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Mock Draft Roundup 4.0

By: Steven Wilson

With just two days remaining before the 2014 NBA Draft, league analysts have produced their final versions of mock drafts. There are many notable changes throughout the league including a first-time selection for Louisiana-Lafayette guard Elfrid Payton.

Payton posted a stellar junior season averaging 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game. The 6-foot-4 guard propelled the Ragin' Cajuns to a 23-12 record and an NCAA Tournament berth. He also garnered first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors and was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year. Payton received votes from Bleacher Report and in this week’s roundup after ESPN analyst Chad Ford chose Payton as his biggest draft riser.

While Payton garnered a pair of votes, Aaron Gordon led the way with four picks from the experts marking the second time over the past four weeks that Gordon finished with the most votes. Known for his defensive prowess and outstanding athletic ability, Gordon has jumped around draft boards with picks ranging from four to ten.

Marcus Smart is another player who has been shuffled around mock drafts. The 6-foot-3 guard from Oklahoma State is a likely top-ten selection in a deep pool of point guards. Smart finished with two votes in this week’s roundup including selections from CBS Sports and

Creighton’s Doug McDermott also received a pair of votes this week including selections by Draft Express and Net Scouts. The Kings front office saw McDermott and Michigan guard Nik Stauskas in Chicago last week, stating those two players were two of the best shooters in the draft.

Finally, Julius Randle made his second appearance on the roundup as he received a vote from Randle helped carry Kentucky to the National Championship game last year thanks to a couple big games in the NCAA Tournament.

So now, with just two days remaining until the Draft, check out who analysts believe the Kings will select with the team’s eighth-overall pick:

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What the experts are saying…

Aaron Gordon – F, Arizona – 4 votes

"Gordon's defensive tenacity would be a great fit with the Kings, and once he bulks up to match up with NBA big men, he'd form a fantastic duo with DeMarcus Cousins. With Gordon's athleticism, quickness and defensive IQ, he will become a force on the defensive end-he hasn't shown great success as a shot-blocker yet, but if he works on his timing he has the verticality and the attitude to become the defensive shot-blocker that DeMarcus has long asked for.” – Bryant West,

“It appears as if Aaron Gordon has really been improving his craft this summer since the season ended as he looks bigger, faster and stronger in preparation for the 2014 NBA Draft. Gordon is projected to go as high as 5th overall and no later than 8th overall to the Sacramento Kings, some even believing he could fall as far as 10th to the Philadelphia 76ers. His lack of offensive touch as a “tweener forward” is keeping him from propelling up draft boards, despite his freakish athleticism and relentless defense.” – Gabe Encinas,

Marcus Smart – PG, Oklahoma State – 2 votes

“Former Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart is reportedly headed east to work out for the Philadelphia 76ers. Smart worked out for the Lakers on Friday, but is getting looks from the Sixers now as well. Emibiid's injury and surgery has significantly shifted the top of the draft. The former Kansas center was the projected No. 1 pick, but now the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly considering taking Australian point guard Dante Exum or Kansas wing Andrew Wiggins with the top pick.” – Erik Horne, 

Elfrid Payton – PG, Louisiana-Lafayette – 2 votes

"ESPN NBA Draft expert Chad Ford released his latest mock draft, version 8.0, today. In that mock draft, Ford had the Sacramento Kings selecting Elfrid Payton. Payton is an athletic score first point guard that most believe will play point guard in the NBA. While you have to take all mock drafts with a grain of salt, Payton to the Kings at number eight seems logical especially in Ford’s mock draft. When the Kings made their selection Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon were all off the board. Smart, Vonleh and Gordon are among the names most commonly associated with the Kings. The selection also makes sense because the Kings are reported to be in the market for a point guard, specifically one with the size Payton posses.” – Kyle Robert, 

Doug McDermott – F, Creighton – 2 votes

“We made the trip back there and watched both [Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas] workout and those two are probably the best shooters in the draft. Shooting is something that every team needs and something we need more of. Those two can really shoot the ball – they were really impressive.” – Kings Assistant GM, Mike Bratz

Noah Vonleh – F, Indiana – 1 vote

“If they’re looking for a defensive-minded big man to pair with DeMarcus Cousins, they should find one in this draft. There is a chance that Embiid falls this far, but if not, Vonleh or Gordon could be the pick here.” – Sean Deveney,

Julius Randle – F, Kentucky – 1 vote

“Randle continues to impress — so much so that he’s vying with Indiana’s Noah Vonleh and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon to become the first power forward taken in the 2014 NBA draft. Vonleh has the best long-range shot and the best shot-blocking potential of the trio. Gordon is the best defender in the group. But Randle is the best scorer.” – Josh Robbins, The Orlando Sentinel