6 2014 NBA Prospects with Most Volatile Draft Stock
NBA scouts and analysts have narrowed down the small window where most 2014 draft prospects will get picked, but some players' stocks remain volatile and their landing spots unpredictable.
Several of these ballers are hard to project because they're so young and undeveloped. It's hard to foresee how productive they'll actually be in a few years.
However, there are some polished stars who are tough to pinpoint because they hold unconventional roles or don't clearly translate to the NBA.
We scoured a slew of recent mock drafts and broke down prospects with the most wide-ranging projections (focused on players who earned at least one first-round prediction).
Mock drafts: Bleacher Report; Draft Express; NBADraft.net; ESPN.com (Chad Ford's and Jeff Goodman's); Sheridan Hoops; The Sporting News; SB Nation; Basketball Insiders (Joel Brigham's, Yannis Koutroupis', Steve Kyler's and Alex Kennedy's); Hoopshype; CBS Sports (Gary Parrish's, Zach Harper's and Matt Moore's)
*Mocks last checked May 12. Not all mocks include 2nd-round projections.
Kyle Anderson, UCLA G-F (6'9" Sophomore)
Projections ranging from No. 9 to No. 26
Anyone who watched Kyle Anderson at UCLA could tell he's got silky-smooth skills as a passer and an inordinate amount of size (6'9", 7'2.5" wingspan) for a point guard.
It's also readily apparent that he's slower than nearly everyone on the court. That doesn't bode well for his NBA career, particularly on the defensive end.
This dichotomy makes him a tricky prospect to assess. For ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required), the point forward was the most difficult player to predict from the 2014 class: "Anderson is the hardest player to place in this mock. Teams tend to either love him or hate him."
Input from various scouts prove that he's a polarizing baller.
On one hand, guys like this NBA scout (per SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria) are high on Anderson: "His strengths outweigh his negatives...Very skilled, perimeter shooting has improved and can rebound. Lack of defense and pace of game can be hidden by a good team with defensive concepts."
Draft Express video scout Mike Schmitz isn't as confident in the slow-footed quarterback: "Not sure if I've ever watched Kyle Anderson and thought to myself, 'I can see how he'll be effective in the NBA.'"
Keep an eye on him at the NBA combine. Can he move on defense, and can he consistently create separation as a driver?
Glenn Robinson, Michigan SF (6'6" Sophomore)
Projections ranging from No. 24 to No. 44
His physical traits are undeniable, but his draft position is up for debate.
Michigan sophomore Glenn Robinson has been closely watched by scouts since his freshman year, but he didn't do enough as a sophomore to beef up his athleticism-oriented resume.
Multiple mocks have him as a late first-rounder, while several have him going in the early-to-mid second round.
The 6'6" wing has a chance to be a solid shooter and slasher in the NBA, but his lack of progression as a sophomore puzzled many, including CBS Sports' Matt Moore: "The problem is basically that Robinson has done nothing to get you excited about him as a prospect since his freshman season."
He didn't see a drastic increase in shooting usage, yet his field-goal and three-point numbers sank in his second year. Robinson went from 57 percent to 49 percent on field goals, and 32 percent to 31 percent on triples.
Exhibiting perimeter proficiency is critical for him during pre-draft scrimmages and the combine. A recent workout revealed a solid jumper, but he'll need to show more when there's actually a hand in his face.
Zach LaVine, UCLA G (6'5" Freshman)
Projections ranging from No. 10 to No. 30
Explosive UCLA youngster Zach LaVine played off the bench in his only collegiate season, so we don't have an abundant representation of what he can do.
The relatively small sampling coupled with his inexperience makes him a tough player to project. He showcased elite athleticism and a promising outside shot for much of 2013-14, but scouts don't know if he'll grow into a polished playmaker and efficient shooter. Therefore, his draft stock has been all over the place.
Although LaVine finished the season in underwhelming fashion, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes the athleticism that initially turned our heads will eventually bring his stock back up:
"He finished the season at UCLA averaging 6.3 points on 31.0 percent shooting in 18 games," noted Deveney. "But get him in workouts and it is likely that his athleticism and potential will grab a team’s attention."
The 6'5" leaper's potential is intriguing, because there's an element to his ball-handling and agility that indicates he could be a facilitating combo guard someday. However, he's still raw, so we're not certain he'll carve out that skill set.
Clint Capela, Switzerland PF (6'10", 1994)
Projections ranging from No. 10 to 2nd round (left off some one-round mocks)
The length and end-to-end bounce of Swiss forward Clint Capela makes him an attractive international enigma. Teams might be willing to consider drafting him in the mid-first round, even in the late lottery range. He can dunk all over people and, with the right training, could be both a rebounding force and a timely offensive weapon in the NBA.
Pro executives hate to pass on young, explosive athletes who have valuable upside. But they also don't like reaching for raw prospects who may never develop into reliable weapons.
USA Today's Hoopshype.com weighed the pros and cons, noting his stock has moved dangerously close to the second round:
"Capela's poor performance in front of numerous scouts in Portland at the Hoop Summit has dropped him to a bubble first-rounder...He probably won't be an NBA contributor for a few seasons, but for a team with patience, he's a great athlete who could be a force by the time he is 24-25."
Due to the mysteriousness surrounding him, it's hard to tell whether a team will take a chance on him early in the first round. The 19-year-old lacks most of the footwork, fundamentals and half-court awareness required to survive in the NBA, yet his ability to cover ground and play above the rim enhances his ceiling.
Jordan Clarkson, Missouri G (6'4" Junior)
Projections ranging from No. 23 to No. 53
Missouri's Jordan Clarkson stands 6'4" with a 6'7.5" wingspan, and he's shown the ability to attack as a scorer and passer. Those tools have garnered widespread interest for him to be a combo guard at the next level.
Despite those seemingly ideal attributes, Clarkson's erratic shooting elicits concern, especially if he's going to be more of a scoring guard than a distributor. He shot 28 percent from the college three-point line in 2013-14, and he's a career 32 percent shooter from distance. Over his last dozen games as a Tiger, Clarkson shot just 17 percent from beyond the arc.
B/R NBA draft Lead Writer Jonathan Wasserman agrees that Clarkson absolutely needs to find consistency if he wants to be productive in the Association:
He can create and make things happen off the dribble, both for himself and his teammates, though he's more of a shoot-first combo guard...Clarkson is at his best attacking the basket, but he'll have to get better on the perimeter...At 193 pounds, Clarkson lacks the strength to consistently finish at the rim, so improving his jumper will be huge.
Those who believe his size and athleticism are enough to make him an asset deem Clarkson worthy of a first-round selection. Others, like CBS Sports' Gary Parrish, view him as a late-second round pick because his NBA role and production are unclear.
Draft night could be nerve-wracking for the Missouri star, as he might land in the low 20s or flirt with going undrafted.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia SG (6'6", 1992)
Projections ranging from No. 24 to No. 54
Unlike many European prospects, Bogdan Bogdanovic's wide-ranging stock isn't due to mystery or questions about true talent level. Scouts and experts are simply wrestling with how valuable he is considering his age.
He might be a draft-and-stash player who stays overseas for another year or so, yet he's already one of the oldest potential first-round picks (he turns 22 in August).
Bogdanovic owns a 6'11" wingspan, slashing skills and a fluid outside shot. Those are all superb qualities for a prospective NBA shooting guard, but he's also a mistake-prone player who makes freshman-type mistakes.
Oh, and about that whole draft-and-stash situation...He may never reach this side of the Atlantic, as DraftExpress.com's Mike Schmitz explains:
"(Bogdanovic) will get much bigger offers in Europe than the NBA," said Schmitz. "Partizan will be looking to sell him off to the highest bidder. Whoever buys him won't be so quick to let him go after that. If he comes will he be happy as a rookie, playing a small role?"
Those are the variables NBA general managers are weighing, and it's not exactly the easiest situation to calculate. Consequently, Bogdanovic's projections span the late-first round to the late-second round.
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