2014 NBA Draft Lottery Player Predictions

1. Andrew Wiggins – Cleveland Cavaliers

  • The most over-hyped player coming into the league since LeBron James (who obviously panned out) has a lot of work to do on his game and is someone who does not excite me as much as the “experts”. Wiggins has the athleticism to be a difference maker at the next level, but lacks the overall polish. He will need to add more weight to his slender frame to be able to finish inside which he struggled at times to do at Kansas. The LeBron & Tracy McGrady comparisons are not there for me. I see him with the potential to be a nice player but not one to build a franchise around. Think Andre Iguodala with a little more offensive upside. If he is able to hit his ceiling, I can envision around 20 ppg tops, with 5 or 6 rebounds.

2.  Jabari Parker – Milwaukee Bucks

  • A safe pick for the Bucks. I feel like Parker will be the best scorer out of this year’s draft with the scoring diversity of Carmelo Anthony. The best comparison I see is a reincarnation of Big Dog Glenn Robinson which would be a welcomed sight to see for a Bucks fans after the team managed just 95.5 points per game last season. The talent is definitely there for Parker, but my concerns are his defense and his weight. If Parker can stay focused on both ends of the floor and keep himself in shape, the Chicago-native should feel right at home in chilly Wisconsin.

3. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia Sixers

  • The big man’s draft stock soared and left many pundits thinking he had a shot at being drafted number one overall if not for the bad back and foot… hold up right there. Especially with centers, injuries are an enormous red-flag. With “experts” saying Embiid may be the next Hakeem Olajuwon, they seem to forget that as of right now, he’s closer to the path of Greg Oden and Sam Bowie. The Sixers drafted Nerlens Noel a year ago and had him sit out the entire season. The Sixers are a bad franchise and it is gambles like this that can cripple a franchise for a decade. Back to back seasons drafting injury prone big men is terrifying. If it works out, then hats need to be tipped for the gutsy pick. Blake Griffin managed to shake off a season-ending injury his rookie season, but Griffin is a workout warrior with a great work-ethic. Fans had to shutter when they heard Embiid is, “The best college big man since Greg Oden”. Yikes. If Embiid ever heals and is 100%, I still feel he is a far cry from Olajuwon. May end up being a nice 15-10-2 center, but as of now I am very pessimistic about his future.

4. Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic

  • Has Tyrus Thomas written all over him. Who? Exactly. Uber-athletic forwards that are known for their defense and their raw offensive abilities. The “experts” don’t want to bring up this comparison but lets look at their one-and-done college career stats:
    • Player A: 12.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1 spg, 3.1 bpg. 61% FG
    • Player B: 12.4 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg, .9 spg, 1 bpg. 49.5 % FG

Scary to think that player A was Ty Thomas and where is he now? Gordon is a poor offensive player that might be the next athletic bust, or              could stick around as a rotational player. Would not have touched him in the top 10.

5. Dante Exum – Utah Jazz

  • A good pick for the now exciting young Jazz team. May not steal the starting spot from second-year man Trey Burke, but Exum is a great pick due to his length and upside. A willing passer who will have time to develop, Exum could wind up being one of the best players in this draft five years from now. Don’t envision him being a great scorer, but will have the ability to cause match-up nightmares. Could be the type of player Shaun Livingston could have been before his injury, but a better shooter.

6. Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics

  • Tenacious defender who knows how to score the ball. Needs to improve his jump shot a lot to truly be an offensive force in this league. Needs to make a decision on whether he is a point guard or a shooting guard; can’t fall into a tweener roll. Could easily average 17-20 points per game in a few years, just needs the right role. Backcourt is getting crowded in Boston with Rondo, Bradley, Smart… decisions need to be made.

7. Julius Randle – Los Angeles  Lakers

  • Recently broke his leg, but Randle knows how to rebound and score inside. Has short arms but I think he will find a way to be successful. Reminds me of Zach Randolph. Will not have a chance to flourish as long as Kobe is on the team. Once Kobe is gone and his leg heals, Randle should be a double-double threat.

8. Nik Stauskas – Sacramento Kings

  • Big reach. Would not have taken him in top 15. A more athletic Kyle Korver but not nearly the shooter. At best a 15 ppg guy or rotational player. A role player, not a difference maker at pick eight makes me not like this selection.

9. Noah Vonleh – Charlotte Hornets

  • Good upside with Vonleh. Back to back Indiana power forwards for Charlotte in the draft. Like him a lot more than Zeller. Has potential to be a nice player. Good defender and has the ability to step out side and hit a three.

10.  Elfrid Payton – Philadelphia Sixers

  • Hate the pick. Played against poor competition and is a terrible shooter much like Ricky Rubio. Do not see him averaging over 14 points in his career. Will have to hang his hat on defense. Kendrick Perry had comparable stats in a better conference but did not get drafted. Bust written all over this pick. Sixers luckily shipped him to Orlando.

11. Doug McDermott – Denver Nuggets

  • Traded to the Bulls, another pick I dislike. Has Jimmer Fredette, Adam Morrison written all over him. Don’t trust that he can defend. Best case scenario is a one-dimensional three-point shooter role player. JJ Redick/Kyle Korver type career is his ceiling.

12. Dario Saric – Orlando Magic

  • Orlando fans must have had Fran Vasquez flashbacks. Luckily the pick was traded to the Sixers. Don’t like drafting foreigners in the lottery except for special occasions. Have a suspicious feeling that the states will never see Saric play meaningful minutes.

13. Zach LaVine – Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Athletic guard with a three point shot. A project for the Wolves to develop behind the likes of Wiggins, Rubio, and Kevin Martin.

14. TJ Warren – Phoenix Suns

  • Shot jacker in college but can find the basket. Not a great three-point shooter but could provide scoring off the bench. Suns fans have to hope he is not the next Julius Hodge however.