Kevin O'Connor's 2014 NBA Draft Big Board 3.0

Joel Embiid is still number one. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

An exciting month of March Madness is finally over after Connecticut defeated Kentucky last night to win the 2014 National Championship, but watching the tournament is just as much about scouting the NBA draft as it is enjoying the games. Throughout the month, I have continued to evaluate every player in preparation for this June's draft.

The Boston Celtics are currently the fourth worst team in the NBA, which puts them in a good position to get a top draft pick. If the season ended today, the Celtics would have a 37.8 percent chance of getting a top three pick in the lottery. They also own Brooklyn's first rounder, which will likely be pick number 17 or 18.

Here's my updated big board for the 2014 NBA draft:

1 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Joel Embiid Kansas Fr. 19 C 7-0 250 2 3

Scouting report: I'm not ready to move Joel Embiid from the top spot on my board, though it seems like every other draft site is doing just that. Embiid has the potential to be a dominant defensive center, with his 89-inch wingspan and his incredible lateral quickness. At only 19-years-old, it'll only be a matter of time before Embiid learns how to become a truly great rim protector instead of relying solely on his natural skills. Offensively, Embiid is hard to stop in the paint and has developed his post game at a faster rate than anyone could've expected.

2 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Andrew Wiggins Kansas Fr. 19 SG/SF 6-8 200 1 1

Scouting report: I think some Celtics fans are being unfair when they think that Andrew Wiggins might be the next Jeff Green -- inconsistent, passive, and infuriating. If there was no pre-season hype for Wiggins, people would've considered his season highly effective and appropriate. Wiggins is raw offensively, which is precisely why he wasn't used as a "feature" of the team, but he still managed to average 17.1 points per game, with some dominant games sprinkled in (like his 41-point explosion versus West Virginia). Give Wiggins time, and he'll become a fantastic two-way player. Will he be LeBron or Durant? Probably not, but I fully expect him to be on the next tier.

3 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jabari Parker Duke Fr. 18 SF 6-8 235 3 2

Scouting report: Jabari Parker is crazy if he decides to stay in school for another season just to "finish the job" and/or "play with his best friend." Parker is NBA-ready on the offensive end, with the ability to score from anywhere on the court. Parker can sling it from three, push around on the offensive boards for putbacks, or pull-up with a pretty mid-range game. Parker is one of the worst defenders expected to go in the top 10, but his offensive potential completely overrides any concerns there.

4 PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Dante Exum Australia 18 PG/SG 6-6 190 5 4

Scouting report: Dante Exum deserves to be higher on my board, but very few people in the States has seen enough tape of him to warrant the consideration. Exum is very much a mystery, but it appears that he has fantastic two-way potential. At 6-foot-6, Exum can play either guard position due to his ball-handling and passing skills, and his scoring potential. Defensively, Exum has a gigantic 81.25-inch wingspan, which will bother opponents and get in passing lanes for tipped balls and steals.

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Aaron Gordon Arizona Fr. 18 SF/PF 6-9 225 8 6

Scouting report: I'm beginning to think that Aaron Gordon is underrated because of his despicable 42.2 free throw percentage. It's horrific, but it's more about the "why" and not the "what" with Gordon. He actually has pretty good technique, which is evident by his 35.6 three-point percentage, but his free throws often come out flat without very much touch. But I think Gordon is starting from a good spot and will find more success sooner rather than later. Even if he doesn't, Gordon has the best potential on the defensive end in this draft. Considering small forward is the most talented position in the NBA, Aaron Gordon could be the medicine a team needs to stop the likes of LeBron and Durant.

6 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Noah Vonleh Indiana Fr. 18 PF 6-10 240 7 7

Scouting report: It's a shame that Indiana didn't make it to the NCAA tournament and then declined their invite to the CBI, because it would've been nice to see Noah Vonleh get more play in competitive games. Despite my disappointment, Vonleh is still a borderline top five pick because of his immense upside. Vonleh is already a terrific rebounder due to his vertical, ginormous 88-inch wingspan, and pure instincts to snatch the ball. Because of his size, Vonleh has potential as a rim protector, but he occasionally fell asleep this season, allowing easy scores. But he's one of the youngest players in the draft, so that is understandable and forgivable. Offensively, Vonleh developed more quickly than expected, though he needs to continue expanding on his game.

7 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Marcus Smart Oklahoma St. So. 20 PG/SG 6-4 220 6 8

Scouting report: Marcus Smart officially declared for the draft after improving his pure point guard skills over the course of his sophomore season, but he still isn't where he needs to be. Smart's vision has progressed, but he still looked more like a combo-guard this year. His jumper is still also wildly inconsistent, at 29.9 percent from three, but his leadership, defensive abilities, and upside solidify him as a top 10 pick in my book.

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Doug McDermott Creighton Sr. 22 SF/PF 6-8 225 11 12

Scouting report: On my second big board, I shifted Doug McDermott down a few spots, but he has risen back up and he's likely here to stay until draft night. McDermott is the most ready offensive player in the draft because of his flawless three-point shot and in-between game. Some say that he won't be able to score in the NBA like he did in college, -- well, of course he won't, but he also won't have five defenders watching him at all times, doing everything they can to remove him from the game. McDermott will be able to slide in as the second or third option on a team and flourish. The concerns about his man-to-man defense are valid, but he's a solid off-ball defender and won't any miss rotations or assignments.

9 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
K.J McDaniels Clemson Jr. 21 SG/SF 6-6 200 23 25

Scouting report: I consider K.J. McDaniels a borderline top 10 pick because of his incredible defensive abilities. McDaniels is strong, moves his feet well laterally, and most impressively, he has Matrix-like instincts, which put him position to block shots from the weakside. I'd go as far to say that McDaniels could be an All-NBA defender if he's lucky enough to have a starting role. Offensively, McDaniels needs to improve his half court skills, most notably his perimeter jumper, but he will still make plays as a slasher due to his 69.7 field goal percentage at the rim. If he's paired with a passing point guard, I fully expect him to prosper. And in transition, McDaniels is a monster because of his ability to finish at a high rate near the rim.

10 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Tyler Ennis Syracuse Fr. 19 PG 6-2 180 15 9

Scouting report: For the most part, Tyler Ennis was probably the most consistent freshman this past season. With a 3.22 assist/turnover ratio, Ennis was impressive handling the ball and finding his teammates in good spots. That ratio probably would've been even better if Ennis was surrounded by more skilled perimeter threats. It's difficult to get a read on Ennis' overall upside, but I'd like to think he could someday make an impact like Mike Conley -- someone who doesn't have star status, but has quietly been one of the more reliable point guards in the league.

11 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Gary Harris Michigan St. So. 19 SG 6-4 210 16 10

Scouting report: As much as I like Gary Harris, I'm beginning to sour on him because of his inability to efficiently score at the rim. In the half court, Harris is a solid three-point threat (at 37.3 percent) and mid-range scorer (42.6 percent), but his percentage at the rim is troubling, at only 43.1 percent. This details Harris' inability to deal with contact at the rim, which really hurts his potential early in his career. Despite that, I still think he's worth of lottery consideration due to his superb skills as a defender and his complimentary skills as a passer and shooter.

12 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Nik Stauskas Michigan So. 20 SG 6-6 205 17 19

Scouting report: Nik Stauskas ended his sophomore season in impressive fashion, with a 24-point performance against Kentucky. Even though Michigan lost, Stauskas solidified his status as a lottery talent. Even when he's not knocking down three-pointers (44.2% on the year), he can make an impact as a pick-and-roll playmaker. Stauskas has quality passing skills for his position, which often goes unnoticed due to his shooting stroke. He also finishes well at the rim, at 62.1 percent in the half court, which will be valuable as he makes the jump the pros.

13 PLAYER Team AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
P.J. Hairston Texas Legends 21 SG 6-5 225 22 15

Scouting report: P.J. Hairston has a game perfectly suited for the modern NBA, with a silky smooth three-pointer and penetrating ability. Hairston utilized "the hop" on his way to a 35.8 three-point percentage this season, but he can also put the ball on the floor and draw fouls. He had an impressive .361 free throw rate, which should translate to the pros. However, Hairston must find consistency, but that's mostly due to his tendency to force shots at the rim. He has improved since college, but it'd be nice to see him drive and dish out to the perimeter more often. Perhaps, with proper coaching, he will take on that skill fairly quickly.

14 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Julius Randle Kentucky Fr. 19 PF 6-9 250 4 5

Scouting report: Statistically, Julius Randle significantly cut down on his turnover rate during the tournament, but I still have my concerns. Randle is a solid passer for his size, but forces the issue on his drives to the rim, as evident by his 43.6 eFG percentage during the postseason. He draws a lot of whistles in college because of his immense build, but he'll never get those calls in the NBA, which will make him a turnover liability. Randle is still a borderline lottery pick due to his incredible rebounding instincts. Despite having a short wingspan, Randle is able to accumulate rebounds at a fairly consistent rate. Read "The Randle Problem" for my in-depth analysis on his defense.

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Clint Capela Switzerland 19 PF/C 6-10 210 14 11

Scouting report: Clint Capela will get a chance to increase his draft status this week since he is competing in the Nike Hoop Summit. I have watched as much film available of him as I can, but this Saturday's game will be the best barometer of his skills. From what I do know, Capela is explosive and has the tools necessary to someday become a terrific rim protector and finisher at the rim. However, he's a poor shooter and appears to make sloppy decisions, which is why he might spend a couple of years overseas or in the D-League.

16 PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jusuf Nurkic Bosnia 19 PF/C 6-11 280 12 30

Scouting report: Jusuf Nurkic is only 19-years-old but is performing quite well in the Adriatic League. In 26 games, he's averaging 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in only 16.4 minutes per game. Despite his youthfulness, he's highly efficient with 57.5 field goal and 71.1 free throw percentages. Nurkic is a strong, wide body, but has very quick feet, giving him the potential of a quality defensive player.

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Dario Saric Croatia 19 SF/PF 6-10 225 9 14

Scouting report: Dario Saric may or may not enter the 2014 NBA draft, but he probably should considering he is blossoming this season. For Cibona, the 19-year-old is averaging 16.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. It's clear that Saric added some muscle to his frame, which was one of my concerns last year. He needs to improve his shooting consistency (only 31 percent from three and 68.2 percent from the line), but the tools are there for him to eventually become a reliable threat. Even if he doesn't, Saric has the ball-handlng and passing skills to be a point forward in the pros.

18 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Montrezl Harrell Louisville So. 20 PF 6-8 235 20 16

Scouting report: I'll admit, Montrezl Harrell is one of my personal favorite players expected to be in this draft. He's a hard-worker, hustles every play, and is a tenacious defender. Harrell likely only has role player upside because of his offensive limitations, but every team could use a guy who can come off the bench and bring energy, defense, and explosiveness.

19 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky So. 20 C 7-0 245 13 20

Scouting report: Willie Cauley-Stein got hurt in the Sweet 16 and didn't play after that, so my opinion hasn't really wavered on him at all. But from what we saw all season long, Cauley-Stein has a long way to go to find consistent minutes in the NBA. He's raw because he still leaps at pump fakes and lacks experience defending the pick-and-roll, but his shot blocking potential and athleticism is what keeps him in the top 20.

20 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Kyle Anderson UCLA So. 20 SF/PG 6-9 230 19 27

Scouting report: At 6-foot-9, with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, "Slow-Mo" has the size of a forward, but with terrific passing and ball handling, he has the skills of a point guard. NBA teams need to figure out which position they want Kyle Anderson to play, but I'd like to see him as a point guard. He'd present matchup problems on a nightly basis, and I think he's more able to create as a passer than he is as a scorer.

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James Young Kentucky Fr. 18 SG/SF 6-6 215 27 17

Scouting report: James Young showed why he was so highly recruited out of high school with his fantastic 20-point performance in the national title game. Young was getting to the line at will and had an earth-shattering dunk. The 6-foot-6 forward has a quick trigger and can hit shots at a high rate when he's feeling it. But consistency problems plagued his season, though that should be expected from an 18-year-old. He's a liability on defense but he has the body to improve on that end.

22 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Elfrid Payton La Lafayette Jr. 20 PG 6-3 190 32 36

Scouting report: Elfrid Payton solidified his stock as a legitimate first rounder during the postseason, averaging 18.5 points (48.4 FG%), 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers in 37.8 minutes per game. Payton has a knack for filling up the stat sheet due to his active style of play. He has terrific court vision and probably would've averaged more assists had better talent surrounded him. He's also very good defensively, with quick lateral speed and the instincts to jump passing lanes. The problem with Payton is his shooting; at only 25.9 percent from three and 60.9 percent from the line, Payton struggles from the perimeter. But he also has a hard time dealing with contact at the rim, though that's probably due to his slight frame.

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Mario Hezonja Croatia 19 SG 6-6 200 10 32

Scouting report: I like to say that Mario Hezonja is the "European Nik Stauskas" because of their similar style of play. Like Stauskas, Hezonja is a knockdown three-point shooter with perfect shooting mechanics, at 43.8 percent this year, and he also has the athleticism to finish loudly at the rim with ferocious dunks. Hezonja has similar skills in the pick-and-roll, since he can get all the way to the rim or make terrific pocket passes to his teammates. The only thing holding Hezonja back from a higher ranking is his dominant right hand. He rarely, if ever, goes to his left, which will hinder his playmaking abilities in the NBA.

24 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Adreian Payne Michigan St. Sr. 23 PF 6-10 245 24 21

Scouting report: Adreian Payne was hyped as a lottery pick after his 41-point performance in the opening round of the tournament, but that was quickly put to rest after he fell back down to earth over the course of the next three games. Payne is a nice player who can hit shots from the perimeter, mid-range, and at the rim, but that's about the extent of his skillset. Despite standing at 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds, the senior only averaged 7.3 rebounds per game. He doesn't make a significant impact on the boards or defensively for him to be drafted any higher than 20th.

25 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
T.J. Warren N.C. State So. 20 SF/PF 6-8 215 18 28

Scouting report: T.J. Warren is an easy player to root for because he knows how to create offense for himself with advanced dribble moves and fantastic touch from mid-range. However, Warren's clunky shooting form makes me question his ability to ever find consistency from the perimeter. He shot only 26.7 percent from three this year, and he will have to improve on that if he ever wants to find playing time in the NBA. And it's not like he makes up for his deficiencies with passing (1.1 assists per game) or defense. If Warren came around in the late 1990s or early 2000s, he'd be a surefire lottery pick, but the NBA is changing and I'm not quite sure that Warren fits unless he develops a reliable three-point shot.

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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona Fr. 19 SF 6-7 215 25 24

Scouting report: Standing at 6-foot-7 with an 85-inch wingspan, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has the size and speed necessary to defend multiple positions in the NBA. Like his teammate Aaron Gordon, he is extremely smart moving off-ball and always seems to be in the right positioning despite being so young. He can block shots and jump passing lanes thanks to his intriguing skills. Unfortunately, he's very raw offensively, though he has the skills and athleticism to be a slasher.

27 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jerami Grant Syracuse So. 19 SF 6-8 210 21 18

Scouting report: Jerami Grant should probably stay in college for another season because he is so underdeveloped offensively. He's still a subpar jump shooter and his ball-handling leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, playing in Syracuse's zone doesn't allow Grant to progress his man-to-man defense, so he might be able to develop at a faster rate in the pros. But Grant is an amazing athlete who should have no trouble finding his niche in the NBA at some point in the future.

28 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Rodney Hood Duke So. 21 SF 6-8 215 26 22

Scouting report: No player hurt their stock more than Rodney Hood during the postseason. For the second time this season, Clemson's K.J. McDaniels totally locked him down, suffocating him on the perimeter. If Hood's shot isn't falling, he is worthless on offense. He doesn't have the playmaking ability to create for others and his defense is rudimentary. The potential is there for Hood to be a role player since he has a great feel for the game, but he doesn't have a diverse enough skillset to warrant a higher ranking.

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Kristaps Porzingis Latvia 19 PF 6-11 210 28 90

Scouting report: Kristaps Porzingis is a run-of-the-mill European prospect, but that's not a bad thing. Porzingis' offense is perimeter-based (36.4% from three), but he can put the ball on the floor quite well for someone his size. In the limited clips available, he has shown the potential to be more than just a spot-up shooter, which is why he deserves to be considered as a first rounder despite his rawness. But Porzingis needs to put on between 30 and 50 pounds at muscle, since he weighs in at only 210 pounds.

30 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Shabazz Napier UConn Sr. 22 PG 6-1 185 55 26

Scouting report: I've been on the fence about labeling Shabazz Napier as a first rounder all year long, but his sensational performance in the tournament helped his case. Napier has excellent dribbling skills and can get to anywhere he wants on the court. This is why he's able to get his shot off with ease despite being undersized. He's also a very good defender because he has excellent lateral quickness and has active hands. But Napier isn't quite a true point guard, since he makes plenty of careless passes. Despite the size and positional concerns, there is no reason why he can't become a Jerryd Bayless type of role player.

Kevin O'Connor's 2014 NBA Draft Big Board History:

Edition 1: Feb 3 | Edition 2: Mar 10 | Edition 3: Apr 8

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