2014 NBA draft Big Board 8.0
Latter half of board sees major movement, including several rising Europeans
The men's NCAA season ended on Monday night and the Connecticut Huskies are the national champions.
A lot has happened since our previous Big Board update, which was in February. NBA draft stock has risen and fallen thanks to a number of factors such as injuries, conference play, and performance in the NCAA tournament.
With the season over, teams have a bit of a draft lull. The Nike Hoop Summit is this weekend and we will get a good look at one guy on our Big Board, Clint Capela.
The Portsmouth Invitational is next week, though it's rare for anyone on our Big Board to attend the seniors-only tournament. So for most of these players, it's off to train in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York until the NBA draft combine in mid-May in Chicago.
Until then, here's our eighth Big Board of the 2014 NBA draft.
Wiggins began the season atop our Big Board and he ends the college season in the same spot. He has had his ups and downs and struggled at times to live up to huge expectations. He has weaknesses that need to be improved, but in talking to numerous general managers and scouts, he's atop at least 60 percent of the big boards in the NBA at the moment and looks like he would be the top pick for five of the six teams with the worst records in the league.
If Parker declares (and it's still an "if" right now), he will carry the label as the most NBA-ready freshman -- maybe even the most NBA-ready of anyone -- in the draft. But teams want huge upside as well this high in the draft, and while Parker is the most likely to come out and win rookie of the year honors, the fear is that his ceiling isn't as high as either Wiggins' or Joel Embiid's. A few teams are still leaning his direction with the No. 1 pick, but other than the Jazz, the rest are long shots. It will be interesting to see if his stock rises if he can get in great shape before the combine. That's one of the biggest knocks on him right now.
How's the back? That's the biggest question surrounding Embiid right now. The second biggest question: Will he declare? The early word was that he was leaning toward leaving KU, but his hesitation since then has raised some eyebrows. If his back checks out at the combine, he'll again be in the discussion for the No. 1 pick. If it's something small, he might drop a few spots. If teams believe he requires surgery at some point, he could really slide. So for now, it's safe to say Embiid will be the biggest question mark in the draft for the next month.
To see the rest of Chad Ford's updated Big Board of the top NBA draft prospects, sign up to become an ESPN Insider.
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