|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
After breaking the five best players in this years draft, we now turn our attention to the next group of players who should be drafted in the lottery. Here we see a few more international players, a diaper dandy, a conference player of the year and maybe the best player in college basketball.
Vesely was going to be a top 10 pick last season, but decided to return to Europe to learn more. He is 6’11 240 lbs and can play both the small forward position and the power forward position.
At 6’11″, Vesely would be a nightmare to guard as a small forward and the fact that he is comfortable playing down low only improves his stock. He has been compared to Blake Griffin for his dunking ability — I will not go that far, but Vesely does have a great athleticism. The knock on Vesely is that he has bad ball skills, a problem if he is going to be a small forward. Another problem is that he is not a great rebounder, averaging only 4.3 rebounds per game. Vesely is very raw, but has upside if he can add some weight.
NBA Comparison: Austin Daye
What do Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall all have in common? John Calipari coached them all. Brandon Knight is the latest one and done point guard from Calipari and like the last three guards in NBA ready.
Knight led the Wildcats to the Final Four, averaging 17.3 points per game while shooting 42.3%. He has proven that he will take and make the big shot and can get to the basket with ease. He has an NBA body at 6’3 and can hit NBA jumpers. The problem with Knight is his decision making. He is the worst passer out of the four Calipari point guards, and he also struggles with turnovers. Knight is a great talent, but he will have to improve his play-making skills if he is going to be good in the NBA.
NBA Comparison: Rodney Stuckey
Motiejunas is 7-feet tall and the fact that he shot 44.7% from three will have people chanting that he is the next Dirk Nowitzki. He finished this season averaging 12.8 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Motiejunas‘ size makes him a matchup nightmare, he can score in the paint and shoot from outside. His offensive game is very polished. He has good footwork, solid ball handling skills and he can create his own shot. The problem for Motiejunas is that he is an average defender and a average rebounder. Whether he will be able to adjust to the size and speed of the NBA is a big question for Motiejunas.
NBA Comparison: Channing Frye
Kemba Walker is a very interesting prospect because he really does not have a position. He is undersized to play shooting guard and lacks the passing skills to play point in the NBA. With that said, you can not question Kemba Walker’s leadership ability. He led a young UConn team to a NCAA Championship. Another thing he has going for him is that he is explosive off the dribble. He can get to the rim easily and when his jump shot is on he is lights out. In normal drafts Kemba is a late first round pick, but because this draft is so weak he will be drafted in the top ten.
NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon
At 6’9 225 lbs Marcus Morris has an NBA body. Morris is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He has great strength and versatility for a big man. Morris is capable of facing up and shooting a jump shot, he shot 57% from the field and 34% from three. He also has the ability to go over either shoulder, has good footwork, is a bull in the paint and score in a variety of ways with his back to the basket. On the defensive end Morris has good quickness and crashes the boards nicely. He has no problem defending screens and can defend the perimeter well for a big man. The question I have about Marcus Morris is his attitude. He gets easily frustrated and he tend to not know when to shut up. I think Morris could end up being one of the best players in this draft.
NBA Comparison: Elton Brand