Jerry West Calls 2014 Draft Class ‘Poor’

Jerry West isn’t impressed with the current state of the NBA or the 2014 NBA Draft class.

Not at all.

“Just look at the league, this is the weakest I’ve ever seen this league,” the NBA legend told Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Rusillo on ESPN Radio. “The weakest. And we are depending on people who go to school for a year to come in and change the fortunes of franchises, rarely does that ever happen.

“And everyone is talking about an incredible draft class this year, I think it’s just the opposite, I think it’s a poor one myself. There are going to be prospects there. But these franchises have really struggled. At one time you could get a branded name, these kids are not branded today. They’re not branded.

“And by that I mean kids who have played in school for three or four years and comes out and people know who he is. He’s tutored, he’s more mature, more experienced. Those kinds of players come in and make an impact right away. But if you look at some of these kids, it takes about three years for them to get going. And for a team that’s really struggling, you’re selling your fans that this player’s going to make us better. Most of the time it does not happen today.”

According to DraftExpress.com, eight of the top 10 projected picks are college freshmen: Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh,Tyler Ennis and James Young. A ninth is  Australian Dante Exum, who will go straight to the NBA after playing in Australia.

The highest-rated player West seems to be talking about is Creighton senior Doug McDermott, projected as the No. 13 pick.

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17 comments
EEstaris
EEstaris

@AdamZagoria The issue is the overhyping of Kentucky, Duke and Kansas players. A kid goes there and you all think they are future NBA stars.

CoachSmithOG
CoachSmithOG

@AdamZagoria must be poor then. Not too many as respected as "The Logo" when it comes to evaluating talent.

wexlerworld
wexlerworld

@AdamZagoria not what he's saying. Just not immediate help because the guys are simply prospects and will need several years.

kmurph77
kmurph77

@AdamZagoria he is right. Wasn't UK supposed to go 40-0? Wernt scouts telling you they would spend the whole year in Lex? They have 1 pro.

nelson_2301
nelson_2301

@NewSchoolSS his point is so valid. It takes them 3 years to make a big difference and by then they want out of the small markets.

lunker
lunker

It's not rocket science. The NBA talent pool falls off dramatically after each team's starting five. Even within some teams' starting fives.

Back in the NBA glory days, I don't remember anyone being drafted strictly for their potential or as a project.

They only drafted men who were ready to play. 

AdamZagoria
AdamZagoria

@ScottCacciola NBA people will tell you this class was over-hyped and over-rated. "Poor" might be a bit strong.

Matt Korman
Matt Korman

@lunker  Because until the 2000s, the only kids who came out were seniors.