This is the second in a five part series in which I analyze the 2014 NBA Draft by position. As a source I used DraftExpress's mock draft and for statistics I used both DraftExpress and Sports-Reference. All statistics used are for the prior college basketball season. Because of the lack of advanced statistic information and difference in playstyle for international leagues, I have only included NCAA players in this analysis. For information such as player position, school, height, etc. please click on the player's name and it will take you to their DraftExpress page with all that information.
Last season, the new management of the Kings made Shooting Guard Ben McLemore their first pick of the post-Petrie era. McLemore had slipped precariously in the draft, from a possible top-3 selection all the way to the Kings at 7. Sacramento was thrilled to get one of the more athletic, pure shooters in the draft.
Of course, McLemore's rookie season was rough by any definition of the word. Thrust into a heavy role early on due to the struggles of Sacramento's other shooting guards and the decision to not re-sign Tyreke Evans, McLemore failed to live up to many fans' expectations.
The Kings are still incredibly high on McLemore despite the rocky start to his career, but right now McLemore is the only Shooting Guard on the entire roster. Getting more help there wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, especially with Sacramento's big need for both extra ballhandlers and shooters.
|Gary Harris||So.||32.3||16.7||.429||.352 (81/230)||.810||4.0||2.7||1.8||0.4||1.7||2.1|
|Nik Stauskas||So.||35.6||17.5||.470||.442 (92/208)||.824||2.9||3.3||0.6||0.3||1.9||1.3|
|Jordan Adams||So.||30.1||17.4||.485||.356 (52/146)||.836||5.3||2.3||2.6||0.1||1.5||2.2|
|Zach LaVine||Fr.||24.4||9.4||.441||.375 (48/128)||.691||2.5||1.8||0.9||0.2||1.1||2|
|Spencer Dinwiddie||Jr.||31.1||14.7||.466||.413 (26/63)||.857||3.1||3.8||1.5||0.2||1.8||1.9|
|C.J. Wilcox||Sr.||34.9||18.3||.453||.391 (90/230)||.873||3.7||2.5||1.0||1.0||1.7||2.3|
|Jabari Brown||Jr.||37.0||19.9||.466||.410 (80/195)||.797||4.4||1.9||0.6||0.1||2.3||1.6|
|Devyn Marble||Sr.||30.2||17.0||.420||.349 (1.6/4.5)||.714||3.2||3.6||1.8||0.2||1.7||1.9|
|Nick Johnson||Jr.||33.1||16.3||.432||.367 (62/169)||.781||4.1||2.8||1.1||0.7||1.7||2|
|Markel Brown||Sr.||35.3||17.2||.473||.379 (55/145)||.768||5.3||2.9||1.0||1.0||1.6||2.5|
This year's bunch of Shooting Guards doesn't do much to excite me but there are still some good players here. The two big names of course are Gary Harris and Nik Stauskas, who are the two players that are most consistently projected as being drafted in the lottery.
Harris is widely considered one of the better defenders at his position and we see that he has one of the lower defensive ratings and higher steal rates among the group. He measured out at only 6'4.5" at combine, so he'll be undersized for a SG in the NBA, but we've seen players that are undersized still manage to be good defenders in the NBA. Offensively, Harris is more of a mixed bag. With his really high number of 3PA and low Free Throw Attempt Rate, it's clear he relies heavily on his jumper, which is respectable but not great. His 3P% dipped from 41% to just 35% year to year as he took on a bigger role in Michigan State's offense this season.
Stauskas is almost the opposite player of Harris. He's got very good size for a SG (6'6.5"), but is one of the lesser defenders of this group. Only Jabari Brown and C.J. Wilcox have higher defensive ratings, and high is bad there. Offensively though, he's one of the most well rounded players in the entire draft. The only better shooter is Doug McDermott, and Stauskas did a lot of his damage with teams focusing on him as Michigan's primary offensive threat. The fact that Stauskas has an excellent Free Throw Attempt rate of .518 also shows that he's able to attack the basket and draw contact. He's a better ballhandler and distributor than Harris as well, and only Dinwiddie and Marble have higher assist rates. His assist rate is actually a bit surprising given that in his Freshman year it was just 7.6%.
After Harris and Stauskas, we wade into more risky territory. Jordan Adams, like most of UCLA's prospects this year, is an interesting player. Adams is undersized like Harris, but has a huge wingspan of 6'10". He posted some of the worst athletic numbers at the draft combine, with a max vertical of just 29.5", and that hurt his stock a bit, but he's immensely talented. He is one of the best per-minute scorers in the entire draft, and is able to do a little bit of everything. Defensively, he's hurt by his lack of quickness, but he uses his wingspan and skills to pickpocket the ball, and his 5.0% steal rate is phenomenal. He's also the best Shooting Guard on the boards, especially on the offensive end where his 7.5% number is one that's usually only seen among Forwards.
Then there's his teammate Zach LaVine, who is to Adams what Stauskas is to Harris. LaVine is ALL about the athleticism. You've of course heard about his eye-popping 46" vertical that he posted at a workout with the Lakers. He's also the only freshman Shooting Guard in the draft. LaVine's athleticism is certainly intriguing, but he hasn't really proved he can do anything yet. He isn't a good defender, he doesn't get to the line much and doesn't pass as well as most of the other Shooting Guards. One thing he does have going for him is that he did shoot a good percentage from three on a healthy amount of attempts. If that can translate in the NBA, he'll have a much better chance of realizing some of his potential.
Spencer Dinwiddie is one of my favorite prospects of this group. When I first compiled these numbers, his numbers jumped off the page at me. Here was a guy who could pass and notably, was freakishly good at getting to the line. His .908 Free Throw Attempt rate is insane, a number you don't see from most big men. Of course, these numbers face the big stipulation of small sample size, as Dinwiddie played just 17 games last season due to an ACL injury that cut his season short. So I went back and looked at his previous years as well. The high free throw attempts were not a fluke, as he had a FTR of .766 his sophomore year as well. He mainly played PG at Colorado, but in the NBA he'll likely be a ballhandling SG. He also will need to continue working on his outside shot. He hit 41% last year but on just 63 attempts. His sophomore year he was at a much lower 33.8%. Dinwiddie would likely be a first round pick if his ACL injury hadn't happened, but as it is he'll probably be available in the second round, and could be a very solid pickup for the Kings if they can get a pick in his range.
One more prospect that I like is Nick Johnson of Arizona, mainly because of his defensive tenacity, although he can score as well. The main problem with Johnson is that he's undersized at just 6'3" and isn't a prolific ballhandler, so a transition to PG might be difficult in the NBA.
Coming Tomorrow: Small Forwards