NBA News: Draft Delivers Surprises!
If you are with the Cleveland Cavaliers, you should be pretty happy right now with the selection of Andrew Wiggins as the number one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. You get a player with quite possibly the highest ceiling of any in the draft, and another key piece to help re-build a franchise that has been a fixture in the NBA lottery ever since Lebron left town. Wiggins will need to work on his shooting, but he will have time to blossom into a star player, as the Cavs already have All-Star Kyrie Irving on the roster, to be the team leader.
For the Milwaukee Bucks, it has been a long time since anyone has been excited about basketball in Wisconsin. But that appears to have already changed with the selection of Jabari Parker at number two in Thursday’s draft. Not only is Parker the most polished player in the draft, but he can make more of an immediate impact than any other prospect. It should be interesting to see how the Bucks fare this upcoming season with a dynamic duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker leading the way.
At number three, there was a little head scratching after the Philadelphia 76ers selected Joel Embiid , a player who may not set foot on an NBA court this upcoming season due to a foot injury. But prior to learning of his broken foot, Embiid was projected by many to be the number one overall pick. So this pick may ultimately turn out to be a steal for the Sixers at number three. What makes the pick questionable is that last year’s first round pick for Philly, Nerlens Noel, also missed his entire rookie season, and has yet to play in the NBA. It would appear as if there is no sense of urgency for the Sixers, as they may be headed back to the draft lottery next year for another young piece to build around.
With the fourth pick, the Orlando Magic took Aaron Gordon . This came as a huge surprise for the many fans that expected the Magic to take Dante Exum, as a possible replacement for Jameer Nelson as the Magic’s starting point guard. But despite Exum still being on the board, the Magic elected to go with a player who possesses superior defensive skills and can be a force with his “off the charts” athleticism. Gordon was also the youngest player selected during the draft and appears to be loaded with potential.
At number five, it was essentially a “no brainer” for the Utah Jazz to select Dante Exum . As an Australian, Exum was the “International Man of Mystery” in this draft, and could provide a huge boost to Utah’s lineup. Ironically the Jazz decided not to workout Exum before the draft as they selected another point guard, Trey Burke, in last year’s draft. I’d look for the Jazz to run a two guard set as they plan to improve upon last season’s second to last finish in points per game.
Overall, the top 5 picks of the 2014 Draft were full of surprises, especially with picks 3-5. But regardless of which order they went in, these five players should leave a lasting impact on the NBA for many years to come.
NBA Draft Delivers Surprises!
by Kip Michalak