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Sonics Rising Mock NBA Draft, version 2.1

We're back and this time, to paraphrase The Sugarhill Gang, "we've brought some friends along."

Ethan Miller

So we decided to mix things up. Instead of a full update to 3.0, we went with a small update to version 2.1.  This update features an extra round, plus changes in team representatives, including some friends from around the SB Nation universe.


Pick Team Representative Player Position School Explanation
1 Bucks_logo_medium
Dontae Delgado Andrew Wiggins SG/SF Kansas Joel Embiid certainly has made his case for the top spot; and is the only other prospect that has the type of upside to be worth it. There still isn't any news on his aching back. Unfortunately, that bit of news and a solid NCAA tournament, places Wiggins here. He's not the LeBron/Durant level of talent, but he can certainly be Paul George-like. That's more than enough for a fledging franchise like the Bucks.
2 Sixers_logo_medium
Mitch Northam Jabari Parker F Duke It's the safe pick here. Sure the 76ers would love to get a potential franchise center in Embiid, but a college big man with back problems isn't a good look. Instead, the 76ers can take Jabari Parker, who can be a franchise guy at either forward position. Will he be Carmelo Anthony? Probably not, but who knows. Most guys that average 19 and 8 in college turn out to be pretty good in the NBA. Parker has a good head on his shoulders, is an outstanding shooter, can post up some and get in good position for boards and blocks and has a nice frame at 6'9", 220lbs.
3 Magic_logo_medium
Tyler Lashbrook,
Orlando Pinstriped Post
Joel Embiid C Kansas I'm sticking to my guns here. I'm all for taking the best player available and Joel Embiid is right at No. 3--behind Wiggins and Parker--on my big board. There's positional overlap, as Nikola Vucevic is a franchise center, but my postion is: draft the best prospect, figure out playing time and roster construction later. I'm also OK with taking Embiid and listening to any offers on draft night.
4 Jazz_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle Dante Exum PG/SG Australia Exum could team up with Trey Burke in the backcourt, and could also bring the ball up for the Jazz. At 6'6" with a 6'9" wingspan, he's got good length, but could use some extra muscle. He's an explosive player who can get to the rim, elevate over people, draw contact, distribute the ball or step out and shoot the three.
5 Celtics_logo_medium
Tim MacLean,
Celtics Blog
Noah Vonleh PF/C Indiana The Celtics need size up front, and with Joel Embiid already off the board at number three, Noah Vonleh makes the most sense. Obviously, the sexier pick might be Kentucky's Julius Randle but, to me, Vonleh has a lot more upside. Rather than using brute strength to overpower defenders down low like Randle does, Vonleh has a polished set of moves he can go to whenever he gets the ball on the block. He's also proven to have a pretty reliable stroke from deep, hitting over 50 percent of his attempts throughout the course of his freshman season. Add in the fact that he's 6'10 with a 7'4 wing span and he's the clear choice over Randle and his alligator arms.
6 Lakers_logo_medium
Chris Meirose Julius Randle PF Kentucky Randle isn't going to fix the Lakers' problems, but he could be a key part to what the future may hold. Size, strength, athleticism and youth - all attributes the Lakers need to move forward. As he continues to fill out his frame he is going to be a load in the low block on offense for many years to come. Has some need to improve defensively but should learn quickly in the NBA.
7 Kings_logo_medium
Greg Wissinger,
Sactown Royalty
Aaron Gordon PF Arizona Gordon fits with the Kings for so many reasons.  He's a strong defender, which the Kings desperately need.  And his passing and athleticism fit perfectly with the team concept that GM Pete D'Alessandro has stated the team is working towards.  The toughest part of this pick was the choice between Gordon and Marcus Smart.  Isaiah Thomas is a restricted free agent, and it's easy to see a scenario where the Kings opt not to pay what Thomas can fetch on the open market.  Whether this is right or wrong would remain to be seen, but Marcus Smart would be an excellent consolation prize for Kings fans.  Ultimately, my preferred scenario is for the Kings to retain Thomas and Rudy Gay to go with Cousins and  (a hopefully improved in his second season) Ben McLemore.  Put Gordon in that mix and the Kings could really have something to move forward with.
8 Pistons_logo_medium
Dontae Delgado Doug McDermott SF/PF Creighton Detroit needs shooters to space the floor. They also need an "NBA Ready" player, and Marcus Smart is neither. He's a clone of Rodney Stuckey for this team. Can you imagine the attitudes of Smart, Brandon Jennings, and Josh Smith? I look at McDermott as a rich man's Kyle Korver in this case, with the ability to be even better as an overall player, in due time.
9 Cavaliers_medium
Mitch Northam James Young SG/SF Kentucky The south-paw with long arms and a solid frame would be a huge upgrade for the Cavaliers defensively should Luol Deng decide to leave via free agency. Young gambles a bit on defense, but was still one of the best defenders on his Kentucky team this season, and, at just 17 years of age, shows potential to grow into even a better defender. His offensive game needs some work, but showed a quick release, the ability to create space while also being abel to finish in traffic. Young would a nice fit for a Cavs team in need of defense, especially at the small forward position.


(via New Orleans)

Mitch Northam Nik Stauskas SG Michigan The 76ers took care of drafting their franchise guy earlier by picking Jabari Parker, and while they can play him at either forward position they are still in need of a compentent backcourt mate for Michael Carter-Williams. That's where Stauskas, an excellent three-point shooter with the ability to create his own offense comes in. Stauskas should be able to knock down catch-and-shoot opportunities while also being able to create his own offense when teams lock down MCW and Parker. Stauskas should be the perfect third banana for the 76ers next season.
11 Nuggets_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle Marcus Smart G Oklahoma State While Denver clearly doesn't need a PG with Ty Lawson locked into their #1 guy position, Smart can also play off the ball. He wouldn't be the biggest SG, standing 6'4", but he has a 6'8" wingspan and is a solid 225 pounds. He could bully many guards down low and can get to the rim. Or he could provide the team with a good bench option who can provide help at both ends of the floor.


(via New York)

Tyler Lashbrook Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse I cold have taken Dante Exum at No. 3 and sealed up Orlando's backcourt of the future, but I like the idea of taking the highest valued player and working the rest out later. In doing so, I fully understood that I was in need of picking up a point with my second pick. I pondered moving up to No. 10 and snagging Marcus Smart, but he started to fall and I thought he might slip one more down to me at No. 12. Alas, Taylor snagged Smart right ahead of me. It worked out, though, because Ennis was still available. I'm happy with this pick here, considering who all was available and who I selected at the top of the draft.
13 Timberwolves_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda Adreian Payne PF Michigan State With the uncertainty of the future of Kevin Love in Minnesota, the Timberwolves would be best suited in getting the best available power foward in the draft at their position and this would be Payne. The guy can jump out of the gym, rebounds, plays some pretty solid defense and has incredibly gifted range for a man his size and age. Would almost be a seemless fit here for the T-Wolves.
14 Suns_logo_medium
Dontae Delgado Kyle Anderson
SF/PF Anderson gives the Suns an unorthodox, but capable ball handler and distributor that can fit well if used correctly. He can allow guards Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic to operate off the ball more, giving PHX a very dynamic and varied offense. Add in Anderson's improved shooting (which should be able to extend out to the 3-point line) and you have the potential for an even scarier offense. His defense still leaves much to be desired, as we do not know if he can defend SFs and PFs effectively. His nickname is "Slo-Mo" for a reason. He eventually should add the strength to defend the PF position with time, but in the meantime PHX will want to pair him with capable defenders.
15 Hawks_logo_medium Mitch Northam T.J. Warren F North Carolina State The Hawks are in a position to take the best player available here and with a need at the small forward spot, TJ Warren would be the perfect fit. Along with the ability to play either forward spot, Warren has improved his "old man" game this season and has blossomed into an All-ACC talent and a first round pick. Warren's basketball IQ is out of this world and should be a solid contributor at the next level with his ability to attack the rim, score and rebound.


(via Charlotte)

Taylor Bartle Gary Harris G Michigan State Jimmy Butler has cemented himself into the starting lineup, and it could stay that way with Gary Harris starting the season on the bench. If it works out, though, Thibodeau could find himself moving Bulter to the three in order to start Harris. Harris can shoot, play D and has a great basketball IQ. He doesn't have great size or athleticism, but he shot over 50% last year, including 35% from downtown.


(via Brooklyn)

Tim MacLean Rodney Hood G/F Duke In today's NBA the longball is sacred and, unfortunately, the Celtics learned that the hard way this past season, ranking 28th in the league in terms of three-point field goal percentage. As a team, Boston connected on a mere 33 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Enter Rodney Hood. In 35 games at Duke this season, Hood knocked down 42 percent of his 169 three point attempts and it was his ability to stretch the floor that opened up driving lanes for his teammates. At 6'8 and 215 pounds, Hood has the potential to be a very solid wing man in the NBA. He'll never be a star but between his shooting touch, athletic ability, and potential to become an above average defender, Hood makes sense for the Celtics at 17.


(via Washington)

Dontae Delgado Zach LaVine PG/SG UCLA This is a potential pick. Not what LaVine can provide now, but what he can develop into. Blessed with great athleticisim, a solid jump shot, and good size at the guard position, LaVine is built in the mode of fellow UCLA alum Russell Westbrook. Add him to a great guard lineup and you have the best young backcourt in the NBA. He's only 19, and is about a year away, but PHX has a good system and coaching set up to develop him into a legit NBA player.
19 Raptors_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda K.J. McDaniels SF Clemson The Raptors could use a young, athletic and defensive minded player here. It is a major component they are currently missing in their lineup. McDaniels isn't going to light the world on fire offensively, but he has the ability to be a Tony Allen type stopper on the wing that is much more gifted offensively. Though that is not saying much overall. Would be an awesome fit for the Raptors here this late in the draft.
20 Bulls_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle Shabazz Napier PG UConn This makes sense for Chicago. Napier can provide the offense of the bench that Nate Robinson provided for them last year. He could also step into the starting lineup should Rose go out again. He's undersized, but so was Robinson, and so is their current stopgap, D.J. Augustin.
21 Mavericks_logo_medium
Tim Cato,
Mavs Moneyball
P.J. Hairston SG UNC / Texas Legends (D-League) The Mavericks had a first-hand look at P.J., as he signed with the affiliated Texas Legends right down the road in Frisco, so it's too bad they give the pick up to Oklahoma City. Although his D-League stats may not wow anyone, he showed a polished game on the perimeter and scoring inside -- most notably, volume 3-point shooting that easily stretches out to NBA range.
22 Grizzlies_logo_medium
Chris Meirose Jerami Grant SF Syracuse Have you looked at the Grizz's SF line up? This pick sells itself. They are in deperate need of an upgrade at SF, and Grant has the length and athleticism to step in right away and add to their already solid defense and grow into the role on offense where he still needs to grow and develop.


(via Golden State)

Taylor Bartle Bogdan Bodanovic SG Partizan Belgrade (Serbia) Bogdanovic is having a breakout season for Partizan Belgrade, averaging 15 points per game on 46% shooting. He could provide the Jazz with a scoring punch off the bench behind Alec Burks, and can also handle the ball as he has been playing point guard since Leo Westermann went down with an injury, and averaged 3.9 assists last season.


(via Portland)

Mitch Northam Cleanthony Early PF Wichita State To build off an impressive season and improve their roster, the Bobcats will need to upgrade their defending around the rim. Early's overall game needs some work, but with his combination of size, speed and athleticism his skills on the defensive end should translate well to the NBA. He's a very active defender (where someone like Big Al Jeff isn't always active) and his leaping ability allows him to jump over opposing players for blocks and rebounds. Early is a solid pick and roll defender too, and should be able to defend it at the next level. On the offensive end, he needs some work, but his athleticism should allow him to get easy points around the rim. This past season, he was one of the best scorers in college basketball.
25 Heat_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda Clint Capela C France The Heat could really use a defensive anchor in the middle of the paint. Chris Bosh does a fine job and is very under rated at what he does and then there is LeBron James, a man who can lock anyone down on the planet, however, the Heat do not have that shot blocker that keeps opponents from getting into the paint. Capela has a Serge Ibaka type defensive ceiling, he's an awesome rebounder, but as a person for his size and age, very raw offensively. The Heat really don't need any more offense and if Capela falls this far in the draft, they are getting a huge steal here.
26 Rockets_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle Mitch McGary C Michigan McGary would be added to a somewhat crowded frontcourt with Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, but the Rockets should finally be able to move Asik this offseason. McGary could help out behind Dwight and could potentially develop into a consistent double-double player. His free throws are not much better than Dwight's, though, so that would need to be addressed if he's going to be a reliable second option.


(via Indiana)

Dontae Delgado Jusuf Nurkic C Bosnia & Herzegovina The Suns could stand to get better on defensive. Nurkic gives them another big that can potentially be a high-level starter, with more experience than last year's lottery pick, Alex Len. He's strong, has a soft touch, and good mobility for his size. He fouls too much, and seems to have attitude issues, but he's also only 19 years old.
28 Clippers_logo_medium
Chris Meirose Artem Klimenko C Saratov (Russia) He's a 7 footer who can move and run the floor well. Will need to put on some muscle, and is raw offensively, but gives Doc a project to work on with great up side.
29 Okc-thunder-logo_medium
Mitch Northam Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan After signing Caron Butler, it's pretty clear that the Thunder need a wing player that can come off the bench and score. Glenn Robinson's draft stock took a hit this year, but he should still be a good player at the next level. Big Dog Jr. moves well without the ball and does a nice job cutting and coming off of screens, as well as finishing at the rim and crashing the boards on offensive. On defense, there are some skills to be desired, but Robinson shows some signs of potential on that end, being able to bother shooters with his length and by anticipating passing lanes. More than anything, OKC needs a guy who can stand in the corner or at the top of the key and turn a pass from KD or Westbrook into points; Robinson should be able to do that on a more consistent basis than Butler or Jeremy Lamb.
30 Spurs_logo_medium
Stephen Bagwell,
Pounding the Rock

Vasilije Micic

PG Serbia With Patty Mills hitting free agency and Cory Joseph not establishing himself as a sure-thing #2 point guard, and with a number of draft-and-stashed players at other positions overseas (specifically Davis Bertans and Livio Jean-Charles), look for the Spurs to take a point guard here. Micic played against a number of higher rated prospects from this draft class at the U19 World Championships, and held his own against the likes of Marcus Smart. He's 6'4, defends well, and displays a great deal of creativity in his passes. He'll need to improve his shot from distance, but it would be possible for him to come over and get end of the rotation minutes immediately.


Pick Team Representative Player Position School Explanation
31 Bucks_logo_medium
Dontae Delgado Semaj Christon PG Xavier A chance for the Bucks to get first round talent in the second round. Semaj has good size, can get to the rim and create for himself and others, and has good defensive tools. He's not a good jump shooter and his true point guard skills (seeing the floor, being steps ahead of the defense, etc.) need work, but he's good value at this point and can push Wolters and Knight for minutes immediately.
32 Sixers_logo_medium
Mitch Northam Patric Young PF Florida Patric Young is a big man with a limited offensive game, but has improved it some this season, finishing cuts and excelling in transition. But the 76ers will draft him for his well established defensive game. His numbers don't jup off the page at you, but Young was one of the best pick and roll defenders in college and his combination of size, speed, fundamentals and athleticism made him a very good low post defender as well.


(via Orlando)

Mitch Northam Russ Smith PG Louisville The Cavs could use some depth at the guard position. Behind Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters they had Jarrett Jack, and after that, might as well been no one. Russ Smith is a guy with playmaking instincts and has the ability to knock down the perimeter shots while also possessing the speed and quickness to get inside. He'll be nice added depth to the Cavaliers' guard roatation.
34 Mavericks_logo_medium
Tim Cato Jarnell Stokes PF Tennessee He's a little short, but he's strong and a good rebounder. The Mavericks have to start looking to a post-Dirk era, and he could be a player to develop.
35 Jazz_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle C.J. Wilcox SG Washington Wilcox could provide the Jazz with some options and can score the basketball. He could find himself spending time in Bakersfield, but he could also find himself dominating there. Scoring 18.5 points on 52% shooting, including 39% from downtown last season, Wilcox has the look of an NBA shooting guard. He needs to work on creating his own shot and handling the ball if he wants to be anything more than a spot-up shooter, but guys like Anthony Morrow and Kyle Korver have made careers out of filling that role.


(via Los Angeles Lakers)

Dontae Delgado Thanasis Antetokounmpo SF Delaware 87ers (D-League) Thanasis is all arms, length, hustle, and athleticisim like his brother. He just does it without the basketball IQ included. He's older than Giannis, but he can be a good rotation wing, especially on defense, over time. You can never have enough Greek Freaks on one team.


(via Sacramento)

Kevin Nesgoda Nick Johnson SG Arizona It's a luxury when you can get a leader in the second round of the draft. Johnson isn't the most athletically gifted person in the draft, but he's incredibly smart, great passer, has a nice stroke on his shot that will allow him to become a deadly shooter in the NBA. This pick for Toronto just allows them to get much, much deeper.
38 Pistons_logo_medium
Dontae Delgado C.J. Fair SF Syracuse Athletic forward with a solid jumper and good defense. Highlight dunker that can give the Pistons a true prospect at the SF position. He struggles to create off the dribble, but in Detroit he won't need to.


(via Cleveland)

Mitch Northam Keith Appling PG Michigan State The 76ers essentially trotted out a D-League team this season. Appling's stock may have fallen a bit, but I'm pretty confident that he can fit into their rotation as a solid facilitator off the bench.


(via New Orleans)

Kevin Nesgoda Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana Lafayette Depending on how he does in the combine, Payton could easily sneak up into the first round of the draft. He's that talented. If he happens to fall this far in the draft though, the Wolves would be getting a huge steal and potential replacement for Ricky Rubio. He doesn't have Rubio's passing ability, but his scoring and defense are light years ahead of Rubio at this point in time.
41 Nuggets_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle Isaiah Austin C Baylor Denver doesn't need a lot of help at center, with JaVale McGee coming back form injury and Timofey Mozgov coming off the bench, but Austin is arguably the BPA here and will spend time in the D-League. He's a legit 7-footer with long arms who averaged 3.2 blocks last year.


(via New York)

Taylor Bartle Damien Inglis SF Roanne (France) A future 3 and D guy who shot 39% from downtown last year.  He won't change the game for Houston or anyone else, but he can be a solid role player off the bench for spot minutes.
43 Timberwolves_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda Markel Starks SG Oklahoma State Starks would be a depth pick here for the Wolves. Their backcourt isn't exactly one that you can brag about and adding a scorer and decent defender like Starks here is definitely a no brainer.
44 Suns_logo_medium
Dontae Delgado Fuquan Edwin SG/SF Seton Hall Phoenix needs defenders on the perimeter that can also shoot and Edwin can fit the role well. He can guard multiple wing positions on defense (his strong suit), and is a good catch player. Think of him filling a role ala Thabo Sefolosha in Oklahoma City.
45 Hawks_logo_medium
Mitch Northam Deonte Burton PG Nevada Behind Jeff Teague, the Hawks don't have much depth at the point guard position. Burton gives them that, as well as the ability to be a playmaker off the bench with the second unit.
46 Hornets_logo_medium
Mitch Northam Dwight Powell PF Stanford More added size and rebounding for a Charlotte team looking to make it past a first round sweep in the playoffs. Powell presents a matchup probelm because of his size, post profientcy and his ability to play around the perimeter.


(via Brooklyn)

Mitch Northam James Michael McAdoo F North Carolina At one time, McAdoo was considered a first round pick, but after returning to school year after year it has given GM's and scouts a chance to nitpick at all of his flaws. McAdoo's game is more tailored to the NBA and should be able to fit in to the 76ers rotation in 2014.
48 Wizards_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda Jabari Brown SG Missouri Here is a floor spreader off the bench that can definitely help the Wizards. Brown isn't great on the defensive end, but rebounds well for a guard. He shot 41% from three last year and should only get better.


(via Toronto)

Dontae Delgado Andre Dawkins SG Duke He can shoot, should be able to develop into a solid defender if he sticks. A rotation player at best.
50 Bulls_logo_medium
Taylor Bartle Spencer Dinwiddie SG Colorado Dinwiddie scored 14.7 points on 51% shooting in his junior year.  He can fill up the bucket, but can also pass the ball and play D, and averaged 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals last year as well.
51 Mavericks_logo_medium
Tim Cato LaQuinton Ross SF Ohio State Finished the season strong. Averaged 15 and 6 in the Big 10, which is impressive. There's major questions whether it will translate to the NBA, but options are slim in the bottom ten of any draft.


(via Memphis)

Mitch Northam Lamar Patterson SG Pittsburgh Patterson's production and stock has fell a bit in the last year, but is still a solid defensive guard. His length and basketball IQ allows him to jump passing lanes and defend on the ball. That said, he still needs work and would likely end up in Delaware if drafted here.


(via Golden State)

Kevin Nesgoda Devyn Marble SG Iowa Marble would be another depth pick for the Minnesota backcourt. He has a long shot of making the roster, but could turn into a servicable role player later in his career if he continues to devolpe his corner three and defensive abilities.


(via Portland)

Taylor Bartle Khem Birch PF UNLV Birch definitely needs to bulk up, as he only weighs 220 pounds at 6'9".  He can work the block, though, and averaged a double-double last year with 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds.
55 Heat_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda Jordan Clarkson PG Missouri Clarkson won't wow you with his shooting ability, but he's athletic, can get to the cup and finish. He probably won't be out Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole for a roster spot, but the Heat could have worse sitting and getting groomed in the farm system than Clarkson as a back-up guard.


(via Houston)

Mitch Northam Cory Jefferson PF Baylor 6'9" and 210 pounds would be some nice added size to the 76ers bench; or to their D-League team in Delaware.
57 Pacers_logo_medium
Kevin Nesgoda Johnny O'Bryant C LSU With Bynum probably not lasting much longer in Indiana, might be nice to have a big who can actually practice and bang against Hibbert a bit more.
58 Spurs_logo_medium
Stephen Bagwell Alec Brown C Wisconsin-Green Bay He's 7' and shoots 44% from three. He's bulked up some the last few years, though putting on some more weight wouldn't hurt. He's quick for a big man, though not explosive going to the rim, but he still has the ability to face up and beat his man off the dribble. Defensively, he blocks 3 shots per game and he doesn't foul doing it. At worst, he should be Austin Daye/Matt Bonner, and at this stage of the draft that's an absolute steal.


(via Oklahoma City)

Kevin Nesgoda James Huestis SF Stanford Probably a long shot to make the roster, but Huestis is a decent player that could add some D-League depth.
60 Spurs_logo_medium
Stephen Bagwell Eric Moreland PF/C Oregon State Moreland is long, athletic, and still learning the game. I would expect him to end up stashed somewhere in Europe for a year or two to develop slightly better defensive fundamentals. Alternatively, the Spurs may opt to keep him and assign him to the Toros. He's not a great scorer, but he blocks shots, gets steals, and uses his 7'3 wingspan to dominate the glass. He's a project, but there are no sure-fire picks at the end of the second round.

Whew.  Thanks to our friends from Pounding the Rock, Mavs Moneyball, Celtics Blog, Orlando Pinstriped Post and Sactown Royalty for joining in on the fun.

Sources say, in accordance with the prophecy, that O and the Master will be pleased: The Life of Kevin Nesgoda. Hail Hydra!

Remember, version 3.0 should be out shortly after the Draft Lottery, which takes place on May 20.