8 Top NBA Draft Prospects in 2014
The National Basketball Association’s pre-draft combine begins this week in Chicago, with participants expected to be analyzed in a variety of on- and off-court manners. Among other things, players undergo full physicals, do athletic testing, and perform individual drills before a league-wide gathering of scouts and coaches. The combine is also the first place where teams have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with players.
Recently, it was announced that top prospects Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid would all be skipping the combine. In this way, some analysts say, the trio are able to dictate their own process, choosing which teams they’d like to work out for and undergo medical testing with.
Though the lack of combine exposure is unlikely to seriously hurt Wiggins, Parker, or Embiid, it could significantly help participating players forge connections with teams and move their way up the draft board. Read on as we break down the top eight players most likely to be taken first in this year’s draft, in no particular order.
1. Jabari Parker
The son of former Chicago legend and NBA player Sonny Parker, Jabari is a polished offensive player who, as a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds at Duke. He earned first team All-American honors and also won the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation’s top freshman. Though Duke fans were sad to see him go, Parker has undeniable talent and will be a meaningful addition to any team. The best part? Parker is still growing – literally and figuratively. Said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski: “When he has the ball, he’s so excited and he can do things you don’t teach. If he learns to play without the ball to the level I think he can, I think he’ll be, in the NBA, a franchise player. I think he’s going to be unbelievable.”