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Re-Drafting The Underrated 2014 NBA Draft

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

It’s always easy to look back in the past and point fingers at General Managers for Drafting prospects that wind up being scrubs or mere busts, but at the time looked like studs in the making.

Scouting is no easy task, as there are a lot of intangibles that scouts just can’t take into account because not everything can be measured, not everything can be put into numbers, and projections aren’t always as accurate as everybody would expect.

The 2014 NBA Draft class features some of the most promising young talents in the league, now about to enter their 5th season in the pros, so it’s been enough time to look back and re-draft that class, the way it should’ve been.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Original Pick: Andrew Wiggins

Re-Draft Pick: Joel Embiid

The Cleveland Cavaliers got Wiggins and almost immediately traded him to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Even though that move definitely paid off as they won a Chip the next campaign, Joel Embiid should’ve been taken with the 1st pick of that Draft. Injury concerns caused his stock to fall after being considered the best prospect in this class, but time has definitely proven that he was worth the wait, and barring injury, he’s going to be the best two-way big man in the league in no time.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

Original Pick: Jabari Parker

Re-Draft Pick: Nikola Jokic

The Milwaukee Bucks took the ‘safest’ choice and got Jabari Parker to be their franchise cornerstone, but a couple of season-ending injuries and Giannis’ surge made the Chicago native expendable. Moreover, they could've gone with the 2nd best player in this class, Nikola Jokic; a point center that’s the most talented passer we’ve seen since Jason Williams. Surprisingly, Jokic slipped all the way to the 41st spot.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

Original Pick: Joel Embiid

Re-Draft Pick: Andrew Wiggins

The Philadelphia 76ers got their building block in Joel Embiid, but had things went as they should, they would’ve wind up with Andrew Wiggins instead. Don’t get me wrong, Wiggins is great and has a lot of upside, but has lacked the character to live up to the hype that surrounded him. Furthermore, he hasn’t improved much since entering the league, and he’s looked unwilling to make any kind of commitment in the defensive end. Still, he has the tools to become an elite scorer.

4. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Aaron Gordon

Re-Draft Pick: Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon ended up right where he should’ve. He’s been a bit of a late bloomer, and the Orlando Magic haven’t done much to boost his improvement, but he’s coming off a great year and finally stepped up as a dominant scorer and rebounder. He still needs to improve his jump shot, but he’s got what it takes to be the next Blake Griffin with way more defensive upside. Also, he’s just 22 years old, and the game is finally starting to slow down for him.

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5. Utah Jazz

Original Pick: Dante Exum

Re-Draft Pick: Gary Harris

The Utah Jazz got a defensive standout in Dante Exum, but injuries have stopped him from stepping up as the team’s primary playmaker and has had to embrace a much lesser role. On the other hand, they could’ve gotten Gary Harris, another major steal by the Nuggets in this Draft. Harris is already a lockdown backcourt defender and his offensive game is really coming around as well, and he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

6. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Marcus Smart

Re-Draft Pick: Zach LaVine

Marcus Mart was a perfect fit for the Boston Celtics and Brad Stevens’ defensive scheme, but his offensive flaws have hurt the team at times. Instead, they could’ve gone with Zach LaVine, a high flying athletic freak that has made great strides over his first couple of seasons. LaVine is never going to be a good defender, but has vastly improved as a ball handler and playmaker, as well as a shooter, and is arguably the most athletic player not named Russell Westbrook in the league.

7. Los Angeles Lakers

Original Pick: Julius Randle

Re-Draft Pick: Clint Capela

The Los Angeles Lakers were just kick-starting their rebuilding process and turned to Julius Randle to be the team’s building block for the future as they were in the need of a young, strong big man. For that matter, they should’ve drafted Clint Capela instead, although nobody thought he would grow up to become the elite rim protector he’s become over the last couple of seasons.

8. Sacramento Kings

Original Pick: Nik Stauskas

Re-Draft Pick: Marcus Smart

The Sacramento Kings leaned towards Stauskas, a sharpshooter that had crushed defenses at an NCAA level, to be their next shooting guard after Ben McLemore was a major letdown. Still, they would’ve been way better off taking Marcus Smart, a wardog that can guard 1 through 5 and has the potential to be the best defender in the league. Smart is an above the average playmaker and very aggressive driver, although his three point shooting is horrid, to say the least. Still, he brings a lot of intangibles to the table, and would’ve been a perfect fit here.

9. Charlotte Hornets

Original Pick: Noah Vonleh

Re-Draft Pick: Dario Saric

Charlotte was still going through their never-ending rebuilding process and got Noah Vonleh, who was still pretty rough at the time, in order to slowly make him a Chris Bosh kind of big man. Needless to say, he’s nowhere near Bosh and has wandered around the league with much success, while the Hornets could’ve gotten Dario Saric, a standout and versatile wing with a great feel and grit for defense and a lot of offensive tools as well. A poor man’s Toni Kukoc, you may say.

10. Philadelphia 76ers

Original Pick: Elfrid Payton

Re-Draft Pick: Julius Randle

The Philadelphia 76ers went with Elfrid Payton but traded him to the Magic in order to get Dario Saric, but with Saric already out of the table, they would’ve “had” to take Julius Randle to be their franchise big man. Randle has a lot of upside, a well round and strong body and a lot of grit and grind in offense, while his defense is still a work in progress. He’s not going to be the stud we all thought he’d become, but he’s got the tools to be a better, more athletic version of Zach Randolph.

11. Denver Nuggets

Original Pick: Doug McDermott

Re-Draft Pick: Jabari Parker

Doug McDermott was traded to the Bulls for Nurkic and Harris (what a steal), but he was considered to be a lights out NBA ready scorer, so it looked like a fair move at the time. Even so, the Nuggets could’ve landed Jabari Parker instead. Parker has been amazing when healthy, but his proneness to get hurt have really raised a lot of questions regarding him and his durability. Still, he’s got the sweet scoring touch, the length and work ethic to become a stud in this league.

12. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Dario Saric

Re-Draft Pick: T.J Warren

With Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Josh Jackson on board, nobody talks enough about T.J Warren, but he’s one of the most productive low profile players in the league by a long shot. He’s strong, knows his sweet spots, is a committed rebounder and defender, and a guy that quietly can put 22-7 nights with great ease. He needs to improve as a three point shooter, but he’s a hell of a role player.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves

Original Pick: Zach LaVine

Re-Draft Pick: Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic is not the dominant two-way big man he could be with that kind of physique, but even so, he’s quite a strong 7 footer that can definitely make his presence feel down low. He’s a great rebounder and good scorer, and has slightly improved as a rim protector as well, so he would’ve been a great pick at 13th for the rebuilding Minnesota Timberwolves, now that Zach LaVine wouldn’t be available for them.

14. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: T.J Warren

Re-Draft Pick: Dante Exum

Now that T.J Warren is off the table, the Phoenix Suns could have landed the point guard they’ve lacked for so long in Dante Exum. Barring injury, Exum has the tools to be one of the best backcourt defenders in the league, he has a great basketball IQ and takes really good care of the ball. He’s fast, athletic and has gained some muscle, and he’s always been a great driver. Sadly, an injury riddled start of his career has it slipping all the way to 14th.

15. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: Adreian Payne

Re-Draft Pick: Elfrid Payton

Adreian Payne looked like he was going to be quite a dominant low post defender and rebounder, but truth to be told, the Atlanta Hawks would’ve been far better off with Elfrid Payton, making Dennis Schroder expendable or making them compete for the backup point guard duties. Payton is a way better defender than Schroder is, a committed rebounder and great passer, although his offensive expertise is pretty much nonexistent.

16. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Jusuf Nurkic

Re-Draft Pick: Spencer Dinwiddie

The Chicago Bulls used their 16th pick in the Doug McDermott trade, but they would’ve been better off just taking Spencer Dinwiddie, a late bloomer that has finally proved that he’s got what it takes to make it in this league. Dinwiddie won’t impress with athleticism or great scoring outburst, but he knows how to take care of the ball and keep turnovers to a minimum while always making the right, simple play.

17. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: James Young

Re-Draft Pick: Kyle Anderson

James Young looked as if he was going to be an elite scorer in the league, but he’s spent most of his time in the development league and isn’t even a part of the Celtics anymore. On the other hand, they could’ve landed a tailor-made defender for Brad Stevens in Kyle Anderson, who slipped all the way to the 30th pick. He’s not much of an offensive force, but he’s quite a smart baller that doesn’t make many mistakes.

18. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Tyler Ennis

Re-Draft Pick: Rodney Hood

The Phoenix Suns thought Tyler Ennis could be their point guard for the future. Needless to say, they were vastly wrong. Instead, they could’ve leaned towards Rodney Hood, a guy that’s yet to prove that he can be a volume scorer in the league, but that has a lot of offensive tools to be a nice scoring complement. Naturally, he’s going to be a bit of a liability in the defensive end of the floor, but he’s an streaky shooter that would’ve thrive with a lot of touches at Phoenix.

19. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Gary Harris

Re-Draft Pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic

With Gary Harris already being taken, the Chicago Bulls could have drafted Bogdan Bogdanovic, even if that meant waiting a couple of years for him to come on board. Bogdanovic is a very experienced foreign player that has nicely made the adjustment to the NBA, a consistent shooter, smart passer and a system player that knows how to embrace his role. He’s going to have a very nice NBA career for sure.

20. Toronto Raptors

Original Pick: Bruno Caboclo

Re-Draft Pick: Jordan Clarkson

The Toronto Raptors were this Draft’s laughing stock for reaching a lot and taking Bruno Caboclo ‘The Brazilian Durant’ as high as 20 when they could’ve landed him in the 2nd round. At the time, he was “2 years away from being 2 years away”. Instead, they could’ve gone with Jordan Clarkson, a solid backup combo guard that could’ve been a nice boost off the bench for their offense when Lowry or DeRozan were taking a breather.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

Original Pick: Mitch McGary

Re-Draft Pick: Doug McDermott

The Oklahoma City Thunder went with Mitch McGary and threw him to the pitch right away, but despite his solid outings, he was losing playing time up to the point where he’s not even a part of the team anymore. Instead, they could’ve landed Doug McDermott to backup Kevin Durant and slowly mold him into a Kyle Korver kind of backup.

22. Memphis Grizzlies

Original Pick: Jordan Adams

Re-Draft Pick: Jerami Grant

The Memphis Grizzlies went with Jordan Adams when they should’ve landed Jerami Grant instead. Grant is a hard working hustle that brings a lot of effort, strength and athleticism to the table, and he would’ve thrived off learning from Zach Randolph as his backup in Memphis. Now, Grant is one of the best backup power forwards in the league and even though he’s never going to be a star, he’s the kind of player every coach loves to have on his squad.

23. Utah Jazz

Original Pick: Rodney Hood

Re-Draft Pick: Shabazz Napier

With the Utah Jazz looking for playmakers, they could’ve gone with Shabazz Napier, who was coming off an outstanding campaign at UConn. Napier was supposed to be something of the likes of the next Kemba Walker, but lack of playing time and opportunities to grow through his mistakes really stalled his development. Nonetheless, he’s a solid backup for sure.

24. Charlotte Hornets

Original Pick: Shabazz Napier 

Re-Draft Pick: Nik Stauskas

The Charlotte Hornets have needed sharpshooters for ages now, so with Nik Stauskas slipping all the way down here, he’d be the best three point shooter available up for grabs. “Sauce Castillo” hasn’t had much chances to actually prove his worth, but his lack of defensive awareness, size, speed and ability to bring anything to the table other than his shooting, he hasn’t done much to earn his minutes either.

25. Houston Rockets

Original Pick: Clint Capela

Re-Draft Pick: PJ Hairston

The Houston Rockets had landed one of the biggest steals of this Draft in Clint Capela, but in this scenario, they would’ve had to settle with PJ Hairston, a decent role player that is yet to prove that he’s got what it takes to earn a starting spot here. He’s been a consistent scorer when given the chance and an underrated defender as well, but truth to be told, he doesn’t have much of a high ceiling.

26. Miami Heat

Original Pick: P.J Hairston

Re-Draft Pick: Noah Vonleh

Perhaps, working out next to Chris Bosh would’ve actually boosted Noah Vonleh’s career and he would’ve been way more prepared for the pace and space of modern basketball. Vonleh had a lot of upside, and looked like he could develop a sweet jump shot to become a threat from all three levels. Needless to say, we don’t see that happening any time soon, but he would’ve been the Heat’s safest choice at 26th.

27. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic

Re-Draft Pick: Tyler Ennis

Tyler Ennis struggled to find any kind of playing time early on with the Phoenix Suns, but shown some glimpses of great playmaking and was a solid facilitator. Nonetheless, he was a major letdown when he had the chance to actually run the team’s offense following Eric Bledose’s departure. Nowadays, he’s looking more of a third string point guard than a starting playmaker to be honest.

28. Los Angeles Clippers

Original Pick: C.J Wilcox

Re-Draft Pick: Bruno Caboclo

In this scenario, the Los Angeles Clippers would’ve landed the Brazilian Durant. Bruno Caboclo struggled in the league due to his lack of physical development. He looked slow, unconfident and unaware in both ends of the hardwood. Still, considering the upside some scouts viewed in him, he would’ve been worth the risk with this late 1st round pick.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder

Original Pick: Josh Huestis

Re-Draft Pick: Mitch McGary

The Oklahoma City Thunder took Josh Huestis, who’s still to prove that he can be a steady offensive contributor for the team, even despite having some minutes to show what he’s capable of. So, in this re-draft, Mitch McGary would’ve still landed with the Thunder, so it’s likely that things would’ve fared exactly the way that went down.

30. San Antonio Spurs

Original Pick: Kyle Anderson

Re-Draft Pick: Adreian Payne

And finally, the San Antonio Spurs would’ve been pretty much stuck with Adreian Payne, who had a lot of upside but struggled to stay healthy and earn consistent playing time. Sadly for him, a sexual abuse scandal has him out of the league right now and probably for good, but before those horrible news came out, he had the upside to be an intriguing prospect that was worth the gamble.