NBA Draft Order 2014: Post-Lottery Selection List and Pick Projections

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 20, 2014

Jesse D. Garrabant/Getty Images

Let the conspiracy theories begin. 

A new commissioner certainly isn't going to be enough to put an end to the age-old tradition of fans clamoring foul play when it comes to the NBA draft lottery, especially with Cleveland once again coming away with the No. 1 pick. 

Especially with these kind of numbers: 

Now on the clock for the next month, the Cavaliers get the enviable task of picking between limitless upside in Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid, or going with a sure-fire immediate contributor in Jabari Parker. 

Let's take a gander at how the first round now stands post-lottery, along with a case for each of the top-three prospects, according to DraftExpress.com and ESPN's Chad Ford's (subscription required) big boards, as the No. 1 pick. 

via B/R

 

Selection Order and Pick Projections

2014 NBA Draft Order and Projections
Pick No.TeamSelectionCollege/Country
1Cleveland CavaliersAndrew WigginsKansas
2Milwaukee BucksJoel EmbiidKansas
3Philadelphia 76ersJabari ParkerDuke
4Orlando MagicDante ExumAustralia
5Utah JazzJulius RandleKentucky
6Boston CelticsAaron GordonArizona
7Los Angeles LakersNoah VonlehIndiana
8Sacramento KingsMarcus SmartOklahoma State
9Charlotte HornetsDoug McDermottCreighton
10Philadelphia 76ersNik StauskasMichigan
11Denver NuggetsGary HarrisMichigan State
12Orlando MagicDario SaricCroatia
13Minnesota TimberwolvesRodney HoodDuke
14Phoenix SunsJames YoungKentucky
15Atlanta HawksTyler EnnisSyracuse
16Chicago BullsAdreian PayneMichigan State
17Boston CelticsZach LaVineUCLA
18Phoenix SunsJerami GrantSyracuse
19Chicago BullsT.J. WarrenNC State
20Toronto RaptorsKyle AndersonUCLA
21Oklahoma City ThunderP.J. HairstonUNC/Texas Legends
22Memphis GrizzliesJusuf NurkicBosnia and Herzegovina
23Utah JazzK.J. McDanielsClemson
24Charlotte HornetsCleanthony EarlyWichita State
25Houston RocketsJordan AdamsUCLA
26Miami HeatShabazz NapierConnecticut
27Phoenix SunsClint CapelaSwitzerland
28Los Angeles ClippersElfrid PaytonLouisiana-Lafayette
29Oklahoma City ThunderMitch McGaryMichigan
30San Antonio SpursC.J. WilcoxWashington

 

The Case for Andrew Wiggins

Umm, have you seen this picture (of course you have)?

OK, so maybe a mere photo isn't enough to entrench Wiggins at the top of your big board, but it is yet another reminder that he is a rare athletic specimen. 

Like all 19-year-old prospects, there are rough edges. Wiggins' lack of assertiveness, most notably, reared its ugly head several times last season, especially during Kansas' early NCAA tournament exit against Stanford. 

However, players with his blend of immense physical gifts, skill set and intangibles don't come around often. The young Canadian's explosive athleticism will make him an All-World defender and impossible to stop when he gets a step toward the hoop. If he adds a consistent jump shot—hardly a difficult proposition as he shot 34.1 percent from beyond the arc and caught fire for stretches last season—you're looking at an All-Star for a very long time. 

“I always put myself No. 1 above anybody else," said Wiggins on ESPN's First Take, via ZagsBlog.com's Adam Zagoria. "That’s just me. I got a lot of confidence in myself."

As a young freshman (he reclassified in high school), Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block per game with a 56.3 true shooting percentage while playing in arguably the best conference in America—and most considered it a disappointing campaign. 

Wiggins is the complete package, and those numbers are only going to go up at the next level. 

 

The Case for Jabari Parker

While Wiggins' physical tools are something to behold, Parker's offensive versatility and refinement at such a young age are truly unique. 

You can nitpick all you want about the Chicago native's defense, but this is a guy who would have averaged 15 per game for several NBA teams last year. He can score from every square inch of the floor and play every single style of basketball. He has the elite basketball IQ and all-around game to take whatever the defense gives him. And he has the athletic ability to do things like this: 

Utah Jazz radio announcer David Locke further discussed Parker's wide-ranging offensive skill set: 

The Duke standout may not have a ceiling in the clouds like Wiggins or Embiid, but there are plenty of All-Star games and potential scoring titles in his future.

And as someone who can clearly make a big impact right away, he comes with a much higher floor than anyone else in this draft. 

 

The Case for Joel Embiid

Passing on someone with Embiid's amalgam of size and skill is something that earns general managers pink slips. 

With just three years of organized basketball under his belt, the 7'0" center often looked like the most dominant all-around player in the country last year. His numbers may not jump off the page, but remember, he averaged just 23.1 minutes per contest. 

According to Sports-reference.com, he was first in the Big 12 in player efficiency rating (28.2), first in defensive rating (90.9) and second in win shares per 40 minutes (.213), better indicators of his impact. 

The talk in NBA circles surrounding Embiid, via Forbes contributor and veteran NBA reporter Mark Heisler, is nothing short of amazing: 

If there’s no consensus No. 1 pick in the press, one super prospect emerged in the minds of the NBA people I talked to. That was Embiid, the 7-0, 250-pound (as listed by Kansas) freshman who started around No. 5 on sheer size and raw potential and realized enough of it to to rocket to No. 1 in mid-season when a GM told me, “His ceiling is Hakeem Olajuwon. His basement is Serge Ibaka.”

Embiid's size and athletic ability make him a clear candidate to protect the rim and control the glass. However, considering his lack of experience, he already has amazing offensive polish—displaying good footwork and touch in the post, along with an ability to pass out of double teams. 

Health concerns are obviously a worry, but if the 20-year-old continues to develop at the same clip, he has the unparalleled upside at a thin position to reward the risk-takers in droves.