2014 NBA Draft: Prospects Who Could Be 1st-Round Steals
With big names like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker garnering all the attention for the upcoming draft, other intriguing prospects tend to get overlooked and could even fall dramatically on draft day.
Last year a classic case of this was Tim Hardaway Jr. who was selected by the New York Knicks with the 24th pick. Originally thought of as nothing more than a three point specialist, the former Michigan Wolverine has been surprisingly terrific ranking 4th in scoring out of all rookies with 10 a game.
So which late-round prospects can make a surprise impact for their team? Here’s a few names to keep an eye on as we get closer to the draft.
Kyle Anderson, UCLA, PG/SF
Anderson is a floor general in a small forward’s body, listed at 6’9″ with an enormous 7’3″ wingspan.
Scouts love how he does a great job exploiting defenders with his large frame, constantly driving inside and attacking the paint, getting to the line 5.2 times a game.
The biggest knack against Anderson right now is his lack of speed, earning the nickname ‘Slo-Mo’ in college thanks to his sluggish crossovers and down tempo play.
However if he can learn to deal with the pace of the NBA, he could be an excellent starting point guard for any team.
T.J. Warren, N.C. State, SF
Warren may not possess elite athleticism or explosive hops, but one thing he can do exceptionally well is score the ball at will.
This season the sophomore averaged 24.8 points a game on 52.5 percent shooting, finding crafty ways to generate points even though his jumpshot was a work in progress at best.
It remains to be seen whether his scoring skills can translate to the next level, but if they do he could become a gem for any team in need of a small forward.
Adreian Payne, Michigan State, PF
Adreian Payne was a beast for the Spartans, averaging 15.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and a block per game.
He’s excellent at utilizing his 6’10” frame to score from anywhere on the floor, and even has the ability to shoot from beyond the perimeter, knocking down 43.6 percent of his three point jumpers.
His defensive skills are still a work in progress, but he could develop into a Carlos Boozer like stretch 4 if he’s placed in the right system.
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops