Thoughts on the 2014 NBA Draft

Jabari Parker

Bird and Magic. One of the greatest 1-2 drafts in history. Both went on to greatness, both lead their teams to championships. If you believe the hype, Andrew Wiggins & Jabari Parker are the next Bird & Magic.

I don’t believe the hype.

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited for the NBA draft. It’s also been a while since my Milwaukee Bucks were either good or bad enough for it to matter. After spending the last decade toiling in mediocrity, the Bucks finally landed a high enough draft pick where they can make some real changes. Add in new owners who are on board with a true rebuilding process and the draft look less like a funeral for my favorite college basketball players and more like a building process for my team.

I’ve included some random thoughts in list form below, because lists are the popular now.

My Top 5 players:

  1. Jabari Parker. Parker proved he can score just about every way possible at Duke. At best he’s Carmelo Anthony, worst he’s Glen “Big Dog” Robinson, version 2. Either way, that’s not too bad.
  2. Andrew Wiggins. “Tremendous upside” is thrown around a lot for Wiggins. If he can score and develop a 3-point shot, he could be one of the best all-around players in the league.
  3. Dante Exum. What can I say, I was a huge Penny Hardaway fan. Exum, a quick 6’6” point guard reminds me of Hardaway in his prime.
  4. Julius Randle. All Randle did was lead his Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA Championship games, while the others on this list left opening weekend. Give me a player who knows how to lead his team to victory any day.
  5. Joel Embiid. If healthy, he’s the center every team dreams of. However, as the NBA game changes, centers aren’t as important as they once were.

Five potential later gems:

  1. Nik Stauskas. A 6’6” shooting guard who is lights out from deep and pretty athletic to boot. Reminds me of a taller Stephen Curry.
  2. T.J. Warren. A do-everything well type player from NC State who can score in bunches. Won’t be an MVP, but will likely make a good team great.
  3. Shabazz Napier. Love a point guard who is a leader on the court. Napier single-handily lead Ucon to a National Championship. Undersized at 6’, but the kind of player I want on my team.
  4. Devyn Marble. All the Iowa product did was lead the Big 10 in scoring for most of the season, before finishing fourth. At 6”7”, he’s another big shooting guard who can get to the basket.
  5. Alec Brow. Admittedly this is a homer pick, but the talented 7’1” center from UW-Green Bay has an outside shot. Needs to get stronger for the NBA.

Other thoughts on the draft:

  1. Cleveland selects Wiggins with the first overall pick. The Cavs continue their dream or luring LeBron James back to Cleveland by drafting Wiggins who can play shooting guard. If they can’t bring him back, they hope for the best with their 2013 top pick Anthony Bennett.
  2. I believe both Parker & Wiggins will be NBA All-Stars and likely contend for League MVP in a few years. Both have the Superstar potential.
  3. The Bucks will make a trade. Rumours are swirling that the Bucks will make a move, possibly for Sacramento’s #8 pick. They have a lot of pieces that would help make a good team great, so expect some of those players to be moved to build for the future.
  4. Interesting rumours from Gery Woelfel at the Racine Journal Times: “Some NBA officials have told me the Bucks may have made a promise to take Michigan power forward Mitch McGary with their first pick in second round — He shut down workouts after auditioning for Bucks — and are considering drafting Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo’s brother, Thanasis, in the second round as well.”
  5. Wait, there are multiple players who want to play for the Bucks?
  6. Some incredible college players who stayed finished college won’t be drafted because they chose to develop & learn over making college a one-year transition. This will piss me off.
  7. If Embiid falls to the 8th pick or lower, I would love to see the Bucks move up and draft him. At that point, it’s worth the risk, even if he is another Greg Oden.
  8. Most overrated players – Noah Vonleh of Indiana, James Young of Kentucky and Elfrid Payton of Louisiana Lafayette.
  9. Bucks trade Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson and Khris Middleton (or at least 2 of 3) before the day is done.
  10. As much as I want to see the Bucks succeed, I hope they’re in a similar spot draft-wise next year. The best way to build a team is with top young talent.

Photo by adamglanzman on Flickr.

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