The NBA Finals are officially in the rear view mirrors, which means the full focus of the NBA world shifts to the future with the NBA Draft just a little while away – or at least it should be. The World Cup in Brazil is drawing attention from all corners of the globe and it has given us a lot of surprises. I mean who expected Costa Rica to beat Uruguay or Netherlands to demolish Spain?
Anyway, I digress. Back to the Basketball.
In the build up to this year’s star filled draft, we will look at the needs and possible avenues each team could go in order to be celebrating a championship like the San Antonio Spurs. First up, it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Lord knows what Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has done to deserve all this luck, having had three of the last four No. 1 picks in the prospective sweepstakes, but I doubt he is complaining much. The 2014 talent pool is filled with exciting, potentially franchise-altering stars such as Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. However, the general consensus is that Cleveland goes with size and takes Kansas’ Joel Embiid first – Provided he checks out medically.
A lower back injury cut his lone season in college basketball to 28 games and team officials aren’t entirely convinced he has completely sold on him. Then again, can you really blame them? After all, a teenager with back problems isn’t exactly an ideal candidate to peg your future on.
Nevertheless, his talent cannot be passed over. Gifted 7 footers with a respectable offensive game and an even better defensive presence don’t grow on trees every day. Throw in his elite athleticism along with his incredible upside, and you have got a potential NBA First Team talent in your hands.
Furthermore, he is exactly what the team needs. The Cavaliers were the second worst shot blocking unit last season, with just 3.7 per game. As such, teams aren’t afraid to attack the paint but adding Embiid would change all that. The former volleyball player swatted away 2.6 shots in just 23minutes during his time at Kansas, so expect him to continue spiking away shots at the next level.
Alternatively, Cleveland could go with Jabari Parker as he is the most NBA-ready prospect out of the top three. He is a great scorer who can contribute right away to a team looking to a team that is sick of being in the lottery-no matter how fortunate they are in such situations.
Still, Dan Gilbert and the rest of CavsNations are eager to get back to winning ways, and fast. Parker offers them exactly that. Although, they do already have a scorer in Kyrie Irving so if that’s an issue then Wiggins is a stud that would fill a similar position. That would enable Irving continues to run the show without adding in another player who relies on having the ball in his to be effective, as well as allowing the swingman to continue fulfilling his long term potential.
For all the praise that has been heaped on the Canadian, he isn’t seen as a natural scorer. Therefore playing alongside Kyrie Irving- and possibly even Dion Waiters- would enable him to continue to nurture his assassin’s mentality, yet still be a key option and a premier stopper on defense.
Of course all these scenarios hinge on the premise that the team will keep hold of the top overall pick.
Like I mentioned before, the Cleveland Cavaliers want to win yesterday, but to do so they need better talent. Up in Minnesota, the Timberwolves’ Kevin Love is reportedly searching for a new home and the Ohio club is interested in acquiring the services of the unsettled All-Star. As you would expect, the ‘Wolves will be looking for significant compensation and the No.1 Overall Pick in such a star studded draft could just do the trick.
However, if they choose to hold on to the pick and build through the draft, a la Oklahoma City Thunder, then Embiid does make the most sense. He will contribute right away but also has the potential to develop into something special down the line.
Plus, he fills a need due to all the questions surrounding Anderson Varejao’s durability and future with the club.
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