By Michael LeDuc @mike_leduc on June 28, 2014
The wait is over. The most anticipated draft since 2003 is over and done with. Let's evaluate each of the first 10 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
With the first overall pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins. In my opinion, Andrew Wiggins was the second-best player after Jabari Parker. However, Parker did not want anything to do with Cleveland, so Wiggins was ultimately the right choice. Wiggins has question marks, but he has unlimited potential. Hopefully he and Kyrie Irving will make a good pair.
The Milwaukee Bucks chose the best and most NBA-ready player in this draft. Jabari Parker has a chance to make a significant impact in the league. The Bucks now have a player to build around and someone who will sell tickets.
It is never a good sign when a 7-footer is already dealing with foot and back injuries. Joel Embiid may have the most potential in this draft, but it won't matter if he's injured. On one hand, it is a risk Philadelphia should be willing to make, but they have drafted two injury-prone big men in two drafts in a row. It's difficult to foresee how this will work out for the 76ers.
The Orlando Magic's biggest need was a point guard, and Dante Exum and Marcus Smart were sitting right there for them. Instead, they selected a tweener who will be a good role player at best. Aaron Gordon is an intriguing prospect because of his athleticism, but his offensive game is extremely poor. He's a bad pick at No. 4.
The problem with this pick is that we don't know exactly what Dante Exum can bring to the table. Scouts have not been able to get a good look at this kid. If the hype surrounding his talent is true, then the Utah Jazz made a perfect selection. He and Trey Burke could make up a dangerous back court. However, the unknown does call for concern.
The Boston Celtics needed scoring and that is what they got by selecting Marcus Smart. Smart is the perfect fit for the Celtics because of his competitiveness, willingness to play defense, and leadership skills. The only question mark in his game is his shooting ability. It is also unknown whether he and Rajon Rondo can co-exist.
Julius Randle is the most NBA-ready player after Parker in this draft. He is a sure thing and should have been a top-five pick. The Los Angeles Lakers got themselves a great player at No. 7. He's competitive, a double-double machine, and can score in many different ways. Injuries may have caused him to drop, but he is a good fit in Los Angeles.
This was by far the biggest reach in the draft. The Sacramento Kings drafted a player whose ceiling is nothing more than a role player. Nik Stauskas is one of the best shooters in the draft and a pretty good player, but he's far from a top-10 player in this draft. If they liked Stauskas this much, they should have traded down, especially since they drafted a shooting guard last year.
Noah Vonleh is extremely raw, but he has All-Star potenital. He's tall, lengthy and has good range for a power forward. He has drawn comparisons to Chris Bosh. The Charlotte Hornets stole an excellent prospect at No. 9.
The Philadelphia 76ers already took a risk at No. 3 with Embiid so they should have drafted more of a sure thing at No. 10. Elfrid Payton is talented, but I don't see him making much of an impact in the NBA. They already have a PG in Michael Carter-Williams and he is not a good enough shooter to move to the two. The 76ers desperately needed a wing. Doug McDermott, James Young, Gary Harris and Zach LaVine were much better options.
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