Who’s the best shooter, scorer, rebounder and athlete in the 2014 draft class?


Andrew Wiggins is projected to be a top three pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

This year’s NBA draft class is expected to be one of the deepest in recent history. The next LeBron James is not among this group, but there are plenty of talented youngsters who could make an immediate impact. Looking for a prospect to fill a specific role? Here are the top players in several categories.

Best Scorer
Jabari Parker, Duke

Projected to be drafted: Top three
The 6-foot-8 swingman can score inside and out. He has great footwork in the post and he made 38 3-pointers as a freshman at Duke. He’s also an above-average ball handler for his size and he can create his own shots. Parker’s not the most athletic forward, but he’s crafty enough to make up for that.
Option later in the draft: T.J. Warren, N.C. State. The Wolfpack forward needs to develop an outside shot, but he averaged 24.9 points a game in the ACC without one.

Best Shooter
Doug McDermott, Creighton

Projected to be drafted: Lottery pick
In four years at Creighton, McDermott shot 52.5 percent or better from the field and 40 percent or better from 3-point range each year. He also averaged more than 22 points a game in his last three seasons. At the very least, McDermott could fill the role of spot-up shooter to spread the floor.
Option later in the draft: Nik Stauskas, Michigan. Like McDermott, he’s also projected to go late in the lottery. In two years at Michigan, Stauskas hit 172 3-pointers.

Best Rebounder
Julius Randle, Kentucky

Projected to be drafted: Top 10
The 250-pound bruiser was top 10 in the country at rebounding, averaging 10.4 per game, and he led the NCAA in double doubles (24) last season. Randle used his size to bully opponents down low at Kentucky, but will he be as physically dominant in the NBA?
Option later in the draft: Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee. At 6-foot-8, 263 pounds, Stokes is built like a defensive end. He’s not as offensively talented as Randle, but he can grab plenty of boards.

Best Athlete
Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Projected to be drafted: Lottery pick
The 6-foot-9 forward’s offensive skills are a little raw, but he had plenty of highlight-reel dunks at Arizona to make you overlook his lack of a post-up game. Gordon would be a perfect addition to any high-tempo team looking for a big man who can rebound and run the floor like a guard.
Option later in the draft: Jerami Grant, Syracuse. Like Gordon, he needs to work on his offensive repertoire, but his length and athleticism make Grant an excellent offensive rebounder.

Best All-Around
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Projected to be drafted: Top three
The likely No. 1 pick is regarded as one of the better perimeter defenders in this draft, so his value isn’t only on the offensive end of the floor. While he had an up-and-down freshman season, his 41-point outburst against West Virginia in the regular-season finale showed his true scoring potential.

More NBA draft: In may not be a bad thing that the Wizards are without a first-round pick

Jeffrey Tomik is the sports editor at Express and has worked in the D.C. area since 2007.

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Rick Snider · June 26, 2014