Tuesday evening's NBA draft lottery was won by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they aren't the only team who saw franchise-changing events unfold at Times Square Studio in New York.
The fate of all 14 of the opening picks of the 2014 NBA draft were decided by a bunch of pingpong balls, and some teams either defied the odds to grab a top pick or saw their high probability pay off. Meanwhile, others left the Big Apple severely disappointed at their selection and wondering what could have been.
Let's take a look at the complete first-round order of picks and the options of the top three teams on the board.
|7||Los Angeles Lakers|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||San Antonio Spurs|
Top Picks Breakdown
At least the Cavaliers have been good at something since LeBron James left.
Becoming one of the league's worst teams in the years since James' departure has had its perks—or perk, rather—as it allowed Cleveland to nab No. 1 overall picks in three of the last four years. This one could be monumental, though.
Not only are the Cavs at No. 1 again after a more promising season and with an increasingly promising roster, but this class is shaping up to be one of the best in recent history. While 2013 top pick Anthony Bennett may not pan out, any of the top three players on the board—and probably more—have the potential to be franchise players.
Cleveland will have its pick of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid—the three stallions of this year's class. The organization shouldn't argue with that, considering they entered Tuesday with just a 2.4 percent chance of getting even one of the top three selections.
The early indication from ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman is that Embiid tops the Cavs' list, but that a lack of medical information on his back injury is a question mark. However, things can change over the course of a month, especially with such high-caliber players.
The Cavs will look long and hard at their roster—including the futures of Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and, yes, even their pursuits of Kevin Love or James—before June 26 rolls around.
The Bucks were certainly hoping for the top pick, having the best odds of obtaining it entering Tuesday with the NBA's worst record last season. But they can't be complaining about No. 2, given the unforgiving history of the lottery and the heap of players available.
With fewer young players to build around, the Bucks are in more of a position to take the best overall player on the board—an apparent weakness that will allow for their draft process to be much less stressful.
At No. 2, Milwaukee can afford to sit around and see what the Cavaliers do with the top pick. If they take Embiid, there's an immediate dynamic wing on the team in either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. If one of those players is taken, they can have their pick of the other.
Then, of course, there's the chance Embiid is still there.
The former Kansas big man validated every bit of hype surrounding him with a huge freshman season. He's filled out his 7'0" frame with 250 pounds, and his incredible wingspan will allow him to block shots with force as he did in the Big 12 last year.
The Bucks need a dominant big man down low, as Larry Sanders' regression in 2013-14 made Milwaukee's frontcourt laughable at times. Parker and Wiggins would be coveted selections as well, but Embiid has a chance to be just as much of a franchise player and perhaps better when it's all said and done.
What a difference one pick makes.
If the Sixers had somehow fallen into the fourth spot or lower, Philadelphia's tank-happy season would have been seen by many as a waste. There are great players after the top three, but a certain Wiggins and Parker have been on the lips of many in the City of Brotherly Love ever since the Sixers made the Nerlens Noel-Jrue Holiday trade last summer.
Of course, there's the chance that Wiggins and Parker are both off the board, but with Cleveland apparently favoring Embiid and the Bucks looking like an ideal fit, it's increasingly likely that one of the two will be there at No. 3.
And what a pick it would be. Michael Carter-Williams is coming off a Rookie of the Year campaign, while Nerlens Noel is impressing head coach Brett Brown despite having not yet made his debut, meaning either would complete a trio of young high-ceiling studs which would become a quartet if Thaddeus Young sticks around.
The Sixers are in need of a scorer with the departure of Evan Turner and no true offensive studs on the roster, so Parker seems to be the ideal fit. But Wiggins brings more to the table defensively and has more potential.
They won't even be done there. With the 10th pick as well, Brown and Company are the only NBA team picking twice in the first 10 selections.
Philly's yearlong plan to make a splash move on its roster is about a month away from happening.