2014 NBA draft Big Board 3.0
Parker, Vonleh, Harris and Hood climb Chad Ford's updated rankings
The top of our Big Board is holding pretty steady.
All of the freshman prodigies -- Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker -- are looking worthy of the No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft. Scouts can't watch Australian prospect Dante Exum right now, but he played like a potential No. 1 pick this summer.
Having four players worthy of the No. 1 pick is enough to make this an epic draft. But it's not stopping there.
Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart made his case last week with a stellar 39-point performance against Memphis. Kansas' Joel Embiid had a breakout performance against Iona. Arizona's Aaron Gordon has been terrific. Even Dario Saric has been playing great over in Croatia.
In short, the team that wins the lottery isn't going to be the only winner in this year's draft. Anyone selecting in the top eight might have reason to celebrate.
With that said, here's our third Big Board for the 2014 NBA draft.
Wiggins isn't putting up the insane numbers Randle and Parker are night in and night out, but scouts continue to be excited about the Kansas freshman. Not only is Wiggins playing an efficient game across the board but he's the only one of the top three really playing defense right now. Concern over his lack of competitiveness that arose this fall seems to be overblown. Although Wiggins is the rawest of the three top prospects, he also has the biggest upside -- and that keeps him atop our board for now.
Randle continues to be a double-double machine. He has logged one in all six games this season and is averaging an impressive 13.7 rebounds per game. He also has proved to be a foul magnet, averaging nearly 11 free throws a game this season for Kentucky. In short, he's been a beast in the paint. Although both of those numbers are impressive, scouts want to see more from his post game than just power. Randle has it, but he hasn't shown it off the way his talent suggests he could.
Wiggins and Randle might get most of the buzz, but it's Parker who is making a strong push for college player of the year. He might be the most well-rounded freshman forward since Carmelo Anthony. Like Anthony, there's a belief that his play alone could deliver Duke a national title. Although best college player doesn't always mean best NBA prospect, in Parker's case, it just might.
To see the rest of Chad Ford's Big Board of the top 30 prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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