April 28, 2014 by Ell and Mike Sports
Ell’s Top 15 NBA Prospects 2014
1. SF/PF Jabari Parker (Duke) – The best wing man in the draft who can also slide down as a stretch 4. He can score from all over the court and has good court vision and rebounding skills. He has the potential to be a star in the league, but needs to work on his defense. However, his potential as a scorer from all over the court is amazing.
2. SG/SF Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) – The best SG in the draft (some consider him a SF) he has the athleticism and talent to become a star in the league. He can score from all over the court, pass the ball well and even rebound. Wiggins needs to continue to work on his defense, 3-pt shot consistency, and overall consistency. He should also gain muscle over the summer as he is only 200lbs which will make him a SG.
3. C Joel Embiid (Kansas) – The best center in the draft, Embiid has the ability to play on both sides of the ball which is rare for centers. He is an efficient scorer, a good rebounder, and great at blocking shots with occasional steals. Simply put, Embiid can do it all, but he needs to work on his consistency, staying healthy, and staying out of foul trouble.
4. PF Julius Randle (Kentucky) – The best PF in the draft, Randle has the ability to be an absolute beast inside as he some nice post moves and a smooth old school game like veteran PF Zach Randolph. Randle has good side to bang inside and he is a solid rebounder and passer which will help once he draws double teams. However, he still needs work on the defensive end and his ability to space the floor is not there yet, although he has taken some shots from long range.
5. PG/ SG Dante Exum (Australia) – Exum is considered the best PG prospect in the draft, but because he is 6’6 and not the best passer yet, most consider him a SG. He has excellent handles and court vision with the ability to destroy defenders 1 on 1 with rare quickness. However, he needs to work on his defense, passing, and shooting, but his potential is enormous and he is still very young.
Good Prospects with Potential
6. PG Marcus Smart (OK State) – Smart is a physical PG who plays more like a combo guard as he has the ability to drive and draw the foul with ease, post up smaller players (he’s 6’4 220lbs), and rebound over bigger defenders as his toughness allows him to gain position. He needs to improve his passing, his shooting ability (especially from deep), his temper, and he needs to learn to play off the ball better. I think he would be best at the 2 next to a pure PG with shooting range or playing next to a combo guard. He is a nice volume scorer with Derrick Rose like slashing ability, but his temper has caused some scouts to question his maturity.
7. PF/C Noah Vonleh (Indiana) – Vonleh is a tough player with good size who is probably best at the PF position because he is a big man who can play like a SF, but he is physical and tough like a Center. He has the ability to score from all over the floor with great percentages even from long range and he is an active defender and rebounder. He has ball handling skills which put him on another level along with his long wing span, but he is still raw and has a lot of room to grow; his potential is great. He reminds me of a bigger version of Chris Bosh.
8. SF/PF Aaron Gordon (Arizona) – Gordon is a physical player who I would compare toSF/PF Shawn Marion as he is a great dunker even off the vertical and has good perimeter and post defense. However, he needs to continue to work on his shooting, especially from outside and the free throw line, and he also needs to add bulk to his frame; in case he is asked to be a PF full-time.
9. SF/SG Rodney Hood (Duke) – Hood is a nice athletic wing who can definitely score on a NBA level; however, his defense is highly questionable. Hood is a good 3-pt threat with nice size, but he needs to add some bulk if he wants to play some minutes at SF. A season at Duke really helped his game and he is known as a workout warrior with a high motor.
10. PG Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) – Ennis improved down the stretch as the leader of a nice defensive squad. He is not as developed as a passer as you would like, but he plays good defense, makes smart plays, has nice drive ability, and he is a solid rebounder for his size which takes heart and toughness. He has room to grow as a passer and a shooter, but he should continue to develop in those areas.
Prospects with Potential
11. PG Shabazz Napier (UConn) – Napier really made a name for himself leading UConn to a championship victory making himself a household name. However, he is small in size and he is a SG in a PG’s body, although he proved to be able to shoot with the best of them, especially from 3. He has good speed and is willing to take big shots under pressure with ease. He needs to really improve his passing and show that he can be a true PG similar to Stephen Curry when he came out, but he seems to be a star in the making.
12. SG/SF James Young (Kentucky) – Young really stepped it up in the tournament to show what he has to offer as a nice young, athletic prospect who could fill-in nicely into the SG spot. He has the ability to drive to the hole with force and knock down jump shots; his 3-pt shot selection and accuracy increased as the season went on. His long wingspan gives people hope on the defensive end, but he could use improvement there. Overall, he is a raw prospect with a lot of offensive potential.
13. SF Kyle Anderson (UCLA) – Anderson has a nice well-rounded game as a scorer from all over the court, great size (6’9 230lbs), great passing skills, a decent defender, and he is a decent rebounder. However, Anderson is too slow to guard most NBA SFs and not strong enough to bang with most PFs in the paint. However, his nice skill set will get him on the floor and he will be an interesting prospect to watch as a SF or stretch PF.
14. SF/PF Dario Saric (Croatia) – Scouts have watched Saric grow and his scoring and rebounding have really improved. He is another prospect believed to be the next Dirk Nowitzki as he has great shooting ability, ball handling skills, and passing ability for a big man (6’10 223llbs).He would need to improve on defense, especially with quicker and stronger players, and he would need to adjust to the speed of the NBA game.
15. SG Gary Harris (Michigan State) – Harris is a nice SG with the ability to knock down jumpers mostly from deep and play defense, however scouts are worried that his 3-pt percentage has slipped this season. He has a nice ability to come off or around screens to knock down jumpers which is always key with a lot of pick and roll and ball movement plays in the NBA. He needs to work on his consistency and his drive game, if he wants to excel in the NBA, but his perimeter defense will get him on the floor.