NBA Draft Combine 2014: Prospects Who Disappointed Most in Chicago

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIMay 18, 2014

Syracuse's Jerami Grant (3) walks off the court after their loss to North Carolina State in a quarterfinal NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2014. North Carolina State won 66-63. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The 2014 NBA draft combine didn't see this year's major prospects participate, but the players who were there made headlines—both for good and bad performances.

We'll focus on the bad performances here, as there were three notable prospects whose draft stocks may have fallen because of what happened in Chicago. These prospects were considered late first-rounders.

Now, who knows where they'll be selected?

Each of the following players will find homes in the NBA. They just might have to wait longer on draft night to hear their names called. The potential is there for big things from each player, but they'll have to correct the issues that became apparent at the combine.


Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State

The star of the Wichita State Shockers, Cleanthony Early showed off his skills during the NCAA tournament. His strong showing in March didn't translate to success at the combine, however.

He recorded the fourth-worst shooting percentage of all shooters. He hit just 47.6 percent of his jumpers, including 10-of-25 from downtown. Those sound like good numbers, but think about it. At the NBA combine, most of the jumpers taken are wide open. You need to be able to hit more than 47.6 percent of uncontested jumpers to survive in the NBA.

He did, however, show up some great athleticism. ESPN's Chad Ford tweeted Early's vertical leap:

While the athleticism is good to see, the lack of efficiency on his jumper is concerning. Some teams might get scared away because of this, and he has likely dropped into Round 2 as a result.


Jerami Grant, SF/PF, Syracuse

One of the only people who shot worse than Early at the combine was Syracuse's Jerami Grant. With no one defending him, Grant converted on just 46.5 percent of his jumpers. As a wing player, Grant needed to prove that he could shoot consistently. He didn't.

Grant is a superb athlete. The things he can do on the court are often jaw-dropping. He can jump out of the gym, and he's very quick with the ball in his hands. That said, he's not a fantastic rebounder or very good at creating his own shot.

With a high ceiling, teams wouldn't be wrong to take a chance on him sometime in the early 20s of Round 1. He could very well turn into one of the more exciting players in this year's class. But, I'm not confident enough in his stroke to invest that type of pick on him.

I would wait until the late 20s or even early in Round 2 to take an athletically gifted player like Grant. That shooting needs to improve if he's going to be a consistent contributor from the wing.


K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson

ESPN's Jay Williams is a fan of Clemson's K.J. McDaniels:

Even though his offense has matured, McDaniels still showed an inability to convert consistently from deep at the combine. He hit just eight of 25 threes. His stroke is also concerning, as defenders playing him tight can easily block his shot. He shoots low in front of his face, and that's not conducive to shooting with a hand in that area.

As a small forward, McDaniels doesn't really have the size you like to see. In socks, he was measured at 6'4.5". He also weighed just 195 pounds, so that would suggest that he might have a hard time bumping bodies down low.

Another very athletic player, McDaniels excels at blocking shots. But will his shot-blocking ability be enough to prevent his stock from considerably dropping?

That all depends on how much his inability to hit from deep hurts him.


Combine statistics courtesy of unless otherwise noted.