When we started the 2013-14 NBA season, none of us wanted to be discussing the upcoming draft in December. But the Cavaliers have gotten off to a poor start and the 2014 Draft is going to be pretty good, so here we are. ESPN.com's Chad Ford has been covering the various prospects and teams that might be tanking to get them extensively.
This week, Ford took an extremely early look at who each team would draft if they were lucky enough to land the #1 pick in the draft. For about a year now, we've been told that Andrew Wiggins is the obvious, no-brainer top pick. But since we've actually seen these guys play against comparable competition, the conversation is a little more complicated. Jabari Parker has been impressive. Julius Randle looks like a man among boys. Andrew Wiggins hasn't been as spectacular as people had hoped he would be.
So who would the Cavaliers take if they had the top overall pick? Common sense would say that the Cavs need a small forward. Parker and Wiggins fit the glaring hole at the SF spot on the Cavs' roster. But Chad Ford notes that Cleveland's GM, Chris Grant, rarely makes the obvious pick.
Grant has made several unorthodox picks, and from what I gather, Cleveland might do it again.
The Cavs are one of the teams beating the Joel Embiid drum. The Cameroon big man has drawn comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon, and the Cavs believe that ultimately, Andrew Bynum won't be their long-term answer in the middle.
Joel Embiid has been awesome and has a very high ceiling, but would it make sense to take him over Wiggins or Parker? I have no idea. We'll have to see how those players progress throughout the year. It's definitely worth noting that Ford says the Cavs don't think of Andrew Bynum as their center in the future, although it's not particularly surprising. Bynum's knees make him impossible to rely on.
The other point to be made here is that Chris Grant might not be the guy making the pick. If the Cavs' season goes so poorly that they land the #1 pick, I'd have a hard time believing that Grant will keep his job and be able to make another top pick. And since we have no idea who would be making that pick, anything we learn about who the Cavs' current front office likes might be irrelevant.