The 2014 NBA Draft is still five months away, but analysts and fans are already sizing up its talent pool and projecting where given players might wind up on Draft night. In his latest Big Board for ESPN Insider, Chad Ford reports that the stock of Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis has risen in recent weeks, while that of Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart has dropped.
Tyler on Tyler
Tyler on Tyler
Ford ranks Smart sixth on the Big Board, noting that Smart has "had everyone just a little bit worried" with his recent performances, including a four-point outing against West Virginia. Smart's "inconsistent" play has allowed for lesser-regarded players like Ennis to rise on some Draft boards.
Ennis, whom Ford ranks 10th in the Draft class, "is the hottest name in scouting circles at the moment," the ESPN scribe writes. Given how well he's performed of late, Ennis is a "lock" to go highly on Draft night, Ford says.
The Orlando Magic figure to be interested in both players, due to their need for help at point guard behind Jameer Nelson, who turns 32 on February 9th. As we outlined in a recent Mailbag, the Magic own their own first-round Draft pick as well as another first-rounder from either the Denver Nuggets or the New York Knicks, whichever team owns the less favorable selection between the two.
In his freshman season, Ennis is averaging 12.3 points and 5.4 assists on 43.2 percent shooting. Smart, a sophomore, is posting per-game averages of 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and three steals on 40.4 percent shooting.