2014 NBA Draft: Five potential late first-round steals
The top players in the 2014 draft get most of the attention. However, there's plenty of talent to go around in the latter part of the opening round. We list five potential first-round steals.
Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid dominate headlines of the 2014 NBA Draft, but there's plenty of other quality players beyond that trio. Here are five potential late first-round steals for Thursday night's NBA Draft.
Shabazz Napier, UConn: There's a good chance Napier won't be on the board late in the first round, but if he is it's found money for the NBA franchise that scoops him up. A lethal pick-and-roll point guard, the Boston native takes and makes big shots all while exuding confidence. Napier also led UConn in rebounding most of the season despite barely standing 6-foot-1. He has the goods and, unlike other potential prospects who are being tagged with "upside" or "potential," he's already proved it on the biggest collelgiate stage.
K.J. McDaniels, Clemson: If McDaniels played for a higher profile program, he'd be talked about as a potential lottery pick -- he's that good. The 6-6 wing blocked close to three shots per game last season (2.8) and is a capable rebounder (7.1) and scorer (17.1). Blessed with the athletic ability to defend up to four positions, McDaniels could emerge as a solid NBA piece if he's paired with a point guard who can get him baskets. A high-level athlete, McDaniels comes from the same mold as Jeffery Taylor or Richard Jefferson.
C.J. Wilcox, Washington: Danny Green's emergence with the Spurs is proof shooters like Wilcox can excel at the next level if they find the right situation. Like Green, Wilcox is a consistently accurate outside threat. The 6-5 guard never shot less than 36.6 percent from long-distance during his four-year college career and made 90 3s last season. This is an NBA-ready shot maker.
Jerami Grant, Syracuse: Athletic forwards always have a place in the NBA and Grant fits that bill. Only 20 years old, the 6-8 wing is a reliable jump shot away from being a major problem for opposing teams to defend. After only making six three-point shots during his two-year career at Syracuse including none last season, Grant will have to recalibrate his perimeter game to be a real NBA factor. Still, the Maryland native can defend multiple positions, rebound the ball, and be lethal in transition. Think another Darius Miles.
Jordan Adams, UCLA: The 6-5 guard isn't getting the same buzz entering the draft as college teammates Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine, but people who've followed Adams the past two years know he's the real deal. Armed with an unbelievable IQ and incredibly long arms which make him a pest on defense, this wing is one of the more underrated two-way prospects. Adams also ranked among the draft's top five prospects last week when a franchise broke everything down via analytics. There's more here than what meets the eye.
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