City Sports Report

Wiggins or Parker, Who Will Go First in 2014 NBA Draft?

Jabari Parker Speaks with Media on Eve of 2014 NBA Draft (Photo by Derrel Johnson)
Andrew Wiggins Speaks with Media on Eve of 2014 NBA Draft (Photo by Derrel Johnson)

Andrew Wiggins Speaks with Media on Eve of 2014 NBA Draft (Photo by Derrel Johnson)

 

  The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on the clock for the #1 pick of the 2014 NBA Draft for a while now.  Last year, the Cavs were in this same position and they thought long and hard before choosing UNLV’s Anthony Bennett first overall. The rookie forward sputtered through his rookie year, averaging only 4.8 points and getting only 13 minutes a game of playing time in 52 games played. He definitely underwhelmed as the first pick in the draft as the Cleveland Cavaliers still looked like a team in disarray. But this year, there is no Anthony Bennett being considered for the first overall pick. Instead, there are two top-notch talents that are vying for the top spot. Both Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins have received rave reviews heading into the draft, but which one do the Cavaliers go with?

 

  Parker is clearly the more polished player of the two. The 6’8” forward from Duke had a good freshman season as the focal point of the Duke offense (19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds). The most impressive parts of his game are his mid-range/fadeaway jumper and his handles for his size. Although not overly athletic, it seemed like he could get to spots on the floor with ease on the offensive end. And it’s that type of offensive ability that has had scouts drooling over him for years. But let’s take a look at how he would fit in with the Cavs. With Kyrie, Jabari would likely slide right in and start at small forward over the likes of Bennett or whoever the Cavs would throw out at that position. He immediately would give the Cavaliers that young scoring forward that they have been missing.  But for all the great things that Jabari can do offensively, he underwhelms you defensively. Sure, playing the center spot sometimes in college made Parker look worse than he was, but Parker just looked a step slow defensively at times as evidence in this slow-motion clip here(Parker is wearing #1 for Duke):

When defending quick players, it seemed like he was always a step behind. In the NBA, all the wings are quick, so imagine how hard it would be for him to keep up. And for a team that is not the best defensively, the last thing the Cavs need is a guy that cannot defend. Parker would be a guy that gives up as many points as he scores. And that will not help Cleveland win in the long run.

(Andrew Wiggins courtesy of www.ballislife.com)

Wiggins was the consensus top pick of the 2014 NBA Draft as soon as the 2013 NBA Draft was over. The Canadian born swing man is very explosive, as evidence by this play here:

The incredible athleticism displayed by Wiggins was on display all season and inevitably was the best part of his game. He is far and away more athletic than Parker. And with him filling the wing on one side of Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, Cleveland would be in for some exciting times. What’s even more incredible thing about Wiggins is he averaged 17.1 points per game despite not even scratching the surface of what all he could become. But for all the things that Wiggins could be, there is one thing that he gets criticized most for not having. Wiggins never really was consistently playing at peak form in college. He had one huge game against the West Virginia Mountaineers (41 points), but in other games he disappeared. One big question that has yet to be answered is his ability to play up to his talent level at all times and not just sometimes. If Wiggins is able to reach his potential consistently, he could be a perennial all-star and a potential franchise-changer for the Cavs. And he could also be better than Parker if he were to reach his potential on the offensive end. Defensively, there is no question he is better than Parker already and has nowhere to go but up.

  It all comes down to what the Cavs are looking for. Do they want the offensive abilities of Jabari or the explosive ability of Wiggins? I guess we will find out come Thursday.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

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