It’s a good year for college basketball prospects in Arizona.
Arizona’s Aaron Gordon and Arizona State’s Jahii Carson and Jordan Bachynski were all selected in the first round in The Big Lead’s latest 2014 NBA Mock Draft.
Gordon, a freshman combo forward out of San Jose, Calif., was projected seventh to the Los Angeles Lakers. Often compared to L.A. Clippers’ star Blake Griffin, Gordon is part of the talented freshman class and ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote scouts love his athleticism and hustle.
Gordon has a lot of fans in NBA front offices. Although he lacks the sizzle of the top six prospects, Gordon’s combination of extreme athleticism and hustle is attractive to everyone. His transition from the 4 to the 3 is more of a work in progress. But, with his standing reach taller than Blake Griffin’s, some scouts aren’t sure he really needs to be a 3 to excel in the NBA.
Carson, the redshirt sophomore point guard, is slotted to the Orlando Magic at 17 and is considered one of the more intriguing prospects, due to his talent but also his short stature as he measures at 5-foot-10. Already this season, Carson set a new career-high in points with 40 at UNLV and is considered to be the best Sun Devil to come along since James Harden.
Ford has Carson 19th in his rankings and added, “Carson is working hard to close the gap between himself and the other top-tier point guards on this list.”
Finally, there’s the Canadian center in ASU’s Bachynski. A legit seven footer, Bachynski is one of the most productive shot blockers in the country. The Big Lead has Bachynski going 27th to the San Antonio Spurs, but failed to make Ford’s Big Board. The big thing working against Bachynski is his age, as he is already 24 years old, which is considered practically ancient in the draft.
Last season, Wildcat Solomon Hill was the only Arizona collegiate player selected in the first round. The Sun Devils haven’t had a first round pick since Harden in 2009.