The NBA as viewed by 4 Aussies, with the latest news, reviews and opinions

2014 NBA Draft Review

What a night! Wiggins went #1, two Aussies got picked and Patric Young finds himself without a team. Let’s delve into the happenings of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Pick 1: Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Kansas.
This is an excellent selection for the Cavs. Luol Deng is likely to leave Cleveland this summer and Wiggins is the safest pick and the best fit for this team. With Irving and Waiters needing a lot of the ball in the backcourt, Parker would’ve been taking some of this ball off of them. Wiggins on the other hand, will provide them some stern defence on the wings as well as an offensive game with plenty of time to develop. Unparalleled athlete, he looks like a future star.

Fit With Team: 10/10

Winners or Losers? Winners for sure. Cleveland made the right choice.


Pick 2: Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke.

If Jabari was still on the board, the Bucks were going to take him, it’s as simple as that. This guy will come into a struggling Bucks outfit and will immediately be the go-to scorer. It seems as if the Bucks will play a nice Forward combo of Antetokounmpo and Parker, giving a lot of hope for the future. Whilst he won’t immediately turn around the Bucks fortunes, Parker is a step in the right direction

Fit With Team: 8.5/10

Winners or Losers? Winners. Parker will make an immediate impact.



Pick 3: Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

This is an extremely high-risk selection from Philly, with multiple injuries putting a huge question mark over Joel Embiid’s stock. This guy may end up being the best player in the draft, he’s a rim protector on the defensive end and he’s the most skilled offensive prospect we’ve seen in years. But if he can’t overcome his injuries, he may end up being the next Greg Oden. It’ll be interesting to see how Embiid and Noel work together….if they ever get on the court together.

Fit With Team: 7/10

Winners or Losers? TBC. If Embiid overcomes his injuries it’ll be a win. But it’s a big ‘if.’


Pick 4: Orlando Magic: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

This was the first shock of the night. Nearly everyone thought that if Dante Exum was on the board when the Magic went on the clock he’d be playing in Orlando, but the Magic thought otherwise. Gordon is an interesting fit here, with Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic in the frontcourt. Neither of these guys is a great rim-protector and neither is Gordon. The Magic fell in love with the Arizona big man after a brilliant workout where he showcased his athleticism and was even knocking down shots. Don’t be surprised to see him play Small Forward ala Shawn Marion.

Fit With Team: 5/10

Winners or Losers? Losers. Even with the big 3 off the board Vonleh, Randle and Exum looked better fits here.


Pick 5: Utah Jazz: Dante Exum, PG/SG, Australia

Australia’s very own Dante Exum is going to Utah. The Jazz are building, whether Hayward leaves or not, they will have plenty of pieces, namely Burke, Burks, Favors and now Exum. On paper, picking another Point Guard with Trey Burke on the books doesn’t make sense, but at 6’6, Exum is big enough to guard the 2 and they complement each other nicely on offense. With Exum largely being a slasher and Burke being a threat from beyond the ark, plus the multi-skilled Alec Burks, the Jazz are building a nice backcourt.

Fit With Team: 8/10

Winners or Losers? Winners. This was a good pick from the Jazz.  


Pick 6: Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart, PG/SG, Oklahoma State 

This was an interesting pick for the Celtics, with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley already occupying the two guards. This suggests to me that the C’s are looking at moving on one of these guys. Smart is a young leader, with gritty determination and unrivalled competitiveness. He can play Point and he can play off the ball on the wing. Needs to improve his shot but is a very coachable guy. Good building block for Celtics.

Fit With Team: 5/10 (for now)

Winners or Losers? Winners.



Pick 7: Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle PF, Kentucky

Randle and the Lakers just seem a good match, in fact, I had him going here in my Mock Draft. He’s an old school Power Forward with a solid post-game, this guy will be a double-double machine. He’s a weapon on the boards and with Kobe Bryant’s tutelage could become one of the best players in this class. With a bit of help on the defensive end, Randle could be in LA when their next championship comes around.

Fit With Team: 10/10

Winners or Losers? Winners for sure. Lakers got their man, just look at that smile.


Pick 8: Sacramento Kings: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan

I was really worried about what the Kings were going to do with this pick and I was overjoyed when I found out we (I’m a Kings fan) had drafted Stauskas. As the fourth worst 3pt shooting team in the Association, the Kings really needed to add a shooter here and they got the best one in the draft with Stauskas. It’ll be interesting to see if last years 7th pick Ben McLemore slides into 6th man role, with he and Stauskas having quite similar skillsets. I just hope the Kings don’t regret passing on Indiana’s Noah Vonleh here.

Fit With Team: 8/10

Winners or Losers? Winners.


Pick 9: Charlotte Hornets: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana Hoosiers

Noah Vonleh slid in this draft for sure! Personally I expected him to go in the 4-6 range, maybe even as high as 3rd but to drop to 9th, the Hornets must’ve been thanking their lucky stars! In fact, Vonleh didn’t even work out with the Hornets, with his management saying he’d be off the board by then. This was a shrewd pick from Charlotte, with Vonleh a nice partner in the frontcourt next to Al Jefferson. With a 7’4 wingspan, Vonleh may end up being a rim-protector on defense as well as a mammoth presence on the boards as he currently is.
Fit With Team: 9/10

Winners or Losers? Winners, huge steal for Charlotte.


Pick 10: Orlando Magic (from Philadelphia): Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette

When the 76ers selected Payton it was a confusing pick to everyone, but when his rights were moved onto Orlando, it was all cleared up. The Magic were searching for a Point Guard to replace Jameer Nelson and Payton is a good option. Killed it in the workouts against some more well-known prospects, Payton rocketed up big board. Still has plenty of trouble with his shot, but is a good competitor. He and Oladipo are a great pairing in the backcourt on the defensive end.

Fit With Team: 7/10

Winners or Losers? Winners…just. With his lack of shot, Payton may find it hard to translate into NBA.


Pick 11: Chicago Bulls (from Denver): Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

No matter what happens in his NBA career, Dougie McBuckets will always be remembered, in the history books at least, for his brilliant four years at the Blue Jays. He averaged 27 points in his senior year and was shrewdly picked up by Chicago. McDermott should fit in nicely at the Bulls, not having as much pressure to score every play, rather he can show his great IQ. With Jimmy Butler and Tony Snell great defenders on the wings, McDermott can play the role he’s best at, scoring. He is more athletic than first thought, testing quite well at the combine, the wildcard here is if Carmelo Anthony goes to the Bulls; where will that leave Dougie. At this point in time however, he fits nicely into their rotation.

Fit With Team: 7.5/10

Winners or Losers? Losers, but only because of Denver’s use of pick 16 (Nurkic) and 19 (Harris).


Pick 12: Philadelphia 76ers (from Orlando): Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia

Well, Philly’s tanking again. Picking Saric (and Embiid for that matter) was a smart move by the 76ers front office, with neither being able to make an impact next season. With Saric not coming to the US for at least another two years, Sixers fans will not get immediate benefits from the versatile Croatian. With a stacked 2015 draft, a core of MCW, Noel, Saric, Embiid plus a few prospects from next years class looks tantalising in a few years time.

Fit With Team: 6/10

Winners or Losers? Losers. Being without Saric until 2016 at the soonest is a dagger for the Sixers.


Pick 13: Minnesota Timberwolves: Zach LaVine PG/SG, UCLA

LaVine is an intriguing prospect, he didn’t start at UCLA, in fact he couldn’t even manage 25 minutes per game. But his athleticism was showcased for all at the draft combine and was solidified in GMs minds in individual workouts. Despite being extremely raw, LaVine may be just the guy the ‘Wolves needed. They were looking for an above the rim athlete to add some pace into their side and LaVine will do just that. A lot like Giannis Antetokounmpo in that he will take a few years to develop, but could be something special. Then again, he could be a massive bust.

Fit With Team: 9/10

Winners or Losers? Very risky selection, we’ll see.



Pick 14: Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina

This was an interesting pick for the exciting Suns. Adding another guy who can just constantly put the ball in the hole and has the ability to light it up. Averaging 25pts and 7rbs a game for North Carolina State, Warren certainly showed what he could do, but in a much stiffer NBA competition he may find it tough to create his own shot. He has trouble from deep and is not a traditional Small Forward. Could end up being a tweener, but will start behind PJ Tucker in the Suns rotation.

Fit With Team: 6/10

Winners or Losers? Losers. Better options on the board with this pick.


Biggest Steals:
Pick 19: Denver Nuggets (from Chicago): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

Locked in for a lottery birth all season, it was a huge shock to see the Michigan State product not only fall out of the lottery but to 19! The wings at Denver look very nice, with Harris, Afflalo, Gallinari and Chandler all options. Picking Harris gives the Nuggets flexibility with guys like the 3 mentioned above should a Kevin Love trade become apparent.

Pick 34: New York Knicks: Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State

Seeing Early on the board at the start of the 2nd round was a huge shock! This is a guy who dominated for the Shockers, culminating in a 31 point effort against Kentucky in March Madness. Should make an immediate impact for the Knicks, I’m sure a lot of teams will regret passing on Early, it’s safe to say he should’ve been picked ‘Early-er.’

Biggest Reach:

Pick 20: Toronto Raptors: Bruno Caboclo, SF, Brazil

This was a huge shock. The ‘Brazilian Kevin Durant’ is still a long way off making an impact in the NBA. Very interesting of the Raptors to take a risk with pick 20. Caboclo may have been available at pick 37 and is still a while off playing in the NBA.


That concludes my analysis of this draft. Quick shout out to Cameron Bairstow, good to see another Aussie in the league! It looks to be a great class and the Summer League should be decent this year! We will be posting more articles throughout the offseason so keep checking NBAAusStyle for great analysis.

Yours in Basketball,



About elliotthoffmann

Elliott Hoffmann is a Law/Journalism student with a passion for writing and a passion for sports. A basketball agnostic with a soft spot for the Thunder and Kings, he is also a keen fan of AFL, NRL, tennis and cricket.   Currently working with Champion Data taking the AFL stats, he is also writing about the NRL for Draftstars. He'll mostly be found writing about the NBA and Cricket for Point Forward, but don't be surprised to find some musings on other sports. Twitter: @PFPElliott

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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