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Kevin O'Connor's 2014 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0

Streeter Lecka

Don't be fooled by the latest national media narrative that suggests the 2014 NBA draft will be ordinary. It's their fault they set the bar too high in the first place for freshmen like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle. There is no LeBron or Durant in this draft, but there are plenty of players who could possibly be the face of a franchise.

This draft also has a deep pool of 30 or 40 quality players; there are potentially a handful of stars, loads of starters, and an abundance of bench contributors. Plenty of these names will be forgotten in upcoming years, just like every draft, but the amount of talent runs deep.

There's nothing normal about that, because typical drafts don't have this much depth; that's why every NBA team should be ecstatic if they own multiple picks.

The Boston Celtics are in that exact position, since they're tied for the fifth worst record in the NBA, which gives them a 21.9 percent chance at a top three selection. They also own Brooklyn's first round pick, which would be 17th if the season ended today.

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

Joel Embiid Kansas Fr. 19 C 7-0 250 1 1

Scouting report: It could be argued that Joel Embiid is underrated despite all the talk about him being a lock for the top pick. Embiid averages 2.6 blocks per game, but his presence alone prevents many shots from ever occurring near the rim. With an enormous 7-foot-5 wingspan, Embiid is a force down low. Even though he's inexperienced, his offensive skill set has continued to progress throughout the year. It's a generous comparison, but his post game is reminiscent of the great Hakeem Olajuwon. To put it simply, Joel Embiid is a potential franchise-changer on both ends of the floor. However, Embiid has been battling through a lower back injury the past month and is currently in California to see a specialist. Kansas' coach Bill Self said the injury is "more significant than a strain," even though it's the type of pain that will go away with rest. Those comments should dismiss the thought that this could drop his value, but it's still concerning whenever a big man has lower back trouble.

Andrew Wiggins Kansas Fr. 19 SG/SF 6-8 200 2 2

Scouting report: Andrew Wiggins is coming off the greatest game of his collegiate career, with an assertive 41-point effort. He has an extremely fluid jumper and can hit shots from all around the court as a spot-up shooter or off the dribble. He's extraordinarily athletic, which makes many of his actions look effortless -- though he is still learning how to take advantage of his natural abilities. Even though Wiggins has a lightning quick first step, the primary concern with him is his ability to get to the basket. Despite his speed, he has a high dribble, which leads to sloppy drives. However, he occasionally shows flashes of stardom with quick spins and inside-out dribble moves, so the potential is there for him to solve his ball-handling weaknesses. Defensively, Wiggins' athleticism will someday put him in the conversation as an All-NBA defender. His length bothers ball-handlers, he can guard multiple positions due to his lateral quickness, and he attacks the boards with intensity.

Jabari Parker Duke Fr. 18 SF 6-8 235 3 3

Scouting report: There is little doubt that Jabari Parker will be a fantastic scorer in the NBA. He can score from the perimeter, on the drive, and from offensive boards. He's also exceptional after grabbing a defensive rebound, since he's able to motor the ball up the floor to create plays for himself and his teammates. Parker will turn 19 years old soon, but he has the offensive repertoire of a successful NBA veteran. The 6-foot-8 forward is currently a horrendous defender, but he hustles and occasionally blocks shots from the weak side. Once his technique improves, he should be fine, but right now it needs serious work.

Dante Exum Australia 18 PG/SG 6-6 190 5 4

Scouting report: Dante Exum is everyone's favorite mystery man in this year's draft. The native of Australia is a combo-guard, but his skills are better suited for point guard on the offensive end. Exum averaged only 3.8 assists per game in the FIBA U19 World Championship, but after reviewing the tape, it's clear that he should've had many more. He was able to consistently penetrate the paint and make accurate passes out to the perimeter, but his scrub teammates would either miss the shot or fumble the pass. With a raw outside jumper, Exum has work to do, but he reportedly has an incredible work ethic, and a Kobe-like killer instinct.

Noah Vonleh Indiana Fr. 18 PF 6-10 240 7 8

Scouting report: Noah Vonleh is blatantly misused in Indiana's system, which focuses entirely on scoring with its guards. However, Vonleh has still managed to raise his stock this season, averaging 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. His scoring is coming along more quickly than expected, which is headlined by an impressive, smooth outside jumper, alongside a raw post game. His defense is a total work in progress, but his long 7-foot-3 wingspan and speedy lateral quickness gives hope that he will someday be a great defender in the NBA, since most of his problems are mechanical. Noah dominates on the boards, and he will most certainly do the same in the pros. Vonleh isn't nearly as flashy as some of the other picks in the top ten, but he could be the safest, even though he's a project.

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Marcus Smart Oklahoma St. So. 20 PG/SG 6-4 220 6 6

Scouting report: At worst, Marcus Smart will be an unbelievable defender with an erratic offensive skill set. He can defend any guard in the country, thanks to his amazing lateral quickness. Smart has the "it factor," in that his instincts allow him to make many plays that others don't, whether it's a steal or a hustle play. Offensively, Smart's jumper leaves a lot to be desired. His form is inconsistent and the percentages haven't improved since last season. However, his performance as a pure point guard has developed, which is important since that is the position he'll likely play in the NBA. Put aside his unfortunate incident in February, because his intangibles as a leader are off the charts.

Aaron Gordon Arizona Fr. 18 SF/PF 6-9 225 8 7

Scouting report: Aaron Gordon says that he'd like to "be a more athletic Scottie Pippen," which is wishful thinking, but it's easy to see where he's coming from with that statement since he's a do-it-all player. Gordon's athleticism and intelligence has allowed him to be one of the top defenders in the nation as a freshman. Don't be tricked by his low block and steal totals, which are both less than one per game: He keeps his man away from the basket with his amazing lateral quickness, he plays well off-ball, and he appears to be accurate in his rotations. Where Gordon actually struggles is the offensive end. He'd make Shaq proud with his 44.7 free throw shooting percentage, but it's hard to understand why it's so poor. He has a slight hitch in his shot, but it's not clunky looking -- just the result is. Maybe it's all in his head, but in any case, he must improve or he's destined to be a scoring liability.

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K.J McDaniels Clemson Jr. 21 SG/SF 6-6 200 22 18

Scouting report: "Who?" I know that's what you asked. K.J. McDaniels is a 6-foot-6 wing from Clemson, and he's one of the best two-way players in the NCAA. McDaniels will most certainly be an elite defender in the NBA, since he can shutdown guards and most small forwards. He's averaging 2.8 blocks per game because of his natural instinct to block shots from the weak side. He fights for rebounds and loose balls, which makes him the type of player any team could utilize. Offensively, McDaniels mostly just needs to increase his agility. He has a high dribble, so some of his driving moves won't fly in the NBA; and from the perimeter, his jump shot inconsistencies are due to his inability to get an attempt off quickly. Despite these weaknesses, he'll be able to treat fans with Gerald Green-like alley oop slams from day one in the NBA.

Gary Harris Michigan St. So. 19 SG 6-4 210 19 11

Scouting report: Gary Harris is one of the grittiest players in college basketball by displaying heart, hustle, and determination on a night-in, night-out basis. Harris' 2.0 steals per game doesn't do his defense justice, since he's able to contain penetration with his quick feet and bother ball-handlers with his swift hands. His off-ball defense is also superb since he consistently communicates with his teammates and makes the proper rotations. Harris is a threat in transition because of his speed and ability to finish strong at the rim, but he must improve his half court efficiency. Even though he's an underrated facilitator, he needs to become a more productive mid-range shooter. At 6-foot-4, Harris' height is the only aspect of his game holding him back from a higher ranking.

Tyler Ennis Syracuse Fr. 19 PG 6-2 180 14 9

Scouting report: The past couple of weeks haven't been kind to Syracuse, but Tyler Ennis' struggles can't take all of the blame. Ennis has proven to be a consummate point guard who elevates the play of his teammates. He has tremendous court vision and doesn't turn the ball over very often, which explains his excellent 3.2 assist/turnover ratio. Ennis is the best in the nation at initiating the half court offense, which is a crucial skill to have as he makes the jump to the pros. He can also shoot the ball, with a 37.1 three-point percentage this season. Ennis doesn't posses physical skills that pop off the page, but he is a very good team defender.

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Julius Randle Kentucky Fr. 19 PF 6-9 250 4 4

Scouting report: Julius Randle was the most overhyped freshman coming out of high school, which has become obvious as the season has progressed. Randle is a great rebounder, averaging 10.5 per game, but it's also where a bulk of his points come from. But he probably won't be able to swallow up rebounds in the NBA like he does in college, since his short arms will hinder him, and he won't be able to outmuscle every other big. He's also a substandard team defender, often leaving opponents open because of missed rotations. Randle has the tools to become a quality mid-range jump shooter, which is a necessity for him to have success in the pros. He's still ranked highly because of his ability to bulldoze his way to the rim to score and rebound the ball, but he will be one of the riskiest lottery picks.

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P.J. Hairston Texas Legends 21 SG 6-5 225 21 21

Scouting report: Poor North Carolina, they probably would've been ranked in the top five had P.J. Hairston not been jettisoned to the D-League. Hairston has judgment problems (speeding, marijuana), but he has reportedly been a model citizen since signing with the Texas Legends. There, he's making scouts drool, averaging 21.2 points per game. But Hairston does it like an NBA player, not like a D-Leaguer, since he averages only 15.1 attempts per game. He's a wonderful half court scorer because of his proficiency at creating space with the dribble, which bodes well for his potential in the pros.

Nik Stauskas Michigan So. 20 SG 6-6 205 16 16

Scouting report: Believe it or not, Nik Stauskas is one of the best all-around offensive players in the nation. The 6-foot-6 sophomore has an explosive 65.6 true shooting percentage while averaging 17.4 points per game, and he's a very good ball-handler, which automatically makes him a piece any team can plug into their offense. His three-pointer is flawless -- it's pretty clear that he has spent hours in the gym practicing his footwork. If he reaches his immense upside, he could be a player that can provide instant offense in a number of different ways. He's not a very good defender, but he's smart, so he won't miss any rotations. Plus he's a proven hard-worker, since he added 16 pounds of muscle this past summer.

T.J. Warren N.C. State So. 20 SF/PF 6-8 215 17 36

Scouting report: T.J. Warren is a very interesting player because nearly half of his points come from mid-range, even though he averages a remarkable 24.8 points per game. He's not a spectacular three-point shooter because of some flaws in his form, and he can't always get all the way to the rim, since he lacks advanced dribble moves. Despite those two weaknesses, he knows how to stay in control and create space by changing speeds and using his body, which is why he's such a productive scorer. Warren has arguably the best touch out of any prospect in this class, which he shows off with fantastic his step-back jumpers, runners, and floaters. If Warren wants to become a top scorer in the NBA, he'll have to work on his perimeter jumper, but he is no doubt intriguing for his scoring abilities.

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Rodney Hood Duke So. 21 SF 6-8 215 15 13

Scouting report: Rodney Hood answered some of the concerns I had about him by taking his game to another level the past few weeks. He has begun to prove that he can penetrate with the dribble and score from mid-range. His dribble is still high, but his size and length should allow him to have some success driving in the NBA. But it's his three-point shooting that should have teams excited, since he has picture-perfect form no matter the situation. His defense must improve, especially when facing quicker faster opponents, but the tools are there for him to be very productive.

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Doug McDermott Creighton Sr. 22 SF/PF 6-8 225 10 14

Scouting report: On Saturday, Doug McDermott became only the eighth player in NCAA basketball history to reach 3,000 career points. He has been a dominant scorer for four straight seasons, especially from three-point range. His form is immaculate, so his floor is that of a knockdown-shooting specialist. But unlike the Steve Novaks of the world, he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and score in the paint. He won't be able to 'get buckets' at will like he does in college, but he can find the blue sky to get the ball in the rim. He also possesses a gorgeous mid-range skill set, with a Dirk Nowitzki one-foot fadeaway. McDermott is a lousy man-to-man defender, but he'll never miss a rotation, and he always communicates, which is important to have on any team.

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Jusuf Nurkic Bosnia 19 PF/C 6-11 280 11 27

Scouting report: Jusuf Nurkic is 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, but he has extremely quick feet for a player of his size. He has shown the potential of a terrific pick and roll defender because of his ability to step up and create disruption away from the basket. But like most 19-year-old big men, Nurkic is prone to fouls when protecting the rim, by jumping at subtle pump fakes or reaching by in on ball-handlers. This shoddy decision-making also hurts him on the offensive end, where he makes careless passes out of the post. However, these issues can be resolved with experience, because the tools are there for him to be a productive all-around player. He shows a very soft scoring touch in the half court, both as a shooter and on the post. He also uses this strength to his advantage, which will help him when he's matched up against NBA players.

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Montrezl Harrell Louisville So. 20 PF 6-8 235 18 22

Scouting report: Montrezl Harrell is the definition of passion. He plays with maximum effort every possession -- seriously, he never takes a play off. This hustle has rewarded Harrell with the best stretch of his collegiate career in the past five games. In those contests, four of them against top 25 opponents, he averaged 21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. Harrell will be a high-energy role player in the NBA, but he's beginning to show the signs of a potential starter in the mold of a Kenneth Faried. But unlike Faried, Harrell plays stout defense, which makes him even more desirable.

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Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky So. 20 C 7-0 245 12 23

Scouting report: Watch Willie Cauley-Stein for 10 minutes and you'll think he's the next great rim protector in the NBA, but a few moments later, you'll slam your fists on the table and shout, "this guy is just another Fab Melo!" The chances are he'll be nothing like Fab, since Willie has unbelievable foot speed, but he does make plays that leave you scratching your head. Defending the pick and roll, he sometimes gets caught in no man's land, which opens up the door for easy attempts near the basket. But this is a fundamental problem, not a physical issue. He's one of the best athletes in the draft, so it seems his problems on defense can be resolved with coaching. His offense is another story: He's a 48.7 percent free throw shooter (a respectable "achievement" considering he shot 37.2 last year), and is limited to shots near the rim. He has no skills from the perimeter, which means all of his scoring will come from transition, alley oops, or the pick and roll. If Cauley-Stein becomes a quality player in the NBA, it'll be because of his defense.

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Kyle Anderson UCLA So. 20 SF/PG 6-9 230 25 31

Scouting report: It took awhile, but Kyle Anderson is growing on me. He's nicknamed "Slow-Mo" because he lacks quicks and athleticism -- in fact, it looks like he's playing 1960s-era basketball. If Kyrie Irving's "Uncle Drew" were a real player, he'd be Kyle Anderson. Enough with the jokes: It's actually remarkable to watch Anderson play since he makes up for his slowness with size and shrewdness. At 6-foot-9, with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Anderson possesses ideal length, but he is more like a point forward. He has elite ball-handling skills, which leads to plays for his teammates, but his lack of speed will hinder his own scoring abilities in the NBA. But he'll make up for it with his shooting stroke -- he's drilling three-pointers at a 48 percent clip this season.

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Jerami Grant Syracuse So. 19 SF 6-8 210 20 15

Scouting report: Syracuse's vaunted zone defense makes some players look better defensively than they actually are, but that's not the case with Jerami Grant. The 6-foot-8 sophomore isn't able to showcase his outstanding athleticism by defending on the perimeter or in man-to-man situations because he's always in zone. Instead, scouts must look solely at his imposing physical tools, including his long 7-foot-3 wingspan. With that said, Grant should be able to defend at a high level in the NBA because of his unique combination of speed and athleticism. But his offense may hold him back from ever becoming a great two-way player, since he is a subpar jump shooter and ball-handler. For baskets, he is reliant on transition plays, dunks, or post ups on the low box.

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Elfrid Payton La Lafayette Jr. 20 PG 6-3 190 36 55

Scouting report: Elfrid Payton was a complete unknown before the FIBA U19 World Championship this past summer, but there he made a name for himself as legitimately talented point guard. He followed his admirable U19 performance with the best season of his collegiate career, averaging 19.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. Payton is a creative ball-handler with terrific court vision, but his feeble teammates stifle his assist totals. Payton is an atrocious jump shooter (23.5% from mid-range and 25% from three), but his mechanics aren't too worrisome. Such is the case with many players, since it may take a slight adjustment and additional practice for him to improve. Payton makes his mark on defense, where his long arms and high basketball IQ put him into position for steals on and off-ball. But his must slap some muscle onto his lanky frame or he'll screeners in the NBA like they're a stonewall. If you're thinking, "hey, he sounds like a rookie version of Rajon Rondo," it's because you're right. Elfrid Payton has the tools and athleticism to potentially turn into a similar player, but he hasn't proven himself against top competition nearly enough to warrant the full comparison.

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

Scouting report: Dario Saric presents a unique combination of skills, which is highlighted by his natural feel for the game. Despite standing at 6-foot-10, Saric is a point forward. He's a skilled ball-handler and does a sensational job of scanning the floor to create plays for his teammates. However, many of the things he does well in Europe may not work in the NBA. He's not very speedy, so athletic defenders will be able to keep him from penetrating the lane. The problem there is that he has yet to develop a reliable outside jumper. He has absolutely perfect form when pulling up or spotting up from outside, but the results haven't been promising. This year he's shooting only 30.1 percent from three, which isn't much of an improvement from the past few seasons. The talent is there, but it might take some proper coaching to help him reach it.

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Adreian Payne Michigan St. Sr. 23 PF 6-10 245 23 25

Scouting report: Adreian Payne is a well-seasoned college big man who should make an immediate impact on an NBA roster. He can score off of alley oops, dump offs, on the post, and from mid-range with his smooth jumper. Payne has role-player written all over him, not just because of his scoring, but also because of his leadership and hustle. He makes his teammates better whenever he's on the floor. However, Payne will likely never be a full-time starter because his rebounding leaves a lot to be desired. He's aggressive on the boards, but he has a career high of only 7.6 rebounds per game.

Clint Capela Switzerland 19 PF/C 6-10 210 13 19

Scouting report: If you like tall centers who can throw down explosive dunks, Clint Capela is your man. He's 19-years-old and currently playing in the France's Pro A league. There, he's making a case that he deserves to be drafted in the first round by showcasing his athleticism, rebounding, and finishing abilities. Most promising about Capela is his ability to speed up the court on the fast break, and then elevate like a rocket ship before powering down slam-dunks. If he's able to hone in on these skills and apply it to his defense and rebounding, he will no doubt have a long career as a complimentary role player in the NBA.

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James Young Kentucky Fr. 18 SG/SF 6-6 215 24 12

Scouting report: James Young has been infuriating with his inconsistencies, so I have been forced to drop him significantly on my board. It's hard to tell if he's actually ready for the NBA, especially after viewing games like his 1-for-11 performance against Alabama. His defense has also slipped the past month, so he could get exposed if he makes the jump to the NBA. The talent is there for Young to make a J.R. Smith type of impact (without the headache), but he needs to become more productive with his right hand, in addition to fixing his jump shot consistency.

R.J. Hunter Georgia St. So. 20 SG 6-5 185 54 NR

Scouting report: All R.J. Hunter does is shoot threes. No, seriously, 229 of his 369 total attempts this season have come from behind the arc, and he's hitting them at a high rate of 40.2 percent. Hunter can drill shots from anywhere, no matter how he does it, whether he's coming off the dribble, a screen, in transition, or spotting up. Hunter's ability to drain shots in addition to his long 6-foot-10 wingspan should make him an intriguing option for NBA general managers searching for a specialist player.

Glenn Robinson III Michigan So. 20 SF 6-6 220 43 39

Scouting report: "GR3" has seen his stock plummet this season after being dubbed a lottery pick before the 2013 draft. Nearly all of his averages have fallen even though he was expected to be the man this season. It's a shame, but that doesn't mean Robinson still doesn't have potential. He's one of the more athletic players in the nation, so there's a possibility he could be an impressive two-way player. Even though he's a 27.3 percent three-point shooter, his mechanics are still passable. Maybe Glenn Robinson III is just a late bloomer and someday he'll be viewed as the steal of the draft.

Sam Dekker Wisconsin So. 19 SF 6-8 220 27 26

Scouting report: Sam Dekker hasn't made the jump this season that many people expected him to, but he has still had been a great player for the Badgers. Despite a horrible mid-season slump, Dekker is still shooting 33.3 percent from three, and he could see that average rise in a more spread NBA-style game. But Dekker's not just a specialist, because he has the athleticism to go sky-high for dunks in transition and the half court. In college, he has success driving to the goal, but his high dribble may prevent him from doing that in the pros. Dekker isn't a great defender fundamentally, but his hustle and huge 7-foot-3 wingspan will make him an adequate one at the next level.

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Zach LaVine UCLA Fr. 18 SG 6-5 180 34 17

Scouting report: If there's one player a contending team can afford to take a risk on, it's Zach LaVine. He can be stashed in the D-League for a year or two as he develops his skills, which might be the best-case scenario for him. LaVine is raw, but possesses unbelievable athleticism along with a slick three-point jumper. Anytime a young 6-foot-5 combo-guard has those tools, you've got to pay a little bit of attention. He has flashed his potential at times this year, yet he has looked like a scrub in other games, like his most recent 0-for-8 performance. Any team that drafts LaVine is selecting someone with a high "bust" probability, but the upside is there.

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

Edition 1: Feb 3 | Edition 2: Mar 10 | Edition 3: Coming Late March

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