Top 5 Reaches of 2014 NBA Draft
The NBA Draft is all about the drama. Whether it’s who is going number one overall, what trades are going to go down, or what reaches or steals will happen, there is always something exciting about the draft.
That certainly didn’t change on Thursday night when the 2014 NBA Draft finally put an end to a draft season filled with rumors and speculation. When it was all said and done, though, there were a few head-scratching moments and several interesting reaches.
Let’s break down the top five reaches of the 2014 NBA Draft:
1. Bruno Caboclo, F, Brazile (#20 to the Toronto Raptors)
Bacoclo is easily the top reach of this year’s draft, as no one knew a thing about him. He was a sparingly scouted prospect out of Brazil that the Raptors supposedly scouted several times and even “promised” him they would draft him. Word on the street suggests Toronto wanted Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis and would try to get Caboclo in the second round, but once Ennis was taken before they picked, they pulled the trigger on their guy. It just so happens that trigger was pulled with the 20th selection, which was ridiculously early for a player no one even knew existed for the most part.
2. Joel Embiid, C, Kansas (#3 to the Philadelphia 76ers)
If we’re talking pure talent, no, Embiid isn’t a reach. In fact, considering he was easily the best overall prospect in terms of sheer upside and position value, he probably was an arguable steal in a sense. However, he’s closer to a reach given the fact that he already had lingering back issues and also recently underwent the type of foot surgery that can ruin careers. You know, the Yao Ming variety. Embiid is an awesome talent and could still pay off, or he could be the next Greg Oden. He probably would have been a more appropriate value had he slid to about the seventh or eighth spot, but sticking inside the top-three makes him a pretty big risk, and in this case, and arguable reach.
3. Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana Lafayette (#10 to the Orlando Magic)
There’s no denying Payton is a solid to elite talent that sky rocketed up draft boards, but that’s just the thing – his ascension was fast and borderline random. He also went to the Magic, who already have Jameer Nelson at the point and another young, athletic guard waiting in the wings to take over (Victor Oladipo). It’s a questionable pick in terms of need, while Payton was also taken over arguably more stable talents like Zach Lavine and Tyler Ennis. He could pan out perfectly fine, but being taken at the 10 spot makes him a bit of a reach.
4. Dario Saric, F, Croatia (#12 to the Philadelphia 76ers)
Oh, when will the Sixers learn? They make this list twice thanks to taking two huge risks. The first was with the mega injury risk in Embiid, and reach number two comes with Saric, an immensely talented forward that is under contract overseas for the next three seasons. Philly will try to reach some type of buyout eventually, but they could have to wait the full three seasons and potentially just wasted a lottery pick in the process. It’s a dangerous move and one that could have the Sixers using two high draft picks and not having either player play at all in 2014.
5. Mitch McGary, F, Michigan (#21 to the Oklahoma City Thunder)
It’s hard to question anything the Thunder does in the draft, since pretty much everyone they take seems to end up being awesome. With that said, McGary isn’t a great athlete and lacks explosiveness or any real elite trait. He is a beast on the boards and is fairly fluid and agile for a big man, though, so it’s possible he could pan out just fine. He also fills a need with Kendrick Perkins almost certainly leaving. With that said, he was closer to a round two prospect and he definitely wasn’t the most talented player sitting on the draft board. Specifically, he was taken ahead of guys like Shabazz Napier, Rodney Hood, P.J. Hairston and Kyle Anderson. It’s a reach, but the Thunder clearly loved him. We’ll see how it turns out.
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