1. Cleveland Cavaliers –Joel Emblid
Although a Duke University player worked out well for the Cavs as the 1st pick in the past in Kyrie Irving, the Cavs have to go big, and Emblid is definitely the pick. Potential is a tricky word, and the Cavaliers can’t risk taking Andrew Wiggins in this spot. Emblid has thrived in workouts and although injuries are a concern, his athleticism and talent outweigh the negatives. With the first pick in the draft in 3 out of the last 4 years, Cleveland will be moving up the food chain, especially with the addition of Emblid.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Wiggins- Kansas
We hear the word potential with Wiggins. I like Jabari Parker better than Wiggins, but potential is a strong word, and Wiggins has shown that he can play exceptionally well on the college level. Wiggins’ play-making ability is unquestionable, but he’s not a great outside shooter, shooting 34.1 % from beyond the arc last season. Time will tell if he’s a game-changer.
3. Philadelphia 76’ers – Jabari Parker- Duke
Just like Kyrie Irving shocked a lot of people in the NBA, so will Jabari Parker. I think that the lowly Sixers get the best player in the draft, and didn’t need the #1 pick. This is similar to a Michael Carter-Williams pick of last year, only better. Parker is NBA-ready as he’s played in the tough ACC Conference in college, and has delivered on a regular basis for Duke. His decision-making skills are a bit weak, but he’s a pure scorer who can take over a game. There will be a lot of Parker jerseys in Philly, and this kid isn’t even 20 years old.
4. Orlando Magic- Dante Exum- Austrailia
Sorry, Jameer Nelson, but we should see a very exciting backcourt of Oladipo and Exum in Orlando. At 18 years old, this is a guy who’s played against older competition, and succeeded. He has great defensive skills, can shoot the ball from within the 3-point line, and can find the open man. Potential is a word that I would label on Exum, as he could be similar to Michael Carter-Williams with a similar body type.
5. Utah Jazz- Julius Randle – Kentucky
If Utah doesn’t take Randle as their pick, there’s a problem. He was a reliable double-double. man and would give the Jazz more physicality along with Derrick Favors, up front. This is a Karl Malone type of player with less athleticism. That’s still high praise for Randle, and he’s going to be one of the NBA-ready guys, with his bullish strength, and a good nose around the basket.
6. Boston Celtics- Noah Vonleh- Indiana
If Boston wants a big man with good size, and Dennis Rodman type of energy, than Vonleh is the man. He’s still developing, but Vonleh has the potential to be a great two-way player. If he gets a little more aggressive, this NBA pick could be a steal.
7. Los Angeles Lakers – Aaron Gordon- Arizona
This is a tough call, because I could easily see Marcus Smart being drafted here, but the Lakers need a talented big man of the future, and that would be Gordon. Let's also not forget that Pau Gasol has expressed interest in being with Phil Jackson, and the New York Knicks. Don’t look for Gordon to be a big-time scorer, expect a lot of energy and the intangibles, which are just as important. He played on a great Arizona team in college and has the makings of a good pro.
8. Sacramento Kings-Marcus Smart- Oklahoma State
The Kings already have Isaiah Thomas at point guard, and Smart could play point or shooting guard. He has great strength, can create his own shot, and can also set up DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento would easily pass on McDermott, as the Jimmer Fredette experience failed miserably.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Doug McDermott- Creighton
This is just my opinion, but I think that McDermott will either be an NBA superstar or bust; there’s no in between for NCAA Basketball’s 5th all-time leading scorer and the reigning Big-East Player of the Year. He has a great basketball I.Q. but can it translate to the pro level?
10. Philadelphia 76’ers- Dario Saric-Croatia
At 6 foot 10, I’m looking for a Toni Kukoc type of player out of Saric that can see over the defender and passes the basketball exceptionally well while still having the ability to score. It will take time, but the Sixers could gradually build through this draft with an unselfish player like this.