Age is as of draft night (6/26/2014). I still need to catch up on a few internationals, but it’s looking like we are going to have 4 important ones in this year’s crop, and I have included all of them in this iteration:
Wayne Selden (26th DX, 27th ESPN)
CJ Wilcox (35th DX, 28th ESPN)
Jahii Carson (38th DX, 31st ESPN)
This draft is shaping up to have 3 clear prizes: Embiid, Exum, and Parker. Marcus Smart would have been able to challenge Parker for #3 if not for his shooting woes. Tyler Ennis’s stock is inhibited by his lack of tools and current NBA PG depth. Noah Vonleh’s warts keep me from getting too high on him, but he still has quite a bit of upside intrigue.
People may think I’m being too harsh with my ranking on Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, and Julius Randle, but I think I am giving them all quite a bit of leeway to prove me wrong. I have them all as 1st rounders and Wiggins as early lotto, after all.
Willie Cauley-Stein is dropping too far. There are reasons to be skeptical of his odds of success, but there’s a limit to how far you can drop a player with his tools and possible defensive impact. DX’s rank of 12th is reasonable, ESPN’s rank of 19th is not.
DX is starting to catch up on McDaniels, Hairston, and Portis all being underrated. ESPN is much slower to pick up on sleepers.
For my money, KJ McDaniels is the best NCAA player in the country. He has been posting some ridiculously insane February box scores. Casuals can have their Ougie, I’ll take 2 way superstar KJ. Shame that he goes to waste on that woeful Clemson team.
I have been doing some digging on Jusuf Nurkic and Clint Capela, and they both carry a good deal of intrigue as upside picks. If I am gambling on a mystery box, I feel much better than them than college freshman such as Aaron Gordon or James Young.
I am warming up to UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. His lack of quicks and athleticism are problematic, but he is so big, smart, and skilled that he can’t be sold too short.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Jerian Grant are underrated due to their seasons being over prematurely, and there’s a strong chance that neither of them is in this draft class. But that does not diminish their appeal to me. I have a suspicion that the wrong Grant brother may be getting the hype, as Jerian is a much easier fit into an NBA lineup.
Things become incredibly fluid from 19 down. I am softening my anti-Saric stance until I am able to attain a thicker slice, but I still do not see what he offers that Kyle Anderson does not.
Briante Weber is an interesting new addition to my board. His steal rate is off the charts, and anybody who is an outlier on defense is going to catch my eye. He will likely become a prospect of note at some point as he breaks prediction models that heavily price in steals.
It’s time to put the Zach LaVine hype train on hold. He can jump, he can shoot, and as far as I can tell that’s pretty much it. I have a hard time getting excited for him until he shows some discernible basketball skill beyond shooting. I like that DX is right there with me. They are clearly sharper than ESPN on average.
Jordan Clarkson has an impact on others that completely and utterly mystifies me. He is good but not great upperclassmen with OKish tools playing on a fringe tourney team, yet everybody wants to discuss him as a 1st rounder. DX and ESPN are the least guilty, as I often see random mocks that have him in the 1st round and nbadraft.net has him as the #14 overall pick. Can somebody fill me in on what joke I’m missing here?