Kevin O'Connor's 2014 NBA Draft Big Board 6.0

Streeter Lecka

Guys, tonight's the night that we've been waiting for. Tonight is the night the Boston Celtics make a decision in the 2014 NBA Draft that will change the landscape of the franchise forever. Whether they draft two players or trade the picks, the course of history will be decided by their decisions.

For months, I've been writing articles and scouting the draft, detailing each player as much as I can in order to prepare all you fans and readers for tonight. I think Celtics fans  -- no, Boston sports fans in general -- are probably the most knowledgeable fans in the entire country. Not because we'd score higher on an IQ test, but because of our passion and dedication. We love the Celtics. We Bleed Green.

When I write, it's not often that "the fan in me" comes out, but I had to because today is an important day. I do what I can to be as objective as possible when it comes to assessing the draft and I think I did a good job of that considering the positive response to my 2014 NBA Draft Guide. I seriously can't thank you enough for purchasing it, whether you spent 1 cent or $10, or even for just leaving positive comments, the important thing is that you're reading. Really, thank you.

With that said, we have business to attend to. After months of scouting the 2014 NBA Draft, I have prepared the final version of my big board. This is the sixth version, and you can view the previous inclinations of it by clicking the links below. Please note that the fifth version of my board is only available in my Draft Guide, which you can check out by clicking here.

One (Feb 3) | Two (Mar 10) | Three (Apr 8) | Four (May 20) | Five (Jun 12)

The "analysis" on this version is far different than the others, as I will really only be offering my final overall thoughts on each player. For more in-depth analysis, check out some of the articles "embedded" on the page, look at the past versions of my big boards, or name your price for my 2014 NBA Draft Guide.

Keep in mind that this is not a mock draft, this only details where I personally rank each player. With that said, here's my final top 30 big board for the 2014 NBA Draft:

1 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jabari Parker Duke Fr. 18 SF 6-9 240 3 2

Reasoning: Jabari Parker moves up to #1 because of the injury to Joel Embiid, but it's well deserved because I have confidence that he'll be able to develop into a productive go-to scorer. The concerns about his defense are legitimate, but he's close to a sure thing on the offensive end of the floor as far as I'm concerned.

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

Reasoning: Wiggins has stayed relatively constant on my board throughout the year, hovering between #2 and #4; today he settles into the #2 spot. It might take the right situation for him to reach his full potential on offense, which is why I have him behind Parker, but he's ahead of Embiid because of the lack of injury concern surrounding him.

3 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Joel Embiid Kansas Fr. 20 C 7-0 240 1 4

Reasoning: I can't drop Joel Embiid too far down my board. He's been #1 since late January and I'm not about to slide him too far despite the injuries. I'm certainly not a doctor and from all the reports I read, it seems realistic that he'll be fine since he's only 20-years-old and the team that drafts him will not rush him back. I am less certain about him, but there is no other player in this draft that has the potential of being a star on both end of the floor like Embiid does.

4 PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Dante Exum Australia 18 PG/SG 6-6 190 4 3

Reasoning: The mixed thoughts from the media on Dante Exum have been quite interesting to follow in recent days. There seems to be a true "love-hate" relationship with his style of play, but I tend to lean towards the "love" side. If he improves his jumper, which he probably will considering his terrific work ethic, then he could become a lethal scorer.

5 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Aaron Gordon Arizona Fr. 18 SF/PF 6-9 220 9 7

Reasoning: You already know my thoughts on Aaron Gordon if you've been reading my material for months; I love him. I think he's an absolute menace on the defensive end of the floor. If he adds bulk, he'll probably be able to effectively defend all five positions, and defend at least three at a high level. He's that good, smart, and athletic. Offensively, his progression as a shooter has been impressive, and I have confidence he'll be able to add a jumper, giving him potential to be a very good all-around player.

6 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Marcus Smart Oklahoma St. So. 20 PG/SG 6-4 220 5 6

Reasoning: I might be underrating Marcus Smart considering his tenaciousness on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he can easily defend multiple positions because of his unique combination of size and speed. And on the offensive end, he puts that strength to good use by bullying his way to the rim and drawing fouls at a very high rate. But he must improve his shooting and pure point skills for him to warrant a higher ranking.

7 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Noah Vonleh Indiana Fr. 18 PF 6-10 247 10 5

Reasoning: Vonleh's length combined with his shooting skills bodes well for his potential as a "safe" pick this year. While he may never live up to the high expectations of a top 4 pick, I would feel very comfortable selecting him between #5 and #8, as long as people don't expect him to be a superstar.

8 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Doug McDermott Creighton Sr. 22 SF/PF 6-8 218 8 13

Reasoning: McDermott is one of the draft's top scorers, as he's certainly not just an ace from three. Dougie Fresh will be able to stretch the floor, but he'll also provide complimentary scoring in transition and the half court because of his incredible instincts. McDermott gets knocked for his defense, but he's actually a very good team defender that coaches can rely on from day one.

9 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Nik Stauskas Michigan So. 20 SG 6-6 205 12 11

Reasoning: Nik Stauskas could conceivably become one of the better scorers from this draft if he's able to continue improving his dribble moves. He's already one of the best pure shooters in the draft and might be closer to Stephen Curry territory than he gets credit for. The only reason he's behind McDermott on the rankings is because he's currently a poor individual and team defender.

10 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Dario Saric Croatia 20 SF/PF 6-10 223 13 9

Reasoning: I fell in love with Dario Saric this year after I was quite low on him in early 2013. His progress over the course of one calendar year has been remarkable and I look forward to seeing him have success in Europe over the next two years before he makes the jump to the NBA. Truly, the only reason he drops from #6 to #10 on my board is because of the fact teams will have to wait one or two years for him to come over.

11 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Elfrid Payton La Lafayette Jr. 20 PG 6-3 190 15 12

Reasoning: Elfrid Payton has been rising on my board, just like he has on nearly everyone else's. I had him at #22 in April before he jumped to #17 in May and up to #12 earlier this month. He's a true point who can create space with ease by using advanced dribble moves. Even though he's not a great shooter, he has solid form and could develop his shot in time. On the defensive end of the floor, he's a baller and can defend multiple positions. Once he gets into a professional weight room and fills out his frame, I look forward to seeing his improvements on the court.

12 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Gary Harris Michigan St. So. 19 SG 6-4 210 16 10

Reasoning: Harris has sort of floated around my board all year long, as I had him at #9 at one point and as low as #15 another time; now he settles right into the #12 slot. At worst, I think we're looking at a guy who can defend two positions and provide secondary scoring. However, his lack of half efficiency really hurts my confidence in him being more than a role player offensively. Of my top 14 "lottery" ranked players, I might be the least confident about him.

13 PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jusuf Nurkic Bosnia 19 PF/C 6-11 280 6 17

Reasoning: Jusuf Nurkic has sexy low post moves, including a fantastic quick spin into a jump hook or layup. Even though he's quite chubby, he has quick enough feet to be a very good pick-and-roll defender.

14 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
K.J McDaniels Clemson Jr. 21 SG/SF 6-6 196 18 24

Reasoning: Most draft evaluators have K.J. McDaniels ranked in the 20s of their big board, which I believe makes him a tad bit underrated. With his immense potential on the defensive end of the floor as an instinctive man-to-man and team defender, he must just improve his shooting to find his niche in the league.

15 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Julius Randle Kentucky Fr. 19 PF 6-9 250 7 8

Reasoning: Let me make something clear: Julius Randle was my #2 player before the season began. Like a lot of people, I was in love with what I saw from his high school clips, but over the course of the college season I saw who he really was: a massively poor defender with an offensive skillset that often doesn't translate to the pros. He'll have a role in the NBA because of his energy and rebounding, which is why I have him ranked as a borderline lottery pick, but he has a lot further to go as a player than people think.

16 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
T.J. Warren N.C. State So. 20 SF/PF 6-8 215 17 20

Reasoning: Warren really needs to add a jump shot if he wants to be anything more than a complimentary scorer on offense. He's going to need some seriously appropriate coaching for that to happen though, since during pre-draft workouts he has constantly said he needs to "just be more confident." No...wrong. What he needs is a complete overhaul mechanically.

17 Go-up-md_small
PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Kyle Anderson UCLA So. 20 PF 6-9 230 21 19

Reasoning: After seeing what Boris Diaw did in the NBA Finals, you've got to get a little excited about Kyle Anderson's potential in the pros. Yes, it will take the right system for him to flourish, but I don't think anyone drafts him unless they see him working for their specific team, which is precisely why I have him at #17.

18 Go-up-md_small
PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Spencer Dinwiddie Colorado Jr. 21 PG/SG 6-6 205 29 40

Reasoning: Dinwiddie has been one of the greatest risers on my board, making his first appearance at #23 in late May, before rising to #20 in my guide, and now to #18. If it weren't for a torn ACL, he'd be a lottery pick, and rumors around the league indicate that Oklahoma City may draft him at #21. Maybe I'm not so crazy.

19 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Tyler Ennis Syracuse Fr. 19 PG 6-2 180 14 16

Reasoning: Since publishing my draft guide on June 12th, my feelings on have Tyler Ennis have soured a bit, but primarily because a handful of other players have grown on me. He was #14 earlier this month and now I've got him at #19. I still like what he brings as a reliable point general, but I'm not seeing the high upside that players like Dinwiddie, Payton, Smart, or even Harris can bring.

20 PLAYER Team AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
P.J. Hairston Texas Legends 21 SG 6-5 225 20 18

Reasoning: I really like what Hairston brings as a shooter, but he needs to add more to his game if he wants to stick in the league for a long time. Regardless, the man can sling it from long range and has flashed defensive potential.

21 PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Clint Capela Switzerland 20 PF/C 6-10 222 11 27

Reasoning: Capela has fantastic upside as a shot blocker and rebounder, but he might be a draft-and-stash unless placed into a situation that can allow him to work things out on the court. People criticize him for not being able to score off the post, but who really cares? All I care about is his ability to set screens, roll to the rim, and slam home dunks, and I think he'll develop that in time. What keeps him from a higher ranking is his rawness.

22 PLAYER COUNTRY AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Damien Inglis France 19 F 6-9 240 26 30

Reasoning: I look forward to seeing where Damien Inglis gets selected since I think he is far more talented than a comparable player like Jerami Grant. He's a fantastic defender, can defend two or three positions, and can already shoot it as one of the youngest players in the draft.

23 Go-up-md_small
PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Shabazz Napier UConn Sr. 22 PG 6-1 185 32 23

Reasoning: Napier might never be a full-time starter in the NBA, but he's an explosive scorer and should be able to provide a spark off the bench without being a total liability on defense.

24 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Adreian Payne Michigan St. Sr. 23 PF 6-10 239 19 22

Reasoning: I'm not nearly as high on Payne as I am other bigs in this year's class, and I think it's be a huge mistake to pick him in the lottery. However, I still love what he brings in his ability to shoot the ball and play with energy. But if I'm spending a lottery pick on a big, I want him to bring more than that and Payne doesn't since he struggles defensively and on the boards.

25 Go-up-md_small
PLAYER Country AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Bogdan Bogdanovic Serbia 21 SG 6-6 200 34 45

Reasoning: Bogdanovic has "San Antonio" written all over him. It's a cheap comparison, but he's like a poor man's Manu Ginobili.

26 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jordan Adams UCLA So. 19 SG 6-5 209 27 28

Reasoning: Adams isn't very athletic but does enough good things on both ends of the floor to warrant consideration as a first round pick. However, he'll need to improve his explosiveness if he wants to be anything more than a role player.

27 PLAYER COUNTRY AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Nikola Jokic Serbia 19 SG 6-11 253 42 31

Scouting report: Jokic does everything well, but his skills as a shooter are what give him the edge over some of the other late first round prospects. Even though his percentages are average, he has fantastic touch and pretty good form; I think he'll develop it at some point.

28 Red-go-down-md_small PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Zach LaVine UCLA Fr. 18 SG 6-5 180 31 14

Scouting report: How can you feel comfortable drafting Zach LaVine until the late first round considering the fact all he can do is shoot the ball at an average clip? He's an unbelievable athlete, but that's about it. He's a true project and should be looked at like many of the classic "draft-and-stash" players are: a huge gamble.

29 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Mitch McGary Michigan So. 22 C 6-10 255 24 25

Scouting report: It's easy to love Mitch McGary because of the hustle, grit, and attitude he pays with. He'll dive on the floor for loose balls and will seldom make mistakes, but his lack of upside as a defender and scorer limits him.

30 PLAYER SCHOOL YEAR AGE POS. HT. WT. DX ESPN
Jarnell Stokes Tennessee Jr. 20 C 6-9 263 25 26

Scouting report: Stokes will probably be drafted by a winning team and come in and make an impact right away. The things he does at a high level (rebound, hustle, finish at the rim) all translate to the NBA very well, especially because he has an unbelievable work ethic.

The Next Five

Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse: Grant has fantastic potential on the defensive end, but his stock is dropping for a reason: he doesn't do very much on offense and his jumper is a mess.

Rodney Hood, F, Duke: I know Hood can shoot the lights out, but he won't earn serious playing time unless he brings something else, and he doesn't rebound or defend. He's a pretty good passer, but his dribbling is very poor, so he won't be able to create space unless that improves.

Glenn Robinson III, F, Michigan: GR3 does everything well and could be one of the steals of this year's draft class. If it were a "normal" year, he'd be picked smack in the middle of the first round.

C.J. Wilcox, G, Washington: You've got to love his skills as a shooter, because he's already a pro at being able to create space without the ball in his hands. If he were a little younger, he'd be a mid first rounder.

James Young, F, Kentucky: Young has potential as a scorer but he needs to add more to his game, like some semblance of effort on the defensive end of the floor.

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