This is Part 2 of a series where I revisit old drafts to analyze which players were busts, just right, or came out of nowhere to achieve stardom. This idea is inspired by Bill Simmons of the Ringer Podcast Network.
The 2014 NBA draft was one to remember and was a draft that had a lot of raw talent. This draft features two of the league’s best centers, and two of the world’s most athletic players. However, of all the drafts we have had in this decade, 2014 was one of the more predictable. Despite this, a lot of the GM’s still picked the wrong guy for their team. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we look into a redraft of the 2014 NBA draft.
1: Joel Embiid (Original Pick Andrew Wiggins) – Minnesota via Cleveland
Embiid is by far the best player in this draft class. He has multiple all-star appearances and is certainly a player that anyone can build their franchise around.
2: Nikola Jokic (Original Pick Jabari Parker) – Milwaukee
The Serbian big man was the one second-rounder in this draft who rose to be a franchise player. His passing ability for a big man is second to none and he is a great scorer. You can win an NBA title with him as your centerpiece.
3: Jursuf Nurkić (Joel Embiid) – Philadelphia
Nurkić is a borderline all-star. He is a solid defender, effective in the pick and roll, and can score with ease. Nurkic was a key member of a Portland team that went all the way to the WCF. Without him this year, Portland is in the cellar of the western conference and has a very slim chance of making the playoffs with the restart in Orlando.
4: Zach LaVine (Aaron Gordon) – Orlando
LaVine has certainly turned into an elite scorer since he became a Chicago Bull. He can shoot and use his athleticism to get to the rack. So far, LaVine hasn’t proved he can win, but he certainly has the skill set to do so, if in the right situation.
5: Clint Capela (Dante Exum) – Utah
Capela is a typical solid NBA big man. He is the perfect man for the pick and roll, as shown with his success with Houston, as well as being a strong defender. Capela is certainly the man you want starting for your squad deep in the playoffs.
6: Andrew Wiggins (Marcus Smart) – Boston
Wiggins has had an up and down career so far. Although he can score, he has proved to be inconsistent and inefficient. That being said, he’s been in a terrible situation with Minnesota. Now playing alongside Curry and Thompson, will Wiggins show he can be a valuable scorer on an NBA team? If he can, watch out NBA.
7: Marcus Smart (Julius Randle) -LA Lakers
8: Julius Randle (Nik Stauskas)-Sacramento
9: TJ Warren (Noah Vonleh)-Hornets
10: Aaron Gordon (Elfrid Payton)-Philadelphia
11: Bogdon Bogdonovič (Doug McDermott)-Denver
12: Spencer Dinwiddie (Dario Šarić)-Orlando
13: Dario Šarić (Zach LaVine)-Minnesota
14: Gary Harris (TJ Warren)-Phoenix
Photo: Bleacher Report