ESPN noted how unlikely this was coming into the draft:
The Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA Draft Lottery once again. Before the lottery, they had a 1.7% chance of getting the first pick.— ESPN (@espn) May 21, 2014
Here is a complete look at the order for the top 14 picks in June:
|7||Los Angeles Lakers|
What will the Cavaliers do with the first overall pick now that they have it? While there are a number of excellent options in this deep class, here is a look at the most likely scenarios for the top selection.
Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
Since before the start of the college basketball season, Andrew Wiggins has been considered the favorite for the first overall pick of the draft.
The first thing you notice with him is his elite athleticism, which was on display this past week in this image:
Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv notes that Wiggins thinks of himself as the top player in the class:
"I would put myself No. 1 above everybody else. That's just me. I have a lot of confidence in myself." Wiggins on 'First Take'— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 19, 2014
Although Cleveland selected Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick last season, he is still a few years away from reaching his potential. Additionally, he can be moved to power forward and contribute there as well as he can at small forward.
This means that the Cavaliers should not be afraid to draft someone at the same position with the first pick if he has the talent of Wiggins. The do-it-all prospect has the potential to be a superstar in the NBA and could force any team to regret passing on him.
Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
While Wiggins has the advantage when it comes to athleticism and upside, Jabari Parker certainly seems more pro-ready, especially on the offensive end of the court.
The Duke star is a consistent shooter from the outside, but he can also drive past defenders and score at or above the rim. If opponents play too closely, he can get himself to the free-throw line and rack up points there.
Like many others, Reggie Miller has compared Parker's game to that of Carmelo Anthony coming out of college:
"I can see how his game can translate to the next level. He reminds me of a Carmelo Anthony (at that time)." –Reggie Miller on Jabari Parker— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) May 20, 2014
As a result, it is no surprise that he would be a consideration for the top pick in the draft. Jeff Goodman of ESPN thinks this would be a perfect fit for the Cavaliers:
My mock draft will start with the Cleveland Cavs taking Jabari Parker with the No. 1 overall pick. He's exactly what that franchise needs.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 21, 2014
Kyrie Irving has been a leader for this squad, but Dion Waiters is not efficient enough to be a secondary scorer on a good team. He has to reduce his role, and Parker can take over as a go-to option late in games.
While Bennett is once again not ready to take over as the starting wing, Parker could come in and help create the best young No. 1 through No. 3 in the league.
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Joel Embiid might have the highest ceiling in this class as a player who could be a franchise building block at center. ESPN's crew all agreed with the Kansas star being the top prospect in the class:
The biggest downside is the potential for lingering back issues after the center missed the last few weeks of his college career.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports notes that this has affected Embiid's draft stock:
Amazing how Joel Embiid's back has changed landscape of draft. KU big man would be clear cut No. 1 pick if not for injury. Now one of three!— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 20, 2014
When healthy, however, Embiid has the potential to be a game-changing player. He is a dominant interior defender and could help any team become one of the best defenses in the NBA.
With Cleveland, he can become a building block for the future to pair with Irving as a quality inside-outside tandem that will be around for years.
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