Predicting the Biggest Sleepers from the 2014 NBA Draft
Every single draft class has a crop of prospects that numerous teams wish they could have selected.
Take last year’s draft.
Although surefire talent was scarce across the board, players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mason Plumlee and Tim Hardaway Jr. all fared better in their rookie campaign when compared to some of the top selections.
And now the teams that failed to recognize those players potential are paying the ultimate price, watching their counterparts bask in the glory of a successful selection while they’re still stuck at square one.
But this year’s draft is completely different.
With a deep pool of talented prospects that extends well into the second round, the chances of finding sleepers is surely more promising when compared to last.
So which teams may have landed those hidden gems and got the most value for their late round selections? Read on to find out.
Memphis Grizzlies: Jordan Adams, SG
One of the most pressing issues with the Grizzlies last season had to be their lackluster offensive production, as the team ranked 27th in points per game.
This is exactly why they took Jordan Adams with the 22nd pick.
The former UCLA guard is just a full blown scorer that can generate buckets in a variety of ways, whether it’s driving to the basket fearlessly or stepping out beyond the perimeter and knocking down deep shots.
Even though Memphis’s roster currently has two other shooting guards in the backcourt, Adams has a chance to step in and become one of the team’s go-to options right away given their need for more scoring production.
Philadelphia 76ers: K.J. McDaniels, SF/SG
With the 76ers slated for another tank-filled year, opportunities will be plentiful at nearly every position since there’s no risk attached to experimenting in a losing season.
One player that could benefit from this opportunity is former Clemson star K.J. McDaniels.
The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year may not possess superb offensive tools, but his explosive athleticism and versatility on the defensive end of the floor makes him extremely valuable for the team, as he has the ability to play either the SF or SG position.
Don’t expect McDaniels to put up All-Star like numbers in his rookie campaign, but he should still post surprisingly productive stats and make teams wonder why he was passed up in the first round.
Houston Rockets: Nick Johnson, PG/SG
Johnson suffered from the classic tweener label in the draft, as he’s too small to play the shooting guard position but not true enough of a floor general to continually play point guard.
And while he may not blossom into a full fledged starter for the Rockets, he does have a huge opportunity with the team, which ironically needs more scoring production off of the bench.
Johnson has already made his mark in the Orlando Summer League averaging nearly 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game.
With Jeremy Lin officially heading to the Lakers, look for him to fill in as a sixth man for Houston and provide a huge scoring spark off of the bench similar to a Jason Terry like role.
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