After months of prayers and hopes, of aimless mock drafts and countless speculation, the 2014 NBA draft lottery has come and gone. Philadelphia is selecting at picks three and ten, not perfect but not necessarily an issue either. At least everything is finally set in stone, and those who wish to put together mock drafts now can do so with actual meaning.
But Cleveland has seemed to put the national media in a tizzy (curse you, Cleveland), as there's really no consensus number one for the Cavaliers.
The 76ers and Andrew Wiggins are a perfect match. Philadelphia played the fastest pace in the NBA a year ago, which is a system Wiggins should thrive in. Additionally, he won't have be counted on to have his hands on the ball at all times thanks to the presence of Michael Carter-Williams. While Wiggins might need time to develop a complete offensive arsenal, he's ready immediately on defense. That will be a huge boost for a team that finished No. 27 in the league on defense a year ago.
This is an absolute dream scenario here, and there's some logic behind it. Cleveland has spent years passing up drafting a big man, and they are sort of at a crossroads. Spencer Hawes is a free agent this summer, and soon to be 32-year-old Anderson Varejao can't stay healthy. Milwaukee needs some instant scoring help and Parker can provide that. Hell, I could actually see them taking Exum at two. Wiggins is and has always been the crown jewel throughout the process, so landing him at three would be incredible. Stauskas at ten isn't fantastic, but okay.
Basketball Insiders gives the Sixers Jabari Parker and, oh hello, Jusuf Nurkic. Juice's DX video features one of the most impressive steals I've ever seen from a center, but that's a no thanks to him next to Noel.
Fr. Scout's take: "No right hand. Owns a sweet stroke from NBA range that is beautiful, effortless and easy. Needs to learn how to come off screens."
I'm throwing a Chris Paul, no look, bounce pass on James Young at pick ten. He's a stand still shooter who isn't capable of taking defenders off the dribble. Not necessarily someone who would pair great next to Michael Carter-Williams
CBS has a trio of similar mocks for us. Matt Moore and Gary Parrish give the Sixers Jabari Parker and Gary Harris, a clean if uninspiring duo. (HoopsHype agrees) Zach Harper also hands Jabari to the Sixers, but pairs him with the sexier James Young.
Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler goes off the deep end, giving the Sixers Indiana's Noah Vonleh and Croatian sensation Dario Saric. I like Vonleh as much as the next guy, but that is outrageous.
NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks likes the Sixers to come away with the tandem of Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon.
Gordon's offensive game needs some work, but he couldn't find a better home than Philadelphia -- where he fits in perfectly with their young nucleus.
I agree with that completely, and while Gordon falling to ten would probably be a steal, his play would overlap with that of Parker's. Jabari would likely be forced to play the wing, where he's most likely to get dominated defensively. If Parker is the guy at three than so be it, but the team would be forced to draft for need with their second selection, not best player available.
The moral of the story is that there is not even close to a consensus on who will end up where on draft night, leaving plenty of suspense over the next month.