And there it is…
After weeks of speculation, preferences, trade rumors, and incredibly conflicting reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers finally made a decision by drafting Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
From early in his high school career, Wiggins moved into the national spotlight and started to be viewed as the consensus first overall pick. But after what was viewed as an underwhelming year in Kansas, Wiggins appeared to be dropping slightly. Many believed that both Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid had passed Wiggins on the draft boards of many teams.
Due to the injury concerns to Embiid, and a higher bust potential to Parker (has anyone seen him play defense?), the Cavaliers selected Wiggins to fill a desperate need for a dynamic wing player. Although his offense needs to be developed further, his defense is NBA ready as he sets up to potentially be a premier wing defender.
But before finalizing the selection of Wiggins, the Cavaliers entertained plenty of trade options. Teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and most of all the Philadelphia 76ers were rumored to have varying levels of discussion centered around the pick. Philadelphia was even rumored to be willing to trade picks No. 3, No. 10, and No. 32 in exchange for the opportunity to draft Wiggins, although this report was dismissed by both teams:
Rumblings of monster offer from Philly to Cleveland being refuted. I’m told the Sixers haven’t been as engaged as indicated on landing No. 1
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 26, 2014
The Cavaliers have made it clear that their desire was to be competitive this coming year, while trying to establish a championship pedigree within the roster. That in and of itself has been one of the knocks against Wiggins. Many believe that he is too laid back and doesn’t have enough of a killer instinct. This was put to the test mere minutes after his selection and Wiggins passed the examination with flying colors.
Wiggins has the confidence as a rookie to challenge LeBron by basically saying “If you want to win you’d better join me.”
What shouldn’t be dismissed about Wiggins is the chemistry that he already has in place with several members of the organization, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are now the most Canadian team in the league, and potentially in league history. Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett are both close friends with Wiggins after their years of playing for the Canadian National Team.
To have the opportunity to add a likely All-Star, and potential franchise player, who already has chemistry with your roster…an unheard of privilege that Cavaliers fans should not underestimate.
And perhaps the most important part…with the ability to play both wing positions, Wiggins could fit very nicely beside LeBron James. On a night filled with good news for Cleveland, one might as well dream big!