Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

NBA Draft: Steve Popper's Mock First Round

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

NBA Draft: Steve Popper's Mock First Round

Article excerpt

1.Cleveland Cavaliers

Trying to move the pick now that Joel Embiid is injured, but on the upside, Andrew Wiggins makes sense if Cavs stay here. Trade still is at least a 50-50 shot.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

Jabari Parker still falls in their lap with Embiid out. They've said they won't be the one to wait and gamble on Embiid's foot healing, so they will go NBA-ready.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

If they can move Michael Carter-Williams -- and even if they can't -- Dante Exum seems the choice. Australian point guard whose dad played with Michael Jordan at UNC.

4. Orlando Magic

Not a bad spot to gamble on Embiid, but more likely to go for immediate help and take 6-foot-10 Noah Vonleh of Indiana.

5. Utah Jazz

Julius Randle is the NBA-ready choice -- if he's healthy. Marcus Smart might be the best talent here, but Jazz believe in Trey Burke, so let's say Randle.

6. Boston Celtics

A spot that makes sense for Embiid with multiple picks for Boston and no quick path to contention.

7. Los Angeles Lakers

Shopping the pick with Steve Nash's contract, but if they keep it, they take the best available. Arizona's Aaron Gordon, a very athletic forward, suits them.

8. Sacramento Kings

Smart has had his problems, but he has top-five talent and they can't resist the potential.

9. Charlotte Hornets (via Pistons)

Doug McDermott fits perfectly. Size and shooting ability will help Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Pelicans)

Gary Harris has decent offensive skills, but might be the best two-way shooting guard in the draft, so pair him with returning Nerlens Noel for defensive help.

11. Denver Nuggets

Nik Stauskas of Michigan fits a shooting-guard hole.

12. Orlando Magic (via Knicks)

Tyler Ennis has proven to be a savvy winner at point guard and that's a gaping hole for the Magic.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves

Trouble sent P.J. Hairston from UNC to the D-League, and the Timberwolves seem like a fitting next step.

14. Phoenix Suns

How about a light Channing Frye: Adreian Payne?

15. Atlanta Hawks

Duke's Rodney Hood is a combo of size and shooting, a tough left- hander who needs to improve his defense.

16. Chicago Bulls (via Bobcats)

If he makes it this far, even with a two-year commitment in Turkey, Dario Saric is too tempting to pass on for a stocked team. …

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