Overhyped 2014 NBA Draft Class

Randle, Wiggins, and Smart are three headline names for the 2014 NBA draft

The NBA draft class of 2014 has been surrounded by hype for the past couple of years. The media has done their best to portray the top talents in the 2013 recruiting class, such as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon as the next generation of NBA stars. NBA general managers have taken notice too. The Philadelphia 76ers traded their best player, Jrue Holiday, during the NBA draft for a 2014 pick and Nerlens Noel, who they have decided to sit out the entire year to “rehab” his torn ACL. However, both the 76ers and the Pelicans currently have records that would land them in the lottery, which means the 76ers might be able to add two players from this highly touted 2014 draft class.

However, Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim isn’t buying the hype. In an interview conducted by Adam Zagoria of, Boeheim suggested that NBA teams tanking to land one of the stars in the 2014 class were making a mistake. "There's no player that's out there on the horizon that's a Tim Duncan or a LeBron James," Boeheim said. "I've seen all these guys play. I think they're very talented players. They're not that kind of player. They're not transcendent players that are gonna make your franchise into a 10-12-15-year winning franchise because you're there. I don't see that."


One may look at this and chalk Boeheim’s comments up to jealousy, citing his failed attempts at signing the premier freshmen in the 2013 recruiting class. However, it is hard to believe that Boeheim, second all-time in wins by a division one men’s college basketball, would be so petty about kid’s choosing to play at schools other than Syracuse. Boeheim, having coached a title team at Syracuse led by Carmelo Anthony, and serving as an assistant on the USA basketball team, certainly is qualified to say whether or not he believes the current crop of freshmen are franchise players.


Quite honestly, it’s very possible Boeheim is correct in his evaluation. Reports were flying around that Andrew Wiggins was being offered shoe deals worth over $100 million before the tip of the college basketball season. He was pegged as the next Lebron James prior to the beginning of this season, and he has been far from it.


Aaron Gordon, who has drawn comparisons to Blake Griffin, is currently two points and two rebounds per game of Griffin’s pace from his freshman year at Oklahoma. Gordon, who has an outside game is far more developed than Griffin’s game was during his freshman year, is still far from elite. Gordon has a lot of athleticism, but comparing that to Griffin’s athleticism seems to be very pre-mature from the lack of dynamic plays Gordon has produced thus far.


Julius Randle has been dominant thus far, averaging a double double, and failing to achieve one in only three out of his 12 games thus far. However, his worst game of the season, an 11 point five rebound effort, came against North Carolina and James Michael McAdoo. McAdoo is a definite next level player, a type of player that Randle will be expected to go up against night in and night out once he enters the NBA.


So far this season, Jabari Parker has done the most to prove he could be a franchise player at the next level. He is currently averaging 22 points and eight rebounds per game, and has shown flashes of brilliance. But even he isn’t a sure thing. In Duke’s two losses, against Kansas and Arizona, two of the better teams in the country, Parker faded in the second half of games that were winnable. Franchise players are supposed to come up big in those moments, and Parker hasn’t.


There is still a lot of season left for these players to show that they are franchise caliber players. There is plenty of time for these players to grow into that role even after they are drafted. However, the trend has developed where we anoint the top recruits as the second coming of Lebron, or the second coming of “x” player. We’re always looking for the next great player, but the fact is, the players are rarely as good as they get hyped up to be.