Somehow, it feels like the NBA draft lottery was both yesterday, and a lifetime ago. It's draft day and once again the Cleveland Cavaliers have the top selection. The Cavs have a ton of options today, and are likely to surprise us a bit.
That having been said, Fear the Sword writers are nearly unanimous in their preference for what they'd like to happen. The hivemind is back with a vengeance, I suppose. I asked everyone three questions. Let's get to the answers.
1. Alright. Adam Silver announces the Cavaliers are on the clock. Who is your pick and why?
Ryan Mourton: Andrew Wiggins. He checks every box that I love. Freak athlete. Wing player. Big. Massive wingspan. He doesn't really have a ceiling.
Michael Mayer: Wiggins. He's a tremendous athlete, has loads of upside, and he could immediately fill a need. He seems like the obvious choice. I'm sure that Jabari Parker will be a very good pro, but on this team, he would take away minutes from last year's number one pick, Anthony Bennett, who they're still trying to develop. He also does nothing to help the team's wing defense, which is something that really needs to improve.
Conrad Kaczmarek: Andrew Wiggins. Once Embiid went down with another injury, it became clear to me that Wiggins should be the pick. He’s got nearly as much upside as Embiid and figures to be a really nice fit with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. He has endless potential, fantastic athleticism, and great size. What’s not to like?
David Zavac: Jabari Parker. Honestly, I probably lean Wiggins. That having been said, I think Parker's going to be a great player and would make a fine selection. David Blatt likes playing small and he likes having shooters on the court. Parker as a stretch four that can create from the perimeter for himself or play off of Kyrie Irving in Pick and Pop, Pick and Roll situations sounds really fun. His defense will be bad but he's got good size and you can hide him. He's also 19, so there's plenty of time for him to get better there.
2. Of the rumored trades out there, which do you like best? Is there one that you would actually do?
Ryan Mourton: I guess I like Utah's the best, but I hate them all. Trading Parker or Wiggins for scraps from another bad team sounds like a terrible idea.
Michael Mayer: I've always liked Alec Burks, so the Utah proposal intrigued me. I guess the Orlando proposal is intriguing as well. But I wouldn't make either one. Wiggins is a real blue chipper, and the Cavs have a chance to pair him with Kyrie Irving for years to come. I wouldn't give that up for a few nice (but unspectacular) pieces.
Conrad Kaczmarek: I like the Orlando Magic offer the best. If the Cavs get #4, #12, and Arron Afflalo for the #1 pick, that’s a pretty good haul. I’d do that trade if I really *really* still wanted Joel Embiid and wanted to take him at #4 but still get other value from the #1 pick to limit the risk. If the Cavs made that trade and didn’t take Embiid at #4, I’d be stunned.
David Zavac: I think Derrick Favors is already good, with the potential to be really good, so I liked the Utah deal. Burks feels like someone that could break out as well. Even so, I really only like these deals if you have a second one in mind for more impact players. Kevin Love appears to be on hold, at the moment, so unless there's something we don't know afoot (and there likely is) I'd just make the choice between Parker and Wiggins.
3. How concerned are you with reports that the front office might be divided on what to do with the pick?
Ryan Mourton: Not at all. Do we all agree on what the Cavs should do? Disagreement isn't a problem, not being able to move on if your idea doesn't win the discussion is though.
Michael Mayer: First of all, anything and everything we read is probably being leaked to try and entice a team into offering a big time trade. But if there really is disagreement, that seems normal.
Conrad Kaczmarek: Not concerned at all. Assuming they don’t trade the pick, they’ll select one player #1 overall tonight. Even if there are differences in preference, you can’t really be all that upset if the team ends up with Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. Both are great prospects.
David Zavac: It'll always worry me a little bit. I can't quantify it, no one can. Gilbert is a pretty smart guy. I just like basketball people doing basketball things. I don't see that as being crazy. Now, Gilbert has access to all the scouting and reports that the organization puts together. He's not watching March Madness games and dictating draft choices based on that. So I might overstate the issue at times. When it comes to free agency, though, I think it's a little different.