5 players to watch in the 2014 NBA draft

The 2014 NBA Draft fast approaches and the talent level is one of the best in a long time. With so many very different, and very talented players, this year’s draft is a must watch for NBA fans. The players picked this year have the potential to become the next Lebron James or the next Kevin Durant.

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins has been the most highly recruited person in his draft class, and his career thus far has been followed by so many people across the basketball world. After one year as a Kansas Jayhawk, under Coach Bill Self, Wiggins has declared for the draft. Wiggins plays as a shooting guard, and with world class athleticism, his NBA career is bright. For many years, Wiggins has been the top prospect for this year’s draft.  At Kansas, Wiggins went for 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on 44 percent shooting from the field. Reasons to watch Wiggins are his fantastic athleticism, and his potential to become an NBA superstar, however he also has downsides. Critics of Wiggins say he is too skinny and weak at this point, and that he lacks the superior talent level to become a star in the league.

“Personally, I think Wiggins is overrated,” Senior Kevin Scott said. “Players like Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid are much better players and have a much better potential to be great in the NBA.”

Jabari Parker

At Duke University, Parker had a phenomenal freshman season, and as a result, Parker has declared for the draft. Jabari, plays as either a small forward or a power forward, and will continue to do so in the NBA. At 6’8’’ and around 240 pounds, Parker offers what Wiggins lacks: strength. Parker’s strength and talent combination offer a legitimate potential for stardom in the NBA. Parker’s stats were impressive at Duke, and his draft stock was certainly boosted after this seasons performances. People often compare the game of Carmelo Anthony to Parker, so there are certainly high expectations from many.

“I like the fact that Jabari went to Duke, so he has played for a coach who is truly great, and on top of that, Jabari has the NBA body size, he is a true size for a small forward,” Senior Brandon Woo said.

Noah Vonleh

Vonleh, another one and done freshman, played his only season at Indiana University under Tom Creen and wasn’t spectacular as far as statistics go. He averaged 11.3 points and 9 rebounds a game on a team that was in no way memorable. Vonleh has a huge upside because of his athleticism and that fact that he has jaw dropping size. He measured a 7’4’’ wingspan at the NBA combine: a huge wingspan for a 6’9’’ power forward. Certainly, Vonleh lacks NBA level talent, but he could develop into a very athletic power forward. He has all the intangibles that are needed to be successful. Questions have to be raised since he played for a team that wasn’t anything special.

Doug McDermott

McDermott finished his senior year this past season, after a four year career at Creighton. In his four years, he had one of the best careers a collegiate player can have. McDermott averaged over 26 points, and 7 rebounds per game in his senior season, and led his team to one of their best seasons ever. The reason McDermott much be watched is he is highly underrated by NBA scouts. At 6’8’’, he has the ability to score in so many different ways and this was his strength in college. He finished his career with one of the most points ever scored in a collegiate career so he has certainly proven his talent. He has the potential to be a sleeper pick, because teams will pass up on him because of his age. One downside of his game is that he doesn’t have the athleticism and speed to be super effective in the NBA. However he still has the potential to be very great.

“Doug can be a surprisingly good player in the NBA because he can score with the best of them,” Scott said. “He is a pleasure to watch, he never quits, he just works hard when he plays.”

Nik Stauskas

Originally from Canada, Stauskas was the Big Ten player of the year last year, and he is another highly underrated player in the NBA. Stauskas’ strengths are his ability to shoot the ball from almost anywhere, and also his ability to get to the basket on pick and rolls. Stauskas has never been recognized for his athleticism, but it is certainly present. One of the only negatives of his game is that he isn’t very strong and he doesn’t play the best defense. Teams in the draft looking for a shooting will not pass up on the former University of Michigan standout. He has also proven he can lead a team, and since he will not be picked in the top five or ten, he could certainly be a steal for a team that drafts him.

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Sean Zanyk McLean

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