Five Big Ten players in ESPN NBA Mock Draft

This year’s college basketball season is entering the home stretch, which means the NBA mock drafts are going to begin to appear on a regular basis in the upcoming months. ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman released his initial 2014 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 this morning, and it’s filled with plenty of Big Ten stars.

The mock draft is based on information gathered from NBA executives, college coaches and other industry sources. The draft order is based off the current NBA standings.

There are a total of five Big Ten players listed in the mock draft. Indiana freshman standout Noah Vonleh highlights the list, being projected as the No. 6 overall pick to the Boston Celtics, followed by Michigan’s Nik Stauskas at No. 12 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The other three Big Ten stars listed are Michigan State’s Gary Harris (No. 16, Atlanta Hawks), Michigan State’s Adrien Payne (No. 24, Houston Rockets) and Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III (No. 27, Miami Heat).

Here is what Goodman said about all five Big Ten players.

No. 6: Indiana PF Noah Vonleh – Boston Celtics

Celtics boss Danny Ainge will take the player he feels has the best chance of becoming a star in the league, and that’s Vonleh. He’s a local kid who still is figuring out where to score, but he’s a versatile forward who is coachable and just scratching the surface of his immense talent.

No. 12: Michigan SG Nik Stauskas – Minnesota Timberwolves

Flip Saunders could use a lights-out shooter, and Stauskas is one of the best in the country. However, he’s more than just a shooter, as he has proven this season. He has size, is athletic and is extremely adept at reading ball-screens.

No. 16: Michigan State SG Gary Harris – Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have a couple of quality forwards in Al Horford — when healthy — and Paul Millsap. What they need is a reliable wing scorer. Harris gives them that — and also someone who can defend his position.

No. 24: Michigan State PF Adreian Payne – Houston Rockets

Terrence Jones is playing well, but GM Daryl Morey won’t be able to pass up on Payne if he slips all the way to No. 24. Payne is a skilled and versatile forward who can score in a multitude of ways. He could add to the Rockets’ stash of young, athletic reserve players.

No. 27: Michigan SF Glenn Robinson III – Miami Heat

The son of the “Big Dog” is frustratingly inconsistent, but he’s still blessed with tremendous athleticism. If there’s a team that can afford to roll the dice and has a guy who can help get Robinson to play hard every night, it’s Miami and LeBron James.

Originally from Farmington Hills, MI, I have worked at the Big Ten Network since 2012 and took over my role as web editor and blogger in August, 2013. Follow me on twitter for constant Big Ten updates @srmerriman. Thanks and enjoy!!

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5 Comments

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John on 2/12/2014 @ 5:01pm EDT Said:

Again the bias against Iowa is evident in a BTN article. Why doesn’t Marble belong in this list. Just yesterday one of your so-called reporters had him leading the pack in your player of the year voting. Today he isn’t even in your top 5 among Big 10 players in a mock NBA draft? You people are so ridiculous it’s getting to be funny.

Todd Fletcher on 2/12/2014 @ 6:52pm EDT Said:

I agree.

B1Gfan MI on 2/12/2014 @ 7:52pm EDT Said:

Crawford is a better all around player than Stauskas.Dekker has a more refined and consistant game compared to Robinson. I don’t see either one playing in the NBA until 2016 or 17.

akble on 2/12/2014 @ 8:17pm EDT Said:

College and pro games are very different. You notice their “superboy” Craft is not mentioned either. Actually for as good as the B10 is the number of legitimate pro prospects this year is thin. My guess is that Vonleh and Payne are the top two picks in the conference and none of the other listed players are much more than spot player potential. Stauskas has dropped as Harris in last couple weeks. If GR3 had any other name would not be on this list. He is soft on D and does not like to go to the lane . Marble may be the surprize in the group since he has shown he can play both 1&2 and is pretty good passer and plays good D with good BB IQ

Ben on 2/13/2014 @ 6:50am EDT Said:

John, they didn’t make the mock draft, they were showing what another article said.

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