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Gary Washburn’s 2014 mock NBA Draft

Andrew Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds last season at Kansas.AP

The NBA Draft on Thursday begins at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

1. Cleveland: Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas

It’s a tough decision for the Cavaliers whether to take the NBA-ready Jabari Parker or the athletically gifted Wiggins, but they decide on Wiggins for the bigger upside and the fact that former No. 1 Anthony Bennett is still only 21 years old and not a lost cause. >> Andrew Wiggins scouting report

2. Milwaukee: Jabari Parker, F, Duke

It’s very rare that good things happen to the Bucks in the draft, but Parker actually wants to play in Milwaukee and the Bucks can build their franchise around him. When is the last time the Bucks had a franchise-caliber player? His name was Ray Allen. >> Jabari Parker scouting report


3. Philadelphia: Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana

The 76ers wouldn’t mind trading this pick, but for a team trying to rebuild from the bottom up, another top prospect doesn’t hurt. Vonleh has been impressive in workouts and has great size, but is the rawest of the top-tier prospects. That will be fine in Philadelphia. >> Noah Vonleh scouting report

4. Orlando: Dante Exum, G, Australia

The Magic are looking for playmakers, and Victor Oladipo has proven to be a cornerstone, but not at point guard. So Exum fills that spot and suddenly Orlando has its backcourt for the next 10 years with two combo guards. Sounds like a plan. >> Dante Exum scouting report

5. Utah: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

The Jazz have a bunch of power forwards but no legit center. Embiid’s health issues are not to be taken lightly, but if his foot heals, he can become the rim protector the Jazz haven’t had since Mark Eaton. >> Joel Embiid scouting report


6. Boston: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

Hearing so many things about this pick, but the consensus from the Boston front office is that Gordon has the highest upside and motor. He desperately needs work on his shooting, but the Celtics need a hungry defender and athlete who can guard small forwards. >> Aaron Gordon scouting report

7. LA Lakers: Julius Randle, F, Kentucky

While the Lakers are trying to move this pick, Randle is a guy they can rely on. They haven’t had a pick this high since Andrew Bynum nine years ago, and they desperately need to get younger with a steady player. Randle’s upside isn’t as high as Gordon’s, but he’s a solid player. >> Julius Randle scouting report

Marcus Smart averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 2013-14.AP

8. Sacramento: Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State

The Kings are trying to move this pick, but if they have to select, why not take one of the more mature players in the draft who will contribute right away? Sacramento needs a floor leader and someone who won’t be afraid of the moment. That’s Smart. >> Marcus Smart scouting report

9. Charlotte: Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Lafayette

The fastest riser in the draft, Payton is a menace defensively and a scorer offensively. Remember, Michael Jordan makes the ultimate decision on this pick, and he favors athletes who can play defense. That doesn’t describe previous favorite Doug McDermott.


10. Philadelphia: Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan

The 76ers need skill players and they need shooters, and Stauskas is a fearless player who will bring some excitement to Philadelphia. He has improved exponentially over the past year, which made a great impression on scouts. >> Nik Stauskas scouting report

11. Denver: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia

The Nuggets don’t draft high enough to get a potential superstar, and their roster is so loaded with long-term contracts that they don’t have a real pressing need. So they take the 19-year-old center who may be left in Europe for a few years.

12. Orlando: Doug McDermott, F, Creighton

The Magic are such a young team, they need to score with a player who can transition to the next level. McDermott will provide offense and he’ll learn the rest. Orlando has filled its roster with one-and-dones, but McDermott is a four-year player and the son of a coach. >> Doug McDermott scouting report

13. Minnesota: Gary Harris, G, Michigan State

If Kevin Love is gone, why not take a Big Ten kid who has upside and is known in the Midwest? Harris is a talented combo guard who will thrive for the Timberwolves. This is a solid pick.

14. Phoenix: Zach LaVine, G, UCLA

The Suns have been enamored with LaVine from the beginning, and they are stockpiling young talent for the future. LaVine will take a few years to develop but he has the potential to be a star, and the Suns have the time to wait.


15. Atlanta: Kyle Anderson, G-F, UCLA

Anderson is the type of big guard the Hawks need, and his versatility should translate well on the next level. Coach Mike Budenholzer can use Anderson in three positions and give the Hawks a potential star.

16. Chicago: Rodney Hood, F, Duke

Hood had some bizarre workouts in the past few weeks that included interruptions because of vomiting, something that apparently was also an issue at Duke. But otherwise he has produced and made a positive impression. The Bulls need a swingman they can pair with Jimmy Butler.

North Carolina State forward T.J. Warren was the 2014 ACC player of the year.AP

17. Boston: T.J. Warren, F, North Carolina State

The Celtics desperately need offense, and while Warren is not a great shooter, he can and will score at the next level. He also has the size to post up and give Boston a small forward of the future. It seemed as if Warren was at North Carolina State for 10 years, but it was only two.

18. Phoenix: Dario Saric, F, Croatia

General manager Ryan McDonough has a bunch of young players, and with three first-round picks, he can afford to let Saric, a top prospect, finish out his Turkish contract and come to the NBA in a few years.

19. Chicago: Adreian Payne, F, Michigan State

Payne has the versatility to stick in coach Tom Thibodeau’s system, and can hit the perimeter jumper. He is also comfortable playing in the Midwest and has the type of toughness Chicago relishes. The Bulls need to get young in the frontcourt.


20. Toronto: Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse

This is a perfect fit for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry may leave via free agency, and the Raptors have never really been able to sell a local kid to their fans (Ennis is from Ontario). In this case, they get a potential starter for years and a talented player who may have left school a little early.

21. Oklahoma City: P.J. Hairston, G, NBADL Texas

While former Boston College standout Reggie Jackson has played well, the Thunder need more scoring and beef in the backcourt, and Hairston provides that. Jeremy Lamb made little impact last season, and it’s time Oklahoma City nabbed another scorer.

22. Memphis: James Young, F, Kentucky

Young is one of the biggest sleepers in the draft, and this will be a steal for the Grizzlies. He was the best player for the Wildcats during the NCAA Tournament. There have been concerns about his mentality and motor, but those shouldn’t be issues in the future.

23. Utah: Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State

It’s unclear where the Jazz stand in terms of their rebuild, but they need athletes, and Early will be ready to contribute immediately. With Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson sharing the small forward role, Utah needs to get younger at the position.

24. Charlotte: Jordan Adams, G, UCLA

All Adams does is get buckets, and he entered the draft process in good shape and has impressed in workouts. The Hornets need more scoring from the guard position, and Adams is ready for the role.

25. Houston: Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri

With Jeremy Lin in the final year of his contract, the Rockets need another point guard, and Clarkson is known as a distributor. Houston may also select an overseas player to stash in its quest to clear cap space to chase free agents.

26. Miami: Patric Young, C, Florida

The Heat like local players; plus, the former Gator has perhaps the most impressive NBA body since Dwight Howard and Miami needs strength in the paint. Young will do all the dirty work there and won’t ask for the ball. That’s what they need.

27. Phoenix: Clint Capela, F, Switzerland

With Channing Frye opting out of his contract, the Suns could use another stretch power forward, and Capela is an intriguing pick.

28. LA Clippers: Shabazz Napier, G, Connecticut

Can’t you just see Doc Rivers mentoring Napier as a point guard? Darren Collison is opting out of his contract, so the Clippers need a backup to Chris Paul. What a perfect setting for the polished Napier.

29. Oklahoma City: Jarnell Stokes, F, Tennessee

The Thunder need to get stronger in the paint, and Stokes is a behemoth at 20 years old. Kendrick Perkins is aging and Oklahoma City needs another young big man to team with Steven Adams.

30. San Antonio: C.J. Wilcox, G, Washington

The Spurs get another shooter in Wilcox, who is a seasoned player and could blend into Gregg Popovich’s system well. Boris Diaw and Patty Mills are free agents, so San Antonio will need another long-range shooter.

More coverage:

Joel Embiid could fall to Celtics

Opinions of 2014 NBA Draft class have varied

Questions, but no answers yet on NBA Draft

Shaughnessy: Red Auerbach’s drafts were informal and uninformed

■   NBA Draft prospect scouting reports

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.