Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (2024)

Highlights

  • Nikola Jokic would be selected first overall in a 2014 NBA re-draft.
  • Joel Embiid and Julius Randle have a shot at coming off the board second.
  • Andrew Wiggins, the original No. 1 pick, would fall several spots.

The 2014 NBA Draft was a highly anticipated one at the time. Many believed that the top of the draft had a few potential franchise-altering talents available.

Looking at the draft in hindsight, there absolutely were two franchise-altering talents available. Most people expected them to be the two players selected first and second overall, but that did not prove to be the case.

One of those two players was indeed a top-five selection, just not the one people expected. The other was selected in the second round of this NBA Draft. That player has a case for being arguably the greatest second-round steal of all time.

The two best players in the 2014 draft would end up as MVPs. In fact, they are currently two of the best players in the NBA, and one has a strong case for being the best player on the planet. The other hovers around the top five. But they both stand firmly above the rest of the players picked in 2014.

However, that does not mean the quality of this class ends there. A couple of multiple-time All-Stars follow the two headliners of 2014. There was even some healthy competition for the fifth spot on this list.

In hindsight, 2014 was a great year for the NBA Draft. It actually played a significant role in reviving the center position with some of the following names.

1 Cleveland Cavaliers – Nikola Jokić

Original Pick – Andrew Wiggins

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (1)

Andrew Wiggins , aka Maple Jordan, was supposed to be the potential generational talent available in this class. That is what the Cleveland Cavaliers were expecting when they selected him first overall.

That was also what the Minnesota Timberwolves thought when they accepted a trade package centered around him in exchange for Kevin Love .

However, the generational prospect available in this draft class was selected during a Taco Bell commercial in the second round.

Nikola Jokic was drafted with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. No one in their wildest imaginations would have guessed just how great of a player he would prove to be.

Nikola Jokic Career Stats

PPG

20.9

RPG

10.7

APG

6.9

SPG

1.2

BPG

0.7

FG%

55.7

3P%

35.0

Jokić has claimed the title of best player in the world the past few seasons. He has won three of the last four MVPs, and the only season he did not take home that award, he won Finals MVP. He's also a six-time All-Star and a six-time All-NBA selection.

Jokić dominated everyone in his path to lead the Denver Nuggets to their first-ever NBA Championship in 2023. He took no prisoners during a playoff run that saw him post absurd averages of 30.0 points (on 54.8 percent shooting from the field and 46.1 percent from beyond the arc), 13.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

Jokić's statistical dominance at his peak is as impressive as that of anyone who has come before him. The advanced analytics absolutely love him as well. The most impressive of that bunch might be the fact that Jokić has led the league in win shares over the past four seasons.

The Nuggets' superstar has peaked incredibly high. Most, if not all, view him as the best passing big man of all time. The truth of the matter is, he is so much more than that. Jokić may genuinely be one of the best offensive superstars in NBA history, point-blank. The longer his career goes on, the more solidified Jokić' will become among the all-time greats.

2 Milwaukee Bucks – Joel Embiid

Original Pick – Jabari Parker

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (5)

Duke Blue Devils star Jabari Parker was originally seen as the other major headliner for this draft class. Scouts likened Parker's game to that of NBA legend Carmelo Anthony .

Unfortunately for him, injuries would never allow Parker to live up to the lofty expectations that were placed on him.

A player who can certainly relate to struggling against injuries is Joel Embiid . Embiid actually sat out the first two years of his career recovering from a foot injury. Once he finally arrived in the NBA, it didn't take long to realize that he was a special talent.

Joel Embiid Career Stats

PPG

27.9

RPG

11.2

APG

3.6

SPG

0.9

BPG

1.7

FG%

50.4

3P%

34.1

Embiid and Jokić played crucial roles in reviving the center position in the league. They took the NBA out of the brief big-man dark age that it experienced before the two came along.

The major knock on Embiid's career to this point is the lack of playoff success that the Philadelphia 76ers have experienced while he has been leading the way. The team has yet to make it past the second round during Embiid's time with the team.

Other than that, it is hard to deny that Embiid is one of the best players in the NBA. He is the only player who has managed to interrupt Jokić's run of consecutive MVPs. He's a seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA big man and has been named to three All-Defense teams.

Jokingly, it must be a little tough for Embiid. He is the second-best center in the league due to Jokić being ahead of him. He has been put on the All-NBA Second Team multiple times with Jokić ahead of him. He has finished second in the MVP race multiple times with Jokić ahead of him.

Now, he also goes second overall in this re-draft with, predictably, Jokić ahead of him.

3 Philadelphia 76aers – Julius Randle

Original Pick – Joel Embiid

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (7)

It took Julius Randle a little bit of time to really find his stride in the NBA, but once he did, he firmly established his positioning within it. At this point, it is tough not to think of Randle as one of the top power forwards in the league.

Julius Randle Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

19.1

RPG

9.4

APG

3.7

FG%

47.0

3P%

33.3

All-Star Selections

3

All-NBA Selections

2

Most Improved Player

1

Randle's time with the New York Knicks has been the game-changer for his career after mixed results from his time with the L.A. Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans . In the 2020-21 season, Randle won the Most Improved Player award and was selected to both his first All-Star game and All-NBA team.

He has averaged 22.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists as one of the lead options on the Knicks. He could get the opportunity to add an NBA championship to his resume over the next few years after the Knicks went all-in, acquiring Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets . That would only solidify his spot at third in this re-draft.

4 Orlando Magic – Zach LaVine

Original Pick – Aaron Gordon

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (12)

Zach LaVine is currently best known for having one of the worst contracts in the NBA. However, that should not alter people's perception that LaVine has been a solid star throughout the better part of his career.

Zach LaVine Career Stats and Accolades

PPG

20.5

RPG

4.1

APG

3.9

FG%

46.4

3P%

38.2

All-Star Selections

1

Much like Randle, LaVine needed a change of scenery to firmly establish himself as the player he is today. His time with the Chicago Bulls has showcased his skills as a deadly scorer at his best.

LaVine has averaged 24.2 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc with the Bulls. Perhaps he can rebrand his reputation around the league next season if the Bulls can find a trade partner for the 29-year-old wing.

5 Utah Jazz – Andrew Wiggins

Original Pick – Dante Exum

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (14)

There was some really healthy competition for the final spot in this re-draft. Aaron Gordon , Marcus Smart , Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic all deserved considerable thought for fifth. To a lesser extent, Jordan Clarkson, Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanović and Spencer Dinwiddie were also lurking.

Ultimately, the original top pick in this draft falls to the fifth spot, but not further than that. There are good arguments to be made for some of the players listed above, but Wiggins just barely edges them out in the end.

Andrew Wiggins Career Stats

PPG

18.5

RPG

4.5

APG

2.3

SPG

1.0

FG%

44.9

3P%

35.4

Wiggins' time in Minnesota was seen as a disappointment, but that was mostly due to the massive expectations he entered the league with. He was not an awful NBA pro by any means.

When he relocated to the Golden State Warriors , he found a home where he settled into a role as an effective scorer and defender for a team that would win a championship with him playing a key role. The Warriors did a lot to rehabilitate Wiggins' image.

Wiggins may not have delivered on the potential many thought he had, but he certainly did not flame out completely. He's made an All-Star Team, was the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year and has won a championship. He will be remembered as a good NBA player, just not the generational talent some thought he could be.

Stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

Related

Redrafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2013 NBA Draft

The infamous 2013 NBA Draft may have been bad, but it was certainly not without its hits.

Re-Drafting the Top 5 Picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated:

Views: 5958

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.