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NBA Draft 2014: Cursed or Co-incidence?

The 2014 Class was supposed to be better than the 2013 Class. But injuries have slowed them down. Let’s look into it!

Towson v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Wow. I have a strong love for young players, and especially for the guys I got to know during the 2013 and 2014 NBA Draft process. (The players, their agents, families, and former coaches were all very nice to me as I covered them for SB Nation those two years.) The idea was that the 2013 class was inferior to the 2014 class. A few seasons in, well, one of the classes appears to be snake-bit. HoopsHype dropped a video that details some of the problems that have befallen the 2014 notables like Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, Julius Randle, and others. Watch it!

The evidence for a curse is compelling, however, I have my doubts. So, I looked at all the guys who a) were from the 2014 NBA Draft class, or b) had their first NBA rookie minutes during the 2014-15 season. And well, not a lot of them have been getting in games. (N.B. Also, yes, because this is also players who had their rookie year in 2014 while 2014 wasn’t their draft year there are more than 60 players on this list. Guys who declared for the draft or were from other drafts do show up here, like Nikola Mirotic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Zoran Dragic, Furkan Aldemir, Nerlens Noel, Erick Green, James Ennis, Joffrey Lauvergne, and so on.)

2014 NBA Draft Class Minutes.csv

Player Pick # Draft SEAS G MINS /SEAS /G
Player Pick # Draft SEAS G MINS /SEAS /G
Andrew Wiggins 1 2014 3 217 7,822 2,607.33 36.05
Elfrid Payton 10 2014 3 210 6,242 2,080.67 29.72
Zach LaVine 13 2014 3 206 5,945 1,981.67 28.86
Jordan Clarkson 46 2014 3 194 5,553 1,851.00 28.62
Bojan Bogdanovic 31 2011 3 210 5,395 1,798.33 25.69
Marcus Smart 6 2014 3 178 5,014 1,671.33 28.17
Jabari Parker 2 2014 3 152 4,874 1,624.67 32.07
Rodney Hood 23 2014 3 169 4,750 1,583.33 28.11
Nerlens Noel 6 2013 3 168 4,750 1,583.33 28.27
Jerami Grant 39 2014 3 195 4,560 1,520.00 23.38
Langston Galloway 2014 3 179 4,550 1,516.67 25.42
Nikola Mirotic 23 2011 3 196 4,378 1,459.33 22.34
Nik Stauskas 8 2014 3 197 4,313 1,437.67 21.89
Aaron Gordon 4 2014 3 179 4,146 1,382.00 23.16
Joe Ingles 2009 3 214 4,083 1,361.00 19.08
Gary Harris 19 2014 3 160 3,976 1,325.33 24.85
Julius Randle 7 2014 3 130 3,663 1,221.00 28.18
Doug McDermott 11 2014 3 158 3,168 1,056.00 20.05
JaMychal Green 2012 3 156 3,167 1,055.67 20.30
Nikola Jokic 41 2014 2 126 2,945 1,472.50 23.37
T.J. Warren 14 2014 3 128 2,888 962.67 22.56
Tyler Johnson 2014 3 114 2,876 958.67 25.23
Dante Exum 5 2014 2 121 2,549 1,274.50 21.07
Clint Capela 25 2014 3 130 2,527 842.33 19.44
Jusuf Nurkic 16 2014 3 139 2,457 819.00 17.68
James Ennis 50 2013 3 126 2,455 818.33 19.48
Tarik Black 2014 3 146 2,412 804.00 16.52
JaKarr Sampson 2014 2 147 2,291 1,145.50 15.59
Kyle Anderson 30 2014 3 159 2,244 748.00 14.11
Dwight Powell 45 2014 3 151 2,219 739.67 14.70
Sean Kilpatrcik 2014 3 88 2,073 691.00 23.56
Noah Vonleh 9 2014 3 149 2,028 676.00 13.61
P.J. Hairston 26 2014 2 111 2,000 1,000.00 18.02
Tim Frazier 2014 3 102 1,997 665.67 19.58
Joffrey Lauvergne 55 2013 3 130 1,992 664.00 15.32
Glenn Robinson III 40 2014 3 131 1,886 628.67 14.40
Shabazz Napier 24 2014 3 136 1,839 613.00 13.52
K.J. McDaniels 32 2014 3 127 1,794 598.00 14.13
Markel Brown 44 2014 2 109 1,763 881.50 16.17
Joe Harris 33 2014 3 102 1,534 511.33 15.04
Adreian Payne 15 2014 3 96 1,317 439.00 13.72
Dario Saric 12 2014 1 53 1,278 1,278.00 24.11
Spencer Dinwiddie 38 2014 3 77 1,264 421.33 16.42
Tyler Ennis 18 2014 3 109 1,251 417.00 11.48
Johnny O'Bryant III 36 2014 3 104 1,243 414.33 11.95
Cleanthony Early 34 2014 2 56 801 400.50 14.30
Joel Embiid 3 2014 1 31 786 786.00 25.35
Travis Wear 2014 1 51 672 672.00 13.18
James Young 17 2014 3 76 626 208.67 8.24
James Michael McAdoo 2014 3 82 626 208.67 7.63
Cory Jefferson 60 2014 2 58 581 290.50 10.02
Semaj Christon 55 2014 1 38 574 574.00 15.11
Jabari Brown 2014 1 19 568 568.00 29.89
Mitch McGary 21 2014 2 52 557 278.50 10.71
Furkan Aldemir 53 2012 1 41 540 540.00 13.17
Roy Devyn Marble 56 2014 2 44 457 228.50 10.39
Erick Green 46 2013 2 52 452 226.00 8.69
Lamar Patterson 48 2014 2 38 415 207.50 10.92
C.J. Wilcox 28 2014 3 60 343 114.33 5.72
Jordan Adams 22 2014 2 32 263 131.50 8.22
Nick Johnson 42 2014 1 28 262 262.00 9.36
Jordan McRae 58 2014 2 56 257 128.50 4.59
Larry Drew 2013 1 12 219 219.00 18.25
Bryce Cotton 2014 2 23 198 99.00 8.61
Cameron Bairstow 49 2014 2 36 167 83.50 4.64
Damien Inglis 31 2014 1 20 156 156.00 7.80
Jarnell Stokes 35 2014 3 28 151 50.33 5.39
Shayne Whittington 2014 2 27 149 74.50 5.52
Russ Smith 47 2014 2 27 131 65.50 4.85
Bruno Caboclo 20 2014 3 22 89 29.67 4.05
Jack Cooley 2013 1 16 87 87.00 5.44
Walter Tavares 43 2014 2 12 77 38.50 6.42
Zoran Dragic 2011 1 16 75 75.00 4.69
Drew Gordon 2012 1 9 71 71.00 7.89
Will Cherry 2013 1 8 69 69.00 8.63
Josh Huestis 29 2014 2 6 62 31.00 10.33
Grant Jerrett 2013 1 8 51 51.00 6.38
Eric Moreland 2014 2 11 50 25.00 4.55
Jerel McNeal 2009 1 6 36 36.00 6.00
David Stockton 2014 1 3 33 33.00 11.00
Patrick Christopher 2010 1 4 29 29.00 7.25
Andre Dawkins 2014 1 4 22 22.00 5.50
Alex Kirk 2014 1 5 14 14.00 2.80
David Wear 2014 1 2 7 7.00 3.50
Thanasis Antetokounmpo 51 2014 1 2 6 6.00 3.00
Kalin Lucas 2011 1 1 6 6.00 6.00
Sim Bhullar 2014 1 3 3 3.00 1.00
Jarrelle Benimon 2014 1 2 3 3.00 1.50
Bogdan Bogdanovic 27 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
DeAndre Daniels 37 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Alec Brown 50 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Vasilije Micic 52 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Alessandro Gentile 53 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Nemanja Dangubic 54 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Louis Labeyrie 57 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Xavier Thames 59 2014 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
2014 NBA Draft Class + 2014 Rookies Basketball-Reference.com, AllThatAmar

You may also notice a TON of Jazz guys here (Rodney Hood, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Erick Green, Bryce Cotton, Jarnell Stokes, Jack Cooley, Grant Jerrett, Jerel McNeal, Patrick Christopher, and Jarrelle Benimon). Some of them were draft picks, some of them undrafted, some call-ups from the NBADL, and also some regulars. That just underpins just how many injuries there were in 2014-15. So this season isn’t an anomaly. Sadly.

As for the “cursed” 2014 Draft class? I don’t know yet. I think Andrew Wiggins could be an All-Star down the line. His poor teammate Zach LaVine was having a great season until he got injured. I’m worried about all the ACL injuries though. But that’s not a curse. That’s just co-incidence right now.

The real cursed draft class, for me, is always going to be that 1986 year. Look it up, folks.