10 Players Who Will Be Overdrafted In the 2014 NBA Draft
10 Players Who Will Be Overdrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft
As the end of both the NCAA and NBA seasons quickly approach, talk inevitably shifts to the NCAA tournament, the NBA playoffs and, of course, the NBA Draft. Mock drafts are starting to spring up left and right as pundits start to get a better idea of who should go where. Of course, none of these prognostications ultimately matter until we find out who's declaring for the draft and which team is picking where, but it's a fun exercise, nonetheless.
As with every NBA Draft, there's a fine line between those who will be stars at the next level and those who will flame out. Finding that line is perhaps the most difficult component of an NBA general manager's job. Selecting the wrong player can have severe long-term ramifications on a franchise, as we've seen countless times in the past. If you don't believe that, just ask Joe Dumars what Darko Milicic is doing these days or ask Kevin Pritchard whether he'd still take Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. The draft is perhaps the only surefire way for moribund franchises to rebuild their teams, especially with free agent contracts getting well out of hand (see: Josh Smith and Jose Calderon).
During the season, GMs, player personnel executives and team scouts do an exhaustive amount of research on each prospect in an attempt to cull the great ones from the simply mediocre or not good at all. While there's still plenty of time left for things to change course, I have attempted to do the same. What follows is a list of 10 players who will ultimately end up being overdrafted in June. Click through the slideshow to find out just who those players are.
10. Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Gary Harris is the heart and soul of the Michigan State team and has enjoyed a very productive sophomore season in East Lansing. There has already been speculation that Harris could bolt for the NBA Draft after this season, and many pundits have him lined up as a top 12 pick. While Harris definitely has some redeeming qualities, he's a bit small for a shooting guard and doesn't possess the ball handling skills to be a top notch point guard in the NBA. While he can certainly carve out a niche for himself as a scorer off the bench, any team that takes him in the top 12 could very well come away disappointed.
9. Doug McDermott, SF/PF, Creighton
Doug McDermott recently passed Larry Bird on the all-time NCAA scoring list, and he has led Creighton to one of their best seasons in recent memory. In his four years with the Blue Jays, McDermott, the coach's son, has been a scoring machine, seeing his scoring average rise every season. His 26 points per game this year have many forecasting he'll be a top 10 pick come draft night. While McDermott is certainly a gifted scorer, his size makes him a bit of a tweener and he doesn't possess the athleticism that NBA teams like out of their frontcourt players. His game is very similar to that of Adam Morrison, and while he could certainly be more productive than Morrison at the NBA level, that should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone taking him high in the draft.
8. Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
Jerami Grant is another highly touted college player who has enjoyed a very nice season for top ranked Syracuse. Grant, along with teammates Tyler Ennis and CJ Fair, have spearheaded the Orange's leap into the top 10, and he's been drawing quite a bit of notice from NBA scouts as a result. However, as productive as he's been, several red flags stick out. After a great start to the season, Grant's numbers have taken a tumble as of late, and his complete lack of an outside shot for a perimeter player is a tough pill to swallow. Grant's athleticism is off the charts and that's how he's scored many of his baskets, but at the NBA level, he's going to need to pack on at least a few pounds of muscle to deal with bigger wing players. The potential is still there for Grant to be a solid player at the next level, but he's going to have a steep learning curve to live up to that potential.
7. Kyle Anderson, PG/SF, UCLA
Kyle Anderson is one of the more interesting prospects who could declare for the 2014 draft. No, that position split above is not a typo, as some consider Anderson more of an over-sized point guard who may have to transition to small forward at the NBA level. While Anderson has had a very solid season for UCLA, many questions remain about his viability as a NBA player. Anderson's a phenomenal passer, but he lacks the foot speed to break NBA guards off the dribble which could lead to him playing more of a perimeter game. Anderson is a high percentage three-point shooter this season, but he doesn't shoot many, a number that would have to increase in order for him to hold his own as a small forward in the NBA. Anderson could also be beaten off the dribble by quicker perimeter players, which could make taking him in the top 15 a grave mistake for someone.
6. Wayne Selden, SG, Kansas
Wayne Selden could be the least deserving player on this list as he's got a NBA ready body and possesses above average maturity for a college freshman. Selden has teamed with fellow freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to help lead Kansas to a top 10 ranking this season, and there are whispers that Selden could leave Lawrence early. While Selden's play has improved as the season has progressed, he's rarely had the opportunity to take over games playing alongside Wiggins, Embiid and Perry Ellis, a trait that could portend some future doubts. Another concern is that Selden appears to be a shooting guard with a questionable outside shot, as he's only shooting 36 percent from three this season. Selden's athleticism and upside will likely land him in the top 15 on draft night, but he's far from a finished product and could be a prime overdraft candidate.
5. Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Arizona
Aaron Gordon has gained a lot of notoriety this season for his play as he's helped lead Arizona to the top of the NCAA rankings. He's a jack of all trades, capable of doing just about anything on the basketball court -- except scoring consistently. While Gordon usually fills up the stat sheet, he doesn't possess much of an outside shot, and at 210-pounds, he's going to have a tough time banging inside against NBA power forwards. As a result, Gordon may be hit with the dreaded tweener label, which has hurt the NBA prospects of many a player before him. Gordon's name has gained a lot of traction this season and, if he declares, he could go in the top 15. Although he's likely to stay in the league thanks to his incredible versatility, any team that takes him that high in the draft is likely going to be looking for more than a glorified role player.
4. Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
Willie Cauley-Stein was part of a tremendous recruiting class at Kentucky last season, but he hasn't taken the leap in his sophomore season that many expected. Cauley-Stein possesses a NBA ready body, and as a skilled seven-footer, he could certainly ply his trade at the next level. However, Cauley-Stein's performance seems to have plateaued this year, giving many scouts pause as to whether he can handle the rigors of the NBA. Although Cauley-Stein possesses a world of potential, among Kentucky big men, he seems to remind people more of Daniel Orton than Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins. Cauley-Stein would be well served returning to school to polish his game more, but if he declares for the draft, whichever team takes him is going to have a lot of work to do to turn him into a finished product.
3. Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Nik Stauskas has enjoyed a breakout season for Michigan and is one of the big reasons the Wolverines have been able to overcome the losses of Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Trey Burke to the NBA as well as Mitch McGary to injury. Stauskas is a terrific outside shooter, and for that reason alone, he's likely to find himself a spot on some NBA team's roster if he declares for the draft. However, beyond his shooting acumen, Stauskas doesn't offer much to indicate that he could star at the NBA level. At best, he's an average defender and he doesn't possess the passing skills to make the transition to point guard, leaving him as perhaps a one-trick pony. While Stauskas likely won't hear his name called in the lottery if he declares, he could still be an overdraft if he's taken anywhere in the top 20.
2. Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
Shabazz Napier has almost single-handedly led Connecticut to a top 25 ranking and a likely NCAA tournament berth, as his play this season has earned him consideration for the Wooden Award as player of the year. As great as Napier has been the last two seasons in Storrs, it's tough to see him enjoying the same kind of success in the NBA. As an undersized point guard, he's already facing an uphill battle, and his questionable defense and non-elite athleticism will also raise further questions as draft day approaches. While Napier could certainly enjoy a Jeryd Bayless-like career at the next level, any team that takes him in the first round could come away disappointed.
1. James McAdoo, PF, North Carolina
It wasn't long ago that James McAdoo was being talked about as a potential lottery pick in the NBA Draft. Fast forward a few seasons and McAdoo's once bright star has dulled considerably. Although he possesses all-world athleticism and has had his fair share of good games for North Carolina, his consistency has been and will continue to be a huge question mark. While McAdoo has the physique of a Greek God, his numbers don't bear that out. McAdoo's not a great rebounder for someone with his athleticism and his scoring also comes more based off that athleticism than it does from sound post moves. At the NBA level, this will most certainly come back to bite him and any team thinking of taking him in the first round better be prepared to be overly frustrated.
Related links: 5 Players the Denver Nuggets Should Target In the NBA Draft