Tag: 2014 NBA Draft

Jahlil Okafor

Who are the players to watch for in the 2015 NBA Draft?


Much of the coverage of the 2013 NBA Draft at the time was centered around the fact that it didn’t stand up to the 2014 NBA Draft. That’s what happens when Anthony Bennett goes No. 1 while Andrew Wiggins getting ready for a season at Kansas.

That won’t be the case for the 2015 NBA Draft, as it doesn’t have the same kind of hype as this year’s draft crop. That said, here are 16 names you NBA fans want to keep an eye on:

Jahlil Okafor, Duke: Okafor right now is my pick to go No. 1 in the 2015 draft. Between his size (6-foot-11, at least 250 lbs), his footwork and his soft touch, he’s got all kinds of potential as a low-post scorer.

Cliff Alexander, Kansas: You’ll see a lot of people comparing Alexander to Montrezl Harrell over the course of the offseason, and that’s actually not that bad of a comparison, only … Alexander dunks angrier. Way angrier. He’s as powerful of a front court player as you’ll find next season.

Kelly Oubre, Kansas: Oubre might end up being the best wing in the country next season. His game is fairly reminiscent of James Young, an athletic, 6-foot-7 lefty shooter. For my money, however, Oubre will actually be a better player — shooter, specifically — as a freshman that Young was.

Chris Walker, Florida: Walker is a freak athlete at 6-foot-10, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2013 that couldn’t enroll at Florida until the second semester and then had to deal with an NCAA-mandated suspension. He’s got world’s of potential, but his development this summer is going to be a key. He was uninspiring down the stretch last year.

Emmanuel Mudiay, SMU: Mudiay will play his freshman season at SMU, as he chose him hometown school over Kentucky. He’s a big, strong, athletic lead guard and he will be leading a Mustang team that has the pieces to push for a top ten ranking in the preseason.

Stanley Johnson, Arizona: If Oubre isn’t the best wing in college basketball next season, there’s a good chance that is because Johnson earned the title. He’s a 6-foot-7 bulldog, a wing that I’ve seen run the point for his team while defending an opponent’s center. He’s cut from the same cloth as guys like Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. One assistant at a top 25 program told me Johnson’s elite because he’s one of the few players whose position can simply be labeled “junkyard dog”.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona: RHJ is a terrific athlete blessed with good size and a great wingspan. He can pass, he can make plays defensively and he’s great around the rim. But will he learn how to shoot the ball?

Justin Jackson, North Carolina: Jackson is going to be the best offensive threat for North Carolina next season. He’s a 6-foot-8 sharpshooter with one of the best mid-range games — his floater is lethal — you’ll see.

Karl Towns, Kentucky: I think Towns is probably Kentucky’s best NBA prospect heading into the 2014-2015 season. He’s a seven-foot center with three-point range.

Caris LeVert, Michigan: LeVert had a terrific year playing in the shadow of Nik Stauskas as a sophomore and should thrive for the Wolverines in his absence this season. The lanky, 6-foot-6 wing is a streaky-but-dangerous three-point shooter that has proven he can take games over.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin: Kaminsky exploded on the scene as a junior with a 43-point outburst early on in the year and carried his play over into the NCAA tournament, where he was one of the break out stars. He could have been a first round pick this season. He’s a seven-footer with three-point range, post moves and the handle and mobility to put the ball no the floor. He’s limited, however, as he isn’t all that quick or athletic.

And five more:

  • Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
  • Justise Winslow, Duke
  • Bobby Portis, Arkansas
  • Delon Wright, Utah
  • Dakari Johnson, Kentucky

Kyle Anderson, Mitch McGary among 2014 NBA Draft winners

Kyle Anderson UCLA
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It’s an annual pastime when it comes to drafts, with many looking to declare teams and players to be either winners or losers. While those answers won’t be known for a couple years (if not more, in some cases), below is an attempt to peg seven teams and players who did well for themselves Thursday night.

Among those winners are a talented distributor who went a little lower than expected, and two players whose off-court issues did not hurt their draft prospects in the end.

– Kyle Anderson (30th to San Antonio): There were some questions as to where Anderson would land, and as the first round moved towards its conclusion it looked as if the 6-foot-9 guard would still be on the board in the second round. But the reigning NBA champion Spurs grabbed Anderson with the final pick of the first round, meaning that not only will Anderson get a valuable guaranteed deal he’s also with a franchise that has consistently shown that it can develop talent.

– Utah Jazz (getting Dante Exum with the 5th pick):  After the three players rated highest on most draft lists (Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid) were taken Orlando selected Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, allowing Utah to take the player it long coveted without having to give up anything. That’s a win.

– Doug McDermott (picked 11th by Denver; traded to Chicago): While Denver wouldn’t have been a bad spot for McDermott, his being traded to a franchise looking to make a run at a title is positive development for him. And one of his best skills, the ability to shoot, is something the Bulls can certainly use after struggling offensively last season.

– Mitch McGary (21st to Oklahoma City): McGary’s college career came to a premature end due in large part to a failed drug test during the NCAA tournament, and there were some concerns in the immediate aftermath that he could wind up in the second round. But McGary never slipped that far, as he was selected 21st overall by a franchise in Oklahoma City that has experienced a lot of success in recent years.

– P.J. Hairston (26th to Miami; traded to Charlotte): Hairston’s issues with NCAA rules resulted in his being ruled ineligible, leading to his having to take the D-League route to the NBA. The result: Hairston was selected by the Heat, becoming the first D-League product to go in the first round. His rights were then traded to Charlotte, but either way that’s not a bad end to a year that was anything but smooth.

– Canada: For the second consecutive year a Canadian was taken with the top overall pick, as Cleveland selected Andrew Wiggins. In total four Canadians were selected, and while that figure is disappointing (there were hopes that Melvin Ejim and Khem Birch would be taken in the second round), having the top pick two years in a row is a positive for hoops north of the border.

– UCLA and Michigan (three draft picks apiece): Just two programs can claim to have three players picked in the 2014 NBA Draft, with the Bruins seeing all three of theirs being selected in the first round. Leading the way in draft picks is a nice selling point for UCLA head coach Steve Alford and Michigan head coach John Beilein, especially with the July open recruiting periods right around the corner.

James Michael McAdoo, Jahii Carson headline undrafted early entry list

Villanova v North Carolina
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AP photo

James Michael McAdoo could have been a lottery pick had he left college after a promising finish to his freshman campaign.

He left school after the 2013-2014 season, producing two more years of very good, but far from dominant, basketball. With a year of eligibility left on the table, McAdoo sat through the entire 2014 NBA Draft … and didn’t hear his name called.

He wasn’t alone, either.

But before I get to the complete list of players that left school early without getting picked, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean their basketball careers are over. They can earn a contract in the NBA’s Summer League, and if that doesn’t work, there are plenty of guys that have banked a lot of NBA money after playing their way through the D-League and a trip overseas. That’s to say nothing of the amount of money that can be made playing basketball in places like Italy and Spain.

Back to the point, here are the 11 players that declared for the draft with eligiblity remaining and did not get selected:

James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina: McAdoo just ended up being too much of a ‘tweener’. He didn’t have enough of a post game or a perimeter game to be worth a draft pick.


Jahii Carson, Arizona State: Carson made it clear before the season began that he would be leaving for the NBA after three years in Tempe with two seasons of eligibility remaining. He’s a thrilling point guard to watch, but issues with his jump shot and an inability to go left made him a risky pick.

Jabari Brown, Missouri: Brown is known as a sharpshooter, but he’s not big enough or near good enough defensively to find himself drafted in that Danny Green role. Brown used three seasons of eligibility at Missouri and Oregon.

JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s: Sampson is a freak athlete, but beyond that, he just isn’t a good enough basketball player. I can’t even remember him taking a jump shot, let alone making one, in two years with the Johnnies.

Sim Bhullar, New Mexico State: Bhullar is 7-foot-5 and over 350 pounds. He only played two years for NMSU, and while he’s not ready for the league, that massive body can only hold up for so long. Maximize his earning potential while he can. He made the right move.

Khem Birch, UNLV: Birch is a crazy athlete, but he literally cannot do anything offensively beyond dunk.

LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State: Not good enough offensively to overcome issues with his athleticism and his ability to defend.

Chane Behanan, Louisville/Colorado State: Did you really expect him to get picked? He’s a 6-foot-6 power forward.

Alex Kirk, New Mexico: To be fair, Kirk spent four years at New Mexico, redshirting his first season on campus. He’s got the size and shooting ability to latch onto a roster at some point. He’s a good free agent target.

Eric Moreland, Oregon State: He’s versatile and athletic with solid physical tools, but he was an offensive liability at Oregon State.

Roscoe Smith, UNLV: He turned into an excellent rebounder this past season at UNLV after two relatively unimpressive years with UConn. But he’s a small forward known for rebounding, and he’s not close to being Kenneth Faried.