We have known the 2014 NBA draft class is absolutely loaded with talent for quite some time, but that is largely because of elite players like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Dante Exum.
Sure, those guys are going to make all the headlines—along with injured center Joel Embiid—but their presence alone pushes some potential impact players to the latter stages of the draft. A few of those playmakers will even fall to the second round.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few potential second-round sleepers who will contribute at the NBA level right away.
NBA Draft Basics
Date: June 26
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Full Order of Picks:
|2014 NBA Draft Order|
|7||Los Angeles Lakers|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||San Antonio Spurs|
Patric Young, C, Florida
Patric Young is already stronger than a large number of NBA players and could be a double-double threat every time he steps on the floor.
He averaged 11 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game at Florida, so the production is there given that he played on some stellar Gator teams. Young's defensive presence alone helped alter a number of other shots that weren’t blocked. It is nearly impossible to outmuscle Young down low, which will lead to plenty of rebounds in the NBA.
Look for Young, much like Austin, to be a solid piece off the bench. His defense and rebounding can help stem the tide if the opponent is going on a run, and he is certainly capable of scoring on his own down low.
C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
C.J. Wilcox’s value as an NBA prospect is plain and simple—he is a three-point gunner.
He actually shot more than seven three-pointers a game at Washington last season and was nearly 40 percent accurate on those attempts. However, he was more than just a shooter, as is evidenced by his 18.3 points a night.
He also has the versatility to play small forward if needed at the NBA level thanks to his length and athleticism.
In the best-case scenario, Wilcox would go to a team with an elite penetrator who draws the attention of the opposing defense. Wilcox would thrive next to someone like LeBron James (who wouldn’t?) because of his ability to make opponents who cheat off him on the perimeter pay from deep with a quick trigger.
What’s more, Wilcox is a solid defender with lateral quickness and an impressive wingspan, so he wouldn’t be the liability on that end of the floor that many pure shooters are at times.
Not a bad combination.
A surefire 2-guard is a need for many squads at the moment. The league is infested with premier talent at point guard, but having a dynamic player like Wilcox flanking with the right player would be a great get for some fortunate NBA franchise.
The impact of Embiid's injury won't be significant enough for any centers to get by him, but that situation may lead to a slight stock increase for both Austin and Young.
Steady production from Young and a lack of injuries in his past will only help his efforts to go off the board sooner, while Austin's guard-like skills in terms of handling the ball and shooting range are a unique combination. Austin may be slight of frame, but he still has plenty of room to improve.
Other than a torn shoulder labrum that forced Austin back to school as a sophomore, there aren't any significant medical red flags—nothing thus far to indicate his pro career may be cut short.
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