I have to admit I haven’t been this excited about an NBA draft since LeBron was taking his talents to the NBA. The injury to Joel Embiid can’t even dampen my mood. There are players all throughout this draft that are going to be big time dynasty fantasy basketball assets, and a few are going to help people win some fantasy titles this year.
My Top 20 Fantasy Prospects
Andrew Wiggins 6’8″ Kansas Andrew Wiggins is so explosively athletic that it will be tough to not picture him being the best player to come out of this draft. He has an excellent jump shot to go along with his freakish athletic ability and ideal size. He will play the two or the three right away when he gets into the NBA as his game doesn’t need much work even though he is a one and done college prospect. I suggest you make a significant trade offer to get up to the one spot in your dynasty rookie draft to pick Wiggins.
Joel Embiid 7’0″ Kansas Embiid is a bit of a gamble at the second spot in my rankings because of his injury history, but I think he’s going to be worth the gamble. His offensive game grew by leaps and bounds this season as he developed a low post game and a decent mid range jumper to go along with his NBA ready defensive ability. The foot injury that will keep him out for the beginning of the season along with the back injury that cost him his chance to help Kansas win a title will see him slide in your rookie drafts. Don’t let him get past you. There just aren’t enough skilled big men in the game and he could develop into one of the better ones in the entire NBA.
Jabari Parker 6’8″ Duke I would like Parker a whole lot more if he was more athletic and better defensively. Basically Parker is going to score a bunch no matter where he goes. He’s a great shooter who can get to the rim and can shoot off the dribble and on the move. He’s not the best defender and it will be interesting to see which position he ends up guarding on the defensive end of the floor. He’s too small to guard legit fours and may be too big to stick with quicker wing players. Even with all of that you can see him go as high as 1st overall in your rookie drafts because he can score and shoot the 3 with ease.
Julius Randle 6’9″ Kentucky Randle has an issue with his foot that may require surgery and if it does post draft you may see him tumble down some rookie drafts. I wouldn’t let him slip past this spot because of what he can do in the paint. Think Z-Bo lite. Randle is a true power forward who enjoys banging on the block and has the hands and athleticism to finish inside. He probably will be the first from this class to average a double double and could be that source of rebounds your team is lacking.
Dante Exum 6’6″ Australia All I know about Exum is what I have seen on YouTube and on some scouting sites. He is a freakish athlete that is long and can handle the ball. He is an excellent passer and possesses a body that can develop into a huge miss match at the point guard position in the NBA. He may not contribute to your fantasy team year one as he will need a little bit of time to develop, but he could end up being Russell Westbrook-like if he develops as many think he will.
Noah Vonleh 6’10” Indiana Vonleh is another youngster that came out of college early. He is big and fast with long arms and excellent range for such a young big. He could pitch in with some decent numbers as a rookie, but he has an excellent upside as a big that can fill multiple categories.
Aaron Gordon 6’9″ Arizona Gordon is an unfinished product coming out of college, but there are two things he can do really well. He can defend and he can run the floor and finish above the rim. He should be able to contribute in steals, rebounds and the occasional points barrage when he gets in the pen floor, but his real value is down the road if he develops a jumper with some range. He could be Shawn Marion or he could be even better, either way he will help your fantasy team.
Zach LaVine 6’6″ UCLA LaVine is a stash that you’re going to have to reach for. Players with his athleticism and and shooting ability don’t fall in rookie drafts even if they are two seasons away from contributing. I’m excited about his upside, but I may let him go past this spot if I am in a position to win now.
Dario Saric 6’10” Croatia Saric is a stash at this point because he decided to stay in Europe for at least another two years. He would have been a top ten pick in the draft had he decided to make the jump this year, but alas his decision may benefit you as he slides down rookie draft boards. He could develop into one of those bigs that fills almost every category as he already has NBA range on his jump shot.
Marcus Smart 6’3″ Oklahoma State Smart made the headlines for all the wrong reasons this year. He could have been a top five pick if he came out last year, but this year he will end up a big piece on a better team. I think he can be better than Kyle Lowry and we all know what Lowry did this year in fantasy.
Elfrid Payton 6’4″ Louisiana Lafayette Payton has a lot of speed and toughness and can already run and defend at an NBA level. He will have to put on some muscle, but he could be a steal for a fantasy team that needs some youth at the point guard position.
Tyler Ennis 6’3″ Syracuse Ennis would be in the top 5 if he was 6’6″, but instead he’s 6’3″ and will fall in the NBA draft. Ennis is a great passer and floor general who has some range on his shot and can defend. If he develops an NBA 3 point shot he would be a steal down there.
Adreian Payne 6’10” Michigan State Payne can stretch the floor playing the four or the five in the NBA and should be able to defend and rebound right away. I like Payne for all of these reasons, but he could be a guy you might get a little later than here because he lacks ideal athletic upside.
Doug McDermott 6’8″ Creighton Dougie Buckets as he’s known in draft circles is going to be a volume scorer that will help your team in 3P% and FT% while scoring his fair share. I realy like McDermott and am going to target him anywhere I need a boost in threes and in percentages.
Nik Stauskas 6’7″ Michigan Stauskas is arguably the best shooter in this draft and should be a weapon in the NBA right away. I will also try and target him in leagues where I lack three point shooting and where I have some guys bringing down my three point percentages. I would rather take him at the end of the second round ideally in most rookie drafts.
PJ Hairston 6’5″ North Carolina I really wonder where we would be talking about Hairston going in this NBA draft if he didn’t get in trouble at North Carolina. I love his athleticism and his shooting and he has a big strong two guard body that could cause some real match up problems in the NBA. I realy love Hairston and his value could skyrocket if he lands in a really good spot.
James Young 6’8″ Kentucky Young is a really good shooter and is built to play the three in the NBA. Teams love to use long threes that can stretch the floor and hit the corner three while also slashing to the basket and Young can do all of it. He may take some time to develop, but don’t be fooled if he slips in the NBA draft.
Gary Harris 6’5″ Michigan State Harris is going to benefit from being a complete guard that can score and defend at the next level. He should be in for big rookie minutes and will fill lots of categories for your fantasy team. He just doesn’t have the elite upside that others have above him in my rankings. Very solid second round pick though.
Shabazz Napier 6’1″ UCONN Napier is a bit undersized to play the point at an elite level in the NBA and is a bit older for an ideal dynasty pick, but he can score and is a tenacious defender. He should be in line for minutes right away where ever he lands in the draft and if he lands i the right spot he could flourish.
Glen Robinson III 6’7″ Michigan Robinson is a real talent that was a bit of an enigma in college. He can score with his athleticism and can defend when motivated. He needs to work on his jumper, but I don’t see why he can’t fix it at the next level.
Let me know who I missed in the 2014 NBA Draft and what you think either here or on Twitter @Coachesser.