2014 NBA Draft: A look ahead

Arizona has numerous players that could potentially enter the NBA next year. Read on for a breakdown of each.

With the 2013 NBA Draft having passed, it is never too early to look ahead at the players that could potentially enter next year's draft. Although we do not expect all of these players to go into the draft, each one has a unique situation and we do feel that it would not be a surprise to see the majority of them in there.

Brandon Ashley: If Ashley has the season that he is capable of having, then he should be gone. The issue there is that we simply don't know what type of season Ashley will produce, as he has battled inconsistency in high school and his first year at Arizona as well. When Ashley plays well, he has the potential to be one of the best players in the country.

He can score around the basket, step out and hit the jumper, and is strong on the glass as well. Ashley's versatility is going to make him popular with NBA teams if he can get over that consistency hump and even if he comes close, Arizona will likely wave him off to the first round of the draft.

Aaron Gordon: Unless something goes wrong, Gordon is a top five pick in the next draft and could go as high as three, figuring that Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle go ahead of him. Gordon has the athleticism that teams like and has improved his game every year.

His shot keeps improving, he is a better ball-handler than people think, and he is probably the top athlete in the draft behind Wiggins. The NBA Draft is a lot about potential, but Gordon should put up legitimate numbers right away and teams will flock to not only his production, but the fact that he will have room to improve as well.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: Is Hollis-Jefferson likely to be ready for the NBA Draft after next season? No, probably not. However, as we saw this year with Grant Jerrett, you don't necessarily need to be ready to enter the draft. Hollis-Jefferson's defense is already at a high level and, if anything, we see it getting better in college.

The main concern with him is going to be his ability to score, but if he somehow shows that he can have a consistent jump shot, you aren't going to find many players in the draft with better all-around game.

We would be surprised if Hollis-Jefferson is a one and done, but if history is any indication, it is always a possibility with talented players that have potential.

Nick Johnson: Johnson wouldn't get drafted as is, but there is the potential for him having a big jump and if he has a good enough season, the time may be right for him to go. We definitely do not expect him to enter the draft and every indication is that he is a four-year player, but if Johnson can raise his stock to the point where there is a solid chance that he is drafted, it will be difficult to stop him from entering.

In order for Johnson to be more appealing to NBA teams, he has to show the ability to run the point. He is not good enough at that now and he is too small and not a good enough shooter to play the two in the NBA. Johnson does have athleticism, which is obviously good to have at the next level, but he also has a lot to prove.

Kaleb Tarczewski: You can't teach height and that factor alone makes Tarczewski an intriguing prospect. Teams like big men and that was shown by Alex Len going in the top ten, as he only averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. Yes, he may have a higher ceiling than Tarczewski, but if Tarc has the year that people expect, he is likely to go to the NBA.

Figuring that Tarczewski improved from last season, his job is going to be easier with the improvement of Ashley and presence of Gordon. He should be able to take advantage of that and put up better numbers than he did his freshman season, which would increase the demand from the NBA.


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