The 2014 NBA Draft is set to get underway on Thursday night in Brooklyn, kicking off what’s expected to be a hectic offseason. Five days before the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony hit free agency, the fate of the best draft class in years will be determined.
Hours before the Cleveland Cavaliers must decide on the No.1 overall selection, there’s still a debate over who the team should choose. Before the start of the 2013-2014 college basketball season, Andrew Wiggins was almost a unanimous selection to be the top draft pick. Now, he has serious competition in Duke’s Jabari Parker.
This marks the third time in four years that the Cavs have the No.1 pick, but that might not be the case when the draft begins. The organization has reportedly been shopping the pick, and they may have a potential trade in place. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Cleveland has talked to teams about trading the Orlando Magic’s No.4 and No.12 picks. The Philadelphia 76ers, who have the No.3 and No.10 picks, could also be in play to trade for the top selection.
There could be a few deals made on Thursday, since several teams have more than one first-round pick. Eight teams have multiple picks before the start of the second round, including the Phoenix Suns, who have three first-rounders.
Teams that don’t have a first-round pick are looking to get a Top 30 selection. The latest rumors have the New York Knicks trying to trade for another pick, possibly by dealing Iman Shumpert. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports that the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans are also looking to get in the first round.
Because the 2014 class is considered to be so deep, any team with a top 10 pick could leave the draft with a future star. Joel Embiid has battled injuries, but he might be the most talented player in the draft. Dante Exum didn’t face much competition in Australia, but Ford reports that one general manager compared him to Kobe Bryant. Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle also have a very high upside.
The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with tickets to the event starting at $15. As of Thursday morning, seats were still available at ticketmaster.com.
1) Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
2) Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, Duke
3) Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid, Kansas
4) Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, Australia
5) Utah Jazz: Noah Vonleh, Indiana
6) Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
7) Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, Kentucky
8) Sacramento Kings: Aaron Gordon, Arizona
9) Charlotte Hornets: Rodney Hood, Duke
10) Philadelphia 76ers: Zach LaVine, UCLA
11) Denver Nuggets: Dario Saric, Croatia
12) Orlando Magic: Nik Stauskas, Michigan
13) Minnesota Timberwolves: Gary Harris, Michigan State
14) Phoenix Suns: Doug McDermott, Creighton
15) Atlanta Hawks: Kyle Anderson, UCLA
16) Chicago Bulls: James Young, Kentucky
17) Boston Celtics: T.J. Warren, North Carolina State
18) Phoenix Suns: Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia & Herzegovina
19) Chicago Bulls: Adreian Payne, Michigan State
20) Toronto Raptors: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
21) Oklahoma City Thunder: Clint Capela, Switzerland
22) Memphis Grizzlies: Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
23) Utah Jazz: Elfrid Payton, Louisiana Lafayette
24) Charlotte Hornets: Kyle Anderson, UCLA
25) Houston Rockets: Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
26) Miami Heat: Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
27) Phoenix Suns: Jerami Grant, Syracuse
28) Los Angeles Clippers: Mitch McGary Michigan
29) Oklahoma City Thunder: C.J. Wilcox, Washington
30) San Antonio Spurs: K.J. McDaniels, Clemson