Buckle up NBA fans, the 2014 NBA Draft is expected to be one hell of a ride. If you live for the mock drafts and offseason trade rumors, then forget Christmas – this is your favorite time of the year.
It seems like every day leading up to the draft there has been a change in who will go number one to the Cleveland Cavaliers, while new trade rumors have popped up across Twitter timelines by the second. With just hours left until the fortune and fame of the NBA turns the lives of sixty young men upside down, we attempt to put a finger on just how tomorrow night might play out in Brooklyn. These are Dime’s five predictions for the 2014 NBA Draft.
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Cleveland Will Trade The Number One Pick
There seems to be some confusion in Cleveland’s front office as they hope to draft their next franchise cornerstone tomorrow night with the number one pick. After the Joel Embiid injury saga came to fruition last week and Jabari Parker reportedly “tanked” his workout with the Cavs, new GM David Griffin certainly has his hands full at the top of the draft. Since losing LeBron James to free agency, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been known for bold statements like guaranteeing that Cleveland would win a title before James, re-hiring Mike Brown and stunningly drafting Anthony Bennett first in last year’s draft. Gilbert clearly struck out on all three, and it might be in the organization’s best interest to play it safe.
With Embiid’s injury woes and questions regarding Parker’s desire to be in Cleveland, Andrew Wiggins seems like the obvious fit here, but drafting the Canadian sensation over Parker may not be the “safe” thing to do. The Cavs can’t afford to swing and miss as they did with last year’s top overall pick and if Parker doesn’t want to be there, Cleveland will be better off taking an offer from one of the many organizations that are courting the first pick. An offer from the Orlando Magic of the fourth pick, 12th pick, and Arron Afflalo sounds like a nice offer to me if I’m Cleveland.
Wiggins Goes First
A year ago, ost NBA scouts would have told you that they expected Wiggins to be the next Canadian born player to go first overall. After having his name shuffled around on every mock draft for months, those long-held expectations will ultimately come to fruition as Wiggins hears his name called first on Thursday night. It might not be as a Cavalier, but Wiggins could follow in the footsteps of Paul George and blossom into one of the league’s top wing players at a very young age.
While Parker is more of a polished player at this point might be more NBA ready, Wiggins has the higher ceiling and is the right selection with the first pick, wherever that may be.