2014 NBA Draft Early Entries

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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2014 NBA Draft Early Entries

April 29, 2014.

Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA, 6-5, Soph.
’13-’14: 17.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 48.5 FG%, 83.6 FT%, 35.6 3-PT%

After originally being expected to return for his junior season, Adams had a late change of heart and decided to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. He is a physical two guard who knows how to score the basketball from all over the court, but he is a borderline first-round pick.

Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA, 6-9, Soph.
’13-’14: 14.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 48 FG%, 73.7 FT%, 48.3 3-PT%

One of the more unique prospects in recent college basketball memory, Anderson did it all for UCLA this year. It is hard to peg his position at the next level, but some team will certainly be intrigued enough to take him – possibly as high as the late lottery.

Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor, 7-1, Soph.
’13-’14: 11.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.1 bpg, 44.7 FG%, 68.3 FT%, 27.7 3-PT%

While Austin has the height, shot-blocking ability, and nice mid-range game, his lack of strength and physicality is a huge red flag for NBA teams. He isn’t ready to contribute at the next level and, as a result, might fall into the second round.

Sim Bhullar, C, New Mexico State, 7-5, Soph.
’13-’14: 10.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.4 bpg, 64.8 FG%, 53.8 FT%

Dude is huge … and that’s about it. Some team might roll the dice on him in the second round, but Bhullar doesn’t really have much true NBA potential.

Khem Birch, PF, UNLV, 6-9, Jr.
’13-’14: 11.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.8 bpg, 51 FG%, 69.3 FT%

Due to his length and athleticism, Birch makes his mark as a rebounder and shot blocker. However, he is just 6-9, lacks physicality, and is fairly limited offensively, which as a whole doesn’t bode well for his draft potential. Birch is a second-round pick at best.

Jabari Brown, SG, Missouri, 6-5, Jr.
’13-’14: 19.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 46.7 FG%, 79.7 FT%, 41 3-PT%

A sharpshooter from the perimeter, I expected Brown to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft after a huge junior season in which he led the SEC in scoring. He should be a solid second-round pick and may possibly sneak into the late first round with solid pre-draft workouts.

Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona State, 5-10, Soph.
’13-’14: 18.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4 rpg, 43.3 FG%, 71.9 FT%, 39.1 3-PT%

Even at the start of the season, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that Carson was NBA-bound after his sophomore season. His lack of size is a huge concern for the next level, which is why he projects as a second-round pick.

Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier, 6-3, Soph.
’13-’14: 17 ppg, 4.2 apg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 spg, 47.9 FG%, 66.8 FT%, 38.8 3-PT%

This isn’t a surprising decision even though Christon is not a first-round lock. There are several point guards who are borderline first-round picks, and while Christon’s size and athleticism are impressive, his inconsistency shooting the ball from the perimeter is something he will need to overcome.

Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri, 6-5, Jr.
’13-’14: 17.5 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.8 rpg, 44.7 FG%, 83.1 FT%, 28.1 3-PT%

The former Tulsa transfer is a combo guard with good size for the next level. He doesn’t shoot it all that well from distance, but he’s dangerous attacking the tin. Clarkson should be a mid-late first-round pick.

DeAndre Daniels, SF, Connecticut, 6-8, Jr.
’13-’14: 12.4 ppg, 8 rpg, 49.5 FG%, 42.2 FT%, 35.6 3-PT%

A terrific performance during the Huskies’ run to the National Championship did wonders for Daniels’ NBA draft stock. With his size and athleticism, he has the attributes to be a solid NBA small forward and could sneak into the late first round.

Joel Embiid, C, Kansas, 7-0, Fr.
’13-’14: 11.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 62.6 FG%, 68.5 FT%

Despite still being rather raw to the game of basketball, Embiid’s rapid development throughout his freshman season points to him being the next dominant big man. There are some concerns regarding a back injury that kept him out for the final few weeks of the season that could affect his stock a bit. If the NBA doctors check him out and all looks okay, Embiid will be one of the top-three picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse, 6-2, Fr.
’13-’14: 12.9 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.4 rpg, 2.1 spg, 41.1 FG%, 76.5 FT%, 35.3 3-PT%

Ennis showed poise beyond his years this season as the freshman floor leader for Syracuse, which helped his NBA Draft stock tremendously. His stock is hot right now, so it makes sense for him to declare since he will likely be a lottery selection.

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona, 6-9, Fr.
’13-’14: 12.4 ppg, 8 rpg, 49.5 FG%, 42.2 FT%, 35.6 3-PT%

I was secretly rooting for Gordon to return to school so Arizona would be loaded next year and he could continue to develop his all-around offensive game. It is hard to turn down the possibility of being a top-five pick though, which is why Gordon is NBA bound. The fact that he is a tweener forward could scare some teams away though.

Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 12.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 49.6 FG%, 67.4 FT%

Grant possesses the athleticism and length that NBA teams drool over. His perimeter game needs to improve drastically before he is ready to contribute at the next level. He probably needed another year at Cuse but since he could go as high as the late lottery, you can’t blame him for turning pro.

Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State, 6-4, Soph.
’13-’14: 16.7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 42.9 FG%, 81 FT%, 35.2 3-PT%

Harris is a gifted all-around player and a lottery lock, which makes this decision a no-brainer.

Rodney Hood, SF, Duke, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 16.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 46.4 FG%, 80.7 FT%, 42 3-PT%

Hood was overshadowed a bit by Parker this season but has all of the attributes to be a prototypical NBA small forward. The lefty has a smooth outside shot and is also athletic, which is why he figures to land in the late lottery.

Nick Johnson, G, Arizona, 6-3, Jr.
’13-’14: 16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 43.2 FG%, 78.1 FT%, 36.7 3-PT%

The Pac-12 Player of the Year had an awesome junior campaign. However, Johnson is an undersized two guard whose lack of point guard abilities tremendously affects his draft stock. He could sneak into the first round, but more than likely, he ends up in the second.

Alex Kirk, C, New Mexico, 7-0, Jr.
’13-’14: 13.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 49 FG%, 66.7 FT%, 21.4 3-PT%

Rather than returning for his redshirt senior season, the Lobo big man is heading to the NBA. He took a step back during his junior year though and could end up going undrafted due to a lack of athleticism.

Zach LaVine, G, UCLA, 6-5, Fr.
’13-’14: 9.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 44.1 FG%, 69.1 FT%, 37.5 3-PT%

What’s the rush, Zach? LaVine has a world of potential and talent, but he is nowhere near being NBA ready. LaVine will still be a first-round pick, but his stock is all over the map. I think he would have been better served going back for his sophomore season to be the guy for the Bruins next year. That would have secured his status as a high-lottery prospect in the 2015 NBA Draft. I hope LaVine is excited to play in the D-League for a year or two.

James Michael McAdoo, PF, North Carolina, 6-9, Jr.
’13-’14: 14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 45.8 FG%, 53.7 FT%

Considered a top-10 prospect coming out of high school, McAdoo has seen his draft stock steadily slip during his three years at North Carolina. At this point, he is who he is (cue Dennis Green quote about the Chicago Bears.) McAdoo is athletic, but not big enough to be a power forward and not skilled enough on the perimeter to be a small forward. He will likely be a second-round pick unless he really impresses during workouts.

K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson, 6-6, Jr.
’13-’14: 17.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 45.9 FG%, 84.2 FT%, 30.4 3-PT%

Thanks to a monster all-around junior season, McDaniels emerged as a legitimate first-round prospect. He is extremely athletic and a force on the defensive end. I wouldn’t be surprised if McDaniels ends up being selected in the late lottery.

Mitch McGary, C, Michigan, 6-10, Soph.
’13-’14: 9.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 54.5 FG%, 66.7 FT%

McGary missed most of this past season after undergoing back surgery, but the recent news that he was going to be suspended for the 2014-15 season over a failed drug test, forced his hand to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft. McGary would have likely been a late lottery pick had he left after his freshman year, but now he is a borderline first-round pick.

Eric Moreland, PF, Oregon State, 6-10, Jr.
’13-’14: 8.9 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2 bpg, 50.8 FG%, 55.6 FT%

Moreland tested the waters last season, so he’s diving full in this year. Moreland is long, athletic, and a terrific rebounder, but his lack of an offensive game leaves him as a borderline second-round pick.

Johnny O’Bryant, PF, LSU, 6-9, Jr.
’13-’14: 15.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .9 bpg, 49.6 FG%, 63.4 FT%

The former McDonald’s All-American has put together back-to-back solid seasons, and since the LSU program isn’t going anywhere, declaring for the NBA Draft makes sense even though he isn’t a first-round lock.

Jabari Parker, SF, Duke, 6-8, Fr.
’13-’14: 14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 45.8 FG%, 53.7 FT%

You have to respect Parker for contemplating his decision as much as he did but ultimately, he couldn’t turn down being a top-three pick.

Elfrid Payton, G, Louisiana-Lafayette, 6-4, Jr.
’13-’14: 19.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, 6 rpg, 50.9 FG%, 60.9 FT%, 25.9 3-PT%

Your average college basketball fan likely has no idea who Payton is, but the combo guard could end up being selected in the first round. He is athletic and at his best off the bounce, though he is an inconsistent outside shooter.

Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky, 6-9, Fr.
’13-’14: 15 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 50 FG%, 70.6 FT%

Randle was a man among boys at the college level and proved to be a force inside. There really wasn’t much of a decision for him to make since he will be a top-eight pick.

Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan, 6-6, Soph.
’13-’14: 13.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 48.8 FG%, 75.7 FT%, 30.6 3-PT%

Robinson didn’t have the breakout season that he needed to ensure he would be a first-round pick. Robinson is a bit undersized to be a small forward at the next level and isn’t a good enough shooter or creator to be a first-round pick.

LaQuinton Ross, SF, Ohio State, 6-8, Jr.
’13-’14: 15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 44.7 FG%, 73.2 FT%, 35.3 3-PT%

Ross has good size and is a capable outside shooter, but he doesn’t bring much to the floor in terms of creating off the bounce. Ross will be a second-round pick.

JaKarr Sampson, SF, St. John’s, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 12.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 49.5 FG%, 56.5 FT%, 20 3-PT%

Dumb decision. Sampson is long, extremely athletic, and has a nice mid-range game. However, he is nowhere near NBA ready and should have returned to school to improve his ball-handling and three-point range. There is a good chance Sampson goes undrafted.

Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State, 6-4, Soph.
’13-’14: 18 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.8 apg, 2.9 spg, 42.2 FG%, 72.8 FT%, 29.9 3-PT%

Smart surprised many be returning for his sophomore season but still proved himself as a top prospect. The incident at Texas Tech that got him suspended for three games shouldn’t affect his stock much as NBA teams are more impressed with his intensity, leadership, and versatility.

Roscoe Smith, F, UNLV, 6-8, Jr.
’13-’14: 11.1 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 53.1 FG%, 66.7 FT%

A ferocious rebounder on both ends of the floor, Smith is a borderline draft pick. He is too undersized to play power forward, but not skilled enough on the perimeter to be a small forward. Some team will likely roll the dice on him in the second round, but his skill set doesn’t project well for the next level.

Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan, 6-6, Soph.
’13-’14: 17.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 47 FG%, 82.4 FT%, 44.2 3-PT%

After blowing up during his sophomore season and winning Big Ten Player of the Year honors, Stauskas saw his draft stock soar. He has always been known as a three-point sniper but showed off his athleticism at the rim this season which is why he figures to be a late lottery/late teens selection.

Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee, 6-8, Jr.
’13-’14: 15.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 53.1 FG%, 69.6 FT%

Stokes is physical and skilled, but undersized. As a result, he is a borderline first-round pick.

Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana, 6-10, Fr.
’13-’14: 11.3 ppg, 9 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 52.3 FG%, 71.6 FT%, 48.5 3-PT%

Vonleh possesses all of the physical attributes to be a prototypical power forward at the next level. Plus, he displayed an improved outside stroke as the 2013 season progressed. Vonleh should be a top-10 pick on draft night.

T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 24.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 52.5 FG%, 69 FT%, 26.7 3-PT%

The reigning ACC Player of the Year and third-leading scorer in college basketball, Warren is a terrific all-around scorer, but has other areas of his game that need improvement. Nevertheless, he should be a mid-first-round pick.

Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas, 6-8, Fr.
’13-’14: 17.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 44.8 FG%, 77.5 FT%, 34.1 3-PT%

Was there really any doubt? He is the likely No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and won’t fall lower than No. 3.

James Young, SG, Kentucky, 6-6, Fr.
’13-’14: 14.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 40.7 FG%, 70.6 FT%, 34.9 3-PT%

I really like Young and think he will end up being a late lottery pick. He has good size to be an NBA two guard and has such a smooth stroke from the perimeter and NBA teams are always looking for perimeter threats.

Returning to School

Brandon Ashley, PF, Arizona, 6-9, Soph.
’13-’14: 11.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 52.2 FG%, 75.7 FT%, 37.9 3-PT%

The season-ending foot injury pretty much made it a guarantee that Ashley would be back for his junior campaign.

Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky, 7-0, Soph.
’13-’14: 6.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 59.6 FG%, 48.2 FT%

Cauley-Stein being replaced in the starting lineup by Dakari Johnson during the season hurt the former’s stock. Cauley-Stein is a rim-protector who is still very limited on the offensive end. Nonetheless, he would have been a first-round pick. My question for Cauley-Stein is how will his playing time be affected next season since Kentucky will be stacked in its frontcourt.

Branden Dawson, SF, Michigan State, 6-6, Jr.
’13-’14: 11.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 61.3 FG%, 65.6 FT%

Dawson has been a solid role player for the Spartans, but he hasn’t done enough to warrant leaving school early. Next season, Dawson should get a chance to be featured more on the offensive end, which could help him get off the second-round bubble.

Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 12.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 46.9 FG%, 68.6 FT%, 32.6 3-PT%

Smart decision by Dekker; he is nowhere near NBA ready. Dekker has a lot of potential, but he needs to get stronger and spend at least another year in Madison.

A.J. Hammons, C, Purdue, 7-0, Soph.
’13-’14: 10.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.1 bpg, 51.1 FG%, 70.1 FT%

The size is there, but the effort and consistency are not. Hammons needs to become more of a threat down low next season to ensure he is a first-round pick.

Olivier Hanlan, SG, Boston College, 6-4, Soph.
’13-’14: 18.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 44.7 FG%, 81.1 FT%, 34.7 3-PT%

The Canadian had some ups and downs during his sophomore year and wasn’t going to be a sure-fire first-round pick. A coaching change at Boston College led some to believe Hanlan would bolt for the NBA, but he made the right move here by staying in school.

Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 14 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 60.9 FG%, 46.4 FT%

This was a bit surprising since Harrell seemed to have been a first-round lock. He is a bit undersized, but his length and strength makes up for his shortcomings. Becoming a more versatile offensive weapon will help his stock for next year.

Aaron Harrison, SG, Kentucky, 6-5, Fr.
’13-’14: 13.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 42.3 FG%, 79 FT%, 35.6 3-PT%

Despite his big-time shots during the NCAA Tournament, an up-and-down freshman season had Aaron as a borderline first-round pick. Maturing during his sophomore season will be necessary to ensure he is a first-round pick in 2015.

Andrew Harrison, PG, Kentucky, 6-5, Fr.
’13-’14: 10.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4 apg, 36.7 FG%, 76.4 FT%, 35.1 3-PT%

Like his twin brother, Andrew Harrison had a rollercoaster first year at Kentucky. He was a lottery prospect at the start of the season, but his stock steadily declined due to his inconsistent play. Andrew Harrison will also need to mature during his sophomore season to help his draft potential.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona, 6-7, Fr.
’13-’14: 9.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 49 FG%, 68.2 FT%

There was a realistic chance Hollis-Jefferson would have been a lottery pick, but returning for his sophomore season can certainly help his stock. If he can improve his jump shot, he could move into the top-10 of the 2015 NBA Draft.

Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky, 7-0, Fr.
’13-’14: 5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .6 bpg, 56.9 FG%, 44.7 FT%

Johnson made strides during his freshman year, eventually replacing Willie Cauley-Stein as Kentucky’s starting center. However, Johnson still would have been a borderline first-round pick. He can improve his draft stock by continuing to develop his low post game, but will he he get enough minutes in a crowded Wildcat frontcourt next season?

Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin, 7-0, Jr.
’13-’14: 13.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 52.8 FG%, 76.5 FT%, 37.8 3-PT%

After a breakout NCAA Tournament performance, Kaminsky could have struck while the iron was hot and likely been a first-round pick. I admire his decision to return to school, and if he continues to develop his all-around game, will be a first-round lock in 2015.

Marcus Paige, PG, North Carolina, 6-1, Soph.
’13-’14: 17.5 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 spg, 44 FG%, 87.7 FT%, 38.9 3-PT%

The Carolina sophomore took on more of a scoring role this season, and because it is a relatively thin point guard class, he may have been a first-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. With that uncertainty, Paige ultimately made the right decision in heading back for another year as a Tar Heel.

Alex Poythress, SF, Kentucky, 6-8, Soph.
’13-’14: 5.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 49.7 FG%, 62.5 FT%, 24.2 3-PT%

Poythress’ NBA Draft stock continues to head in the wrong direction. He was relegated to coming off the bench this season and would have been a borderline second-round pick. With Kentucky having a loaded frontcourt next season though, I am not sure how much his draft stock will rise.

Wayne Selden, SG, Kansas, 6-5, Fr.
’13-’14: 9.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 43.7 FG%, 62.9 FT%, 32.8 3-PT%

Selden was overshadowed by Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid this past season, and as a result didn’t produce up to his potential. Selden could have been a first-round pick, but made the smart choice by returning to Kansas, which should only help his stock for next year.

Juwan Staten, PG, West Virginia, 6-1, Jr.
’13-’14: 18.1 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, 48.6 FG%, 71.9 FT%, 40 3-PT%

The former Dayton transfer had a breakout junior campaign that garnered him some attention from NBA scouts. Still, there is no guarantee of him being a first-round pick, and he needs to improve his outside shooting to prove that he can play in the league (Staten is just 6-24 from distance over his past two seasons).

Kaleb Tarczewski, C, Arizona, 7-0, Soph.
’13-’14: 9.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1 bpg, 58.4 FG%, 75.6 FT%

Zeus likely would have been a first-round pick based on his size alone, but he made the right decision in returning to school since his offensive game still needs some fine tuning.

Delon Wright, G, Utah, 6-5, Jr.
’13-’14: 15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.5 spg, 56.1 FG%, 79.3 FT%, 22.2 3-PT%

A JUCO transfer this year, Wright had a breakout season for the Utes and was a huge reason for their turnaround. He is a versatile guard who can stuff the stat sheet but struggles with his outside shooting. Returning to Utah is a smart decision as he could be a first-round pick next year if he improves his perimeter game.

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

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