2014 NBA Draft: Power Ranking The Top 10 Prospects Overall
Randy Looks at the Top Ten Overall players available in the 2014 NBA Draft
NBA Draft: June 26, 2014
The 2014 NBA draft is a little over a month away, so it’s time to breakdown some of the top prospects available. This list doesn’t mean it’s where the players will be selected, simply just one man’s opinion on how the best of the best stack up.
Here are your Top 10 2014 NBA prospects.
USA TODAY Sports
1. Jabari Parker, Duke – Unlike Wiggins, Parker already has his NBA body and is more of an all-around scorer. Parker can get to the cup and draw contact, and he can also shoot the ball from just about anywhere on the court. Parker can create his own shot off the dribble, is an effective low-post player and has great length that will help him improve defensively at the NBA level. Parker may not have as much of an upside as some of the other guys in this draft, but he’s the biggest ‘can’t-miss’ prospect in my eyes.
2. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas – If you saw Wiggins vertical jump at the combine, you know this kid is an elite athlete with incredible upside. Wiggins has insane length at 6’8” which makes him able to defend multiple positions. As a scorer, Wiggins is capable of being a lights out shooter and can get to the rim with explosion. Wiggins is only going to improve his game as he grows into his body. It will allow him to attack the basket more often without hesitation. No player has a higher ceiling in this draft than Wiggins.
3. Joel Embiid, Kansas – Embiid is another player from Kansas with tremendous upside. At 7’0’’, 250 pounds, and just learning the game, Embiid has the potential to be a dominant big man in an NBA era where those are few and far between. Embiid is a natural shot blocker and rim protector, runs the floor extremely well and has superb footwork. However, Embiid is still a project, as his offensive game is raw and he’s dealing with a back injury that cut his freshman season short. If Embiid can stay healthy and continue to improve, he’s going to be one of the top centers in the league in no time.
4. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State – Some may call me crazy for this, but I’m all about getting players who aren’t risks heading into the draft. If you read my point guard article, you already know how I feel about Smart. Unlike other players, Smart is NBA ready right now with his body frame and can help out at both ends of the floor. Smart is an aggressive defender, a physical player who attacks the basket and a competitive guy who just wants to win ball games. There are questions whether Smart is a point or shooting guard, but who cares? The kid can play. I’d make Smart a top five pick and wouldn’t think twice about it.
5. Julius Randle, Kentucky – Another player who is built for the next level is Randle, who stands in at 6’9” and weighs 250 pounds. Randle lives in the paint and doesn’t mind going up strong to finish plays. Randle is explosive at the rim, a strong rebounder and began to develop a solid mid-range game later in the season at Kentucky. These type of players can contribute right away in the NBA and become an All-Star caliber player within a year or two. Randle will be an effective NBA player.
6. Dante Exum, Australia – Exum is a rare breed of point guard given his size at 6’6”. He’s a tall, lengthy player who is quick with the ball, pushes the pace and can make his way into the paint to get the easier shot. And although his jump shot is a little inconsistent, Exum is a smooth shooter with a nice release and sweet touch. The main downfall with Exum is that he needs to bulk up his thin frame in order to hang a full season in the NBA with grown men.
7. Aaron Gordon, Arizona – Gordon reminds me a lot of Blake Griffin given his elite athletic ability and the way he jumps out of the building. Gordon can rebound, block and dunk with the best of them given his rare skill set. Gordon gets to the cup with ease, finishes strong and is a wonderful defender. Even with ridiculous upside, Gordon has to improve his overall offensive game and his free throw shooting in order to fulfill his true potential. Still, Gordon is going to be impossible to pass up as a Top-10 pick.
8. Noah Vonleh, Indiana – Vonleh is a freshman who was flying under the radar due to the overwhelming talented players such as Wiggins and Parker. Vonleh is a talented player who rebounds the ball well, but his inside-outside game is what truly makes him special. Vonleh has a solid mid-range jumper, finishes at the basket with a smooth touch and is capable of knocking it down from NBA three-point range. This helps spread the floor and can really open up an offense for whichever team selects him. Vonleh is the ultimate sleeper in this draft and he could end up becoming a more physical Chris Bosh in due time.
9. Doug McDermott, Creighton – McDermott may not be the most athletic player in the world and that’s why a lot of folks think he’s a tad bit overrated. Still, you won’t find a better shooter in this class or another player with a higher basketball IQ. McDermott has limitless range, can create his rare shot and almost always lets the game come to him. McDermott always finds the mismatch in the defense and exploits it, as he gets his basketball intelligence from his father, who coached him at Creighton. McDermott could contribute right away and will be better than most expect him to be at the next level.
10. Kyle Anderson, UCLA – Anderson likely isn’t going to be a Top-10 pick, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the 10th best player in this draft. Anderson is a rare point guard at 6’9”, and is a nightmare mismatch for any NBA defense. Anderson is a solid shooter from anywhere on the floor and his court vision is elite status. Due to his vision and instincts, Anderson sees everything and does a nice job of getting his teammates involved. It’s not every day you see a point guard with his length and skill set. Anderson has the potential to be great and will be a steal for whatever team pulls the trigger.
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