By the numbers: 2014 Rookie Center Prospects

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This is the final part in a five part series in which I analyze the 2014 NBA Draft by position.

This is the fifth and final part of 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.

The Sacramento Kings already have a star Center in DeMarcus Cousins.  The need for another one isn't great unless you can get one that would complement Cousins and allow him to slide to the four.

Much like the Power Forward position, the biggest needs the Kings would need from a Center is rim protecting and/or an outside shot.

Basic Stats:

Name Class MPG PPG FG% 3P% FT% TRB APG STL BLK TOV PF
Joel Embiid Fr. 23.1 11.2 .626 .200 (1/5) .685 8.1 1.4 0.9 2.6 2.4 3.4
Mitch McGary So. 24.8 9.5 .545 .000 (0/2) .667 8.3 1.5 1.9 0.8 1.6 3.1
Isaiah Austin So. 28.0 11.2 .449 .277 (18/65) .679 5.5 1.4 0.4 3.1 1.8 2.4
Johnny O'Bryant Jr. 30.0 15.4 .494 .333 (1/3) .634 7.7 1.6 0.5 0.9 4.2 4.2
Jordan Bachynski Sr. 30.9 11.5 .545 .000 (0/0) .693 8.2 0.5 0.4 4.0 1.5 3
Alec Brown Sr. 30.3 15.3 .476 .420 (42/100) .727 5.7 1.0 0.5 3.1 2.2 2.2
Alex Kirk Sr. 32.0 13.3 .490 .214 (12/56) .667 8.7 1.1 0.4 2.7 1.8 2.6
Sim Bhullar So. 26.3 10.4 .648 .000 (0/0) .538 7.8 1.4 0.1 3.4 2.1 2.8
Cameron Bairstow Sr. 32.9 20.4 .556 .333 (1/3) .735 7.4 1.6 0.6 1.5 2.0 2.1
Richard Solomon Sr. 29.2 11.0 .543 .000 (0/0) .530 10.2 1.3 1.1 1.3 1.8 2.9
Shayne Whittington Sr. 31.8 16.1 .527 .182 (6/33) .770 8.9 1.1 0.8 1.5 1.9 2.4

Advanced Stats:

Name PER TS% FTR ORB% DRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg Team SoS
Joel Embiid 28.2 .655 .836 12.7% 27.3% 11.5% 2.3% 11.7% 21.6% 23.4% 116.9 90.9 1st
Mitch McGary 26.2 .572 .436 15.5% 27.1% 12.6% 4.9% 3.2% 16.4% 22.5% 116.3 91.3 4th
Isaiah Austin 20.2 .513 .400 9.1% 13.6% 10.3% 1.0% 11.8% 14.4% 23.5% 107.8 102.1 8th
Johnny O'Bryant 18.7 .526 .455 10.8% 16.6% 11.5% 1.0% 2.9% 17.8% 28.5% 101.1 102.7 50th
Jordan Bachynski 21.7 .590 .668 8.2% 20.8% 3.4% 0.7% 12.3% 13.0% 18.7% 115 92.8 54th
Alec Brown 22.7 .569 .349 8.5% 12.8% 7.0% 1.0% 10.9% 13.8% 26.2% 110.2 95.1 145th
Alex Kirk 20.7 .536 .365 8.9% 21.1% 7.5% 0.7% 8.8% 12.6% 23.2% 107.7 95.8 91st
Sim Bhullar 24.5 .630 .606 12.9% 20.8% 11.0% 0.2% 11.2% 20.2% 20.0% 115.1 94.5 220th
Cameron Bairstow 29.0 .611 .700 8.5% 16.5% 11.8% 1.0% 4.9% 10.7% 29.9% 122.9 99.6 91st
Richard Solomon 21.6 .547 .657 11.3% 28.4% 8.8% 2.3% 4.4% 15.2% 21.2% 107.9 95.2 53rd
Shayne Whittington 25.5 .581 .426 9.8% 22.6% 8.8% 1.5% 5.5% 11.9% 25.9% 117.1 96.3 217th

Analysis:

This year's Center class, at least among NCAA prospects, isn't that great.  Despite that, this group might contain the very best player in the draft and a potential future NBA star in Joel Embiid.

I didn't put any hope into the Kings moving up in the draft, which saddened me because the prospect of Embiid and Cousins together on the same team made me salivate.  In Embiid you have a guy who many projected as a big time project because of his inexperience (he only started playing basketball a few years ago), but still managed to make a big impact in his lone year at Kansas.  He was an excellent and efficient per minute scorer, with the second highest overall FG% in the draft.  He's also phenomenal on both the offensive and defensive glass.  He's shown good passing instincts, but is still a bit turnover prone, and that comes with the inexperience.  Few players in the draft are better shotblockers.  Embiid has the potential to be a force on both ends of the court.

After Embiid, the quality of player drops off dramatically at this position.  Mitch McGary and Isaiah Austin are probably the only guys left that would be considered in the first round, and even they may not.  McGary is a workhorse big man who excels at rebounding and also has a very impressive steal rate for a big man at 4.9%, although he isn't much of a shotblocker.  He's never going to be a guy that will take over a game, but he can be a guy that can change a game thanks to his effort and general unselfishness on both ends.

Isaiah Austin is interesting because he's a shotblocking big man who can also step out and shoot a little bit.  Unfortunately he doesn't shoot particularly well with just 27.7% of his three point attempts going in.  He is blind in one eye, and despite the awesome story it is that he can play despite that disadvantage, it remains a disadvantage nonetheless.  He's also the worst rebounding center of this group, as well as one of the physically weakest, with one of his primary weaknesses in college being bullied around by stronger players.

After those three there aren't any guys I would really go out of my way to draft.  Sim Bhullar is notable in that he's 7'5 and 360 pounds and could end up being the first player of Indian descent in the NBA, so there's that obvious connection there, but he also failed to really shine while playing against terrible competition.  His size also makes him really slow, and that's a problem at the next level unless you are unstoppable on one or both ends of the floor.

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