Fresh Take Sports NBA Draft Big Board:

With the NBA draft looming we thought this would be a perfect time for our Big Board to help familiarize people with the young men that will hear their names called by commish Silver on Thursday, June 26th.

NOTE: The calling card of the Fresh Take Sports Big board will be honest and knowledgeable opinions. We’ve watched enough basketball to know that 7 foot un-athletic centers WILL NEVER be productive in the NBA, and 6’7” tweener forwards with no jumper? Nope, we will pass. History rarely lies. There are outliers in everything, but they are outliers for a reason. Our rankings will reflect that without regard to what the four letter network and other “experts” may think. What’s the motto for the Fresh Take Sports Draft Team? Don’t take the Old Maid!

  1. Andrew Wiggins
    SF (Kansas – Freshman)
    19 years old | 6’8″ | 197 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  17.1PPG   5.9RPG   1.5APG   21.7PER


As a basketball analyzing public, we tend to over think things. Looking at what a player isn’t vs what he actually is to determine his worth. While Wiggins isn’t a pro-typical shooter, nor  the aggressive scorer we wish him to be, what he is is a lock down defender from day one and a tabula rasa for a good coach to mold into an offensive threat. In my opinion, Wiggins is a superstar waiting to happen. I believe in his game and can’t wait to see what he blossoms into.

  1. Jabari Parker
    SF/PF (Duke – Freshman)
    19 years old | 6’8″ | 241 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  19.1PPG   8.7RPG   1.2APG   28.8PER


Jabari Parker is a scorer. He is someone who isn’t a liability on defense, and can acclimate to any role necessary for the team to win, as evident by his playing so much Center for the Blue Devils this past season. Parker has the game and temperament to be a star.


  1. Dante Exum
    PG/SG (Australian Institute of Sport – International)
    18 years old | 6’6″ | 196 lbs

Never has a player dominated a chair so effortlessly since Yi Jianlian. Exum is an interesting player to evaluate. He has all the athletic tools to be great, but he could be the next Kobe Bryant or just a more mature version of Nick Young. No doubt the guy can score, but he did all his damage against Australian Teenagers and Chairs.

  1. Noah Vonleh
    PF (Indiana – Freshman)
    18 years old | 6’10” | 247 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (30 GP)
  11.3PPG   9.0RPG   0.6APG   22.8PER


Can we just get a game of 21 going between Vonleh, Randle, and Aaron Gordon? That would settle all this, “who is the best?” crap. They all have their strengths and weaknesses; what’s going to separate them is who has the most heart and desire to be great. I give the nod to Vonleh because of his amazing measurables. Being the youngest of that lot, he has some physical growing to do and his 11% usage rate at IU shows he has some room to grow as an offense threat.
5. Marcus Smart
PG (Oklahoma State – Sophomore)
20 years old | 6’3″ | 227 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (31 GP)
  18.0PPG   5.9RPG   4.8APG   27.3PER


Smart is, for my money, the best PG in this class. Smart is an intense athlete and will come in the league as a more than solid defender. What he won’t do is shoot the basketball at an incredibly efficient rate. As a 30% 3-pt shooter in college, I suspect that will dip a bit once he gets to the NBA and that lack of a shooting touch will hurt his overall ability to score coming out of the gate.


  1. Julius Randle
    PF (Kentucky – Freshman)
    19 years old | 6’9″ | 250 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (40 GP)
  15.0PPG   10.4RPG   1.4APG   25.0PER


Julius Randle is as strong as an ox. He won’t be the old maid in this class. At worst, Randle is a high volume rebound who has the ability to score and every team needs a guy like that. I do worry about his size. He measured out slightly above 6’8” outside of sneakers, same as a guys like Jared Sullinger and “Big Baby” Davis who get their shot swatted often. Also, Randle has a propensity to go left and in back to the basket scenarios, he turns over his right shoulder 80% of the time. He has to get more crafty with his inside game.

  1. Aaron Gordon
    PF/C (Arizona -Freshman)
    18 years old | 6’9″ | 220 lbs

    2013-14 NCAA (38 GP)
      12.4PPG   8.0RPG   2.0APG   24.4PER


    The term athlete was created for guys like Aaron Gordon. He’s  a quasi Blake Griffin clone (in the sense that they are both light skinned and jump really high) Gordon’s potential ceiling and floor share the same disparity as his gravity defying vertical leap. Gordon from day one will be a more than serviceable defender, and an elite energy guy. If he has a pitfall it would be his lack of shooting prowess. He shot 51% from the floor and 35% from deep but his role on a very good Arizona team was to just fill in the blanks and play within himself. His 42% free throw percentage alert you to how atrocious his stroke really is. My favorite thing about Gordon is his handle he wont wow you with Iverson like crossovers, but he does have a really tight handle for a player his size. If Gordon is your PF you will likely have 4 premium ball handlers on the court at the same time.

  2. Joel Embiid
    C (Kansas – Freshman)
    20 years old | 7’0″ | 240 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (28 GP)
  11.2PPG   8.1RPG   1.4APG   28.7PER


I’m going to type this in red so that you get the seriousness of this write up. NO! NO! NO! I do not doubt that Embiid has the talent to be a top pick and perform as such, but you know who else had elite talent? Greg Oden. At a point the pendulum swing of the risk-reward spectrum becomes too great to pass on the player once considered to be the next “Akeem the Dream,” but I would not pull the trigger in the top 5. But go ahead, random foolhardy GM, it’s your job to lose.

  1. Nik Stauskas
    SG (Michigan – Sophomore)
    20 years old | 6’6″ | 207 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (36 GP)
  17.5PPG   2.9RPG   3.3APG   22.9PER


Shooter? Check. Handles? Check. Solid Defense? Check. Size for the position? Check. So why don’t we love Nik Stauskas again? Oh yeah, its because he is Canadian. Stauskas is going to make some team very happy as a #3 guard. With him, think of a better version of Nick Calathes, or the Next Gen Kirk Hinrich.


  1. Elfrid Payton
    PG (La Lafayette – Junior)
    20 years old | 6’4″ | 185 lbs
2013-14 NCAA (32 GP)
  19.3PPG   6.3RPG   5.8APG   24.4PER


Elfrid is my absolute favorite player in the draft. I’m going to try to avoid hyperbole here, but Elfrid is a defensive savant the likes of which we have never seen. He has a 6’8” wing span and hands comparable to Venus fly traps. He led a barren LA Lafayette team to the NCAA tournament, and did so as their leading scorer assist man and rebounder. So what if he shot 25% from three and an atrocious 59% from the line? LONG LIVE ELFRID GARY PAYTON!

10. Doug McDermott
SF/PF (Creighton – Senior)
22 years old | 6’8″ | 218 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  26.7PPG   7.0RPG   1.6APG   33.2PER


Do not adjust your screens, that ridiculous PER is neither a misprint nor a typo. Mcdermott was deadly efficient at Creighton and will certainly have a role in the NBA. He is an extremely intelligent basketball player with a very good jump shot. While the Kyle Korver shooting comparisons may be over blown and super lazy, its not a stretch to see D-Mac become the prototype for the stretch 4.

11. Zach LaVine
SG (UCLA – Freshman)
19 years old | 6’6″ | 181 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (37 GP)
  9.4PPG   2.5RPG   1.8APG   14.9PER


Levine is all potential. His 9.7 usage possessions per game rank lowest of any guard who presumes to be drafted and 32% of those came in transition situations. Let’s be honest, Russell Westbrook is about to make this dude a lot of money. I believe Levine has immense talent, but anyone solely associated with the phrase, “if he can live up to his potential” is a terrifying prospect to draft.


12. Gary Harris
SG (Michigan State – Sophomore)
19  years old | 6’3″ | 205 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  16.7PPG   4.0RPG   2.7APG   22.9PER


If you want a player that is tough as nails and can handle the duties of both guard spots from time to time, Gary Harris is your man. He is a very solid shooter, putting up 50% from the field and 35% from deep. My only concern is that with his size at 6’2” without shoes he may be forced into more PG duty than he can handle.


13. Dario Saric
PF (Cibona Zagreb – International)
20 years old | 6’10” | 223 lbs

2013-14 Adriatic, Croatia, Eurocup (56 GP)
  16.9PPG   9.5RPG   3.3APG   22.3PER


Saric has been playing against grown men for a number of years and has the IQ to make a smooth transition to the NBA. I will admit my personal biases keep Saric out of my top 10. I have a hard time believing in large European forwards who describe their game as “good shooter, with great handles for a big”. Sorry, but Ive been scarred too often.

14. T.J. Warren
SF/PF (N.C. State – Sophomore)
20 years old | 6’8″ | 220 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  24.9PPG   7.1RPG   1.1APG   31.7PER


Some people are born with an innate ability to put the ball in the hole, and TJ warren is one of those people. He definitely needs to work on his jump shot, but the ACC player of the year has potential to stick in the league as a designated offensive weapon. At best guess, he is one of those “tweener forwards” who just don’t make it.

15. James Young
SG/SF (Kentucky – Freshman)
18 years old | 6’7″ | 213 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (40 GP)
  14.3PPG   4.3RPG   1.7APG   16.8PER


More of a scorer than a shooter, but he has the shooting touch to one day be feared in the NBA. Much stronger than you’d think, he already has pro game.

16. Rodney Hood
SF (Duke – Sophomore)
21 years old | 6’8″ | 208 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  16.1PPG   3.9RPG   2.1APG   20.4PER


Overshadowed this past season at Duke by the supremely talented Jabari Park, Hood has game in his own right. A talented shooter who isn’t afraid to get in your grill and play some D. He needs to bulk up, but will make some team in the middle of the 1st very happy. Rich man’s Danny Green.

17. Adreian Payne
PF (Michigan State – Senior)
23 years old | 6’10” | 239 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (31 GP)
  16.4PPG   7.3RPG   1.3APG   25.6PER


6’10, 240lbs with a 7’4” wingspan, shot 42% from deep as a PF and 80% from the line. I DON’T CARE that he is 23 years old. Pero Antic was a 31 year old Rookie for the Atlanta Hawks. Payne will be a player in the league.

18. P.J. Hairston
SG (Tex Legends – Junior)
21years old | 6’5″ | 229 lbs

2013-14 D-League (26 GP)
  21.8PPG   3.5RPG   0.8APG   19.2PER


Hairston has the body of a grown man. He can catch and shoot and finish in traffic, however he is a bit slow laterally so he may have trouble defending speedy wings guards. He played in the d-league so he already understands life on the road, and has NBA 3-pt range. Not sure how I feel about him being able to constantly create his own shot though.

19. Tyler Ennis
PG (Syracuse – Freshman)
19 years old | 6’2″ | 182 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (34 GP)
  12.9PPG   3.4RPG   5.5APG   21.7PER


Tyler Ennis can bring consistency and make his teammates better.  He makes great decisions and shows up in big games, especially late.  He has solid range from the perimeter and has the mental fortitude to finish games. Ennis has a great floater in the lane and plays fearless. He has the potential to be a very solid play maker in the NBA.

20. Kyle Anderson

SF (UCLA – Sophomore)
20 years old | 6’8″ | 230 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (36 GP)
  14.6PPG   8.8RPG   6.5APG   25.2PER


Versatility is the name of the game for Mr. Anderson. He is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s class with the skill set of a PG, the size of a PF, and the athleticism of Oliver Miller. He will either be drafted by some smart team who will figure out a way to use his unique set skills like Boris Diaw with the Spurs, or will spend years floundering in the league because the organization isn’t creative enough to figure out how to best use him, like Boris Diaw with the Hawks.

21. Shabazz Napier
PG (Connecticut – Senior)
22years old | 6’1″ | 175 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (40 GP)
  18.0PPG   5.9RPG   4.9APG   25.9PER


Some players are just good at basketball. You can’t try to over quantify it, they defy statistical measurable and even their own physical attributes. Shabazz Napier is such a player. His size, even amongst his collegiate peers, doesn’t stand out, but his heart stands alone on a pedestal plated in gold with “champion” written on the base. I’m a fan of Shabazz.

22. Cleanthony Early
SF/PF (Wichita State – Senior)
23 years old | 6’7″ | 209 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (35 GP)
  16.3PPG   6.0RPG   0.7APG   26.7PER


I’m also a fan of Cleanthony Early, not a fan of his first name, but hey, what can you do?  The Versatile forward filled in all the blanks for the Shockers. His entire highlight reel will be his 31 pt masterpiece against Kentucky in a losing effort in the NCAA tournament.

23. Jusuf Nurkic
C (Cedevita – International)
19 years old | 6’11” | 280 lbs

2013-14 Eurocup, Adriatic, Croatia (58 GP)
  10.9PPG   5.0RPG   0.8APG   29.9PER


Let me start by saying NO, I am not drafting this guy. The burly Bosnian has skills and may be at best Nikolas Pekovic, but he is still a long ways from being that. I’ll pass.

24. Clint Capela
PF/C (Chalon – International)
20 years old | 6’11” | 222 lbs

2013-14 Eurocup, French, Hoop Summit (44 GP)
  9.7PPG   6.7RPG   1.0APG   24.4PER


Jay Bilas is going to have to be restrained when talking about Capella, and his 7’4” wing span *takes shot* has a lot of physical maturing to do. He would be best served to stay overseas a bit longer.


25. Jordan Adams
SG (UCLA – Sophomore)
19 years old | 6’5″ | 209 lbs

2013-14 NCAA (36 GP)
  17.4PPG   5.3RPG   2.3APG   28.7PER


I mentioned earlier about the guys who just know how to play basketball, regardless of what their body says. Well meet the captain of the Khalid el amin All Stars for this draft. Adams is a deadly scorer in the mold of a James Hardin, but defense (like Hardin) is not his top priority nor was the UCLA weight room.



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