It’s time for my first big board of top 60 prospects. Note that because internationals are less accessible for analysis than NCAA players, some highly rated ones are missing. As the draft nears, more internationals will start appearing on the board.
Note that age is as of draft night (6/26/14):
Of course these rankings are extremely fluid. Notable variations from consensus:
-Marcus Smart belongs ahead of Exum as they are similar players, except Exum has significantly more downside risk since he is unproven against decent competition. Exum may have slightly more upside, but to me it is clearly outweighed by Smart’s floor.
-Julius Randle is full of warts that will likely cause his stock to drop, which I will be sure to highlight in the near future. Chad Ford mentioned earlier today that some NBA teams rate Vonleh as higher, and he has nowhere to go but down from #4.
-Tyler Ennis is having a fantastic start to his freshman season, and has been at his best against good competition. He may not ooze appeal with tools and upside, but his production thus far points to him being lottery worthy.
-PJ Hairston had an excellent sophomore season and likely will climb boards as focus shifts away from his offseason woes and toward his impending D-League dominance.
-Spencer Dinwiddie drops due to his recent ACL tear, but he remains underrated. He is a prototypical complementary SG and his intelligence will likely be attractive to analytics driven teams.
-I find it amusing that nobody can bring themselves to rate Aaron Harrison ahead of Andrew even though he is obviously the better player at this point. They were rated similarly as high school recruits and Aaron’s skill set is an easier fit in NBA lineups, so I am comfortable with a massive rift between the two in my rankings.
-Elfrid Payton is a nice upside flier who needs more attention as a 1st round prospect. He is reminiscent of a mid-major Rondo, as he is a productive PG with tools to be great defensively but is a horrible shooter.
-It is possible that I am too bearish on James Young, as he is young for his class and has not been necessarily bad as a freshman. But his game does not have any elements that stand out as particularly strong, and he needs to develop quite a bit to become a useful pro.
-I do not understand how Chris Walker is rated so much higher than Bobby Portis. He was rated slightly higher as a recruit (#7 RSCI vs #14), but Portis is having a solid start to his freshman year while Walker has been unable to gain eligibility.
-RJ Hunter is my favorite mid-major player that nobody is discussing. He is a great shooter, and his steal and block rates suggest that he may have more defensive ability than his physical limitations would suggest.
-I do not understand Dario Saric’s rating as a lottery pick. From what I have seen, he appears to be a slightly lesser version of UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. This is a rating that will require closer analysis before I start preaching about it at a loud volume.
-Jahii Carson is having a disappointing sophomore season and given his age, size, and translation concerns, his value as a prospect is rapidly waning.