Many fans are disappointed that their team "lost" the lottery, but those people seem to forget that this is a deep draft and there is a plethora of talent available. At the sixth pick, the Boston Celtics will have a number of quality options to choose from; some of which could even develop into go-to scorers.
In a draft that has talent flowing into the second round, teams are in a good position to replenish their talent pools as they look to build a championship roster. Valuable players can be found throughout the draft, and it wouldn't be surprising if some even trickled into undrafted free agency.
For the sake of brevity, I will only offer quick-hit analysis for the top 30 picks in my second mock draft. Keep in mind that these picks are what I think a team will do, not what I think they should do.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Aren't they lucky, huh? Three #1 picks in a four-year period. This pick is a no-brainer if Joel Embiid is healthy. He's the best potential two-way player in the draft and could become a dominant center for years to come.
2. Milwaukee Bucks - Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
I don't think they will or should trade Larry Sanders, so even if Joel Embiid is on the board, then the pick should be Andrew Wiggins. They'd get a player that could complete one of the league's best trios: Sanders, Wiggins, and Giannis. With all that length, it's hard to imagine them allowing many points on defense.
3. Philadelphia 76ers - Jabari Parker, F, Duke
One type of player they lack is a go-to threat and Jabari Parker gives them that potential. Parker's defense is weak, but he has the best scoring potential of the top players available, and he would be surrounded by some of the best young athletes in the NBA to compensate up for his defensive flaws.
4. Orlando Magic - Dante Exum, G, Australia
Dante Exum and Victor Oladipo would create one of the league's best "two-guard" systems, which is the direction we're headed. At the combine, Exum said teams discussed that plan. Since the Magic interviewed him, it wouldn't be surprising if that's what they're envisioning for next season.
5. Utah Jazz - Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona
Drafting Aaron Gordon would allow the Jazz to switch on nearly every pick-and-roll imaginable. And if Rudy Gobert develops, they could be looking at two of the best defensive players in the league at their respective positions. Factor in the scoring backcourt of Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke, and you're looking at a solid foundation going forward.
6. Boston Celtics - Dario Saric, F, Croatia
If the Celtics aren't able to deal the sixth pick for Kevin Love, or if they're able to avoid using the pick in a trade, then they must look for a player that gives them the highest percent chance of turning into a go-to scorer.
That player is Dario Saric, who is a versatile scorer that can shoot efficiently from all over the court. At only 20-years-old, Saric is more advanced than any other player in this draft considering his wealth of experience competing in the Adriatic League.
Saric led Cibona to the championship and managed to dominate the league, averaging 16.7 points with a 23.0 PER while winning League MVP and Finals MVP. Saric might be every bit as talented as Wiggins and Parker -- Saric says he's better -- but the ambiguity effect prevents us from confirming or debunking that thought.
7. Los Angeles Lakers - Noah Vonleh, PF/C, Indiana
In a weird way you've got to feel a little bad for the Lakers. They have very little long-term talent on the team and Kobe Bryant is near the end of his career. Perhaps, the big man from Massachusetts, Noah Vonleh, will become a player they can build around even though he's far away from making a huge impact in the NBA. At this point, he has the highest upside.
8. Sacramento Kings - Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
The Kings don't believe that Isaiah Thomas is the answer at point guard, so maybe they think Marcus Smart is. He actually compliments Thomas quite well, and I could see them using a two-guard system with Ben McLemore rotating in as a third guard. They really need a power forward, but I don't think Julius Randle or Jusuf Nurkic fit that well next to DeMarcus Cousins.
9. Charlotte Hornets - Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan
With various pending free agents at the guard positions, Nik Stauskas fills a void. It'll be difficult for them to pass on Doug McDermott and Julius Randle, but they like what they have in Cody Zeller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Nik Stauskas is just a better fit and could soon be an upgrade over Gerald Henderson.
10. Philadelphia 76ers - Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
The Julius Randle Problem
There have been plenty of stories published that sing the praises of Julius Randle's strengths as an NBA prospect, which is well deserved since he's a rebounding machine, has a killer instinct, and he's a very good ball-handler for his size. But there haven't been enough articles that focus on his glaring weakness, which is defense.
Julius Randle would give them a bruiser alongside Nerlens Noel to make one of the best rebounding duos in the league. On paper, the 76ers would have one of the youngest and most exciting teams, with a lineup featuring Michael Carter-Williams, Jabari Parker, Randle, and Noel.
11. Denver Nuggets - Gary Harris, G, Michigan State
For a team that could make the playoffs in short time, Gary Harris is a player that can come in and make an immediate impact. He might be undersized, but he'd upgrade their defense and bring complimentary scoring abilities.
12. Orlando Magic - Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
Gunslingers of the Future: Draft prospects that could light it up from three in the NBA
SportsCenter highlights are always filled with dunks and game-winning shots, but rarely do you see footage of a shooter that always lights it up regardless of the circumstances. These gunslingers have been prominent in the NBA for decades.
What a steal Doug McDermott is if he drops this far. If paired with Orlando's athletic core, McDermott's weaknesses on defense would be minimized. And since both Exum and Oladipo can attack the rim, McDermott would receive many wide-open attempts from three to potentially make one of the more lethal young offenses in the NBA.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Zach LaVine, G, UCLA
If the Wolves trade Kevin Love, which I think they will, then they might as well go for the full rebuild and draft the player they believe has the highest upside available. Even though I'd vehemently disagree with the choice, it does make some sense considering their situation.
14. Phoenix Suns - Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
The Morris twins are nice to have, but they don't bring enough scoring like Adreian Payne can. Plus, Channing Frye is a free agent after next season and Payne is the perfect floor-stretching replacement.
15. Atlanta Hawks - Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
The big man from Bosnia might not be ready for the NBA, but the Hawks aren't exactly ready for the playoffs themselves. Jusuf Nurkic can spend a few seasons developing along with Atlanta's handful of International talent.
16. Chicago Bulls - P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends
So far the Jimmer Fredette experiment hasn't worked out, and while the book isn't closed on that yet, they still need a replacement backup scoring guard, especially since D.J. Augustin is likely to jet for a big payday this summer. Hairston gives them a legitimate scoring threat that will make an immediate impact from beyond the arc. And if any organization can prevent his off-court problems from manifesting, it's a team like Chicago.
17. Boston Celtics - Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Latvia
The player with the highest upside at this point in the draft is Kristaps Porzingis. With so many picks in the coming years, the Celtics can "draft-and-stash" Porzingis and reap the rewards in the future. Porzingis has huge potential as a stretch big man that can also protect the paint. Although there's a chance he decides to stay in Europe for another year, he could potentially be a Top 10 pick in 2015, so there is great value here.
18. Phoenix Suns - K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
Phoenix needs to look at the summer of 2015 with this pick because both P.J. Tucker and Gerald Green will enter unrestricted free agency. K.J. McDaniels brings the defensive tenacity that can someday surpass Tucker's overall impact, and his athleticism that can certainly match Green's.
19. Chicago Bulls - Kyle Anderson, PF, UCLA
This is a forward-thinking choice for the Bulls more than anything else. I'm sure they'll get rid of Carlos Boozer as quickly as possible, and Kyle Anderson might be the perfect complimentary player at the four. Maybe he could even play some point forward and open up even more off-ball scoring opportunities for Derrick Rose, much like Scottie Pippen did for Michael Jordan.
20. Toronto Raptors - Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
This is a match made in heaven. Tyler Ennis returns home to Canada and could work as a replacement for Kyle Lowry, who is an unrestricted free agent. Though the Raptors will likely do everything they can to retain Lowry, having a reliable backup point guard in Ennis is incredible value here.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Colorado
Don't be surprised if there are rumblings that Oklahoma City will look to deal Reggie Jackson either next season or in 2015-16. Either way, they'll need a replacement at some point and Spencer Dinwiddie is perfect. Dinwiddie compares himself to James Harden and rightfully so; he's a shooter that's able to penetrate the lane and draw fouls at a high rate. If Dinwiddie hadn't torn his ACL last season, he'd be considered a borderline lottery pick.
22. Memphis Grizzlies - Clint Capela, PF/C, France
This is a classic "best player available" pick. The Grizzlies need a small forward, but no player really fits their needs (Warren doesn't spread the floor and Hood isn't good enough defensively). With that said, this is still a forward-thinking selection, since there is no guarantee that they'll be able to retain both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol after next season.
23. Utah Jazz - James Young, SG, Kentucky
This pick works as insurance for Gordon Hayward, who is a restricted free agent this summer. Young won't make an impact for a few seasons, but neither is Utah, so they can afford to wait for this high risk/high reward pick to develop. Then again, at pick 23, there isn't much risk.
24. Charlotte Hornets - Walter Tavares, C, Cape Verde
You want upside? Here it is. Walter Tavares is a 7-foot-3 center that is tearing it up in Spain's ACB League. At this point in the draft, the Hornets should look for the player with the greatest potential reward, and that is certainly the humungous shot-blocking center.
25. Houston Rockets - Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
Jordan Adams is one of the most efficient scorers in the draft, as he can do it from all areas of the court, which seems to fit Houston's analytical philosophy. A "small" lineup with Harden, Parsons, and Adams in at the same time could be quite potent.
26. Miami Heat - Elfrid Payton, PG, La-Lafayette
Almost everybody on Miami is going to be a free agent this summer, but this pick makes the most sense anyway. Even though Mario Chalmers is a solid point guard, he lacks the upside that Elfrid Payton has. With terrific penetrating and passing abilities, Payton could create even more open off-ball opportunities for the likes of LeBron James and the aging Dwyane Wade.
27. Phoenix Suns - Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse
This simply a best player available selection. The Suns have three first round draft picks and I don't expect them to hold onto all of them. If they do, it'll be the BPA. Jerami Grant is raw but has excellent athleticism and potential on the defensive end of the floor. Grant does struggle shooting the ball, but he could flourish in Phoenix's up-tempo system.
28. Los Angeles Clippers - T.J. Warren, F, N.C. State
Although I'm not a big fan of T.J. Warren and his clunky shooting form, he still presents far too much value this late in the first round. In a sense, he's a victim of the changing game, which places a great emphasis on the three-pointer. Maybe the Clippers could develop Warren's shot and turn him into the steal of the draft.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Mitch McGary, C, Michigan
Mitch McGary deserves to be a higher selection but his back injury bumps his stock down. With Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison entering unrestricted free agency in 2015, the Thunder will need an influx of talent at the big man positions. McGary gives them insurance incase Steven Adams doesn't pan out like they expect him to.
30. San Antonio Spurs - Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Serbia
Could a legendary era be coming to an end for the Spurs? Tim Duncan is nearing retirement, and both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will be free agents in 2015. I've got them going with Bogdan Bogdanovic; the player who I believe best fits their motion offense. Bogdanovic is a terrific shooter but also has potential as a secondary pick-and-roll playmaker, which is why he compares to Ginobili.
Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State - I just don't think he's nearly as talented as some of the other players on the board.
Rodney Hood, F, Duke - Hood will probably end up being a first rounder once some of the International players withdraw, but right now I'm having a hard time finding a good fit for him.
Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn - I have a feeling point guards will slip this year, which means Napier could too.
Jarnell Stokes, C, Tennessee - I really like Stokes, but again, it's difficult to slot him. He just as easily could've went to a few of the other teams in the back of the first, including the Clippers and Thunder.
C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington - Sharpshooters are in demand, but so are defensive-oriented centers. Wilcox is only a borderline first rounder anyway.