The Cleveland Cavaliers were reportedly sold on taking Kansas center Joel Embiid with the 1st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but his latest injury has knocked him out of the running for the top spot.
Now it's a toss up between Embiid's teammate Andrew Wiggins and Duke's Jabari Parker. Which small forward works best for Cleveland?
Case for Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins will immediately be one of the NBA's elite athletes and a lockdown defender. He's great at attacking the basket, a willing and capable rebounder, and a team-first guy that won't clash with the Cavs current star, Kyrie Irving. Plus, Wiggins has the potential to be the next great superstar in the league.
Case against Andrew Wiggins
During his year at Kansas, we saw flashes of brilliance but also times where he was seemingly invisible. He would take himself out of games by not giving 100% effort. Also, Wiggins' jump shot is very inconsistent.
Case for Jabari Parker
Parker is perhaps the most pro-ready prospect of anyone in this draft and will immediately be able to contribute 20 points per game. He can score both from the perimeter and in the post, and has an NBA-ready body. Parker also is a great rebounder and has the ability to play power forward if Cleveland wants to play small-ball for stretches at a time.
Case against Jabari Parker
Despite his offensive prowess, Parker is not a great defender. There are questions as to whether he has the foot speed to guard NBA small forwards, which would severely limit his effectiveness on the court. Also, according to reports, Parker tanked his workout with the Cavs, which obviously signals that he doesn't want to play in Cleveland.
If you're Cleveland, you can't afford to pass on Andrew Wiggins. His major weakness of not always being aggressive can be neutralized by the play of Irving, which could turn into a strength for the team as long as Wiggins is not always deferring. The potential is there for him to be one of the best players in league history, and it's tough to pass on a guy like that.
Parker is the "win-now" option, but Cleveland isn't going to be winning anything of significance for a few years. Plus, the Cavs are in this mess because of a recent someone who left and didn't want to play there. They can't risk losing this pick after four years.
Wiggins will have a major impact right away and should be one of the league's best players in a few years. He was THE can't miss prospect for a reason. Don't miss, Cleveland.Back to the NBA Newsfeed