By Taylor Sturm @TSturmRS on June 24, 2014
As NBA teams scramble to acquire top college basketball players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker in the 2014 NBA Draft, the teams who will not be able to pick in the top eight or so have to go through the remaining players and try to find a diamond in the rough. However, as has been seen in recent years with players like Kawhi Leonard, it can be done. Here are 10 less-heralded prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft who could be stars.
T.J. Warren was voted ACC Player of the Year and helped lead his team to a 2014 NCAA Tournament berth, but he will have to adjust to a more teamwork friendly style in the NBA. His shooting is superb, but it could take him a year or two to realize that he can trust his teammates to score.
So many teams are in desperate need for a scoring power forward that Adreian Payne will have the perfect platform from which to show off his skill very early on in his career. His experience in college will aid him at the next level.
James Young has the potential to come into the NBA and be a star almost immediately, but lacks experience. He was fantastic for Kentucky, and he could be a contributor as a rookie and a breakout player a year or two down the road.
There wasn’t a better or more consistent player in college basketball last season. Doug McDermott has the skills, the athleticism and the basketball I.Q. to be a star at the next level.
Although UCLA seemed unable to play defense for most of the season, Jordan Adams’ scoring and leadership helped take the team to the 2014 NCAA Tournament and a Pac-12 Tournament title. With so many teams needed a go-to scorer, Adams will have a chance for success very early on in his career.
Although Tyler Ennis will need a few years before he’s ready to come on as a big time player, he shows an ability to find the right passes that cannot be taught. The one thing that Ennis really has going for him is that at just 19, he has a long time to develop other crucial NBA skills.
A double-double machine in college with the Tennessee Volunteers, Stokes has the potential to be an elite NBA player. If he could get selected by a team with solid NBA veterans in front of him like the Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs, he could spend a few years learning under a talented mentor before breaking out.
Shabazz Napier is the true definition of clutch. He has the potential to not only be a star, but a superstar in the NBA. However, he also has the chance to be a bust; many NBA teams should be willing to take that risk.
Because of the competition that he faced with Wichita State, Cleanthony Early is expected to be a hit-or-miss player at the next level. However, if you saw what he was able to do when the team did play top teams, Early would be a player who every NBA team wants desperately.
If potential No. 1 overall pick Jabari Parker hadn’t been with the Blue Devils, Rodney Hood might have averaged more than 30 points per game. Hood will be elite at the next level, especially if he gets drafted by a team that already has potential.
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