2014 NBA Redraft

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This 2014 NBA redraft features how the top ten would be selected if teams had another chance to pick.

If you haven’t done so already, check out my 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 redrafts.

These players have only had two years in the NBA, so the rankings are based on potential just as much as proven results.

  1. Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Kansas

Achievements: NBA Rookie of the Year (2015), NBA All-Rookie First Team (2015)

Andrew Wiggins is a superb offensive player. This season, he drops 20.8 points a game on an efficient 46%, up from last season’s 17 points per game on 43.7%. Those 20.8 points come from a variety of places. He finishes 65.4% of the time at the rim, hits 36% of his jump shots, and gets to the free-throw line seven times a game. The former Jayhawk will continue to improve his jumper, but he is the only person in his draft class who has consistently scored against NBA competition. Wiggins has great court vision and athleticism, which will make him into a great playmaker and defender as he gains more experience in the league. The 2015 Rookie of the Year will continue to develop his already-NBA-level game, and, along with Karl-Anthony Towns, will bring the Timberwolves back to relevance.

  1. Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke

Achievements: None noteworthy (missed 57 games during rookie year with torn ACL)

Jabari Parker is proving his worth after missing the majority of his rookie season. He is 6’ 9” and weighs 250 lbs. of pure muscle, which makes him a matchup nightmare because he is stronger than most small forwards, and more athletic than most power forwards. This allows Bucks’ coach Jason Kidd to play Parker in different lineups and situations. As a result, the Duke alum scores 14 points per game on 49.4%. “With his midrange game and also his ability to attack the basket, [Parker] never settles,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]. Parker finishes 66% on attempts at the basket, and converts 36% on his jumpers. He has a high basketball IQ, and should continue to improve with the rest of the Bucks’ young core.

  1. Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona

Achievements: None noteworthy

Aaron Gordon has the talent and athleticism to become a great NBA player. He stands at 6’ 9”, but has a 7’ wingspan and a 39” vertical leap. Combine that with his great instincts and basketball IQ, and you get a future All-NBA defender who can guard both forward positions. On the other side of the ball, he is still developing. Gordon scores 9 points a game on 47.2%. He can shoot from outside the paint, less than 50% of his shots have come at the rim. He jumps out of the building, making him a threat on alley-oops in the pick and roll. Gordon has All-Defense abilities, and has shown offensive potential, which puts him at three.

4. Nikola Jokic, C, Serbia

Achievements: None noteworthy (2015-16 is his rookie season)

Nikola Jokic impacts every aspect of the game. He scores 9.7 points a game on 50.4% in just 21 minutes a game. The Nuggets’ offensive rating is three points higher when he’s on the court than when he’s off the court. His enormous body frame makes him dangerous in the low post, and on screens, which opens up the entire offense for Denver. Defensively, his strength makes it impossible for other bigs to back him down. Additionally, he is great at help defense against driving guards. As a result, opponents have an offensive rating 6.7 points higher when Jokic is off the court compared to when he’s on. His stature makes him a beast on the boards; he is top 20 in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate. This quote from Nuggets coach Mike Malone says it all: “I wouldn’t trade [Jokic] for anybody in the world” [Mile High Sports].

5. Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky

Achievements: None noteworthy (only played one game in 2014-15, broken leg)

Julius Randle has great footwork and strength, which makes him a great low post scorer. He is relentless in the paint, so he averages 11.5 points per game. He shoots 43% on the season, but each month he has become more efficient. He shot 39% in December, 40.7% in January, 46.7% in February, and 48% in March, which shows that Randle will keep getting better with more time in the league. Range is an issue for him, but he isn’t afraid to step out of the paint; 53% of his shot attempts are further than 3 feet out. With more repetitions, he can become a knockdown midrange shooter. The downside to Randle is his short wingspan. However, his short arms haven’t prevented him from dominating on the glass; he pulls down 10.3 rebounds a game. Defensively, the wingspan could be an issue, but if the former Wildcat commits himself to having good footwork and discipline, he can be a solid defender.

6. Jordan Clarkson, SG, Missouri

Achievements: NBA All-Rookie First Team (2015)

Similar to Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson is overlooked in Los Angeles because it’s Kobe Bryant’s last season, and the Lakers are last in the West. Clarkson is a bright spot on that team, as he has only missed three games this season, starting all 76 games for which he has been available. He puts up 15.5 points a game on 43.3% shooting, and he can score from anywhere. He finishes 52% of his layups, hits 41.3% of jumpers, and knocks down 35% of his three-pointers. Additionally, Clarkson can create his own shot or spot up, which forces the opposition to watch him constantly. He isn’t as advanced on defense, but part of that is his small body frame. He weighs just 185 pounds, so with more strength training, Clarkson will become a better defender.

  1. Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette

Achievements: NBA All-Rookie First Team (2015)

Elfrid Payton is one of the best young point guards in the NBA. He was a hustle guy during his rookie year, but he worked hard on his offensive game and range in the offseason and it’s showing. Payton averages 10.8 points per game on a solid 44%, up from 9 points per game on 42.5% last season, and knocks down 33.3% of his three-point attempts this year, compared to 26.2% last year. To compliment his improved scoring, he is a good passer. He dishes out 6.4 assists per game, but only turns it over 2.4 times a game. Also, Payton is a phenom on defense, so he goes at sixth overall.

8. Marcus Smart, SG, Oklahoma State

Achievements: NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2015)

Marcus Smart is a competitor. Not too many other NBA players have his fearless mentality. He is a great defender because of his strength and confidence. He can guard point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards. Smart does all of the little things that don’t appear in the box score, such as box out bigger guys, take charges, and hustle for loose balls. “[Smart] doesn’t have to shoot to impact the game. That’s a special player,” teammate Isaiah Thomas said after the Celtics victory over the Bucks [CelticsBlog]. Offensively, Smart is still finding himself. He scores 9 points a game on 35%, but he is still young, so with more practice and experience he could become a 15-point scorer. “The Cobra,” as Smart is nicknamed, does everything to win, which makes him indispensible.

  1. Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

Achievements: None noteworthy

Gary Harris is showing what he can do when given the chance. After playing 13 minutes per game in just 55 games during his rookie season, Harris has played in, and started 74 games this season. He scores 13.7 points per game on a great 47% in 32 minutes a game. He is a fantastic finisher and spot up shooter, finishing 61.4% at the rim, and knocking down 35% of his three point attempts. Also, Harris is one of the only guys in this class who plays NBA-level defense.

    10. Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA

Achievements: NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2015)

Zach LaVine has taken his offensive game a step further this year. His scoring average is up to 14 points per game on a solid 45%, up from 10 on 42.2% throughout his rookie campaign. His three-point shooting is up to 39.2% from 34.1% last season. He is similar to Jordan Clarkson in a sense, but Clarkson has a superior ability to create his own shot, something that LaVine is slightly lacking. However, he worked hard to become a better spot up shooter, so the next step for him is to become better in one-on-one situations. Otherwise, Lavine must get stronger or else he will continue to get bullied on defense.

Side note: It was hard to rank Joel Embiid and Dante Exum. They both have talent, but Embiid is yet to play in an NBA game and Exum has missed all of this season with a torn ACL.

 

Which team could surprise in the NBA playoffs? in LastWordOnSports’s Hangs on LockerDome

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