NBA Draft: Re-drafting the 2014 NBA Draft’s first round

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /
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Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

2014 NBA Redraft: 2. Nikola Jokic, Milwaukee Bucks

Without a doubt the biggest riser in this updated draft, Nikola Jokic jumps from the middle of the second round up to No. 2 overall. It’s a story that continues to get better with every ridiculous stat line the Joker puts up.

In an era where big men are these indescribable combinations of brute size with perimeter skills, Jokic is at the forefront of the point-center revolution. While his name is listed under the center position, the Denver Nuggets run their entire offense through him, whether that’s out of the post or running pick-and-rolls himself.

There’s no logical explanation for his ability to pass the basketball at such a high level. Jokic was born with a gift from the basketball gods, one allowing him to thread even the thinnest of needles through the lunging limbs of opposing players.

Though always a potent all-around player, Jokic has incredibly taken his entire game up a notch in 2020-21 en route to an MVP caliber season. The points, rebounds and assists are all career-highs. Only once before has he shot better from the field. Never has Jokic topped his current efficiency from both the 3-point and free-throw line.

European players are always difficult to peg leading up to the draft. For every Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol, there’s a Darko Milicic or Jan Vesely. Jokic, though, is different from these high lottery selections.

The Nuggets didn’t take much of a risk when they selected their All-Star center with the 41st overall pick. It was more of a flyer taken for a guy who clearly showed potential. In the present day, they look like geniuses, with one of the best young players in the game morphing into one of the game’s best, period, the engine to an unexpected contender in the Mile High.