2014 NBA Draft: 5 Prospects on the Rise
The 2014 NBA Draft comes to us at the end of June, and it can’t come soon enough. After all, NBA prospects’ value is fluctuating like crazy on a daily basis, while the 2014 NBA Finals just came to a close.
Translation? The games are over and the draft is all we’re thinking about. More specifically, we need the draft to come to end the insanity that comes with player evaluation and draft day trade rumors.
With that, let’s try to hone in one some guys who are seeing their draft value fluctuate in a good way.
Here are five guys that appear to be rising up the draft board as we speak:
1. Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Stauskas is an elite outside shooting presence that is slowly proving to scouts he can be much more at the next level. Equipped with solid size and an underrated handle, Stauskas could develop into a quality second or third scorer as a starter on an NBA team. He’s still thin and lacks strength, but he has few flaws offensively and appears to have the athleticism to be able to compete on defense eventually. He’s ascended rapidly up draft boards and could be a legit top-10 pick.
2. Doug McDermott, F, Creighton
Easily one of the more underrated prospects in this draft, the savvy McDermott has catapulted himself from the lower end of the first round into top-10 pick discussions. He’s not an overly explosive or quick player, but he’s actually not a horrible athlete. The key thing here is he’s just a pure scorer. He can kill you from the outside with his refined jumper, or he can work for angles and spots down low in the paint. If he had an extra 1-2 inches, he’d be a locked-in top-five pick. Unfortunately, size and a true position at the next level should create enough doubt to have him stick right around the 10-15 range.
3. Nick Johnson, G, Arizona
Johnson is a true combo guard, as he doesn’t have awesome size and probably won’t ever be a true point guard, but he can play both guard spots effectively. Johnson is a fine, fluid athlete that can create for himself or others offensively. He has put on display several times elite scoring ability and is an exceptional athlete and leaper. There is potential here for a lead guard with some upside thanks to his size, but he can be a pure scorer at the two, as well. He’s probably a fringe first rounder at this point, but from a pure talent perspective, he has lottery upside.
4. Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
Anderson lacks explosiveness and great quickness, but you can’t teach his combination of size and versatility. Anderson has the total package, as he displays elite floor vision, passing ability and a solid shooting touch. He could be a matchup nightmare at the one or two, but it’s worth wondering if he has the athleticism and quickness to play at those spots at the next level. That could force him to slide in as a three in the NBA, where he still has that jack-of-all-trades type of talent and mentality. He should be in contention for a lottery pick.
5. Joe Harris, G/F, Virginia
The NBA loves elite shooters who can offer size and upside on the wing. That’s Harris in a nutshell. Not everyone will have him bordering on the first round, but perhaps they should. Harris played a key role in Virginian earning a #1 seed during March Madness this past season and displayed elite shooting touch on the perimeter. He’s a well-rounded offensive player who has the size and strength to compete defensively at the next level, as well. He’s a fringe first rounder with some upside.
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