Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

NBA mock draft: Suns projections shake up after lottery


Things have changed since the first round of 2014 NBA Mock Drafts we posted last week just before the combine. After the Suns secured the 14th overall pick following the draft lottery, here’s what Draft Express, ESPN, NBADraft.net, NBA Draft InsiderCBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation think the Suns will do.

As expected, there are some stock shifts that have, for example, dropped a player like Gary Harris down to the 14th pick in some mocks. Rising stock players include Nik Stauskas, who might be moving out of the Suns’ range at 14, along with Zach LaVine and Rodney Hood, who used strong combine performances to be considered at 14 and might not last until 18.

No. 14 overall pick

Draft Express: Gary Harris, sophomore guard, Michigan State
ESPN: Zach LaVine, freshman guard, UCLA
NBADraft.net: Rodney Hood, small forward, Duke
NBA Draft insider: Adreian Payne, power forward, Michigan State
CBS Sports (Zach Harper and Matt Moore): Kyle Anderson (guard, UCLA), Clint Capela (forward, Switzerland)
Yahoo! Sports: Nik Stauskas, guard, Michigan
SB Nation: Rodney Hood, small forward, Duke

No. 18 overall pick

Draft Express: T.J. Warren, sophomore forward, N.C. State
ESPN: Cleanthony Early, senior small forward, Wichita State
NBADraft.net: Kyle Anderson, guard, UCLA
NBA Draft insider: K.J. McDaniels, junior small forward, Clemson
CBS Sports: Zach LaVine (guard, UCLA), Jerami Grant (forward, Syracuse)
Yahoo! Sports: Zach LaVine, guard, UCLA
SB Nation: Clint Capela, forward, Switzerland

No. 27 overall pick

Draft Express: Elfrid Payton, junior point guard, Louisiana Lafayette
ESPN: Clint Capela, forward, Switzerland
NBADraft.net: Khem Birch, power forward, UNLV
NBA Draft insider: Jusuf Nurkic, center, Bosnia
CBS SportsKristaps Porzingis (forward, Latvia), Bogdan Bogdanovic (guard, Serbia)
Yahoo! Sports: Bogdan Bogdanovic, guard, Serbia
SB Nation: Jerami Grant, forward, Syracuse

No. 50 overall pick

Draft Express: Dwight Powell, senior forward, Stanford
ESPN: N/A
NBADraft.net: Andre Dawkins, senior shooting guard, Duke
NBA Draft insider: Vasilije Micic, point guard, Serbia
CBS Sports: N/A
Yahoo! Sports: N/A
SB Nation: N/A

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  • 4everis2long

    I think the Suns will likely get two very good players at 14 and 18. In my humble opinion after the 1st 6 players, I think 7-20 are pretty close in talent. Considering the Lakers only have one 1st round pick and probably none next year, I can see their incentive for attempting to get another 1st round pick this summer. They need to rebuild from the ground up. Here is a question that I think MyMet touched on last night, would anyone give the Lakers their 2015 1st round pick back along with another pick/player, to get the Lakers #7 pick next month? I might if Randall/Vonleh is still available but I have to give that more thought. Does anyone have an idea about the class of 2015? Thank goodness we have McD and not Blanks calling the shots.

    • KlausFlouride

      Hey @4everis2long:disqus (& @disqus_QSw89XnMvs:disqus), you seem to be astute when it comes to the draft and college players. What’s your take on the mock drafts showing the Suns taking a guard with the first pick in 4 out of the 7 mock predictions? Is the guard talent that much better @ 14 than any of the forward positions? Obviously there could be factors that would cause the Suns to do any number of things on draft night but as it stands right now the Suns glaring weakness is in the forward positions. If our back court remains Dragic, Bledsoe, Ish, Goodwin and even Green, I think the Suns are in a great position for next year.

      • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Kevin Zimmerman

        You’re right on the guard question. McDonough has said he doesn’t like loading up youngsters at one position (LaVine pretty much is a different combo guard version of Goodwin) so hard to see them taking one perimeter player, let alone two. I think people believe this draft has a lot more guard depth, and it’s expected the top forwards would be taken by 14 … but you never know if a guy will slide.

        My gut is telling me the Suns might be willing/have to move up in this draft if they can nab a forward. I think that could be a likely (and interesting) move.

        • KlausFlouride

          Thanks @disqus_QSw89XnMvs:disqus

      • 4everis2long

        Klaus, I respectfully disagree with those draft experts who think the Suns will take a point guard with the #14 pick. IMO wing player James Young from Kentucky would be someone the Suns want but I think he could easily play small forward. I also feel the Suns will likely lose Tucker this summer and Green will move to small forward allowing Goodwin to get more minutes. I do feel the Suns will draft a point guard in the 1st round just not with the #14 pick. I think the Suns are legitimately concerned they will lose Green, Dragic or even Bledsoe between now and next summer so they will probably be seeking protection in a draft rich with point guards.

        As for the power forwards, the top 3 players are probably Randall, Vonleh and Payne. It gets pretty thin after that which is why I think the Suns want the Lakers pick to possibly steal Randall or Vonleh. If J. Young is available at 14 I am taking him over Payne because I love his upside even playing small forward.

        I do think the Suns will have a lot of interest in small forwards Young, Mcdermott, Early, Hood in the first 18 picks and maybe G. Robinson late in the first round.

        LaVine is a mystery. i saw him a lot at UCLA and admit he has an abundance of raw talent but he needs a lot of work. However as I think Kev indicated he is a lot like Goodwin so I would be stunned if the Suns took him at #14.

        I am pulling for the Suns to get the Lakers pick if Randall or Vonleh is still available.

        • KlausFlouride

          Thanks @4everis2long:disqus

        • John Henry

          The weird thing was, the Suns were talking to all PGs at the NBA draft combine. They could only talk to 18 players and most were PGs. They may be willing to depart with Bledsoe or Dragic in order to get a star.

  • Rens Menting

    I think the Suns will keep their picks, McDonough’s scouting is in my opinion superb, (see last year the goodwin snatch) and with the new Bakersfield connection build a long(er) term top team. While using the cap space to sign a free agent, don’t think there will be many trades this offseason. Keep the core team together.

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    Hey Forever, just food for thought on your earlier comment regarding Markieff and his rebounding. Robin Lopez was a fundamentally poor rebounder as he was a “within his space” rebounder despite being a fairly decent athlete. Finally in his 6th season and playing as a starter in all 82 games he averaged a solid 8.5 boards per game.

    Markieff in his 3rd year and a year younger than Robin had a break-out season. 14 and 6 with a PER of 18.5. It looks like we had all better hope Markieff takes him game to another level next season. Derrick Favors finally started to show something in his 4th year with 13/9/1.5 and a PER of 19.

    Typical Suns misfortunes, three picks and no PFs in a supposedly deep draft.

    • 4everis2long

      Very true EBJM in the Lopez analogy. I think the Suns will bring in a free agent power forward who is more defensive minded so if Markief is still on board that will be the area he will have to improve to get more quality minutes.

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    Hey Forever here is an interesting scenario since you don’t think the Suns could find a significantly better player at #7 than #14. The Kings are looking to swap their #8 pick for a veteran who can help immediately. Some mocks drafts show Julius Randle going to the Kings at #8. Would you give up anybody for that pick? .

    • 4everis2long

      EBJM, outside of Randall/Vonleh I think 7-20 you can find comparable value. I am assuming both of those guys will go in the top 6 but one could slide. So to answer your question, if either Vonleh or Randall was there at # 8 I would give them Markief and #14 to grab their #8 pick. However my guess is they would want more than Markief but there is no one else I would give them. Well they could have Marcus but that will not do much for them. Yeah I like how you think with Sac town shopping #8. Now maybe the Suns could trade a pick or two to get a vet that Sac town wants and then do the Sac town deal but again I would only entertain it if one of the above two were still available at #8.

  • Hawki

    Of all the names up there, only Clint Capela is seen as going to the Suns with the 14th, 18th & 27th picks….talk about being all over the Board.
    Capela is 6’11′ w/shoes & a 7’4″ wingspan….just turned 20…a Black player from Switzerland…..no way the 14th pick….possibly with 18 & definitely 27 if he falls that far.
    There are at least a half-dozen players I like in this draft but have absolutely no idea what the Suns will do…..although I would be shocked if they passed up James Young (Kentucky) if he fell to 14.
    Historical note on Rodney Hood….both his 1st & surname’s are names for WW2 Battleships in the Royal Navy.
    HMS Hood was blasted to smithereens by the German Battleship Bismarck….only 3 survived.
    It was the Battleship HMS Rodney that got revenge when one of it’s shells hit the Bismarck’s #2 turret, killing virtually everyone on the main deck.

  • Hawki

    I broke my previous comments up into 3 different paragraphs…..yet when I post, it all gets crunched together….anyone else having that problem ?

  • DBreezy

    I think they’re probably best off keeping it simple. Plan on taking the best player at each spot regardless of position taking maximum advantage of McD’s scouting. If they keep getting good assets, the rest will hopefully take care of itself. Also with a good draft you have to like the chances of good players slipping into the hands of ready GM’s like McD, Presti, and Buford.

    It’s a delicate balance for McD as he evaluates things. His team wasn’t good enough to make the post-season in a tough conference and he had several players who probably overachieved this past season. Every team in the conference save the Lakers will likely improve this summer so the Suns really have to be careful about overvaluing the players they currently have. I’m also not a big fan of draft and stash in the first round. Because of the rookie scale and buyout rules, it’s not terribly hard for for foreign teams to hold on to these guys. It’s not a big deal for guys who want to come over at any cost, but it is for those who don’t which is what you typically target in a draft and stash scenario. I’m very interested in what happens with the Bulls talks for Mirotic whom they took with the 23rd pick in 2011 to stash.