10 Top NBA Draft Prospects: A Midseason Cheat Sheet
The 2014 NBA draft class was heralded in with trumpets. With some of the prospects earmarked for undoubted hoops superstardom since middle school and a veritable army of highlight reel “mixtapes” landing on every video site imaginable, the upcoming draftees were so good that pundits couldn’t help but talk about them during last year’s draft, juxtaposing the lack of talent in 2013 with the embarrassment of riches coming up next year. The noise was so loud and so vibrant that it created a public enemy scenario: Many decided that they couldn’t believe the hype, and the backlash began. All this cacophony, and the NCAA men’s basketball season had yet to see a single game.
The tank — as throwing games in order to receive a high lottery pick is often referred to — was in full effect. Every loss in the NBA has brought about a new interest in the college game, and sports coverage mainstays like ESPN have begun to offer a Mock Draft Lottery Machine for fans of likely high-drafting teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics.
As the NBA season begins to enter the doldrums of February, March, and April (also known as “when do the playoffs start again?”), we’ll take a look at the top 10 prospects in the NBA draft and compare them to how they were expected to perform at the start of the season. None of these names should be surprising at this point, but some of the analysis might.