With the NBA Draft less than 10 days away, there is still no clear cut favorite for the first pick in the draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers own this pick thanks to a lucky lottery ball, and thus have the opportunity to select anyone they desire in this talent driven draft class.
We don’t even know if the Cavs are going to keep this pick. I personally would love to see them trade it as this is their fourth #1 selection in the past 11 years and yet they continuously fail to make or do significant damage in the playoffs (excluding LeBron’s run to the Finals in 2006-2007). Cleveland has four choices for their first overall pick this year. They can either select Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, or Jabari Parker, or they can trade this pick and stockpile talent/draft picks.
Why Cleveland should select… Joel Embiid
Apparently, Cleveland’s owner Dan Gilbert fell in love with Joel Embiid after his workout last week. Embiid has been the hot name to go number one and for good reason. The athletic 7-footer is just scratching the surface of his full potential. Embiid has developed rapidly and I wouldn’t expect that to stop anytime soon. Embiid’s back has checked out fine and I don’t think Cleveland is that worried about it.
Position wise, the big man from Kansas would be an upgrade over Anderson Varejao, whose name to constantly remains on the injury report. Varejao is in the last year of his contract and a young front court comprised of Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, and Joel Embiid should prove dividents to Cleveland’s future.
If the Cavaliers want to be a top five team in the Eastern Conference this upcoming year, than Jabari Parker should be the choice here. Parker is the most NBA ready out of the top 3 and will make an immediate impact scoring in the NBA. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jabari Parker wins Rookie of the Year and averages 19.0 + points. That’s how good this kid from Chicago is.
Alonzo Gee needs to be replaced at small forward and I don’t expect Luol Deng to return, so this selection would make a lot of sense. Their top scorers were Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters who is expected to be traded, and Deng. If Cleveland doesn’t trust who they have on their roster will produce enough offense for them, Jabari Parker will go number one.
Why Cleveland should select… Andrew Wiggins
There hasn’t been a player more similar to LeBron James coming out of the draft than this youngster. Wiggins, who is still developing his offensive game, finds his own ways to score. His jump shot is a work in progress but has steadily improved all season. When Wiggins is near the basket, he uses his superior athletic ability to score the basketball. Also, this kid is a good defender, I suspect him to eventually make an all defensive team in the NBA.
The ultra-talented Canadian could be the missing piece to Cleveland’s puzzle. If Wiggins goes number one he would carry a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders, but could potentially make Cleveland forget about LeBron and “The Decision” all together. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on Wiggins to be the top pick.
Keep this in mind, literally all of these three players have made a good case to be the top selection. This draft class has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time and maybe the best since 2003. Check out my complete first round mock draft: https://www.isportsweb.com/2014/06/03/2014-nba-mock-draft/