Ranking the Most Disappointing 2014 NBA Draft Prospects

Daniel O'Brien@@DanielO_BRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2014

Ranking the Most Disappointing 2014 NBA Draft Prospects

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    In the highly anticipated, star-studded 2014 NBA draft class, there were bound to be some disappointments.

    A handful of prospects have fallen short of 2013-14 expectations, and in some cases, their downward stock has sent them out of the 2014 draft picture entirely.

    For some, it's a matter of lacking mastery or comfort at their position; for others, it's a lack of assertiveness and production.

    We're not necessarily giving up on these guys, as most of them are still first-round-caliber players. They just haven't been as proficient and attractive to the NBA as we thought they would be this year.


    *Stats gathered from Sports-Reference.com and ESPN.com.

5. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan F (6'6" Sophomore)

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    Don't worry—Glenn Robinson III is still an enticing prospect with ample upside. We're just disappointed because we had higher standards for him.

    He hasn't been convincing on a night-by-night basis, and he doesn't quite have the command necessary to be an elite NBA wing. A lottery selection is now improbable.

    One night he'll score 20-plus, and the next he'll register seven and fail to assert himself. He still needs his teammates to assist him on several of his scores.

    His back-to-back double-digit games are deceiving, too. Against Wisconsin, he notched 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He followed that up with another 14-point game against Iowa, but he was 6-of-15 (including 0-of-5 from distance). Prior to his recent 23-point outing against Wisconsin, he had three straight single-digit games.

    The inconsistency isn't going to completely turn off first-round teams. But lottery franchises are starting to doubt whether he can develop into a star NBA swingman.

4. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky C (7'0" Sophomore)

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    In nonconference play, Kentucky sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein dominated the glass, showing glimpses of offensive competence and stretches of defensive superiority.

    As the SEC schedule unfolded, however, several of his weaknesses were exposed (or re-exposed). He's still not skilled enough to be relied on offensively, and he's struggled defensively against stronger opponents.

    If he can't steadily work the boards and defend fundamentally, then it's clear he must work to revive his NBA stock. Bleacher Report NBA Draft Lead Writer Jonathan Wasserman knows that Cauley-Stein can't afford to keep struggling in these areas: "Without an offensive game to go to, disappearing on the glass or defensive end isn't a good look."

    We don't know what to expect from him on any given night. That's partially due to Dakari Johnson's emergence and John Calipari's decision-making, but it's Cauley-Stein's fault for letting the door open.

    NBA teams that crave a center would love to see him build on his 18-point, 11-rebound outing against Ole Miss. They're hoping he doesn't disappear again.

3. Isaiah Austin, Baylor F/C (7'1" Sophomore)

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    Baylor big man Isaiah Austin hasn't exactly won us over as a sophomore.

    In fact, his per-minute production is down in the scoring and rebounding departments. Despite his blindness in one eye, we were hoping for more consistent output from the 7'1" stretch 5.

    Even if he is a jump-shooter, he still needs to find a way to earn high-percentage and close-range opportunities. There's no way a 7-footer should be shooting 42 percent from the floor.

    He has scored single digits in more than half of Baylor's Big 12 games, and that would be more understandable if the Bears were winning or had a glut of stars. But they've lost all but two conference games, and they desperately need him to boost his bucket totals.

    We were optimistic about his sophomore campaign, hoping for a premier performer who could consistently score inside and out. Instead, we got someone who probably isn't suited for the 2014 draft.

2. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina PF (6'9" Junior)

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    This was supposed to be the year UNC star James McAdoo proved he was ready for the NBA.

    In his first couple of seasons at Chapel Hill, he showed potential but was nowhere near polished enough to turn pro. His junior season hasn't been convincing enough, either, even if he has played well lately.

    At the beginning of the year, several mock drafts projected him to go late in the first round this summer. But he just hasn't demonstrated a great feel for the game and doesn't know how to take advantage of his physical gifts.

    His production has seemingly been solid lately, but when it comes McAdoo, B/R college hoops columnist Doug Brodess reminds us that "respectable numbers do not always tell the story."

    McAdoo doesn't operate comfortably on the floor or take charge by flashing to the paint or demanding the ball. And even though his shot has improved, his skills still leave much to be desired.

    As such, he's moved to the second round of most mocks, second on the list and in many cases, the second round of 2015. 

Andrew Harrison, Kentucky PG (6'5" Freshman)

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    Both Harrison twins have been underwhelming, but Andrew's freshman season has been more disheartening from an NBA-role standpoint.

    The 2013 High School McDonald's All-American entered Kentucky as a possible 2014 lottery pick, but the highly touted athlete quickly lost favor among pro scouts and analysts.

    After several weeks of trying to acclimate to high-level college hoops, he still doesn't look the part of a dynamic floor general. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix explains how Harrison was an offensive letdown: "Harrison's shooting has been uneven...and he doesn't look totally comfortable in John Calipari's dribble-drive offense, an offense that was supposed to be an ideal fit for him."

    His passing instincts have been inadequate (3.5 assists per game, 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio), and he's struggling to execute scoring chances (39 percent field-goal shooting). Not quite the results NBA general managers were looking for.

    It's hard to lambaste him. He is a freshman, after all. But the harsh truth is that his value has plummeted far below the lottery, and it's difficult to determine whether he'll develop starting-caliber point guard skills.


    Dan O'Brien covers the NBA Draft for Bleacher Report.

    Follow him on Twitter: @DanielO_BR