Position: PG Year: Sophomore College: Oklahoma State
While I thought Marcus Smart made a bad decision in staying at Oklahoma State, his draft stock is still high for 2014. Smart was a potential top-5 pick in this past draft, where Orlando was very intrigued in using their second pick on him. Smart was one of the best point guards in NCAA basketball last year, averaging 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. At 6′ 4″ and weighing in at 225 lbs, Smart could also play shooting guard if needed. As odd as it seems, he’s a great post player and uses his size to get position. Also, he is a great offensive rebounder who you can expect a constant motor from the whole game. If Smart can improve his game this year, expect him to have a chance at getting nabbed number one.
Position: SF Year: Freshman College: Duke
The number two overall prospect in 2014, Jabari Parker, is headed to Duke. Yes, were talking about a player that has won the state championship in Illinois all four years of his career. Parker is a nationally heralded player, Gatorade Player of the Year, Jordan Brand Classic MVP and will plan to show NBA GM’s why he should be the number one pick. Parker has great size at 6′ 7″ and has unbelievable range. Parker can easily be compared to Carmelo Anthony on the offensive side of the ball. Parker has star potential written all over him and is a player that can turn around an NBA franchise. If all goes well at Duke, NBA teams should be intrigued to utilize their number one pick on him.
Position: PG Year: Graduates High School in November College: Undecided
Dante who? Yes, Dante Exum is a prospect that has been unheard of by many people in the U.S. However, Australia believes he is the next great player, and I think they’re absolutely correct. Exum is part of the new breed of point guards who are very tall and versatile. Exum is nimble, but explosive. Standing at 6′ 6″, he can virtually see the whole floor and use his size to his advantage. He is eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft if he decides not to go to college. However, if he decides to go to college, Exum would likely play a year and then declare for the 2015 NBA Draft where he would have a better chance at being selected number one.
Position: PF Year: Freshman College: Kentucky
Julius Randle not only is an inside player, he has a proven jumper to complement it. At 6′ 9″ 240 lbs, Randle is a physical specimen that resembles the likes of a Chris Webber. On the defensive side of the ball, Randle is vicious. His terrific size and wingspan allows him the ability to block any shot. Although he needs to bulk up to increase his weight to around 250-260 lbs, Randle is a great low-block scorer. At the Nike Hoops Summit, Randle poured in 19 points and 8 rebounds in a loss to the World Team. Randle will be attending Kentucky to play college hoops and is expected to flourish under John Calipari’s offense. Randle will be surrounded by future first round picks, so we’ll have to see whether or not he lives up to his potential at Kentucky.
Position: SF Year: Freshman College: Kansas
The number one prospect from the 2014 class, Andrew Wiggins, is a high flyer that brings a lot of athleticism to the table. Wiggins stands at 6′ 8″ with a 7′ 0″ wingspan, and weighs in at 200 lbs. Wiggins dominates high school talent and many have said that he would’ve been the #1 pick in the 2013 draft. Playing for Huntington Prep, Wiggins averaged a stunning 23 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals a game. For a small forward, those are stats that are hard to ask from a center.
However, there have been concerns that Wiggins doesn’t have the NBA “killer-instinct” and at times doesn’t keep a constant motor on the floor. Wiggins has been under national spotlight since he was 13; because of that I believe he is trying to be more of a celebrity than a basketball player. Wiggins will be attending Kansas this fall, so all of the hype will finally be revealed this year. He is the consensus number one prospect for the 2014 NBA Draft, but a lot can change in a year.