No surprises in the top 3 of the 2014 NBA draft, as the Cleveland Cavaliers used another first overall pick, this time on Andrew Wiggins coming out of Kansas. Jabari Parker of Duke was soon to follow, going to the Milwaukee Bucks while the Philadelphia 76ers took a chance on an injured center, Joel Embiid, for the second consecutive time.
UCLA got three players in the first round – Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson. Kentucky (James Young, Julius Randle), Michigan (Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary), Duke (Parker and Rodney Hoord) and Kansas (Wiggins and Embiid) got in two. Six players who haven’t played college basketball were taken in the first round.
1st – Cleveland Cavaliers take Andrew Wiggins from Kansas
The Cavs were probably more interested in Joel Embiid, but the injury took that off the table. Jabari Parker is more NBA-ready, but Wiggins has a better upside and is a better defender, with the ability to contribute right away. A year after making the Anthony Bennett choice, it seems like the Cavs didn’t get a new LeBron James, but made the right decision to hopefully take them forward.
2nd – Milwaukee Bucks take Jabari Parker from Duke
Parker wasn’t going to play or even show off his talents for anyone else. The Bucks got the player who’ll make the most impact in his rookie season and will immediatly become their top scorer to build around. He’ll likely be used as a power forward while Giannis Antetokounmpo plays the 3 position.
3rd – Philadelphia 76ers take Joel Embiid from Kansas
The Sixers continue to believe in potential and a slow build. After drafting Nerlens Noel last season and waiting for him all year, they might just do the same with Embiid who is a much more polished player offensively. They’re planning on getting themselves a new twin towers duo in the paint, but that’s one huge gamble by Sam Hinkie.
4th – Orlando Magic take Aaron Gordon from Arizona
A very interesting pick from the Orlando Magic, who needed a point guard and outside shooting, instead taking the best athlete in this draft. Gordon has incredible potential under the right coaching and development, but it’s hard to see what the logic was for the Magic because of the players they could have taken.
5th – Utah Jazz take Dante Exum
The Jazz wanted a point guard to pair up with Trey Burke or maybe take over for him eventually. The intangibles on Exum look incredible, and he just might be the franchise player the Jazz were hoping to get and know it’s almost impossible for them to sign via free agency. One of the biggest unknowns of this draft, but maybe also the most rewarding.
6th – Boston Celtics take Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State
As expected, the Celtics continue to make everyone feel that the Rajon Rondo era with the team is over. Smart can play as a two-guard but more than likely is destined to take over for Rondo, as we’ll now see the Celtics take their trading efforts to another level.
7th – Los Angeles Lakers take Julius Randle from Kentucky
The Lakers haven’t had a rookie who can impact them right away and maybe even be their second best player for a very long time. Randle wanted to land there, and he’ll be a huge help in the paint, even if the comparisons to Zach Randolph are a bit early.
8th – Sacramento Kings take Nik Stauskas from Michigan
The next J.J. Redick? Weird pick for the Kings, who took Ben McLemore as a shooter who isn’t very good defensively and can’t play point guard last season. It’s hard to believe the two will be in the same lineup together, and it’s hard to see, at the moment, what kind of upside this pick brings to a team that has completely different needs.
9th – Charlotte Hornets take Noah Vonleh from Indiana
One of those raw talents that sometimes teams are afraid to touch. Vonleh can play in the paint and on the outside, but is going to be experiencing some growing pains with the Hornets, who are in good enough of a position to give him some time to develop in what should turn out to be a very good pick.
10th – Orlando Magic take Elfrid Payton from Louisiana Lafayette
He started the evening wearing a 76ers hat, but after some trades ends up playing for the Orlando Magic, who needed a point guard and got a guy who should do very well for them right from the start.
Rest of the 1st round
11th – Chicago Bulls (via trade) take Doug McDermott from Creighton
12th – Orlando Magic (via trade) take Dario Saric
13th – Minnesota Timberwolves take Zach LaVine from UCLA
14th – Phoenix Suns take T.J. Warren from North Carolina State
15th – Atlanta Hawks take Adreian Payne from Michigan State
16th – Denver Nuggets (via trade) take Jusuf Nurkic
17th – Boston Celtics take James Young from Kentucky
18th – Phoenix Suns take Tyler Ennis from Syracuse
19th – Denver Nuggets (via trade) take Gary Harris from Michigan State
20th – Toronto Raptors take Bruno Caboclo.
21th – Oklahoma City Thunder take Mitch McGary from Michigan
22nd – Memphis Grizzlies take Jordan Adams from UCLA
23rd – Utah Jazz take Rodney Hood from Duke
24th – Miami Heat take Shabazz Napier from UConn
25th – Houston Rockets take Clint Capela
26th – Charlotte Hornets take P.J. Hairston from North Carolina
27th – Phoenix Suns take Bogdan Bogdanovic
28th – Los Angeles Clippers take C.J. Wilcox from Washington
29th – Oklahoma City Thunder take Josh Huestis from Stanford
30th – San Antonio Spurs take Kyle Anderson from UCLA