The 2013-14 Sixers season has been a barrier. Just an unsimulatable 6-month albatross getting in the way of what really matters to us this year -- the 2014 NBA Draft. So now that it's February (February!), the Liberty Ballers staff has gathered 'round the fire and churned out its first iteration of the Prospect Big Board.
Everybody except for Sean (*throws rock*) submitted a Top 15, and we compiled it into a very preliminary LB Top 20. This will change a lot in a few months, then we can go back and make fun of each other for it. In keeping with years' past, I assigned a value of 20 to players who did not appear on individuals' lists.
We did this with the idea that it was a Sixers-centric Big Board, so some of us may have taken that into account in sorting the prospects. Notice nobody ranked Tyler Ennis -- that kind of thing. Here we go:
20. Nik Stauskas - G, Michigan, 20 years old
AVG: 19, Ballots: 2/11
Mike Levin (ranked him #14): "Maybe it was this Jonathan Tjarks post that convinced me. Maybe it's just a pure-as-hell jumper. But he's proved he's skilled enough to play both guard spots and athletic enough to make some things happen. Somewhere in between Joe Johnson and JJ Redick maybe?"
19. Mario Hezonja - SG, Barcelona, 18 years old
AVG: 18.82, Ballots (2/11)
Mike Baumann (ranked him #12): "The Sixers' offense is suffering because nobody on this team can shoot except the center, which is like a family not getting its taxes done because nobody can balance a checkbook except the dog. He's raw, but he can score."
2014 NBA Draft
2014 NBA Draft
18. Adreian Payne - PF, Michigan State, 22 years old
AVG: 18.545, Ballots (2/11)
Mike Levin (ranked him #11): "Okay yeah, he's old as tits. But he's got a legitimate jumper (44% from deep, 3.8 attempts per game), runs the floor well, hustles and defends his ass off... all with good size. I think he's what we wish Arnett Moultrie would be. I like his fit with Nerlens Noel a whole lot and I think you can start him at the 4 right away."
17. James Young - G/F, Kentucky, 18 years old
AVG: 17.636, Ballots (4/11)
Roy Burton (ranked him #12): "Randle gets most of the headlines, but Young has been Kentucky's most consistent player since the Wildcats started conference play. He's more of a scorer than a pure shooter (he's shooting less than 42% on the year), but his ability to impact the game on both ends of the court makes him a virtual lock for the top 15."
16. Jerami Grant - F, Syracuse, 19 years old
AVG: 17.091, Ballots (4/11)
Tanner Steidel (ranked him #10): "He's incredibly athletic, has the potential to be an outstanding defender and can get out on the break solo dolo? Call me a sucker for these guys but with the potential he has, I have a hard time passing him up. Not to mention he went to high school right next to UMD. Hyattsville stand up!"
15. Wayne Selden Jr. - SG, Kansas, 19 years old
AVG: 16.545, Ballots (6/11)
Tanner Steidel (ranked him #12): "Wait. He's not Wayne Simien? I thought he pulled the Marcus Ginyard card and got his 13th year of eligibility. Huh? Nobody asked about his fit with the Sixers. Go home, Levin. You're drunk. Ask me about Markel Brown next time."
14. Zach LaVine - SG, UCLA, 18 years old
AVG: 15.909, Ballots (5/11)
Roy Burton (ranked him #10): "It says something about LaVine's potential that the UCLA guard is a possible lottery pick despite the fact that he's never started a game on the collegiate level. With his jump-out-of-the-gym athleticism and NBA-ready jumper, he'd be a solid fit alongside MCW in the Sixers' backcourt."
13. Willie Cauley-Stein - C, Kentucky, 20 years old
AVG: 15.273, Ballots (6/11)
Jake Pavorsky (ranked outside top 15): "He's a worse version of Nerlens Noel. He's freaky athletic and is just racking in the blocks at Kentucky, but he's damn near invisible on offense."
12. Doug McDermott - PF, Creighton, 22 years old
AVG: 13.182, Ballots (10/11)
Dave Rueter (ranked him #13): "The efficient McDermott has a jump shot that should keep him in the league for ten years."
11. Dario Saric - PF, Croatia, 19 years old
AVG: 12.364, Ballots (10/11)
Mike Baumann (ranked him #6): "This is what the future looks like: big Slavs who can run an offense without moving."
10. Gary Harris - SG, Michigan State, 19 years old
AVG: 10.182, Ballots (11/11)
Dave Rueter (ranked him #8): "Tough kid playing for a tough team. Wish he was a bit taller, says the guy who is 5'6."
9. Rodney Hood - SF, Duke, 21 years old
AVG: 10.091, Ballots (11/11)
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #7): "He's number nine on our board yet I still feel he's criminally underrated. He's athletic enough to play as either a two guard or a wing and can score from just about anywhere on the floor. Needs to work on becoming a better rebounder, and bulking up would help there."
8. Marcus Smart - G, Oklahoma State, 19 years old
AVG: 7.273, Ballots (11/11)
Jake Fischer (ranked him #5): "Smart made headlines by returning to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season. He's used the extra year to become a better ball-handler and his shooting has improved just enough to the point he could compliment MCW very nicely."
7. Noah Vonleh - PF, Indiana, 18 years old
AVG: 7.0, Ballots (11/11)
Brandon Gowton (ranked him #5): "The word around the mocks is that Vonleh could be viewed as a better prospect than Julius Randle. Vonleh's game lacks consistency but his size and potential has him creeping up big boards. Can he break into the top 5?"
6. Aaron Gordon - PF, Arizona, 18 years old
AVG: 6.727, Ballots (11/11)
Rich Hofmann (ranked him #5): "Another big potential pick. Jumper isn't there right now, but his defensive versatility sure is."
SBN Big Board
SBN Big Board
5. Julius Randle - PF, Kentucky, 19 years old
AVG: 5.455, Ballots (11/11)
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #5): "If you're looking for a guy with an aesthetically pleasing low post game, well then he's not really your guy. Randle is an absolute bruiser who can beat you up in the paint, or surprisingly take you off the dribble."
4. Dante Exum - SG, Australia, 18 years old
AVG: 4.273, Ballots (11/11)
Derek Bodner (ranked him #3): "Such an offensive and athletic talent. It's been said he'd be challenging for the #1 pick had he been playing in college this year. Another one with questions on his fit with MCW, but he's closer to being consistent shooting with his feet set than off the dribble, so roll the dice."
3. Joel Embiid - C, Kansas, 19 years old
AVG: 2.273, Ballots (11/11)
Derek Bodner (ranked him #1): "Great combination of fluidity, measurables, and surprising feel for the game. He will really test the "do you care about fit" question, because his lack of range (at this time) will not fit with Noel at all on the offensive end. At #3? Screw fit."
2. Jabari Parker - PF, Duke, 18 years old
AVG: 2.091, Ballots (11/11)
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #1): "The most prolific scorer in this draft and it isn't even close. His defense and rebounding is a serious work in progress but his offensive game is incredibly refined. The best player in the draft in my mind."
1. Andrew Wiggins - SF, Kansas, 18 years old
AVG: 1.727, Ballots (11/11)
Rich Hofmann (ranked him #1): "Potential is the key word with Wiggins. He's currently neither a particularly good ball-handler nor very strong, but you're betting on those things improving when you take him."
And here's what each of the individual ballots looked like in all their chaos and unabashed incorrectness.
|Stauskas||Selden||McDermott||Saric||Harris||Hood||McDermott||LaVine||Montrezl Harrell (Louisville)||Young||Saric|
|Selden||Stauskas||Selden||Young||Markel Brown (Oklahoma State)||Antoine Mason (Niagara)||Selden||Grant||Selden||Hezonja||Bogdan Bogdanović (Serbia)|
We'll probably do another one of these in a month or so. I mean, what else is there to do? Yell at us in the comments below. Is it June yet?