The 2014 NBA Draft was one of the more loaded drafts in recent memory. There were franchise changing players at the top, with plenty of strong players following right behind. While there are plenty of good players in the draft, there undoubtedly will be some that fall short of expectations. Here are some potential busts from the 2014 NBA Draft.
Aaron Gordon, Forward, Arizona: Gordon is as athletic as they come in this class, but that is about all that he has going for him currently. Like so many of the players who grew up playing AAU basketball, Gordon does not have a true position, being labeled a tweener at small forward and power forward.
Gordon was a top-prospect in this draft, and he falls into the bust category more because of where he was drafted and selected before. It was the first surprise of the draft that he was taken ahead of Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Dante Exum and Noah Vonleh. When you are selected ahead of players expected to excel at the level those are, you better bring your A game.
Gordon has some ways to go on both ends of the court, and is joining a team he will have every opportunity to showcase himself. The Magic though are currently loaded at the forward positions, so Gordon will have to prove himself worthy of the minutes as he will be facing plenty of competition.
Nik Stauskas, Shooting Guard, Michigan: This pick for bust has less to do with the player, and more to do with the team he was selected by. Stauskas is joining a team that is in flux with its roster, trying to figure out who is in their long term plans and who to move on to. Not to mention the Sacramento Kings first round pick from 2013 is a shooting guard in Ben McLemore.
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Stauskas can score the ball offensively, but he may not have a good chance to do it with the Kings. Getting lost in the shuffle is something Stauskas should be very worried about as players such as Rudy Gay and Travis Outlaw will be playing minutes at the same position as Stauskas in addition to McLemore. The track record the Kings have with first round picks make Stauskas a candidate to be a bust.
Tyler Ennis, Point Guard, Syracuse: Ennis is a bust candidate because he does not fit the mold of where the NBA is heading at the position. He is a smart player, but it is hard to imagine him being able to consistently stick with the super-athletes that are filling up the point guard position now.
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He is also not a strong shooter, something teams need from their point guards. Last season at Syracuse Ennis shot only 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three point line. Those are numbers he must improve upon at the NBA-level to have any success; NBA teams cannot afford to have a player that offers nothing offensively on the court, especially when your defense is as in question as Ennis’ is.
Ennis also falls onto this list because of how things are looking with the Phoenix Suns. The Suns signed Isaiah Thomas from the Kings in free agency, further pushing Ennis down the depth chart. They already have breakout player Goran Dragic on the team, and are in contract negotiations with Eric Bledsoe to bring him back as well. Ennis could very well be the fourth string point guard heading into the season, firmly placing him on the bench with the bust label.
Josh Huestis, Power Forward, Stanford: It is not Huestis’ fault that he was selected in the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, but like all other players he needs to be judged by his draft selection, and he has bust written all over him. Huestis is known more for his rebounding and defense, something that is not always appreciated when it comes to evaluating draft prospects.
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Huestis was also not expected to be in the mix as a first round pick, so expectations are automatically heightened for him. Getting selected to a team like the Thunder gives you time to develop your skills, but there are a slew of players ahead of Huestis currently on the roster, and playing time will be hard to come by. He also has to contend with fellow first round draft pick Mitch McGary
Huestis has a long road ahead of him to crack the rotation and get minutes with the Thunder this season. He is destined for a spot in the D-League this upcoming year.
Bruno Caboclo, Small Forward, Brazil: There is not much known about Caboclo other than he is the Brazilian Kevin Durant. ESPN international scout Fran Fraschilla also said that he was two years away from being two years away, meaning Caboclo is nowhere near ready to contribute to the Toronto Raptors.
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Caboclo it has been said will be a part of the NBA roster, but it is hard to imagine him giving much positive to the Raptors. He is an extremely raw basketball player, and could be stapled to the Raptors bench for many seasons to come. Like Huestis, it is not Caboclo’s fault that he was selected where he was, but he will be judged with where he was selected.
The Raptors would have been better off getting another wing such as Rodney Hood, Jordan Adams or P.J. Hairston, all three of which were selected after Caboclo.