2014 NBA Draft

Draft History: Danny Ainge

The 2015 NBA draft is just two days away, and the speculation as to which player each franchise will pin its hopes on for the future is nearly over. Of course, having one of the top selections in any draft doesn’t guarantee that a team will snag a future All-Star. Team executives and scouts still have the difficult task of making the correct call with their picks.

With this in mind we at Hoops Rumors have been taking a look back at the draft history of the primary basketball executive for each NBA team. Their names, reputations, and possibly employment will be on the line as a result of the decisions to come on June 25th, and we’ve been examining what they’ve done in previous years in charge of a club’s front office. Note that many of them have played other sorts of roles within a team’s executive structure, but this won’t take that into account. We’ll continue onward with a look back at the calls made by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

Celtics (May 2003-Present)

2003 Draft

  • No. 13 Overall — Marcus Banks*: 348 games, 5.9 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 2.1 APG. .432/.327/.768.
  • N0. 27 Overall — Kendrick Perkins*: 744 games, 5.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.2 BPG. .530/.000/.597.
  • No. 56 Overall — Brandon Hunter: 67 games, 3.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.3 APG. .476/.000/.488.

*Acquired from Grizzlies in exchange for the No. 16 overall pick (Troy Bell) and the No. 20 overall pick (Dahntay Jones).

Notable players available: David West (No. 18), Steve Blake (No. 38), Mo Williams (No. 47), and Kyle Korver (No. 51).

2004 Draft

  • No. 15 Overall — Al Jefferson: 766 games, 17.0 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.6 APG. .499/.129/.710.
  • No. 24 Overall — Delonte West: 432 games, 9.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.6 APG. .448/.372/.826.
  • No. 25 Overall — Tony Allen: 663 games, 8.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.4 APG. .479/.271/.723.
  • No. 40 Overall — Justin Reed: 136 games, 3.5 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG. .404/.000/.752.

Notable players available: J.R. Smith (No. 18), Jameer Nelson (No. 20), Kevin Martin (No. 26), Anderson Varejao (No. 30), and Trevor Ariza (No. 43).

2005 Draft

  • No. 18 Overall — Gerald Green: 428 games, 10.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 APG. .425/.368/.818.
  • No. 50 Overall — Ryan Gomes: 487 games, 10.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.5 APG. .445./.349/.799.
  • No. 53 Overall — Orien Greene: 131 games, 2.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.2 APG. .387/.212/.642.

Notable players available: David Lee (No. 30), Monta Ellis (No. 40), Louis Williams (No. 45), and Marcin Gortat (No. 57).

2006 Draft

  • No. 21 Overall — Rajon Rondo*: 573 games, 10.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 8.3 APG. .470/.263/.609.
  • No. 49 Overall — Leon Powe**: 239 games, 6.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.3 APG. .515/.000/.682.

*Acquired from the Suns along with Brian Grant in exchange for a 2007 first round pick (Rudy Fernandez).

**Acquired from Nuggets in exchange for a 2007 second-rounder (Aaron Gray).

***Traded the No. 7 overall pick (Randy Foye), Dan Dickau, and Raef LaFrentz in exchange for Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and a 2008 second round pick (Trent Plaisted).

Notable players available: Rudy Gay (No. 8), J.J. Redick (No. 11), Kyle Lowry (No. 24), and Paul Millsap (No. 47).

2007 Draft

  • No. 32 Overall — Gabe Pruitt: 62 games, 2.0 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.8 APG. .321/.283/.783.
  • No. 35 Overall — Glen Davis*: 514 games, 8.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.9 APG. .447/.182/.700.

*Acquired from the Thunder along with Ray Allen in exchange for the No. 5 overall pick (Jeff Green), Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and Plaisted.

Notable players available: Joakim Noah (No. 9), Thaddeus Young (No. 12), Arron Afflalo (No. 27), Carl Landry (No. 31), Josh McRoberts (No. 37), and Marc Gasol (No. 48).

2008 Draft

  • No. 30 Overall — J.R. Giddens: 38 games, 1.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.3 APG. .476/.000/.565.
  • No. 60 Overall — Semih Erden: 69 games, 3.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.4 BPG. .546/.000/.594.

Notable players available: DeAndre Jordan (No. 35), Omer Asik (No. 36), and Goran Dragic (No. 45).

2009 Draft

  • No. 58 Overall — Lester Hudson: 57 games, 4.7 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.2 APG. .375/.277/.806.

*First round pick, No. 28 overall, owned by Wolves and used to select Wayne Ellington.

Notable players available: Patrick Beverley (No. 42), Danny Green (No. 46), and Patty Mills (No. 55).

2010 Draft

  • No. 19 Overall — Avery Bradley: 282 games, 10.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.5 APG. .434/.360/.781.
  • No. 52 Overall — Luke Harangody: 70 games, 3.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.5 APG. .376/.241/.737.

Notable players available: Hassan Whiteside (No. 33) and Lance Stephenson (No. 40).

2011 Draft

  • No. 27 Overall — JaJuan Johnson*: 36 games, 3.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.4 BPG. .446/.000/.667.
  • No. 55 Overall — E’Twaun Moore: 248 games, 5.4 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.6 APG. .411/.349/.766.

*Acquired from the Nets along with a 2014 second round pick in exchange for the No. 25 overall pick (MarShon Brooks).

Notable players available: Jimmy Butler (No. 30), Chandler Parsons (No. 35), and Isaiah Thomas (No. 60).

2012 Draft

  • No. 21 Overall — Jared Sullinger: 177 games, 11.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.6 APG. .440/.275/.762.
  • No. 22 Overall — Fab Melo: 6 games, 1.2 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.3 BPG. .500/.000/.250.
  • No. 51 Overall — Kris Joseph: 10 games, 0.9 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.1 APG. .143/.000/.625.

Notable players available: Draymond Green (No. 35) and Khris Middleton (No. 39).

2013 Draft

  • No. 13 Overall — Kelly Olynyk*: 134 games, 9.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.6 APG. .471/.349/.744.
  • Second round pick owned by the Trail Blazers, used to select Marko Todorovic.

*Acquired from Mavericks in exchange for the No. 16 overall pick (Lucas Nogueira) and 2 future second-rounders.

Notable players available: Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15) and Rudy Gobert (No. 27).

2014 Draft

  • No. 6 Overall — Marcus Smart: 67 games, 7.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.1 APG. .367/.335/.646.
  • No. 17 Overall — James Young: 31 games, 3.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.4 APG. .353/.258/.552.
  • Second round pick owned by Knicks, used to select Cleanthony Early.

Notable players available: Elfrid Payton (No. 10), Zach LaVine (No. 13), Rodney Hood (No. 23), K.J. McDaniels (No. 32), and Jordan Clarkson (No. 46).

Draft Histories Of Current NBA Executives

The 2015 NBA Draft is less than three weeks away, and for all of the teams that aren’t still participating in the NBA playoffs, the focus is on using that event to build toward a better future. With NBA Draft lottery complete, the speculation is underway as to which player each franchise will pin its hopes on for the future. Of course, having one of the top selections in any draft doesn’t guarantee that a team will snag a future All-Star. Team executives and scouts still have the difficult task of making the correct call with their picks.

With this in mind we at Hoops Rumors have been taking a look back at the draft history of the primary basketball executive for each NBA team. Their names, reputations, and possibly employment will be on the line as a result of the decisions to come on June 25th, and we’ll be examining what they’ve done in previous years in charge of a club’s front office. Note that many of them have played other sorts of roles within a team’s executive structure, but this won’t take that into account.

Here’s the list of executives I’ve examined thus far:

 

Draft History: Sam Hinkie

The 2015 NBA draft is less than two months away, and for teams that aren’t still participating in the NBA playoffs, the focus is on using that event to build toward a better future. The exact draft order won’t be known until the May 19th lottery, when the simple bounce of a ping-pong ball can alter the fate of a franchise. Of course, having one of the top selections in any draft doesn’t guarantee that a team will snag a future All-Star. Team executives and scouts still have the difficult task of making the correct call with their picks.

With this in mind we at Hoops Rumors will be taking a look back at the draft history of the primary basketball executive for each NBA team. Their names, reputations, and possibly employment will be on the line as a result of the decisions to come on June 25th, and we’ll be examining what they’ve done in previous years in charge of a club’s front office. Note that many of them have played other sorts of roles within a team’s executive structure, but this won’t take that into account. We’ll continue onward with a look back at the calls made by Sixers executive Sam Hinkie

Sixers (May 2013-Present)

2013 Draft

  • No. 6 Overall — Nerlens Noel*: 75 games, 9.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.9 BPG. .462/.000/.609.
  • No. 11 Overall — Michael Carter-Williams: 136 games, 15.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 6.5 APG. .401/.252/.699.
  • No. 38 Overall — Nate Wolters**: 79 games, 5.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.6 APG. .426/.261/.635.
  • No. 54 Overall — Arsalan Kazemi**: No NBA regular season appearances.

* Acquired in a trade with the Pelicans along with a 2014 first-rounder in exchange for Jrue Holiday and the No. 42 overall pick (Pierre Jackson).

** Acquired from the Wizards in exchange for the No. 35 overall pick (Glen Rice Jr.). The Sixers then dealt Wolters’ rights to the Bucks the following day in exchange for Ricky Ledo.

Notable players passed over: Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15) and Rudy Gobert (No. 27).

2014 Draft

  •  No. 3 Overall — Joel Embiid: No NBA regular season appearances.
  • No. 12 Overall — Dario Saric*: No NBA regular season appearances.
  • No. 32 Overall — K.J. McDaniels: 62 games, 7.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG. .396/.287/.752.
  • No. 39 Overall — Jerami Grant: 65 games, 6.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.2 APG. .352/.314/.591.
  • No. 52 Overall — Vasilije Micic: No NBA regular season appearances.
  • No. 58 Overall — Jordan McRae**: No NBA regular season appearances.

*Acquired in a trade with the Magic along with a 2017 first-rounder and a 2015 second round pick in exchange for the No. 10 overall pick (Elfrid Payton).

** Acquired from the Spurs along with the No. 60 overall pick (Cory Jefferson) in exchange for the No. 54 overall pick (Nemanja Dangubic). The rights to Jefferson were then dealt to the Nets in exchange for cash.

*** Dealt the No. 47 overall pick (Russ Smith) to the Pelicans in exchange for Pierre Jackson.

Notable players passed over: Dante Exum (No. 5), Marcus Smart (No. 6), Rodney Hood (No. 23), and Jordan Clarkson (No. 46).

2014 NBA First-Round Picks In The D-League

The goal of many at this week’s NBA draft combine is to become a first-round draft pick. Two seasons of guaranteed salary go along with that distinction, as long as teams sign the first-rounders they have the rights to, and that gives those prospects a better footing on NBA rosters. It doesn’t guarantee they won’t spend time in the D-League, however.

Nearly half of the 30 first-round picks from 2014 spent time in the D-League this past season. That includes Josh Huestis, who agreed to sign a D-League contract instead of an NBA deal in exchange for Oklahoma City drafting him 29th overall, an unprecedented arrangement. The 13 other first-rounders from last year who appeared in the D-League in 2014/15 did so on assignment from their NBA teams. No. 25 overall pick Clint Capela, who’s been part of Houston’s rotation in the playoffs, spent so much time on assignment that he was a member of the D-League’s All-Defensive First Team.

Perhaps the key to avoiding D-League time is to end up in the lottery. T.J. Warren, the last lottery selection in 2014, saw nine games in the D-League, but no other player taken within the top 14 picks went on assignment more than once. The Celtics put Marcus Smart, the sixth overall pick, into only one D-League game, though that still made him the highest draft pick from last year to play in the D-League.

Here’s a look at all of the 2014 first-rounders and the time they spent in the D-League this season, with an assist from our D-League Assignments/Recalls Log:

  1. Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves: None
  2. Jabari Parker, Bucks: None
  3. Joel Embiid, Sixers: None
  4. Aaron Gordon, Magic: None
  5. Dante Exum, Jazz: None
  6. Marcus Smart, Celtics: 1 assignment, 1 game
  7. Julius Randle, Lakers: None
  8. Nik Stauskas, Kings: None
  9. Noah Vonleh, Hornets: 1 assignment, 2 games
  10. Elfrid Payton, Magic: None
  11. Doug McDermott, Bulls: None
  12. Dario Saric, Sixers: Overseas
  13. Zach LaVine, Timberwolves: None
  14. T.J. Warren, Suns: 4 assignments, 9 games
  15. Adreian Payne, Hawks/Timberwolves: 4 assignments, 17 games
  16. Jusuf Nurkic, Nuggets: None
  17. James Young, Celtics: 11 assignments, 17 regular season games and 2 playoff games
  18. Tyler EnnisSuns/Bucks: 4 assignments, 9 games
  19. Gary HarrisNuggets: None
  20. Bruno Caboclo, Raptors: 2 assignments, 7 games
  21. Mitch McGary, Thunder: 4 assignments, 8 games
  22. Jordan Adams, Grizzlies: 5 assignments, 11 games
  23. Rodney Hood, Jazz: None
  24. Shabazz Napier, Heat: 2 assignments, 4 games
  25. Clint Capela, Rockets: 5 assignments, 38 games
  26. P.J. Hairston, Hornets: None (Played in D-League during 2013/14 season)
  27. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Suns: Overseas
  28. C.J. Wilcox, Clippers: 1 assignment, 5 games
  29. Josh Huestis, Thunder: 44 regular season games and 2 playoff games on D-League contract
  30. Kyle Anderson, Spurs: 7 assignments, 26 regular season games and 5 playoff games

How 2014 Early Draft Entrants Fared

It’s difficult for underclassmen interested in entering the NBA draft to get truly accurate reads on their respective draft stocks, but the majority of last year’s early entrants are in the NBA, if the players who eventually withdrew from the draft aren’t taken into account. Many of the three dozen who have NBA contracts after declaring for the 2014 draft aren’t seeing much playing time, but they still made it to basketball highest level. Four more were on NBA rosters earlier this season, while a half dozen more were drafted and have yet to sign.

These are the players who declared for early entry in 2014 and currently have NBA contracts:

  • Jordan Adams, UCLA (Sophomore) — The Grizzlies drafted him No. 22 overall.
  • Kyle Anderson, UCLA (Sophomore) — The Spurs drafted him No. 30 overall.
  • Jabari Brown, Missouri (Junior) — Undrafted. Currently on second 10-day contract with Lakers. He previously signed with the team in September, but the Lakers waived him before opening night.
  • Bruno Caboclo, Brazil — The Raptors drafted him 20th overall.
  • Clint Capela, France — The Rockets drafted him 25th overall.
  • Jordan Clarkson, Missouri (Junior) — The Wizards drafted him 46th overall and traded his rights to the Lakers.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado (Junior) — The Pistons drafted him 38th overall.
  • Tyler Ennis, Syracuse (Freshman) — The Suns drafted him 18th overall. A deadline-day trade sent him to the Bucks.
  • Joel Embiid, Kansas (Freshman) — The Sixers drafted him third overall. He hasn’t played this season due to injury.
  • Dante Exum, Australia — The Jazz drafted him fifth overall.
  • Aaron Gordon, Arizona (Freshman) — The Magic drafted him fourth overall.
  • Jerami Grant, Syracuse (Sophomore) — The Sixers drafted him 39th overall.
  • P.J. Hairston, D-League — The Heat drafted him 26th overall and traded his rights to the Hornets.
  • Gary Harris, Michigan State (Sophomore) — The Bulls drafted him 19th overall and traded his rights to the Nuggets.
  • Rodney Hood, Duke (Sophomore) — The Jazz drafted him 23rd overall.
  • Damien Inglis, France — The Bucks drafted him 31st overall. He hasn’t played this season due to injury.
  • Nick Johnson, Arizona (Junior) — The Rockets drafted him 42nd overall.
  • Zach LaVine, UCLA (Freshman) — The Timberwolves drafted him 13th overall.
  • James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina (Junior) — Undrafted. The Warriors signed him in February to a two-year deal. McAdoo previously signed a pair of 10-day contracts and a partially guaranteed contract in September that Golden State waived before opening night.
  • K.J. McDaniels, Clemson (Junior) — The Sixers drafted him 32nd overall. A deadline-day trade took him to the Rockets.
  • Mitch McGary, Michigan (Sophomore) — The Thunder drafted him 21st overall.
  • Eric Moreland, Oregon State (Junior) — Undrafted. Signed with the Kings in July.
  • Jusuf Nurkic, Croatia — The Bulls drafted him and traded his rights to the Nuggets.
  • Johnny O’Bryant III, LSU (Junior) — The Bucks drafted him 36th overall.
  • Jabari Parker, Duke (Freshman) — The Bucks drafted him second overall.
  • Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette (Junior) — The Sixers drafted him 10th overall and traded his rights to the Magic.
  • Julius Randle, Kentucky (Freshman) — The Lakers drafted him seventh overall.
  • Glenn Robinson III, Michigan (Sophomore) — The Timberwolves drafted him 40th overall. They waived him in March, but the Sixers claimed him off waivers.
  • JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s (Sophomore) — Undrafted. Signed with the Sixers in September.
  • Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State (Sophomore) — The Celtics drafted him sixth overall.
  • Nik Stauskas, Michigan (Sophomore) — The Kings drafted him eighth overall.
  • Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee (Junior) — The Jazz drafted him 35th overall and traded his rights to the Grizzlies.
  • Noah Vonleh, Indiana (Freshman) — The Hornets drafted him ninth overall.
  • T.J. Warren, N.C. State (Sophomore) — The Suns drafted him 14th overall.
  • Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (Freshman) — The Cavaliers drafted him first overall and traded him to the Timberwolves in August.
  • James Young, Kentucky (Freshman) — The Celtics drafted him 17th overall.

The next group signed NBA deals earlier this season but have since cleared waivers:

  • Sim Bhullar, New Mexico State (Sophomore) — Undrafted. Signed with Kings in August but waived before opening night. Plays for Sacramento’s D-League affiliate.
  • Khem Birch, UNLV (Junior) — Undrafted. Signed with Heat in September but waived before opening night. Plays for Miami’s D-League affiliate.
  • Alex Kirk, New Mexico (Junior) — Undrafted. The Cavs signed him in August. A January trade sent him to the Knicks, who waived him shortly thereafter. He’s now playing for Cleveland’s D-League affiliate.
  • Roscoe Smith, UNLV (Junior) — Undrafted. The Lakers signed him in September but waived him prior to opening night. He’s played for the Lakers D-League affiliate this season.

These 11 players went undrafted and haven’t signed with NBA teams at any point, aside from summer league:

  • William Alston, Baltimore County Community College — Remains unsigned.
  • Isaiah Austin, Baylor (Sophomore) — Retired from basketball after he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome.
  • Chane Behanan, Louisville/Colorado State (Junior) — Played 13 games with the Rockets D-League affiliate this season.
  • Jahii Carson, Arizona State (Sophomore) — He’s played for teams in Australia and Serbia this season.
  • Michalis Kamperidis, Greece — He’s played for teams in Spain and Greece this season.
  • Artem Klimenko, Russia — He’s played for Russia’s Avtodor Saratov this season.
  • Lucas Mariano, Brazil — He’s played for Brazil’s Franca this season.
  • LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State (Junior) — He’s played for Vuelle Basket Pesaro of Italy this season.
  • Antonio Rucker, Clinton Junior College (Freshman) — Remains unsigned.
  • Ojars Silins, Italy — He’s played for Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia of Italy this season.
  • Ta’Quan Zimmerman, Canada — He’s played for the Jazz’s D-League affiliate this season.

These players are “draft-and-stash” prospects who are playing either in the D-League or overseas even though NBA teams drafted them last year:

  • Semaj Christon, Xavier (Sophomore) — The Heat drafted him 55th overall, and a pair of trades sent his rights to the Hornets and ultimately the Thunder. Oklahoma City didn’t sign him but he entered the D-League and has been playing for the Thunder’s D-League affiliate.
  • Nemanja Dangubic, Serbia — The Sixers drafted him and traded him to the Spurs. He’s played for Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda this season.
  • DeAndre Daniels, Connecticut (Junior) — The Raptors drafted him 37th overall. He played for the Perth Wildcats of Australia this season.
  • Nikola Jokic, Serbia — The Nuggets drafted him 41st overall. He’s played for Serbia’s KK Mega Vizura this season.
  • Vasilije Micic, Serbia — The Sixers drafted him 52nd overall. He’s played for Germany’s Bayern Muenchen this season.
  • Dario Saric, Croatia — The Magic drafted him 12th overall and traded his rights to the Sixers. He’s played for Turkey’s Anadolu Efes this season.

The final group consists of players who withdrew from the draft, most of whom are from overseas. There’s a decent chance that many of these names will resurface again as early-entry candidates this year:

Playing Time For 2014 Second-Rounders

The stock value of the highly-touted 2014 NBA draft class has taken a dip thanks to numerous injuries and the overall underwhelming play of the group. Hoops Rumors’ Chuck Myron previously looked at the playing time that the first round draft picks were receiving as rookies, which saw only five out of the 30 opening-round selections logging more than 20 minutes on a nightly basis.

This lack of playing time holds true for the men selected in the second round of the draft as well. Only one player, K.J. McDaniels, is logging more than 20 minutes per contest, but in all fairness he is doing so for the Sixers, who are more about rebuilding through the draft than they are about trying to snag a playoff berth this season. But the early-season success of McDaniels doesn’t necessarily represent a huge surprise, and is something that I predicted in his pre-draft prospect profile. If McDaniels’ solid play continues he will likely make the Sixers regret only inking him to a one-year deal, setting the rookie up to become a hot commodity as a restricted free agent after the season.

McDaniels’ agent Mark Bartelstein will also be able to cash in on the decision to pass on Philadelphia’s original four-year offer. In regards to his client signing a one-year deal, Bartelstein had said, “The 76ers have a philosophy that they’re adhering to, and we totally respect that, but it doesn’t fit for K.J. and us. I just totally disagree with the idea of doing a four-year deal that includes a structure of two non-guaranteed years. We think K.J. is going to be a good player, and it came down to doing a one-year deal and letting the market determine his value. There’s no hard feelings. The Sixers’ philosophy has worked for them. It just doesn’t work for us.”

Out of the 30 second-rounders chosen this year, 13 of them either didn’t sign NBA contracts or make it out of training camp on an NBA roster. Though there are some players like Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Semaj Christon who opted to head to the D-League, and others such as Louis Labeyrie and Vasilije Micic are considered “draft and stash” prospects who will play overseas for the time being. A number of the others will pin their NBA hopes on potentially snagging a 10-day contract after January 5th when the league begins allowing such arrangements, though most will more than likely have to wait until the Summer League begins to try and rekindle any NBA interest in their services.

Here’s a look at how many minutes each second-round pick is playing, ranked by minutes per game, with their respective draft positions in parentheses and additional notes where appropriate:

More than 20 minutes per game

Between 15-20 minutes per game

  • No players

Between 10-15 minutes per game

  • Spencer Dinwiddie, Pistons (No. 38) — 12.4: Has only appeared in seven games
  • Jerami Grant, Sixers (No. 39) — 12.3: Has appeared in 12 games
  • Nick Johnson, Rockets (No. 42) — 11.1: Has appeared in 15 games
  • Jordan Clarkson, Lakers (No. 46) — 11.0: Has appeared in 15 games
  • Cory Jefferson, Nets (No. 60) — 10.4: Has appeared in 14 games
  • Joe Harris, Cavs (No. 33) — 10.3: Has appeared in 23 games

Between 5-10 minutes per game

  • Cameron Bairstow, Bulls (No. 49) — 10.4: Has only appeared in seven games
  • Johnny O’Bryant III, Bucks (No. 36) — 8.5: Has only appeared in four games
  • Cleanthony Early, Knicks (No. 34) — 7.7: Has only appeared in seven games, Out for at least a month due to injury
  • Russ Smith, Pelicans (No. 47) — 6.5: Has only appeared in four games
  • Markel Brown, Nets (No. 44) — 5.4: Has only appeared in seven games

Fewer than 5 minutes per game

Haven’t appeared in an NBA game yet

  • Damien Inglis, Bucks (No. 31) — Out indefinitely with a broken right foot

Not on an NBA roster

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo (No. 51)
  • Alec Brown (No. 50)
  • Semaj Christon, (No. 55)
  • Nemanja Dangubic (No. 54)
  • DeAndre Daniels (No. 37)
  • Alessandro Gentile (No. 53)
  • Nikola Jokic (No. 41)
  • Louis Labeyrie (No. 57)
  • Jordan McRae (No. 58)
  • Vasilije Micic (No. 52)
  • Lamar Patterson (No. 48)
  • Walter Tavares (No. 43)
  • Xavier Thames (No. 59)

Few 2014 First-Rounders Seeing Heavy Minutes

The stock of the 2014 draft class has been on a steady decline for the past year. It was billed before the beginning of the 2013/14 college season as a landmark group of prospects capable of changing the game, but thanks to an array of underwhelming performances, the draft soon became regarded as well-stocked but bereft of franchise-changing players. The broken foot that Joel Embiid suffered just weeks before the draft, when he was the leading candidate for the No. 1 overall pick, helped take the class down another notch. Now, a quarter of the way into the season, the performances that this year’s first-round picks have delivered suggest that the draft class was below average, at best.

Of course, there’s still plenty of time to go before any reasonable final judgments can be made on the field, which has the potential to live up to at least some of the expectations attached to it. Nonetheless, the minutes that each first-rounder is seeing paint a grim picture so far. Only a third of the 30 first-round picks are seeing at least 15 minutes per game, and two of those 10 have missed significant time with injuries. The rookie seeing the next most minutes per night, Julius Randle, posted that total in just one game, the contest in which he broke his leg and was lost for the rest of the season. Six first-rounders have yet to make their NBA debuts, including Embiid, two overseas players, and Josh Huestis, who’s on a D-League contract. Injuries have also helped to forestall the debuts of Adreian Payne and Mitch McGary, though both have gone on D-League assignment this year.

Here’s a look at how much each first-round pick is playing, ranked by minutes per game, with their respective draft positions in parentheses and additional notes where appropriate:

More than 20 minutes per game

Between 15-20 minutes per game

Between 10-15 minutes per game

Between 5-10 minutes per game

  • Tyler Ennis, Suns (No. 18) — 8.8
  • Jusuf Nurkic, Nuggets (No. 16) — 8.6
  • Noah Vonleh, Hornets (No. 9) — 8.0: Hampered by preseason hernia surgery. Has played only three games.

Fewer than 5 minutes per game

  • C.J. Wilcox, Clippers (No. 28) — 4.5: Has played only two games.
  • Clint Capela, Rockets (No. 25) — 3.7: Hampered by preseason groin injury. Has played only three games, but has played extensively in D-League.
  • James Young, Celtics (No. 17) — 3.6: Has played extensively in D-League.

Haven’t played NBA games

  • Joel Embiid, Sixers (No. 3) — 0: Injured, has yet to make debut.
  • Dario Saric, Sixers (No. 12) — 0: Playing overseas.
  • Adreian Payne, Hawks (No. 15) — 0: Hampered by plantar fasciitis. Has played extensively in D-League.
  • Mitch McGary, Thunder (No. 21) — 0: Hampered by broken foot suffered in preseason. Has played in D-League.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic, Suns (No. 27) — 0: Playing overseas.
  • Josh Huestis, Thunder (No. 29) — 0: Playing in D-League on D-League contract.

And-Ones: Jordan, Ledo, Cauley-Stein, Hawks

DeAndre Jordan‘s continued emergence as one of the best defensive big men in the NBA could put him in line to command a max salary contract when he hits free agency next summer, which would also be the first significant financial test of the Clippers‘ new owner, Steve Ballmer, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times writes. A maximum five-year contract for Jordan projected at $103.5MM would probably nudge Los Angeles over the luxury tax threshold for a third consecutive season in 2015/16, which would trigger the repeater tax the following year, notes Bolch. Ballmer has stated that he would make whatever financial commitment was necessary to preserve the core of his team, but this dollar-for-dollar charge tacked onto the existing luxury tax fees will surely test the billionaire’s commitment to his stated goal, Bolch adds.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Despite all the hype leading up to the 2014 NBA draft, this season’s crop of rookies are off to the worst statistical first year start of any rookie class in the last 10 years, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes.
  • The Hawks have recalled Adreian Payne from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and have assigned Mike Muscala to the D-League, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).
  • With his 21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks against Texas Friday night, Kentucky junior Willie Cauley-Stein, “Made himself some money,” according to one NBA scout, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv writes. Cauley-Stein is currently projected as the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by DraftExpress. The big man returned for his junior season specifically to improve his draft stock, notes Zagoria. “For sure,” Cauley-Stein said. “You know, that is one of the biggest reasons that I came back is to just develop myself more as a basketball player. I feel like I am just starting to do that. It’s only December. I still have three months left.”
  • The Mavericks have recalled Ricky Ledo from the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League, the team announced in a press release. In five games this season for the Legends, Ledo has averaged 12.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.2 steals in 34.0 minutes per contest.

Semaj Christon To Play In D-League

Second-round draft pick Semaj Christon has agreed to play for the Thunder’s D-League affiliate this year, agent Doug Neustadt tells Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Thunder will retain the NBA rights to the point guard, whom they acquired via trade from the Hornets, after Charlotte originally picked him up from the Heat. News about this year’s No. 55 overall pick was scarce during the summer, and Oklahoma City left him off its training camp roster, indicating that Christon was destined either for the D-League or an overseas deal.

The 6’3″ Christon, who turns 22 next month, was more of a scoring guard than a traditional point man in college for Xavier, having put up 17.0 points in 35.3 minutes per game as a sophomore this past season while balancing 4.2 assists against 2.6 turnovers each night. He added proficiency from behind the arc to his game this year, nailing 38.8% of his three-point attempts.

The Thunder are taking advantage of a new D-League rule that allows them to retain the D-League rights to Christon, who would have been subject to the D-League draft in years past. That’ll prevent the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s D-League team, from having to trade to secure his rights, as they did last year with Thunder second-rounder Grant Jerrett. Two of the three players the Thunder acquired through this year’s NBA draft will play for their D-League team this year, as Christon will join No. 29 overall pick Josh Huestis.

And-Ones: Allen, Thabeet, Arroyo, Ingles

Only a half dozen second-round picks from this June are without deals to play in the NBA, overseas or the D-League, as our log of this year’s draft pick signings shows, and Friday looms as a key date for them. That’s the last day their NBA teams have to make a required one-year tender for the minimum salary without losing their rights to them. Such glorified training camp invitations might not be ideal for draftees who’d hoped to establish more solid footing in the NBA, but if any are at an impasse in negotiations, the deadline could be a tipping point. While we wait to see how that plays out, here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Ray Allen has fielded recruiting calls from LeBron James and others, as the sharpshooter tells Don Amore of The Hartford Courant, but Allen cites a desire to stay around his family as he continues to insist that there’s a strong chance he’s played his last game. “I don’t want to go into a situation where I don’t understand the coaching, don’t understand the direction of the team,” Allen said. “My family is very important in making the decision. Right now, there is nothing that I need to do. If I ultimately decide this will be it for me, I’m content with that.”
  • Hasheem Thabeet remains on the Sixers roster, so it appears they’ve guaranteed his salary for the coming season. Monday was the last day they could waive him without owing him his $1.25MM pay for 2014/15, as Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman confirmed. Philadelphia was reportedly likely to waive him in advance of that deadline.
  • NBA teams would have to buy Carlos Arroyo out of his deal with Galatasaray in Turkey to bring him stateside for this season, and while he’d consider returning to the Association, no one from the NBA has shown serious interest, as he tells HoopsHype’s David Alarcon.
  • The widespread NBA interest in Joe Ingles is surprising, observes David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The Australian small forward was having a tough time generating interest from European teams before this week’s strong FIBA World Cup showing, according to Pick.

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