The 2014 NBA draft is one of the most exciting events on the basketball calendar, and the anticipation for the Thursday, June 26, selection process was amplified after Tuesday's draft lottery determined the final order.
The event didn’t come without controversy, though, as the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to walk away with the No. 1 pick in the draft for the third time in the last four years.
The team had a 1.7 percent chance to pick first this year, according to ESPN’s stats department:
Nothing fishy about that.
Here is a great infographic for the lottery picks, the full first-round draft order and the projections for the top 30 picks in the 2014 draft.
|2014 NBA Draft Order and Projections|
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins||Kansas|
|2||Milwaukee Bucks||Joel Embiid||Kansas|
|3||Philadelphia 76ers||Jabari Parker||Duke|
|4||Orlando Magic||Dante Exum||Australia|
|5||Utah Jazz||Julius Randle||Kentucky|
|6||Boston Celtics||Aaron Gordon||Arizona|
|7||Los Angeles Lakers||Noah Vonleh||Indiana|
|8||Sacramento Kings||Marcus Smart||Oklahoma State|
|9||Charlotte Hornets||Doug McDermott||Creighton|
|10||Philadelphia 76ers||Nik Stauskas||Michigan|
|11||Denver Nuggets||Gary Harris||Michigan State|
|12||Orlando Magic||Dario Saric||Croatia|
|13||Minnesota Timberwolves||Rodney Hood||Duke|
|14||Phoenix Suns||James Young||Kentucky|
|15||Atlanta Hawks||Tyler Ennis||Syracuse|
|16||Chicago Bulls||Adreian Payne||Michigan State|
|17||Boston Celtics||Zach LaVine||UCLA|
|18||Phoenix Suns||Jerami Grant||Syracuse|
|19||Chicago Bulls||T.J. Warren||NC State|
|20||Toronto Raptors||Kyle Anderson||UCLA|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder||P.J. Hairston||UNC/Texas Legends|
|22||Memphis Grizzlies||Jusuf Nurkic||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|23||Utah Jazz||K.J. McDaniels||Clemson|
|24||Charlotte Hornets||Cleanthony Early||Wichita State|
|25||Houston Rockets||Jordan Adams||UCLA|
|26||Miami Heat||Shabazz Napier||Connecticut|
|27||Phoenix Suns||Clint Capela||Switzerland|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers||Elfrid Payton||Louisiana-Lafayette|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder||Mitch McGary||Michigan|
|30||San Antonio Spurs||C.J. Wilcox||Washington|
|Draft Order via NBA.com. Projections via Donald Wood|
Projected No. 1 Overall Pick: Andrew Wiggins
While many basketball fans are looking to collegiate stars like Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’ Joel Embiid as the possible No. 1 overall picks, the clear-cut favorite to be taken first is Kansas freshman guard Andrew Wiggins.
During Wiggins' one and only season at the college level, he managed to help his team in several different ways. Not only was he an elite defender who covered anyone he was asked to, but he also started to find his shooting rhythm as the season progressed and averaged 17.1 points per game.
With his offensive skill still very raw, teams understand that with the right development, Wiggins could become a top star in the NBA. After the Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery, the Kansas star may be heading to Ohio.
According to ESPN, via NBA Legion, Cleveland is leaning toward Wiggins:
Wiggins spoke to ESPN’s First Take, via Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog, about viewing himself as the No. 1 pick:
I always put myself No. 1 above anybody else. That's just me. I got a lot of confidence in myself. I think for me, Jabari or Joel, I think we all want to go No. 1. But it's not the end of the world if we don't because there's been a lot of great players that ended up to be the best ever, and great Hall of Famers, that never went No. 1 and still had a great career.
Wiggins isn’t the only person who thinks he should go No. 1 overall, as former collegiate star and NBA player Jay Williams also believes the selection would be the correct long-term decision:
There is no questioning the raw talent Wiggins possesses in the defensive zone and the upside in the offensive zone with a more consistent aggressiveness, but he is still rough around the edges. The player is only 19 years old and needs to build consistency before becoming a top star.
Of course there will be some fans and experts who point at the lack of success Kansas had this season and the team’s tournament loss to Stanford to discredit Wiggins’ ability to take his program to the next level, but he couldn’t do it alone.
With the right development in the NBA and a great cast of supporting characters around him to teach him the correct way to play the game at the next level, Cleveland will have yet another game-changer to build around moving forward.
Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins in the backcourt? That would be a dangerous combination.
Projected Landing Spot: Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 1 overall
*Stats via NBA.com.