The 2014 NBA Draft came and went on Thursday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick, but it seems they were undecided on who to take as the overall No.1 selection. Even though they debated trading the pick, the Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins to join fellow Canadian, Anthony Bennett as back to back No. 1 picks.
The Milwaukee Bucks were more than happy to select Jabari Parker with their first pick. There’s no question that Milwaukee drafted the player they wanted. Parker is extremely skilled at the forward position, and his ability to play the game should pay dividends immediately.
Up until last week, Joel Embiid was projected to be the first pick of the draft. However, a foot injury nixed that process. Thus the former Kansas freshman fell a couple spots to No.3. The 76ers have had an interesting approach in the past two drafts.
After selecting Nerlens Noel last season, Philadelphia may have solidified their front court for years to come with Embiid in the fold. In similar fashion to Noel, Embiid may possibly miss his entire first season.
The draft always creates some surprises, and Orlando went for one of the best athletes in the draft. Arizona’s Aaron Gordon leapfrogged Julius Randle and Dante Exum to become a top five pick.
There was a thought that Exum would have gone in the Top 3, but he dropped a couple spots to the Utah Jazz. He was the first foreign based player to be taken in the first round, but he wasn’t the last.
In the first five picks, four of them were freshman. The second five picks contained two sophomores, a junior, and a pair of freshman. Those picks provided some shock value and intrigue for the future of the NBA.
The Boston Celtics either found a running mate or a replacement for Rajon Rondo. They drafted Marcus Smart with the sixth pick, and he’ll instantly provide more toughness in the backcourt.
The Los Angeles Lakers had Julius Randle fall all the way to seven. Randle was visibly upset that he didn’t go earlier but he is happy to be part of the Lakers’ family.
NBA teams can never have enough shooting, so the Sacramento Kings drafted another guard in the lottery. The Kings decided to go with Nik Stauskas. They drafted Ben McLemore in 2013, so there looks to be a logjam at the SG position.
Earlier in the day, Noah Vonleh was projected to go in the top five. Instead he dropped to No.9 with the Charlotte Hornets. Originally, this spot looked like it might be reserved for Doug McDermott, but the chips fell differently.
Philadelphia used their second pick to draft Elfrid Payton, but he was quickly traded to Orlando for the No.12 pick Dario Saric.
The biggest move of the night could have been when Doug McDermott was drafted by Denver and traded to the Chicago Bulls in an interesting move on both sides.
Zach LaVine and T.J. Warren were the last two picks of the lottery. NBA insiders love the LaVine pick because of his incredible athleticism, and his upside is off the charts. Still, he has a lot to prove in a Timberwolves’ jersey.
T.J. Warren just added another midrange scorer for the Phoenix Suns. Warren is the ultimate basket maker. His ability to get off shots is one of the best in the 2014 draft.
The Miami Heat set their eyes on Shabazz Napier, and the rest of the NBA let it happen. Unless the Rockets were ready to draft Shabazz, there was no reason for this trade to go down. The Hornets received P.J. Hairston in the deal. Is this the move that keeps Lebron James in Miami? They also drafted Semaj Christon to help fill the point guard role in South Beach.
Oklahoma City added front court depth in the first round with two picks. They selected Mitch McGary out of Michigan and Josh Huestis from Stanford. Both players have size for the position they play. They are also capable of making shots.
Did the San Antonio Spurs do it again? With the final pick of the first round, San Antonio selected UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. Despite being listed as a small forward, Anderson is a point guard with the all the requisite skills.
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