The 2014 NBA draft order is finally set after Tuesday night's lottery, and the top teams in the pecking order are feverishly assessing their options as it gets closer to June 26.
Some teams weren't as lucky on lottery night, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics were both unable to squeak into the top five. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers saw their fortune reward them with the top overall pick, and the Bucks and 76ers got into the top three as well.
Here's a full order of the top 30 picks along with a prediction regarding the first three picks of the draft:
|2014 NBA Draft: First Round|
|7||Los Angeles Lakers|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||San Antonio Spurs|
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
With one picture, Andrew Wiggins validated not attending the NBA draft combine, per P3 Sports Science:
As if the former Kansas star's physical abilities weren't already apparent enough, he went out and jumped 44 inches, per ESPN's Chad Ford:
There are more NBA-ready players in this class, and perhaps there are prospects who will pan out better, but nobody has the potential of Wiggins. With his set of physical tools, great ball skills and growing floor game, he has all the makings of a future All-Star for many years to come.
The Cavaliers once again nabbed the first overall pick, and it will be awfully tough for them to pass up on Wiggins. His presence would give the team the opportunity to mash up Wiggins and Kyrie Irving in the backcourt, and it would allow the Cavs to use Dion Waiters in any mega-trade they may be looking at.
Cleveland didn't go with the sexy pick last year in Victor Oladipo and instead picked Anthony Bennett, but don't expect the organization to go that same route this year—not with a player of this potential on the board.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
He hasn't been playing basketball for long, but Joel Embiid is born for the center position and will thrive in the NBA if he can stay healthy.
Embiid came to Kansas being overshadowed by Wiggins and left with perhaps the better draft stock. A pure seven-footer who has elite shot-blocking ability and all of the measurements to grow into a formidable center, Embiid is highly coveted by teams that are searching for a big man.
His recent back surgery raises concern, but teams have more than a month to figure out how they feel about that plus the time they've had previously to mull it over. Now that the lottery has taken place, though, teams at the top of the board will try to delve even further into Embiid's back.
Expect the Milwaukee Bucks to be one of those teams. Finishing with the worst record in the NBA last season, Milwaukee is as short on talent as any team in the Association, and adding a formidable center would quickly change that—or be the beginning of that change, at least.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Philadelphia was only able to land the No. 3 overall pick, but the Sixers might be feeling like they're picking at No. 1 if they end up with Jabari Parker.
Out of Duke, Parker rivaled Wiggins as the most hyped freshman in college basketball for most of the year—before Embiid entered the scene. And for the most part, Parker out-played Wiggins in terms of offensive output.
Parker can use his unique set of offensive skills—whether it's via outside shooting, posting up or going off the dribble—to get to the basket early in his career. If he starts right way, he should have no problem averaging more points than any other rookie next season. And in time, he should become one of the league's better scorers.
There's no telling what the ceiling is for Jabari Parker, but if the Sixers are able to land him, he's going to play more like a top overall pick than a No. 3 selection.
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