2014 NBA Draft: Power Ranking The Top 10 Point Guard Prospects
Randy Looks at the Top Ten Point Guards available in the 2014 NBA Draft
NBA Draft: June 26, 2014
The 2014 NBA Draft is about a month away and players are already making an impression during the combine workouts. So, let's take a look at the top 10 eligible point guards who will likely hear their name called when the draft takes place.
1. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State – Smart has the body to play in the NBA right now at 225 pounds. Smart can get to the cup with ease, draw contact and finish strong. He reminds me of a bigger Dwyane Wade coming out of college. Besides the incident that happened during the year, Smart is also a leader on and off the court and has a motor that doesn’t stop running. The only downside is that he needs to improve his jumper. Still, Smart is the most NBA-ready point guard in this draft.
2. Dante Exum, Australia – A lot of people have Exum as the best point guard in the draft, but I question the competition he’s played in Australia. Exum could also put on a few pounds to his 188-pound body. Overall, Exum is a super long point guard with his 6’6” frame, and he passes the ball extremely well. He also does a nice job of pushing the pace and is quick with the ball in his hands. Exum has a bright future at 18 years old and will be one of the top players selected.
3. Zach LaVine, UCLA – LaVine showed enough in one season at UCLA to decide to leave college early. He shot 37.5 percent from three as a Bruin and proved he could play either point guard or shooting guard. LaVine has excellent hops, a quick first step and can shoot the ball from just about anywhere on the floor. Like Exum, Lavine could use some work in the gym to bulk up his 180-pound frame. Still, this is a player with great upside and is an excellent scoring threat.
4. Shabazz Napier, UConn – I’m not exactly sure about the other point guards on this list, which is why I’m putting Napier in this spot. While Napier doesn’t have much upside, he’s an NBA-ready player the minute he’s drafted. Napier is a natural leader, super competitive and knows when to pick his spots. Napier not only gets his teammates involved, but he can also be a deadly shooter from anywhere on the court. Napier may be the most underrated player in the entire draft.
5. Tyler Ennis, Syracuse – The thing I love about Ennis is his composure. Ennis doesn’t get rattled and always makes you feel like he has everything under control. Ennis is very quick with the ball and is capable of getting to the cup, but he didn’t show enough of that at Syracuse. He does a nice job of getting his teammates involved and he wants the ball in his hands during crunch time. The one improvement Ennis can make is his shooting from long range.
6. Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette – Payton is one of the better pure point guards in this class, as he’s always looking to share the basketball. He isn’t the most polished shooter in this class and needs to add some weight to his 170-pound body. However, Payton does a wonderful job of playing defense with his quick feet and can pick your pocket if you’re not careful. Payton is a little bit of a work in progress, but he’s a player who does all of the little things right and will only improve his offensive game with more experience.
7. Jahii Carson, Arizona State – Carson was one of the more underrated players in college basketball last season. Carson is an inconsistent shooter and lacks great size at 5’10”, but he has the heart of a champ and always finds a way to get to the basket due to his freakish explosion. Carson can jump with the best of them, has a great first step and can weave his way through the trees to get to the free throw line. This is a player who is worth a late first round pick, as he has a little Allen Iverson to his game.
8. Jordan Clarkson, Missouri – Clarkson played well in his first season with Missouri after transferring from Tulsa. He’s an athletic player who can finish at the rim and create his own shot. Clarkson can also play either guard position and has terrific size at 6’5”. Some improvements for Clarkson would include his shot from downtown, adding a little weight and doing a slightly better job at distributing the basketball.
9. Semaj Christon, Xavier – Christon is a crafty ball handler who can put the moves on a defender and create his own shot. However, he can also try too hard at times and can get careless with the ball. Christon also isn’t the most consistent long range shooter. Christon’s long strides help him get up and down the floor quickly and make him a nightmare on fast breaks. Overall, Christon is an aggressive player who could be a steal for a team later in the first or early in the second round.
10. Xavier Thames, San Diego State – Thames is a player who only improved his game each season at San Diego State. Like his three-point shot for example, which was falling at 37.2 percent last season. Thames is a good ball handler who can get his own shot off the dribble and doesn’t mind having the ball in his hands when it really counts. Thames is also a terrific defender with quick feet and does a nice job of coming up with steals. If you’re looking for a competitive player who can do a little bit of everything, Thames is your guy.