After a long, drawn-out process that saw several prospects elevated to the No. 1 overall pick status, Andrew Wiggins officially became the first player selected in the 2014 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bleacher Report shared the news on Twitter after NBA commissioner Adam Silver made it official:
The Cleveland Cavaliers select Andrew Wiggins with the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft! pic.twitter.com/fhgIICzdOn— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 26, 2014
The Cavaliers provide a look at the reaction from fans in Quicken Loans Arena:
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is clearly happy with the selection:
Welcome to the Cleveland @22wiggins! The sky is the limit for you, this franchise and this city…Let’s go!— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) June 26, 2014
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was among the first to welcome Wiggins:
Being the No. 1 selection is also a lucrative career move for the former Kansas star. The drop off from the top pick down to the bottom of the first round is dramatic.
Darren Rovell of ESPN points out just how much Wiggins might earn with the Cavaliers:
Andrew Wiggins slotted to make $24,010,049 over 4 years.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) June 26, 2014
The 6'8" forward was one of the top players throughout the process and finally heard his name called after coming into the college season as the best freshman in the country.
TSN provided a look at the selection from inside the Barclays Center:
Wiggins #1! https://t.co/2MJ1Qifa75— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 26, 2014
Wiggins referenced his emotions to the press, per Tyler R. Tynes of the Philadelphia Daily News:
Wiggins: "it doesn't even feel real right now" pic.twitter.com/MQPiAPpY2G— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) June 27, 2014
Not only was this a special moment for Wiggins, but also for Canada. Wiggins became the second straight Canadian-born player to be selected No. 1 overall after the Cavs took Anthony Bennett last year. Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv notes the special moment for the country:
Andrew Wiggins Goes No. 1 as Canada Gets Back-to-Back Top Picks; Parker Expected at No. 2 to Bucks http://t.co/uJLjCbvxlm— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 26, 2014
It was also a momentous pick for the Jayhawks program. Despite the fact that they've been one of the best teams in college basketball history, Kansas has only produced one other first-overall pick in the draft.
ESPN Stats & Info notes the other player from Kansas:
While Wiggins was the first player taken overall, he also made a huge splash with his suit on Thursday night. A comparison was made to another flashy outfit from a previous draft, per SportsCenter:
NBA on TNT also made a comparison to a certain analyst with a bold sense of style:
Apparently the absurd outfit was meant to draw attention, as Wiggins told Nicole Auerbach of USA Today:
I asked Wiggins how many comments he's gotten about this suit. "A lot," he said, and broke into a big smile. "That's what I was going for."— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) June 27, 2014
Heading into the selection process, there was a chance the Cavaliers might not be the team making the first selection. There were talks that Cleveland was shopping the pick for a team that wanted to package a deal, but nothing was announced leading up to the selection.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports noted the latest news on the talks heading into the draft:
Cleveland pushed on deal centered on No. 1 pick for Kevin Love, but his refusal to re-sign w/ Cavs has killed talks, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2014
Barring an 11th hour offer, Cleveland plans to keep No. 1 pick and choose between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
Wiggins adds immediate offense to the Cavaliers, along with great athleticism and upside. The small forward was a superstar at the college level and adds to a lineup that already includes Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports provides his analysis of the pick:
Cavs: Andrew Wiggins: A+. The best overall prospect and they don't need him with the ball early with Irving and Waiters. The future is now.— Matt Moore CBS (@MattMooreCBS) June 26, 2014
Though pressure will obviously be applied to the No. 1 pick as always, Wiggins has enough talent and athleticism to flourish in the NBA. In an Eastern Conference comprised of two strong franchises and teams on the rise, the Cavaliers might just join the ranks of the latter in the coming years.
After missing out on the playoffs every year since the 2009-10 season, Dan Gilbert has made it clear he doesn't want to be in the lottery again anytime soon. With the loaded roster Cleveland now has, they might finally be in line to break into the postseason this coming year.
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