Every other Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2014 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…
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How good is the 2014 NBA Draft class so far as a whole? That is the topic that about 83 percent of the teams in the NBA are asking themselves as they are in full-fledged scout mode, with little to no chance of winning an NBA championship. Here is a small slice of the conversation and review of the prospects that everyone is keeping an eye on.
Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: What Do We Know?
Kansas freshman Joel Embiid might be positioned better in the eyes of the NBA decision-makers to go No.1 overall than previous favorite, Andrew Wiggins. The two freshmen have come in and showed flashes of being great next-level athletes for their respective positions. This past week was a coming-out party for Embiid on the national stage as he showed off his impressive footwork, back-to-the-basket skills, rebounding and defending ability. With that type of play at the next level, Embiid could impact a game as an Anthony Davis or Roy Hibbert clone.
TWO: What Do We Not Know?
Who suffers the most from Embiid’s meteoric rise? Is it his highly-touted freshman teammate Wiggins? Or perhaps one of the other big men that were presumed to be more NBA-ready athletes and producers in freshmen Jabari Parker and Julius Randle? Maybe it will be Marcus Smart, Dante Exum or Aaron Gordon. Someone has to fall if someone else is rising… who will that be?
THREE: Stock Rising
California freshman guard Jabari Bird has begun to make a name for himself with steady play, to go along with his prototype size for the NBA two guard position. At 6-6, Bird has the size and the scoring ability with the ball. He is not an elite defender, but with his athleticism there is potential there to be a quality defender at the NBA level. Bird is shooting the ball at all levels, two, three, free throw, and overall from the field. He has a nice shooting stroke and needs to add more ball skills to create offense for others at the college level.
FOUR: Stock Falling
There has not been a dramatic dip in play so far this season. Some prospects have played below the standards they had set for them coming into the season, but overall nobody has crashed their stock. A few prospects that need to get back on track include Creighton senior Doug McDermott and Ohio State junior LaQuinton Ross.