NBA Draft Predictions 2014

For the fans of teams toward the bottom of the NBA standings, there isn’t much left to do at this final part of the season except look forward to the draft. The NBA draft represents an opportunity to potentially turn around the fortunes of a team and look ahead to a brighter future than the dismal 2013-14 season.
In the NBA, one single player can actually make a huge difference, just as LeBron James did for Cleveland or Kevin Durant did for Seattle/Oklahoma City. We go into each draft wide-eyed and optimistic that there will be several potential franchise players, but that’s rarely ever the case. The fact of the matter is that a LeBron and Durant happen only once or twice a decade, while most lottery picks never live up to those lofty expectations.

Interbasket’s Mock Draft

Dante Exum Australia passes ball

Dante Exum Australia passes ball

Let’s take a look ahead at Interbasket’s rationale for the top 10 picks for the 2014 NBA draft this June. This list takes into account which underclassmen decided to declare for the NBA draft as well as the latest news regarding Joel Emiid’s foot injury. You may see some variation in how the players are picked based on team need from this listing; however, if you have feedback please let us know in the comments section of the article.
#1. Jabari Parker (SF, Duke):
In the argument between who should go first between Parker and Andrew Wiggins, we always will lean on proven skillset over a non-proven skillset. At this point, Jabari Parker’s polished skills make him a legit NBA player out of the gate and Interbasket’s #1 pick for the 2014 NBA Draft.
#2. Andrew Wiggins (SF, Kansas):
Our love for Parker should not to take anything away from Wiggins, who came on strong at the end of the college season. We think his athleticism and burgeoning skill set has a ton of promise and has a potential to surpass Parker, but in a game of risk, we like the sure bet; however, if you see Wiggins taken first by the Cavs, it is merely because they think he might mess better with Irvin to try and make a run at the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
#3. Dante Exum, (G, Australia):
Imagine a stronger, more aggressive Nicholas Batum in high school. Now imagine him as a point guard. Now imagine him on your team. That’s why NBA General Managers are so excited about Dante Exum.
#4. Marcus Smart

The draft board and stage pre draft.

The draft board and stage pre draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(G, Oklahoma State):
Marcus Smart is the fiery do-it-all player for Oklahoma State. After Parker, he might be the most well-rounded player in the draft. Questions around his attitude are off-base, Smart is just a competitor that needs to learn how to better channel his emotions and that will come with experience.
#5. Tyler Ennis (PG, Syracuse):
Jim Boeheim has nothing but good things to say about his freshman point guard. Always under contol and effective getting to the basket as well as shooting from distance, Ennis reminds us of a little of Damien Lillard. With the NBA, it’s tough to turn your head on a strong point guard.
#6. Joel Embiid(C, Kansas):
Speaking of potential, Joel Embiid came out of nowhere in the draft discussions were centered around fellow freshman Parker, Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon. Similar to Wiggins, Embiid has improved dramatically throughout the season and he’s high up on this list as he is the only legit center in the discussion.

#7. Aaron Gordon (PF, Arizona):
The high-flying freshman, at this point, has a lot of potential. Interbasket’s take on Gordon is that he has the athletic ability and effort to become a star at the next level, but will need to develop post moves, improve his free throw percentage, and a better jump shot to maintain consistency as an NBA player.
#8. Julius Randle (PF, Kentucky):
Julius Randle is a beast. He has the body and inside game to immediately contribute to a NBA front court. The big man will need to keep working on his mid-to-long range game as he gains NBA experience, but would be a solid pick for any team picking in the 2014 NBA Lottery.
#9. Doug McDermott(PF, Creighton)
Doug McDermott bounces in and out of the lottery position depending on what NBA Mock Draft you read. We like his smooth stroke and NBA size and think he is one of the better options in the upper-first round of this year’s draft. Add in his significant college experience, and you have a player who is game-ready coming out of the 2014 NBA Draft.
#10. Noah Vonleh( PF, Indiana)
Noah Vonleh is one of the best big men available in this draft. Coming in at 6’10” and a 7’4” wingspan, he is one player who used the 2014 NBA Draft Combine to really improve his draft stock. Based on his current skillset and potential to really contribute in the post, Vonleh may very well get drafted fairly high in the draft lottery.

NBA Draft Prediction Summary

Looking over that list, there are some notable names that have made big waves in college basketball over this last season. Wiggins and Embiid are teammates at Kansas, although Embiid missed the end of the season with an injury. Jabari Parker had an incredible freshman season, but was bounced in the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament by Mercer.
Doug McDermott from Creighton is likely to be a controversial prospect in the draft. Not the most athletic player on the board, McDermott has great basketball skills and shooting ability to make up for what he might lack in running and jumping gifts. Some teams will fall in love with what McDermott has to offer, while others will choose to pass.
The draft will come into more focus as it gets nearer and the exact draft order of teams is determined. Some teams choose to draft based on need, so for example, one of the point guards could move up the list quickly if a team happens to have a serious need at that position. As there is every year, there are sure to be surprises during the 2014 NBA draft, which is why it is always so compelling to follow for fans of teams all around the league.

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