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NBA Execs Discuss 2014 Draft, Top Prospects

Following last week’s Champions Classic in Chicago, I asked Hoops Rumors readers which player would be selected first overall in the 2014 draft. While Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins received more than half the votes, the outcome wasn’t as one-sided as it may have been six months ago, with Jabari Parker (Duke), and Julius Randle (Kentucky) earning plenty of votes as well.’s Chad Ford recently posed the same question to 39 NBA executives, and the breakdown of responses was similar to our poll — nearly half of those 39 execs picked Wiggins, but Parker and Randle got plenty of attention as well, and Dante Exum loomed as a dark horse. Here’s what some of the executives who spoke to Ford had to say about the top draft prospects for 2014:

A veteran NBA exec on Wiggins:

“I think he can be a player that plays a lot like Paul George does. He’s so smooth that at times it almost looks like he’s coasting. But when you watch closer, you just see the game comes so easy to him…. I’m not sure how we could pass on him if we had the No. 1 pick. The other guys might be more ready right now, but in three years, I think he’s the best player in this class.”

A general manager on Randle:

“I think he’s the surest thing in the draft. There’s nothing he can’t do and there just aren’t that many bigs in the NBA with that set of skills. He’s going to be a 10-time All-Star and will make a major impact on your team in Year One. Wiggins might have a little more upside and [Parker] is so attractive as well, but if you take someone else, you’re really risking your job.”

A different GM on Parker:

“I absolutely love him. I love guys who just know how to play. Very few players at Jabari’s age are so sophisticated about the game. You see how he’s reading the floor and how he’s thinking the game and you can’t help but get excited. I remember when some guys were wringing their hands about Kevin Durant. Does he play defense? Is he an elite athlete? I just saw a killer out there who would do anything to win. I see that in Jabari. Some will worship Wiggins’ athleticism. Some will pray to the altar of ‘big’ with Randle. But Parker’s my guy and I don’t see that changing.”

Another GM on Exum:

“Maybe I’m young and foolish, but I think Exum ends up being the guy everyone wishes they took in a few years. All of them are going to be great, but when you watch Exum, you see the ability to be a generational talent. My owner might kill me, but I think you take Exum, regardless of what the other guys do this year. Exum’s already proved it to me.”

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3 thoughts on “NBA Execs Discuss 2014 Draft, Top Prospects

  1. Michael Nguyen

    I think Randle is a bust. He reminds me too much of Michael Beasley. Is he a 3 or is he a 4.

  2. Michael Harvey

    I’m gonna go out on a bit of a limb and say the GM who spoke about Exum is the Raptors’ Masai Ujiri. He’s young, he’s spoken well of Exum before, and the reason the owner would kill him is because Toronto would explode if they passed on Wiggins.

  3. Z....

    All I know is that these guys have me watching college basketball this year, which is saying something. They all seem like stars. Randle is the most NBA ready right now, but you cant go wrong with any of them. Wiggins is already a good player, but you can really see the upside with him. Same with Parker, but he has a little more now tools than Wiggins does.

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