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Jul
03
2014

A Look At The Top 10 Picks In The NBA Draft

JParker

We haven’t had the chance to look at the NBA Draft from last week, so we’ll have a couple of links this evening for you to enjoy.

This article was submitted Jared Hill. Thanks Jared for the article!

The NBA draft is already over and the thought on all our minds is that this could potentially be one of the best draft classes yet. The top picks could be future all stars and some of the best players in the league early on. Some are better than others, but all will have an immediate impact with the teams that selected them. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of the top 10 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Andrew Wiggins – Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs received a likely superstar with the #1 pick in Andrew Wiggins. He is possibly the most athletic player in the NBA since Lebron James. Similar to King James’ entrance (he was also a Cavs draft obviously), Wiggins is the most hyped player in the 2014 class. Most had Joel Embiid as the #1 draft, but since he isn’t healthy enough to contribute immediately, athleticism and raw talent took priority. The concern with Wiggins is, it’s unsure how long it will take him to live up to his potential. His workout tape shows promise, but for confirmation we will have to wait for his first NBA game. Often in college, Wiggins didn’t implement himself into the offense and came up short in key games, which resulted in an early exit for his Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA tournament.

Jabari Parker – Milwaukee Bucks

Jabari Parker was selected at #2 by the Milwaukee Bucks. He could have been possibly drafted first, but his desire was to play for the Bucks because of the team’s proximity to his hometown, Chicago. As the most NBA ready player in the draft, he will likely step seamlessly into the organization and lead them in scoring. His superior mid-range shooting and all around offensive game, displayed while playing for Duke University, has created comparisons to superstars Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce, both of whom came into the NBA and contributed immediately. Parker, at 19 years old, has the ability to be an old school type player, similar to Bucks legend Glen Robinson, who was also not very athletic but took advantage of his phenomenal offensive skills. Parker is a born winner and is as NBA-ready as they come, despite his questionable athleticism and size.

Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

Embiid fell to #3 due to injuries, but the 76ers still have an excellent player to build their franchise around. It’s rare to find a skilled center that is only 20 years old. His dazzling footwork, swift post moves and defensive mind all give him the ability to come in and be one of the best post players in the NBA. Comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon support this theory, since Olajuwon was effective in the NBA immediately. Although the 76ers have a budding star in Michael Carter Williams, if Embiid reaches his potential, MCW will have to give up a leadership role within the team to Embiid. The only downside to selecting Embiid is his history of injuries. The last thing any team wants is another Greg Oden, who, after being #1 draft pick in 2007, has missed a large majority of his career’s games due to injuries.

Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic

This pick was a surprise to everyone, but the Orlando Magic had their reasons when deciding to go with Aaron Gordon. Gordon is probably one of the least NBA ready players in the draft but his athleticism and defense should be of some assistance to his transition. He’s often compared to superstar Blake Griffin whom also is one of the most athletic players today. The Magic is full of young athletic players that like to play in transition, displaying their athleticism, which is right up Gordon’s alley.

Dante Exum – Utah Jazz

Exum, the pick many haven’t really had the chance to form an opinion on unless they’ve done extensive research, has been chosen by the Utah Jazz. Is he a point guard or a shooting guard? We’re not sure, but in Utah he’ll have the chance to display his playmaking ability. Some have compared him to the great Penny Hardaway, and other scouts have him in the realm of Kobe Bryant and Nichlas Batum. At 6’5 tall and only 18 years old, the Jazz should be able to mold him into just about anything they want him to be.

Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics

This selection by the Boston Celtics came as a surprise, since they already have Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless. Although Smart is a great player, who could have went #1 in last year’s draft, it’s unclear if he is a point guard or shooting guard. Since he can reasonably be either, the term combo guard suits him well. However, the Celtics have a top 10 point guard in Rajon Rondo and they have enough combo guards in Bradley and Bayless. Although roster issues may arise, Smart seemed happy to join this championship-heavy organization and gain the chance to play alongside Rondo.

Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers expressed their interest in Julius Randle, and Randle was more than happy to join the team. With the #7 pick, the Lakers get a tough player who is often compared to Zach Randolph. The pitfall to Randle is that he he rarely uses his right hand, which is a shock to most. Not often are bigger guys able transition well without being able to use both hands under the rim. Nevertheless, Randle is a winner with a good attitude and seems eager to have a chance to play with Kobe Bryant.

Nik Stauskas – Sacramento Kings

The sharpshooter from Michigan was selected at #8 by the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are making headlines by leaving the decision to keep or trade their pick using the NBA’s very first crowdsourcing program. So far the Kings are keeping the pick, and if they officially decide to keep him for the season, he will definitely be one to knock down the open jumpers given the chance.

Noah Vonleh – Charlotte Hornets

At the #9 pick, the Charlotte Hornets selected Noah Vonleh. This pick was also a surprise because Vonleh didn’t workout for the Hornets. Fortunately, they thought his skill set would fit the team. He is an exceptional rebounder, which every team could use, but like many young players, he thinks before he acts – which can cause problems such as passing up shots and hesitating in close games. Nevertheless, those issues can be fixed, and Vonleh can look to veteran power forward Al Jefferson for guidance. His versatility to step out to shoot jumpers and beat bigger guys to the basket will also be an advantage for the Hornets.

Elfrid Payton – Orlando Magic

Originally selected at #10 by the 76ers but later traded to the Orlando Magic, Payton is one of the tougher guards in the draft. He is a hard nose guard who has the ability to get to the basketball at will. Like a lot of point guards, his main weakness is shooting. Although he can’t particularly shoot well, he will work hard and scouts at least believe he has the chance to be very good. Plus, with the Jameer Nelson era ending, he may have a starting position shortly.

These top ten picks are all excellent, and should prove to be great players eventually. These players added up to the most popular draft ever, with record-setting viewers tuning in on ESPN and showings on NBA TV via DirecTV (see their website for more info). This year’s draft is a clear upgrade from 2013’s and it seems for now the league is in good hands – especially with these 10 picks.


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