Report: Cleveland Cavs Split on Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins for No. 1 Pick

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

USA Today

The Cleveland Cavaliers still have no idea who they want to draft with their latest No. 1 pick, this one coming in the 2014 NBA draft that will take place Thursday night.

With so few days remaining before Adam Silver kicks off the proceedings that you can count them on one hand, the organization reportedly has narrowed things down to two players—Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker—but has yet to decide which of the two freshman phenoms is the prohibitive favorite to follow in Anthony Bennett and Kyrie Irving's footsteps.

"They are torn," an anonymous source told's Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford. "They met for three hours and all they talked about was those two guys."


UPDATE: Wednesday, June 25, 9:10 a.m. ET by Dan Favale

Anyone who was hoping the Cavs would know who to pick by now is going to be disappointed, per Ford:

So, yeah. They're still split. 

At this rate, don't be surprised if Cleveland asks commissioner Adam Silver for more time when it's on the clock Thursday night.


UPDATE: Wednesday, June 25, 10:10 a.m. ET by Adam Fromal

The Cavs may be split, but Dan Gilbert may be getting to insert his opinion in the conversation to a greater extent this year. After all, he's devoid of too much responsibility for the Anthony Bennett disaster. 

Will that push Cleveland toward Wiggins? 

Only time will tell. 


Original Text

Another source confirmed this, saying, "They haven't come to a decision yet."

There are a few takeaways here.

One revolves around a certain three-letter word that begins with "d" and ends with "uh."

With Joel Embiid's fracture to the navicular bone of his right foot dramatically decreasing his draft stock and throwing his future into a more questionable state, he's off the board. With Dion Waiters and Irving already filling up the Cleveland backcourt, Dante Exum is out of the picture as well.

The only other uber-elite prospects in this draft are Parker and Wiggins, so naturally those are the two Cleveland will be looking at above all else.

Cavs fans can also breathe a sigh of relief, as there will be no curveball coming when Silver announces the No. 1 pick. Bill Simmons won't get to react with so much untempered surprise when the Cavs buck convention and go with this year's version of Bennett, as they'll be sticking to the two favorites.

But which one?

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 27:  Jabari Parker #1 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the hoop against Michael Young #2 of the Pittsburgh Panthers at Petersen Events Center on January 27, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Image
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has the Cavs going with the Duke product in his final mock draft before the June 26 festivities, citing Parker's NBA readiness and expected offensive impact:

Parker will fit nicely into the lineup, assuming Luol Deng doesn't return. Cleveland needs a go-to option for offense in the frontcourt (given how ball-dominant the backcourt is), and that's what Parker can be.

He's also likely the most NBA-ready of all the top-shelf prospects here, something that should attract the Cavaliers, a team looking to win in 2014-15.

That's the direction Cleveland had been leaning in over the past few days, per the report from Goodman and Ford, but Parker's workout for the team may have changed things.

"He was bad. He was huffing and puffing early in the workout," a source told the ESPN reporters. Speculation that he was tanking the workout popped up, which, if true, would make it rather difficult to justify taking him ahead of Wiggins.

After all, wouldn't a team covet a player who actually wanted to play for the organization above the one trying to avoid it?

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 29:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks controls the ball as Monte Morris #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones defends during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on January 29, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Image
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Again, if true, this stands in stark contrast to perception of Wiggins, who just wants to play basketball and show off his skills.

"I think I'll be a star wherever I go," the Canadian forward told Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "That's just how confident I am in my ability."

But are the Cavaliers that confident in his ability? That's the question that matters above all else, seeing as first-year general manager David Griffin and the rest of the Cleveland front office ultimately get to make the selection.

So, Parker or Wiggins?

That's what it's coming down to in Cleveland, and there might be no definitive answer until the NBA commissioner reads out a name and makes it official.