Under Hyped Draft Prospects Utah Jazz Fans Should Know: Bigs

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

This year us Jazz fans have to be excited for the 2014 NBA draft.  We have two picks in the draft, and our own pick is likely to be a high lottery pick.  This draft is so hyped for Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Julius Randle, that other players are often forgotten.  These are short scouting reports on player you should pay attention to as we prepare for the draft.  These reports include comparisons.  Know that these comparisons are more indicative of similar styles of play, than actual talent leve.  Today’s category is Bigs.  Enjoy.


Adreian Payne

Age – 22 Height – 6’-10” Position – PF
Class – Senior Weight – 225 School – Michigan St.


Payne is one player who has really benefited from returning to college.  Over his years at Michigan State he has turned into an incredible stretch 4.  He went from taking 2 3-pointers in his sophomore year, to 41 in his junior year.  He hit on those 41 attempts at a rate of 38.1%.  That is a big jump!  He has continued that jump at is currently on pace to attempt 98 3’s and is hitting them at 43.9%.

Not only can Payne shoot, he can rebound.  Adreian is averaging 7.7 boards a game, even though he lacks strength.  Payne is quick for his size, which makes up for his lack of strength at times.  The real factor going against Payne is his old age for a draft prospect.  However, I would argue that in the last first round seniors are great targets, as you know what you are getting.

Payne is the kind of guy that never gives up on a play.  I believe he can be a great stretch 4 in the NBA.  He may not be as strong as most 4’s, but his speed will help him find a place on a roster in this quick pace game.

Check out Draft Express’ scouting video on Payne.

My Comparison – Channing Frye


Willie Cauley-Stein

Age – 20 Height – 7’-0” Position – C
Class – Sophomore Weight – 240 School – Kentucky

Randle may be the most talked about Kentucky product, but he is not the only quality big from KU in this draft.  Willie is averaging 3.7 blocks per game and 5.4 blocks per 40 minutes.  His 7’3” wingspan makes him a long, athletic big with a knack for defense.  ESPN’s Chad Ford points out that he is currently block 14.7% of opponent’s two-point shot attempts!  Willie truly has the ability to alter any shot at the rim.  In fact, this season he had a 9 block game, and it was incredible.

Not only does Willie block shots, but he runs the floor.  This young sophomore is so athletic that he often beats opposing teams’ guards down the floor to get a solid chance at blocking their shot.  Willie is also completing 65.9% of his field goal attempts, which come primarily from put backs and alley-oops.

Cauley-Stein’s has huge potential defensively, but he is very raw offensively.  He has not jump shot, and is only shooting 45.7% from the free throw line.  His young age leaves time for him to improve on offense.  He has the athletic and physical tools to develop some good post moves, but most likely he will always be known as a defensive specialist.

My Comparison – Serge Ibaka without the jumpshot


Kyle Anderson

Age – 20 Height – 6’-9” Position – PF
Class – Sophomore Weight – 235 School – UCLA

Kyle Anderson is very hard to scout, as he is very unique.  He is the definition of a point-forward averaging 6.6 assists per game with an assist/turnover ratio of 2.19.  His passing ability allows for the UCLA offense to do many thing, including posting Anderson up with all the shooters ready for him to kick out to them for the 3.  Kyle is a very unselfish player.

Offensively Kyle has made huge strides this year.  He has increase his FG% from 41.6% in his freshman year to 52.2%.  He has incredibly raised his 3-point% from 21.1% to 48.0% while taking 0.5 more 3s per game.  Kyle is a crafty player and knows how to box out and get a rebound.  He is averaging a very impressive 9.3 rebounds per game!  His 7’-2” wingspan contributes to his great rebounding abilities.

Where Anderson struggles is with his athleticism.  Some scouts are worried he may not be a good enough of an athlete to compete every day in the NBA.  Other scouts are not worried about Anderson.  Looking at mock drafts he fluctuates in his ranking.  Currently he is ESPN’s 37th ranked prospect.  At that point in the draft, it is simply a crap shoot for someone who can contribute minutes for your team.  I believe that Anderson can contribute, and if he falls in to the second round should be scooped up by the Jazz.

My Comparison – Josh McRoberts/Boris Diaw