NBA Draft 2014: Last-Minute Guide to Association's Mega Event

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIJune 26, 2014

From left, NBA draft prospects Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State, Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid of Kansas, Noah Vonleh of Indiana, Doug McDermott of Creighton and Aaron Gordon of Arizona pose for a photograph before the NBA basketball draft lottery in New York, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The 2014 NBA draft might even be more compelling than the 2014 NBA Finals were.

While it was certainly fun to watch the San Antonio Spurs exact revenge on the Miami Heat for the 2013 Finals, there's a certain something that gets people pumped up about watching the next generation of NBA stars find their new homes at the next level.

Maybe it's the anticipation of finding out who your team will select, or maybe it's the frustration of watching your team grab the wrong guy that goes along with it.

Regardless, the NBA draft is an event you'll want to tune into on Thursday night. Below is all the last-minute information you'll need to stay up to date with the proceedings.


Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York

When: Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN



By far the biggest story leading into this year's draft is the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers still don't know if they should take Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins at No. 1 overall, per Chad Ford and Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

"They are torn," one source close to the situation told "They met for three hours, and all they talked about was those two guys."

Added another industry source: "They haven't come to a decision yet."

Cleveland general manager David Griffin had decided to choose 7-footer Joel Embiid with the No. 1 pick, sources told However, that changed when it was discovered that Embiid needed surgery on his foot that could sideline him for much of -- if not his entire -- rookie season.

The injury to Embiid has certainly created a bit of a pickle for Griffin in his first go-round as GM of the Cavs. The last thing he wants to do is follow up last year's selection of Anthony Bennett with a similar bust of his own.

To be honest, it's really hard to go wrong with either Parker or Wiggins. If the Cavs are focused on winning next season, then the answer is Parker. If they're willing to wait a few years to rebuild even more, then Wiggins is their guy.

It'll be interesting to see what decision they come to.

Another interesting story is the rise of Elfrid Payton. Coming from a mid-major in Louisiana-Lafayette, Payton has shot up draft boards in the past few weeks. Ken Berger of CBS Sports noted that he has in fact moved up:

Ford and Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweeted that he may have even risen higher than we thought:

Given how high he has allegedly risen, there's a chance that Payton could go No. 7 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers. Payton told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that he thinks he could learn a lot from Kobe Bryant in that scenario:

Payton started as a fringe first-rounder. Now he's on the cusp of being a top-10 pick.

But with a rise comes a fall.

Dario Saric, an international star out of Croatia, is one of those players who has dropped down draft boards. Ford tweeted why:

Saric is considered a top-tier talent worthy of a selection in the lottery, but this recent development should scare teams away from investing in him. The last thing a lottery team wants to do is invest in a player who won't contribute at all for at least two years.

This, of course, opens the door for teams later on. The Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics would be smart to give him a look in the middle of the draft.

With so much anticipation surrounding this event for the past few months, it would be wise of you to tune in to all the action.


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