Who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft?

Who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft?

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Who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft?

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For the better part of the last year the four names that have most been associated with the coveted top spot in the 2014 NBA Draft have been Kentucky's Julius Randle, Kansas' duo of Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid and Duke's Jabari Parker.

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Fluctuations, eleventh hour injuries and projections aside, we had a roundtable discussion with each player's high school coach – Wiggins' Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) coach Rob Fulford, Randle's Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) coach Chris Mayberry, now the head coach at The First Academy (Orlando), Joel Embiid's The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.) coach Justin Harden and Jabari Parker's Simeon (Chicago) coach Robert Smith – and had them dish on why their guy should shake NBA commissioner Adam Silver's hand first.

Jason Jordan: Why should your guy be No. 1 overall pick?
Rob Fulford on Wiggins: It's because of his overall game on both ends of the court. I know the other guys mentioned do certain things, but in the NBA there is no defensive help. Andrew is a tough matchup for one man to take on. Then on the other end he can guard multiple positions, where the other guys can't. I think he's an elite lockdown wing defender and that's what separates him from anyone else in the conversation.
Robert Smith on Parker: I think Embiid, Wiggins and Randle are all great players, but as far as a player that's ready to play right away and a player that's complete today, I think Jabari is ahead of them there. There's no "potential" or "waiting down the road" with Jabari; he's ready today. You can't take anything away from those other guys, but if you want a guy that's the most ready today, that's Jabari.
Chris Mayberry on Randle: I think Julius' versatility sets him apart from the rest of the guys. He can absolutely shoot the ball a lot better than Kentucky allowed him to showcase. I know because he did it for me consistently. I'd have a hard time passing on him because of his versatility and strength. Most people don't understand that he has a whole other side to his game; he can handle the ball really well, knock down shots, create for teammates and everything. Most people don't know how good he's gonna be from the perimeter. He had to play the low post threat at Kentucky because that's what they needed but Julius has a whole other aspect to his game. With the spacing in the NBA his game is gonna open up even more.
Justin Harden on Embiid: So much has to do with who you're with. He goes to Cleveland he's playing with arguably a top five point guard in Kyrie (Irving), but they don't have a lot in the paint. Very seldom do you ever find a player at 7-feet tall who moves as well as Joel does, who is as coordinated, who can master spins moves and back-to-basket moves, use his right or left hand, knockdown threes and be smart enough to understand and learn the game as quickly as he has. He's a guy that will absolutely be a game-changer from day one. He could possibly do some things that have not been seen in a long time.

Jason Jordan: What are the intangibles that make your guy a "can't miss" prospect?
Rob Fulford on Wiggins: They all have some type of "can't miss" aspect to their games; that phrase is dangerous, but it's something that owners want to feel like they've got. On the court it's Andrew's ability to play at a high level on both ends of the floor. Off the court, the NBA's a business, and he's gonna sell the most jerseys and the most tickets and it's not like he's not gonna win you games. He'll deliver those "wow" plays and that's what will draw fans. But he gets it done in every aspect. The day the NBA combine was going on and the picture of his vertical popped up on Instagram and Twitter, not one person was talking about the combine. The only thing that was being talked about was Andrew Wiggins. That's the power his name has.
Robert Smith on Parker: Well, everybody can run and jump, but Jabari has a skill-set that really sets him apart. Just his knowledge of the game alone is the ultimate intangible. Coach K did a great job of teaching him about the NBA game and preparing him for that.
Chris Mayberry on Randle: Julius is an extremely hard worker. I think a lot of times people say that and it gets taken for granted, but I really mean that he works really, really hard. Also, his competitiveness; he just refuses to be denied baskets. That's just not something you can teach. Then he's got super high character and that's a testament to his upbringing from his mom. That just sets him apart. He's really, really mature.
Justin Harden on Embiid: Joel is very competitive; now he's soft spoken by nature but on the court he competes fiercely. Owners and GM's saw that when he got kicked out of the game this year for pushing someone. That's not uncommon. You love that as a coach. You want a guy who has that type of desire and he's absolutely got that. He competes in every practice, every drill and every game. Also he's very smart. He's got a high IQ and he'll be able to learn the different nuances of the game. He grasps the concepts and actually utilizes them in the game.

Jason Jordan: How good can your guy be?
Rob Fulford on Wiggins: He'll be a much better pro than he was a college player; I've always said that. I think he's got the potential; and again potential is a dangerous word, but he's got the potential to be an NBA All-Star multiple times. There's no question; as long as he stays healthy he'll have a great NBA career.
Robert Smith on Parker: He's definitely going to be an All-Star and with his work ethic he can be a hall of famer; he's got that type of potential. He's a guy that can make the All-Star game for several years and, God-willing he doesn't get injured, I think he can be a hall of famer too.
Chris Mayberry on Randle: I definitely think that Julius can be an All-Star; beyond that I don't want to say because I don't want to put any extra pressure on him. I've played with and been around a lot of pros and he's got the makeup to be successful in the NBA for a long time. I think he's a double-double guy his rookie year.
Justin Harden on Embiid: He'll be a guy who gets to multiple All-Star games. The center position has been watered down in the NBA, and I think that Joel has the ability to come in and leave his mark. He's that good. I think, based off his potential, he's a guy who could make 10 All-Star games; and that's a guy who could make the hall of fame.

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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