College Basketball: Top NBA Draft prospects

January 30th, 2014

On Thursday June 26th, NBA teams will be tasked with trying to rebuild their team behind one of the many college stars in this draft class. This draft class is loaded with collegiate stars with the potential become superstars in the NBA.


Since the draft’s order is yet to be determined, this list of top six NBA prospects does not examine team need, and is instead based on talent and potential.


Starting the list at No. 6 is a player who many fans have not heard of. But this player could end up being the steal of the draft. That player is sophomore guard Jahii Carson of Arizona State. His speed and shot creating ability could make him the next Damian Lillard.


At No. 5 is the monster freshman forward from Arizona, Aaron Gordon. Averaging only 12.3 points per game, he is not going to be a go-to low post scorer early in his career. However, with his 6’9 225 pound frame, Gordon can be taught the skills to take over a game in the post. His rebounding abilities are already on display, as he averages 7.8 a game. Any NBA team would love to have a player like him, especially with the lack of true postmen left in the NBA.


No. 4 might not be a popular pick, because he does not have the length that others in this class have. But his determination is what sticks out. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about. Kentucky’s freshman forward Julius Randle. He stands out not for his 16.1 ppg, rather his 10.2 rebounds per game. Game in and game out, Randle attacks the glass, earning second chance points and trips to the free throw line. Both of these skills are invaluable for NBA teams. He already has a wide array of post moves that he uses to take advantage of taller defenders. Gordon’s slick moves, combined with his strength, will help him to make any NBA team instantly better.


Joel Embiid, the freshman from Kansas, comes in at No. 3, and for good reason. For starters, his body frame is 7’0, 250 pounds and he has a 7’5 wingspan. These attributes make Embiid a physical freak who could hold down the paint for an NBA franchise. Even at that size, Embiid manages to be extremely quick and athletic. He has posted big numbers so far this year, with 11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg and 2.8 blocks per game. These numbers add up to this kid becoming a dominant force in the NBA.


Controversially at No. 2 is freshman guard Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. Even though most scouts feel he’s number one, because of his athleticism, his offensive game leaves much to be desired. At times, he passive and does not look to take over a game. Plus, his shooting from beyond the arc definitely needs to be improved. However, with his tall 6’8 frame, he will be able to get his shot off over many defenders and his ability on the fast break could provide fans with many highlight dunks.


The No. 1 spot goes to Jabari Parker, a freshman forward from Duke. With almost 19 points and eight rebounds per game, he is already dominating the college basketball landscape. But more impressive is the way he scores. He has a strong low post game, as well as a deadly three point shot, consistently hitting the mid-range jumper. Parker is also a complete freight train while driving to the basket. His offensive game is beyond above and beyond other members of his class, which is why he could become one of the NBA’s next big-time scorers. All his physical skills, combined with his continued improvement, will make Jabari the most desired player of the 2014 draft.