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NBA Draft 2014: Highlighting Prospects Who Will Benefit Most Following Lottery

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NBA Draft 2014: Highlighting Prospects Who Will Benefit Most Following Lottery
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With the 2014 NBA draft lottery now in the rearview mirror, June's draft figures to be comprised of more twists and turns than the Portland International Raceway.

After all, the Cleveland Cavaliers struck gold once again, earning the top overall selection in this year's draft despite just a 1.7 percent chance of doing so.

Cleveland's jump to the front of the pack not only bumped the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers down one spot each, but the Detroit Pistons fell from No. 8 to No. 9 and were forced to convey their pick to the Charlotte Hornets.

Here's how the new lottery order looks:

2014 NBA Draft Lottery Order
Pick Team
1 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Milwaukee Bucks
3 Philadelphia 76ers
4 Orlando Magic
5 Utah Jazz
6 Boston Celtics
7 Los Angeles Lakers
8 Sacramento Kings
9 Charlotte Hornets
10 Philadelphia 76ers
11 Denver Nuggets
12 Orlando Magic
13 Minnesota Timberwolves
14 Phoenix Suns

NBA.com

Not only did certain teams luck out during the lottery, but in its aftermath, some of this year's top prospects did as well.

Let's take a look at which prospects will benefit most from the new draft order.

 

Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

Before the new draft order was set, based on team needs at the top of the draft, several analysts were mocking Embiid outside of the top three.

Now, with the Cavaliers earning the top pick, that's changed in a big way.

On Wednesday, an interesting report surfaced from ESPN's Jeff Goodman:

The Cleveland Cavaliers have 7-footer Joel Embiid at the top of their draft board, but it's still early in the process and the team needs to obtain medical information on the Cameroon native's back injury, sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday.

Sources also told ESPN.com that although Embiid is first on the organization's wish list, that doesn't mean that Cavs general manager David Griffin—who had the interim tag lifted earlier this month—isn't also considering Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker with the first pick.

Just like that, Embiid appears to have the best chance of going No. 1 overall.

Of course, much of this decision will be affected by how his medical reports look to Cleveland's executives.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweeted his concern after the lottery:

Should Embiid's injury history appear top-pick worthy to the Cavaliers, he will be the prospect who benefits greatest from the lottery's shifts.

 

Dante Exum, PG/SG, Australia

Exum has been the draft's most polarizing prospect. Not much was known about Exum since he hasn't exactly played five-on-five basketball in front of NBA executives to this point; however, he did well for himself during the draft combine.

Kennedy tweeted his impression of Exum's maturity during interviews in Chicago:

Aside from that, his shooting ability is simply off the charts. It's easy to speculated he'll be looked at very early in the draft.

So, where will Exum go?

The Aussie guard actually was wondering the same question, according to his tweet:

Well, the way things are looking right now, it doesn't appear possible for Exum to slide outside of the top five.

Kennedy tweeted a top-three pick is a possibility, as Exum would be a scary addition for the Philadelphia 76ers:

If the Sixers happen to go in a different direction, two guard-needy teams—the Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz—will be right there to scoop him up at No. 4 or 5.

The Canberra Times' Peter Mitchell seems to think that's a likely possibility, according to its tweet:

After the lottery shakeup, Exum will benefit as a certified top-five selection.

 

Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton

McDermott projects as a small forward in the NBA. His ability to create open looks and drain buckets from anywhere makes him a highly coveted scoring option on the wing.

Due to McDermott's lack of athleticism, it's been an ongoing struggle to predict where he may wind up in this year's draft.

The picture may have become clearer following the lottery.

Once the Hornets acquired the No. 9 selection, we now have a team in dire need of a prospect with McDermott's exact skill set.

Amin Elhassan of ESPN (subscription required) summed it up perfectly:

The Hornets (it feels weird calling them this again!) took huge steps toward becoming an elite defensive outfit that improved as the 2013-14 season wore on. They added a go-to scorer in Al Jefferson, one of five players to average 20 points and 10 boards this season. But they still struggled to put points on the board (24th in offensive efficiency at 101 points per 100 possessions) and were one of the worst in the league in 3-point makes, attempts and efficiency. Adding scoring of any kind will help, but 3-point shooting in particular will go a long way to improving overall team efficiency by giving Jefferson and Kemba Walker more space to operate.

It sure sounds as though McDermott's .526 field-goal percentage, .449 three-point percentage and 26.7 points per game from last season at Creighton would be a very welcomed addition.

Here's a telling look at McDermott's scoring ability, courtesy of a tweet from ESPNU. Could Charlotte pass up on this king of scoring threat?

McDermott could be another prospect who will benefit greatly from the new draft order, as he moves from an iffy lottery selection to a top-10 pick.

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