Stauskas      (SG, Michigan)

Green: An excellent ball-handler and shooter, Stauskas has the ability to create his own shot. The Hornets desperately need a long-range shooter; this guy may be the best the draft has to offer.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Doug McDermott (PF, Creighton)

Mann: After drafting Exum, the Sixers decide to take a shooter. McDermott is a proven deadly scorer and possibly the best pure shooter in the draft.

11. Denver Nuggets: Gary Harris                    (SG, Michigan State)

McDavid: The addition of Harris fills the Nuggets’ glaring void at shooting guard, as he is likely the draft’s best two-way player. Despite shooting struggles last year, scouts are hopeful that the guard’s woes weren’t indicative of his overall ability.

12. Orlando Magic: Elfrid Payton                   (PG, Louisiana-Lafayette)

Green: This lengthy and athletic guard needs to work on his shooting, but he can attack the basket and defend on the perimeter. Paired with shooting guard Victor Oladipo, Orlando could develop one of the league’s top defensive backcourts.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Young (SG-SF, Kentucky)

Mann: The Wolves take the best player available. Young is only 18 years old and at 6-7, he has immense potential as a scorer from the wing. He can drive and shoot and has a team-first attitude.

14. Phoenix Suns: Adreian Payne                     (PF, Michigan State)

McDavid: Phoenix has always coveted big men with shooting range, reflected by a roster replete with “stretch 4s” such as Channing Frye and Markieff Morris. With this pick, the Suns add a player who fulfills the floor-spacing function without yielding a disadvantage in the post or on the boards.

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