NBA Draft Stock Tracker: Week One
The 2014 NBA draft is going to be the best draft since 1984, where all-timers like Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and John Stockton all entered the league. Teams have made questionable decisions, hoping to get a top draft pick this year (although a couple forgot about the players who still want to win on their roster). There will be about five or six All-Stars coming out of this draft, maybe even a couple of superstars. This column will observe the rising and falling stock of each player as draft day nears. Without further ado the number one pick right now has to be…
1. Andrew Wiggins
Draft Stock: Rising
The Kansas forward is the undisputed number one pick right now. Wiggins dazzled in his debut, with an efficient 16 points on five of nine shooting, while adding three rebounds, three steals and two assists. The main knock on the forward was that scouts really did not know how much range he had, but Wiggins sure did answer that question. The freshman had two threes, but it really is not important how often he shoots them, just that he can. Wiggins is the most athletic player in the draft, drawing comparisons to a young Tracy McGrady. Wiggins possesses a devastating spin move and can finish around the rim in traffic. For the freshman to solidify himself as the number one pick, Wiggins has to become the alpha dog on the Kansas team, and has to become more aggressive with his offensive game. This will definitely come with time, and as Wiggins develops more chemistry with his Kansas teammates.
2. Julius Randle
Draft Stock: Rising
Of all of the players in college, Randle has the best shot to overtake Wiggins and become the number one overall pick. The word, “specimen” has been thrown around when describing the forward from Kentucky, and honestly Randle fits the bill. Listed at 6 foot 9, and 225 pounds, Randle still possesses the footwork and athletic ability to really succeed in the NBA. The freshman already has two double-doubles, opening with a 25 point-15 rebound performance. Randle has already been showing why he was one of the top recruits this year. Randle is an absolute bull in the paint, while still possessing a mid-range jumper, something that every power forward in the NBA needs to become a star. Kentucky is stacked this year, with seven potential first round picks, but Randle looks to be the most promising.
3. Jabari Parker
Draft Stock: Unchanged
Parker could definitely be the most skilled player in this draft. Maybe not as athletic as Wiggins or Randle, Parker has the smoothest stroke of all of the top recruits this year. Drawing some comparisons to Carmelo Anthony, Parker can really score from anywhere on the court. In his debut, Parker scored 22 points on eight of 10 shooting, adding a perfect 3-3 from three-point range. The Duke forward also showed toughness in the paint, providing six rebounds for the Blue Devils. Parker definitely has room to improve defensively, but he is such a joy to watch on the offensive side of the ball. Parker already looks like an NBA player, with several pro caliber moves. Parker’s fade-a-way is a thing of beauty and his step back jumper is quick enough to be mistaken for a guard’s. The freshman also showed a tremendous amount of poise playing his first game of the season. The team that gets to draft Parker will be gift-wrapped a scoring machine, that will contribute in the league for years to come.
Next week this column will review the huge games in the Champion’s Classic, where Duke will play Kansas and Michigan State will play Kentucky.
Timothy Alvarez is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.