|Courtesy of Bleacher Report|
Off to an expected poor start, the Boston Celtics, sitting at 6-11 in the awful Atlantic Division, will most likely be rewarded with a high lottery pick. In my opinion, Andrew Wiggins is not the only future star in this league, but there are students playing at a higher level than the Kansas forward. If I put on my GM hat on at draft day in New York and I had the number one pick, I would bring the 6'8 Duke forward, Jabari Parker or the Oklahoma State floor general Marcus Smart. Here is my college basketball big board 1.0:
Honorable Mentions: These players just missed the cut Adrein Payne, James McAdoo, Joel Embiid, Andre Harrison, Le'Bryan Nash, Wayne Seldon, Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III, and Willie-Cauley Stein
10: Creighton: Doug McdermottAlthough Creighton competes in the now terrible Big East, McDermott's 27.4 PPG has been impressive in helping his team become 20th in the nation. McDermott is also a rebound machine, grabbing over 7 boards per game.
9: North Carolina: Marcus PaigeAfter sliding from point guard to shooting guard, Paige has thrived as a Tar Heel as PJ Hairston has been struggling. Marcus Paige is averaging 22.4 PPG as the two-guard.
8: Indiana University: Noah VonlehThe double-double machine is taking over the Hossier state and is projected by Bleacher Report to be drafted by the Boston Celtics.
7: Michigan State: Gary HarrisThe sophomore guard has average 17. PPG and over 4 RPG in 5 games, but he has been plagued with an ankle injury. Harris is a freak athlete with an ever-improving jump shot. He has an NBA-type body that really helps his draft value.
6: Arizona: Aaron GordonIn a class full of fantastic Freshman, Gordon would be much higher any other year, but he's just barely impressive compared to the likes of the top-five. The unbelievably athletic small-forward is struggling to score efficiently, his athleticism on both sides of the court more than makes up for his lack of scoring ability. His 12.5 PPG is not very impressive, but his defense and rebounding are astounding for his position. He's averaging almost 10 boards per game, 2 blocks, and a steal.
5: Australia: Dante ExumThe 6'6 scoring point guard is lighting it up overseas. Every analyst swears that he's just as good as anyone in the NCAA. Last year at the NIKE Hoops Summit, where Exum played with Wiggins and Parker, Dante scored 16 points and hung tough with the big boys. The 18 year old is still unsure if he's declaring for the draft in 2014.
4: Kentucky: Julius RandleThe freak of nature big man out of Kentucky is just as skilled as he is physical; a winning combination. Randle is averaging a high double double with 19 PPG and 13.1 RPG.
3: Kansas: Andrew WigginsWiggins was everyone's favorite prospect going into the season, but he hasn't lived up to expectations quite yet. The forward is averaging just 16.8 PPG and he's not a great passer at all.
2: Oklahoma State: Marcus SmartI've always had very high praise for this point guard, but I seemed like the only one heading into the season. Smart somehow flew under the radar for the for the first month of the season. But he's averaging almost 23 PPG, 4 RPG, and 4 APG. Smart leads the Big 12 in scoring, but I would like to see his assist numbers go up. From watching the OKState games, he actually passes very well, but his team is not very good on the offensive side. He needs to continue to score at will for his team to do well.
1: Duke: Jabari ParkerIn 2012, Sports Illustrated called Parker, "The best high school player since Lebron James". They were right, but the next year, Parker sat out the season with an injury and everyone seemed to forget about the Mormon freak. Andrew Wiggins impressed the scouts in 2013 and surpassed Parker for the number one prospect in America. Parker is averaging almost 24 PPG and 9 RPG. Right now Parker is the best college basketball player in the world.
With the _ pick in the 2014 draft, the Boston Celtics select...........
It all depends on the way the ping pong balls roll. I would love any of these players on my big board, but I'm honestly most scared of Andrew Wiggins. I honestly think he may disappoint the team that drafts him. I'm not saying it will be as extreme as Cleveland's Anthony Bennett, but I don't think Wiggins will be a Hall of Famer in 25 years and I'm not quite sure he's an automatic all star.
The Celtics will probably pick anywhere between the 5 and 10 slot, so on my board, I think the best fit for Boston would be either Noah Vonleh or Doug McDermott. If we hold on to Rondo, which looks to be the case right now, Ainge will look to improve the front court. Vonleh can pound the ball inside and McDermott can stretch the floor as a small-ball four if he gains some muscle mass or he could play the traditional small forward.
It depends on their pick, but the Boston Celtics look to be in a pretty good spot for this year's NBA draft. Best possible case scenario, Ainge trades up or steals Marcus Smart or Jabari Parker.