Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 20 2014 NBA Draft Prospects in Early 2013-14 Season

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterNovember 22, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 20 2014 NBA Draft Prospects in Early 2013-14 Season

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    This week in college basketball saw some individual offensive eruptions that might have ultimately moved the NBA-draft needle. 

    While the top dogs in the pack continue to shine, we're seeing a few of the more under-the-radar prospects make some moves up the board. 

    And as some move up, a few must move down. This week, Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie and Kentucky's Williey Cauley-Stein have both been knocked off the board, while a new freshman moves into the top 10. 

20. Semaj Christon, Xavier, 6'3'', PG

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    Stock Report: ↔

    Semaj Christon has been running circles around defenses early on.

    He's coming off a 13-point, eight-assist game against Miami of Ohio and a 20-point, five-assist game against Morehead State. 

    Christon is actually up to 52 percent shooting, an eye-opening number for a point guard.

    With the ability to change speed and direction on the dime, he's so tough to contain or keep from getting to the rack. And his ability to explode upwards allows him to finish amongst the trees.  

    He's fearless when on the attack and has now gotten to the line 34 times in just four games. Unfortunately, he's only made 17 of them. 

    Christon would be a lottery pick if he could shoot. But until he can, he'll wear a vague first-round label for the foreseeable future. 

19. Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6'8'', SF

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    Stock Report: ↔

    We're at the stage where it's almost disappointing if he's not dropping 30. 

    Doug McDermott only got in one game this week, but he sure made it count. He went for 20 points in a tight win over Saint Joseph's, scoring the game winner on a pretty 20-footer with less than five seconds on the clock. 

    Through three games, he's averaging over 25 points on 55 percent shooting and 53 percent from downtown. Clearly nothing has changed. 

    He'll have his fair share of doubters, but someone is bound to show McDermott some first-round love. 

     

18. Mitch McGary, Michigan, 6'10'', PF

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    Stock Report: ↑

    Mitch McGary made his return to the court this week after missing his first two games with back problems. 

    He looked good in 22 minutes against Iowa State, finishing with nine points, six boards and four steals. McGary's activity level was high—he was constantly in the mix for loose balls inside and used those soft hands to finish plays around the rim.

    McGary is what he is—a big body who can man the glass and provide a frontline with a sizable, physical presence. There isn't much upside here, but there isn't any mystery either. 

    This year, scouts will be looking to see what he brings to the table offensively with regard to a post game or elbow jumper.

    Regardless, he fits the bill as an option for a NBA team looking for immediate results and frontcourt depth. 

     

     

17. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina, 6'9'', PF

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    Stock Report: ↑

    Despite the disappointing loss to Belmont, James Michael McAdoo looked as sharp as he has in a while. 

    He went for 27 points and 13 boards, scoring from practically every spot on the floor inside the arc. 

    McAdoo was active inside, converting offensive rebounds into points and constantly battling for buckets at the rim.

    He even knocked down a few mid-range jumpers, showing off the entire package that scouts have been waiting to see. The goal moving forward is repetition, as inconsistency has been what's kept his draft stock in check. 

    McAdoo took 19 free throws against Belmont, a promising sign that might show he's looking to get a little more physical on the interior. 

    With P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald both out, look for McAdoo to stay on the offensive attack. 

     

     

16. Jahii Carson, Arizona State, 5'10'', PG

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    Stock Report: ↑

    He's becoming one of the most exciting players in college basketball, and an NBA prospect that can no longer be ignored. 

    Jahii Carson went for 40 points in an awesome road win over UNLV. He was off the charts, making 16-of-25 shots and dishing out seven assists.

    Simply unguardable one-on-one, Carson is just too quick, shifty and athletic. He's getting shots off whenever he wants, and almost all of them are good, makable looks. Carson's combination of speed and body control allows him to get to his spot on the floor and ultimately finish without getting rattled. 

    Despite his under-six-foot label, Carson can play above the traffic or weave his way through it. He's the most dynamic playmaker in the country, and though his size might cap his upside, an inch or two shouldn't be the difference between a team buying or selling.

15. Andrew Harrison, Kentucky, 6'5'', PG

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    Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↓

    Andrew Harrison looked a little more comfortable against Robert Morris and Texas-Arlington than he did against Michigan State, totaling eight assists and four turnovers against the two mid-major schools. 

    But that three-assist, four-turnover game against Michigan State has set him back early. 

    He'll have to do a better job of picking and choosing his spots. Harrison tends to get out of control or rely on his strength to bully defenders. 

    Scouts will want to see Harrison use the tools he's been given more wisely. 

    His long-term potential remains intact, but he still got some ground to make up early on. 

14. Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6'4'', SG

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    Stock Report: ↔

    Gary Harris fell back to Earth after his big-time showing against Kentucky, totaling 26 points and seven boards in two games against Columbia and Portland. 

    He hasn't been shooting it particularly well, converting only four of his last 17 three-point attempts. And when his jumper isn't falling, Harris' scoring numbers tend to suffer. 

    Harris ultimately lacks the size and explosiveness to pick up easy buckets on the regular. He's an opportunistic scorer who can attack driving lanes, spot up off the ball and pull-up in space. 

    But consistently creating offense is not really his forte. 

    Harris projects more as a safety pick on draft day, though he should be a strong option anywhere outside the lottery. 

13. Wayne Selden, Kansas, 6'6'', SG

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    Stock Report: ↔

    Wayne Selden's scoring chances have been limited, but he's converting the ones he's getting while looking impressive in the process. 

    He's averaging 10 points a game on 47.8 percent shooting. But what's slipped under the radar a bit is his passing and playmaking ability. 

    Selden has racked up at least four assists in each of his three games. 

    Early on, we've seen Selden score in a number of different ways, most notably attacking the basket, where he's capable of using his strength or athleticism to finish through or around traffic. 

    He always seems poised, showing terrific body control on the move. And he's only turned it over three times total so far. 

    Selden won't put up numbers with consistency, but his potential and NBA attributes are pretty clear.

12. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, 6'8'', PF

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    Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↑

    Montrezl Harrell looks real fresh to start the year, now averaging 14 points and 9.3 boards on 69.7 percent through four games. 

    He's made 23 shots and missed 10. Harrell continues to pose as an easy-bucket machine in the paint and above the rim, where he's a glowing target for dump passes or lobs. 

    Harrell has also shown a more diverse finishing game down low, with the ability to score around defenders as opposed to relying on flying over them.

    There's no mystery to what Harrell brings to the table. Though not a polished scorer, he offers electric frontcourt athleticism and an active body on the interior. 

    He's coming off a 15-rebound game against Cornell and a 20-point night against Hartford. Look for Harrell to put up monster production all season long as a potential lottery candidate. 

11. Jerami Grant, Syracuse, 6'8'', SF

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    Stock Report: ↔

    The sample size hasn't been big enough to get a read on Jerami Grant's growth, but he's certainly been active early on.  

    Through three games, he's averaging 11.7 points, eight boards, one block and 1.7 steals.

    Though still raw as a scorer, Grant's foot speed, athleticism and extreme length translate to points in the paint and rebounds. He's clearly much more comfortable operating within 15 feet of the basket, where he can turn and face the rim or knock down fadeaways over the shoulder. 

    Grant really has perfect physical tools for the NBA wing, along with strong offensive instincts and defensive potential. This year, scouts will be looking for him to expand his scoring repertoire and become a bigger threat with the ball in his hands. 

10. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6'', SF

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    Stock Report: ↓

    Glenn Robinson III did not look impressive against Iowa State with over 20 scouts on hand. 

    He was a non-factor in the loss, finishing just 4-of-14 shooting. He missed a number of easy shots at the rim and open looks on the perimeter, failing to capitalize on some quality scoring opportunities.

    Robinson looks more confident this year on offense, but now a sophomore, the bar has been raised and consistency is expected. 

    Given the strength of the projected class, he'll have to find a way to differentiate himself over the next few months. Becoming a bigger threat with the ball in his hands would be a good start. 

     

     

9. James Young, Kentucky, 6'6'', SF

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    Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↑

    James Young erupted for 26 points in 29 minutes against Texas-Arlington. He's emerging into one of the most lethal scoring wings in the country, with the stroke to light it up from outside and the athleticism to finish on the move. 

    With extensive shot-making range, Calipari has given him the green light to fire away, and rightfully so. He's a threat to knock down any shot he takes, even if his shooting percentages have been underwhelming early on. 

    He's got the physical tools, scoring touch and defensive potential to generate lottery interest come June. I wouldn't put him in the same tier with guys like Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, but Young remains next in line. 

8. Noah Vonleh, Indiana, 6'10'', PF

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    Stock Report: ↑

    Noah Vonleh just continues to torch opposing frontcourts, with Washington now his latest victim. 

    He went for 18 points and nine boards on 7-of-11 shooting, scoring in a variety of different ways while operating in the paint. 

    At 6'10'' with a 7'4'' wingspan and a strong frame, Vonleh is a monster out there. He's got the touch to score over the shoulder, the footwork to separate from his man and the quickness to beat him facing up. Interior defenses just haven't had an answer yet. 

    Vonleh is also averaging nearly 12 boards in only 24 minutes of action to go along with 15.4 points on 50 percent shooting. 

    He's putting up gigantic double-double numbers and he's nowhere even close to reaching his potential. The upside with Vonleh is huge.

    Now officially on national radars, Vonleh has quietly moved into top-10 prospect territory. 

7. Aaron Gordon, Arizona, 6'9'', PF

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    Stock Report: ↔

    Aaron Gordon continues to play within the offense that has been clicking on all cylinders with weapons at every position. 

    Through five games, he's averaging 13 points, nine boards and 1.8 blocks on 48.1 percent shooting.

    Gordon is finishing plays inside, both above the rim and below it as a scorer. And so far, he also looks confident out on the perimeter, where he's made four of his first eight shots from behind the arc. 

    He's good for a top-10 highlight a night thanks to a devastating blend of athleticism, hops and strength. But from now til June, scouts will want to see how he develops as a shot-creator and scorer in the half court. 

    Gordon's numbers won't be as flashy as some of the other top prospects, but consistent production and upside should keep him in the top-five conversation. 

6. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6'4'', PG/SG

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    Stock Report: ↑

    Marcus Smart went nuts against Memphis, putting on a show that might ultimately turn into the signature game of his college career. 

    He dropped 39 on the Tigers, to go along with five steals, four boards, four assists and a couple of blocks. 

    Smart was just oozing with confidence, knocking down shots we've never even seen him take. He hit five threes and got himself to the line for 16 free-throw attempts.

    An animal on both ends of the floor with a motor that never runs out of batteries, Smart is going to offer tremendous value wherever he ends up going in the draft. 

    It's not going to matter what position he plays in the pros. Smart is an impact player as long as he's out on the court. 

5. Joel Embiid, Kansas, 7'0'', C

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    Stock Report: ↑

    If we're talkin about long-term potential, you can't end the conversation without mentioning Joel Embiid. 

    He's got almost as much upside as any prospect in this field, which he made rather clear against Iona. Embiid finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks on 7-of-7 shooting in 26 minutes. 

    He really couldn't have been any better. 

    Embiid is ridiculously skilled for a seven-footer who just recently picked up the game. At one point against Iona, he beat his man off the bounce with a Eurostep before finishing at the rim. 

    He's got great touch inside on jump hooks, along with the footwork and mobility to score at awkward angles at the rim.

    There's no competition for who the top center prospect in the country is. Embiid should eventually get looks from every NBA team drafting in the lottery. 

4. Julius Randle, Kentucky, 6'9'', PF

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    Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    Stock Report: ↑

    Julius Randle just continues to have his way in the paint, scoring and rebounding like a mad man in traffic. 

    Offensively, he's been as reliable as any go-to option in the country, averaging 20.8 points on 61 percent shooting. Whether he's wheeling and dealing with his back to the rim or attacking his man off the bounce, he's  been a nightmare mismatch for helpless opposing frontcourts. 

    He's also grabbing 13.4 boards a game by plowing through interior defenses and moving bodies with ease. 

    Turnovers have been his only problem early on, as he's averaging 3.4 a game, giving it up a little too easily when hands are reaching in for a strip. 

    But overall, Randle appears to be a legitimate threat to make a push towards No. 1 based on his offensive takeover ability. 

     

3. Dante Exum, Australia, 6'6'', PG/SG

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    Stock Report: ↔

    Dante Exum has been regarded as a top-flight NBA prospect since 2012, so it shouldn't be surprising to hear scouts rave about his potential. 

    But it's always nice to hear it from an executive, especially at a time when there's already so many other guys to gush over. 

    When asked about Exum's spot amongst all the prospects in the field, ESPN's Chad Ford reported (subscription required) that one executive told him, "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 really is a special prospect, given his 6'6'' size and versatile skill set. A scoring point guard with blurry quickness and effortless athleticism, he's got the potential to end up as one of the toughest backcourt covers in the league. 

    Where he goes in the draft could come down to team needs, but someone in the top-five is bound to pull the trigger on his upside. 

2. Jabari Parker, Duke, 6'8'', SF

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    Stock Report: ↑

    Jabari Parker is playing at a first-pick overall level.

    He's everywhere, making plays one after another in every facet of the game. He went for six blocks out of nowhere the other day against East Carolina, and he's recorded at least nine rebounds in four of Duke's five games. 

    Of course, Parker has been unstoppable scoring the ball, finishing with 21 or more points in each game so far. 

    He's creating good shots on the perimeter, converting off the ball, getting to the rack and thriving in transition. Parker also continues to show off that high basketball IQ and willingness to make the extra pass. 

    So far, he looks better than advertised, but his jumper is eventually going to cool off. The goal for Parker is to maintain his effectiveness, even when his shot isn't falling—because that's ultimately what needs to separate him from a guy like Andrew Wiggins. 

    While Wiggins might have the most "potential," Parker offers that charm as a guy who makes his teammates better. And that's what he has has to sell NBA teams on in order to go No. 1. 

1. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, 6'8'', SF

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    Stock Report: ↔

    Andrew Wiggins was relatively quiet in Kansas' rout over Iona, finishing with 13 points, seven boards and three assists on five-of-nine shooting. 

    It's going to happen, given the strength of Kansas' roster and Wiggins' role within the offense. 

    And quite frankly, he's just not as polished as guys like Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, who everyone will be comparing him to. 

    But Wiggins' towering ceiling isn't going anywhere—unlike Parker and Randle, Wiggins has the chance to become a dominant presence on both sides of the ball. 

    He's making plays and creating opportunities for himself using his quickness and ability to elevate. There's just no telling how dangerous Wiggins can be if he eventually develops some go-to moves as a perimeter scorer.