5 Top NBA Rookies Who Will Struggle in 2014-15

5 Top NBA Rookies Who Will Struggle in 2014-15

2014 NBA Rookies
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The 2014 NBA Draft was thought to be one of the best in recent memory, and while players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker may contribute immediately, there will be players who struggle. The transition from NCAA to NBA hoops is a tough one, and as we saw demonstrated in Summer League, some guys just aren't ready. Here are five notable names that may disappoint their teams in their rookie seasons.

5. Elfrid Payton

Elfrid Payton Magic
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5. Elfrid Payton

Elfrid Payton Magic
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Payton’s jump shot leaves a lot to be desired. He often displays pedal-to-the-metal play which leads to turnovers, something he really struggled with in some Summer League games. If he were drafted to a team with a strong veteran presence, his impact could be more immediate. Unfortunately, the Magic don’t have that. Payton's defense will help Orlando, but his turnovers will limit his overall success.

4. Shabazz Napier

Shabazz Napier Heat
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4. Shabazz Napier

Shabazz Napier Heat
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Like Payton, Napier can offer quality defensive consistency right away for the Heat. His demise will come from his below-par jump shot. An aging Dwyane Wade and lack of other scorers will allow defenses to contain Napier’s penetration rendering him near useless on the offensive end. His poise and maturity lead me to believe he will improve his jumper, but for the time being, Napier will struggle in the NBA.

3. Noah Vonleh

Noah Vonleh Hornets
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3. Noah Vonleh

Noah Vonleh Hornets
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Vonleh is a great rebounder, but that is the only part of his game that will immediately translate to the NBA. Vonleh’s feel for the game just isn’t there yet. He often struggles with playing instinctively and looks like he’s thinking too much on the floor. Adjusting to life as an NBA power forward will prove to be a struggle for Vonleh as his footwork and strength need work. He could eventually be a high level player, but that is years away.

2. Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart Celtics
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2. Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart Celtics
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Smart can fill it up, but he needs a lot of shots to do so. His shooting during Summer League was abysmal. His slow shot release leads him to struggle shooting when defended. Turnovers were a problem for him early in Summer League, though he did clean it up as the games went on. He will have a huge adjustment to make to become a solid NBA point guard. His composure and maturity, which have been highly questionable, must improve as a pro.

1. Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon Magic
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1. Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon Magic
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If the Magic don’t get out in transition, Gordon will not score -- that’s a problem. Defenses will dare him to shoot because, quite frankly, he can’t. He also struggles with free throws. Gordon’s athleticism is great and will create plenty of highlights, but his overall game needs a ton of work. He is too small to play the four and too offensively inept to play the three. As a true tweener, his offensive struggles will continue in the league.

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