The 2014 NBA Draft is still two long days away, yet not a single day passes that we don’t have some more rumors or leaked info to get excited about. And speaking of excited, Andrew Wiggins‘ name has again been intertwined with the Philadelphia 76ers as a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears quoted a source saying, “The 76ers own the third pick in the NBA draft, and Wiggins would be excited to play for them if selected.”
This isn’t the first report to come out surrounding the mutual interest between Wiggins and the Sixers as it has been said that Wiggins’ camp prefers the Sixers as the best fit for the 6-foot-8 forward. Meanwhile, not a single report has surfaced concerning Wiggins publicly proclaiming his interest to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Milwaukee Bucks, which have the No. 1 and No. 2 picks respectively. The Sixers stand alone in that category, and due to Wiggins only expressing an interest in playing in Philadelphia, would that be reason enough for the Cavs and Bucks to pass up on the freakishly athletic forward?
After the recent news of yet another injury to Joel Embiid, this time in the form of a fractured foot that required surgery, it would appear to be an absolute given that Wiggins falling to the Sixers with the third pick is now out of the question. But as reports have begun to surface, Cleveland is now focusing their attention on Jabari Parker while the Bucks have expressed their interest in taking Dante Exum when it’s their turn on the clock.
For whatever reason, the Cavs appear to be bypassing Wiggins at the top spot, despite him being the prospect with the most upside since a former top pick by Cleveland in 2003. Rather, they look to be zoning in on a guy who is undoubtedly the more polished offensive product but will never be the defensive or athletic specimen Wiggins is and will be. This again begs the question: How could the Cavaliers possibly pass on Wiggins with a glaring need at small forward? Well, for a franchise that is one move away from building an empire or collapsing entirely, drafting someone who clearly prefers to be elsewhere could be detrimental to what progress Cleveland is looking to make.
On the other hand, the Bucks should have a much easier decision when it comes to passing on Wiggins. Unlike the Cavaliers, Milwaukee has numerous needs and point guard is one of them. For the Bucks to pass on Exum, who has the same play style as the reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, and has a higher upside, taking Wiggins away from where he wants to be in Philly could be a move they regret when Exum flourishes elsewhere.
In a nutshell, both the Cavs and Bucks have very intriguing options to consider outside of Wiggins and both are in dire need of taking steps in the right direction. Bringing in a guy who simply wants to be somewhere else just wouldn’t let that happen.