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2014 NBA Draft

2014 NBA Draft
Pick Team Player Jeff Eisenberg Commentary
Round 1
1 (1) Cleveland Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins
SG
Height:
6-8
Weight:
200
School:
Kansas
TSX Rank:
1

He didn't rack up absurd scoring numbers like Kevin Durant or propel his team to a national title like Carmelo Anthony, but the one-and-done star still flashed enough upside to merit being a top pick. Wiggins showcased an ability to defend multiple positions, an explosive secondary jump around the rim and a knack for finishing with aplomb in transition. The top criticism of Wiggins: he wasn't assertive enough to take advantage of his physical gifts. In Kansas' stunning NCAA tournament loss to Stanford, he scored just four points and attempted only six shots, inexplicably floating around the perimeter. There's no doubt Wiggins has a tendency to coast, but he still has the ability to make an instant impact and get better in years to come. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: A

8 (8) Sacramento Nik Stauskas
Nik Stauskas
SG
Height:
6-6
Weight:
205
School:
Michigan
TSX Rank:
13

Viewed as merely an elite shooter after his freshman season at Michigan, Stauskas proved his game has more dimensions as a sophomore. The 6-foot-6 guard replaced Trey Burke as Michigan's primary playmaker this past season, routinely beating his defender off the dribble via high pick-and-rolls and either finishing himself or setting up a teammate for an open look. He averaged 17.5 points and 3.3 assists, all while maintaining the 44 percent 3-point shooting that he displayed the previous year. Stauskas isn't a great defender or rebounder, but he's skilled enough offensively to be more than a role player at the NBA level. Look for him to make an impact with his shooting right away off the catch and dribble while eventually expanding his all-around game the way he did in college. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: B

13 (13) Minnesota Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine
SG
Height:
6-5
Weight:
180
School:
UCLA
TSX Rank:
15

This is the ultimate boom-or-bust pick since the obscenely athletic LaVine has a sky-high potential yet has a long way to go to tap into it. On one hand, LaVine scored a total of 10 points in his final five games at UCLA, missed 15 of 19 shots and had more turnovers than field goals. On the other hand, he tested off the charts at the combine and has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA guard. LaVine shoots well from the perimeter and finishes in transition. The 6-foot-6 guard's camp is also convinced he can distribute enough to play point guard, but he seldom had the opportunity to show that in college. LaVine needs to put more effort into his defense and get stronger so he can finish through contact. A season in the D-League to improve those areas and refine his point guard skills would almost certainly benefit him. MARC J. SPEARS' GRADE: A

14 (14) Phoenix T.J. Warren
T.J. Warren
SG
Height:
6-8
Weight:
215
School:
North Carolina State
TSX Rank:
22

Since Syracuse, Duke and Virginia were the three strongest teams in the ACC last season, it's easy to forget that ACC player of the year honors didn't go to Tyler Ennis, Jabari Parker or Joe Harris. Instead, N.C. State forward T.J. Warren captured that award, making the transition from complementary scorer to go-to threat look absurdly easy. Warren led the ACC in scoring at 24.3 points per game and shot a league-best 53.2 percent from the field. He also closed the regular season with a pair of 40-plus-point outbursts against Pittsburgh and Boston College, becoming the first ACC player to put up back-to-back 40-point games since the 1956-57 season. Warren isn't a great long-range shooter and he's just an average defender, but the crafty 6-foot-8 forward should remain a formidable scorer at the NBA level because of his mid-range game and ability to score in the paint. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: C+

17 (17) Boston James Young
James Young
SG
Height:
6-6
Weight:
215
School:
Kentucky
TSX Rank:
17

Maybe Young will continue to blossom as a prospect, but right now he's fairly one-dimensional. He's a shooter – and not nearly as consistent as some of the other wings in this draft. In his lone season at Kentucky, Young shot a modest 35 percent from behind the arc and required time and space to get his feet set. He rebounded decently and showed an ability to get to the rim going left, but he is a poor passer and doesn't put in sufficient effort on defense to consistently stay in front of his man. The good news with Young is that he has the raw ability to become a starting-caliber NBA shooting guard if he makes strides in some of the areas he's deficient. He'll need to work harder than he did at Kentucky. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: B

19 (19) Denver Gary Harris
Gary Harris
SG
Height:
6-4
Weight:
210
School:
Michigan State
TSX Rank:
11

Though Harris is a tad undersized to play on the wing in the NBA and not a good enough ball-handler or playmaker to have a future at point guard, the former Michigan State standout is still a solid mid first-round pick because of all the things he does well. He defends either guard spot capably. He consistently gets to the rim. He is excellent in transition. And he shoots from 3-point range better than his 35 percent clip last season would indicate. Nagging injuries plagued Harris throughout his college career, yet he still averaged 16.7 points and four rebounds per game as a sophomore. With his competitiveness, character and ability, Harris is one of the safer picks in the first round. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: A

22 (22) Memphis Jordan Adams
Jordan Adams
SG
Height:
6-5
Weight:
220
School:
UCLA
TSX Rank:
33

Once considered the afterthought in a recruiting class that included Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker, Adams went on to enjoy as good a college career as any of them. He was one of UCLA's top two scorers as a freshman and a sophomore, initially announcing he intended to return to college for his junior season before changing his mind the day before the deadline. Adams isn't an NBA-level athlete, but he makes up for it with craftiness. He scores off the dribble, via mid-range jumpers and from behind the arc. And he forces turnovers with quick hands and good instincts. Adams has also lost 15 pounds since the end of the college season, which should only help with his lateral quickness. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: B

26 (26) Charlotte P.J. Hairston
P.J. Hairston
SG
Height:
6-6
Weight:
220
School:
North Carolina
TSX Rank:
26

Having seen his college career come to an abrupt end last winter amid an improper benefits investigation, Hairston could have let this past season go to waste. Instead he headed to the D-League and validated his status as a first-round draft pick, avoiding further off-court trouble and averaging 21.8 points per game. Spot-up shooting is Hairston's best attribute, but he has the size and athleticism to get to the rim and to defend wings as well. His stint in the D-League should enable him to make an immediate impact in the NBA. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: B

27 (27) Phoenix Bogdan Bogdanovic
Bogdan Bogdanovic
SG
Height:
6-6
Weight:
200
School/Country:
Partizan Belgrade (Serbia),
TSX Rank:
37

The man with the redundant name has intriguing skills. At 6-foot-6 with a 6-11 wingspan, Bogdanovic has excellent size for an NBA guard. His No. 1 asset is his perimeter shooting, though his shot selection can be maddening at times. He has good instincts defensively and his length allows him to get into the passing lanes and force turnovers. Bogdanovic has shown potential as a slasher and playmaker, suggesting he can handle some ball-handling duties down the road if he can improve his decision making and cut down his turnovers. There's a fair amount to like about his game but there's some doubt as to when he'll come over to the U.S. He could opt to sign with a bigger European team and stay there a few years. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: C

28 (28) LA Clippers C.J. Wilcox
C.J. Wilcox
SG
Height:
6-5
Weight:
195
School:
Washington
TSX Rank:
25

Often overlooked in college playing for a team that missed the NCAA tournament the past three seasons, Wilcox's star has risen in recent weeks as NBA teams have gotten a first-hand look at his outside shooting prowess and his surprising athleticism. Wilcox shot just under 40 percent from 3-point range in his four seasons at Washington and holds many of the program's outside shooting records. The 6-foot-5 wing also tested better than expected at the combine, showing off a 37.5-inch vertical leap and a wingspan that measured nearly 6-10. Wilcox isn't going to wow anyone with his ball-handling or his ability to create his own shot, but he can carve out a niche as a perimeter shooter with the physical tools to become a solid defender. MARC J. SPEARS' DRAFT GRADE: C