The 2014 NBA Draft, A Different Take #1 Through #5

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Nov 29, 2013; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) dunks during the game against the Villanova Wildcats at the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. Villanova won 63-59. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1.  Joel Embiid – C – Kansas.  While his NCAA statistics hardly look dominant; 9.3ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.1bpg, 0.9stlpg in 19 minutes of play, keep in mind that he first learned to play basketball at the age of 17.  Why is he #1?  He has incredible impact in just 19 minutes of play.  At a full 7′ with a 7’5″ wingspan, he passes the NBA measurement test at the center position.  On the floor, he’s fast, quick, agile, mobile, and provides a defensive focus and discipline rarely seen at the NCAA level for a freshman.  The biggest issue is keeping him on the floor, where he averages over 3.6 fouls per game in those 19 minutes.  But, no coach can teach him the timing, discipline, and patience on both ends of the floor.  His footwork in the paint are simple, but polished.  These are attributes reflected in his basketball instincts, not simple hoop IQ.  He’s shooting at a 65% clip from the field and is developing range up to 20′, which he has demonstrated at the Jordan Brand Classic.  He has soft hands with soft touch around the painted area.  What makes him most dangerous is, in a league based on pick and roll play and transition points, he has the quickness to switch, rotate, and defend the pick and roll to a man-defender situation.  That is a rare quality, and something Tyson Chandler has made a living off of his entire career.  Embiid has a more refined post game and more wingspan than Tyson Chandler.  He’s only 19.  His upside is tremendous.

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Tags: 2014 Draft Embiid Exum Ncaa Parker Randle Wiggins