Hard to believe the NBA season is already in full swing. I'm so excited by all the new blood here on the Pinstriped Post. There are some great FanPosts of late. Seems most of the focus is on what appears to be some inevitable trades looming on the horizon as well as the historic upcoming draft. This piece will focus on the latter.
The 2014 NBA draft is setting up to be historic with scouts predicting multiple All Stars being birthed from its ranks. I have affectionately dubbed the top talents as the big five! These players consist of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordan, Julius Randle, and Marcus Smart. As the NCAA season progresses there will undoubtedly be many twists and turns that will flucuate these players rankings and draft stock. I will periodically post my stock watch on these NBA studs to be.
As of 11/15 most of these players have a two game sample size. Although the sample is small it has been beneficial in clarifying their NBA potential. Here is my early ranking and a breif explanation of how I have come to my conclusions. As always I welcome your opinions and hopefully positive feedback!
1. Jabari Parker, Polished, NBA ready, Great shot, can pass, put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim. So far, from what we know, he has high character written all over him! Only negative so far he's just not an elite athlete, limiting his upside and overall ceiling. Saying that, I feel that's nit picking considering his skill set. He is a jedi knight assassin!
2. Andrew Wiggins, Raw, still evolving, he has the potential to be a hall of fame NBA player, should he fulfill his full potential. Unlike Parker he is an elite athlete albeit with a youthful wirey frame. This was on display in the Kansas vs. Duke showdown. Parker came up just shy of a block as well as committing a foul on a dunk by Wiggins!
3. Marcus Smart, most of us are familiar with his skill set seeing him all of last season on the collegiate level. He is a lethal, dominent and creative player with what appears to be an improved jump shot. This bodes well for his draft stock as many thought that was the chink in his armor.
4. Aaron Gordon, this an athletic power forward in the likeness of Blake Griffen. His ceiling could be higher! He has all the athleticism of Blake but might be a better a shooter. In watching a highlight of him this season I saw him step behind the ark and bury a three ball. He has drained 4-5 attempts from long range in early season action! This ability to shoot gives him an edge over Randle as far as NBA skill set.
5. Julius Randle, this is the ranking I'm expecting to receive the most critique. When I watched his first two games in this early season he was dominant. I even posted on a FanPost I thought he was the top dog. After further inspection I've changed my opinion. His flaw in my mind is that his major skill is his physical dominance. Yes he has other positive attributes but the one that is popping out on film is his physicality. I believe he will undoubtedly be a great NBA player but he will face much more comprable players in size and stature. He will not be able to bully the professionals in the association like he is on the college level.