Elfrid Payton


Elfrid Payton



This article is going to focus on the Top 10 NBA Draft picks of 2014 and how they have fared up to this point in their respective careers. The insight that will be provided will show that when picking young college players, just what a crap-shoot the NBA Draft can be. A player’s main statistics from their rookie year (2014-15) will be provided as well as the beginning of 15-16 if I feel it is warranted. At the end of each player synopsis I will put each player into a category, in which I see them being as in 3 years, which will be the beginning of each player’s 4th year in the NBA.                               (2017-2018 season)


All-Star, Solid Starter, Role Player, End of Bench, Out Of League


  1. Andrew Wiggins: (Minnesota Timberwolves) 6’8″ Small Forward, 20 yrs.old andrew wiggins

2014-15: 16.9pts, 4.6 reb, 2.1 ast, 36.2 min per game, played and started in all 82 games

Synopsis: Widely regarded as the most talented player to enter the NBA since LeBron James in 2003, Wiggins had a solid if not very solid rookie year. The 6’8″ born Canadian is perhaps already the best athlete in the NBA and at only 20 years old, the future is as bright as any player in the world. The knock on Wiggins was his jump shot and ball handling, but through the first 10 games of the 15-16 season, it looks like he has improved in both areas. Wiggins has potential to lead the NBA in scoring in a few years. The sky is the limit and an All-Star caliber 2015-16 season is not out of the question.

In 3 years: NBA All-STAR

2. Jabari Parker: (Milwaukee Bucks) 6″8 Small Forward, 20 yrs. old

2014-15: 12.4 pts, 5.5 reb, 1.7 ast, 29.5 min. per game, played in 25 games (Torn ACL in December 2014)Jabari_Parker_Bucks

Synopsis: Parker was just getting his footing in the league before a torn ACL ended his rookie campaign prematurely. Comparisons to Carmelo Anthony have surrounded Parker since High School. While that comparison looks to an unfair one to Parker, he has come back in 15-16 to play 22 minutes a night in the 5 games he has played this year. Parker has solid players around him in Milwaukee so the Bucks management can be patient with his recovery. While the jury is out on Parker becoming an elite player, all of the skills in Parker’s body are there to become one.     



3. Joel Embiid: (Philadelphia 76ers) 7’0″ Center, 21 yrs. old

2014-15: No statistics: DNP a single game with a broken footJoel_Embiid

15-16: No statistics: Out for year with a broken foot

Synopsis: Embiid is the perfect case of basketball general managers playing a game of roulette within their organization. The name Hakeem Olajuwon kept coming up during Embiid’s one year at Kansas. The footwork, athletic ability, shooting touch. Embiid seems to have it all but just can’t stay healthy. Now instead of being compared to Olajuwon, Embiid is compared to Greg Oden. If Embiid can ever get healthy, he is still young enough to carve out a fairly productive role on an NBA team.

In 3 years: ROLE PLAYER

4. Aaron Gordon: (Orlando Magic) 6’9″ Power Forward, 20 yrs.old

2014-15: 47 games played, 17 minutes per game, 5.2 pts, 3.6 reb, 0.5 blk, 0.7astaaron gordon

2015-16: 11 games played, 20.2 minutes per game, 8.8 pts, 5.1 reb, 1.3 ast

Synopsis: Arguably the 2nd best athlete besides Wiggins of anybody from the 2014 class, Gordon is an athletic rebounder with a very weak jump shot. While it has improved a little bit in the beginning of this season, in order to be considered an above average Power Forward, his shot must develop. The current elite Power Forwards can shoot from at least mid-range( called stretch fours), as they bring the other teams PF out from underneath the basket. Gordon’s rebounding and defense will play as an eventual starter in the NBA, but his shooting will determine just how good he becomes.



5. Dante Exum: (Utah Jazz) 6’6″ Point Guard, 20 yrs.old

2014-15 Avg: 4.8 pts, 2.4 ast, 3.6 reb, 0.7 stl, 41 games started, played in all 82 games, 22 minutes per game

2015-16: Out for Year, Torn ACL in left knee, injured August 4, 2015

Synopsis: Exum tore the ACL in his left knee during the summer while playing for the Australian National Team (his native country). Exum showed glimpses last year of a player who is lightning quick and can get to the basket whenever he chooses. The problem is that he was lacking the strength to convert when he got to the basket. He needs to gain muscle and the year off can hopefully provide that. His shooting is considered a weakness but for a 20 year old 6’6″ point guard it can be correctable. If Exum can recover 100% from his injury, the potential to be a very good player in the NBA is still achievable.


6. Marcus Smart: (Boston Celtics) 6’4″ Point Guard, 21 yrs. old

2014-15: Avg: 7.8 pts, 3.1 ast, 3.3 reb, 1.5 stl, 27 minutes per game, 38 games started, 67 games played

2015-16: 6 games started, 30.7 minutes per game, 3.4 ast, 4.0 reb, 2.0 stlMarcus_Smart_Celtics

Synopsis: Even though it is very early in the NBA season, the statistics above show the improvement Smart has made. Head Coach Brad Stevens has given Smart the keys to run the show in Boston and it looks like it will pay off for the young Celtics roster. He is built (230lbs.) like an NFL linebacker as he’s capable of bullying smaller players. The shooting and playmaking need to improve but there is perhaps no tougher competitor then him that has come out of the 2014 NBA Draft. He is one of the long-term building blocks for Boston.


7. Julius Randle: (Los Angeles Lakers) 6’9″ Power Forward, 20 years old

2014-2015: Broke Left Leg in first game of NBA SeasonJulius-Randle

2015-2016: Avg: 11 games played, 11 games started, 28.5 minutes per game, 10.5 pts, 8.1 reb, 2.6 ast, 0.5 blk, 0.7 stl

Synopsis: Another casualty of the injury bug in this draft class, Randle has recovered very nicely and looks to be a mainstay in the Lakers rotation for years after Kobe Bryant retires. A very smooth 6’9″ lefty shooting PF, Randle has added improved ball handling to his repertoire. A fierce rebounder who spent one year at Kentucky, he compares favorably to a young Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph. Randle possibly even has more upside then Randolph, who has been an All-Star in the NBA because of Randle’s quickness as a Power Forward. The future looks very bright.


8. Nik Stauskas: (Drafted by Sacramento Kings, traded to Philadelphia 76ers) 6’6″ Shooting Guard, 22 yrs. old

2014-15: (Sacramento) 16 games started, 73 games played, 15.4 minutes, 4.4 pts, 1.2 reb, 0.9 ast,Nik_Stauskas_with_the_Philadelphia_76ers_in_2015

2015-2016: (Philadelphia) 9 games started, 10 games played, 28.5 minutes per game, 9.7 pts, 3.2 reb, 2.3 ast

Synopsis: Stauskas should thank his lucky stars he got traded to the worst team in the NBA over the summer. There is one thing that Philadelphia offers its players. Playing time. The 2nd year player from the university of Michigan is averaging almost double the minutes per game in the early going. He has one of the few things that can make a player have a spot on a roster, the ability to shoot. Stauskas was the purest shooter in the 2014 draft. While you can’t fault a player leaving college early who became a top 10 pick , he is an example of a player who would have benefited from another year in college.

In 3 years: ROLE PLAYER

9. Noah Vonleh: (Drafted by Charlotte Hornets, traded to Portland Trailblazers), 6’10” Power Forward, 20 yrs. old

2014-15:(With Charlottee) Avg: played in 25 games, started in none, 10.4 minutes per game, 3.3 ptd, 3.4 reb,20130403_MCDAAG_Noah_Vonleh_getting_harrassed

2015-16: (With Portland) Avg: starting in 1 game, played in all 12 games, 14 minutes per game, 2.5 pts, 2.9 reb,

Synopsis: Vonleh is the perfect case of a player who needed to stay in college at least one more year who entered a weak draft class and became a top 10 pick. Nowhere near ready to play significant minutes at the NBA level, Vonleh has to learn on the job instead of still being in college learning the game while improving. While he offers a nice package with a 6’10” body to go along with fluid athleticism, the body at this point doesn’t match up to the game and it may take years before it ever does.

In 3 years: END OF BENCH

10. Elfrid Payton: (Orlando Magic) 6’4″ Point Guard, 21 yrs. old

2014-15: 63 games started, played in all 82 games, 30.4 minutes per game, 8.9 pts, 6.5 ast, 4.3 reb,1.7 stl,

2015-15: 11 games started, 11 games played, 31 minutes per game, 9.8 pts, 6 ast, 4 rebElfrid_Payton_2014

Synopsis: A virtual unknown among regular basketball fans (attended Louisiana-Lafayette University) before the draft, Payton had an excellent rookie year. The comparisons to a young Rajon Rondo in my mind are accurate (weak shooter, does everything else extremely well for a PG). Payton came in last year and became the starting point guard from day one and is considered an excellent leader. If he can ever improve as a shooter, future assist titles and All-Star game appearances are not out of the question. In my opinion, the steal of the 2014 NBA Draft.

In 3 years: NBA All-STAR

  OUR REFLECTION: After viewing profiles on the “Top 10 NBA Draft Picks 2014”, if you were a General Manager, what order would you have ranked the players? Rank the players according to their overall talent, not how they fit on a particular team. Please leave your comments in the section below. Thank you!

If you wish not to reflect on the ranking order of the players, feel free to leave any other comments in the section below.





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