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NBA PM: Looking Ahead To The 2014 NBA Draft
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On August 15, 2013 @ 5:15 pm In Main Page,NBA Draft | No Comments
The 2014 NBA draft class is getting hyped up just as much as the 2013 class was written off. It’s headlined by Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, who has been pinpointed as a future franchise player by many, but there’s much more to the class than just Wiggins. In fact, the 2014 class more rich in depth than it is star power. With that in mind, here is our top five players by position to keep an eye on as we approach the start of college and international basketball.
Marcus Smart – Oklahoma State, Point Guard (So.)
Ht. 6’4, wt.: 225
Strengths: A fiery competitor and natural leader. Possesses NBA-caliber strength and athleticism. Could play either guard spot at the next level.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent shooting the basketball. Can be turnover prone at times. Has just average lateral movement for a guard.
Dante Exum – Australia, Point Guard
Ht. 6’6, wt.: 188
Strengths: A natural point guard who could be NCAA eligible in the spring semester. Long and quick. Can break a defense down with his ball handling.
Weaknesses: Needs to grow into his frame. Jump shot isn’t consistent yet.
Andrew Harrison – Kentucky, Point Guard (Fr.)
Ht.: 6’5, wt.: 205
Strengths: A big, strong lead guard. A fierce competitor. Crafty with the basketball. Mature.
Weaknesses: Lateral quickness. Three-point shot. Ball handling skills need to tighten up a bit.
Jahii Carson – Arizona State, Point Guard (So.)
Ht.: 5’10, wt.: 175
Strengths: A quick and athletic guard who plays bigger than 5’10. Solid playmaker. Difficult to stay in front of.
Weaknesses: Undersized. Unreliable shooter. Turns it over in excess.
Russ Smith – Louisville, Point Guard (Sr.)
Ht.: 6’1, wt: 165
Strengths: One of the fastest players in college basketball. Knows how to score the basketball and get to the line. Plays the passing lanes well.
Weaknesses: Plays like a shooting guard but has the build of a point guard. Decision making is questionable. A volume shooter. Will have to get stronger.
Andrew Wiggins – Kansas, Shooting Guard (Fr.)
Ht. 6’8, wt.: 195
Strengths: Has all the tools and gifts to be a franchise player in the NBA. Long and extremely athletic. Explosive offensively.
Weaknesses: Has to continue to improve in all areas to live up to immense expectations. Needs to prove he’s a capable playmaker as well. Has to grow into frame.
Mario Hezonja – Croatia, Shooting Guard
Ht.: 6’6, wt.: 200
Strengths: Has good size for his position. A natural scorer with deep range. Athletic.
Weaknesses: A volume shooter. Rarely looks to set up teammates. Defense.
Aaron Harrison – Kentucky, Shooting Guard (Fr.)
Ht.: 6’5, Wt.: 210
Strengths: Physically mature for his age. Athletic and competitive. A capable shooter from beyond the arc.
Weaknesses: Ball handling. Consistency. Just average height for a shooting guard.
Gary Harris – Michigan State, Shooting Guard (So.)
Ht.: 6’4, wt.: 210
Strengths: A well-rounded guard who is strong for his age. Aggressive offensively. Can score in a variety of ways.
Weaknesses: Jump shot lacks consistency. Three-point shot isn’t a reliable weapon yet. On the smaller size for a shooting guard.
Rasheed Sulaimon – Duke, Shooting Guard (So.)
Ht.: 6’4, wt.: 190
Strengths: An athletic combo guard. Can shoot the ball with range. Very quick. Plays hard.
Weaknesses: Small for a shooting guard, may need to transition over to point guard. Ball handling skills could stand to improve. Needs to add some strength.
Jabari Parker – Duke, Small Forward (Fr.)
Ht.: 6’8, wt.: 241
Strengths: Mature beyond his years. A natural leader. Has a complete skill set offensively, including a reliable jump shot with extended range.
Weaknesses: Needs to settle into a position. Inconsistent defensively. Possesses just average quickness.
Dario Saric – Croatia, Small Forward
Ht: 6’10, Wt: 223 lbs.
Strengths: A smooth forward with a good feel for the game. A gifted and willing passer. Can play inside and out. Jump shot is developing.
Weaknesses: Unknown at this point what position he will play at the next level. Speed and athleticism doesn’t standout. Will have to get stronger.
Glenn Robinson III – Michigan, Small Forward (So.)
Ht.: 6’6, wt.: 210
Strengths: Son of former NBA player Glenn Robinson. An athletic wing with a high talent level. Long and explosive. Can shoot the basketball with range.
Weaknesses: Not consistent just yet. Tends to be passive at times. Not comfortable handling the basketball extensively. Doesn’t defend bigger players well.
Doug McDermott – Creighton, Small Forward (Jr.)
Ht.: 6’8, wt: 225
Strengths: One of the most efficient and potent offensive threats in the NCAA. Can really shoot the basketball and has limitless range. Takes what the defense gives him.
Weaknesses: No certainty over which position he’ll play in the NBA. Has sub-par athleticism. There are concerns over whether he’ll be able to hold his own defensively.
TJ Warren – North Carolina State, Small Forward (So.)
Ht.: 6’8, wt.: 223
Strengths: An efficient scorer with ideal size and strength for a NBA small forward. Good in the post. Young with a lot of upside.
Weaknesses: Perimeter skills still developing. Possesses just average athleticism. Leaves too many points at the free throw line.
Julius Randle – Kentucky, Power Forward (Fr.)
Ht. 6’9, wt.: 225
Strengths: A physical marvel with the ability to play both inside and out. Very athletic. A threat all over the floor offensively.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t always make the most of his gifts on the defensive end. Settles for difficult shots offensively at times. Rebounding.
Aaron Gordon – Arizona, Power Forward (Fr.)
Ht.: 6’8, wt.: 210
Strengths: An elite-level athlete. Physically mature for his age. Plays hard. Versatile defensively.
Weaknesses: Actual skill set not up to par with his athleticism. Needs to settle into a position. Jump shot not reliable yet.
James McAdoo – North Carolina, Power Forward (Jr.)
Ht.: 6’9, wt.: 223
Strengths: An athletic big man who comes from a great basketball pedigree. Has good size, length and mobility for his position. Made noticeable improvements as a sophomore.
Weaknesses: Has a unique jump shot that is not fundamentally sound. Doesn’t take good care of the basketball. Assertiveness comes and goes.
Alex Poythress – Kentucky, Power Forward (Fr.)
Ht.: 6’7, wt.: 215
Strengths: A strong and athletic forward. Tough on the glass. Versatile defensively. Can score in different ways.
Weaknesses: Overall skill set still developing. A tweener. Inconsistent. Undersized.
Montrezl Harrel – Louisville, Power Forward (So.)
Ht.: 6’8, wt.: 235
Strengths: Long and very athletic. Active on the defensive end. A finisher around the rim. Plays hard.
Weaknesses: Slightly undersized. Hasn’t played in a featured role yet. Offensive skill set still developing.
Mitch McGary – Michigan, Center (So.)
Ht.: 6’10, wt.: 250
Strengths: Strong and physical. Agile for his size. Has good hands. An active rebounder. Really improved late as a freshman.
Weaknesses: Consistency. Old for his class. Still somewhat raw in the low post.
Joel Embiid – Kansas, Center (Fr.)
Ht.: 7’0, wt: 240
Strengths: A young, raw big man with immense potential. Very athletic and mobile for his size. Protects the rim and rebounds well.
Weaknesses: Raw and inexperienced. Offense. Foul prone at times.
Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky, Center (So.)
Ht.: 7’0, wt.: 220
Strengths: Long and athletic big man full of potential. Hits the glass hard and protects the rim well. Gets up and down the floor with ease. Has a frame that can support more weight.
Weaknesses: Offensive skill set still developing. Needs to add a little strength. Lost confidence at the free throw line.
Isaiah Austin – Baylor, Center (Fr.)
Ht.: 7’1, wt.: 220
Strengths: Can score inside and shoot the ball with range. Handles it well for a big man. Solid on the glass. Has the potential to be a major factor on both ends of the court.
Weaknesses: Needs to add strength. Doesn’t play like a true big man. Should get to the free throw line more. Toughness has always been a question.
Przemek Karnowski – Gonzaga, Center (So.)
Ht.: 7’1, wt.: 305
Strengths: A massive center with a good skill set. Well-rounded offensively. Can face up and shoot from the perimeter.
Weaknesses: Not a great athlete. Struggles at the free throw line. Has to improve conditioning in order to make an impact in more than just short spurts.
Stay tuned throughout the course of the year for more updates on the 2014 NBA Draft, including mock drafts, positional rankings, NBA player comparisons and more!
Melo Lands In Good Situation: It would be completely unfair to say that this upcoming season is make or break for Fab Melo, who was traded today by the Boston Celtics to the Memphis Grizzlies for Donte Green and cash considerations, but the clock is quickly ticking for the second-year center.
The Celtics are clearly undergoing a youth movement and the fact that they were willing to basically dump Melo for cash (Green’s contract is non-guaranteed) should serve as a wakeup call.
Luckily for Melo he’s landed with a team that is very post-oriented. He’ll be able to learn behind an All-Star center in Marc Gasol, play in a system that suits him well and also compete for a championship.
Melo’s contract has a team option after this season for $1.36 million. Because his figure doesn’t impact the cap much, it’s a decent bet that it will get picked up. But, Melo has to start thinking beyond his rookie contract. Big men, especially those who are still improving, can get paid pretty well in today’s day and age. There’s still time for him to have a fine career, but if teams start to believe he’s done improving, he’s looking at a career as a journeyman ahead, not any major paydays.
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