<
>
Insider

2014 recruits with most NBA potential

8/15/2013
Tyus Jones, left, and Emmanuel Mudiay are the top two point guard recruits in the Class of 2014 and both project to be stars in college. Mudiay, however, has a much higher NBA ceiling. Icon SMI, Courtesy of Andrew Shurtleff

Let me begin by saying how much I love watching Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) run a team. He’s the consummate pass-first point guard who makes all of the correct decisions and knows exactly what he has to do in order to lead his team to a victory. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jones, ranked the No. 1 point guard in the 2014 ESPN 100, lead whatever college program he chooses to a national championship.

However, I’m worried that his game doesn’t quite translate to the NBA level. Will Jones be a terrific floor leader in college? Absolutely, especially if he goes to a program where he is surrounded by numerous offensive weapons.

But I see too much D.J. Augustin in him down the road, and that’s no knock on Jones or Augustin, who is a competent NBA backup point guard. The issues for me -- and also several NBA scouts I have spoken to who have had a chance to watch Jones on multiple occasions -- have to do with Jones’ size (6-foot-1, 171 pounds), lack of explosiveness and athleticism, and a mediocre perimeter shot.

“I think he’s probably a guy that will wind up getting drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round,” one veteran NBA scout told me in July. “But I just don’t see it at our level. I think he’s a career backup.”

That said, there are plenty of prospects in the 2014 high school class with huge NBA upside. Let’s take a look at 10 recruits in the class who have the most NBA potential.

1. Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity)

He’s a legit 6-11, 225 pounds, is extremely skilled and has just started to come into his own. The Dallas native has a size-21 shoe, can step out and make shots and is also able to score in the post. NBA guys love length and potential, and Turner possesses both. Turner, who could become a LaMarcus Aldridge-type down the road, has a final eight of Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona and Ohio State.