The NBA draft is always exciting for all of the college and international players who want to live out their dreams of playing in the NBA. The draft is annual and usually in late June after the NBA Finals conclude. Every year there are some draft picks that surprise everyone and others that flop out of relevancy. Although it is too soon to reach verdicts on many players from the 2014 Draft, there are definitely a few clear highlights and lowlights that we can point out.
Embiid was definitely one of the best players to come out of the 2014 draft. The Cameroon native was selected third overall. Although Embiid couldn't start playing until 2016-17 due to injury, he quickly became one of the best centers in the league, earning All-Rookie first team honors that season. In both full seasons which Embiid has played, he has earned spots on the All-Star Team, All-NBA Second Team, and All-NBA Defensive Second Team. His size, power, and shooting ability makes him one of the most dangerous centers in the league and one of the best picks in the 2014 draft.
At 41st overall, Jokic was maybe the best value pick of the 2014 draft. His size and passing ability have made him one of the best passing centers in the league. In addition, he has developed his jump shot and post moves. 2014 was a good draft year for big men, as Jokic and Embiid were considered to be the two best centers in the league by 2019. In the 2018-19 season, Jokic earned a spot on the All-Star Team and All-NBA First Team, averaging 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.
The 25th overall pick is not a bad place at all to find a serviceable starting center, which is exactly what Clint Capela is for the Houston Rockets. Capela's points and rebounds per game averages have risen every year, and his 65.2% field goal percentage led the league in 2017-18. Capela's rebounding, rim protecting, and close-range finishing are exactly what the Rockets needed in their system, making the "Swiss Bank" a great pick at #25.
Wiggins is one of only two #1 draft picks to never play for the team that drafted him-the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves later in the summer as part of a three-team trade to get Kevin Love. Despite earning Rookie of the Year honors, Wiggins never lived up to the first overall pick hype. While he is certainly of starting quality in the NBA, picking him at first overall was not a great look.
Parker never lived up to the hype of a second overall pick, although he has still enjoyed a successful NBA career. His averages of 15.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game are far from stellar, and his career is yet to really take off. So far, picking Parker over Embiid and Jokic is not looking like a very good decision.
Stauskas was selected eighth overall and proceeded to bounce around the league before moving to Europe by 2019-not ideal for a lottery pick. A career average of 6.8 points per game is not exactly something to celebrate for a scoring guard prototype, but the "Sauce Castillo" nickname sure is.