Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 20 2014 NBA Draft Prospects Entering 2013-14 Season

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterNovember 15, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 20 2014 NBA Draft Prospects Entering 2013-14 Season

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    Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor

    This projected 2014 NBA draft class is really something else. Based on what we've seen early on, it's reasonable to think there could be six or seven franchise players in the field.

    Just about every single one of the top guys has lived up to the hype so far. A good performance here or a bad showing there isn't going to move the needle that much.

    But first impressions can be huge. Projected lottery teams must be salivating after what they saw following Week 1.

    Let's look at whose stock rose and whose fell.

20. Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado, 6'5", SG

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↓

    This is a big year for Spencer Dinwiddie, now a junior with high expectations.

    But it's been a bit of a weird start. Dinwiddie only made six of his first 24 shots from the floor with as many turnovers as assists.

    However, one of the reasons I continue to stick with Dinwiddie is because of his ability to get to the line. It's just not always something you can teach.

    He took 30 free throws over his first three games. Dinwiddie can get to the rack and draw contact at will.

    And it's likely keeping him in our top 20.

    Dinwiddie will need to pick it up as the season gets going given how competitive this draft field could be. Otherwise, 2015 might be the move.

19. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina, 6'9", SF/PF

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    Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↔

    James Michael McAdoo had a strong opener for North Carolina with 21 points and nine boards.

    Based on his physical attributes, natural talent and experience in the ACC, McAdoo should be able to approach these numbers on a routine basis.

    This season, scouts will want to see some consistency after two years shooting below 45 percent from the floor.

    McAdoo shot 9-of-13 against Oakland, so he's off to a good start. But stringing together performances like these one after another is what will ultimately catapult him back into lottery conversations.

18. Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6'7", SF

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    Nobody gets buckets like Doug McDermott, who just continues pouring it on after back-to-back monster seasons for Creighton.

    He went for 37 points in 31 minutes Monday night. McDermott knocked down five from behind the arc and 10 inside it, each one coming from a different spot on the floor.

    You can't overstate how effective he is playing without the basketball. He just knows how to get open for makeable shots despite lacking the athleticism most prospects need to pick up easy points.

    Nobody uses angles better than McDermott, whether he's curling off a screen or finishing under the rim.

    Though NBA teams will treasure his elite shooting accuracy and range, he clearly offers more than that. Even if his upside is capped, McDermott's offensive talent is still first-round-worthy.

17. Semaj Christon, Xavier, 6'3", PG

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    Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↔

    Semaj Christon had a solid game in a win over Tennessee, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

    If you haven't seen Christon play yet, give Xavier a shot one game.

    With the ball in his hands, Christon is awfully tough to contain off the bounce. He constantly changes speed and direction and consistently finds ways to weave his way into the paint.

    At 6'3" with explosive legs, Christon is able to launch himself at the rim and make tricky finishes look pretty routine.

    However, he can't shoot. Christon was 11-of-23 from the line in his first two games and isn't much of a threat beyond 15 feet.

    He's got lottery potential, but a broken jumper could scare teams away.

16. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, 7'0", C

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    Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↓

    It's only natural to expect improvement from a prospect who returns to school as a sophomore. Usually, that's when most college players make their biggest jumps.

    Though it's early, Willie Cauley-Stein just hasn't shown he's added much. Last year, just about all of his production came off dunks or lay-ins created by lobs, dump passes or offensive rebounds. For offense, he either needs the ball to bounce his way or a guard to set him up.

    This year, scouts are looking for him to expand his low-post scoring game so he can become an option to feed down low.

    On one play against Michigan State, Cauley-Stein airballed a hook shot pretty badly.

    He's going to be an attractive first-round option based on his 7'0" size, incredible athleticism and massive wingspan. But in a tough year with so much talent, the lottery will be a long shot unless he improves as a scorer in the paint.

15. Andrew Harrison, Kentucky, 6'5", PG

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↓

    It was just one game, but scouts did not come away impressed with Andrew Harrison at the State Farm Champions Classic.

    Harrison made a number of questionable decisions with the ball, both as a distributor and scorer. He threw a few wild passes and took reckless trips to the basket. But what really turned onlookers off was his poor body language.

    He didn't look like a guy you'd want running your NBA lineup.

    One poor game won't destroy his stock, as his long-term potential is still intact. Sizable point guards are always attractive to general managers, and given Harrison's talent, his upside is real.

    But if Harrison struggles as a game manager, both mentally and fundamentally, we could see his name start to slip on scouts' draft boards.

14. Wayne Selden, Kansas, 6'6", SG

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↔

    Wayne Selden is off to a nice start after his 15-point outing against Duke. He's been playing under control, making the right passes and scoring when the opportunity presents itself.

    He's made some shots in the mid-range and a couple behind the arc, something to monitor given his struggles with shooting consistency back in high school.

    Selden has also shown off his finishing ability with nifty body control on the way to the rim.

    NBA guys like his size and two-way skill set. If he starts putting up 15-point games on the regular, the lottery might sound like a reasonable possibility.

13. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, 6'8", PF

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↔

    Montrezl Harrell will have an excellent opportunity this year to show scouts what he brings to the NBA table.

    He sure did a nice job of that against Hofstra, finishing with 19 points and five boards on 7-of-9 shooting.

    There's no mystery behind his strengths or weaknesses. Harrell is one of the best frontcourt athletes you'll come across, with the ability to play higher above the rim than anyone else on the floor. He's a glowing target for dump passes and lobs as an easy-bucket machine.

    The rest of his game is raw, as he's not much of a post player and doesn't take jumpers. But his motor and athleticism can just be too overwhelming. Even without many moves or skills, Harrell can still be an offensive factor by finishing plays off the ball.

    Expect him to be up there among the leaders in dunks this season.

12. Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6'4", SG

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    Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↑

    The Gary Harris fan club likely got a little bit bigger after Michigan State's win over Kentucky.

    It was his second straight 20-point game. Harris was scoring from all angles in the first half, knocking down spot-ups, pull-ups and finishing on the way to the rack.

    An active guard who plays within himself, you rarely see Harris make any mistakes out there.

    With a lights-out jumper, a strong line-drive attack game and admirable defensive focus, the only thing keeping him from cracking the top 10 is upside.

    Harris isn't an explosive athlete, and at 6'4", he's slightly undersized for a guard who only plays the 2. He's also not much of a shot-creator, giving him role-player potential in the pros.

    But as long as he continues to score opportunistically the way he's done so far, Harris should keep his spot in the 10-20 range. He should make for a pretty safe play on draft night.

11. Jerami Grant, Syracuse, 6'8", SF

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    Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↔

    Jerami Grant was active in his first game of the year. He double-doubled against Fordham for 16 points, 10 boards and three steals, using his absurd length and athleticism to tip in misses, score around the rim and convert in the mid-range.

    He's not the type of guy who can dominate a game, but when he's out there, you'll know it. Grant is a constant presence on the glass and on loose balls, and he is rarely seen just standing still.

    Offensively, he loves the fallaway in the lane and relies on a quick first step to make line drives toward the basket.

    Defensively, he's got the perfect tools for Syracuse's zone, and though he won't get much time guarding anyone in isolation, Grant projects as a superior defender at the pro level.

    Grant easily has the look of an NBA wing at 6'8" with a ridiculous 7'2" wingspan. He just has to continue adding to his offensive game.

10. Noah Vonleh, Indiana, 6'10'', PF

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↑

    Some guys just stand out.

    You notice Noah Vonleh right off the bat whether he's got the ball or not. At around 6'10" with a strong build, he aces the NBA eye test.

    Though he's definitely raw offensively, Vonleh knows what he's doing out there. Against Chicago State, he was scoring in the post, beating defenders with foot speed before finishing around them.

    Through two games, he'd averaged 14 points, 12.5 boards and 1.5 blocks in just 24.5 minutes.

    He's probably not going to be efficient in terms of field-goal percentage this year, as he's still trying to figure out his place and position in the game.

    But if we're talking about long-term potential, he's got it.

9. James Young, Kentucky, 6'6", SF

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    James Young, welcome to the NBA radar.

    His 19 points against Michigan State were eye-opening, even if he didn't shoot it particularly well from behind the arc (3-of-11).

    There's no doubt that his outside stroke is promising, as is his future as a potential versatile, two-way wing.

    Young has been making plays in every facet of the game, from perimeter and mid-range scoring to attacking the rim and finishing on the break.

    With size, athleticism, a good-looking offensive game and excellent defensive tools, Young has officially entered the lottery conversation.

8. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6", SF

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    Glenn Robinson III has looked real sharp early on, showing a more refined offensive game than a year ago.

    The best stat so far has been 15 free-throw attempts through two games. With an improved handle, Robinson has become a bigger threat with the ball in his hands.

    He's even showed off a little in-between game, where he's learned to stop and pop for a balanced jumper before traffic.

    An excellent defender, finisher and spot-up shooter, the last task for Robinson is expanding his shot creativity. So far, he looks to be on the right path.

    I've got high hopes for Robinson as a sophomore, as well as an NBA wing down the road.

7. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6'4", PG/SG

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↔

    I've got a feeling Marcus Smart's stock isn't going to fluctuate much throughout the year. Every scout in America knows what he brings to the table, and none are really concerned with his current weaknesses.

    Oklahoma State hasn't played anyone with substance just yet, though Smart's nine steals against Utah Valley are worth noting.

    At this point, his stock appears bulletproof. Assuming he remains healthy and engaged, Smart will be considered an elite guard prospect the rest of the way.

6. Aaron Gordon, Arizona, 6'9", PF

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    Kent Horner/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    You might not know it based on media coverage, but Aaron Gordon has been doing some damage in Arizona.

    The MVP of both the Under-19 FIBA World Championships and the McDonald's All-American Game, Gordon has carried over his hot play from the summer.

    He's averaging 14.3 points, 9.3 boards and 2.3 blocks on 58 percent shooting through three games.

    Most recently, Gordon played a huge role in Arizona's tough win at San Diego State, where he showcased his signature athleticism on a game-icing dunk down the stretch.

    He's rebounding the ball, protecting the rim and playing within the offense. He's even knocking down threes (4-of-5 on the year).

    It really won't be long before he's getting the same recognition as guys like Julius Randle and Jabari Parker. Gordon is a potential top-five pick down the road and one of the most exciting college basketball players in the country.

5. Joel Embiid, Kansas, 7'0", C

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    David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↔

    Joel Embiid is all about potential.

    He's a little too raw for coach Bill Self to feature him in the offense, so don't worry too much about his point production.

    A physical monster at 7'0" with a 7'5" wingspan, Embiid's presence is felt whenever he graces the floor. 

    In 11 minutes of Kansas' opener, Embiid made seven of 10 free throws and grabbed four boards. 

    He got 20 minutes against Duke, and though he only hit one shot, he altered a bunch defensively while dishing out five assists and pulling in seven rebounds.

    He's got terrific instincts and ball skills for a guy who just started playing the game a few years ago. With a good feel inside, promising touch from outside and exceptional footwork in the paint, Embiid offers crazy upside down the road as a two-way NBA center.

    Try not to let the box scores turn you off to Embiid. Andre Drummond and Steven Adams weren't big-time stat collectors in college either.

4. Julius Randle, Kentucky, 6'9", PF

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    Julius Randle certainly added to his fanbase after plowing through Michigan State's defense in the second half of the State Farm Champions Classic.

    Though he went through some downs before the ups, the positives easily outweighed the negatives.

    An absolute terror on the low block, Randle's blend of size, strength, touch and skill has been overwhelming early on. With Kentucky desperate for buckets, the offense continuously went to Randle, who found ways to score in isolation, against double-teams and through all sorts of traffic in the lane.

    His ability to finish after contact is what's really impressive, given that's usually the biggest knock on freshman big guys and a hurdle during the college-to-pro transition.

    Through three games, Randle is averaging a whopping 24 points and 14 boards on 64 percent shooting.

    He'll start off at No. 4 based on his questionable defensive outlook. He doesn't appear to be much of a force at this end of the floor.

    But with a body built for the pros and the obvious talent to take over a game, Randle has established himself as a No. 1 overall contender.

3. Jabari Parker, Duke, 6'8", SF

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    I'm not sure how many people realized just how skilled Jabari Parker is.

    He looks like a pro out there. Parker has been going to work offensively with his advanced scoring arsenal consisting of step-backs, pull-ups, spot-ups and various shots on the move when taking it to the rack.

    He dropped 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting in 23 minutes against Davidson. Then, with over 50 scouts in attendance, Parker brought his A game to the State Farm Champions Classic.

    Showcasing his refined perimeter game and deceptive athleticism throughout, he appears to be a step above the field in terms of preparation and readiness to dominate.

    Parker went for 27 points and nine boards in the loss to Kansas, though an L won't show up on his draft stock. He's locked in as an elite NBA prospect while entering the No. 1 overall pick conversation.

2. Dante Exum, Australia, 6'6", PG/SG

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    Stock Report: ↔

    It's too bad he's not playing with guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker in college. There's just no doubt in my mind he'd make a similar impact.

    Dante Exum is really a standout prospect. Scouts love this guy, and I'm all in as well.

    There might also be some good news for teams projected to pick at the top of the lottery.

    Not that it comes as a surprise, but rumor has it Exum is "strongly leaning" toward entering the 2014 draft, according to ESPN's Chad Ford.

    If Exum does declare, he'll be right in that mix with Andrew Wiggins, Parker and Randle and likely supplant Marcus Smart as the top guard in the draft.

    You just can't beat a 6'6" mega-athlete who can take over a game as a scorer or point guard.

    Exum isn't cemented into the No. 2 spot on our board with Parker and Randle lurking, but he'll start off that way. He's really that good.

1. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, 6'8", SF

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Stock Report: ↑

    It's confirmed. Andrew Wiggins can ball.

    He's been as good as advertised so far. Wiggins went for 22 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-15 shooting against Duke, making some key plays down the stretch to help Kansas earn the win.

    All that hype surrounding his athleticism is completely legit. He gets to the rack and above the rim before help defenders have any idea what just happened.

    The fact that he can drop 22 against a team like Duke without a go-to move is exactly what drives his upside. Wiggins' athletic ability just translates to buckets, whether he uses it to fly down the floor, spin in the lane, soar above the rim or blow by a defender.

    From a skills perspective, Wiggins might not be as NBA-ready as guys like Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, but when he eventually adds them—watch out.

    Wiggins and his potential look like the real deal. Although Parker and Randle might have gained a step, Wiggins remains in the driver's seat.